• Lynn Catalano

He Never Tells Me He Loves Me


Just the other day, my good friend told me how her 89-year-old father calls her every day to tell her how much he loves her. I had an immediate response. She wasn’t telling me just that, it was part of a larger story. But that fact hit me, hard. I actually got tears in my eyes. The mere thought of a parent, a father, expressing that kind of affection to their daughter was too much for me. You see my narcissist hasn’t said those words to me in…I can’t remember when he last said those words to me out loud. I saw the word “jealous” in my mind. I wanted that too! Why don’t I have that kind of relationship?


Coming to Terms

It took me years and my mother’s sudden passing to discover who my father really is, that he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. My aunt, my mother’s sister to whom I’m very close, said to me in a very clear-cut manner a few years ago “He’s never going to love you the way he should. Accept that and move on.” Pretty harsh realization for me.


I needed to come to terms with him. I tried and tried for so long to make it work. But every time I tried, he did something more outrageous, more offensive, even crueler to me. It seemed like just when he couldn’t top himself, he did. The last time I went back to him, things seemed relatively peaceful. I didn’t do anything to offend him as I walked on eggshells to prevent triggering him.


I wrote about this in my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live with Or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life.”

“Learning my father was in competition with his daughter was an extremely difficult realization. It shook me deeply and I questioned our entire relationship. Shockingly, six years after that realization, it’s been two relatively peaceful years and he’s still at it. Recently, I spoke at an awards ceremony at a big amateur golf tournament where I was the general chairman. My father never misses this annual ceremony as he’s a past chairman and sits on the dais. This day, he left early. He couldn’t stand seeing me at the podium. Once a narcissist, always a narcissist.”


Withholding Affection

People who suffer from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) withhold affection, communication, finances, etc. They are emotionally handicapped. Part of narcissistic personality disorder is an intense feeling of being out of control. As a coping mechanism, narcissists need to control everything about their relationship, their situation and others because they feel out of control. Narcissists are deeply rooted in insecurity and can’t accept or endure any criticism or rejection.


Jealous and Grateful

Did I feel jealous when I heard my friend tell me about her father? Yeah. I felt jealous. I felt envy. I felt slighted. I felt like I got the short end of the stick. Why don’t I get that? And then I realized I have to accept the situation that I have. The most important part is that I know I’ve broken the cycle. I have raised my children in an atmosphere of emotional privilege and I tell them every day how much I love them and my husband. And for all of that, I am incredibly grateful.


You can find my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships” on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com.




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