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One of the most frustrating things about living, loving or working with a person with the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be their lack of accountability.

Everything that goes wrong is always someone else’s fault and no matter how logical you are, they will continue to twist and turn their way out of the argument, even if they have to swear the sky is green.

This can be extremely frustrating and took me a long time to learn how to deal with and I want to share what I have learned about dealing with this today.

When you want to hold sway with someone (not only a person with narcissistic tendencies) the equation works something like this …

The more positive the connection between you = the more likely they will be to listen.

Please consider: Narcissistic people hate it when anyone tries to hold them accountable and so attempting to make them admit their shortcomings or mistakes will only break rapport. Because of this it’s probably best to not even try!

That doesn’t mean you need to give in to their bad behaviour; instead of trying to hold them accountable (which won’t work anyway), consider making them face the consequences of their mistakes.

Get on the Same Level

Talking down to people is rarely persuasive no matter how superior you feel your position to be.

Rather than playing teacher, judge and jury – or mother superior – instead try some grit with a dash of humility while setting boundaries . . .

Example 1:

I don’t know how to sort out our finances and I can’t see where our money is going and so I have opened a separate bank account and hired an accountant to come in and see if they can sort out the mess.”

Example 2:

I am worried about you, but I don’t know how to help you (with your porn addiction) and I am scared that it is hurting our sex life and putting our marriage at risk. So unless you’ve got some ideas – I don’t know what to do except to talk to our doctor and see if they have any ideas that might help.”

Example 3:

I can’t be late for work again and so I am sorry I can’t drop you off today.”

Example 4:

I don’t know how to handle you when you get so angry at me, and so from now on I am going to need to get someone who knows know how to handle angry people (the police?) here to come and talk to you when you get angry. I don’t want to get you in trouble, it just scares me and I don’t know what else to do.”

Or there may be situations where there is nothing to say – you simply need to stop protecting them.

Sure they will probably still get angry when you use these kind of scripts, so you will need to play this carefully and use your own judgement. These type of conversations are usually safer in a public place – like a park or restaurant, and you need to make sure you are not bluffing!

They won’t like what you are saying, but if you show genuine concern for them and let somebody else play the bad guy, you can keep your connection at the same time as setting a boundary.

Then if your warning has no effect, step out of the way and let life teach them the lesson they have coming.

Work on Better Scripts for ‘Next Time’

If you are trying to hold people accountable for what has happened in the past – I would suggest that instead you make the decision to forget it.

If you didn’t know how to set the boundary back then, rubbing a person’s face in it now is not going to do anything but make them resent you.

If they owe you money, hire a debt collector (if you need to) and step away from the adversarial role – and let someone else do the dirty work. Otherwise be kind to yourself by forgiving them, but make sure you are prepared – with better scripts – next time.

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Kim is the author of seven books on the topic of relationships and emotional intelligence.

A prolific multi-media content innovator, Kim has created and shared a library of articles and multi-media educational tools including radio shows,
movies and poetry on 'The NC Marriage', and 'The Love Safety Net'.

This Post Has 218 Comments

  1. Kim,
    This is an interesting topic. When someone is being selfish and KNOWS they’re being selfish or not accountable for bad behavior, I really want them to understand how mean and hurtful they’re being, and how they’re creating fallacies merely to rationalize it to escape blame.

    1. Hi Lady Jane, you may want that sure – but selfish people aren’t prone to listening! Actions speak louder than words (-:

  2. However, I found that by justing leaving the situation, he was finally able to see it on his own, after life gave him hard knocks which took him off his pedestal and he realized ON HIS OWN when the same thing was done to him by another, how wrong his behavior was. He called and apologized once he had this revelation. It took 2-3 years and I’ve moved on, but the apology from him finally gave me the closure I needed. I couldn’t do it for him, it had to come to him.

  3. Mine treated me like a queen for 6 months. Moved in with me and 6 months later started choking me, beating me, humiliating and belittling. He left and came back many times, but made a fool of me three months ago for the last time. I cannot take any more. I actually tried some of the things you noted here, but there was absolutely no reasoning with him. The last time I tried, he beat me so badly that I almost lost my life. Sometimes you just have to say enough is enough and let them go. The majority of them do not change. You were lucky.

