Lies Women Tell Themselves When They're Stuck In Relationships With Manipulative Men

Never underestimate the power of denial.

woman sitting on the floor comforted by man DimaBerlin / Shutterstock

People like to say that love is blind, and no saying could be more accurate when it comes to women in emotionally abusive, toxic relationships and marriages with narcissistic men.

Many victims of narcissistic abuse live in a state of perpetual denial, in which they are able to hyper-focus on memories of times when their abuser behaved in ways meant to present themselves as considerate, conscientious, and caring. Early manipulative behaviors like "love bombing" and vivid, typically passionate memories emblazoned on their minds (along with those addictive love chemicals), become the idealistic dream of what was meant to be they just can’t seem to let go of.


Unfortunately, the lies these women tell themselves in an effort to maintain the illusion that they are safe in their own homes and in their closest relationships are a dangerous form of self-harming behavior.

Here are four self-harming lies women in relationships with manipulative men tell themselves. 

1. "If I can show him how much I love him, he'll change."

Deep down, at your core, you believe all inner deficiencies can be healed through your unconditional, dauntless love. If you are hanging on to the ideal of saving the relationship and helping your partner heal with the power of love, think again.


What you're really doing is providing an endless fountain of narcissistic supply, continual attention to feed this toxic condition.



They keep you busy, involved, and preoccupied with their games, mind tricks and manipulation. They consume your mind space. Like a tick, they're under your skin, emotionally bleeding you of health, happiness and well-being. Your dauntless love is merely providing life support for this malignant condition and it’s eating away at all of your healthy parts until eventually all of you will be devoured, and there will no longer be anything left.

RELATED: Why So Many Incredible Women Give Their Hearts To Unkind Men


2. "They're just going through a hard time. Things will get better soon."

People who go through tough times may have short-term changes in behavior, but when behavior follows a consistent pattern of kindness followed by cruelty over time, you know this is not them merely struggling with a tough issue, but someone who has a persistent, long-term pattern of abnormal — and abusive — behaviors and personality traits.

This can lead to the formation of a trauma bond, which psychologist Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford describes as occurring "when you go through periods of intense love and excitement with a person followed by periods of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment."



RELATED: If The Person You Love Has These 5 Personality Traits, You May Be Under The Spell Of A Narcissist


3. "They're not being themselves. They were never like this before."

What's really going on is that you can’t let go of the image of the person you thought they were — but they are who they've always been.

Review the evidence: Is he interested in how you feel? Does he respond with concern when you point out how hurt you feel after an argument? Does he validate your opinions when you describe your frustration with the relationship?

Or, does he minimize your feelings and tell you it’s in your head?

4. "I can’t give up on him."

Understand the difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough. The two are very different. Know when you’ve had enough and find the strength to set boundaries.




This is difficult if you are a person who sticks with things, through good times and bad, through sickness and health. You believe these are truths, that there are no true reasons to give up or give in to because doing so admits personal defeat. Failure. This thinking will only keep you stuck.

Quite likely you’ve been successful at most things you’ve put your mind to. You likely have set a goal and achieved it through hard work, determination and perseverance. You’ve lived by the old adage 'shoot for the moon.' Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Saving your relationship is just one more goal to achieve, and you will achieve it. Even if it kills you.

Don’t let it. You can’t save this relationship. You're not setting your sights on the moon; you’re setting them on another solar system.


The narcissistic abuser cannot be cured by love, compassion or unwavering commitment.

You’ve likely come to realize the narcissistic abuser isn't interested in trying to heal themselves or fix the relationship. Maybe you’ve even let it seep into your consciousness, but your denial is trying to exorcise this awareness of truth back out.

Are you able to see that this person is not interested in a collaborative solution and doesn't truly believe that both parties are equal and can each have their needs met?

Maybe you don’t feel like you’re worthy of equality. Maybe, after years of being torn down and propped back up momentarily, only to be torn down again, you actually believe you are inferior and can’t expect to have an outcome that includes both parties getting their needs met.




Accept the situation as it is rather than fighting to change it and acknowledge the damage that has been done. Then you can begin the healing process.

RELATED: 11 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In Relationships That People Tragically Overlook

Joanne Brothwell, BSW, MSW, RSW, ACC, is a licensed therapist and social worker with more than 20 years of clinical experience providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families.