Why Am I Not Enough?

I received this heart wrenching comment on the blog yesterday and wanted to address it in a stand alone post because, although it doesn’t happen often, I have had other women come in the blog with the same issue. First let’s read the comment from “Jane” and then I will discuss it.

“From the start he told me he wanted a one sided intimate thing with me and no relationship like girlfriend boyfriend. the narc was married once.From the start I cared for him and went along with this nightmare.He is cold aloof angry and says he has no feelings for anyone including me.He doesn’t like any closeness and the intimacy is for him only without being graphic.L can’t sleep at his house.Only please him there and he takes me home.No hanging out or staying at his house.From his bedroom to his car to home.Why does he act this way? Do you think he was hurt by some female and now protecting himself from me? That’s not a typical narc because they have no feelings.I’m looking for excuses for why I am staying with him.Why do I care for a man who treats me like dirt and everytime I go home from seeing him I cry and so depressed.I feel so alone and empty and horrible but yet I can’t leave him.Why is he putting this cold,onesided wall between us.Please can you explain why he doesn’t want a relationship with me but had one when he was married. I am always sad and feel like I’m dead inside.I’m not happy like I was before I met him.Why do I care for him? Can you tell me please?”

Jane, your pain and confusion is heart wrenching and it’s very obvious how unhappy you are. I am sorry you, for whatever reason; feel you are not deserving of love and respect and have spent the last 18 months with a man who treats you with less respect than he would a prostitute. I hate to put it that bluntly but there is not much more a man could do to a woman to prove she is worthless to him. A prostitute has control, she chooses when she will have sex and how much she will charge, she decides what sex acts she will perform and which ones she won’t. A prostitute has no expectations of the relationship going any where and she is quite happy to take her pay for services rendered and go home. The man you are seeing is not even giving you the respect of valuing the sex he gets from you. Is it any wonder you go home and are depressed, crying and feel horrible about yourself, yet you continue to see him. Why? Very good question.

I am not a professional therapist and I know nothing about your past, if this is history repeating itself with every relationship you have had or if you were abused as a child, felt abandoned as a child etc And we certainly don’t have the time to get into all that here. I think you would benefit greatly if you got into therapy with a reputable counselor and investigate why you find it so hard to set boundaries, demand respect and would settle for a man who treats you like garbage.

All I can do is touch on the generic reasons for you to be in this relationship and feel you can not walk away. I think I will do it in point form for the sake of brevity, not importance.

  1. I am not going to discuss the reasons I think he does the things he does because I don’t see him as the one with issues. I am not convinced he is even a narcissist. Everyone is calling everyone else a narcissist these days, it is the go to buzz word whenever a person gets hurt, the person doing the hurting must be a narcissist. No, sometimes they are just not that into you. I will tell you what I told my son when he started dating and having sex.

I explained that women tend to give sex for love and women find it very hard to just have casual sex. Men can have sex with anyone whether they are really attracted to the person or not but women are different, when they have sex, chemicals are released that make them more trusting and fall in love more easily. It is human nature, nothing you can do about it. I do not believe you have to wait until marriage to have sex but you do have to be honest. Never tell a woman you love her in order to get her into bed, as long as you are honest about your intentions it is her responsibility to say no or accept that it is just sex without strings.  That said there are women who will tell you that they are fine with casual sex when they really aren’t, not many women can have no strings attached sex. If you see that happening you need to end the relationship because she is going to get hurt and even if you were honest and tell her a dozen times you are not interested in a relationship,every time you have sex with her she is going to think maybe you love her. Some women will just not accept the truth and it would be wrong to take advantage of that. (I want to put a caveat in here. I always had a very open and honest relationship with my son, not all men, especially older men would have heard that kind of advice coming from their mom) I also told my son to be sure to use protection at all times because there are women out there who will be so intent on making a relationship happen, they will purposely get pregnant.

In my heart I really do believe a woman, especially a middle aged woman; needs to be responsible for her own happiness and well being and if a man tells her he is not interested in anything more than casual sex on his terms she has to either accept that (fine, we are all adults nothing wrong with a sexual relationship if that is what they both want) or move on.

