Redress with the Red Dress

Put it on. Put it on just for me. Yes, this one. You are stood in our bedroom as I emerge from the walk in wardrobe to the right where your clothes are kept. My walk-in wardrobe is to the left. All my things are to the left. I sleep on the left (when I allow you into the bed), I use the left-hand wash basin of the two in the ensuite and I always lead with my left hand, but that are matters for another time. You are stood in your underwear. White and pure, just like that heart of yours as you adjust your hair in the full-length mirror that occupies one corner of the room. The room is low lit, nothing is out of place in our bedroom and it almost seems like a film set such is the setting and order. I stand and regard you as I hold the coathanger from which the expensive red dress hangs. You have put put your black high heels on which I approve of, since the definition of those toned calves can be appreciated. Not only do those calves look appealing they remind the observer that you can run and run fast. My eyes move upwards and see the dimming bruise on your left thigh, the only blemish on your otherwise elegant thighs, thighs that part at my command and reveal your sensual heaven between them. Your bottom is covered by the simple cotton panties and for a moment the desire to land a smack of firm governance on your bottom rises. The image forms again in my mind as I picture you bent over, touching your toes and waiting for the discipline that you have come to accept and, as I knew you would, embrace. You turn, twisting at the hip as I hold the dress out in front of me. Your breasts are cupped by the white bra, again simple in design and in keeping with the purity you exhibit to the world outside our walls, although of course I know different. I know what you are and I know what rages beneath that seemingly placid exterior. I know precisely what you are and I have dedicated myself to ensuring that it is kept in check and under control, for your sake.

Your neck is slender and around it is a silver chain from which a locket hangs. The chain is not ostentatious but is delicate, like its wearer. As you look at the dress your right-hand rises and absent-mindedly fingers the dangling locket, your neat manicured nails tapping against the solid silver encasing which holds – well we both know what lies in there don’t we? You chew your lip as you continue to study the dress. Your lipstick is the same-shade as the garment which I am presenting to you. You spend at least twenty minutes applying your make-up. Unlike others your make-up defines rather than covers up and that is something which I approve of.  You did not wear make-up when we first met. you felt you had no need of it and in some respects that was right but I promised that I would improve you and guide you and I delivered on my promise. As I always do. It is right that you show them those inviting lips, round blue eyes and defined cheek bones. Let them look but understand you can never let them touch. Your blonde-hair frames your face just right, the platinum-blonde hairs falling neatly down. It once was long and extended down your back but I warned you how this made you such easy prey for those that lurk in the shadows. A dirt-smeared hand would always make a grab for those long locks and the consequences are not worth considering. You resisted at first since you took such pride in those long strands of hair but eventually you accepted and conceded as you began to understand that I had your best interests at heart. You have always been trim but I encouraged you to attend aerobics classes to ensure that there was a tautness about your frame which provided a degree of edge in order to dissuade would be suitors.

You continue to study the dress and I allow you this moment to do so, the pretence that you have any choice in what you shall be wearing. It is elegant and suits your figure without revealing too much of your cleavage so that wandering eyes linger there in your delicious valley for too long. The dress is of a length which suggests it is on trend yet it covers those thighs (and the bruise) and ensures that the wolves do not come sniffing at your door.

“Yes,” you confirm, “that is the one.”

I smile at your acceptance of my suggestion. It was not always the case. You resisted my suggestions and guidance in the beginning but eventually you realised that to do so would only result in those things which you do not like to talk about happening. You finally grasped that I was looking out for you and was guiding you. I emphasised your need to appear attractive and respectable as my ambassador without drawing the salacious looks and comments which would undermine someone of your purity. You railed against it for some time but in the end you realised that the sacrifice of this independence was a price worth paying to continue to bask in the light from my golden sun. You slide the dress over your head, taking care not to disturb your hair too much and shimmy it down over your figure. Those small hands smooth it into place and I step forward, zipping the dress up for you. I stand back again and motion for you to turn around. You do so with accustomed ease, rotating slowly so I can appraise you and ascertain your suitability for entering the world as my representative. I give a nod.

