WHY do WE put up with their cruel treatment towards us?

Since this last breakup I have been looking at things from a different perspective. Last time it was more about what was wrong with him. Now it is more about what in me ALLOWED this into my precious life.

This time I am looking at what in me attracted him in the first place and what in me put up with the repeated incidences of unacceptable, insensitive, often cruel, behavior towards me.

Previously with most guys, I would never put up with any of this and if anything, I was the one in control in those relationships. I had some boundaries. Yet, I also never felt about them the way I feel about this one. Why was it different with him?

Why did I allow him to almost completely destroy my life, only to take him back?

I lost myself in him. I lost my spontaneous laughter, the respect of my family and friends, and my own self-respect every time I took him back. My motivation for my future, my hopes and dreams; because of course he did not care about those because it was all about him. How could I have possibly had a "real" honest, loving relationship with a man who did not care about what was important to me or what I wanted?

These are the questions I ask NOW.

Why did I stay? Why didn't I kick him to the curb? Why did I choose to stay with a man who towards the end made me feel like I wanted to die?

Previously it was: Did he really love me? Do you think he's coming back? Do you think he ever loved me? Those were the questions I asked myself and others for two years.

I can now say with 100% accuracy, NO. He did not and not because I was not worthy, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, good enough, sexy enough, loving enough, or young enough.

It was none of that, I was ENOUGH; just not for him. He does not know how to give love, receive love, or accept love. None of it; he cannot do these things because he is DAMANGED GOODS. Something is not right upstairs with him and it has NOTHING to do with me. He was that way long before I came along and he will be that way long after I am gone. He will never be able to give and receive love like a typical man does.

He knows this; I know this; and everyone else knows this. He is disordered, he is wired differently. He does not see the good in things, the butterflies, the cotton candy, the sweet little puppy dogs, newborn babies, the intimacy of two lovers looking into each other’s eyes and JUST KNOWING; he just does NOT know. I do; he does not know it or feel it and never will. NO amount of therapy, love, attention, sex.......is going to change this. I thought if I just loved him more, gave him more, had more and better sex, made better meals, lost more weight, wore sexier clothes, wore better makeup......it would make a difference. NONE of it matters, he could have been with a perfect 10 and trust me; within a relatively short period of time he would have found something to criticize and pick apart. This is how he is wired; to see the flaws in people. He sees who has more than him, a sexier wife, a faster car, a bigger house...he does appreciate what he has and will never be satisfied with it, there will always be something out there that he wants because he is restless, always looking for a bigger and better high. I will NEVER be ENOUGH. No thing or any one will ever be enough.

WHY did I PUT up with this?

I honestly have never felt the way I felt when I was with him and know that I never will again.

In the beginning: I felt alive, beautiful, sexy, special, wanted, smart, and madly in love. I basically I had met the man of my dreams. I had died and gone to heaven, GOD had finally answered my prayers.

When I looked at him; I was in love. I saw the most handsome beautiful man I had ever known. I adored him, saw none of his flaws, and was thrilled to be with him. When we walked into the mall together and he held my hand in his, I felt loved, safe, proud, and like here was a man, who not only saw me as I was and loved me for me, and also who I loved completely with all of my heart and wanted to spend the rest of my life making him happy. My handsome prince had arrived and I was going to do everything to keep him happy and embark on our happy life together.

He told me he was in love with me and had never felt this way before and he would never leave me. He professed that I was that I was the love of his life, and he asked me to marry him. He wanted what I wanted and loved me just the way I was.

Imagine my shock and horror, the first time, he called me a cunt, a tramp, a bitch, punched a hole in my wall and told me I never loved him. I was stunned, I felt like someone had just punched me in my heart. WHAT was that? WHAT just happened? OMG what is going on here? After I got over the initial shock, I wanted to FIX it and make it BETTER. I was already hooked.