2. There are a couple of red flags of a narcissistic relationship that are consistent through all narcissistic relationships and they are;

  • they are all pathological liars
  • it is always a whirlwind romance in the beginning. They can’t gt enough of you, they thought they had been in love before but now they know what true love is, you are soul mates, you are perfect, he wants to be with you constantly, professing his undying love. It might not last long because as soon as the narcissist feels he has the victim firmly hooked he will start the devaluing stage

Those two elements are not in your relationship from what you have told me so I tend to think he is exactly what he told you he is; he doesn’t want a relationship, he just wants sex. If you are going to tolerate that why should he change? He is getting exactly what he said he wanted, you are the one being dishonest. You are the one who has spent the last 18 months wondering why he doesn’t love you and what is wrong with you when you should be saying, “This man can not give me what I need. I need to move on so I can find  a man prepared to and capable of giving me what I need.”

3. He has done nothing to warrant your love and devotion. You have created a fantasy love relationship with him in your mind. It does not exist. Victims of narcissistic abuse are led to believe the N loves them with all his heart, they are promised forever, he is their knight in shining armor so they have a basis for their love and it is embedded in their brain by the narcissist and when he withdraws his affection the victim tries to win back his love. But in your case he didn’t lie, he didn’t pretend, he was straight up honest and you created the whole fantasy in your own head. For 18 months you have pined away for a love that isn’t there and imagined how wonderful it would be to be in love and in a relationship with him, if only he loved you. Do you see the problem here? You are refusing to accept him for who he is. You were attracted to a man, and randomly you have created your fantasy love relationship in your head with him. You are in love with someone who is only in your head, he doesn’t exist any where but in your own mind and you have brain washed yourself to believe that if only this man would love you the two of you would ride off into the sunset happily ever after.

4. Our brains only know what we put in it. We say things like “I can’t stop thinking about him” “I can’t stop obsessing.” But we can, we control our brains, not the other way around. We are born with a blank slate and our brains store information from the day we are born to the day we die. We all get fed misinformation throughout our life and we believe lies about ourselves or other people. Every thought we have, every reaction we have comes from the information we have been given in some form or another throughout our life. I suspect that at some point in your early life you were made to feel you were not worthy of love and being treated with respect. That you had to give sex in order to get love. You have the power to change the way you view things. You created the relationship, you are the only one who can uncreate it. It will take effort on your part, but every time you find yourself thinking you love him and can’t walk away, stop yourself (every time you think a thought you bury it deeper in your psyche and the quicker your mind will go there. It is a vicious cycle that only you can stop) and tell yourself the truth. Literally write it out and say it out loud to yourself whenever you start thinking you love him and can’t live without him. Something like this

“He does not love me and has given me no reason to love him. I deserve and am worth so much more than what he can give me. He has proven to me that he is incapable of loving me. That does not mean I am unlovable or that I am flawed in any way. This is not love and I do not need it in my life. I am capable of protecting myself, I am strong, I am a grown woman who deserves to be treated with respect.” Keep saying it over and over again, or any other version of the same thing, as long as it reinforces you are enough, you are strong etc and not listing all your flaws.

5. You seem to think that because he was once married he is capable of love and commitment and that there must be something wrong with you if he doesn’t love you. Did you ever think that maybe he wasn’t any different in his marriage and that is why he is no longer married? Maybe he was a cold bastard to his wife and she finally left him and he was smart enough to realize he doesn’t like being married and he should be honest about that with women? Marriage does not indicate an ability to love and be faithful. A 30 year marriage does not indicate two happy people, ask anyone who was married to a narcissist for 10-20-30 years. You really are creating a whole person in your head and running on misguided truths.

6. Another possibility is that you are actually afraid of commitment and true honest intimacy,  so you seek out men who are unable to commit, keeping yourself “safe”. Purposely picking a man who reject you right from the start of the relationship protects you from ever truly opening up and exposing your most vulnerable areas and being rejected for it.

It is human nature to want to be loved and wanted, we are born needy and with any luck we are raised by parents who ensure we always know we are loved and accepted, who encourage us to express our feelings and be the best version of us we can be. But humans are fallible, our parents are packing baggage from their past that they may inadvertently unload on us. They may have unrealistic expectations of who we should be and not allow us to develop into our own person. Other people may be raised to believe love is conditional, or that we are totally unlovable no matter how hard we try to be what they want. Maybe your parents were perfect but you were abused my a relative, or teacher, or you were raped and never dealt with the after math or were made to feel it was your fault. There is endless reasons why you may feel you are not worthy of love not even respect. I truly feel that if you find out what these lies are that you believe about yourself and have subconsciously reinforced your whole life, you will find the answer to why you can’t walk away.

What can you do about it right now?

I know it is easier said than done; but you really need to go no contact. Without explanation or excuses or ultimatums. You need to take a break from any relationship and find out who you are and why you don’t like yourself.

