It was love at first sight when Alice first met her partner. They seemed so perfect for each other, falling instantly and intensely in love. Now only three years later, she was dazed, confused, frustrated, anxious, and severely depressed by the relationship. What was so ideal before was now a nightmare. How did this happen?
Alice failed to recognize the narcissistic warning signs of her partner at the beginning of the relationship precisely because everything was so perfect. Yet when something is too good to be true, it very likely is actually too good to be true. Her partner put on a narcissistic façade of flawlessness in order to entangle Alice into the relationship. Once the relationship was secured, the mask was lifted and the harsh reality appeared.
Even worse, Alice’s partner spun her own version of what it means to show love. Her twisted perception of love was abusive instead of patient, kind, gentle, and forgiving. So for each lie, Alice was told, she counteracted it what love really is. This finally gave her the strength to move on.
- “I’m going to die if you leave.” This lie says more about being overly dependent, controlling, and manipulating than it does speak about love. It is a way of attempting to trap a person into staying in the relationship by guilt-tripping them into submission.
- Real love says, “It’s going to be hard if you leave, but my life will go on.”
- “You are the only person for me.” This is an isolation technique designed to leave the other person believing that there are no other options. It demonstrates dependence on their partner to solely meet their needs.
- Real love says, “I’m grateful that you chose me and I chose you, as you could always change your mind.”
- “It’s because I love you that I hurt you.” Perhaps the most abusive of all the lies is to declare that hurting another person is a result of loving them. This is not love. It is about power, control, and dominance.
- Real love says, “I’m sorry I hurt you, that’s not a loving thing to do.”
- “I can’t live without you.” This is a form of enslavement as the narcissist entraps their partner into staying in the relationship. The partner feels they have no choice but to succumb to the demands.
- Real love says, “My life is better with you around, but I will respect your wishes if you choose to leave.”
- “If I can’t have you, no one else will.” This is an obvious threat that could be taken in different ways. One means that harm will come to the person leaving or it means that harm will come to the new person in the relationship. Either way, it is intimidating, hostile, and aggressive.
- Real love says, “I would never want to stand in the way of your happiness, even if that means you are with someone else.”
- “If you don’t do this, I’m going to leave.” The threat of abandonment, especially to those who have been deserted in the past, is highly abusive. Often, the issue at hand is not major like getting treatment for addiction. But rather minor like not embarrassing the narcissist in front of others.
- Real love says, “This is a boundary for me, I ask that you respect mine as I respect yours.”
- “I’m the best you can do, no one else would want you.” In order to maintain superiority, a narcissist will drag up their partner’s sins of the past. This is a power struggle designed to remind their partner of how inferior they are in the eyes of the narcissist.
- Real love says, “You have so much to offer, I’m blessed you chose me.”
- “It’s because I love you that I need to know where you are all the time.” Obsessive love is not love, it is paranoia. This lie demonstrates a lack of trust and an unwillingness to allow their partner the freedom to choose what they do and when they do it.
- Real love says, “I trust you and believe that you do not wish to hurt me.”
- “I want to spend every second with you.” This is another form of obsession which leaves the partner feeling isolated from others and suffocated by the narcissist. Again, this is really about power and control.
- Real love says, “I respect your need for space and am grateful for our time together.”
- “I have to have you now.” While this can be slightly romantic at the beginning of a relationship, constantly demanding performance from a partner is controlling and selfish. The giving of self is a present, not a debt.
- Real love says, “I want you and am willing to wait for you.”
Once Alice purged the lies about love from her system, she was able to find another amorous relationship that was truly based on love.