Two out of Three is not Enough

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


“Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”
Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t getting us nowhere
I told you everything I possibly can
There’s nothing left inside of here
And maybe you can cry all night
But that’ll never change the way that I feel
The snow is really piling up outside
I wish you wouldn’t make me leave here
I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care
I’m tired of words and I’m too hoarse to shout
But you’ve been cold to me so long
I’m crying icicles instead of tears
And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you
I need you
But there ain’t no way
I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Songwriters: JIM STEINMAN
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC

I suspect I am not supposed to be a Meat Loaf fan. I’m too old, too conservative, too “spiritual.” But I enjoy his music and his acting. There’s something to him that intrigues me, I guess.

One of the most popular songs from Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf is “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” It’s yet another narcissist song.

“I want you.
I need you.
But there ain’t no way
I’m ever gonna love you.”

That’s the narcissist speaking the truth.

Narcissists are needy people. They express their need in whatever way works to get what they want. In the beginning of the relationship, they can be kind and thoughtful and patient and giving and so much more. They are very good at cultivating a relationship. But not quite as good maintaining a relationship.

The contrast of the engagement period with the marriage is sometimes amazing. The person you hired compared to the worker you got is disappointing. The beginning of the friendship compared with the end is disturbing. And, according to the narcissist, it’s all your fault. You are the one who changed.

But the narcissist isn’t as truthful as the song suggests. He certainly expressed his want and his need, but he said that he loved. The only problem was that it wasn’t true. There was no real love in him to give. That friend was so willing to do whatever it would take to get your attention and care, even give assurances of loyalty and love, but it wasn’t real. Nothing but the need was real, no matter how much love was expressed.

And, in the end, you hear words like, “I tried to show you just how much I care,” or “I’m tired of words,” or even, “you’ve been cold to me so long.”

For the narcissist, love is a business deal. He does this and you are expected to do that. She does her part and you do yours. You probably think of love as a thing of the heart. In the beginning, you just assumed it was there. Then you thought you were just misunderstanding. Finally, you realized it wasn’t there at all. All that was there was wanting and needing.

Sometimes the charm will return when the threat of the end comes. “Oh, I need you. I’ll do anything to keep you. What do you want me to say?” But by now you know that the narcissist simply doesn’t have what you need. Once you communicate that you know the truth and won’t be sweet-talked, then you become the enemy. “Well, I am trying.” “What do you expect me to do?” “You’re not being fair.” “The only reason I am this way is because of you.” Suddenly the charm ends and the threats begin. “You’ll be sorry.” “Don’t come back expecting me to welcome you.” “Everyone is going to know about the real you.”

What happens to the love from the beginning of that conversation to the end? Nothing. It wasn’t there. This was all negotiation. Only the need was there.

And, yes, the narcissist needs you. Or someone. Their need is great and must be met. If not you, then another. Someone will be persuaded when the song begins again.


Filed under Narcissism, Uncategorized

23 responses to “Two out of Three is not Enough

  1. Yes!! They NEED others! Many victims in the aftermath of abuse by narcissists or sociopaths are often told they’re codependent and that’s why they landed in a toxic relationship. So these victims blame themselves and seek out all the info about codependency they can to fix themselves. But I don’t believe victims are the codependent ones. Codependency is marked by a NEED to be in control. I believe the most codependent people on the planet are narcissists!! And bring in a relationship with a narcissist is going to make us act and seem just as codependent, because of the mirroring and transference that happens when we’re bonded by love and trauma to our abuser. Once we leave or are discarded by the abuser, the codependency traits we learned from the abuser kick into high gear, thus making us and everyone else convinced we were the problem. So instead of labeling ourselves as codependent, we must learn to understand the source of the NEED, detach from it, and re-establish our self-love and self-control so we no longer NEED it outside of ourselves.