Dr Phil said one time, “We teach people how to treat us.” and it is very true. This fellow you are seeing treats you the way he does because you let him. You think that if you don’t give him what he wants when he wants it, he will leave you. You don’t realize that you would not be losing anything. Neither would he, because he has nothing invested in the relationship, he can always find a woman for sex. Don’t you want a man who enjoys all of you? values you and worries as much about losing you as you worry about losing him? A love relationship where both people are invested and you are not the only one. Love does not hurt like this, co-dependency hurts like this, unmet expectations hurts like this, not living true to your core being hurts like hell, not having boundaries hurts, never having your feelings considered hurts, BUT the most hurtful thing happening in your life right now is the lies you are telling yourself about yourself. I am sure you would not let a friend carry on with a man like this knowing she is short changing herself and allowing herself to be abused and used. Do you have a daughter? wouldn’t it break your heart to see her lower herself to this level? Have as much compassion for yourself as you would anyone else.

We are here as moral support any time.




10 thoughts on “Why Am I Not Enough?

  1. Ann

    Very well said Carrie.

    Exactly. I wish this woman the best. It’s not easy finding a good, loving partner these days. So in many cases, some women may try to start with any demeaning relationship they can find and then hope for it to transform. These relationships never do. An evil person rarely wakes up one day changed for the good ever after. And women that hope for this really don’t need to wait years hoping that will come about.

    For example. When I was in my teens I fell in love with a guy who I was “friends” with, but didn’t love me. One day he actually told me that he felt he could do better than me- as in, he could be with someone he felt was ‘better’ or ‘above’ me in some way. We lived far away from each other over time, but I still know of him, and his whereabouts. This man has never been married, is always looking for someone to benefit him in some way, and is pretty much the same person he was in his teens. When I was younger, I hoped he’d see how much I loved him and love me too.

    Now at age 40, I doubt he will ever marry. He’s really too interested in himself to actually care for anyone else.

    This woman may feel like the time she spends with this man is better than nothing, but really, if she wants to know what a relationship with this man would be like- I think she should realise that she already knows. She’s living it right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maria Corley

      I wish people would impress on women (and men) that it’s OKAY to be single! We are so conditioned to think that any little piece of a man is better than no man at all. You don’t have to be lonely just because you don’t have a man. I admit that I was afraid of men for quite a while, coming out of my terrible marriage, but I’m not, at this point. My mom really would like me to be interested in a very “nice” guy who nevertheless gives signs of being very controlling. Small things, but I don’t give anyone the benefit of the doubt, in that area. I’m just fine by myself, thanks. No tragedy–I stay busy, have good friends, all of that. But it took years to feel that this sort of thing was okay.

      I feel for her! Carrie’s advice was perfect, though. I pray she takes it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Joanne

    Oh Carrie!! You have sooo much wisdom & insight!!! GOD bless you!!! thank you thank you thank you for your blog you saved my sanity more than one sister I pray good things for you and your dogs and I hope you’re well ……if you want to come stay with me you can I’m a Canadian from Vancouver but live on the beach on the central coast of California lol truly this comes from the bottom my heart if you need a place to come you’re welcome here darling once again thank you thank you thank you please continue to write or draw strength from you every day sister hugs and lots of love

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jane

    Thank you so much Carrie for your reply.Everything you said is true.When I first met him he was nice etc but changed later for the worse.I don’t know what made me think of looking up a word I never heard of Narcissist.I must of read every book on the subject and I was shocked .He wrote the books!Every single word describes him.I couldn’t believe it! His ex and I know each other and her first words to me in the beginning was Run as fast as you can from him..She and child went through hell and abuse.Almost 18 years later she still cant get over how she put up with it for years.Starting from age 13 whenever I ran away from home I got raped a couple times.I never got help or even told anyone.For some reason I cant remember my childhood so I don’t know if I was assaulted as a child too.I feel sorry for the narc because he has no friends or anyone who likes him.He even admits that.When I saw a psychologist the first weeks I met him she told me he might be a safety net so no one can get too close to me.She called him a sociopath not a narc.Can my pity for him be a strong factor for staying with him?Whatever the reason is im in a private hell all by myself .No one but his ex knows about us.


    1. jane

      Do you think the reason is what I wrote in my reply to Carrie is that I feel sorry for him?Could that be the major reason I cant leave him?


