Another common weapon narcissists use is withholding their love. It is done to confuse the victim and to gain control of a situation. It is a passive/aggressive and immature behavior.
If the narcissist married or romantically involved with the victim, the narcissist may refuse sex or even simple affection such as holding hands or a kiss on the cheek. If the narcissist is the parent, victim a child, the narcissist may avoid touching the child. In any relationship, the narcissist will avoid doing nice gestures or saying nice things to the victim. Any gesture that can be construed as loving will be stopped by the narcissist.
The victim is supposed to realize something is wrong, and apologize to the narcissist for whatever they did in order to regain their affection. The narcissist believes you should know what you did, therefore he or she should not have to tell you. You should know, realize you were completely wrong and figure out how to make it up to this person.
There are a couple of healthy ways to deal with this abusive behavior…
- Ignore it. Asking “What’s wrong?” only will lead to more manipulation and abuse. The narcissist will see this tactic gets this person what they want, so he or she will use it more often. It is better for you to pretend you have not noticed anything out of the ordinary is happening. Besides, chances are he or she will get tired of it and return to normal behavior at some point. (Well, as normal as a narcissist can behave anyway…)
- Remember, if an adult refuses to discuss a problem in a mature manner, that is not your fault. You cannot force someone to do anything, including talking through and working out problems. If you have asked what is wrong and this person refuses to discuss it, your job is done.
- Always remember, when dealing with a narcissist, you are not dealing with a normal person. The things that work with a normal person do not work with a narcissist.
- Ask God for creative ways to cope. He will NOT disappoint you!