I not only made it BETTER immediately but I proceeded to FORGET IT and push it far away in my mind. There was NO way I was going to look at this and risk the possibility of losing my future husband. NO WAY was I going to make him leave and lose this. I was going to make it work, FIX IT, FIX HIM. So I did and went back into HAPPY mode.

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME and this played out over and over until all he had to do was to give me a look or a gesture and I got the message, he was DISPLEASED and I would FIX IT. Be better, do better. I was enrolled in the ABUSE CYCLE and did not even know it.

At the time I had NO IDEA that it was all an act, a game, a manipulation to secure my trust and attention. I was in actuality only a pawn to be used for him to get himself to the next level. In his mind, I was his bitch, an object, narcissistic supply. He had no respect for me and no intention of a life with me. I thought he meant everything he said, just like I did. I was not playing a role, this was not an act to me, and it was completely real for me. I had never been in a relationship with someone who played me like this and did not see it coming. He reminded me of my dad; but THAT was over 30 years ago. The only other thing was my son’s dad. He walked out on me when I was pregnant, could that be what this was all about? They were both assholes and everyone knew it. This time it was different. My man was not an asshole; I would not believe any of that. I told myself that this could NOT be because of them and dismissed those thoughts as well.

How was this possible? After all, I was highly intelligent, attractive, accomplished, insightful, a good friend, mother, and citizen. I loved God, my country, and had hopes for my life. I went into prisons and worked with addicts, I was a hospice volunteer, I helped returned students going back to college, I was a parent’s advocate. Why would I be treated this way?

I was his dog, his property (dogs are legally considered property; they are not afforded the rights of humans) and like a dog; I accepted my role, for a while.

I had been conditioned, the way you train a puppy. To come, sit, stop bad behavior, reward good behavior. I had trained dogs, I knew about how this works. Just did not see that it had been done to me.

"A man's soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog."-- Charles Doran

There are good dog trainers and there are bad dog trainers. There are the ones who love and respect their dogs and appreciate their loyalty.

A dog wants to be loved and accepted by their trainer, it is in their nature, they like to be happy.

Then there are the ones who abuse their dogs to get them to behave, they bully and degrade them into submission, they insult them, hit them, and exert control over them with force and deprivation. Some dogs are particularly willful, and bright with them, further abuse may be necessary, they may even have to withhold food, any praise, and beat the dog into submission. Soon they see the trainer coming and they JUST KNOW. There is no longer any need to abuse for when he sees his facial expression, the sight of his hand, it’s often enough. They have been conditioned to respond to ABUSE.

Both dogs are behaving, yet with entirely different motivation and treatment.

The ONE THING that the bully dog trainer NEVER realizes which is apparent to the loving trainer is that while it may APPEAR as though the dog has become deadened to the abuse, and is in compliance, this may not always be the case and the bullied dog MAY one day TURN on or leave his trainer if given the chance because their loyalties will NEVER run as deeply as with the loving trainer.

It was not real, it was NOT built on trust and love, and it was forced; no longer given freely.

It may “appear” as though he has a well-trained dog in compliance, but does he? He has basically destroyed that dog the dog now lives in fear and has no sense of joy, self, or contentment.

He is just someone's "BITCH."

I woke up to this, the last time with the Narc and realized that our house had been built upon clay and that it was NEVER going to be right and I was NEVER going to have that sense of trust and love which was experienced with the conditioning of the good trainer. My Narc was damaged goods (his words) and he had shut down as a child and could not love his girlfriend or wife as a woman; he was NOW ONLY able to treat her as a bad dog trainer would treat his dog.

This last time with the Narc/Psycho, I realized that I could no longer be his "BITCH" and that he offered me little in the way of what I wanted my life to be and that the ONLY way out was COMPLETE NC, anything short of that would only start the whole cycle up again and I had already lost too much of my precious life to him. I use the dog analogy because I think I had more respect and understanding for my beloved dog than I did for myself while I was with this man. I would have NEVER allowed anyone to talk to or treat my dog as I was and I believe that he used conditioning (most often sex) to make me compliant to the abuse.

