To this disenchanted generation, ‘I Love You’ are worn out words. They’re said too much but not enough. They mean different things in different contexts, but they always carry a special significance.
Sometimes, the words are said by people who don’t fully grasp their meaning, by those who are completely self-absorbed, people who cannot love anyone other than themselves.
We all have encountered such dangerously toxic people in our lives, whose definition of love is control and obsession instead of care and understanding. If you have been unfortunate enough to be loved by a narcissist, you will definitely relate to this letter written from the perspective of someone incapable of thinking beyond themselves.
“Dear Codependent Partner,
I will never say these words to you in reality because if I did it would reveal how I deliberately exploit the world for the only thing I care about – my benefit. Since I only care about myself, I need you to carry all the load of the relationship while I reap the benefits of it.
When I say I love you, I really do mean it though. I love how hard you work for me. I love that I have forced you to compromise about everything to keep me happy. I love that you do everything for me but you have given up expecting me to return that courtesy.
I love that I have the power to reduce you to tears, make you feel small and insignificant, and gloat in how powerful that makes me feel. I know you let me walk over you, and I keep pulling you down so that you don’t realize you deserve a lot better than what I give you.
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I love how I can blame you for gas-lighting or just call you crazy when you bring up things I don’t want to discuss. Also, I love that I can keep expecting more and more from you while you keep lowering your expectations of me. It makes my life so easy when you let me walk all over you!
I love how I can take your innocence and kindness for granted, using it for my thrill and pleasure. I love how I can always keep all your focus on alleviating my pain and discomfort. Nothing ever is enough; I don’t feel loved enough, respected, admired and cared for enough. And all of this misery I dump on you to fix.
It is not that I don’t know that you need support, love and care; I just don’t think it is as important as my feelings. I am the priority for the both of us, and that is really all I want. It is never about the closeness, empathy or connection you want. It is never about how I hurt you. It is always about how I can control you and make you feel like you are not doing enough.
I am superior to you, and I love you as one loves a precious possession. You are just like all the other nice things I want to own and I love the envy others feel when they see you on my arm.
Since I am constantly hurting others, my brain suffers from self-loathing 24/7. This is why I love spending time with you. I love feeding off your emotional support, and I love hating you for needing you constantly. I love blaming you for my own narcissistic tendencies.
I love you because I am scared and tired of the self-loathing inside me. All the feelings I am too scared to have, the neediness, the emotions, everything I call you weak and crazy for, makes me love you because I feed off of you. I love you because I can treat you like a punching bag when that deep weak part of me threatens to open up. You keep all of it at bay and I take you for granted because I hate that I need you as much as I do.
Of course the day you realize all of this, you will leave me. So, I will never tell you, and I will always keep you hoping that I will become a better person, but in reality I never will. Only if you walk away from me, will my complacency ever get displaced. The day you stop caring, I will fall and I will learn my lesson. Yet I know that day will never come, because I keep you so tangled up in my concerns that you can never think about yours. And that is just perfect for me.
With my endless self-love,
Your Narcissist Other.”
This letter is of course fictional, and a true narcissist would never be this candid even to himself. But if you have had a toxic partner in your life, you will know how important this kind of honesty is to help you forgive yourself and move on.