“Step into my parlor,” said the spider to the fly – is the opening line of a well-known poem by Mary Howett. The poem is a cautionary tale against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their true evil intentions.
This week I have received an all-time high amount of emails from people, who have expressed all of the horrendous experiences they’ve had with their Narcissist, but they all end it with either, “but he said he loves me,” or “but I still love him.”
But He Says He Loves Me
If I wanted to catch a mouse I wouldn’t use vinegar, I would probably use something that would attract the mouse, something it likes to consume. That’s a no-brainer right? So if I was a pathological, manipulating, egomaniac and I wanted to draw you in and keep you in, am I not going to say whatever I have to say, to get what I want?
If your Narcissist was himself at the beginning of your relationship, you would have never become enamored with him. If, as you’re walking out the door, he tells you the truth – that he doesn’t care about anyone and that he only thinks about himself – you’re going to leave – so of course he’s going to feed you a bunch of who-ha.
You aren’t going to stay and put up with his bull, if he tells you, “I’m a selfish prick, I only think about me and I’m not interested or capable of giving you the relationship that you want and deserve. So if you’re looking for that, I’m not you’re guy.” What he’s looking for and what you’re looking for are two very different things. He wants to maintain the status quo – where he gets to enjoy all the fringe benefits of being with you, while giving nothing or very little in return.
When you threaten to leave your relationship and he comes pursuing, if you suddenly think, ok now the shoe is on the other foot. I’m in control now – you’re dead wrong . If you’re involved with a Narcissist, you’re going to get a whole lot of sweet talk, followed by a brief period of better behavior and then it’s back to the same ole, same ole.
When a relationship is on the brink of ending and you’re having the talk – that’s usually when you can expect to have an honest conversation. That’s when you should both be able to assess the relationship and decide what’s best for both of you. This is what happens when you are with a guy that has a shred of integrity, but you’re looking for brutal honesty, from a guy that is a pathological liar – what do you really think he’s going to say?
You can bet he doesn’t want you to leave, but his reasons have nothing to do with love, so don’t be flattered. You’re probably an excellent source of Narcissistic Supply and replacing you is going to be pretty damn stressful and inconvenient, especially if he doesn’t have someone else lined up.
Even if you do end up leaving, him throwing in that, I love you, is bound to mess with your head, so it’s a win-win situation for him. He’s likely softening you up for his second act and believe me, he knows what he’s doing and the power of the words he’s using. They’re like Kryptonite to everyone but him.
When a Narcissist says I love you and you forgive him, it’s like he believes that a magical eraser has just cleansed the slate of all previous wrong-doings. If you think he’s contrite and he’s learned from his mistakes, think again. What he’s really thinking is some variation of – sucker, you’re so naïve – winning.
Consider this, if I punch you in the face and it hurts you and I make up a really good excuse and apology, you might forgive me, but if I punch you in the face again and offer up another dandy, you are probably going to be pretty hesitant to get in the way of my fist again. This is no different – how many times are you going to let someone figuratively, punch you in the face, before you realize that pretty words do not make up for ugly actions.
But I Still Love Him
This is another phrase I hear all the time. Have you ever asked yourself – what is it that you love? Do you love the way you’re needs are never considered and how he always lets you down? Do you love the way he makes you feel like crap and destroys your self-esteem? Probably not, so what is it that you love? Seriously think about this.
You can take your pick, but if you’re being truly honest with yourself, the answer is probably in here somewhere:
You’re stuck because you were sold a fantasy and what you got was more like a nightmare. You keep waiting for him to hold up his end of the bargain and deliver on all of the promises (future faking) he made at the beginning and a big part of you refuses to believe that you’ve been had.
You say you feel love for this man, because if you didn’t love him, you’d seriously have to assess what’s wrong with you and why the hell you were putting up with so much of his crap and you don’t want to look at you.
You love him, because you don’t love yourself and his poor treatment of you, makes you feel like you’re home. It’s what you know and where you feel most comfortable.
You love him, because you have very low standards on how you expect to be treated.
You may love him, because he’s attractive and you’re superficial.
You may think you love him, because he’s exciting, he’s a challenge, unobtainable and you really get off on the chase.
You may believe you love him, because you are a very dependent person and you’re afraid of being alone.
You may love him, because you have a victim mentality – you’re a masochist.
You may say you love him, because you believe you can’t or don’t deserve any better.
You may love him, because you are addicted to the drama.
You may love him, because you’re a fixer and you are addicted to broken men.
You may believe you love him, because you like to live in fantasy land.
If someone constantly disappoints you, hurts you and takes from you, that’s not a relationship – it’s a dictatorship. And if all they had to do was say three magical little words and all was well again – they will. A real healthy relationship consists of two people who show how much they care consistently and who both make deposits into the relationship bank. If one person keeps making deposits and the other keeps making withdrawals, you can be making deposits for years, but you’ll still probably end up in overdraft.
Understand that when someone wants to be with you, they will consistently make the effort. On the same token, if someone wants to use you and continue to use you, they will feed you honey or whatever lines they know you want to hear, so that you don’t buzz off.
I’m going to paraphrase and show you a few excerpts from a reader that I thought were brilliant:
Narcissists suck out all of your energy and take you to very low places… I stopped engaging, I blocked his messages, blocked his email, blocked all contact…I don’t hate myself when he’s not around…I don’t want to end my life when I keep him away from me… They’re sick people and we have to stay away for our own sanity!
Love isn’t supposed to hurt and have your stomach all tied up it knots – if it always does, it isn’t love. Believe that anyone can say I love you 1000 times, but it doesn’t make it true. If all it takes are a few sugar coated words and all is forgiven, you really need to raise your standards and demand more for yourself and from others.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – pretty words do not cover up ugly actions, so if you constantly find your relationship following along these lines, do what that reader did, take a step back, reassess the situation and you’ll find that you like you a whole lot better when you live by the adage, that words without actions don’t mean a damn thing.