“Yes, you may go out tonight Rebecca,” I approve. You curtsey. It is not a mocking gesture but rather one of respect and acknowledgement because ultimately I always achieve my redress.

81 thoughts on “Redress with the Red Dress

  1. Bibi says:

    HG, was gonna tell you how excellent this title is. It reminded me of Wallace Stevens’ Le Monocle de Mon Oncle. Just a really clever play on words. Love it.

    Also, put it on. Hmm. Where did you get that? Homage to DM’s Blue Dress (a very sexy song, BTW).

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  2. Eternity says:

    This reminds me of the song The Lady In Red by Chris De Burgh. Never liked it.

  3. Eternity says:

    I enjoyed listening to this HG. It did sound however that the Narcissist has OCD ,everything has to be perfect including the lady in red.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, that is just the manifestation of control.

    2. Witch says:

      OCD doesn’t have anything to do with controlling others or perfection. Depending on how the illness manifests it may mean that people living with the sufferer has to keep something a certain way or not do something to avoid the sufferer becoming distressed but it’s not about controlling others. There is usually a pathological fear behind the behaviour so for example someone might believe that if they don’t arrange the crucifixes on their wall in a certain way something bad will happen, or they feel like something bad will happen if they don’t step in and out the shower 20 times before taking a shower. That’s very different from “wear this dress for me because I like it and because I said so.”

  4. njfilly says:

    Dear Mr. HG Tudor:

    I have just listened to your analysis of this article on youtube. That was very helpful. I don’t think I heard you mention any of the behaviors of the narcissist to be a devaluation of the victim (unless I missed it). Would you say this scenario represents a relationship dynamic within the golden period or after devaluation has started?

    Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Respite Period.

      1. njfilly says:

        Then devaluation has started. Would there be this level of control within the Golden Period?

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. njfilly says:

            Thank you. One last off topic question, if I may; I have read your opinion concerning borderline personality disorder. What is your opinion of bipolar disorder? Do you believe it exists, or do you believe it to be a misdiagnosis of a traumatized empath?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            It exists.

          3. njfilly says:

            Ok, thank you for your response although I am disappointed to read it.

          4. StrongerWendy says:

            “…Then devaluation has started. Would there be this level of control within the Golden Period?

            HG: No…”

            Interesting! So, the narc suppresses controlling behaviors towards the appliance (or things that are overtly controlling and apparent/possibly off-putting to the appliance) in the golden period?

          5. HG Tudor says:

            The narcissist still controls during the golden period but it does not manifest as so obviously controlling because of the risk of adversely affecting that control.

          6. StrongerWendy says:

            Ok, thank you

        2. A Victor says:

          During the golden period, woven in between the stuff I liked, the narc I was involved with told me all the rules, expectations, how he likes things etc. Criticized his ex’s for not living up to them. But we were only ever online so he had no opportunity to implement any of them. But I knew what they were for sure and I think it would have only gotten worse had we met.

          1. njfilly says:

            You experienced an online only golden period? What did it consist of? What made it golden? Or was it simply the absence of devaluing behaviors?

          2. A Victor says:

            It was constant emails, thousands over 2-3 months, all day and night. Also, hours on the phone every day except one or two. When I say hours, I mean up to 10-12, 7-8 most days, never less than 4. There was all kinds of what I think now is called mirroring, future faking (tons!), compliments, sweet talk, definitive/decisive action talk, defending of me to whoever, what I know now to be triangulation, sex talk (he is very good at this, I think he’s a cerebral) etc. This was the good stuff. It was not only not devaluing, it was absolutely encouraging to get me sucked into his world, into him. It was fun, he was funny, it was informative, he is intelligent, I loved it.

          3. njfilly says:

            Interesting. I don’t think I have ever spoken to one person for 10 hours. He would have to be extremely intelligent and interesting to keep my attention for that long.

            Well, it’s good you never got involved with him in real life.

