To be very honest it’s hard and it hurts to love a narcissist. I know from personal experience. See, I’ve dealt with several narcissists in toxic relationships in my life – family members, friends, and even a spouse. One thing I recall vividly from each of those relationships is that I felt a deep, profound love for each of them. I remember in each case the exact moment when it became very clear to me that they did not have the same affection for me, and let me tell you, it was painful.
Can you relate? Do you have a narcissistic spouse, friend, or family member? If you do, and you’re anything like I was, you can’t help but love them. If you’re being honest, your love for them runs deep down to the core of who you are – or at least it used to. They are or were a part of you because of it. You love with your heart and soul, with every part of your being.
Sometimes they confuse you, though, because they can be so mean and so hurtful. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get through to them. They always seem to have some issue with you and even when you think you’ve finally figured out how to make everything okay with them, they never fail to hurt and disappoint you. Sadly, despite your sincerity and your genuine desire to just make them happy, they can’t even seem to muster up politeness for you – much less actual love. You might even start to wonder if you’re the problem.
I’m here to tell you that not only are you NOT the problem but that the narcissist in your life unquestionably IS. The painful truth is that a narcissist just can’t love you back because they are not capable of actual love. In fact, while they might understand the concepts of love and empathy on some level, the truth is that they can’t feel these things because in so many cases, their emotional development stopped during toddlerhood. At best, you’re looking at an emotional preteen.
In any case, this lends to their extremely egocentric nature and their lack of concern for the feelings you and others have. Without intense healing and therapy to address their “core wound,” narcissists will never be able to grasp the concepts of unconditional love and empathy for others. Unfortunately, I have never heard of a narcissist who has successfully changed – nor has anyone else I’ve interviewed or worked with in the past.
Why narcissists have to hurt you when they say they love you?
The bottom line here is that when you love a narcissist, you love someone who is not capable of loving you back, and it hurts. It hurts down to your soul, causing a deep ache that is nearly indescribable. Loving a narcissist hurts in a way that most people will never truly understand. And that’s part of the reason that when you try to discuss your relationship with people who haven’t been there, they never seem to quite get what you’re talking about.
They’ll either minimize your concerns or even try to help by offering “standard relationship advice” – which can be quite unhealthy for someone who is dealing with a narcissist in many cases. For example, if you’re feeling unheard in a healthier relationship, the standard advice might be to sit down and have a conversation about it, or even to go to counselling together and work it out. But if you do these things with a narcissist, they will use the opportunity to manipulate you (and the counsellor, given the opportunity), and this can just reinjure you and make you feel even more miserable.
When you’re dealing with a narcissist, chances are that you’ve put up with your fair share of verbal and emotional abuse and manipulation from them, to say the very least.
Maybe you have a narcissistic parent who favoured your sibling and taught them how to torment you as well. They were in it all together. Perhaps you have an aunt, uncle, or cousin who is a narcissist. Or you’re married to a narcissist, or in some other way involved. But in any case, whoever the narcissist in your life happens to be, you probably already know by now that you absolutely cannot trust them.
A narcissist will never have your best interest at heart, even if they’re your parent or spouse – and that’s because they are completely and only focused on their own needs being met at any given moment. Your needs don’t even come second – they literally do not concern themselves with what you want or need at all.
Now that you understand all of that,
Here are 10 reasons it hurts to love a narcissist:
1. Repeated Episodes of Abuse and Manipulation
Narcissists are creatures of habit and they are quite predictable. Sometimes, you might even wonder if they have a narcissist playbook because they all seem to have nearly identical patterns. If you’re dealing with a romantic partner who is a narcissist you might have initially thought they were your soulmate. After all, it seemed that they liked everything you liked, wanted the same things as you and that they totally just “got” you. If it was a friend or family member, you may have initially assumed they had your best interests at heart or at least that they loved and cared about you unconditionally.
But as time went on, and life happened, you saw that was far from the case as you began to see their true narcissistic colours. Narcissists treat you terribly and will condemn you in a heartbeat if it serves them to do so. Even looking at them the wrong way seems to provoke them into a narcissistic rage. As one of their primary sources of narcissistic supply, you also become an emotional garbage dump for them. They will take out their anger and frustration on you, whether or not it’s related to you, and they’ll do it over and over again. But you don’t walk away because you love them. It hurts to love a narcissist! Because it is painful to love someone who is abusive to you and who is cruel to you in every way.