Why do we develop such a twisted codependency to the narcissistic nonsense? Well, I believe that it starts with the passive-aggressive conditioning put upon us by the narcissist/psychopath – conditioning that is fully intended to make us feel desperate and insecure within the relationship. Since desperation and insecurity are two of the biggest catalysts for codependency, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the connection. We, ourselves, become part of the chaos and turmoil and, during the invoking of a silent treatment, we become part of the deafening silence. In essence, we turn our hope for a happy ending into a codependency that never ends happily.
Our codependency to the narcissistic game of cat and mouse builds gradually – just as the narcissist intends. The more gradual the build, the less likely we are to even notice our demise until we are smack dab in the middle of the shit! At that point, we are almost powerless to pull out because there’s always more to do, to find out, to investigate, and more bullshit to put up with. We hope and pray that this time it will be different…that we can love the narcissist out of his bad behavior. But we never can and we never will.
The victim of narcissistic abuse spends a good deal of her waking life in a relationship with a person who neglects her and will, in a moment’s notice, abandon her. She is forever trying to figure out “the secrets” – of which there are many (although he will state otherwise) – and this can take hour after consuming hour as the desperation mounts. Keeping the codependency alive and strong in his victim/partner is very much a requirement of the narcissist’s pathological agenda. The victim, in much the same way, actually becomes addicted to the agenda as well but receives far less pleasure than the narcissist or psychopath who literally thrives off of his partner’s suffering.
Codependency in relationships is hard enough without the other partner having a personality disorder that can never be fixed. When narcissism becomes part of the equation, life takes a much sharper and far more deadlier turn than ever before. Codependents will usually accept themselves as being damaged in order to “fix” another person. Codependents are typically neglectful of their own personal boundaries, allowing the manipulative partner to breach them over and over in the cruelest of ways. Narcissists are famous for their fondness of crossing the most private, off-limits, button-pushing, pain-inducing boundaries possible on the persons who love them.
In fact, personal boundaries – when protected – are pretty much the only protection against narcissism for anyone.
Breaking this type of codependency is difficult because we associate the desperation that we feel with our love for the perpetrator. This causes mental confusion and a anxious willingness to hang in there…. to try it one more time because maybe he’ll change. Then, before we know it, years have passed and everything is exactly the same as its always been.
Like any addiction to a bad thing, our codependency to the narcissistic behaviors and tactics of our partner must be dealt with seriously and in an effective manner that will give us lasting results.
For our own sanity, we must certainly be accountable.