God bless,

Aug 5 - 12PM
cargis33's picture

sadly ironic

Mar 7 - 3PM
AprilD's picture

Daughters of Narcissists

Oct 20 - 8PM
Skeeterina71's picture


Jun 19 - 5PM (Reply to #20)
Learningthehardway's picture

Mine said stuff like this too.

Jun 1 - 7AM
Jannie In the Sun
Jannie In the Sun's picture

Blindsided too.

I thought I knew better until I met my man. He acted the same way early in our relationship, charming, loving, caring and a good listener. His change seemed slow and subtle to me and I was asking myself, what is going on here? Then I asked what is wrong here? Then I asked what is wrong with me? Then I read about what is wrong with him. Then I asked WTF was I thinking? Looking back now, I see things more objectively. I chose to ignore obvious behaviors that were right in front of my face. I made seemingly plausible excuses for his selfish and self serving behavior. Never Again! I have written extensively about the past and if a new (honest) version of an old memory comes up - I write it down to stay honest. I waited so long for him to come back, say he was sorry, or just give us closure. I was still in delusional thinking mode. I think self forgiveness and self love have been so hard for me but I feel stronger every day I stay out of the delusional thinking. It's a process for sure!
May 30 - 1PM
insectt (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Thank You!!

Perfect. It's specific to you but I think we all see this same man. I could have wrote this myself. That you for your articulation. I, too have started asking myself "Why do I put up with this" Instead of "why doesn't he love me" Thank you so very much!
May 28 - 3PM
beamoflight's picture

Thank you. So much of what

Thank you. So much of what you have written here is really making me look at my life and think. The N in my life triggered the girl I used to be-- the one I buried in my mind. The scared abused child. He brought so much of that pain to the surface. Thank you.
May 29 - 12PM (Reply to #16)
Goldie's picture


You are welcome. I believe that once we make that connection, that there is something in us attracting this into our lives; we are on our way to true recovery. I am not saying that we necessarily sought it out or so much wanted it, as to say we had a weakness which allowed the space in which for this to manifest itself. I understand that this is difficult for some to see and it took me years to recognize this and to become willing to let it go. Let go of all the years of substandard treatment by my father, which ultimately played out in me trying to get a man who was incapable of giving, to love me because that was the only dance I knew. I realize that some on here did not have this type of childhood so please remember that with this post I am talking about my experience which may not be reflective of all. Beamoflight it sounds like in your case that we may have had similar agenda and I am grateful that this resonates with you because together we can do what we cannot do alone. While I understand how difficult a journey for a women can be who did not have a father whom was loving and trustworthy, I am thrilled for you that you are beginning to make the connection and are willing to take the steps necessary to heal. We WILL make it and of this and into recovery where we eventually have the lives we once dreamt possible. I have my hope back and this is a beautiful thing.
May 28 - 11AM
Used's picture


This is so powerful and moving, and if i ask my self why i stayed with exh and then narc i think when things had been good they were good, and so i was always hoping it would go back to that, with myex i was so young i didnt realy know the score, with narc when i met him i remember thinking he is controlling himself in his way of talking, i knew he was an arsehole from the get go...i realy believe i was trying to relive[but better] a time when it was good with my husband, when he was in his 40,s and i wieghed 18stone,and yes things did calm down ,i was on a load of meds and practiclly comotose, submissive and no trouble any more, i simply exsisited. when i met narc he was 40, and somewhere in my brain i thought i know the pitfulls now, i know the signs, but in i stayed and it got worse and worse, i cannot to this day believe what i put up with in the name of friendship......it will never happen again. goldie, i think b/c we are good people we never give up hope, and thats why we constantly go back and stay with them, in my case i remember thinking he is taken me to the abyss, if i let him i am finished, so its not i gave up hope about him i simply had to practise self presavation, and thats what it comes down HIM OR ME...I CHOOSE ME AND GOT OUTXXXX
May 29 - 12PM (Reply to #14)
Goldie's picture