    • Janet Siegel

      BANG ON!!! That is PRECISELY what has happened to me!!! And, the Lord has been counselling me that He must cleanse the Most Holy Place of my hearts. It has been DEFILED by the narcissistic person whom I bonded with Ina friendship. I have been asking the Lord to thoroughly clean out my heart from all hope of this individual will ever being a “normal” friend. We had so bonded. I had never met someone who so completely understood my past and pain. We identified with each other completely and I felt like I had found a real kindered spirit. Wow!!!! Was I DECEIVED!!!! Was I so USED!!! So controlled!! Manipulated!! The gas-lighting!!! From being so bonded and feeling so loved and understood, to this VILE, psychotic, dysfunctional relationship that took me 5 1/2 years to have the courage to abandon. Yep, I am receiving viscious, angry REVENGE from this person, a sister in the body of Messiah!!!! Its really hard, but at least I can hears God’s voice again as before this relationship began!!

  2. L.M.

    Painful just to read that because it’s all so true. I always think of NPD and BPD as a wild horse who needs breaking, yet maybe the pride insulates them?

    • Leah Janzen

      L.M., NPD’s and BPD’s and the like are terribly, terribly hurt, wounded little children on the inside. I do think pride insulates their pain.

      • L.M.

        Yes, Leah , It’s a painful life, for sure. Very compassionate of you to notice the wounded-ness. I suffered prolonged childhood trauma with a antisocial Mother so I inherited some of those personality disordered generational characteristics myself. But having come to faith, I can testify that the best thing that can happen is that God uses the circumstances to break them into a life wit Christ . Because it’s certainly a no win situation for them and for the people involved with them otherwise.
        , Lisa M

  3. Tee3

    I’m glad I finally left him last week. I’m staying in my parents home. He hasn’t called since I left, but that doesn’t bother me. My first son who left with me because he was also abused is the one getting the calls from him. He threatens and begs him to come back. I’ve been encouraging the boy to be prayerful and stand firm. It’s not been easy for him as he got confused a lot of times after his dad’s calls. I hope to sit with my lawyer next week to start planning on what next step to take.

    • Rachel

      Strength to you Tee3, well done for taking the step of leaving. No one can understand how hard that is unless they have been in that situation. Praying for you and your children. I hope the lawyer can help and advise well. Blessings xx

  4. noel6119

    The last time that I tried to talk to xnh, he said that he didn’t have any words for me (after dating 4 years and married 45 years). That was the coldest thing he ever said to me. It chilled me to the bone.

  5. dianablackwood

    I’ve been hearing all sorts of narcissistic songs since reading your blog! It’s nice to be able to put a definable cause to all my previous anxieties. They’re everywhere! But thankfully, I can protect myself from them. My husband has been making my life pretty difficult lately because of the boundaries I’m keeping. This morning he’s starting to shun the kids to see if that works, again. I used to play the game but I know better now. That sounds like another song! Maybe I should write it. Haha. Praise God that He is my peace, rest, and refuge.

  6. Pam

    Sooo true….. I am still walking out of the fallout from my most recent narcicistic relationship. This is the truth.

  7. CRK

    Wow! Today’s article really spoke to me.

    “They are very good at cultivating a relationship. But not quite as good maintaining a relationship.”

    I once told my therapist that he treats me like he does his car: He drives it recklessly not caring how banged up it becomes and doesn’t have regular maintenance on it.

    Therapist replied, “It isn’t you he is treating like that; it’s your marriage.”

    “The beginning of the friendship compared with the end is disturbing. And, according to the narcissist, it’s all your fault. You are the one who changed.”

    I don’t know how many times I heard, “You’ve changed.”

    “…love is a business deal.”

    So true; he told me via email he wanted a divorce and suggested we meet at a restaurant to talk details where he showed up with his manila folder of paperwork.

    “And, yes, the narcissist needs you. Or someone. Their need is great and must be met. If not you, then another. Someone will be persuaded when the song begins again.”

    He always chose his friends over me even when dating. He could get his ego stroked by them when I had no more to give.

    Thank you for an enlightening read!

