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?


11 thoughts on “The Three Letter Love Trap

  1. wounded says:


    The first one you wrote had me for the longest time.

    The others I witnessed. The most excruciating one was when I exposed him to someone still very tangled up. He had text “I love you babe” to her.

    She looked at me with these forlorn eyes and said “but…..then he sends me that.”

    But…..he misses your birthday every year, kicks you out of bed, lies about where he’s been and gets angry when you call him on it.

    1. SMH says:

      Wounded, Sorry. It’s really sad to consider the excuses both IPSS’s and IPPS’s make. That’s what the ‘buts’ are. Partly fear, partly confusion. Confusion is what narcs need to keep all the various appliances in place.

  2. Blondie says:

    Mr Tudor, why if you call a narsissisit out on something your told “but your the negative one and your never positive about anything”….Thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:

      To put you in your place, to control you, to extract fuel from you.

      1. Blondie says:

        Thankyou for your reply always so helpful .

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  3. SMH says:

    I had my fair share of ‘buts’ as IPSS: But why ME? But you said that’s what you wanted! But why is it such a big deal for you to tell me? But he really is normal when we are together.

    Still, IPPS’s ‘buts’ stick in my head more: But we were so happy. But he was always home. But it doesn’t make sense. But that is crazy.

    1. Wondering says:

      SMH… did your narc stay with his IPPS? I can’t understand why the IPPS stays.

      “But” … that word. So true.

      1. SMH says:

        Wondering, I don’t know because I haven’t tried to find out. I think in the end she did not believe it and he of course convinced her that it wasn’t possible!! Or maybe she did not care. She sounded just like me. Totally confused. But she had a lot more at stake.

    2. Sarah says:

      Here, here SMH – “but he was always home”. I had the exact same thought when escaping my IPPS status. I thought it impossible that he could’ve been up to all that was reported to me. I had no idea what a slick operation he had going on the side all while maintaining his professional employment. Black magic! Your intuition tells you BUT your BUTs convince you otherwise.

      1. SMH says:

        Sarah, Sorry you had to go through that. If my MRN is to be believed, IPPS had already kicked him out once (I did not know about her for quite a while because he lied to me). I don’t think she wanted to believe that their separation, reconciliation and marital therapy was all for nought. It was exactly as you say – slick operation on the side, professional employment and intact family as the facade. When could he possibly have had time? Um, you leave work early, or maybe before work, or before or after your Saturday sporting events, or you go out for a jog on Sunday. You can still be home in time for dinner!

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