Firstly I find in my work that the person who is being abused is not always aware that abuse is happening due to their past history and conditioning. So they do not see or acknowledge the red flags. This results in their moving from toxic relationship to toxic relationship.
Secondly they become dependent/addicted to the abuser and the sex, the lovebombing and the vision and promise of a happy life.
When I work with a client who is caught in the trap you describe I work on it as if the person is in an addiction with heroin because the relationship addiction is as potent as this and as damaging.
Interestingly both heroin and relationships give oxytocin highs. We might be particularly drawn to this if we didn't have our basic love needs satisfied in our early years. Of course we are then going to be drawn and love the high drugged feeling the narcissist gives us when things are good.
Though healthy to have gotten in childhood from your loving parents particularly in the first 3/5 years of life it is dangerous and addictive to become dependent on a narcissist for this comfort.
You must learn to love yourself as an Independent person. Build yourself esteem working with a therapist who understands these dynamics.
For more information about the subjects covered in this blog, contact Margaret Parkes - phone: 086 832 0422 email: firstname.lastname@example.org