The Three Letter Love Trap

Image result for heart in a trap

It was your devotion and belief in a four letter word that led to you being targeted by us and thereafter ensnared. That was not your fault. We look for those who want love, who believe in love and dedicate themselves to the pursuit of the provision and receipt of love. Love is what caused you to appear on my radar. Love caused my antennae to twitch. Love made me lock my sights on you and commence the bombardment. Yes, love brought you to me but it is an even smaller word which prevents you from escaping. This tiny word packs plenty of bang behind its three letters. It is a word which punches above its weight. This word is one of qualification, hesitation and reservation. It causes hearts to sink and hearts to hammer in anxiety. It dashes hopes and puts in place obstacles and hurdles. This little word is one which prevents you from breaking free from our grip. It allows excuses to be made for our behaviour. It puts the brakes on, it weighs the anchor and digs in the heels. Just when you thought that you might be making some progress and getting away from our vile influence, this word appears and brings everything to a screeching halt. We often deploy this word in order to halt you when you are trying to speak. We add it to our conversations in order to protest or to create a condition precedent in order to irritate, upset and annoy you. It conveys indignation, annoyance and surprise. So much flows from such a small word. Whilst we have multiple uses for it, its primary purpose in keeping you where we want you, in our grip, confused and bewildered arises from your use of this word. You say it many times by reference to us and its effect is to cause you to question yourself. It nullifies the progress you may have made in moving away from our polluting influence. It hinders, distracts and ensures you remain bogged down. This word is repeatedly used by you, with reference to us and if you consider how many times you have used this word yourself, you will agree that its effect is considerable.

          What is this word?


There it is. Look at that word. Three letters. That is all it comprises of. No grand, long word. No multiple syllables. To the point. Blunt. Effective. Small, unassuming and common. But it carries with it so much power and especially so in respect of the dynamic between your kind and our kind. This is the word which paralyses, hinders and traps. You use it all the time. We know you do. We rely on you doing so to make these traps for yourself. There are many of these traps.


“But he can be so lovely at other times.”

“But I am sure he didn’t mean it.”

“But sometimes I upset him.”

“But we have been so happy together.”

“But he said he wanted to marry me.”

“But it just doesn’t make sense.”

“But if I perhaps try a little harder then everything will work out okay won’t it?”

“But I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“But why does he do that?”

“But what causes him to say those things after everything I do for him.”

“But all I need is to understand what makes him do that.”

“But if I give him another chance, I am sure it will succeed this time.”

“But if I don’t try, how will I know?”

“But we are soulmates, that is what he said.”

“But what I don’t understand is why he does that when he tells me loves me?”

“But this is what I want. Him and me.”

“But there are times when we are happy.”

“But he is just misunderstood.”

“But we always do things as a family.”

“But he is my son.”

“But she is my mother.”

“But he is my husband.”

“But I don’t want to upset her.”

“But I don’t want to lose him.”

“But I cannot stand it without him.”

“But I don’t know what to do next.”

“But whatever I do, it is never good enough.”

“But if only he would listen to me and then we could sort it out.”

“But if he could change, then everything would be brilliant.”

“But what if she makes him happy instead.”

“But if I stop now, everything else that I have done will go to waste.”

“But doesn’t everybody have a rough patch?”

“But who will believe me?”

“But where would I go?”

“But what would I do for money?”

“But if you would just try for us.”

“But if I don’t give him another chance, I will always regret it.”

“But you don’t know him like I do.”

“But this is what is meant to be, her and me together forever.”

“But sometimes I am so happy because of him.”

“But if you would just let me speak.”

“But why do you do this to me?”


“But I love him.”



How many of those have you said to yourself or to a friend? How many times have you started a sentence with those three words? How often have you sat crying and in between sobs muttered phrases like those? How many times have you pleaded with us using that word as part of your desperate begging? Many, many times.

Whether it appears as part of an excuse, part of bewildered disbelief, the beginning of an explanation, it serves to do one thing. It stops you escaping us. This qualification to what you are saying acts as a buffer preventing you from moving forward and making progress. It causes you to offer excuses for our behaviour rather than you knowing what such behaviour signifies. It is used as a means of avoiding confronting the harsh reality of our treatment of you. It is a method of circumventing the unpleasantness of having to deal with what we are. It is a device for continuing to keep you in a position where you cannot and will not let go. Whether it is because you want to help us, whether to gain answers about what we do, whether it is because you think that the golden period can be recovered or one of a dozen or more explanations which involve the use of this word, the ultimate effect is that it keeps you connected, tied and bound to us in some way. This word is your prison guard that prevents you from escaping the cell that we have created for you. It is you who uses this word, not us. It is you that in effect curtails your own liberation by the repeated spraying around of this tiny word by reference to us and our behaviours.

It is highly effective at trapping you.

It is highly effective at stopping you moving forward.

It is highly effective at allowing our manipulations to continue.

But we know this don’t we?


21 thoughts on “The Three Letter Love Trap

  1. Cara says:

    “But she said she’s sorry” (and I always do, so convincingly)

    “But she promised to get help for her anger issues” (and I did promise to get help for the anger issues, I just never actually got that help)

    “But she’s family” (said a cousin 10 years ago when I was drunk at her wedding and deserved to be asked to leave)

    “But she wouldn’t fuck me over AGAIN”, (oh, but I would)

  2. Rainbow says:

    Two recent text hoovers contained the word “but”.