    1. Hi Elaine and welcome (-: Stepping out of the way of the consequences you describe would mean having him charged and put in jail for his assaults on you. What I am suggesting here is not about reasoning but action.

  4. Hi,
    I have been reading your articles for about a year now. I’m very happy that things have worked out in your marriage. Unfortunately, my marriage held no hope.
    My husband of 14 yrs(2nd for both of us) is not only a narciccist, but also had an affair for two years. I held on to what was left, did marriage counseling, individual counseling, etc. nothing worked. I shouldn’t say that, my therapy has made me much stronger and shown me a clearer picture of my marriage.
    It’s almost two years later, we are separate under the same roof until I can move out. My husband never said he was sorry, no remorse, hasn’t held a steady job 12 of 14 years. And of course it’s all my fault! He even told the marriage counselor he couldn’t promise (an affair) wouldn’t happen again! But wanted me to stay with him!!!
    Now because I am moving across the country, I am being blamed for him losing the house. Saying he never wanted it to begin with! I see our old marriage counselor for trauma therapy and he said he feels my husband has anti-social personality disorder with narciccistic traits. Our entire marriage he has NEVER taken responsibilty for anything.
    He feels I am wronging him by leaving. I feel I am saving my life.

  5. This has taken me lots of practice, but as I improve, I feel more and more empowered. Just because I slip up once, or multiple times, does not mean that I am required to continue the permissive, unhealthy behavior. I constantly remind myself of this.

  6. Personally, I think that by not holding these people accountable, it just happens to create more narcissists. Just what I have found throughout my life.

  7. You are right on target. It also focus the responsability, in oneself(mua). No wonder I could not communicate with my husband! I am (was) like a mother superior to him and that’s not very sexy!!!
    Thank you!. If I apply your suggestions I am going to like myself and him better.

  8. My boyfriend takes no responsibility for anything that he goes. H even blames me for him breaking up with me, which he does about every two months, and then he wants to make up. I believe he is verbally and emotionally abusive. You are right when you say talking does no good. It is always me. He does have a good side, but I am beginning to wonder which is the real him. He spins everything to make me wrong and him right. I really don’t know how much more I can take of this bad behavior.

  9. I LOVE this article. It’s perfect in every way. I’ve had to allow my spouse to suffer the consequences of his behavior many many times and he continues to make the same ones over and over again. Now I control my own bank account and will not be involved with him with regard to money in any way, shape, or form for as long as we both shall live. Because for a Narcissist, marriage equals dollar signs. He knows we will have seperate accounts from this point forward, but I don’t think he really believes it. It’s okay, he doesn’t have to believe it. Just as long as I stick to my boundaries. I like your advice about just ignoring the behavior. When I was in Grad school, the therapists teaching the classes on Child Therapy would say to ignore a child’s bad behavior and eventually it would be extinguished. NPD is a very child-like personality disorder, so it would behoove us to learn some child therapy techniques if were going to love and live with a Narcissist. Thanks for your solid advice!!

  10. Ultimately, narcissism cannot be cured only managed. I tried to help someone that I thought I cared about every day for a year and in the end, I ended up trying to hold on to her to the point where she consciously decided she would blatantly lie to the police about any contact, even coincidental, which resulted in me being arrested for STALKING her even though my contacts with her consisted of 5 phone calls none of which consisted of anything but the question why? So I have learned that it is best to let true Narcissist alone, especially those that have untreated and unrecognized borderline along with the condition. There is no love in the world worth what a borderline narcissist is willing to do to not be healthy and to take you down with them. It is a lesson that no one needs to learn through experience when they can simply and with much less emotional and spiritual costs, avoid EVER having to confront. The person that I speak of is the worse case of spiritual soul sickness that I have ever encountered in my nearly 60 years of life and nothing that anyone does can do anything more than put up with for a time until in the end, she gets worse than she was when she was the worse the last time. My advice is not to have to live with someone like this because it is not love but something not yet defined in the annals of DSM and will and does only get worse over time. There is absolutely no redeeming qualities about a person who has a blaming spirit and thinks that everyone else is the problem. The world is a much better place when people like that do the only thing that is notable in their life which is for them to kill themselves and do the rest of us a favor.