          4. A Victor says:

            njfilly, I would attempt to get off the phone to sleep, sometimes, and he would quickly come up with something else to talk about. It was crazy. Once I actually fell asleep, and snored gently, he was a bit offended. But, it was pretty funny. I mean, it was like 4 am and I work! But often, the hours, though consecutive in the evening, were also spread throughout the course of a day, sometimes starting in the morning. So it wasn’t like 10 hours all at one time, at the most 8 I think at the longest straight stretches. Please understand, I am living in a situation that allows for that kind of phone time at this time. Once things change, that will also. The calls were a nice break from the situation I live in currently and we shared similarities in some of that, both being temporary situations. As such, I was a prime target, looking for an escape as well as being an empath.

          5. njfilly says:

            A Victor: That’s so funny that you fell asleep! Yet he still didn’t get the hint.

            I was not judging you at all about those long phone conversations. I was just putting myself into the scenario, as I will often do.

            The conversations served their purpose at that time. I’m glad you were not victimized further.

          6. A Victor says:

            njfilly, yes, it was particularly hilarious to me in the course of listening to HG’s “The Empath’s Riposte Grenades”!

            I didn’t mean to get defensive. Right now I am feeling like I don’t have much of a life and can see that spending that much time on the phone looks that way. But, it is only temporary and I don’t need to worry, thank you.

            I am thankful to have not been victimized further, though he did call yesterday and I’ve been fighting urges to respond. He did make my life more interesting. But, the end result could be devastating if I were to respond, so I will continue to resist. Thank you for the chat!

  5. Bibi says:

    I listened to this last night. The narcissist’s words made me uncomfortable. The descriptions didn’t fit me. My nails are not manicured, I have not worn makeup since the pandemic hit (face mask, what’s the point), my calves need a shaving, I would break both my ankles in those shoes and that dress would make me feel awkward.

    But I have had narcs in my life do some of those things–telling me what to wear and how to dress. Mostly to dress ‘sluttier’, which I never cared for. I felt outside myself. The narc who nicknamed me pb (chem symbol for lead) also used to call me ‘pilgrim’ and ‘puritan’ b/c I didn’t dress like the chick in the pic.

    (He is the same guy who got angry when my legs were unshaved and why am I listening to the Indigo Girls? That is what fat ugly lesbians listen to!)

    1. Another Cat says:

      I remember Bibi, my first boyfriend, the nicest Midrange narc (as nice as a narcissist can be, very stealth behaviours) listened to the Indigo Girls. Amidst all the million hours of Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd. I have to say he is the most reasonable narc I’ve met. He often wanted me to wear pants instead of all my dresses and skirts. But I never really caught on to trousers. After me he met a cute looking narc girl. They lasted for 17 years.
      He inspired my musical taste very much.

  6. Violetta says:

    Every time that I sell myself to you
    I feel a little bit cheaper than I need to
    I will tear the petals off of you
    Rose red, I will make you tell the truth
    Was she asking for it?
    Was she asking nice?
    If she was asking for it
    Did she ask you twice?
    Every time that I stare into the sun
    Angel dust and my dress just comes undone
    Every time that I stare into the sun
    Be a model or just look like one
    Wild eye rot gut do me in
    Do you think you can make me do it again?
    Was she asking for it?
    Was she asking nice?
    If she was asking for it
    Did she ask you twice?
    If you live through this with me
    I swear that I would die for you
    And if you live through this with me
    I swear that I would die for you
    Was she asking for it?
    Was she asking nice?
    If she was asking for it
    Did she ask you twice?
    Was she asking for it?
    Was she asking nice?
    If she was asking for it
    Did she ask you twice?

    – Hole

  7. lickemtomorrow says:

    Very erotic.

    And descriptive.

    And prescriptive.

    And controlling.

    And confronting.

  8. A Victor says:

    No jeans/pants and no panties under dresses, for easy access in all situations, public and private. He picks all the clothes for his partner, sex in the dressing room is part of the deal. Forcing mini-skirts to gloat “it’s all mine” in front of other men but then coming back jealous that they looked. Taking offense at and ignoring “provocatively dressed” women within 20 feet but then using binoculars at the beach to watch the naked women on the yacht. It seems nice that they take an interest in how we present ourselves but in the end it is not.

