I think that is what causes us most of the pain; to find out that it is all a scam. He never loved us, we were totally sucked in; how could some one fake loving that well if they really weren’t feeling it?
The thing is; for us it was the love of our life, it was what movies are made of. In my case, our eyes met across a bar and we were pulled together almost like we were in some sort of magnetic fource field.
Then came the love bombing, the flowers for no reason (when he said he wasn’t big on special occasion gifts and believed in giving all year I didn’t see the red flag because I was getting big bouquets of flowers and love notes all the time, who cares about valentines when every day is a lovefest?)
It seemed to come so easy to him, he never got angry and was so easy to talk to how does someone present such an opposite image of himself?
JC worked for a company whose company motto was “Image is everything”. He loved that motto, as would be expected; it could be the narcissist’s motto because that is how he operates. Image IS everything to the narcissist.
Of course you feel you never loved like that before because you were living in the type of romantic relationship we have always seen in movies and on TV. That is where the narcissist learnt how to “love” and then with every relationship he picks up tips and pointers from his latest victim so as he ages he hones his skills and perfects his technique for hooking his next victim. As his good looks fade his skills increase, that is why age really doesn’t slow him down.
Seeing as a narcissist can not feel like a normal person; he doesn’t know what love feels like. He may see a woman that has something he wants and feel an attraction to her and confuse that with “love” but he really has no idea what love feels like. In fact he probably doesn’t understand why his victim is so hurt and upset when he unceremoniously dumps her. He is confused by the display of emotion; he assumes it is all part of the game. For him he is playing a role just like these games where all the people pick a character to play in the game. Some people really get involved in these games and have a hard time separating the game from reality. So it is with the narcissist and love; he is playing a character in a game and assumes everyone else is also. It is a matter of keeping one step ahead of the other players and earning extra points (money, praise, the beautiful woman) . After we split and he came to tell me how much he always loved me he said a few very telling things.
1. He said, “I wanted to change my life.”
2. You knew I had lost my job and had to move. (when I asked him how he could move in with the new woman so quickly)
3. You could have had a different man every night. (he didn’t understand why I hadn’t just replaced him with some other man, in his mind that is the natural thing to do. Because he is not invested in any relationship he can easily just find another victim and pretend to love them in order to get what he wants. He doesn’t really see anything wrong with that because he assumes everyone is operating in the same way.
4. I was as faithful as I could be.
I believe that. When he was on the road trucking etc he did not see that as cheating because I wasn’t there so how would I know. Its all about the image. As long as he called me and told me he missed me and loved me why would I get upset?
5. When talking about the married woman I caught him with and how he went immediately that night to the new woman and ended up moving in with her.
He said, The relationship with the married woman was too complicated and the house was all tied up because the husband was fighting the break up. And he looked at me with total honesty on his face. “You knew how bad the mice were in the trailer, I had to get out of there, and you knew my job was done.”
It just seemed so obvious to him that it almost made sense to me.
I remember when he was still writing the woman in Africa 2 years later and I was so upset. He said it meant nothing. I asked how it can mean nothing; he was promising to bring her to Canada and marry her. He had replied, “Its hard to stop talking to her, you don’t know the things she says”. I did read some of her letters and she gushed about how much she loved him and waited to hear from him wanted to be with him. She was looking for some way out of Africa and thought he was her ticket out. He was just getting good strokes off it. I asked why he would lead her on to believe he was bringing her to Canada and he had said, “Do you have any idea what kind if life she leads? Its hell on earth there. I brighten her day and give her hope.”
I said, “False hope. And you are preventing her from meeting another man who might actually get her out of there.”
He looked puzzled.
Image is everything. But image is nothing……just an image, no substance.
So we meet the narcissist and he presents the image of what he has seen in movies, read in books or learned by watching others; as the perfect love relationship. He is playing his part and we play ours; in his mind. After that we lose him because our feelings aren’t an image; we really feel, we are truly committed, our love grows but his diminishes because as with anything the excitement wears off. The supply he gets from us becomes boring; he doesn’t have to win our love any more. He knows he has it so it isn’t worth anything to him any more. He needs the thrill of earning someone’s love, that’s why he keeps coming back after he dumps you.
Once he dumps you and see you are moving on then to win your love back has worth in his eyes, you are supply again. But as soon as he wins your love back he finds that it isn’t enough. We are thinking we will prove how much we love him and our consistency and faithfulness are exactly what he hates, it doesn’t give him the ego boost he needs. He doesn’t have to try, he knows you love him where is the challenge.
When you watch a love story in a movie usually the whole movie is about the “romancing” the misunderstanding between lovers; the back and forth, the winning of the love interest. Once the couple get together the credits start to roll, the movie is over. They never show what happens now; that the couple goes off and lives a boring life in the suburbs somewhere.
We are expecting the romance and intense love to continue but the narcissist doesn’t know what comes next because in the movies the movie is over, the lights go on and everyone goes home.
If you think about it this way: say someone insisted you do something you simply can not do. It is not physically possible, like fly. You can pretend to fly, flap your arms, if you put a blue screen up and film it, it will look like you are really flying but if they expected you to jump off a building you would refuse.
If they insisted that you can fly because they saw the film of you flying, you pretended you could fly and now they want you to prove you can fly you would get angry with them; maybe even hit them if they kept pressuring you.
To you it would be suicide to jump off the building and this person is pressuring you to do something you just CAN NOT DO. Why don’t they understand that? Don’t they know it was all smoke and mirrors? Why are they so upset we won’t jump off the building?
I think that is what the narcissist is feeling. He was playing a game of pretend to get what he wants, what he needs to live. He needs Ns like we need air, it is not a choice for us and it isn’t for him either. He is not hardwired to feel sympathy, empathy, both of which are needed in order to have a conscience and all very necessary in order to feel real love.
So eventually in all his relationship there comes a point where the other person expects him to jump off the building and fly. Or in his case; love and give up his life essentially because he needs ns like we need air. For him to truly commit to anyone would be suicide to him.
Does that make any sense at all?
It was an epiphany I had the other day trying to figure out how they can appear so in love one minute and then loath you the next. They see you as the person asking them to jump off the building and fly.
There is life and light after the narcissist, I promise! Hugs Carrie