Excellent point Used

You bring up a great point. Even with the knowledge and understanding, we still are suject to their manipulations and abuse because they are good at what they do and we are forever coming from a caring place and often still cannot fathom the extent of their mental illness. I love your ending statement: I CHOSE ME AND GOT OUT and I am so glad you did. God bless, Goldie
May 28 - 7AM
Ladydb123's picture

My Heart

Goes out to you Goldie and all the women here who have suffered from the abuse these very sick, disordered men practice on smart, attractive and caring women. I can't even imagine how they live with them selves......No souls. In my reading they say there's 1 to 4% of the population that have these traits, where oh where are the other 96%. Even now I am not sure if I could truly trust another man with my heart. I see men every day staring at woman's breasts, butts and legs it seems even now in 2011 we are only objects in their eyes.
Jan 1 - 9PM (Reply to #12)
Ruby's picture

Reading through some posts

May 29 - 5PM (Reply to #11)
Goldie's picture

Thank you and you bring up some important concepts

Ladydb123 for your kind word. I believe that the statistic would be much higher if these PD's were willing to seek treatment. I know that ALL the Narcissist that I have known never sought treatment therefore they are not included in these statistics. A Scary thought because the numbers available only include the NARCS on the books so to speak. When they expand the numbers to include the others who have not sought treatment, then we see percentages as high as 20% which frankly fits more into what I have seen out there. Add to that that there are varing degrees of Narcissim; we have Narc features, Narc components, Narc tendencies, and Narc behavior. I think that most will agree that the numbers are much higher. Objectifing women also falls under the sex addict umbrella and men whose father's had that tendency are more likely, not always, too exhibit that nature. Young boys are watching porn now in record numbers, thus sealing the deal that they will view woman and love making in a tainted way. The porn industry is a multi billion dollar industry and of course the U.S is among it's best customers. Many cultures do not have as high a usage of porn as we do, they seem to be more interested in the real thing than to spend hours holed up looking at a screen. Women are being indocrinated into this insanity at higher numbers each year. Many women find it perfectly acceptable to engage in porn with their significant others. Something you may want to reconsider moving forward because it only feeds right into the objectification of women particularly when woman turn off their higher self to please a disordered man. No judgement here, I've done it myself, just some more food for thought. God bless, Goldie
May 28 - 1AM
Alibi_10's picture

Tolerance and Training

I have been away with work again so not been able to log in for a few days, now catching up with what has been going on here. This post echoes something one of my friends has just said to me: "Why did you put up with it?" and "I wouldn't have put up with that". And I can see the sense in those questions, just didn't know the answer. Thank you for posting this, it describes the abuse cycle very well. Regarding the training of dogs, my Narc frequently made reference to this, he was so brazen about his abuse, he would use phrases such as: "I need to re-educate you not to expect me to contact you every day" "I need to re-train you to put things away when you have finished with them" "I have indoctrinated you into my way of thinking (whatever that was !)" He even went so far as to say (whilst laughing) that I was his personal victim and he thought I had Stockholm Syndrome. Makes me sick to think I did not run away then, but yes I thought it would get better. He also used to throw me the odd crumb of comfort via a mixed message here and there, or a phone call out of the blue. I can see how ridiculous this was, because I used to panic if I was not near the phone or was often a bit short with people if they called me when I knew he was going to ring - and I never even knew if I was going to get a call from Jekyll or Hyde anyway. I totally bent myself out of shape trying to address all his criticisms, too - and I mean TOTALLY - trying to please him in the first instance, and trying not to provoke him as a backup plan, For a while, I believed that knowing that he was playing games would protect me, that I could outsmart him but he wouldn't know me. This was such a big mistake and has sent me spiralling to the worst place I have ever been. Goldie - did you feel mad at yourself for accepting this abuse? I am struggling with this so much because I am mad at me as well as him and I can't TELL him because I am NC again. Thank you for the post
May 29 - 6PM (Reply to #9)
Goldie's picture