  9. JB says:

    Are you left handed, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am ambidextrous. I am even-handed with all I do!

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Haha, HG 🙂

        Very clever.

      2. JB says:

        Ha ha, very good!

      3. Eternity says:

        Put those calves to use and run fast from the Narcissist!

  10. njfilly says:

    Dear Mr. HG Tudor:

    Why do you prefer the left? When you say you lead with your left hand are you referring to dancing?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is slightly stronger than the right. No, I am not, I referring to combat.

      1. Leigh says:

        I might be sorry I asked this question, but here goes anyway. How did she get the bruise?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Crashed into furniture during vigorous sex.

          1. Leigh says:

            Oh my! At least she was having fun!

          2. JB says:

            Bloody hell! 😲

          3. Eternity says:

            Ha ha since the Narcissist is so organized with having everything in place, he should move things away when having sex .

        2. JB says:

          Leigh, I didn’t dare ask! 😂

          1. Leigh says:

            Lol! I had to ask especially since he mentioned it twice in the article. Sometimes I can’t curb my curiosity!

          2. JB says:

            Leigh, I almost asked too! My curiosity gets the better of me as well!

      2. njfilly says:

        Oh, I see. Thank you for responding. Your answer regarding combat does make more sense.

        Why do you prefer the left side of the closet, bed, and bathroom?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is not a preference per se but rather a uniform choice to delineate territory and assert control.

          1. njfilly says:

            Interesting. That makes sense. I viewed it as possibly a biblical context.

            If I may ask two more questions:
            1) Do you draw your bow with your right hand or left?
            2) Will you spank me with your right hand or left?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            1. Either.

          3. Violetta says:

            Njfilly’s in Castle Anthrax mode again.

          4. A Victor says:

            Is “marking territory” a typical narc thing? It was always about the biting to mark his territory, thank God I never met him.

          5. HG Tudor says:

            It is a manifestation of control.

          6. njfilly says:

            Ha ha! Violetta, good one!

            Also accurate.


          7. lickemtomorrow says:


            Katniss Everdeen would be jealous 😉

          8. Violetta says:

            Left side of the bed as you face it from the foot, or left side sitting against the headboard?

          9. HG Tudor says:

            In it.

          10. njfilly says:

            That works out perfectly because I prefer the right side of the bed.

      3. lickemtomorrow says:

        Well, all my romantic notions just went out the window!

        1. Truthseeker6157 says:


          Play fighting? That can be kinda fun.

          Bit of jab wriggle and squirm?

          (Off to boxing to secure the advantage. 💪)

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            I’ve always like the idea of fencing. Holding the opponent off with the tip of my sword. Disarming them with skill and grace. Having said that, I’d sure like to land a punch or two on my narc-ex’s! Boxing could be the way to go 😉

          2. Asp Emp says:

            LET, I saw your comment RE: boxing (and the reason why you’d take it up). Mine would be baseball as me thinks the ball first…….. 😉

        2. JB says:

          You took the words out of my mouth, LET! 😂

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Haha, JB, we’re empaths so we’re suckers for romance <3

            There's a little reminder to get it under control.

          2. JB says:

            LET, yep! That’s where I went wrong to start with! 😂 x

        3. A Victor says:

          Any romantic notions I had about any narcissist went out the window at sentence 7 of this article.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            I had to count the sentences! Was it the part about allowing you into the bed?

            I’m not sure what would be worse. Not allowing you in or getting out of the bed to sleep somewhere else. Either spells rejection. And either is going to hurt.

            I think I’d go 40/60 on this one … getting out of the bed would be more hurtful to me.

          2. A Victor says:

            That was the sentence when it went from him helping her “choose” what to wear to him being nasty to her. It probably didn’t matter what the nastiness was, just that it turned the whole story into a negative at that point.

            I think either would be bad. I like to sleep in my own bed so for me being kicked out of it might be worse. Both are rejections and cruel.

          3. Asp Emp says:

            To A Victor – I don’t have room for a narcissist in my Queen sized bed! I like my space LOL.

