OK. On a less acerbic note.
Now, we know love is a good thing. Good love involves exchanging respect, affection, time and support with someone special. It feels good and when it has rough spots the two parties work them through.
But the harsh truth is that there are those among us who don’t love. And when they pretend to, at our expense, that’s a painful thing for the rest of us. They pretend to love because they know we’ll love them back and they like the way it feels when we adore them and struggle to make a relationship with them work. It makes them feel special.
But one day we look up and we see that we’re the one putting in all the respect, affection, time and support, and they’re taking it as well-deserved worship and hold out their hands for more.
We try to work through rough spots. And with a narcissist that’s where the REAL ouchies kick in.
In rough spots good people look at the matter and review their own role in it as well as that of their partner. Narcissists are so desperate to always look perfect to themselves that the chances are zero of them ever considering they might have caused someone discomfort. So, if the two of you have a problem, guess whose fault it is?
In rough spots good people look toward the goal of working it out and going on in better understanding. Narcissists would rather dump the whole thing and start fresh with someone else. If you’re with a narcissist, your purpose in life is to reassure them that they’re as perfect as they want to be. So, if you find that there’s something imperfect about them and show it, as in your saying, “You hurt my feelings,” “But you said you’d call. I needed to hear from you,” or “Why did you spend our whole night at the party talking to the pretty woman from work?”, then you aren’t doing your job and may need to be replaced with someone much weaker or more troubled. (Healthy, strong people defend their due and their boundaries in relationships. Narcissists hate that.)
In rough spots, good people engage in logical though maybe passionate debates about the issues. They ask each other what they want and use that information to make each other and themselves happy and fulfilled. A narcissist may very well ask you what you want; they’ll then use that information to manipulate you by threatening to withhold what you need and try to extract more attention and reassurance from you. And this is what you’ll get in return: punishment for having challenged their perfection in the first place. Threats of abandonment. Accusations. Contempt.
Does all this sound far-fetched and like a lame made-for-TV movie? Then you’ve never had an encounter with a narcissist.
If you’re with a narcissist, do research. Write your feelings down. Get some therapy. Do whatever helps, but before you do anything, get out. Just get out. And don’t look back. The view ain’t pretty.