This article really hit home as I spent most of my adult life with a narcissist. It is one of the most toxic relationships to ever be in and even more difficult to get out of. I wish I could call myself a survivor but I find myself still allowing him to be a permanent fixture in my life. This could partially be that we have a child together or that I am still under his “spell”…
THOSE THREE LITTLE WORDS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE, BUT WHEN A NARCISSIST SAYS “I LOVE YOU,” THOSE WORDS TAKE ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MEANING THAN WHAT YOU’D EXPECT.
The following is a letter to the unfortunate souls who have fallen in love with someone who can never really love them back, written from the perspective of the narcissist.
I normally wouldn’t say this, or ever acknowledge it, because then the manipulative game I have lured you into would be over. I wouldn’t have anyone to hand off my responsibilities to- and you’re so good at carrying my share of the relationship, as well as yours.
WHEN I SAY “I LOVE YOU,” WHAT I REALLY MEAN IS I LOVE THE THINGS YOU DO FOR ME.
I love how you want to believe I love you so badly, that you are willing to deny the truth, even when it is right in your face.
I love that regardless of the fact I continually make you feel small and insignificant, you still give me the power to take advantage of your kindness by exploiting your good intentions. It always makes me feel better to make you feel worse.
I love how easy it is to make you doubt yourself and question your own sanity. You never know what’s real, or what’s right, unless I tell you- complete control at it’s finest.
I love how your expectations of me gradually decline, while the ones I have for you are constantly rising. Of course, if they’re not met, the look of failure and disappointment that washes over your face always makes me smile.
I love how the entire focus of your life is me. Fixing my problems, solving my issues, relieving my pain- it’s all about me, and never you. I love that you never take time for yourself or acknowledge your own issues in life that require attention.
“I love you” has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with how I feel when you are around me. To be clear, my happiness is your responsibility.
When I say I love you, I really am referring to the love of hatred for you (and me). It sounds confusing, I know. Even though I hate myself and experience self-loathing on a daily basis, I can love myself vicariously through the love that you feel towards me. I hate having to rely on you for this, so I will make you suffer emotionally to pay for it.
I love how I can dangle the carrot of affection in front of you, and you will do anything to taste it- even briefly. I know you want me to give you some sign that I really do care about you, and I know you want me to show some support, but why would I ever do that? It’s the act of tempting you with those things you will never get that keeps you with me.
I love how you won’t leave me because you are just as hooked on this toxic relationship as I am.
I love how I can instantly turn myself in to the victim when you try to bring up one of my many personality flaws, or harmful behaviours. I’m sure you remember more than one instance when you tried to point out something I did that hurt you, and I made you feel horrible for even mentioning it.
I love how I make you think you need me, and make you feel like I am doing you a favour by being in a relationship with you. I have broken you down enough to the point that you don’t think you’re worth more than I say you are.
I love how you think you are with someone who loves you. A normal person, with a healthy emotional grasp of things, isn’t capable of simply turning love off and on. But I’m the kind of person who shows love and affection as a manipulation tool and uses it it to get what I want.
In summary, I want you to know that when I say “I love you,” it isn’t what you want it to be, and it isn’t what love truly represents for the rest of the world. But as you are well aware, I don’t live in the real world- I define my own rules and expect you to live by them too.
Please know that you won’t ever be able to change me, and if you try, you will fail. I have been this way with everyone in my life ever since I was denied genuine love and support as a child. I’ll take it out on you with hurtful words and manipulative tactics under the guise of love, but we both know it’s not real.
Or, at least, we should both know now.
Your (non)loving narcissist
Author: Raven Fon