            I recall saying that to that sasquatch of a neighbour when she came to “introduce” herself to me after a week I moved into my house. I’m laughing cos I came out with one of my own grenades at her when she asks “who’s moving in with you?” and I say “just me and my dog” and she replies (in TYPICAL narcissist response) “Oh, isn’t it a big house for one person”. My grenade? Ah, bless, it hit her in her face. “I like my space”. Slam Bam! LOL. She knew then that she cant fk with me……

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Ha, just goes to prove how shit at maths I am 😛

            The ‘nastiness’ reminds me of the iron fist in the velvet glove. Few words are spoken. We are privy to the narcissist’s thoughts and it’s only in the final sentence spoken by the narcissist that we literally hear the level of control being applied as he gives her permission to go out. It piques my interest to know what would have happened if she had disagreed. Then I think we would have seen the iron fist.

            The bed, in my mind, would always be ‘our’ bed. I think that’s why I would feel the sense of rejection more acutely if he was to leave it. Leaving is always harder for me than refusing me entry.

          5. A Victor says:

            LET, good catch on the bed! I’ve been alone for so long it didn’t even occur to me that it would be “our” bed, if I had someone to either leave or kick me out! Lol!

            Yes, the iron fist in a velvet glove is a powerful way to picture this dynamic.

            Asp Emp, kudos on handling the neighbor that way!

            And there is no room in my bed for a narc either but, hopefully, for someone not a narc, someday.

      4. Renarde says:



  11. MF says:

    That’s the thing with behavioral modification and conditioning. You can know it’s happening all you want; it doesn’t change the results.

  12. fierceness says:

    The best reply is no reply. Your energy. His fuel.
    Rule: 1.

    1. janaa38 says:

      Hi fierceness, I am not in contact with that ex narc, that was many years ago, he gets no reply from me any longer. He has long been disconnected from this supply 😞

  13. nikitalondon says:

    This post will be painful for every woman who has been involved in a relationship where you are being told what to wear and how.

  14. Sheila says:

    This one made me shudder, HG. Too many buried memories came to the surface while reading this.

  15. MLA-Clarece says:

    This became a very demoralizing aspect. I was frequently instructed how to wear my hair, how much make-up, especially shade of lipstick. Sometimes I’d play along if I was in the mood to make light of it. Sometimes I’d purposely stay light on the make-up and be au naturelle to make him really see me. This is where he would get a very dark side with ideas for me “modeling” for him. Too degrading to put publicly. What started as exciting exploring led to manipulation of do this or I’m bored and don’t want to see you…
    Yeah, this was a painful post to read, because an inch of giving in turns to miles and miles.

  16. nikitalondon says:

    Ive also been there being told what to wear and what not to wear.. Where to go and where not to go…. Common behaviour.
    Very descriptive and interesting article.
    So well written it wakens up the memories in no time..

  17. bethany7337 says:

    I delighted in dressing to please him and he certainly enjoyed the dresses I so love to wear. Yes, the attentiveness to clothing and hair was nice. I know I was attractive to him and he to me…bodies don’t lie.

    Janaa38 your description of yiur evening out and being left at the restaurant gave me chills…I had many similar experiences.

    Today If some jerk pulled that crap on me the relationship would be SO over.

  18. T says:

    This stuff started on our second date. I was to wear dresses “little black dresses” or sundresses and always with a push up bra (which I didn’t need-I’m a 38DD!). In passing he mentioned he didn’t care for me in jeans….(even though I wore skinny jeans and high heels on our first 2 dates). I thought he was kidding….

    Fast forward a month into being exclusive….I wore skinny jeans and a lovely pair of pump on a date w him. I was told this: “Babe, didn’t I tell you I don’t like you in jeans or pants? Only one of us wears the pants in this relationship-and that’s ME!!”
    He wasn’t kidding….

  19. notquiteanarc says:

    Hmmm…this could also apply to a BDSM relationship. When the Dom and Sub dynamics seep out of the bedroom and into aspects of everyday life, what you describe often occurs. Interesting that this also occurs with N’s, I have not encountered this.

