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Another great article, thanks. Having emerged in 2020 from an abusive ten-year relationship, I can see how we exemplified the codependent and narcissistic dynamics you describe. I was the codependent one, always trying to do my duty better than before, in the hopes of avoiding future criticism and abuse.

Since I left, my ex has been working almost continuously on the "accomplishment of some impressive feat", like hiking the Continental Divide Trail (3000 miles), or skiing the Catamount Trail (300 miles), to name just a few of the things she's done.These feats really are impressive, and they're a continuation of the things she did in her 20s, like hiking the AT (twice) and the PCT. But these feats also seem like an attempt to regain a sense of self-worth that is severely wounded.

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You're welcome! Yes, the feats are impressive - and certainly many people do such things for other motivations than just supply. But there are also many who are seeking some kind of self-validation or external recognition of impressiveness in the feat.

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