Tag Archives: value yourself

Knowing Your Worth

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Ocassionally I have a woman come into the blog thinking the man they are in love with is a narcissist because he won’t commit. I have to tell them that just because a man won’t commit does not make them a narcissist. For one thing a narcissist is not that honest. There is nothing wrong with a man for not wanting a commitment. Maybe he should stop seeing a woman who he knows wants a commitment but if he is honest and the woman keeps coming around, screwing him, cooking for him etc even after he has repeatedly told her he will never commit, can you really blame him for taking what she is giving? She obviously doesn’t respect herself or her own boundaries, is it up to him to do it for her? I suppose he should but in reality very few men will. She would call him a narcissist and be angry either way for rejected her.
News flash!! Not everyone is going to love you.
The following is my reply to a woman asking me how she can break away from a man she has been seeing for 3 years who won’t commit and never pretended he ever would commit.

Jane, I am not a trained professional therapist so I am not qualified to counsel you, I can only give you my personal opinion. Plus, I know absolutely nothing about you, your past or how your personal relationships are and have been in the past.
I am guessing this is a pattern in your life, with all people; not just in romantic relationships.
I would guess that one or both your parents were critical or distant and no matter how hard you tried you were never able to win their love and approval, you were never “good enough”.
You were the “people pleaser”, the “fixer”, always doing for others and derived your self worth from the praise of others. Sacrificing your own well being, being a martyr, all in the name of being “loved”. But never learning that you were being used and taken advantage of, not loved.
Most narcissists are not as honest as this man, they profess total commitment but lead a double life, often having many women at one time, all believing he is committed to them and that is where the victim gets sucked in. If the narc would have been honest they would have left the relationship.
The fact that you stay knowing the truth tells me that you rely on other people to give you value.
It is human nature to want to be liked, in fact we tend to try harder to please people who don’t seen to like us. No one likes rejection.
But most people wont stick around to be rejected time and time again. You do not love this man, you have made him your “value gauge”. If you can make him commit then you have value, you are worthy, enough, loved.
The truth is; what he thinks of you has absolutely nothing to do with your value, worth or whether you are loveable.
He has every right to not want to commit, and he shouldn’t continue to sleep with you knowing you want a commitment but most men don’t do the right thing and if he tells you he will never commit and you keep coming around he’s going to take what you keep giving.
You are not the victim of a narcissist, you are a victim of your own inability to defend your boundaries.
You want to be loved and have worth but you have attached your self worth to being loved. Your value has absolutely NOTHING to do with who loves you. You are willing to give up your boundaries, what you stand for; in order to be loved and have value. But you fail to realize that in order to be loved you must be loved for who you are, not the pretzel you contort yourself into, not for the things you are willing to give up but for the things you stand up for. If you don’t respect yourself and who you are (boundaries define who you are) you won’t be respected by others. Respect is essential in any loving relationship, in any relationship period. If you don’t have boundaries and defend them how do you ever feel loved for who you are? How do you ever trust yourself to not be disrespected and used?
Loved based on how much you are willing to sacrifice is never real love, it is never secure and you never feel fulfilled and empowered. You always doubt it.
The way to ensure you don’t get involved with a narcissist is to stop dating until you stop deriving your self worth from a man and know your value without being told you have value. When you love yourself, for all your perceived “flaws”, and are willing to walk away from any man who doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, you will continue to get hurt.
I suggest you stop trying to figure out what the man wants, stop trying to be the woman you think the man wants and start looking at men from the perspective of; is this the type of man I want? Is this man worthy of MY love, is this man’s values in line with MY values? I think you need to find a good therapist who can help you do that.
I know it is scary to let go of this guy and be alone but until you can be comfortable alone and truly enjoy your own company you will repeat history.

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Reality Check

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Ok, he has discarded you and you are heartbroken, the 3 W’s plague you,

what, when and why; the love of your life has discarded you and is now madly and passionately in love with someone else and loathes you.

How did you go from being the woman he waited his whole life for, the woman who showed him what true, unconditional love was all about, to the psycho bitch he now claims you to be?

You remember the day it all flipped and things started to spiral down into a dark abyss you couldn’t claw your way out of, it was like an alien force pulling you down, down, down suffocating the life out of you and he held the rope you were clinging to and only he had the power to save you but he just laughed and told you it was your own fault.

You torture yourself thinking of how you could have changed the outcome of the best thing that ever happened to you turning into the most horrific soul crushing experience of your life. What could you have done to save the relationship and his love?

You are consumed with self doubt, what if’s, if only’s and what does she have that you don’t?

How will you survive this? you can’t stand the thought that it is all your fault that you are not going to grow old with the love of your life, the man you sacrificed everything for. Logic tells you that it is over, there is no point in ruminating about what you could have done differently, it won’t change things now, he has moved on. But you can’t sleep at night, how will you avoid it happening again?

