The Science of Love



At times I think I confuse people with my views on who is at fault in a relationship with a narcissist. 

Although I don’t believe the victim is to blame, there is no way they knew what they were getting into, no one teaches us about narcissists and psychopaths, unfortunately it is a lesson we had to learn the hard way. BUT we do have to take some responsibility for our own abuse because we stayed.

NOW, before you get defensive or take all the blame let me explain. We are all caregivers, that is what we do, as much as the narcissist is a taker, user and abuser and has no heart, we are the exact opposite. It stands to reason we would end up with a narcissist doesn’t it? 

I hear people say they are afraid to ever date again because they can’t trust another man, or they can’t trust themselves, or they can’t stop being who they are and they refuse to stop being a caring giving person. But no one is asking they to change who they are only define who they are and then stick to that definition and not let anyone tell them differently. Set boundaries and stick to them, be true to your core beliefs and respect yourself and demand that others respect you also. A narcissist will not stick around if he knows you can not be manipulated. I watched that show Secret Millionaire the other day, the show where a millionaire pretends to be poor in order to find a love partner who loves them for them and not their money. I watched several of the episodes and something happened I had not anticipated; in the final few minutes of the show the contestant reveals the truth to the (in the cases I watched) woman he has been lying about his wealth and the woman who previously had really been falling for the guy broke up with him for lying to her. 

I doubt I would have done that. I have never cared how much money a guy had but, to be honest, if I was falling for a guy and he revealed he had been lying and he was actually a millionaire I would be thrilled!! Bonus!! and I would have totally ignored the fact that he had lied to me, I would understand why he did it and forgiven him and said something like, “I’ll forgive you this time but ever lie to me again and it’s over.'” Some of the women asked to think about it for a while alone, but they came to the same conclusion and broke up with the guy. Actually only one woman decided to stick with the guy and they were getting along great 2 months later but who knows what a year down the road brought. 

That got me thinking and wondering what the women (or men) on here would do. Would you forgive or break up with the guy? I respect the women who stood firm to their boundaries and from now on I am standing firm to my boundaries also, no 2nd chances, no acceptions to the rule. THAT is where we run into problems. You can still be a caring, giving person without being a doormat and letting a person walk all over you and disrespect you. Love does not mean letting someone ignore your standards. If honesty is not important to you then by all means date a liar, or if you want to pay for everything all the time, pay all the time, but if you want honesty, faithfulness, and respect don’t date a guy who lies, has cheated on other women because he will cheat on you and don’t pay his way.

Another thing we did, we gave too much, we invested too much, when we invest too much the person and the relationship becomes more important because we are invested. Watch this video, they are talking about allowing the other person to invest in the relationship also, that if we do it all the scales become unbalanced and we end up more invested in the relationship than the other person. Just listen to the first few minutes it makes a lot of sense. I know I was doing all the driving when I met James, it happened before I knew it but looking back, I didn’t like doing the driving but he didn’t want to drive and it kinda made sense because at his place we were alone and I worked and he didn’t, but I wonder what would have happened if I would have just said,”No, I do not want to drive down there.” I didn’t want to take the chance that he wouldn’t do it so I didn’t challenge him but maybe he would have not driven and maybe we wouldn’t have gotten together for the long haul which certainly would not have been a bad thing. 

You know, sometimes we think we really want something because we think it is a good thing and what we need so we make it happen at all cost and if we would have just stood back and let things unfold as they should it never would have been a problem.

11 thoughts on “The Science of Love

  1. ellie2013

    Another great post Carrie! Much food for thought here. I agree, we all held on too long too hard , CLUNG to the N like he was our very life line. And I have to wonder why? Perhaps there is something to the saying ” if you love something let it go”. I think, and I may offend some ppl with this statement, but, I think we were all afraid that if we stood up for ourselves he would find someone else that would put up with his BS. The insecurity HE set up in us, the hints that other women wanted him, the ST, the disappearing acts all set the stage for us to cling even harder tighter lest we lose him to someone who would give him their money, drive him around, not nag him, drink with him , whatever it was. And whatever it was we did it because we just could not take the chance he would leave when all the time that is what he was going to eventually do anyways. That is not love in any sense of the word, it IS desperation.

    People that are really in love CAN be out of one anothers sight and be comfortable. If you have to even think that he may be with someone else, it is NOT really love.

    People can have different likes and dislikes, we do not have to agree with every choice our partners make. If we feel we can not disagree for fear they will leave us, it is NOT really love.

