Another thing that narcissists apparently just love to do is feed you with lies and excuses. They always seem to have an excuse up their sleeves with which they try to explain their shady behavior, and they never get tired of using lies and subterfuges to keep us at a distance. I lost track of how many times I have been blown off, let down and disappointed by Mr. Unavailable, but for every single time he had an excuse or some dubious explanation to offer. The fact that things just never seemed to be his fault, prevented me from getting angry at him. To shield me from pain, I made an effort to believe in his excuses. I never wanted to admit to myself that he might be trying to keep me at bay, that he was not interested in letting me come too close.
Once the relationship is over and we are trying to process what has happened, we become more and more aware of the many instances in which the narcissists were dishonest with us. We finally begin to accept that we have allowed them to get away with far too many lies, and that we let them disrespect us for too long. We are partly to blame for it: In our unwillingness to reflect on their shady behavior and look deeper at the causes behind it, we allow them to repeatedly trample all over us. We readily accept their excuses, because we don’t want to see that they might be lying to us. Even if we suspect that they might be dishonest, it does not take us long to leave our qualms behind us and go on as if nothing happened. We have a penchant for dismissing their dishonesty and deceit far too quickly. The narcissists learn from our behavior that they can easily get away with their lies and excuses and they shamelessly exploit this insight.
For a long time I was also very reluctant to believe that the narcissist I dated might be lying to me and using excuses to keep me at a distance. I was too naive and gullible, too intent on shielding myself from pain, that I allowed myself to throroughly question his behavior. I had occasional doubts, and often felt pushed aside and neglected, but I always managed to keep those troubling thoughts from taking up too much space in my head. Looking at the relationship in retrospect, I am no longer able to determine when I was lied to and when I was told the truth, and it is shocking to face this realization. It puts a deep shadow on my entire interaction with him, and it leads me to question every single one of his words and actions.
I can’t give an inventory of the many excuses and dishonesties I was confronted with during my relationship with Mr. Unavailable. However, I will try to name a few examples: Mr. Unavailable had a tendency to cancel or postpone our dates. He was often either sick, too exhausted or overworked to meet with me. At some point of our relationship he announced he was no longer able to give me phone calls, because his exgirlfriend didn’t want him to call me (they shared some dubious phone plan and she got the shared phone bill). From that moment on, our chief channel of communication was via email. However, he often didn’t write for days and then offered the explanation that his computer battery was not working properly.
Once he cancelled on me in the very last minute and told me that to make up for it, he would spend time with me on the following weekend. However, when I tried to contact him on said weekend, he just didn’t answer my calls and ignored every single one of my messages. I heard back from him on Sunday evening and he denied my accusations that he ignored me on purpose so he didn’t have to follow through with his promise to spend time with me. He said he had been running errands all weekend and was just too busy. This excuse was so lame that not even I was willing to believe it, and from that moment on my trust in him was irreversibly damaged. The realization that he had ignored me to get out of meeting with me was shocking and painful and made me feel unwanted. From then on, whenever we had agreed on a time and place to meet, I was already suspecting that he would surely blow me off again. This was very often indeed the case. I realized that I just couldn’t trust him anymore, that I was constantly expecting to be disappointed, and this insight was saddening me.
One time he promised he would spend another weekend at my place, that we would go for long walks and watch movies together, and that he would even cook for my entire family. I was eagerly looking forward to it. As you can imagine, it never happened. He told me he had to stay at home with his exgirlfriend because she was hysteric. The are no words to describe the all-encompassing disappointment and sadness I felt.
Things got even worse, once his exgilfriend had gotten hold of my cell phone number (it appeared on their phone bill). She gave me a call and during our conversation I learned that he lied to her as well. He often denied that he was meeting me, telling her he had to go to work, to run errands etc. He told her that he had met me at a work party – another blatant lie. He told her he was no longer seeing me, when we were still regularly seeing each other. When I confronted him with the fact that he was denying our relationship towards his exgirlfriend, he offered the excuse that it was his only choice if he wanted to avoid trouble. I felt made a fool of and pushed aside, but that never was a problem for him. He always seemed to care a lot more about not hurting the feelings of his exgilfriend than about not hurting mine.
After our relationship had already ended, he presented me with the lamest excuse he ever had to offer. He flew back to the U.S. for good, without saying another word to me, without even leaving a message saying goodbye. He just took off without another word. I was hurt beyond belief. I knew our relationship had already been over, but after all the kindness, patience and endurance I had shown towards him, all the bullshit I had put up with for far too long, I expected at least a word of goodbye – especially given the fact that I would never see him again. It would have been the decent and respectful thing to do. His silence was the final proof of his utter indifference and selfishness. I knew he avoided saying goodbye, because he was too cowardly to face me again. When I voiced my disappointment about his ungraceful departure, he offered the lame excuse that he just wanted to save everyone a lot of trouble and drama. I knew that he only wanted to save himself the trouble of saying goodbye. It was the suitable end for a relationship that was right from the beginning marked with deceit and excuses.
So to sum it up, whenever you have the nagging and ever-present feeling that your partner is not being honest with you and is using excuses and subterfuges to keep you at a distance, you should seriously consider opting out. Trust is the basis of every healthy relationship, and once you can no longer trust your partner, your relationship is doomed. Had I paid closer attention to all the signs for his dishonesty, I would have tried to save myself earlier. In my desire to make things work, I was too earger to ignore the unpleasant aspects of our interactions and allowed him to trample all over me. Even when I already knew that he was not completely honest with me, and that I was unable to trust him, I pushed those thoughts away from me. I always wanted to give things another chance, I kept hoping that things would surely change. I would have saved myself so much pain and energy if I had let go of those naive hopes earlier. Constantly having the feeling that you are not treated fairly, that you are fed with lies and excuses to be held at a distance, is extremely painful. It makes you feel worthless and undeserving of affection. Instead of staying with someone who makes you forget your worth as a person, you should save your affection for someone who knows how to value it and will always treat you with honesty and respect. It’s the basis for every functioning relationship and we should never settle for less!