  20. janaa38 says:

    To the left, to the left
    To the left, to the left
    To the left, to the left
    Everything you own in the box to the left
    To the left, to the left
    Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking
    You’re irreplaceable…..Beyoncé

    Such is requited love……that was rather erotic in nature HG and as always, perfectly written.
    I smiled at photo of the dress, I have a similar dress in red and black, simple, classy and elegant, yet understated. Does the scenario you just painted with such devoting words, occur in the beginning of your relationships, or throughout them? When you say guide, you mean control? When you say chose, you mean demand?

    My 1st narc was very appearance conscious, he spent more time getting ready then I did. He wore more jewellery then I did as well, I do not like a man who wears a chain, so I ensured that was gone. As small concession on his part, for all the removals he made in me.

    Before, we would go out to dinner or drinks, he would not sit down, so as not wrinkle his neatly pressed shirt and such. I would say, as soon as you get In the car and put your seat belt on, that effort is defeated…he would simply sneer at me. He would never allow me to buy him clothes. He would chose clothes he liked me to wear that made me look attractive, yet not too appealing to other men. He would insist, in the manner as you do HG, subtle persuasion, as he knew best.

    I recall one time we had gone for dinner, then moved to the bar for drinks following. The bar had chessboards incorporated on the tables. We played, at one point a waiter came over to address our drinks situation. He noticed I was more successful In the game and commented such, with a smile to me. I saw my N’s face, of displeasure. After the waiter left he removed all pieces from the board and didn’t talk to me for twenty minutes. I tried to engage him, it was embarrassing, as others sitting around us had noticed his silence to me and my somewhat desperation to engage him. Finally, he contemptuously, looked at me and said I need another drink. I said, let me, I will go to the bar and get us drinks. There was an unusually long line for drinks. As a I stood there, I felt his eyes on me. So I turned to look towards him. I knew he was getting angry that it was talking to so long.
    Finally, the waiter requested my drink order. He didn’t quite know how to prepare my drink, so I directed him and I must have said something humorous as he laughed quite loudly. I knew, without turning what my N would be thinking. So I didn’t turn to look at him, but waited for the drinks.
    When I returned to the table, he calmly asked me, what I was doing with the bartender? I said , you know already, getting our drinks. He then proceeded to his lowly tirade…on how I was flirting, making him laugh and smile at me, that everyone in the room could see my shameful behaviour and it was most unbecoming of his wife. He then insisted I only offered to get the drinks, as a I fancied the bartender, who happened to be the one who commented on our chess game. He quickly finished his drink, got up for the table and walked out, leaving me sat there. After a few minutes, I collected my coat and purse and walked to the parking area where our car was, he had left. He left me there, I recall sitting on a stone bench outside, as I called for a cab, to bring me home. Trying so hard, to keep my tears inside so no one passing by me would see my distress.
    Once home, he had the doors locked and dead bolted. He was in our bed, and from my estimation pretending to sleep. When I tried to talk to him or touch him, he ignored me. Only, at one point, saying, go to sleep, Jana, you know what you have done. I won’t be touching you tonight. I then went to the downstairs Bathroom and cried and returned to bed.
    I never slept all night. In the morning, he was fine, like nothing had happened. I wasn’t In the same state. I chalked it up to jealousy at the time, an inappropriate response to my behaviour, as he deemed it. He never physically hurt me that night, but the emotional coldness and intentional abandonment, stung as if he had. Obviously, I needed to learn my place. Obviously, I never did.

    But, yes, he had lovely taste in clothing and always choose the most flattering outfits for me.
    It is so nice when a man is attentive to his partners appearance, isn’t it?

    I bleed–
    For your perversity–
    These red words that make a stain
    On your white-washed claim that
    She was out of line
    And you were not to blame.—– Joni Mitchell

    1. kj says:

      I am so sorry that that happened to you janaa38. I have also been treated so. I know from first hand experience that space.

      It takes something from you, doesn’t it? Something irreplaceable. As much as I can now say that I will never be in that position again, I have still lost a part of myself in the process.

      I wish you healing and peace and much joy.


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