Love Yesterday and Love Tomorrow But Never Love Today

15 Aug 2018

 Love-bombing is not love

All toxic relationship start with a degree of love-bombing. Love-bombing is not love. Once the Narcissist/ emotional abuser/sociopath) has decided that you are their “mark” they start to shower you with love – or whatever the best approximation of love is that they can manage. Exclusive, too-much-too-fast, demanding – faintly icky love.  Love with more strings attached than a world-class symphony orchestra can boast.  In this article we shall look at how toxic partners give and withhold love – and how you brink yourself back from the brink of despair.

When you are with a narcissistic abuser, early days love-bombing is about as good as it gets.  Still, that kind of “Love” requires you to have increasingly broad shoulders.  Even at their best, love-bombers normally arrive with a ton of baggage – for you to pick up and run within.

And that is before the relationship nose-dive begins in good earnest.

Once you have proved to the satisfaction of the Narcissist and emotional abuser that you will be a good baggage carrier, the love-bombing is swiftly relegated to Yesterday.

Narcissist Training College 

I have never worked out when and where all Narcissists go to Narcissist Training College.  Yet I know that it must be so.  Because they all learn the exact same syllabus.

Withholding Affection is a key module in their training. First, they love-bomb, to the best of their ability.  If they are particularly passionate about their studies, they will follow the – optional – Perfect Romancer training. (If not, they will bumble through the love-bombing phase gracelessly – knowing full well that you will make an absurd number of excuses for them.)

Love-bombing is not a part of the syllabus that they enjoy.  However, they understand that all of this – distasteful – work serves to create a powerful bond – a bond is designed to keep you in emotional bondage. That, for them, is where the real fun begins.

The modules in which you can expect all emotional abusers and Narcissists to show considerable proficiency include,

The syllabus 

  • Fault-finding. (The better they are, the more skilled they are at finding fault where there is none to find.)
  • (Clearly, the flip-side of fault-finding. They are superior to you in every way.  That’s why they can always come up with a victim story to eclipse your wounded reality.)
  • Emotional rejection. Hell, why give you the pleasure of feeling loved, when they can revel in the power of being loved and reject you at the same time?
  • Sexual rejection. “I can’t make love to you because…” (In reality, that phrase should end at the word “love”. They cannot make love.  They can only destroy love very, very thoroughly.  Even though your love is as hardy as Japanese knotweed.)
  • Character assassination – both to your face and to others.
  • Your relationship with a toxic partner resembles a life sentence in Solitary.
  • Crazy-making. You can end up believing that they have a superior grasp of your reality.
  • Your barren future. With that air of unshakeable certainty that they have, they predict your pathetic future for you.
  • Their indispensability. (Lest you forget, they remind you how much they bring to your life – and how much worse your life would be without them.)
  • Promises that are made only to be broken.
  • The Carrot-and-Stick treatment. (See below.)

In short, Narcissist and emotional abusers are total psychological sadists.  They get their kicks out of hurting you.

Mixing it up 

But this is where you need to understand the sophistication of their training.  They know that the training works best when they mix things up a bit.

They don’t want you to get so tired of the whole damned thing that they lose your buy-in.  That is where the Carrot-and-Stick treatment comes in.

Here’s how it worked for my lovely friend who married a particularly high-end Narcissist.  (High-end in as much as he was a class act with a very big brain.)

A High-end Narcissist 

My friend, a truly beautiful woman inside and out had modest demands – she wanted a wedding ring when she married Mr. High-End.  Her “beloved” bought her, instead, an exquisite Montblanc pen. Glorious, costly object though it was, it manifestly did not serve the purpose of a wedding ring. (In retrospect, my lovely friend wishes she had taken that Montblanc pen and shoved it somewhere where it would have left more of a lasting impact than a wedding ring ever would.)