In past relationships you came away with some lessons learned. He admits to some of the blame and you can see where you could improve. In the past when serious relationships failed I could look back and see where I was wrong, maybe I was too inflexible, or too demanding and he drank too much or whatever the reasons were for the relationship to fall apart.

Whatever differences the two of you had you know how to avoid them now. We come away smarter and more self aware. But with the narcissist you have nothing concrete, he doesn’t tell you why he thinks you are a paranoid psycho except to say that is what drove him into another woman’s arms; but he made you the paranoid psycho bitch by screwing around., It is a vicious circle that can’t be solved without him admitting to some fault which will never happen so there you are,

unable to sleep another night wondering how you could have changed things and how the hell can you ever trust yourself to love again when you don’t know what went wrong this time.

Let’s look at what he is saying and what you could have done to make it better.

The bullshit sandwich he forces down your throat – It is your fault that he cheated on you; if you wouldn’t have always been angry or crying he would have wanted to come home.

Ok, if you are really generous in the understanding department, which we all know we are, that is fair.

We all know that most moral, committed people who love someone usually leave the relationship prior to looking for love elsewhere and if they have, when confronted about it; would admit it and not deny it so vehemently.

But lets look at why you were angry and crying;

– because you discovered personal ads?

– he stopped coming home at night?

– he pulled disappearing acts for days with no explanation where he had been and he refused to answer his phone?

– because you have been faithful to him for years and he brought you home an STD?

– Because he stole money from you?

Word Salad he tries to feed you – Yes, he was cheating BUT only because you didn’t trust him anyway so he thought he might as well cheat because you were thinking he was.

If you are anything like me, you trusted him explicitly until he proved he was untrustworthy and you didn’t accuse him of cheating until you had proof because you would never wanted to believe he would cheat and you didn’t want to falsely accuse him. Even when you did have proof you still gave him a 2nd, 3rd and 4th chance and he never once tried to prove to you he could be trusted, only turned it back on you for not trusting him. Saying things like:

– I can’t believe you snooped on me! How could you do that? I trusted you!

– How could you phone her? I had her number that doesn’t mean I was going to call and now you have made it into a big deal and I have to talk to her. ( yeah my ex actually said that when I found a picture beside the computer of a beautiful young teenager and called the phone number he had scrawled across the paper. I got the girl’s mother who said her daughter had been using her cell phone and must have been goofing around. I informed her that her 17 year old daughter had been talked to my 40 year old common law husband. She laughed, stupid bitch)

– When do I have time to cheat? (all those times you disappear without answering your phone, when you take your cell phone in the bathroom with you, when your phone rings and you look at the call display and take the call in another room or don’t answer and then text message someone, when you sit up all night on dating sites)

– I can’t handle you, why would I want two women? (To feed your insatiable need for admiration and attention?)

– So NOW you are accusing me of cheating? What next? I can’t believe you! you really need help!

Notice something?  not once did he give proof of his faithfulness, all he did was turn it back on you, put you on the defensive, made you sound like a psycho bitch.

Narcissists usually give a general statement on most things, like you are a psycho, paranoid, bitch that made his life hell. But if you ask him to tell you exactly what you did to deserve that description he won’t give you a straight answer. He will saying something like. “If I have to tell you that just shows how out of touch with reality you really are, or how sick you are or how self centered you are

It’s the same with the new woman. He has met the woman of his dreams, she is nothing like you, and she is his soul mate. Ask him exactly what he loves about her and watch him stutter and stammer as he tries to come up with something. Most of us can write a laundry list of reasons why we love someone.

I used to ask my ex why he loved me and he couldn’t come up with anything specific, just that he loved me. In his blog recently he was expounding on what he loves about his new woman, – she is handy with her hands, she is frugal, she has good ideas once in awhile, she listens to him talk about his day and she gets his jokes. Also everything good in his life comes from loving her and her loving him. (Everything as in; a Harley, his mobile shop, his new shop he is building, a roof over his head). Nice.

He says he is free to be himself with her- yet he bitches that she is inflexible, lacking spontaneity, is too organized, too emotional, too demanding and wants him to change almost everything about himself. So which is it?

It is no different with her than it was with you, he loves her when it convenient to him ie: when he wants to hurt you or when he wants to convince other people that it was all your fault.

I remember in the beginning when he started acting like he hated me he would deny it, saying I was being too sensitive. I went to my best friend at the time who knew us both and told her how I was feeling, she told me what she thought would make me feel better and what she saw with her own eyes, that he loved me. He talked about me all the time, bragged about my cooking and skills around the house, she saw him bringing home flowers. She confirmed what he was saying. I was being too sensitive.

