“If you just weren’t so needy / clingy / desperate / insecure / [insert belittling attribute here], things would be better between us! We would be happy again!” How many times did your narcissist “lovingly” share these words, or very similar words, with you? How many times were we the reason the relationship was falling apart? Somehow, it didn’t seem to register with our narcissist that their lying, unfaithful heart and wandering eyes, or trove of opposite-sex “friends” repeatedly expressing far, far more than appropriate aspirations for that friendship to become something more than “just friends,” was the true reason the relationship found itself cast upon these rocky shores. And yet, somehow, it was always our fault that things were falling apart, wasn’t it? If only we would do, try, be better, then things would be better between us once again. If only…
But no amount of effort, sacrifice, or outright martyrdom on our part could ever return things to how they once were back when we and our narcissist first met, could it? And do you know why? Because the relationship with our narcissist was never anything more than a hollow pursuit for them, a means to a nefarious end, an exercise in futility, and all for no other purpose than to feed our narcissist’s narcissism. The reality is, if our narcissist truly cared for us, for the relationship, if they genuinely wanted to not only make things work but make a future with us, they would have stayed and they would have eagerly and willingly sacrificed just as much as we did, perhaps, even more, to achieve that goal. Our universally ubiquitous truth of the day is this, you never abandon someone you love, you abandon someone you were using. But wait a minute! In walking out of the relationship with our narcissist, didn’t we, in effect, abandon the relationship, our narcissist, and our planned future with them? According to our narcissist, you would think so. So, were we really to blame for the pending ending coming to fruition?
The short answer is, “No.” The long answer is, “Hell, no!” If we had actually listened to our narcissist, which, let’s face it, we did for far too long and much too often, then we would embrace their truth that the reason the relationship failed was our doing. Were we needy? Clingy? Desperate? Insecure? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Either way, where is the inherent bad in being wholeheartedly and completely invested in something of substance? Something not only worth having but, at least for us, worth fighting for. Unlike our narcissist who was indifferent and disinterested as to whether or not what we were building failed, we actually cared. What we shared with our narcissist didn’t just matter to us, it was paramount! In fact, I’m willing to take an educated guess and say that there were very few if any other relationships that mattered to us as sincerely and genuinely as the one we had slaved so tirelessly to foster, cultivate, and nurture with our narcissist.
Think back to what you did for your narcissist, all the sacrifices, not just in general, but over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years – over your time together and even apart. If possible, make an actual list of all those times you played hooky from work and those moments you could have made memories with your family, friends, even your children, that you, instead, surrendered to your narcissist for no other reason than to simply see your narcissist, to spend time with them, to bask in the glow of their exalted presence. Now, make that same list for your narcissist. How many times did they make those self-same sacrifices for you, for the relationship; for your future together?! Yeah, that’s gonna be a short list.
Here’s the thing, beautiful – you didn’t abandon a healthy relationship; you saved yourself from an abusive relationship. A person can only give, invest, sacrifice, surrender so much of themselves before they become emotionally bankrupt because the person for whom we’re sacrificing isn’t reciprocating with even a handful of those same emotional investments or efforts that we have given so freely. Just how long can someone continue to make withdrawals from your bank account of affection, whilst making few-to-no deposits, before you find yourself destitute, emotionally insolvent? For me, it was 4-½ years with Julia, my narcissist. As was chronicled in last month’s article, You
Complete Deplete Me, the last straw from me was, for all intents and purposes, a relatively minor event. So what about you? Are you still with your narcissist? Or did something equally as unsettling occur that finally pushed you over the edge to the point where you knew that leaving was the only viable solution for you and your sanity? Hopefully, you have left. And if you have actually left, do you still find your actions, thoughts, and daily routines governed as a result of your narcissist’s conditioning? You’ve been programmed to believe their established level of manipulative control is not only normal but acceptable. It’s going to take time to undo what has been done, to be deprogrammed; a lot of time. Please believe me, this will pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
But if you are still with your narcissist, please do not feel disheartened. The only reason you have yet to leave and stay gone is simply due to the fact that your narcissist hasn’t pushed the “big red button,” that final button, sending you over the edge one too many times. While I, in no way, aspire for anything unsavory to further transpire betwixt you and your narcissist, I do sincerely wish that your salvation would find you and find you soon. And when you do finally make that leap of faith and take that first step in walking away, do not allow your narcissist to instill even the slightest amount of guilt for doing what is right for you.
Let’s be clear here, the relationship didn’t end because of you or your very normal and healthy desire to be loved wholly and completely. You aren’t needy. You are a loving person who is in need of receiving love in the same fashion, to the same degree, and in the same manner in which you give it – with abyssal depth and unparalleled breadth. You aren’t clingy. You are a hopeless romantic who clings to the idea that someone will love you equally if you simply love them with all that is inside of you. You aren’t desperate. You are desperately seeking to give the ineffable gift of your love to someone who is just as deserving as you to receive that love. You aren’t insecure. You are secure when your love is reciprocated, and understandably unsure when you find yourself in a unilateral relationship built with someone who has surreptitiously laid a solid foundation of lies, deception, infidelity, and manipulation, and then insulted you by calling it, “love.” So, did you abandon your narcissist? No, beautiful. The sad truth is, you can’t abandon someone who was never truly there.