Ablibi 10

You Narc clinches it as to the question often asked: Does he know what he is doing? Yours certainly did as I am convinced mine did as well. I believe he "got off" on torturing me for his own pleasure. I recall a time when he was repeatedly stealing from me and I was holding my pocketbook with fear of not being able to pay my mortgage and he started laughing and said: it just cracks me up the way you are running around with your pocketbook; like someone is going to steal your money. They know. I was enraged at myself when he was in jail for all that he did to me and felt anger at myself on a daily basis. Actually it was men who helped me to get over that. I decided when he was in jail to get vocal about all that had happened and I told many men in my circle what had happened. Did not make much difference at that point because the 4 incidents where in the newspaper. The men where appalled at what he had done to me and repeatedly told me that it was not my fault. One said: I hope you are not blaming yourself for this because that man is one sick fuck. Those comments helped me to snap out of the blame game, self judgement, and guilt. Also when I realized that I was in the throes of PTSD from my childhood which many childhood friends knew about (which of course is validating), I was able to accept it for what it was, a horrific recreation of my childhood which ultimately was the real beginning of my healing from severe childhood abuse which had lain dormant in me for years. He was the only one to abuse me since childhood so because I was not triggered I assumed I was over it and once the damn was opened I realized that every single relationship I ever had was tainted by the abuse. M was the exact recreation of my father and when I looked back on M's abuse it triggered in my brain the memories from childhood and I reverted back to 5 years old when M was abusing me paralyzed in fear as I had been with my Dad. I used to hide in the closet from my father and I found myself crunched down hiding behing the TV from M. Sad really cuz to this day M and my father both say they barely touched me. The denial system in these men is strong. M's lawyer believed that M never did anything to me and that I imagined the entire thing. Amazing how the legal system still sticks up for the men, now that is what really pissed me off more than anything else. Going to court and having them look at me like I must have provoked this poor innocent little boy. He was 6'6" and told them I was insane and he tried to love me but it was all me. He also told them that he was only living with me because he had no where else to live. Those are the things that made me the most angry. The legal system has a long way to go, no question particularly in my town, I received very little support from law enforcement and that is a whole other bitch. I know there has been much improvement, however we still have a long way to go. I also tried the "beating the narc at his own game" and it made me feel better temporarily and then he retaliated in ways that only the devil could and I would say that basically they don't like to lose so they make sure they get the last laugh. There is no winning with a PD, there is just getting them out of your life and keeping them out. There is also no reasoning or "getting to the bottom" of things because so many of them are pathological liars so they never tell the truth even when you are having a supposed, "heart to heart", they lack heart so that does not happen. Thus the desire to tell them is left on deaf ears. I used to tell him anyway though and he would say, I don't want to hear this and I would say, I don't care, I am doing this for me. I no longer have a need to explain anything to him. My goal now is to explain it to other woman so that they too can recover from them and wise up to what is really going on. I found that the anger goes away in time, took me about a year or so. Exercise and dancing was a huge anger release for me. I believe that repeated violence and abuse gets trapped in our bodies and physical work helps to release it. Also writing is huge for me. The journaling and writing on here is a tremendous release. I can still get triggered though if I see or hear of something happening which reminds me of this. God bless, Goldie
May 28 - 11AM (Reply to #7)
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