    • Pam

      Once you communicate that you know the truth and won’t be sweet-talked, then you become the enemy. “Well, I am trying.” “What do you expect me to do?” “You’re not being fair.” “The only reason I am this way is because of you.”
      When I finally caught on to who he really was, he told me, “He was tired of ‘jumping through hoops for me’ because I wanted him to be nice to me! Hoops? ! Then, the next night, he weeps and looks me in the eyes, which he would never do, and tells me how much he loves me and to please not leave him…….. All of this is way too familiar, that is for sure.

      • Maya

        Yes,ma’am, I became the enemy too. He needed me, but didn’t want to need me and surely didn’t love me, although he SAID he did. What crap. When he exploded on me with his rage, I would watch his eyes change to a deep black. And he would always scream, “Stop looking at me in my eyes”. How utterly evil.

  8. Dear Dave and Friends, i am sick of the media telling people, especially women, that ya have to be part of a couple. There are way too many wicked people out there fixing to feed on lonely people. The museeech is full of it – ugh! And if a person happens to be alone, or with a wicked, it’s the lonely / unloved person’s fault – one way or another. It’s amazing how worldlings condemn, and then they have the gall to claim that Jesus is harsh.

    • Interesting how many of the people who push the “coupling” are church people, too. Paul says it is good to be single, a special blessing for those who are given that gift. Single people should be affirmed and valued for who they are. In fact, all people should be affirmed and valued for who they are as individuals.

      • How true! Could be what turned off my father from church when he was young. His mom (my grandmother) had become fed up with her stepping-out husband, and saved up enough money to divorce him. Guess she didn’t want that gift that keeps on giving. Anyway, though she kept the faith and kept going to worship, surely the other “ladies” disapproved of her, and probably her son (dad) and daughter (aunt J). My aunt isn’t in to going to worship the Lord either. Hey thanks churchian “ladies.” Of course this all happened back in the late 1930s or early 40s.

  9. Janet

    WOW!!! The narcissistic dialogue you listed was EXACTLY word for word what my narc used to say to me!! Especially “I’m trying!!” I remember the gross exaggerations and lies to keep my attention and to keep me from leaving. And when I finally left, wow!!! The viciousness!!

    • Dear Janet, a co-worked must have heard that “i’m trying!” excuse a few too many times, while dealing with a narc in her life. Her response became, “try harder!” Needful to say, the narc is out of her life and has been for awhile. (Think narc is in jail, and won’t be out for a long time.)

  10. healingInHim

    Thank you for posting … so much truth.

  11. Reblogged this on A Blog About Healing From PTSD and commented:
    What I have below is a reblog – yes, another one – and an URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for a situation that is very close to my heart. (I apologize that this is so long, my prayer request took a lot of words to explain.)

    But first, about the reblog at the bottom of this post: I don’t often do reblogs, especially not three in one day. But after reading the following post on my favorite blog, Grace for my Heart, in Pastor Dave Orrison’s “Narcissist Friday” series, I just couldn’t resist. In this brilliant post, Pastor Dave is using the lyrics of a song made popular by the rock star Meatloaf as a prime example of how a narcissist does “relationship.”

    As for Meatloaf, like Dave, I am also a fan, although not quite as much as I was before I became close friends with his then mother-in-law, now his former mother-in-law, fifteen years ago when I lived in her neighborhood in Pennsylvania. Oh, the inside stories I could tell! But of course, I won’t break my friend’s confidence.

    I think it is safe to tell this, though. My friend Virginia, Meat’s mother-in-law of over twenty years (yes, that’s what she called him, “Meat”), sometimes got tired of how people reacted when they learned she was related to a well known singer. Placing her hands on her slender hips, Virginia would toss her gray hair and declare: “I… was Somebody… Before… Meatloaf!” Lol… I miss that lovely feisty lady.

    HERE’S THE SITUATION THAT NEEDS URGENT PRAYER: (Yikes, WordPress will not let me put my entire post-comment into this little reblog space. Like I said, it is a bit long. So after the reblog goes through, I am going to add my prayer request to the bottom of this post via my website. Sorry for any confusion!)

  12. Annette

    “For the narcissist, love is a business deal.” Yes, so true. You have all the obligations, and the narcissist has all the rights.

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