Dear Narcissist Partner:
If I was honest with myself and my partner, this is What I would say, but it is not something I would admit to because to do so would end the winner-takes-all-game that is my main source of pleasure in life — one that effectively keeps you (my partner) carrying my load in our relationship. This winner-take-all game was what I survived during my formative years with narcissistic parents. AND to be honest it is all I know.
And that’s the whole point.
When I say “I love you” I mean that I love how hard you work giving me a sense of I’m everything, that I am the focus of your life, that you want me to be happy, and that I’ll never be expected to do the same.
I love the power I have to take advantage of your kindness, compassion, and support, and the pleasure I derive when I make myself feel huge in comparison to you, taking every opportunity to give you the message you are small and insignificant.
I love the feeling it gives me thinking of you as weak, vulnerable, and emotionally fluffy, and I love looking down on you for your innocence and your ability to forgive, as weakness.
I love the way I feel knowing that gaslighting, what you want to discuss or address will never transpire, and I love this “power” to train you to question if you are “crazy” for even asking or bringing up issues that don’t interest me, effectively, ever-lowering your expectations of me and what I’m capable of giving you, while I up my expectations of you.
I love how easy it is to keep your sole focus on alleviating my pain (never yours!), and that, regardless of what you do, you’ll never be able to instill the sense of being good enough, loved enough, respected enough, appreciated enough, and so on. (Misery loves company.)
It’s not about the closeness, empathy, the emotional connection you desire and deserve, or what I did that cut you like a knife, or embarrassed you, or how little time I spend engaged with you or the children, and so on. It’s about my status and doing my job to keep you in your place, in pain, focused on feeling my pain, blocking you from feeling valued in relation to me. I’m superior and entitled to all the pleasure, admiration, and comfort between us, remember?
“I love you” means I love the way I feel when you are with me, more specifically, regarding you akin to a piece of property I own, my possession. Like driving a hot car, I love the extent to which you enhance my status in the eyes of others, letting them know that I’m top dog, and so on. I love thinking others are jealous of my possessions.
I love the power I have to keep you working hard to prove your love and devotion, wondering what else you need to do to “prove” your loyalty.
“I love you” means I love the way I feel when I’m with you. Due to how often I hate and look down on others in general, the mirror neurons in my brain keep me constantly experiencing feelings of self-loathing; thus, I love that I can love myself through you, and also love hating you for my “neediness” of having to rely on you or anyone for anything.
I love that you are there to blame whenever I feel this “neediness”; feeling scorn for you seems to protect me from something I hate to admit, that I feel totally dependent on you to “feed” my sense of superiority and entitlement and to keep my illusion of power alive in my mind.
Nothing compels me to feel more fragile and vulnerable than not having control over something that would tarnish my image and superior status, such as when you question “how” I treat you as if you still don’t understand that getting you to accept yourself as an object for my pleasure, happy regardless of how I treat you, or the children — is key proof of my superiority, to the world. You’re my possession, remember? It’s my job to teach you to hate and act calloused toward those “crazy” things that only “weak” people need, such as “closeness” and “emotional stuff;” and by the way, I know this “works” because my childhood taught me to do this to myself in order to survive mentally/emotionally–and maybe physically too.
It makes me light up with pleasure (more proof of my superiority) that I can easily compel you to feel flustered, make you act “crazy” over not getting what you desire from me, compel you to repeat yourself, and say and do things that you’ll later hate yourself for (because of your “niceness”!). Everything you say, any hurts or complaints you share, you can be sure, I’ll taunt you with later, to keep you ever-spinning your wheels, ever explaining yourself, ever doubting yourself and confused, working to figure out why I don’t “get” it. This too is what I experienced for eighteen years of my life. I’ve become a master at it because that is all I know.
There’s nothing to get! To break the code, you’d have to look through my lens, not yours! It’s my job to show complete disinterest in your emotional desires, hurts, and expectations, and to train, dismiss and punish accordingly until you learn your “lesson,” that is: To take your place as a voiceless object, a possession with no desire except to serve my pleasure and comfort, and never an opinion on how you’re treated!
That you haven’t figured this out, after all the ways I’ve mistreated you, to me, is proof of my genetic superiority. In my playbook, those with superior genes are never kind, except to lure and snare their prey!.
I revel in the fact that I can compel you to feel insecure at the drop of a hat, especially by giving attention to other women (perhaps also others in general, friends, family members, children, etc. … the list is endless). What power this gives me to put a display of what you don’t get from me, to taunt and compel you to beg for what I easily give to others, wondering why it’s so easy to give what you desire to others, to express feelings of affection, to give compliments, that is, when it serves my pleasure (in this case, to watch you squirm while I diminish you).
I revel in the power I have to get you back whenever you threaten to leave, by throwing a few crumbs your way, and watching how quickly I can talk you into trusting me when I turn on the charm, deceiving you into thinking, this time, I’ll change.
