When you first met the Narcissist, they mournfully depicted woeful tales of being cheated on, taken advantage of, and having suffered a dreadful childhood. Their parents neglected them and let them down, as have all the ex-partners in their life – as evidenced by their “crazy Ex” who blew up your partner’s phone as the two of you dined by candlelight.
It felt so real, and all you wanted to do was show them that there is a true and comforting love available for them. Your love…and so you set out on a mission to prove that you could love them past all of their wounds and vulnerability.
In the process, you overlook their transgressions, the verbal and emotional abuse, their irresponsibility, and their utter lack of social etiquette.
He/she just needs my help and understanding, you tell yourself.
You shoulder the responsibility when they accuse you of not being understanding.
Then, when you mention you can’t tolerate the lying, cheating, and mistreatment another day, they respond with the almighty, “I knew you didn’t love me enough! I knew you’d give up on me! You only care about yourself!”, thus effectively kicking your guilt into overdrive and renewing your resolve to show them “unconditional love”.
After all, there just might be some hope for them yet, right?
Well, not really. In fact…
Maybe their parents were rotten, low-down scoundrels, but alternately, they may have been of the ilk that over-praised your partner, never teaching them accountability or empathy towards other people. The cold truth is that you’ll probably never know, and it doesn’t really matter.
Because there’s absolutely no amount of love on the planet that will change their self-serving behaviors.
Narcissists don’t suddenly morph into their disorder at random times during adulthood. By they time reach biological maturity, their disorder is a permanent part of who they are.
As such, he or she takes in your love, compassion, and understanding, and processes them where they wind up in the same wasteland as yesterday’s meatloaf. Your shady partner consumes love and caring for lunch and synthesizes it for their survival. They don’t care where their next meal comes from, as long as it satiates their appetite and keeps them going.
Meanwhile, they ride along on the coattails of your desire to show them that love can conquer all – never really caring about your efforts, sacrifices, or heartbreak.
Every time you forgive them, they eat out on it for a while…going about their usual crimes as you bask in the afterglow of believing there’s another chance to make the relationship work.
Then, when you happen again upon their online dating profiles, you fall into another swirling eddy of despair, wondering what you did wrong to drive them to do such a thing. After all, they told you they wouldn’t be forced to do that if you were “different”, never really giving you their definition of the word and keeping you strung along with the “possibility of salvation”.
And that’s the way it will always be, regardless of the amount of effort you put in.
I hear from readers all the time, “Maybe he or she will finally get it.”, “Maybe I’m not doing enough for the relationship.”, “I know there’s a hurt, insecure little boy/little girl in there…I’ve seen him/her.”
Narcissists are very good a playing the victim. Haven’t you noticed that when you try to describe your pain and confusion, they turn on the pity-party persona and insist they’re the one who’s suffering?
Don’t listen to their words. Observe and analyze facts.
Okay, so they’re the one hurting while you’re the one putting in all the effort and sacrifice while they:
To further drive the point home, that “Crazy Ex” from the beginning of this post who blew up your partner’s phone during your romantic dinner? Those cellular interruptions consist of their Ex (who your partner is stringing along), plus a few other of their side supply in varying phases of being devalued (think silent treatments) while they induct you into their harem.
To answer the question, Can my love change the Narcissist?
Your love can’t change the Narcissist, but it can change you.
I don’t mean to sound cliché here, but the truth is there are reasons why you are drawn to an emotionally unavailable, exploitative, black hole of a partner.
These reasons might include codependency, being an “abandoholic”, recreating past painful relationships, and/or trauma-bonding…and, ironically, some victims of narcissists are themselves emotionally unavailable and don’t realize it.
Whatever the case, your love won’t change anything while you direct it at the Narcissist, but you can love yourself back to health…though you’ll need to detach from the emotional terrorist you call a partner and resolve to love yourself instead.
There simply is no happy ending with people like this, and your love cannot change them, no matter how tolerant and wonderful you are.
They don’t act the way they do because “you don’t show enough compassion” or aren’t doing a good enough job licking their so-called wounds for them…
Their problems are much bigger than you and your relationship. That’s why it will never work out.
Self-Love is your path to true emotional freedom.
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