Circus of Abuse

Such a perfect analogy! I love this: "Welcome to the big top; the greatest show on earth; the show that never ends. Until we end it!" Your blog gives me goosebumps, Goldie! Thank you for sharing. You have such an amazing way with words. We cannot beat oursleves up for putting up with the abuse. We must go easy on ourselves and show ourselves some self-compassion. It's important to look at our part in it and personally to me, it boils down to this: We were brainwashed and trained like a dog. You describe how this happens so well, Goldie. We fall hard for these men. We are so happy that we finally found our soul mate. We are in heaven with our newfound love. He is everything we ever wanted in a man and more. When his true colors begin to surface, we do not want to acknowledge any of it. Instead, we tell ourselves that WE DID SOMETHING WRONG! We blame it on ourselves! It's easier that way because then we don't have to admit that our knight in shining armor is not who we thought he was. Who wants to admit this?! So we blame ourselves, with his help of course. This is where their ability to manipulate, control, train and brainwash comes in handy for them. And we respond to it! Why? Because we don't want to admit that he is not who we thought. I spent 8 years banging my head against the wall trying to do everything I could to be a better wife, hoping I could bring back the man I fell in love with. The thing is, he will never come back. The man we fell in love with was an illusion. He figured out what we wanted in a man and played the part beautifully. Once we were hooked, he was able to be himself. Instead of acknowledging what a horrible person he is, we blame everything on ourselves. This is exactly what the Narcissist wants and exactly what he set out to do. They train us like dogs. It's the perfect analogy. It's all a matter of how long it's going to take before we WAKE UP, GET REAL & HEAL. Being here is the first step in waking up. Thanks for sharing, Goldie. xoxo
May 29 - 6PM (Reply to #8)
Goldie's picture

Thank you Lisa

Your words are beautiful and I appreciate it. We have so much to give and I feel honored to be able to share my experiences with others for my own healing and also it warms my heart to know that others may suffer less because we now have a forum in which to share and teach others about the way OUT. God bless, Goldie
May 27 - 6PM
Four Aces
Four Aces's picture

Why do I take him back?

I think living with a narcissist person is like being addicted to a drug or alcohol. You have to hit bottom to realize that enough is enough. PLUS, these men are so convincing and sorry and sad, and happy, and etc etc etc. They manipulate your emotions. Until you see them for what they truly are you are caught in the web of deceit. Sort of like a fly in a spider's web. It's a tough habit to break sometimes, but once you KNOW you know and that is the end of this circus of abuse.
May 27 - 11PM (Reply to #1)
Goldie's picture

I like that

Cirus of abuse. Never heard that one before. Really does sum up what it is like; nothing more than a Cirus. Welcome to the big top; the greatest show on earth; the show that never ends. Until we end it! That is the only way out with the obsessive compulsive Narc, the ones that won't leave, is to end it completely. Whew and be glad you made it out in one piece. God bless, Goldie
May 29 - 8AM (Reply to #2)
trying2heal's picture


Wonderful post! So true and right on target. This helped me as I am sitting here feeling lonely on this holiday weekend. What is there to miss? It was all an illusion! Mine never cursed, but was a covert/psycho/Narc with a host of other problems as well. His emotional abuse came in the form of emails and text messages of sarcasm and very sadistic. Isn't it amazing mine said the very same words, that he is damaged goods and will never be normal. He was living a double life, everything was a lie from the beginning. When I exposed him he did not take accountability, pulled away and blamed me. It is like I evaporated to him and never existed...like a vapor. And yes, I would never treat an animal the way he treated me!
May 29 - 10PM (Reply to #3)
Goldie's picture


I have been spending the weekend doing what I want. Took my dog out and and he is a huge hit everywhere I go. German Shepherd pup. Washed my car. Went to a cookout and have been enjoying this great weather. Have not been thinking about M much and if I did he is most likely with the OW filling her head with a bunch of crap, drinking up a storm, doing his coke, bragging about a bunch things which never happened, sucking up to his boss like the wussy boy he is, sucking up to his drug dealers, bragging about all the girls he's had and drugs he's done, needing to be high just to be comfortable in his own skin, lying to his Dad about everything that happened between us, flirting with OW everywhere he goes, trying to impress them with his lies. What is he going to tell them that he just got out of jail and he is a drug addict, gf beater, theif, pathological liar, porno addict, with no vision, morals, backbone, integrity. I guess considering all of that, I can't imagine he is having anymore fun tonight than I am because his life is NOT real and mine is. God bless, Goldie
May 30 - 1PM (Reply to #4)
insectt (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I have a German Shepherd,

I have a German Shepherd, too. :)
Jun 19 - 5PM (Reply to #5)
Learningthehardway's picture

I should GET a German Sheperd...