    “Miss you but need your help!”

    “Miss you but I have a business idea and together we can make a killing!”

    I am not falling for either of them, and have maintained no contact for nearly 8 months now, even though he’s been trying everything to get a response.

    Why does he use the word “but” in this context? Is there any significance to using the word here, if so what is its purpose?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      To diminish the use of miss you in order to give you in effect a back-handed compliment to let you know what he really thinks of you, but if you raised that with him, he would deny it by saying, “but I said I miss you”

  3. Abita Jacques says:

    Got another 3 letter word for the narc–BYE!

  4. Indy says:

    In DBT (and CBT) we talk about identifying the “Buts” we use and think and replacing them with “Ands”. the reason is that when you use “but” you erase/dismiss/discount the previous immediate thought. When you use “and”, you are able to combine two seemingly opposite thoughts into a more truthful reality and problem solve.

    Nice point here, HG!!! Look for the “but”. (Mind went into gutter, but you know what I mean)😂

  5. Lisa says:

    This is great! Gunna put some real thought into this. But for you in my life (narc), I would have been very happy thank you! Sounds like a good start!
    Thanks HG.

  6. Starr says:

    Yes the I’m so sorry I’m so fucked up . I’m destined to be alone because of my flaws . You did not deserve this .

  7. 1jaded1 says:


  8. Blackwidow says:

    But you underestimated my strength.
    But you were right: “you were like no other man I had been or will ever be with”.
    But even your mom told me “better to be alone”.
    But you should really keep the mask on: what’s beneath will scare you if you saw it though my lens.
    But you are really a ghost.
    But there is an abundant nectar supply within me and you can’t get any of it.
    But you are now a permanent resident at the pet cemetery.

  9. orangelorry says:

    could he still be a narc if he never said “I love you”? (with the chasing and devaluing cycles recurring on and off for almost three years?)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes he could Orangelorry, there are may other ways to seduce without needing to say “i love you”.

  10. Snow White says:

    BUT it was what was keeping me from going forward.
    It kept me in the cell.
    That was what stuck out to me. Total truth.
    I said so many along with the crying and begging.

  11. I got another three words for you….

    1. LOVE this song!

  12. The Punisher says:

    But he’s helping me.

  13. DGMB says:

    But YOU (the narc) started it.

    You continuously counter questions of your behavior we give with the so called word salad gaslighting use of this seemingly innocuous conjunction.

    Let’s look at the grammatical use of the word: The same is true with the conjunction but. A sentence beginning with and or but will tend to draw attention to itself and its transitional function. Writers should examine such sentences with two questions in mind: (1) would the sentence and paragraph function just as well without the initial conjunction? (2) should the sentence in question be connected to the previous sentence? If the initial conjunction still seems appropriate, use it; a) To suggest a contrast that is unexpected in light of the first clause: “Joey lost a fortune in the stock market, but he still seems able to live quite comfortably.”, b) To suggest in an affirmative sense what the first part of the sentence implied in a negative way (sometimes replaced by on the contrary): “The club never invested foolishly, but used the services of a sage investment counselor.”, c) To connect two ideas with the meaning of “with the exception of” (and then the second word takes over as subject): “Everybody but Goldenbreath is trying out for the team.”

    “But I never said that.”
    “But so and so likes it.”
    “But everybody does that.”
    “But that doesn’t make sense.”
    “But you used to… blah blah.”
    “But I love you.”
    “But she doesn’t mean anything to me.”
    “But you always… blah blah.”
    “But we always used to… blah blah.”
    “But you changed.”
    “But you like that. I know you do.”
    “But you just don’t remember.”
    “But everyone else does it.”
    “But you said…”
    “But Im not like everyone else.”
    “But I never do that. You do.”
    “But she’s crazy.”
    “But that is all bullshit.”
    “But I told you… blah blah.”

    Then WE begin to question ourselves, “But he said he would never do that…”

    All I gotta say is… kiss my butt.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Very good.

      1. DGMB says:

        Thank you. But… I’m sure you knew that. 😉

  14. But it was what kept me alive so long…

  15. yogagal2013 says:

    Wow…pegged. Never again.

  16. CC says:

    Or, this is what my narc would say to convince me to come back to him….

    “But I didn’t mean it.”

    “But we have been so happy together.”

    “But it just doesn’t make sense for us not be together.”

    “But would if I try a little harder?”

    “But I didn’t do anything wrong.”

    “But I don’t know what me to say those things after everything you do for me.”

    “But all I need is you to understand what makes me do that.”

    “But if you give me another chance, I am sure it will succeed this time.”

    “But if you don’t try, how will you know?”

    “But we are soulmates.”

    “But I tell you I love you all the time.”

    “But this is what I want. You and me, you will always belong to me.”

    “But there are times when we are happy.”

    “But you just misunderstood me.”

    “But we always do things as a family.”

    “But you are my wife.”

    “But I cannot stand it without you.”

    “But I don’t know what to do next.”

    “But whatever I do, it is never good enough.”

    “But would if I could change?”

    “Everything that I have done will go to waste.”

    “But doesn’t everybody have a rough patch?”

    “But if you would just try for us.”

    “But if you don’t give me another chance, you might regret it.”

    “But no one else knows you like I do.”

    “But I love you, and I will never stop loving you.”

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

Found in Translation

Next article

Black Flag Waving