By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT
Since writing Codependency for Dummies, countless people contact me about their unhappiness and difficulties dealing with a difficult loved one, frequently a narcissistic partner or parent who is uncooperative, selfish, cold, and often abusive. Partners of narcissists feel torn between their love and their pain, between staying and leaving, but they can’t seem to do either. They feel ignored, uncared about, and unimportant. As the narcissist’s criticism, demands, and emotional unavailability increase, their confidence and self-esteem decrease. Over time, they become deeply hurt and frustrated that despite their pleas and efforts, the narcissist appears to lack consideration for their feelings and needs. When the narcissist is a parent, by the time their children reach adulthood, the emotional abandonment, control, and criticism that they experienced growing up has negatively affected their self-esteem and capacity for achieving success or sustaining loving, intimate relationships.
Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT
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