    1. Hi Harrison and welcome – I understand your feelings and hear that you are hurting. No matter how soul destroying this type of relationship can be, your experience of this disorder being incurable is not ours and the DSM has also recently been updated to change their position on this. I am sure you did all you could and I am sorry that you feel so angry and disappointed – I hope that understanding and time brings you healing.

  11. My friend (who once was my lover) always blames me when we fight and then breaks it off for awhile. She calls every email I send her “Diatribes” which tells me 1) she doesn’t give a good rat’s ass about my feelings or opinions 2) dismisses my opinion yet expects me to hear her out every time!If I told you everything about our relationship I would write a 10 volume encyclopedia! How do I get her to acknowledge my opinions? I am Liberal thinking person and positive too until I get around her and her negativity!She is constantly pointing out my shortcoming while I reserve my feelings about her shortcomings.. it’s as if she is talking me out of our relationship!

    1. I have the same exact issue with my husband constantly slamming his opinions in my face, telling me how things should be done, basically voicing what he wants and how he wants, yet as soon as I voice my thoughts, if inconsistent with his, he immediately shuts me up however he can, speaking over me, etc.
      I’ve learned from reading all of these articles that screaming for him to hear me, complaining he doesn’t listen, etc. Has no effect. He will not hear me in that moment. I either need to do what I think is correct or if it’s something we need to speak about I will wait until things have calmed down. Choose your battles and decide what is important enough to speak about and wait until things are calm. I do sometimes text my husband if I need to ask something or tel him something he may or may not freak about. That way I don’t react if he adversely reacts.
      I have also tried Kim’s suggestion at not allowing my husband to put me down when he is trying to shut me up bc he can’t handle hearing an opposing opinion or something that points out a negative or fault of his…my husband likes to tell me how to do certain mundane tasks like cleaning up after my new dog when she releases herself on our floor. I know to use more than just a paper towel and water to clean this up so it doesn’t smell and is disinfected, but he knows better. I simply say thank you for the suggestion,but I got this.
      It’s all a work In progress for me but it’s starting to calm things in my home and keeping myself calm already.

  12. Sorry to hear Joan. My advice, run! I have been married for 15 years with two kids with my husband. Everyday is a challenge. I have been living his desires for all these years. Recently things are extremely difficult for my family. He will never change, so the question is, are you willing and capable of putting all your dreams, goals and morals aside for a boyfriend. Get strong. I have a good material life, although everything is his. So correction, I enjoy a good material life, but nothing more really. Everything is for him. Sex, holidays, dinners, housework, conversations, etc. I pray my own daughter never marry a man like. Him. I too hope you take a path that is filled with more happiness for you. Otherwise, you will be spending your life trying to make someone else happy, and unfortunately those days are limited.
    Take good care.
    Butterfly is my chosen name because if you help a catteiller out of its cocoon it will die. It needs to flap its wings until blood flows to each vien in order to escape the cocoon.

    1. Hi Butterfly and welcome (-: I understand your feelings entirely – but here on this blog we do try and leave the decision to stay or go up to people’s own hearts – if only because it is one of the very few places people who don’t want to separate can come to get help.

  13. He says what happened to you? You like to be sick. Says I am a know it all and have too many opinions.He does revenge for things I didn’t try to do. He is very sensitive. He is like a King on a throne with many wives. He expects respect. If I don’t look at him in his eyes he says it is rude. He abandons almost daily conversations/e mails/helping me. He tries to manipulate me and I don’t let him. He will blame me instead of himself. He rejects Jesus and has become like a god himself with supporters who validate him. I just didn’t take his bait and didn’t talk about the negative thing he was trying to focus on about me. To me he is like a predator sucking the happiness out of his prey and then throwing them away when they are sad.