    2. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Jane, I wrote a really long reply to your comment yesterday and for whatever reason it didn’t post, sorry.
      You can remove yourself from this private hell you are in. But only you can do it, no one else. I don’t think it is your pity for him, I think it is more a lack of confidence on your part, a feeling you don’t deserve better treatment, and possibly partly ego, you want him to want you and it drives you crazy that no matter what you do, he still rejects you.
      It is natural to want everyone to like us, it is human nature to bond with people, everyone wants to be liked and it is human nature to try harder with people who reject you. In dating manuals on how to get any woman into bed they say to keep them off balance, like them and then reject them, it keeps them trying to win your approval. It is a sick thing to do to a person because it is almost out of the woman’s control, the need to be wanted and accepted.
      It is human nature to want what we can’t have, to think we have to have something or someone but then when we get it we don’t know why we thought we wanted it so bad.
      Like I said in my last comment I am not a professional therapist and I really think you need to speak openly and honestly with someone who can help you deal with years of conditioning, but from what I can gather from what you have said; you were taught from a young age that your feelings didn’t matter and that you were unlovable. That you were responsible for other people’s happiness or anger.
      You probably are an empath, a sensitive person but a sensitive person can still have boundaries and protect themselves from being abused and disrespected. You can learn to set boundaries and protect yourself, you DO have power over your own actions or inaction. But you don’t think you do, you don’t feel comfortable being in control, you don’t know how to say no to anyone which makes you a perpetual victim.
      You haven’t said anything about past relationships. What were they like? did you stand up for yourself? have all your other relationships been equal, mutually satisfying, fair and loving? Have you ever felt comfortable being loved and cared for?
      I know I have always hated the needy doting kinda guy. I hated feeling like I could walk all over a guy and would dump them if they were always calling and professing their love or if they seemed obsessed with me. When I met my ex I had to fight the urge to dump him because he called so often and seemed to love me so much more than I loved him but I told myself that I just wasn’t used to a guy treating me that good. Then when things were to hell in a handbasket and he started the devaluing, the pull me close to reject me again, I was confused, his words didn’t match his actions. I started to try and please him, make things better again, win his love back, but the rules kept changing and I could never get it right. One day I was standing there and realized I felt exactly like I had when I was 6 years old and my dad was angry with me and rejecting me and it felt AWFUL!! I was sick to my stomach, I wanted to run to my ex and get down on my knees and beg him to love me again, anything, just don’t reject me.
      I grew up with my father telling me I was going to be better than my mother, I was going to be the perfect wife, my dad never had a bad mood that wasn’t caused by someone else. People were always purposely doing things just to piss him off. If I did anything wrong I was doing it to him. I was the “fixer” in the family, always smoothing things over, doing nice things for people, always trying to make everyone happy. I was an overachiever, had an eating disorder for 20 years, I couldn’t be skinny enough yet I look back now and was never over weight. That is how I know that a person’s mind can lie to them and sometimes I have to think with my logical mind and not listen to my emotional mind.
      It has gotten a lot easier, but we can’t change 60 years of programing overnight, it takes time and effort. I don’t know what battles you are fighting in your head but the wrong side is winning. Or maybe you don’t even know you have a logical mind, an inner voice that is trying to protect you but you are ignoring it.
      You have probably ignored your natural instincts that protect you for so long that you don’t trust them. You need to start to get in touch with your body and mind on the most basic level. Go back to the beginning and rebuild yourself. You can do it if you are determined. I was so broken by the time I left my ex I had no choice. I was either going to commit suicide (I tried and failed) or I was going to survive. I knew in order to survive I had to be totally honest with myself and start from square one building myself. With every interaction I had I dissected it, why was I doing what I was doing? because I wanted to or because I felt I “should”, was I angry for good reason or over reacting? but I did not react until I was sure I was reacting from a place of honesty. Was I seeing things clearly? A victim tends to view everything from a very personal level. If the sales clerk is rude we assume we did something to piss her off. If our lover wants to be alone we think we did something wrong, but maybe they just need some alone time. We feel like we have to fix everyone and make them happy, so they never suffer the consequences of their own actions, we do! It is not our responsibility to fix other people’s screw ups. If your man doesn’t have any friends is it your responsibility to be his life long punching bag so not everyone in his life walks away? years ago a guy called me a martyr. That is not a compliment! but it was true. No one was going to love me and appreciate me for all the sacrifices I was making for everyone. Martyr’s are annoying, they are always the victim, always being taken advantage of, woe is me, I got taken advantage of again, I am such a good person and do so much for everyone else but no one ever appreciates me. I gave up martyrdom years ago and I don’t miss it at all.
      From the time we are born into this world we are taught who we should be, especially years ago and being female. Our minds only know what is put into them, we are blank slates when we are born, we have natural instincts, we have an inner voice that will tell us when we are in danger. All creatures have this instinct, the fight or flight response but people are the only ones that don’t listen to their natural instinct. A deer in the forest senses danger, he runs as fast as he can in the opposite direction and all the other deer follow him because they trust his instincts too. The deer does not think, hmmmm I wonder if I am really in danger, maybe I am wrong, I will keep going and see if my instincts are right, I might be too sensitive. and that deer would get shot or eaten by a grizzly. The other deer don’t think, oh he’s probably overreacting, and keep eating grass, no they run!
      But people don’t trust their gut. I was listening to guy on Oprah once who investigates rape etc and he said that any woman who survived the rape said that just before it happened they got a “feeling” they were in danger, something said, “Don’t go in that underground parking”, “Don’t get in that elevator” whatever, but they ignored it, told themselves they were being silly. When I get that feeling now I hightail it out of there fast! I have no proof that it saved my life every time but I know for a fact I have avoided danger on several occasions. If I would have trusted my gut instincts earlier in my life I would have lived a much happier life.
      I used to keep my house immaculate, I was obsessed about my house being clean, I was unable to sit and relax, I would have to straighten a picture, pick up a piece of lint, the slightest sign of dust I was up dusting the house. once I was totally broken I didn’t give a shit about how dirty my house got. Well I did care, but i could not make myself clean it. I had to let it go.
      When I decided to start living true to MY standards I realized it was not MY value system that I was living but my mother’s. SHE is the neat freak not me but I kept my house spotless because then my mother would be pleased with me. Now I keep my house clean, but not spotless, I can go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink and not panic. I don’t dust daily and couldn’t care less if someone pops over and my faucets are shining.
      What do you do that you are doing because you were taught you “should” do it in order to be loved? It affects all areas of your life not just this relationship. You could meet a guy tomorrow and he could make you feel amazing and you would think, you are fixed. But it would always be reliant on this guy loving you and approving of you. You would always be afraid of being yourself or expressing your emotions or needs in case you scared him away. It is never having true inner peace and happiness.
      You must live true to your core self first, get comfortable there and love who you are before you can ever find happiness with someone. This really is not about this relationship or the guy; it is about you and the things you believe about yourself.
      I hope that makes sense