Several years later, at different times, he bought her a number of beautiful rings.  That does not mean he had a Change of Heart.  Rather, he bought her rings that he liked and gave to her at times of his choosing. For his own reasons.  Much as she liked those rings, they never filled that wedding ring void.  They were never intended to.

Mr High-End was a master of the mixed message.  He gave her only the things that did not matter deeply to her – while keeping her on a very, very tight financial rein.

The underlying mechanism that he used was,

  • Deny legitimate needs and feelings.
  • Promise longed-for pay-offs.
  • Deliver too little too late.
  • Demand – albeit subtly – vast amounts of ego-massaging for being such a great guy for giving his wife something.
  • Throw a temper tantrum if she dared mention any needs that the unsolicited gift did not touch.
  • Repeat 

Too little today

That is a relatively sophisticated version of the Broken Promises and Carrot-and-Stick techniques.  Every time he bought her a beautiful, expensive ring (and I’ve seen a few that were absolute stunners) she had to show the requisite amount of gratitude and deny her own feelings of hurt.

I must say I was often a tad baffled as to why my friend used to wear some of these beautiful rings etc together with other items of jewelry that cost around $5. (The cheap bits were things that she chose for herself, in her own good time.)

After he left and she had the awareness to do so, she explained that that beautiful, too-little-too-late jewelry always had bitter Broken-Promises feelings attached.  They totally lacked sentimental value for her.

Love tomorrow 

Yet, for more than two decades, my friend truly believed that she loved him, with ALL his failings, for what they could still have – that is, Love Tomorrow .

That Love Tomorrow would, retrospectively, justify all the suffering through a long, LONG succession of Todays. That Love Tomorrow was what had led her to spend all that time investing in the relationship.

After Mr. High-End  left (in a blaze of ignominy) my friend, also, thought that her life was over.  Where would she ever replace such a uniquely wonderful man as him?  (Honestly, he would tick  a lot of women’s Wonderful boxes -provided you could just wheel him around as a cardboard cut-out and play a few of his best social bons mots.)

Never again 

6 weeks on – weeks in which we have talked endlessly – the thing that terrifies my friend most is the thought that he might come back. She absolutely does NOT want him in her life again.  Never again.  In any way.  Not even if he recited the “Darling-I-am-so-sorry-I-Have-Seen-The-Light” speech.

At first, my friend worried about her ex-beloved.  She felt sorry for him – for a week or two.  Not anymore.  He felt no compunction about destroying her.  She feels no compunction about leaving him to his own devices.

Despite her Herculean efforts, she could not save him (from himself).  Now, either he will do the work on himself, or he won’t.  My guess is that he won’t.

Just today, as she was travelling into the center of her city, she sat reading the Whatsapp messages that we have exchanged over the past 6 weeks.  (There are enough to turn into a respectable length book.)   As she read, she was AMAZED how far she has come.

I’m not suggesting that it was easy, at all.  But she has travelled a very long way from the traumatized, rejected wreck of a woman that she felt she was such a short time ago.  She thanked me for my friendship and my input.

Your superpower 

Annie being Annie, I replied saying how well she had done, how precious she is to me, and how her superpower has always been making deep, loving friendships.

We all have a superpower.  Mine, I think, has a lot to do with humor and laughing gently through hurt to healing. Hers is loving friendships.  I don’t know what yours is, but I know for a fact that you, too, have one.

So, if you have ever had a pattern of tolerating the Love Yesterday and Love Tomorrow Lifestyle, I want you to do something different.  I want you to discover your – insufficiently appreciated – superpower.  That superpower may well save your emotional life.

If you can’t do it alone, you may need to work with the Superpower Discovery Service that I operate.  After all, you have nothing to lose – when you have been with a toxic partner you have already lost everything that you had to lose.  Now, you have so much to gain.

What learning will you take away from this article? I hope it will be this, the only love that matters is Love Today.  Anyone who tries to visit the Love Yesterday and Love Tomorrow lifestyle is someone that you want nothing to do with.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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