The Narcissist Dance, a combination of a two step, jive, twist, jerk, rock and roll and a tango and no matter how fast you dance you will never figure out how to follow him or know what step he wants you to take next.
We dance with everyone in our life, our parents, our children, our lovers. By dance, I don’t mean in the literal sense, I mean figuratively. We establish a certain way of dealing with each other, a dance, sort of speak. They say this, we do that, we do that they do this, ……. we each end up knowing each other’s triggers, sensitive spots, what interests them and what will make them angry. Have you ever noticed that you can act totally different with different people? For example, my dad hated noise so when he was home everyone was very subdued whereas with my mom everything was louder and more fun. I knew when my dad was grumpy to steer clear of him. Or you are more relaxed with one friend than the other, or you avoid a topic with one friend because you know it will set her off.
Certain people just bring out the worst in us too, no matter how hard we try, some people just annoy us. And there are those couples you see once in a while on a dance floor who know each other so well they glide around the dance floor, he can lead her with a slight pressure of his hand, but she knows his every move and they dance effortlessly. Or the couple who finish each other’s sentences or she knows he will forget his glasses so she puts them in her purse. There is comfort in routine, in knowing what comes next and us human’s like routine and knowing what is coming. Most people hate surprises and they will stay with someone, not because they are happy; but because at least they know what is coming. They have established a dance with that person and they don’t want to learn a new dance, it is easier to just dance with the one you know.. You’ve surely heard the saying, “Staying with the devil you know.” who ever came up with that saying must have been involved with a narcissist.
The problem with the narcissist, he taught you how to do one dance and just when you were in sync with him in the waltz of love he started doing the jive, and then he starts to do the polka, then back to a waltz and you can’t dance fast enough to keep up with him. Just when you think you have him figured out he will change the steps again. There is no winning, no figuring him out, no avoiding conflict.
BUT, there is a certain amount of predictability to his unpredictability. You know that once you break up he will find a way to contact you or if you call saying you need his help, (whatever the two of you have established as your dance) you will end up having sex and being “back together”. With James and I, my truck would break down or he would injure himself and I would have to care for him. After ten years it had become “just the way we were”, yeah I was sick of it, yeah I told him this time is it, no more breaking up and getting back together, if we don’t know we want to be together by now we need to just walk away from it. He agreed and we went right back to the “way we were”. I put up with it for 2 years and then finally left, determined to not go back this time. But there was this little glimmer of hope inside me that was expecting him to injure himself or my truck would break down and I would call and he would rescue me and we would do the dance all over again. Only this time he didn’t come running when my truck broke down, he had found someone else and he didn’t give a shit about me any more. All of a sudden I didn’t know any of the steps to the dance he was doing. In fact he left me standing all alone on the dance floor while he did the hokey pokey with someone else.
I didn’t want him back, I knew he was a pathological liar and a narcissist, I knew he was not good for me and he would probably end up killing me but in one fell swoop he ripped the rug out from under me. He left me!!! after all I had put up with, after all the times I had forgiven him and taken him back against my better judgement and the judgement of others, because he had been so insistent that he had changed and loved me and now he was dumping ME? without a backwards glance?? and it didn’t matter how much I pleaded, or said I loved him, he could just walk away and not only that he was blaming me, calling me a psycho and saying he never loved me, I made his life hell for 10 years!! If life was such hell why did he beg me back so many times in that 10 years? NOW, all of a sudden he saw the relationship as toxic and he wanted out??
Well, if that isn’t changing the tune he was dancing to I don’t know what is!! and now I was supposed to be happy for him that he had found true love and preferably melt into a puddle of shame in a corner somewhere and not ruin the good thing he had going.
I think a lot of the hurt we feel and the reason we have such a hard time with no contact is we got used to things being a certain way, as dysfunctional as things were, it was the way “we were”, we were so in tune to his wants, needs and desires, so intent on following his lead, we forgot how to dance with anyone else. We had a false sense of security thinking no other woman would put up with him the way we did, he may be an asshole but he was our asshole and we always had the hope he would go back to the guy we first fell in love with.
The thing is; even if by some miracle he changed, the relationship between you and him never would. There is too much water under the bridge, too many lies, too much hurt to repair it now. You could never trust him, or he would have to work damn hard to earn your trust back.
Victims have a hard time accepting reality, no matter how much it hurts, it is done, let it go. Have you ever tried to lead a man when you are dancing? It never works very well. I had a guy tell me once that dancing was an indication of how well two people related with each other. I don’t know if that is true, I couldn’t follow him to save my life and I kept trying to lead. We didn’t last long, but he thanked me for making him aware of how much he loved his ex. Oh yeah I had a good cry over that but I got over it by the next weekend. And then you have my ex husband who was an excellent dancer and could dance with any women, but then come to think of it he screwed any woman too. So maybe there is something to that theory, James hated to dance and for someone who played guitar, had a horrible beat. And again the theory maybe right, he hated to dance, he refused to dance, much like he refused to participate in a relationship and when he did try he was off beat. Hmmmm.
I don’t have a clue how this couple gets along, (they are a couple) but you have to admit they are beautiful to watch and they have to be in tune with each other to do it. A relationship with a narcissist is much like this couple dancing. He takes you to great heights, you have never felt more sexual, never trusted any man like you trust him, you believe in him and that he will always be there to catch you. Only difference is when a narcissist throws you up in the high he spots another woman in the audience and walks off stage and instead of being caught, you land face first and he blames you because you took too long to come back down or whatever.