First, stop it, stop it, stop it! Just stop. Unless you’re a modern day messiah or member of some kind of bizarre-o volcano god cult that requires human sacrifice, stop and consider what you’re doing. This is codependent behavior and evidence of a betrayal bond or trauma bond.
People who love you and want you to be happy and healthy don’t demand that you harm yourself to “prove your love” to them. In a word, it’s nuts. In eight words, it’s pathologically selfish, irrational, cruel, sadistic, twisted and morally bankrupt. It’s also likely an indication that you’re dealing with someone who has a characterological disturbance or personality disorder.
Oftentimes, loving a narcissist, borderline, histrionic or psychopath is like beating your head with a hammer and expecting it to feel good. It doesn’t. And you will sustain injuries and permanent scars — emotional and sometimes physical.
Anyone who proclaims you’re unloving, selfish, ungodly or narcissistic because you don’t want to harm yourself for them is full of beans. I don’t mean requests to end relationships with toxic people or to quit any self-destructive behaviors you may have, e.g., alcohol or drug abuse. Demands and ultimatums to end healthy friendships, estrange yourself from loving family, give up a successful career, to not see kids from a previous relationship or move to a place you can’t work — especially when they expect you to financially support them — is both unreasonable and unacceptable. It also isn’t love.
Selfish, self-absorbed people who are incapable of love make these kinds of one-way street demands. Ask yourself, hat have they ever willingly given up to “prove their love to you?” And remember, it it’s not really a “sacrifice” to “give up a career” when you’re an entitled, lazy a-hole who doesn’t actually want to work to support yourself!
So, the next time a girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse says you’re selfish, mean or narcissistic because you don’t want to harm yourself to make them feel important and “special,” smile and say, “Okay” and don’t do what they’re implicitly or explicitly demanding. Then ask yourself why you’re with someone who wants you to hurt in order to be happy.
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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to email@example.com.
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