So. You’re in Love With a Narcissist. Part 3

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.

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One response to “So. You’re in Love With a Narcissist. Part 3

  1. Jau

    I read both your books in their entirety today. Thank you so much for writing about this topic in a way that makes it possible to accept what is happening to me and my life. I have known or intuited what was going on for about a year now, but not did not want to acknowledge to myself that there was no hope of every getting back the “prince.” I’ve been in therapy for almost a year but still part of me wanted to hope that things would change. They have not. Marching orders have been given and was amazed that someone who literally abandoned me, with ease, time and time again is now desperately trying to stay in contact with me. After realizing that “acting” loving and kind would not work, he’s now resorted to doing things for negative attention. After reading your books, I am no longer amazed but realize this behavior is exactly what I should have expected, and it’s only strengthened my resolve to never go back. I could not understand why someone like me, nearing middle age, successful in almost every part of my life, was NOW, at this point in my life, suddenly experiencing such crazy-making drama. Thank you again for writing about a topic that has a lot of coverage on the Internet. I’ve been reading for almost a year on all this but your books are the first writing that has made me say “yes, yes, yes!” instead of “well, maybe that is him but maybe I am just reading too much into thing.”

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