What It Means When a Narcissist Says “I Love You”

Dear Codependent Partner,

What I’m about to say is not something I’d ever say or admit (to you), 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 carrying my load in our relationship. 

And that’s the whole point.

When I say “I love you” I mean that I love how hard you work to make me feel like your 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 and intentions to be nice, and the pleasure I derive when I make myself feel huge in comparison to you, taking every opportunity to make you feel small and insignificant.

I love the feeling it gives me thinking of you as weak, vulnerable, emotionally fluffy, and I love looking down on you for your childlike innocence and gullibility, as weakness.

 

I love the way I feel knowing that, through the use of gaslighting, what you want to discuss or address will never happen, and I love this “power” to train you to feel “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 mine of you.

 

I love how easy it is to keep your sole focus on alleviating my pain (never yours!), and that, regardless what you do, you’ll never make me feel good enough, loved enough, respected enough, appreciated enough, and so on. (Misery loves company.)
 
(It’s not about the closeness, empathy, emotional connection you want, or what I did that hurt 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 comforting between us, remember?)

“I love you” means I love the way I feel when you are with me, more specifically, regarding you as 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.

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Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik shows clients how to break free of anxiety, addictions, and other emotional blocks, to awaken radiantly healthy lives and relationships. Dr. Staik is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, Safe Enough to Love™: Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit <a href="http://www.drstaik.com/">www.drstaik.com</a>, or visit on her Facebook fan page <a href="http://www.facebook.com/DrAthenaStaik/">DrAthenaStaik</a>

96 COMMENTS

  1. The word Narcissist is used with too wide an application here. It would be more accurate to label them ‘evil people’ for not all narcissists are evil. Simply ask any CODA or ALANON member who has a partner or family member who is a narcissist/addict. They would tell you that it’s a disease not a moral defect as you maintain. Your science is very pegorative. Almost medieval.

    In my own experience as a clinical psychologist codependents are far more manipulative and controling. They tend to be the obsessive Denial or Anal type with very rigid ego boundaries. Narcissists are much simpler personalities with extremely diffuse ego boundaries. Yes they do want a caretaker, but it’s a misconception that they are controlling at least not to the micromanaging degree of the caretaker.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.