Malignant Cains do not change. The agonizing void hits when the Enabler comes face-to-face with the truth that Cain doesn’t love her like other people love her. He’s incapable of loving anyone for that matter. He might say he loves you, but his behavior is inconsistent with real love. His actions destroy love. You will be punished more than you will be loved.
Indeed, it is heart-wrenching to comprehend that your entire life with Cain is nothing but a lie, and that you were nothing more than a vehicle or extension to help him get what he wanted, whether that was attention, worship, respect in the community, children, material objects, or whatever his insatiable greed demands at the moment. It will always be something that boosts his image in the world. To survive you must do the following:
- Stop fixating on how things used to be. Endless disappointments are a daily part of a cainistic marriage or relationship. You must stop thinking about how wonderful and perfect Cain was in the beginning—when he appeared to be exceptionally understanding, caring and generous. That was manipulation, a false self, carefully created and orchestrated to win you over and provide him with love, understanding and caring.
Do you remember the bait and switch? When he abruptly stopped showing his love and withdrew from you? That was the exact point where you became the one who started offering all the understanding, caring and love in the relationship in a desperate attempt to get his love back. It’s very important that you remember how it really went down and stop trying to return to something that never existed in the first place.
The truth is, Cain is extremely dependent on his supplier–all the Enablers–to feed his wounded, starving ego with love, attention, adoration and adulation. At the same time, he hates his dependency and is continually trying to show you that he doesn’t’ need you at all. But don’t kid yourself. You are the one who is giving the love, not him. It is like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. You look behind the curtain and there is nothing there.
- Stop blaming Cain and start speaking up for yourself. Cain will never celebrate your success. Nor will he be there to support you when you are feeling badly. I remember when the wife of a cainistic minister had a health scare. She was telling her story to everyone who would listen while Cain was running around the sanctuary, keeping his emotional and physical distance from her. In fact, he was standing next to everyone except his wife. Then he shamed her from the pulpit with a sermon about how easy it is to give attention to all the things we don’t like in our life, but the more attention we give to what we don’t want, the more of that we get.
At a time when this wife needed a caring, supportive husband, she was offered a cold-blooded lecture. But in that instance—and with all such incidents with Cains—the wife (and you) have a choice. She could escape into even more victim hood and regale everyone with her story of woe about how Cain is never there for her emotionally. Or she could stand up and tell Cain that she never wanted him to shame and lecture her from the pulpit ever again. And, in fact, she wanted a spouse who would be there for her in times of trouble.
- If you plan to stay with a Cain, you must learn how to stand up for yourself because Cain will always balk when a request is made of him. He perceives it as a demand and will twist the request to make it look like your responsibility, not his lack.
Its been said that Cain has little energy to give to others because he spends all his energy obtaining positive feedback (cainistic supply) from Enablers. “They must continuously devise new schemes to obtain such support and to keep their motives hidden from others,” write researchers Miron Zuckerman and Ryan E. O’Loughlin in the European Journal of Social Psychology.
Cain’s emotional state is a fragile one in need of continuous bolstering with no certainty if and when there will be the next “atta-boy” to pump him up. When you are dependent on someone for your positive self-regard, you are also fearful of losing that support. Remember his highbrow image is dependent on positive feedback from you and all the other cainistic suppliers. Without it, he can collapse emotionally. Many friends and peers will support Cain for a short time but not for the long haul. It’s exhausting to be involved with Cain. He may seem overly confident but that, too, is a sham.
Cain’s hunger for attention is never assuaged. If you plan to stay with him, it’s vital that you maintain a sense of self in the relationship. Surround yourself with friends, family and associates who love you and have your back. See a counselor if you need help with this relationship. Don’t expect Cain to go with you. They are not introspective and avoid therapists.