He,(or she) makes your heart sing, and you’ve never felt quite the same way… with anyone.
You want it to work.
Boy, do you want it to work. There’s just a minor thing or two that needs tweaking. Well, maybe more than a thing or two.
AHHHH, I hear you. I feel you.
When it feels good, it is magic.
But the magic is fading, and you want it back. And, you are willing to do anything.
You are used to making a relationship work- doing more than your fair share. It’s like breathing for you. No problem.
So……….. in a last-ditch effort to make it work, you call my psychotherapy practice. You figure, if you do everything right, you can save the relationship.
But I’m not hopeful. Instead, I hear you fooling yourself and settling for less than you deserve.
I know it’s tough medicine, but I’m going to give it to you straight. You deserve to hold others to the same standard you hold yourself.
Soooo in that spirit……
Here are eight lies daughters of narcissistic mothers tell themselves about men and the critical questions they should be asking themselves instead.
From my therapy couch, I see woman after woman convince herself to “settle” for less than she should. Lovely, kind, thoughtful women who deserve so much better. It breaks my heart to see them blind to their own worth.
You see, when a daughter has an impaired mother, she comes by this honestly. Especially if she is in the “good” daughter role with her difficult mother, she is programmed to put another person’s needs ahead of her own.
It’s not true, but because of the insecure attachment style learned in those tender years, they believe it is true.
Come with me to the therapy room and listen to what I hear.
I’m also going to provide you with the empowering question you should be asking.
1.You -“You know John is great. Except, of course, when he isn’t. The good times outnumber the bad.”
What you should be asking yourself instead– Am I always holding on to the good times and trying to forget the bad ones?
2. You- “There is a lot about him I do like, but he doesn’t always come through with his promises.”
What you should be asking yourself instead– Am I hoping his behavior will somehow get better, that lapses are the exception rather than the rule?
3. You-“I think he has a lot on his mind these days.”
What you should be asking yourself instead – Am I always make excuses for him and giving him a pass?
4. You- “He’s trying to change. “
What you should be asking yourself instead. – What evidence do you have that he is doing anything to change besides giving it lip service?
5. You- ”I wish he would talk to someone.”
What you should be asking yourself –Why should I be the one making the effort to see a therapist, paying her fee, sitting on her couch and examining myself? Where is his responsibilty in all this?
6.You- “I’m just going to give it some time and see how things go.”
What you should be asking yourself instead –What about the time I’m wasting when I could be out there meeting someone else who could be a better fit.
7. You-“I know no one is perfect.”
What you should be asking yourself instead– True, no one is perfect but is he reliable, honest and trustworthy?
8.You- “I’m not sure whether to say anything or not. I don’t want to come across as demanding or chase him off.”
What you should be asking yourself instead – Do I know this is an uneven relationship and I’m afraid of confirming the truth by calling the quiestion?
9.You- “I really don’t want to go back out there in the dating pool. You just don’t know how bad it is. I’m not going to find anything better.”
My question to you– Is this ever a good reason for settling for less than you should?
Translation—In one form or another, all these women are saying the same thing:
“I don’t know what to do with my needs in a relationship.”
In fact, I need to disguise, hide or erase my needs altogether. His needs are what is important. This is where my focus will stay.
Can I just tell you how often I hear the ways my clients sell themselves short?
It makes me so sad. I wonder—how could we as women have failed each other so completely that daughter after daughter keeps throwing herself away and selling herself short?
First -let’s take a closer look at the psychodynamics that are running the show and ruining your love life.
From the therapy couch, Ally feels shame as she recalls out loud how she is being treated.
George, her boyfriend, repeatedly lets her down. He promises he will do things and never quite comes through. When Ally protests, George always manages to put her on the defensive and says she is too needy. Ally, not knowing her own self-worth, ends up backing down and can’t bring herself to break it off or speak up for herself.
In therapy, she confesses “I know I shouldn’t take this from him, but I can’t help myself.”
Because… she carries the unconscious assumption that she must make up for her inherent unworthiness by overcompensating and doing more than her fair share in the relationship.
Deep down she feels ashamed that she has any needs at all. She has been unconsciously programmed to put herself last.
And the more she settles for less, the harder it is to see the inequities or to extricate herself from the relationship.
So, what does Mom have to so with it?
The Difficult Mother sends the message to her daughter that the way to be loved is to accommodate and adapt!
And the Good Daughter learns this lesson all too well.
Loving the Difficult mother leaves you feeling unlovable at worst, or that love is conditional at best.
Or Mom, not thinking much of herself, says through her words or example, “Women should settle for less because they don’t deserve equal treatment.”
Here is the all-important truth-
Just because mom was insecure and acted as if she didn’t count doesn’t mean that you have to do the same.
It doesn’t have to be that way unless you believe it does.
I know that sounds easy.
It is simple, but it is not easy.
What if you could wake up from your unconscious slumber? Imagine replacing “settling for less” and “manipulation” in your relationships and date and relate from the place of confidence instead?
Imagine, setting your standards high and opening your heart.
Truth * Men will never step up to the plate if women keep settling for less.
As a psychotherapist to women for the past 30 years, I have found adult daughters of Narcissistic or Borderline Mothers internalize disempowering messages from their mothers. These messages sabotage their well-meaning attempts at finding happiness.
If you have a Narcissistic Mother and take on the role of the “Good Daughter,” you learned that your needs don’t count—
So you either…
1) Work to manipulate a man instead of setting the foundation for a good relationship by being genuine and letting things develop in their own time.
2) Settle for less than you deserve hoping he will come around.
You don’t speak up about the hurt you feel for fear of appearing too needy. And then you find yourself faithfully waiting & hoping. You just want to love and be loved. “Is that asking too much?” you say.
You may feel ashamed that you have any needs at all.
This is because You have been unconsciously programmed to put yourself last. And the more you settle for less, the harder it is to see the inequities or to extricate yourself from an unbalanced relationship. What you can’t see is that “making it work” is both breaking your heart and chipping away at your self-worth, one compromise at a time.
Here is the truth, as I know it—
Just because Mom was insecure ( the core reason for the Narcissistic/Borderline defenses) and relied on manipulation, you don’t have to do the same. When you ask yourself the hard questions that will get to the truth of what is actually going on in your relationship, you protect and value yourself in ways mom couldn’t.
You can grow beyond your Narcissistic or Borderline Mother’s imprinting. Paradoxically, when you stop settling and start valuing yourself, you will attract men who will do the same.
There are some good men out there.
When you give up the Good Daughter role with Mom and yourself – you can embrace your inner feminine power. That power is whole, multidimensional, and SEXY! It starts with you.
I’m going to tell you something your mother couldn’t.
Your essential feminine essence is your truth and your power. Get in touch with her and leave the lies behind for good. You are so much more than good, daughter.
Then you can stop telling yourself lies and gain power from asking the relevant questions. When you do this, you don’t waste your precious time on men who don’t deserve it, and your self-esteem goes through the roof.
Yep- you’ve got this.
Find out if you are trapped in the Good Daughter role here.
This article first appeared in https://psychcentral.com/