Why Narcissists and Codependents Can't Break Up - Terri Cole
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narcissist codependent break up

Why Narcissists and Codependents Can’t Break Up

We are all drawn to romantic partners for different reasons. In the past two months, I have received multiple requests to dive a little deeper into the connection between narcissists and codependents. So in this week’s video, I am breaking down this perfectly orchestrated behavioral dance to hopefully add some clarity.

To better understand this relationship dynamic, we need to outline the behavioral patterns of each person in this type of relationship. A codependent is a person who tends to feel responsible for others’ problems, behaviors and feelings. They give so much (even without being asked), and they end up resentful and feeling unappreciated. The flip side of this coin is a narcissist, who tends to feel entitled to special treatment, and try to manipulate others into fulfilling their needs. The interaction between these two personalities becomes an extremely natural (but dysfunctional and unhealthy) relationship for both partners.

In this Real Love Revolution video, I cover:

  • 10 Codependent Behaviors
  • 10 Narcissistic Behaviors
  • An Outline of the Interaction between Codependents and Narcissists
  • Why These Two Personalities Are Together (and Can’t Seem to Break Up)
  • How to Change the Dance

All relationships are a dance – “I do this, you do that” as you move through life. In this situation, the dance is almost inevitable without any interruption. A codependent is an overgiver, and feels overly responsible for others’ happiness. A narcissist wants you to overgive, wants you to be responsible for their happiness. It couldn’t be more perfectly aligned. As a codependent, giving and sacrificing is what you do, it’s natural, so you are drawn to narcissists who are selfish, self-centered and controlling, and it can be challenging to recognize the harm that is being done. Both parties are mesmerised by the dance because unresolved childhood injuries are being played out so it feels familiar. Without understanding what is beneath these behaviors and patterns, change is unlikely.

It’s not about fixing your partner, it’s about figuring out why your self-esteem is so low, if you’re the codependent. You must ask the tough questions, like why do you think you can’t do better than this? Why are you afraid of conflict so much that you are unable confront your partner in a healthy way? These answers go all the way back to the home you grew up in, and revealing the original injuries in your life. To get a better understanding of everything in this blog and video, download the Cheat Sheet: Behaviors and Relationship of Narcissists and Codependents below.

Drop me a comment here on the blog and let me know what resonated with you after watching this video. Then head over to my YouTube Channel and SUBSCRIBE for free access to every Real Love Revolution vid! Join the conversation with #RealLoveRevolution on social media and share the love!

Thanks for watching, reading and sharing!

And as always, take care of YOU.

Terri Cole
  • nathan
    Posted at 20:29h, 18 December Reply

    that was an amazingly informative video. Thanks

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 15:36h, 16 February Reply

      Thanks for watching, Nathan!

  • colleen
    Posted at 21:28h, 27 January Reply

    Is the download still avail? thank you so much for the informative video!

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 15:29h, 16 February Reply

      Thanks for watching, Colleen. Click here to access the cheat sheet. XO, Terri

  • Patricia R
    Posted at 16:14h, 16 May Reply

    This is really helpful information. I have found it so disturbing how little help Ive received from therapists with my relationship to a narcissist, in fact one therapist made the abuse worse by validating his behaviors. Im making my way out of the situation, its extremely hard to do, and looking for support and assistance to recover from the trauma of it. I dont have much trust in therapy.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 07:22h, 19 May Reply

      I am sorry to hear about your experience but grateful this video’s information resonated with you. I would not give up on therapy mama-just be more specific about what you are looking for when you interview a therapist. Remember THEY work for you not the other way around. Ask them to do a free consultation and tell then what you experienced and ask if they have had experience working with women who were in relationships with narc men. I am sending you so much healing energy right now. xo

  • Why Narcissists and Codependents Can’t Break Up « Positively Positive!!
    Posted at 06:05h, 07 July Reply

    […] It’s not about fixing your partner, it’s about figuring out why your self-esteem is so low if you’re the codependent. You must ask the tough questions, like why do you think you can’t do better than this? Why are you afraid of conflict so much that you are unable to confront your partner in a healthy way? These answers go all the way back to the home you grew up in and revealing the original injuries in your life. To get a better understanding of everything in this blog and video, download the Cheat Sheet: Behaviors and Relationship of Narcissists and Codependents and watch now by clicking here! […]

  • Leah
    Posted at 13:51h, 08 July Reply

    This was wonderful.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 12:01h, 16 July Reply

      So glad you found this helpful, Leah! Thanks for reading!

