While there can be many reasons why an ex-partner reaches out, those who have been involved with emotionally abusive narcissists can feel validated in knowing that their ex-partner’s reasons are less motivated by love and far more motivated by darker and more selfish reasons.
A recent research study conducted by Mogilski and Welling (2017) showed that those who had darker personality traits such as narcissism, psychopathy and duplicity tended to stay friends with their exes out of pragmatism, sex and access to resources.
This is not surprising to anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist. Since narcissists lack empathy and exploit others for their own gain, what is known as “hoovering” is common.
What Is Hoovering?
Hoovering, aptly named after the Hoover vacuum, is a technique narcissists use to try to “suck” their victims back into the vicious cycle of abuse and regain control, especially if their partners left them first.
By remaining friends with their exes, narcissists get to keep all of their former partners on a carousel of convenience: they can create a harem of people to use for sex, money, praise, attention or whatever else they desire, at any time.