The codependent narcissist relationship is complex.
Narcissists have huge egos, like to be in control, use others without feeling guilty and will always look to blame others when things go wrong. They are outward-looking and never consider that something might be their fault.
Codependents tend to lack self-confidence and self-esteem, they spend a lot of time over-analyzing and like to people please. They will go over and above to please and be accepted by the narcissist and they lack healthy boundaries. Codependents get their joy from always putting others first even at the expense of their own physical and mental well being.
So it’s easy to see how these two personalities are drawn to one another and form a toxic relationship. The narcissist loves that the codependent gives never-ending affection and will seemingly do anything to please the narcissist. The codependent willingly allows the narcissist to be in control and this feeds the narcissist’s love of power and control.
The codependent feels useful, they now have someone to look after and fix, they ignore the usual relationship red flags and give the narcissist the benefit of the doubt for any bad behavior. The codependent needs to feel they’ve done all they can to try and mend the narcissist so they will keep going back and trying again no matter what the narcissist throws at them. The codependent struggles to escape as they feel so attracted to the narcissist, especially to their power and confidence.
Healing From A Codependent Narcissist Relationship
The narcissist will never heal as he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with his behavior. He’s just out for himself and what he can get. But the longer the codependent stays in the relationship the more damaging it becomes for her. The narcissist will become bored long before the codependent, usually brutally ending the relationship and disappearing without much warning in search of a new challenge.
In order for the codependent to heal, she needs to look at the root cause of the co-dependency. This is usually found in childhood, some sort of abandonment trauma or bullying or abuse. Something about the narcissist’s behavior, as strange as it seems, feels familiar and comfortable to a codependent.
Perhaps the codependent was bullied as a child and received silent treatment and she’d spend hours trying to make the bully like her again. So when the narcissist acts in a similar way it feels comfortable and she feel’s like she now has a chance to mend the past.
Are you Codependent?
If the following sound familiar it’s likely that you are codependent:
- You need people to feel pleased with you, you hate confrontation and the thought of someone not liking you. You will go over and above in an attempt to make someone like you.
- You have trouble saying no as you are afraid of what someone might think of you.
- You stay in a bad relationship and make excuses for your partner’s behavior, putting up with silent treatment, abuse and keep telling yourself things will get better.
Healing involves a lot of work as the codependent needs to heal the past and also learn new techniques for creating boundaries, putting herself first and being ok with the fact that not everyone will like her or what she says. It’s essentially about feeling comfortable in your own skin, knowing you are enough and not worrying what others think.