The Three Letter Love 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?


73 thoughts on “The Three Letter Love Trap

  1. mistynolan01 says:

    It’s time for another live stream, Tudor the Great.

    I promise to behave and be serious. It’s hard not to flirt with you, though. Seems I have a thing about flirting with danger that I MUST overcome.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. mistynolan01 says:

        Can’t wait.

  2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    That ‘but’ will get ya everytime!

    Bottom line: Stop rationalizing and making up excuses for people. Don’t say but say bye lol.

    1. RS says:

      YES! “Bye” is my new favorite three letter word! 😉

  3. M. says:

    “But he reminds me of me. He has parts of me in him. He is a part of me. And I cannot hurt myself, now, can I?”

  4. ava101 says:

    “Whatever does not kill me strengthens me. Yes, BUT. And how painful it is to dream of happiness. Better to say nothing and pay attention to everything else.”
    (Albert Camus)

  5. shantily says:

    I need to keep reading this article
    I’ve been swimming in delusional thinking lately
    This can’t be true ..,,even though the truth is literally staring me in the face 🙁 making excuses in denial …

  6. Kim Michaud says:

    How many times can someone be disengaged with then hoovered back is there only onetime per customer or can there be many I’m getting the silent treatment now

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is no limit Kim.

      1. Kim Michaud says:


    2. Yolo says:

      Kim, one time per customer. They do see us as consumers. Lol, cute. Trust, he want short change you will get your share of Hoover’s as warranted.😊

      1. Kim Michaud says:

        Lol thsnks

  7. Me says:

    BUT I don’t care about your controlling nature and your hollow life!!!
    BUT you still have a massive debt and going bankrupt soon
    BUT I took control today and reported your sorry ass!!! NOW we are gone from your twisted life for ever…

    BUT… nope… you can keep all the things you stole from me because I have a wonderful life now and I will be free from the abuse (mental) and your horrible bad breath 😷 🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Making lists of all the buts and his lies makes a difference …
    A bit tipsy now and for 6 months I have never ever slipped and reached out during my wine sessions … finally 🥂👍🏻

  8. Nat says:

    I think the worst BUT for all of survivors here is “But what if he’s not a Narcissist?” That’s the battle of my current life. Whatever reasons, examples and proof I have, there’s is always that tiny “BUT” that keeps my away from seizing the power…

    1. gabbanzobean says:

      This is my struggle as well.

    2. ANK says:


      That’s understandable. I’m sure many of have asked the same and still do.

      Not sure if he/she is a narcissist or maybe a psychopath, or maybe a sociopath, just mean, or may be just a philanderer or maybe a sex addict.

      The only But that really matters I guess is But he/she lied/cheated/abused/manipulated/gaslighted/blocked/ghosted/silent treated etc.etc.

      It’s tough.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        ANK, for the longest time I thought my mid range was just a sex addict. Trying to change his ways. Sigh. The struggle is so real.

        1. ANK says:

          It sure is Gabbanzobean.
          As HG says one is never enough. It’s an endless cycle of the same pattern where Narchole is concerned. Lather, rinse, repeat.

          Hugs to you.

    3. mistynolan01 says:

      Nat — I believe I’m the opposite of you. I see narcs everywhere and if not 100% narcs, they sure meet an awful lot of the criteria.

      I knew something was wrong with ex natc, and happened to come upon this blog in my search for information on psychopaths. LOL! Boy did I hit the jackpot! I was so happy to finally know it wasn’t me. HE was the weirdo zombie! Had me totally fooled. But I am of the school, fool me once you won’t get a chance to fool me again.

      1. Yolo says:


        I am with you. I see them everywhere and I am starting identify that these behaviour are not new if we look back in history narcisst personalities appeared to be the norm.

  9. Lisa says:

    HG I was just thinking , since it is all a competition and we are your opponents. If the narc hoovers and the victim ignores and never goes back to the narc or ever responds to a Hoover and never acknowledges the narc again ? Has this victim won ?

    1. robins359 says:

      I feel like I have won. I called him out and told him what he was and blocked him on everything. I have been no contact for almost 10 months. If he ever has the balls to show up at my house, I will roll my eyes at him and shut the door. I WIN THIS TIME!

      1. Lisa says:

        Truth is it’s a lose lose situation with a narc , we lose and they lose every time . But to actually be able to ignore the hoovers does give some satisfaction . Although I’ve been struggling a bit the last couple of days , I think it’s because my birthday is coming up and I know if I don’t here anything he’s gone for ever so it’s making me feel a bit anxious

        1. robins359 says:

          Happy Birthday in advance! He always made sure he was giving me the silent treatment when my birthday rolled around so I don’t have any fond memories of that. Maybe you should go do something different, like have a spa day, or go out to lunch with a friend or two. If your narc doesn’t come back, that’s one baby step forward (although HG has told us all enough times that they do indeed come back). Go to a happy, feel good movie. That helps too.