  14. Oh my gosh I can relate to Joan. My husband left me over a year ago. He started calling another woman before he left. Told me after he left that he wasn’t “giving up his ‘friends’, any of them”. He’s still with her (and who knows who else!) and yet, he BLAMES ME and texted me just the other day about how hurt and angry he is. Said it was a hurt beyond which I could ever know! And for the past year+ I have asked him repeatedly to tell me what made him so angry…what can I do to make it up…can’t we work at this…and he has yet to tell me…Instead, said he’s never coming back, could never work, won’t see me and talk face to face, and now fading away again (no calls no texts)…

    I DID however, make the mistake Kim mentioned. In our last phone call (a phone call was a rare event) I confronted him with the bad behavior, some of which is above…all I got for that was this text, which also said that my words have power over him and I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE! And he has told others (not me of course) that he thinks I was abusive to him.

    I think for my sanity I just can’t talk to him anymore. He even said “I love you so much”…what? He hasn’t done one thing that seems to indicate any love (in well over a year)…and it certainly doesn’t seem like love…

    I am thinking he was pretending to be someone else, married me, kept it up awhile and then it got too much to keep it up. Do you think that’s possible? And do narcissists project more than the average bear? Seems like nearly everything he says to me is about him.

    Sorry to rant. Having a very down night about it. I married late in life and was only married 1 yr 4 mos when he left…and am still missing him and coming to terms with this…the guy I married just doesn’t seem to exist and whoever he is now doesn’t want me in his life or to be in mine.

  15. I am really struggling with desiring an adult relationship and the reality of needing to have good child therapy techniques to deal with the relationship I do have. How do you find the energy to do this? I am caring for our children on my own and maintaining a home, working, and hurting, as are our kids and obviously my husband too. There are times I just want to say – enough! It’s time to Grow Up! I don’t want to be the person he blames for everything, but continuing to set boundaries is only further infuriating him and I find it difficult to cut the imaginary cord with my emotions sometimes. I used to get sucked into the chaos and then anything I said or did was magnified. I see Absolutely zero accountability for his very mean abusive behavior from him and no desire to do so either. .
    Is there a point when I can tell, “he has decided he does not want to get better and is not planning to do so?” I don’t want to walk away but he is pushing me away so far and I just wonder how you all find the strength to continue the dance during times like that.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Renee and welcome! This is exactly why you need to step out of the way and let other professionals such as your doctor or the police deal with him. It is ironic but the more you tell these people you care and are concerned about him the more likely they will be to side with you.

  16. Kim, I totally agree with this article and after dealing with this type of behavior for 34 years of marriage I know this method works great. When anything goes wrong i can’t even imply it was his fault. He manages to spin evey bad situation into someone else being at fault. It amazes me at how his brain works and like to think of it as a mass of short circuited wires that just don’t connect to each other. This method of dealing with it is the only one that has any positive results. Thanks for another great article and check out my reparative relationship website I call Flaky Folks when you get a chance.

  17. Da, I could have written your story You are me. Some days I am so glad that he is gone I could scream others days I really miss his presence not him. My spouse left and never said why just left and of course it is all my fault. He wanted to stay but I was too difficult to live with. he of course was perfect and still is. He was a leach and a parasite and I didn’t need nor do i want him back. He never did anything for me nothing. So I am glad it’s over. it’s just not final as in annuled. He doesn’t qualify to ge a divorce.

    1. Hi Marie and welcome (-: I hope that understanding will help bring you to a place where you can begin to heal the hurt and move on.

