Every narcissist needs a codependent love addict


Melissa Killeen

“The most common toxic relationship is between the codependent love addict and the narcissist love addict. Opposites attract and love addicts are vulnerable to charming people.” -Author, therapist and founder of Love Addicts Anonymous, Susan Peabody.

Narcissism is a personality disorder. It stems from childhood abuse. When these abused children are young, they decide that the world, and the people in it, are bad and they are the only ones that are good. These thoughts result in a distorted view of themselves. They are the ones that are perfect, and they should be catered to. They lack compassion for others, because everyone else is ‘less than’ or wrong. In general, narcissists are incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship because they have to be in control at all times. But really, a narcissist has to be in control so they are not abandoned, abused or hurt. These narcissistic behaviors find a home in any gender, male or female and in any relationship, heterosexual, gay or bi-sexual.

If you keep your eyes open, you can detect a narcissist’s need for control and self-centeredness. If you make an error they will be critical and unsympathetic. And they will never forget a past mistake. They hold you to a high standard and exhibit disdain for what they consider weakness or vulnerability.

Narcissists are very charming in order to seduce people into liking them. Their ability to impress people is amazing. They appear confident, exciting and are a “match made in heaven”. Love addicts fall for narcissists and bond with them. The narcissist is so good at their craft, that when their true colors emerge, they manipulate their codependent love addict partner to ensure they will not abandon them. It is as if the narcissist and codependent love addict are fighting for the same thing. The codependent love addict fears abandonment as much as the narcissist.

Early abandonment of a child places that kid into a very harsh environment, forcing them to endure and grow up rapidly. They hate the fact they were abandoned but believe that they can endure, and if they work hard enough, abandonment will never happen to them again. A codependent love addict adult emerges from this traumatic childhood environment.

A male codependent love addict is a survivor. He will scrape and do without in order for his offspring and family to survive. These men are self-effacing, excelling in sales, in service positions or dealing with the public. If he needs more money than his 9-5 career can provide, we will find him at a grocery store stocking shelves at midnight or a Home Depot directing others to purchase Sawzalls or mulch on a weekend. These codependent love addicts are constantly fulfilling their role as the primary enabler for their narcissist. A consummate “make doer”, he is unable to speak up for himself, selling himself short in order to avoid the pain of conflict with his loved one. He is strong, he is resilient, and he is a “mute coyote”.

You might want to consider attending a 12 step mutual support group such as:





To find a professional with counseling experience in love addiction go to the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to scholarship and training of professionals certified in sex and love addiction treatment.

For training consider the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) which is a training resource for therapists specializing in the areas of sex addiction recovery and trauma http://www.iitap.com/certification/addiction-professionals


Another good book and resource are:

We Codependent Men – We Mute Coyotes by Carrie C-B , Ken P, Bob T http://www.amazon.com/We-Codependent-Men-Inspiration-Addicted/dp/0578079704

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4 Responses to Every narcissist needs a codependent love addict

  1. Diana says:

    I love what you have written and completely agree. I do have a theory based off my observations with these kinds of toxic relationships. My theory or hypothesis is that the codependent addict when they realize they are in a controlling relationship and seek help (therapy) to become stronger and find their voice will then over compensate And become the narcissistic addict themselves in their next relationship. I have seen this happen several times and I am starting to wonder if this is a dangerous trend.

    • Melissa Killeen says:

      You have just filled in the missing piece for me! I too, have seen this happen but never could articulate it as well as you have. Dangerous trend? I think it is just finally being recognized by intelligent treatment providers like you!
      Can I expect a journal article or maybe a blog someday?
      Thank you for your comment and your insight.

      • Diana says:


        Glad I can add to such a great article that hits close to home in many ways. I would love to start on a journal article about this as it has recently been a topic on my mind lately as I seem to see it more and more. Then I see your article which is the perfect prelude to what has been stewing in my mind. Maybe it’s time to do some serious research.

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