    IMO, we all loved too much, held on too tight and too long. We were afraid we would lose them and we did anyways. You are right. We need to set firm boundaries. And if they are crossed, EVEN ONCE, we need to end it. Lying is unacceptable, cheating is beyond anything that can be forgiven, physical violence no matter how “small” the bruise may seem the next day is a HUGE deal breaker. We need to have the courage to tell them to go or go ourselves. Let him find someone else to cheat on, abuse, lie to. We deserve better. And we will ever be able to have better if we are with him,


  2. notesfromthebathroomfloor

    Thank you! Great post. I’m loving your insights about the lack of boundaries that led us to disordered partners. I’ve been thinking about some of the same things lately. I’ve been watching (guilty pleasure) The Singles Project on Bravo. Seeing women on dates stand up for themselves and call men out of their rudeness shocked me. Because, they’re right! They were being disrespected, and their zero-tolerance policy has me in awe.

    I need to work on being my own defender. It’s a total change in mindset, but it needs to happen.


  3. Susan

    Carrie a very good post. Ellie you totally said it all. We were afraid to loose the piece of shit, even though we knew better. I once dated a guy who had
    4 million, but he was a crazy, I broke that off real quick, yet I stood with a N for five years and was emotionally abused.
    I haven’t commented in a while, trying to get my life in order.
    For those of you who have followed my posting earlier, I did go back to my doctor, my PAP was finally normal, but I am still testing positive for HPV. I am glad the cancer cells.are finally gone. I don’t think much about the piece of shit much, except like when I went to the doctor! it brought up old wounds? I don’t wake up angry, I am getting back to myself for the most part.
    Carrie you and the other woman have helped me greatly.
    Thank you.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Susan, glad to hear the cancer is gone! That means you got rid of two parasites; the N and the C now to work on the HPV. Hey that could be a cheer. Get rid of the N… Get rid of the C……. Get rid of the HPV!!!
      I am glad I could be of help to you.


  4. anon

    I guess I will be the first to disagree. Of course, maybe defining “take responsibility” is key here. If you mean that once we were aware then it was our responsibility to set boundaries and/or leave, then yes. But if you mean, “You stayed so you are half to blame” then I don’t agree. I don’t see that I, or anyone who was with a narc, has to take responsibility for staying and taking the abuse when you have been brainwashed into believing that it is not even abuse! Especially in a society that LOVES to chant “It takes two!!” BIG LIE. It only takes one to abuse and to insinuate that all victims knew they were being abused is just not even accurate. Our therapist is the one who had to tell me that ours was a case of domestic abuse! I thought “WTF?!” I was shocked because he had never laid a finger on me and I thought that was all that constituted abuse. Also, some of us stayed because even statistically it is proven that most murders occur when people try to leave their abusers and they often threaten your family, kids, pets, etc. But in the absence of that and if you just didn’t realize it truly was abuse and If you are able to come out of that fog somehow while still with the narc and know for sure that it is abuse and then decide to stay because you kind of like it (is this possible?)…well, then yes, that was your fully conscious decision. But the first step is realizing that it is, in fact, abuse. We all came to this awareness at different times so there is no pat answer that fits all scenarios…but if a bird had it’s wings clipped when it was a baby and no other healthy birds around to bond with and then one day finds out it was meant to fly and does it’s best and finally succeeds at being a true bird and flying then we cannot say that bird needed to take responsibility for the time it didn’t even know it was a bird…let alone that it could fly! Hope that made sense. Some of us went from toxic families into toxic relationships and never even knew we had the strength to leave or that what we were even experiencing was abuse since it was all we knew. What was our ‘normal’ was clearly abuse to a healthier person with stronger boundaries…boundaries most likely given to them by their caregivers growing up. Sometimes it takes reading a book about healthy relationships or meeting others who have healthy relationships before we even know what they look like and that in comparison we are in an unhealthy one. Hope that all made sense…


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      anon, I agree with you that it is not the victim’s fault for being abused by the narc. For one thing most of us didn’t even know they existed and even once i did and found some stuff on the internet i still didn’t know they could not be cured or how vile they actually were. i still thought my special love would save him and us. I knew he was sabotaging my truck but told myself it was (get this, if this isn’t denial I don’t know what is) because he loved me and didn’t want me to leave. I never once thought he was trying to destroy me so i had nothing when he left me. I never thought he would try to destroy me after we split. None of it made sense, who can foresee that kind of behavior if you have never been there?

      But i am talking about the future. We all would like to love again and how can we do that if we can’t protect ourselves from it happening again? If I had no control then i will have no control if I meet another one. That scared the crap out of me.