  18. Debbie says “to a narcissist marriage equals money” and talks about the childlike behavior. I’d love to hear more about this. I think mine married me thinking he’d improve his station in life (although he said I could quit working before we were married) and was vastly disappointed at my low earnings after marriage and soon after my parents hints of creating a trust so that their money could not go to him, he left. The childlike behavior I have described as an emotionally disturbed 5 year old…

    I know it sounds like I hate him. But really, I am just angry and hurt. I was disappointed however, and stuck in my own issues, feeling like I gave and gave and wasn’t getting much in the last couple of months we were living together. (exhausted)

  19. I agree with all of this content. My issue is…what about false accountability? I feel I did a very good job of using the above techniques the second I realized I had a narcissist on my hands. I was devastated, but I was willing to work. I am a school teacher, so I used many of the strategies I use to manage behavior with students, and they often work. We also went to counselling, and he pretended to engage and apologize and to own his actions just enough to keep me around. He was smart – knew the language to make him look sincere….and maybe a piece of him wanted to be. However, he continued to push and push to see if I would break….trying to get me to act as immature as he would…so he wouldn’t feel inferior….or at least cause me pain to ease his own. Finally I knew I couldn’t live like that and I had to leave. It broke my heart. I love him deeply to this day. It’s been over a year. I still get constant emails wishing me well and statements of regret and promises… hoping I’ll return someday. He claims to have been to the counselor we saw together and that he knows he did all that to me because he hated himself before and has learned to now love himself. He has not moved onto another relationship, though I suspect he uses porn as comfort. It is so hard to read his a apologies and statements of ownership and progress. I want to believe them so much. But my brain knows that this is most likely the beginning of another cycle of hell, though my heart longs for it to be real. Thoughts anyone? Thanks for all you do Kim!

    1. Hi Ann, This is why it is so important to not leave yourself in the position of being the judge. If you still love him well then give him a chance – but you also need to make sure you have rock solid boundaries in place including your money and your time. I don’t know what the problem was that you entered counselling about but if he is truly sorry he will accept the new rules of engagement. Steve agreed to put software on his computer so that I could see all that he was up to and maybe you can ask if he will offer to do that too? I don’t know enough about your situation to give you much more advice – but you can keep things on course if you do not allow yourself to be persuaded to trust him. Real trust is earned and not given anyway and so no you shouldn’t trust him yet, things need to be set up now so there is complete transparency.

  20. I agree that at some point when there’s no change, you cannot continue. Life is hard enough without having to adapt yourself to twisted ways of relating to someone in order to have any semblance of a relationship. And after all that effort, it still isnt a relationship anyway!

  21. I find this interesting in that I now realize that I was married to 2 narcissistic men. I am divorced from them, but one has since passed away.
    The problem is that everyone thinks they were both wonderful and there was something wrong with me. Even my grown sons do not understand what I nightmare I went through twice. Do I just let go of this since it is the past? I feel persecuted and I don’t know how to cope.

  22. Marie, sorry to hear. I wish my thinking was as clear as yours, but it’s not. For all this time I have been working on myself, attending classes through the church (designed for couples, but they are letting me go by myself)…and I (unlike him) remember the good times…he COULD be really, really sweet…and my soul still loves him (it’s the only way I know how to describe it as it takes me out of the very human/ego part of me that is pissed as hell at the childish, immoral behavior) also lets me not put the blame on myself (which I bought into, and still do some days, like today).

    What he said was “I love you but I can’t live with you”. Sounds similar Marie. He also said “we don’t have kids, there’s no reason to stay together. You don’t deserve this either for the rest of your life”. I was speechless. Did not EVER think he would leave me. Still in shock over a year later.

    And yet, I’d give anything to turn back the hands of time and find a way to work through this…believing in my heart that we could both emerge more whole and healed and have a wonderful life!

    Confused. Still haven’t done anything legal… I’m nearly positive he never will (but oh, I was already wrong once!), unless some woman forces him to that is…but think I need to for myself. (I don’t want to date yet, am working on myself, but may need that piece of paper to feel comfortable to move forward.)

    Do you ever heal from this? I thought he was the love of my life!! (Still do in my heart, although head says differently.)

  23. I just wonder what percentage of the male population is like this? What percentage of females. I can’t help but notice how many women are saying what they are doing wrong by getting angry. Right this second I am so angry more angry probobly than ever in my life at him over what appears to be infidelity and porn and him always blaming others for what he does wrong.. How much can a person swallow and stroke anothers ego before it is just too much!