So the boundaries get blurry, it is just a feeling, but it isn’t just a feeling because when you are alone he acts like he hates you. It eats away at your self esteem and it makes you doubt your natural gut instincts that tell you when you are in the company of someone who is insincere and does not have your best interests at heart.

You were a healthy person trying to have a healthy relationship with an anomaly. How can you possibly be your true loving self if you never know who you are with? If you are loving he pulls away, if you are distance he calls you cold. But you kept trying didn’t you? you tried everything but nothing worked.

When I was plagued with self doubt and tormented with thoughts of how happy he was with the new woman and how he felt it was all my fault the relationship didn’t last I stopped the craziness by looking at the whole 10 years with honest eyes. I forgave his infidelity, I gave him my trust right from the beginning, I did not become suspicious until he gave me reason to be suspicious and even then I gave him the benefit of doubt. I tried to discuss things calmly and rationally but he would twist my words, I tried writing letters hoping it would allow me to express myself without him interrupting me but either he didn’t even acknowledge receiving the letter or I got a scathing letter pointing out all my fault. I stopped reacting when he didn’t come home at night; he just stayed out later and got meaner and I sunk deeper into despair and insecurity. I realized there was nothing I could have done differently.

If I was such a horrible person he should have left me and stayed away. If he wanted other women he should have stayed away instead of coming to me in tears, apologizing for the personal ads and promising me he had taken his ad down and telling me I was all the woman he would ever want or need.

I am sorry, the only time “she is a psycho bitch that made my life hell” is an acceptable excuse for having an affair is if you were treating him like he treated you.

If anyone deserved to have an affair; it is YOU. 

If he was that miserably unhappy he should not have taken more money from you, made it impossible for you to get a job and be self sufficient, begged you back time after time, or told you that you were crazy to think he didn’t love you. He should have been a man and left you, for good, no hoovering, no text messages.

When my ex said, “Of course I screwed around with other women, look who I had to live with, a psycho bitch who made my life hell.”

I said, “Is that what you tell your friends? and they think that is ok? how do you explain coming to me begging me to take you back?”

He didn’t have a reply.

What we all have to face is the ugly truth; that they are bullshitters who don’t have a clue what love is, how to treat people with respect or even what is acceptable in the eyes of society. They survive by using smoke and mirrors, lying and manipulation, in other words they fuck with the person’s head.

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How do you fall in love again? very easily, but slowly. You don’t have to change, you always were fine, You don’t want to become what the narcissist wanted because that is unhealthy and just plain weird. Be the person you have always been but just make sure the person you are falling in love with is who he says he is and that takes time.

No rocket science necessary, no secret formula, no earth shaking revelations. Be yourself and take things slow. 

After all, what is the rush? If it is true love and he is who he says he is then time will only make it better. And you have the time to see if he is who he says he is. It doesn’t mean you are cynical or that the romance has to leave the relationship, in fact it gives more room for romance and learning about each other.

I think what we have to wonder about is; why are we in such a rush to live together? get married, have babies? be part of a couple?

I think we are afraid that if we take it slow we might find out things we don’t like about him and our fairytale romance balloon will burst. Yep, you are right, that might happen but isn’t that better than giving him a bunch of money,moving in together, allowing him to control your friendships and what you wear and where you go and when? Isn’t it better to wait and be in your own place when you find out he is a fraud? And if he isn’t a fraud he will appreciate taking it slow and not feeling like you are picking out the wedding dress after dating for a month.

Why do women especially feel they have to commit totally on the first date? why do they think they have to hand over money to a virtual stranger. Yes, I get it, you are a caring person and you do nice things for people you care about, I get all that and I am not asking you to become a cold hard money grubbing gold digger, I am asking you to not be a doormat, be smart, value yourself enough that you don’t feel you  have to buy a man’s affection. I tell you honestly, I wish to God I would not have moved in with him as quickly as I did and I wish I would have stood my ground the first time I said I was out of there.

The reason I moved in? We lived an hours drive away from each other and he wanted to see me all the time. I was sick of driving back and forth all the time, I was paying a mortgage on a place and I was never there so I thought I would move in with him for the summer and rent out my cottage at the lake by the week and make some money. My mom held the mortgage and sold the place out from under me because she didn’t like the idea. I got my nose out of joint and thought it would work out. When I realized a month later I had made a mistake, the cottage was gone and I thought I might as well give him a second chance because I had no where to go and no furniture. I could have rented a place and moved out but I thought, I am here now might as well stick it out. Little did I know what the next 10 years would be like.

All I ask of anyone who is trying to heal from the trauma of being with a narcissist is this, keep your feet and head grounded in reality, trust the next man is healthy enough to stick around for a year or two while you get to know each other. So many woman come in here, still in love or obsessed with their ex N and already married with children to a different man. Take time to heal.