  • Amanda Smith
    Posted at 22:57h, 22 October Reply

    Thanks. It’s so difficult and this is exactly why. I try and try to go no contact and struggle so much. It’s so easy for him. Yet so hard for me. I don’t know if that makes us perfect for each other though. It’s so hard to be thinking about him soooo much, even two months after breaking up, while he dosnt care at all. Will keep fighting for myself!

  • Josh g
    Posted at 04:06h, 30 June Reply

    I have been unaware of my codependent behaviour my whole life. After my last and most recent breakup, I am aware now, having a pattern of narcissistic partners that all ended the same way, with me weak and insecure. The narcissist moves on with a new relationship and is “happy” and your confidence is drained, and left missing them believing it was your fault.
    My advice to a codependent, spend time alone, to the point it feels comfortable, I mean alone, no friends, no dating, no going out, nothing. Just you and yourself. It will be the most miserable time you will ever feel, but like any bad habit you will overcome it and your life will be much better and without drama. Eventually narcissist will Sense your emotional stability a mile away and you will not even bat an eye at them. Everything will make total sense, you will literally need no one, I notice myself having the most fun talking to myself in a comedy type personality. It’s an amazing feeling.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 15:00h, 16 July Reply

      Thanks for sharing your insight here with us, Josh.

  • Eoin d
    Posted at 07:52h, 30 September Reply

    Great piece of work. Does the narcissist always end the realtionship? My partner has left and is with another man even though we have two small children and a history of many years

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 17:18h, 10 October Reply

      Thanks for sharing your situation here with us. Can’t say what “always” happens when talking about humans but yes it is one common theme for the narc to pursue, put you on a pedestal, knock you off and get everything they can in the way of narc supply (drama, admiration, their every need met, causing you pain etc) and then move onto the next victim. Or the cycle can be: pursue, idealized you, find fault, punish you, make you work your way back into their good graces just to do it all over again. I wish you so much success in your freedom (please hold onto it!) xo

  • Kimberly
    Posted at 01:46h, 13 November Reply

    i am a codependant. after my narcissist bf of 6.5 years has physically verbally and emotionally abused me, all of ehich i forgave. stole thousands of dollars, stole family heirloom jewelry, game stations from my children, and after warnings to him that the ti.e was coming for this to end. only to feel the viper tongue against my emotional hurt, and his hands around my arms leavinv bruises once again, i did the unthinkable today. i found he had stolen more and a large amount of prescription medications from me, while i was at work, and after careful examination of the insanitu i have been living, i called 911. i got my emergency pfa. and order for eviction, and i sat at my oldest sons home while the state police removed him and his things from my home, which btw i got to run away from him back in april. but as usual he found me. so i sit here knowing deep inside i did everything exactly right. unable to sleep, circling around all the things i love about him and all the things i just CAN NOT live anymore. how i cant see myself in the mirror anymore because i allowed him to do this so long, finding it easy to blame myself for all thats happened, and then realizing thats exactly how he always gets me back. i hope one day to free myself from codependency, but until then i Pray for strength to hide very far and stay very still and silent so he never finds me again.
    i want the cycle to end, for my sake and i feel guilty for being selfish at the same time

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 09:12h, 13 November Reply

      Sending you strength to stay the course of choosing you, Kimberly!

      • Kimberly
        Posted at 18:37h, 13 November Reply

        thank you

  • Kimberly
    Posted at 01:49h, 13 November Reply

    i forgot to mention he is also a herion addict, who just admitted to it to dtay out of jail a month and half ago. and now uses it as his excuse for every lie. abusive cycle, and the non stop stealing.

  • Alberto Jimenez
    Posted at 18:50h, 28 November Reply

    Great documentation. Thank you.
    I would also add that the codependent person, which I believe I am, has to always apologize to the narcissist everytime for making her/him do something or not accepting to do what she/he wants. In almost all cases, if there is not an apology, the narcissist threatens to leave and end up the relationship. So, the codependent has to say sorry and ask for forgiveness.
    When I drink, all the truth comes out and feels like a relief to let her know that I feel I am not being loved, respected and appreciated for all the things I have done for her. And what happens? She leaves. In order to bring her back, I have to get down on my kness ans kiss her feet because she is Jesus’ princess.

  • Why Codependents and Narcissists Can’t Break Up – Terri Cole – Real Love Revolution 2016 – Relation Insider
    Posted at 05:59h, 16 January Reply

    […] Why Narcissists and Codependents Can’t Break Up […]

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