Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at [email protected]

Q. My friend is dating a man that I believe is a narcissist. She is obsessed with him even though he treats her badly. I have tried to point out what seems so obvious but she does not want to listen. What should I do?

A. Narcissistic addictions are like cocaine, gambling and any other drug or behavior that provides us with a rush and and a feeling of wanting more and more and more. There probably isn’t much more that you can do: the best thing for your friend would be if her narcissistic boyfriend would drop out of sight for good. But unless she gets treatment she will find another one.
These relationships defy common sense. They are not logical and usually find people behaving in ways they never would under normal circumstances, such as:
*Putting up with being ignored
*Putting up with their partner being involved with other women or men
*Putting up with never being able to rely on them
*Putting up with long periods of unexplained absences
*Putting up with being lied to and deceived – even though you know you are being lied to and deceived.
*Putting up with them putting in little or no effort.
*Putting up with looking weak, like a fool, doormat or like you have no self-respect.
*Putting up with being allocated to the friend position.
The million dollar question is why?
The answer is – they’re addicted to the high. The high is that moment where the object of their obsession is giving them their undivided attention. Where for a brief moment they feel loved, cherished and special.
The reasons for this are complex and can be any number of the following:
*Feeling starved for love and attention
*An addiction to the high intensity feelings
*They are used to poor treatment
*They live in a fantasy world.
*They’ve claimed some type of ownership of the individual and can justify sleeping with them even though we know they are involved with someone else.
* Low self esteem.
Your friend will suffer in this relationship and it will be hard for you to watch. Hopefully she will find herself in enough emotional pain that she will seek treatment.