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Codependency: Confusion and Disappointment of Love Addiction

Confusion and Disappointment of Love Addiction

Written by Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Coach, Randi Fine

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

Have you ever believed that you could love someone enough to fix whatever is wrong in their life? Do you have the ability or tendency to deny and rationalize away the obvious truths about the object of your affection, believing that your love is powerful enough to change the person? If you answered yes to these questions you may be a relationship codependent.


Codependency is a loosely used word many of us have heard though few of us know what it means. In general, codependency is the relationship that exists between everyone and everything; a positive and necessary function of the human experience. But we rarely hear the word used in that context. When someone is referred to as codependent it usually indicates a disorder. In this article I will narrow it down ever further by focusing on a specific type of codependent disorder—relationship codependency.


Relationship codependency, also known as toxic love or the “White Knight” syndrome, is a debilitating psychological addiction to painful, frustrating, and unequal relationships. Those who suffer from it often seek out relationships with others who are unstable and

irresponsible to satisfy their compulsive need to help, nurture, or control others. Before long they become enmeshed with the object of their affection and addicted to the hope, beyond all evidence or rational, that the person will change. I suffered from the crippling disorder for many years.


Those who have this addiction are often unaware that they have it. They do not understand that the chaos and pain that is so prevalent in their life is the result of their own dysfunctional behaviors. They do not see their responsibility in creating a life filled with heartbreaking confusion and disappointment.


The relationship codependent is always looking for the potential in others instead of accepting them as they truly are. They see people as works in progress—projects that they feel compelled to take on. The more challenging the project, the more attracted to the other person they are. They believe that they are rescuers, that they are doing something helpful. They are not in touch with the pathology that underlies their perception.


Before long relationship codependents become emotionally dependent on their partner and obsessed with their problems and needs. It is a parasitic relationship; codependents feel as if their survival depends on having the other person in their life. It is an addiction in every sense of the word; the other person becomes the codependent’s drug. It is an obsession that consumes his every waking thought. The hopelessness and depression that result only make her cling tighter to the other person. He may smile for the world but inside he feels like he is dying. She begins isolating herself because she does not want others to know about the secret life she is leading.


Randi Fine is an internationally renowned narcissistic abuse expert and coach, and the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery Second Edition, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of the official companion workbook Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: A Comprehensive Workbook for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse. Randi Fine is the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.




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