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Noelle

      I am so sorry you are going through this, I had the same exact situation but mine truly was a Narc. He was the knight in shining armor that promised me the moon sun and stars until his mask came off. Then I was just used repeatedly over and over for one thing except mine was at my own house, I was never invited over his. I just kept waiting for that person I fell in love with to resurface but it was never going to happen as that person never existed. Regardless if someone’s a Narc or not we do not choose who we fall in love with, not a lot of people understand that. You probably have a really big heart and maybe you feel you can be the “one” to fix him, unfortunately people like that cannot be fixed, no matter how amazing a woman is. I am actually a very strong woman in other aspects of my life and am looked up too and have a lot going for me but for some reason when it comes to my heart I am a weak pathetic mess of a loser! Actually I think my hearts just way too big for me and I fall way too deeply. We want these men to see we are the best darn woman that’s ever came in to their lives, we think that by “fixing” someone it will make us whole and make us feel confident in ourselves but like I said before there is no fixing anyone, these guys cannot change for us or anyone else so of course this keeps us feeling useless and more damaged. I hope you can find a way to break free from this guy and find someone that deserves you!!!! But know you are not alone!


  4. Ellebelle2015

    When I met my Narc 34 years ago, I didn’t know narcissism excist. He was love bombing me and looked like the prince on the white horse. I was not in love with him in the beginning. I was divorced and had two little kids at that time. One day he was sitting on the couch and told me, that he was not in love and it was just for sociability, fun etc.
    Because I was not in love, I thought, yeh right I am not in love either, but I like the dinners etc. But the relationship continues on for over 31 years. And in that time I started to love him, moved to his town with my kids. Started to make a career, bought a house together and I was hooked in. His behavior changed and certainly the last 10 years it was getting worse. I was reading about narcissism and it fits him all.
    Still after all those years I am thinking about what he said sitting on my couch. And how stupid it was, I didn’t kick him out of my house immediately. I will never know, what my life would have been right now, but it sure wasn’t with him.



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