Before I get right into today’s challenging topic, I want to thank all of you for regularly reading my articles. One of the articles that I continue to get comments, feedback, and just plain thank you’ s for understanding what I’m going through is the So You Want to Date a Narcissist post.
The interest in narcissistic personalities does not surprise me. They can take you from heaven to hell in no time flat. Having relationships with them can be so challenging that, when the relationship ends, you will spin for months trying to figure out what the heck just happened.
Today, I want to help you make sense of why it’s hard to heal from such a relationship and your obsessive need to have them apologize for hurting you so much.
The one thing that I hear repeatedly when helping a person to get over a narcissist is that you want him or her to say I’m sorry to you. “If he’d just say I’m sorry, you say, I could get over the breakup and move forward.”
I want you to understand better why narcissists rarely apologize, if ever, and moreover, why you are having a hard time accepting this. If you are to heal and move forward, you have to heed my message well today.
In narcissists’ one-way consideration of things, it is you who turned the relationship sour. You are the cause of the breakup, in their minds.
You have to take seriously the way a narcissist defines and enters into a romantic relationship. It is a one-way relationship satisfaction contract.
You supply complete support, love and admiration.
He or she feels good.
Then, you are permitted to bask in the sunshine of their love.
And, oh, does that sunshine feel good!
It’s when your needs start to surface that they begin to withdraw their love. Narcissists do not enter into relationships to meet others’ needs. When the spotlight turns to you, they lose interest. And, seemingly out of nowhere, the relationship ends. Of course, you feel hurt and bitter.
You want more than anything an acknowledgement of all you did, sacrificed and gave to make him or her happy. You want an acknowledgement of the pain they caused you. It’s understandable that you want this, but given the way a narcissistic personality is formed, it is unreasonable.
Narcissists are not built for apologies. They have developed inflated views of themselves to shore up a very fragile self-esteem. At their core, they don’t feel good about themselves.
You may be thinking right now, fragile, you are kidding right? They are so full of themselves. Remember, the narrowly defined image of perfection that they project out to the world, and the energy they put into protecting it, tells you just how threatened they are by any communication that views them as less.
To sum it up, the regret, remorse, and guilt that an apology to you entails, says to your ex-narcissist lover, “I’m imperfect”. You are also expecting them to be aware of how they hurt you. Remember, empathizing is not in their vocabulary. The only pain they really feel is the loss of your complete support, love and admiration.
I am not cutting them slack, please believe me. I care more about helping you to face what you are really up against. The apology that you are waiting for is up against long-standing, nearly impenetrable personality defenses against admitting imperfection that even the best therapists have difficulty breaking through them.
The real question is what makes you wait for an apology that will never come?
By insisting upon a statement of regret, remorse, empathy and guilt, you keep the relationship going, in your mind. Why would you do this, if you are in so much pain? The apology is the last connection to the relationship.
It is the connection you really desire that keeps you stuck, rather than the apology.
It’s difficult to drop the final connection to a relationship that at one time made you feel on top of the world. There is nothing quite as wonderful as basking in the sunshine of a narcissist’s love when things are good.
Think about it for just a second. Imagine there’s no apology coming, no more connection. You are waiting for and expecting nothing. The ongoing, tortuous internal dialogue is gone. How do you feel? Perhaps empty and lost for just a time. This is the feeling that’s hiding behind the apology for which you have been waiting.
I know this is hard to hear, but nonetheless true. When you are really ready to let go of this relationship, you will require the apology much less. You won’t need him or her to justify your pain and suffering anymore. You know what you went through and don’t need outside confirmation of what happened.
Well, I’m sure this won’t be the last of my posts on the narcissistic personality. I hope you found something here that helps you through your pain.