      They will morph into the man the victim wants so to study the narc is good and enlightening it does not protect you. So what did I do that got me into trouble? I had always had very high standards, high morals and very clear values concerning right and wrong. I thought I was too boring, that i was a goody two shoes, I thought I needed to let my hair down, not be so rigid. I had never judged others but i had strict ideas of what i would allow in my life and at the point i met James I was tired, I was sick of being so damned responsible all the time, always playing by the rules and I admit he was exciting, a little bit on the edge but not illegal (or so I thought) at first I thought he was as honest as the day is long and I clung to that belief because if i didn’t I had to leave him and I didn’t want to leave him. I loved being loved by him and I allowed that to cloud my judgement.

      He started small, things that were easy to compromise on until I was accepting things i never would have with any other man ever in my life. like knowing he was seeing other women, ok i didn’t see it with my own eyes but come on he is in dating sites, he doesn’t come home from work until the next day, what the hell was he doing? and I still had sex with him. I was so buried in denial and totally lacking any boundaries. I would tell myself, ok if i catch him actually talking with women on POF that will be when i leave. Then it was well, its just talking, when i find out he has actually met someone and then it was but he could never actually have sex with someone else and be with me too.

      What I am saying is that everyone has to set their boundaries now, ahead of time and if they don’t know how then they have to read a book or watch a video or see a counselor or life coach and come up with their boundaries. Everyone has their own “deal breaker” boundaries, not everyone values monogamy, it is a personal thing but they need to have them and know what they are going into the relationship. you can’t come up with them while in the relationship, its too late. You need to know your deal breakers going in and the first time he crosses a boundary you walk.

      Boundaries are deal breakers, not just “I wants” they are “must haves” things like fidelity, honesty, hard working, not must be on time all the time. Being on time can be compromised or worked with; unless it is a deal breaker for you. You see what I mean?
      For example: I have never had a problem with porn, or strippers. I have watched porn with both my husbands, it was fun and something we did together. i didn’t mind if my husband went to see strippers as long as he came home to me and didn’t screw her. So when I caught James looking at porn I teased him about it and told him not to hide it. he denied it adamantly, to the point I went on the computer and looked in history to prove what i saw. He still denied it which led me to look even more and low and behold what I found was way worse, I saw “Adult Friend Finders sign in” I was able to get into that screen, it said it would email his password. I had opened his email acct so knew he password and waited until the next day and accessed his email from work and saw the profile he had set up the day before. I confronted him and he denied it. I should have walked and not looked back. But when he realized i was leaving he broke down and begged me to give him another chance. he cried and he challenged me by saying, :”I thought we had much more than this” I said, “than what?”
      Him; “I didn’t think you would walk out the first sign of trouble.”
      I should have said, “Well you were wrong. Cya!” and walked out the door. It would have saved me 9 years of heart ache.
      I am sure we all can look back and see the first time we compromised an important boundary. Once you compromise one boundary they will just keep challenging your boundaries until you have none left.
      I think that a person can not be blamed for the first narc they are with but i do think once they know they exist and how they work if they get taken in again then they really need to look at what they are doing because something is wrong.


  5. Army of Angels

    Thought provoking Carrie…Here I see my own flaw…my history/practice of trusting and believing people until they outright, bold-faced lie…I had never even thought about deception, betrayal, or withholding of information as lying. I knew some of the truth about the narc-as time passed, I watched him spin his web of deceit. My heart sunk every time I heard a lie…


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Army of Angels, I can totally relate to the thoughts of deception, betrayal etc not even entering your mind. It was such a foreign concept to me. Why would someone lie? I knew people lie to get out of trouble, I raised my son to always tell the truth, that if you lie things only get worse and then you eventually get caught anyway. I never thought that once caught people would still lie. I never thought anyone would stick around just to destroy someone. Or if someone would confess to something and yet continue to do it.
      I thought if I stated my boundaries the other person would respect that boundary or leave. I really didn’t think about “defending” my boundaries. For so long I defended him adamantly, I truly believed he was honest but just fibbed to make himself look better because he wanted to impress people. I would say to him that he didn’t have to bullshit to impress people, he was great just the way he was. i tried to explain to him that he diminished himself by telling lies about his past or accomplishments , that people were calling him a bullshitter and they would like him better if he was just himself.
      I had no idea that, that WAS who he was, he was a bullshitter and there was nothing honest about him. HE was a lie.
      That was very hard for me to grasp and accept.


      1. Army of Angels

        Same here, Carrie. Oh, the nuggets of truth and love invested in such swine…I also defended, excused bad behavior, and strived to live up to his expectations…I can’t believe I was that person-or maybe I can, but that innocence is gone.



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