A narcissistic relationship drastically affects the wellbeing of both the narcissist and his partner. The partner of a narcissist often suffers from trauma bonding (Stockholm syndrome), Cassandra Syndrome, Wendy Complex, or Complex PTSD. They suffer from these disorders throughout the relationship, as well as after the relationship ends. Some people expect almost immediately relief after the narcissist moves on from the relationship, but this is often not the case.
The suffering from a narcissistic relationship can go on for years if a sufferer doesn't appropriately address their symptoms. The person feels so awful emotionally that they might even return to the narcissist against his or her better judgment. One of the things that keeps a person in a relationship is the sheer confusion and conflict that he or she experiences internally. He or she is highly attracted to the narcissist, often drawn to him for reasons that are linked to childhood. The narcissist brings out the innocent and the playful child in us all. Who doesn't enjoy getting in touch with our inner child occasionally?
The troubles come in when we try to have an adult relationship with the narcissist. He is ill-equipped to handle the world of adults. He lacks the reliance, the motivation and the sense of responsibility that other adults have. He runs away or fights when things get hard for him. He loses his temper when he becomes overly frustrated, rather than finding constructive ways to deal with his disappointments.
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