“I love you” means I need you because, due to the eighteen years of self-loathing I carry inside, I need someone who won’t abandon me, someone I can use as a punching bag, to make myself feel good by compelling you to feel bad about yourself. (This is how I pleasure myself, and the way I numb, deny the scary feelings I carry inside that I hope to never admit, ever. I hate any signs of weakness in me, which is why I hate you, and all those I consider inferior, stupid, feeble, and so on.)
“I love you” means that I love fixing and shaping your thoughts and beliefs, being in control of your mind and emotions, so that you think of me as your miracle and savior, a source of life and sustenance you depend on and bouncing back to, like gravity, no matter how high you fly away or jump.
I love that this makes me feel like a god, to keep you so focused (obsessed…) with making me feel worshiped and adored, sacrificing everything for me to prove yourself so that I won’t condemn you, seeking to please any other, and inherently, with sole rights to administer rewards and punishments as I please.
I love how I can use my power to keep you down, doubting and second-guessing yourself, questioning your sanity, obsessed with explaining yourself to me (and others), professing your loyalty, wondering what’s wrong with you (instead of realizing that … you cannot make someone “happy” who derives their sense of power and pleasure from feeling scorn for others … and you!).
“I love you” means I love the way I feel when I see myself through your admiring eyes, that you’re my feel-good drug, my dedicated audience, my biggest fan and admirer, and more. You, and in particular, your looking up to me, unquestionably, as your never-erring, omniscient, omnipotent source of knowledge is my drug of choice. (You may have noticed how touchy I am at any signs of your questioning me. Yes, I hate how fragile I feel at any sign of thinking that you, or the world, could judge me as having failed to keep my possessions in line.)
And I love that, no matter how hard you long or plead for my love and respect, to feel valued in return, it won’t happen, as long as I’m in control. Why would I let it, when I’m hooked on deriving pleasure from depriving you of anything that would be the wind beneath your wings, risking you’d fly away from me? It gives me great pleasure to not give you what you yearn for, the tenderness you need and deserve, and to burst your every dream and bubble, then telling myself, “I’m no fool.”
I love that I can control your attempts to get “through” to me, by controlling your mind, in particular, by shifting the focus of any “discussion” onto what is wrong with you, your failure to appreciate and make me feel loved, good enough — and of course, reminding you of all I’ve done for you, and how ungrateful you are.
I love how I skillfully manipulate others’ opinions of you as well, getting them to side with me as the “good” guy, and side against you as the “bad” guy, portraying you as needy, never satisfied, always complaining, selfish and controlling, and more.
I love how easy it is for me to say “No!” to what may provide you a sense of value and significance in relation to me, with endless excuses, and that I instead keep your focus on my needs and wants, my discomforts or pain.
I love feeling that I own your thoughts, and your ambitions, and ensuring your wants and needs are solely focused on not upsetting me, and keeping me happy.
I love being a drug of choice you “have to” have, regardless of how I mistreat you, despite all the signs that your love for me is draining the energy from your life, that you are at risk of losing more and more of what you most value, and hold dear, to include the people you love, and those who love and support you.
I love that I can isolate you from others who may nourish you, and break the spell, and I love making you mistrust them so that you conclude no one else really wants to put up with you, but me.
I love that I can compel you to think I’m doing you a favor by being with you and throwing crumbs your way. Like a vacuum, the emptiness inside me is in constant need of sucking the life and breath and vitality you bring to my life, which I crave like a drug that can never satisfy, that I fight to hoard, and hate the thought of sharing.
While I hate you and my addiction to your caring attention, my neediness keeps me craving to see myself through your caring eyes, ever ready to admire, adore, forgive, make excuses for me, and fall for my lies and traps.
I love that you keep telling me how much I hurt you, not knowing that, to me, this is like a free marketing report, which lets me know how effective my tactics have been to keep you in pain, focused on alleviating my pain — so that I am ever the winner in this competition — ensuring that you never weaken (control) me with your love- and emotional-closeness that I can not trust is real.
In short, when I say “I love you,” I love the power I have to remain a mystery that you’ll never solve because of what you do not know (and refuse to believe), that: the only one who can win this zero-sum-winner-takes-all game is the one who knows “the rules.” My sense of power rests on ensuring you never succeed at persuading me to join you in creating a mutually-kind relationship because, in my worldview, being vulnerable, emotionally expressive, kind, caring, empathetic, innocent are signs of weakness, proof of inferiority.
Thanks, but no thanks, I’m resolved to stay on my winner-takes-all ground, ever in competition for the prize, gloating in my narcissistic ability to be heartless, callous, cold, calculating … and proud, to ensure my neediness for a sense of superiority isn’t hampered.
And so it goes. I know I could lose you, but there are many more for me to choose from. I don’t relish the idea of needing to find another supplier, but that is one of the risks I am willing to take. Finding a new supply is easier than facing the trauma (the cause) for my lack of caring only about me at your expense.
Your Forever Narcissist