          1. Yolo says:


            Very true they do come back. I just received Hoover from the lesser. He calls from different numbers. It took me all of 4 seconds to get him off the phone. 😊He’s easy to get rid of but it never fails he always return. Lol..he stalks as well but he’s a coward so I don’t fear him. I still fear the mid and lack self control and discipline when it comes to him. Odd…

          2. RS says:

            I don’t think he will ever come back because I told him I know what he is. Can’t have much fun with me anymore I suspect. 😉 I have this visceral resolve about him now.

          3. Yolo says:

            Unfortunately, unless we move without a trace we don’t have a choice. We can control the frequency with grayrock? We have to remember if with enter their 6 th sphere? We can expect a hoover.. I need to reread how to lower the hoover execution bar. 😊 H.G. has given us so much information that carry its own terminology its almost like learning a new language.😊
            All the acronyms, similar to how most organizations use to describe certain aspects of their business.

        2. ANK says:

          I’m not sure they lose. They always have supply. Dust if their shoulders and carry on.

          My birthday us coming up too. Last year he was planning to bring ‘everything’ to my place and spend the day with me. In the end he just popped by for an hour. Said his wife had kicked off about the divorce. Two weeks later I discovered he had someone new.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Correct ANK.

          2. Lisa says:

            How awful I’m sorry to hear that . Yes they do lose , it’s not about losing an individual partner it’s the fact that they spend they’re whole lives stuck in this cycle and never find contentment EVER. We don’t know everything about the man behind HG but if his life is the way he says it is then it’s working for him so far . Not every narcissist is in this position . Anyone would think every narcissst is bloody George Clooney some of them are sad little assholes !

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Indeed it does work for me and the sad little assholes you refer to of the brethren, for many of them although they appear as a sad little asshole to you, they are achieving what they need too.

          4. Lisa says:

            Just like you the sad little assholes have no choice narcissism controls their every action. Some narcissists however my have more interesting and upmarket journeys

          5. Lisa says:

            Yes I know what you mean HG my sad little asshole is ok as he is because without realising it he’s found a way to keep himself reasonably stable . He doesn’t understand but he does it . But he knows he’s not like other people and he knows there are things he can never have and he is bitter about that

          6. ANK says:

            Thanks Lisa.

            You’re right it’s not about losing an individual for them, or even seeking contentment because I don’t they know what it is to be content. Just as we become addicted to the golden period, narcs also need their fix of fuel. They may get pissed off if a source of fuel disappears but they always have more than one source of the go any way.

            The ones that are arseholes are probably lesser/victim types.

  10. ANK says:

    Hi Yolo,

    Care about what?

    1. Yolo says:

      If you are prettier, more attractive and better than the others.

      They will be abused and manipulated the same way you were.

      1. ANK says:

        Hi Yolo,

        That’s what I meant in a roundabout way. That it isn’t because they are prettier etc. that you have discarded.

        It doesn’t matter to a Narc long as they can get fuel.

  11. ashley says:

    Hg tudor, why is the sex so geat with a narc?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It’s not always but usually is and that’s with Somatics and Elites. Briefly, it is practice, the need to gather fuel through sex, mirroring, the whole creation of the illusion that bolsters its impact and having the devil’s tongue. To understand in more detail please read Sex and the Narcissist

      1. Mary says:

        HG, I have read part of this book and it’s very eye-opening and engaging, but I had to stop for a bit because it is painful to read. I need to get back to it.

        I never had sex in person with my narc, but I feel like I did in that the attachment and passion and intensity were that strong. Is that normal, HG? For a mid-ranger to impact women through words alone?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes a MR can do so, often the preserve of the Elite or Cerebral.

      2. Mary says:

        Adding onto my post to you, HG, a few minutes ago…

        What I mean is, can a mid-ranger impact women through words and sexting alone (plus that one brief meeting of kissing and making out), and affect a woman as strongly as if they actually had sex in person? I felt more connected and intimate with him than I have my in-person lovers, to be honest. Trying to figure out if that was just me being an idiot, getting carried away in the emotional aspect of the fantasy, or if he actually was that manipulative and deliberately caused that to happen?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes because the power that is contained within words is of particular use to us.

          1. RS says:

            Yes because the power that is contained within words is of particular use to us.

            “It was words that I fell for.
            In the end, it was words that broke my heart”.

          2. ANK says:

            All part of the lovebombing RS to hook, ensnare and condition. 😞
            The words were fake.

          3. RS says:

            I know that now.

          4. ANK says:

            You and me both RS. Xx

      3. Nat says:

        HG do you want to say you get fuel from sex? How is that ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          From your emotional responses. Read Sex and the Narcissist for more.

      4. Mary says:

        Thank you, HG.

  12. Narc affair says:

    This came at a good time. Thats just it the word “but” has stopped me many times from walking away.
    But…hes so sweet. Hes always there for me. He makes me laugh. He seems to care. He makes me feel special.
    But…we forget or diminish the reasons why they are toxic which is more important and damaging.
    But…he plays mind games. He devalues me. He deliberately hurts me. He lies to me. He is using me. He takes me for granted. He is mean spirited. He is not a nice person. These ruin any of the good ones and as time goes on i see this more and more. The problem is you can see this but still need to break addictions and bonds to the narcissist so youre fighting against yourself for your freedom.

