Most men, love using Valentine's Day to show their significant other how important they are to them, especially because today's hectic lifestyle and lack of time together makes it difficult to give your partner that extra attention that you'd like to give them on a day to day basis. A meaningful card, some flowers and maybe chocolates are all that's typically needed, to show your partner that you care, and to express your love for them. Some men that can afford it will even surprise their loved one with jewelry. Sure, love should be expressed daily, but the symbolism of Valentine's day exists in every culture.
In healthy relationships, Valentine's Day can sometimes disappoint when one partner has their gift ready the day before, but the other partner leaves their purchase for the day of.........early in the morning, or promises to get theirs that evening. Women will talk amongst each other, and praise a man for being attentive in a timely way.
But what happens when you have a narcissistic partner? We all know that narcissists go from charm to harm before you even realize what hit you. What better day to use than Valentine's day to "accidentally" devalue you? The abuse is so insidious that when your partner "forgets" Valentine's Day you tend to attribute it to them just being inconsiderate, or you really believe they simply forgot to get you something, or you try to convince yourself that they don't know how to be romantic. Of course some men are so wrapped up in their work that they genuinely may have "forgotten" the day, but these men will be more than apologetic and sincerely make up for it later that day.
With the narcissist however, the reality is that they resent having to do anything for you. But more than that, Valentine's Day and any other special occasions are prime time for a narcissist to "harm" and devalue you with maximum impact, by employing their favorite withholding technique. It may be hard to imagine, but they actually get a kick out of disappointing you. They love seeing the torment on your face. The utter confusion. There is no such thing as carelessness on their part........it is all pre-meditated to inflict maximum pain.
They will not want you to feel special. After all, they themselves need to be the center of attention at all times, and they don't want you to have any expectations of them. In fact, it gives them immense pleasure to give you less than you expect no matter how low you set the bar, and then they like to play innocent. Pretending they don't understand what you are getting so worked up about. It's all just a game to them.
The disordered narcissist knows all too well that you desperately try to attribute normal feelings and behaviors to them, which makes it that much easier for them to confuse you. They know that you have seen them be generous to others, like when they act like a sugar daddy to their adult children, and then deliberately deprive you of even a minimal Valentine's Day present. Making you feel insignificant by treating others better is called triangulation, and is just one of the many manipulative tools used in narcissistic abuse.
As Sam Vaknin explains: "Such pointed withdrawal ( from special occasions) is a demonstrative refusal to participate, a rejection of social norms, an "in your face" statement," and it's goal is to cause you pain.
Ladies, if you see a pattern of your man consistently not being there for you especially during special occasions, don't make excuses for them. Educate yourself on narcissism and the emotional abuse you are likely experiencing.