    1. ANK says:


      Yes good to remind ourselves of their toxicity, lies and manipulation, and devaluation. It goes some way towards helping to break free. But you are so right about the fight against ourselves – therein lies the main problem – you want to but can’t quite let go. May be it is the need for some kind of closure and yet we all know that this will never be forthcoming.

      I remind myself about the lies, how he is manipulating the others, and with that comes anger at him. There is some small comfort in that the others are no prettier/attractive/better than I am. Goes back to the ‘You v Her’ article.

      1. Yolo says:

        But,why would you care? But, that may not be true us his eyes…

      2. Narc affair says:

        Hi Ank…the more i learn snd reflect i realise its myself im fighting against not the narc. At this point i know a lot about what he is and why. Ill never have all the answers but i dont need them to know this has damaged me in many ways. I fight against fear, my feelings, not wanting to let go, not wanting to be the one to end it so many things but ultimately its me who has the power to make changes and me alone. Its not going to get better only worse. I keep wanting it back to what it was 6 years ago but thatll never happen bc it takes too much energy on the narcs part and he was never that person. Hes kept the facade up pretty good but a lot has changed. We can never go back. To have him as a friend i wont rule out but there again things would have to change. Less time spent together and the dynamics would have to be so different im not sure a friendship with a narc could withstand that. Im not sure hes capable of a purely friendship relationship and maybe im not either seeing we are intimate partners. Its myself i fight against not the narc.

        1. Kim Michaud says:

          I feel the same way I’m fighting myself not him

        2. ANK says:

          Narc Affair,

          Yes I realise now that the battle is within myself for me as well. I envy and admire those that are strong enough to say F U Narc, go NC, pick themselves up, and let go and move on. I don’t know what it is about myself that is not able to do that.

          My mind spends a lot of time on wondering why and how, even though I have learnt so much from this site.

          Contrary to you, I sometimes feel like I do want to tell Narchole how much his behaviour has affected me, to tell him about the self harm that has resurfaced, the suicidal thoughts, to see that he has damaged me and is damaging the others.

          I feel fear too, an inexplicable constant anxiety, panic, which has made me seek counselling. 5 months of weekly counselling, but I don’t feel like I have progressed much.

          As you say the power is within us, and it is me and my mindset that is holding me back, staying stuck. I tell myself not to think about him, just dismiss him, but it is so difficult at times.

          You wanting it to go back to how it was 6 years ago is a forlorn hope. Too much water under the bridge, you have experienced too much for you to be ever be able to trust. The only way would be time travel, before it all happened.

          I too have considered having Narchole as just a friend – it’s that not wanting to let go totally. But I doubt if it would work because he would want sex. That’s what’s in it for him. If the chances of that are not there why would he bother to spend time just chatting/hanging out?

  13. Sarah says:

    But after a while I felt so ashamed by letting you treat me like this that I just had to leave.

  14. Mary says:

    Very powerful post, HG. This word keeps us engaged in the narc dance.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed, Mary.

  15. Dal says:

    Very true HG but I have recently seized power and control back and in 1 swift movement packed my belongings while she was at work emptied any memories of the two of us posted the keys made a short video that the house was completely in order without any damage and cut contact completely. I have watched many of your videos and I hope she will insert a new ipc in to the frame. I’m grateful for your words they helped me gain perspective of what was needed to be done

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome Dal.

    2. Yolo says:

      Excellent idea to video tape condition of home prior to leaving. Very Smart…

  16. mistynolan01 says:

    “But he knows my body better than I do.”

    “But he’s not like that all the time.”

    “But he’s so sweet sometimes.”

    Gawd! How stupid can one person be? Why should he make excuses for his bad behavior when I was so willing and eager to do so?

    Never again.

    I’m over ex narc, but I will continue to come to your blog and listen to your audio, to remind myself of what I don’t want in my life nor in my next love.

  17. Yolo says:

    But, he really knows me…But,we were meant to be.But, the sex was by far the best..But, he lied and went back to her…I knew he was married BUT???? He manipulated me…but, I didn’t do anything wrong..But, I gave him my all..But, he never gave me anything…But he was down on his luck..But, he future faked me.But, WTF

  18. 1jaded1 says:

    Meh is another three letter word.

    1. Pineapple says:

      So is SEX 🙂

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        Yep!…(see what I did there?)

  19. gabbanzobean says:

    “But what if he’s not really a narcissist. But what if he just made a few bad decisions and cheated a couple of times…”


    Very strong indeed. Thank you, HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:


    2. JB says:

      Yes… But what if I am wrong.

  20. Anne says:

    Applause, don’t know whether to laugh or cry!! I’ve reasoned with most all of those BUTS! Confusion does happen when your trying to make logic out of insanity. We are guilty of setting up our own demise with all the buts. Fighting our instincts that have been sitting like a rock in the pit of our stomachs from the beginning. When things change from day to day, second to second. I guess we reach for buts, because we are desperately trying make some sense out of the mess, and why????? Everything turned to s***!

  21. RS says:

    But he was such a great kisser and the sex was so great! That was MY “but” that had me going back seven times.

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