    1. Hi Marje and welcome to our site, Write down what first triggered you getting angry and then go and do something to cheer yourself up and forget about him for awhile. We are certainly not about stroking his ego, but you need to be cool and calm to put a new plan into action.

  24. Thanks Kim – I understand you don’t have alot of info to work with. I actually separated from him once for a few months prior to the breakup for the same reasons – constant verbal abuse and emotional manipulation… Prince charming until any type of insecurity would arise. The reason I can’t trust his apologies or promises now is because I heard them all before – almost verbatim. I agreed to come back to the relationship with many boundaries in place. He was able to respect them for several weeks…then quickly deteriorated to the same behaviors, but worse. He resented me for ever requesting counseling or that I expected him to continue to keep his word. I held on for several more months hoping that he would come around, but he was really just waiting for me to cave. As much as he wanted it to look so, he hated the reality of being accountable for anything – especially his own word. I do believe he misses me…and he loves me as much as he is able to love, but this disability is cyclic…and I am much too aware of his cycles. How can I ever trust that this isn’t the beginning of another end? But God, do I miss the good. It’s so hard to accept that it was no more than a performance.

  25. im from a broken abusuded unluved drug parents were awful.what 1didnt think of that was shady the other1would.they were the greety who took from the week and long as thier lst dollar was in thier pocket they could care less who suffered.well i do believe in karma.and just in case i may neva get the chance 2 hear or c.i kicked them 2 curb.and all my syblenz.i am the only1 out of 6kdz reached out and got help 4 the hell i lived and seen.but i unlike them have self admitance.i dnt lie or deni i tell it like i c it.that causes waves every where in my life.but i no who i am.i am a mother of 5 beautiful kids and they hear i luv u everyday.and there r reprocutions 4bad choices.and i make sure i praise them when they mk good choices.

    1. Hey Welcome Cheryl and good job surviving the hell you were raised in, it is tough when we end up having to parent ourselves.

  26. Ann, I hear ya on missing the good. I took him back many times when we were dating. Seems he decided to leave only after we were married. But I’d love to hear him say he wanted to work on it again. I think it’s a positive sign that yours hasn’t latched onto someone else. (is that part of narcissism?)

    I feel guilty as hell for my behavior deteriorating also. (felt he didn’t love me and felt I didn’t have a partner). Then, after he left, I was right out of my mind, and nasty, until I started getting some help. I felt like I had every DSM diagnosis there is in the months immediately after his leaving, the other woman, and what seemed like torturous behavior (he turned really mean)!

    I am looking for feedback here…I want to work on myself. And heal and grow. Have much to learn! Not even sure if he is narcissist, but think so…although some days I wonder if it’s me instead! Did I “catch it” from him?

    Did he just not bond with me and I did with him and that is why this seems harder? It’s hard to grasp how this man that professed his love so earnestly and regularly could turn this fast!

    Is there anything more I can do bridge the gap? At this point, I think it may be best (for me, likely him too) to stay away and do nothing or resolve the legal aspect. There doesn’t seem to be anything else I CAN do.


    Welcome input.

  27. Ahhh! So frustrated in my 24 years of marriage! I’ve allowed my husband to twist and manipulate, not be held accountable for most of it. He is truly an emotional invalid with little ability to connect. When I speak up he makes me out to be the crazy one! He can’t sustain connection for any consistent amount of time. I’ve realized the times he/we are in therapy he is “good” but when the therapy is over it isn’t long before he reverts back to his passive aggressive and non-relational ways. I often feel rejected and alone. I’m tired of trying to fix this marriage. When I ask him about his resistance he replies that he’s he scared. How many more years do I give to a man that proves over and over that he’s not going to change? When I downloaded the book I had hope. But I just feel like I’m still the one doing all the work. So hard to get out of my marriage for many reasons. Very spiritual, as well. Til death do us part. I think the marriage is dead. Can we now part?!

    1. Hi Debbie – Of course you should part if you feel that way! But please be careful and have a look at the last chapter of Back From the Looking Glass before you do. Leaving can set of behaviour you might not be expecting and it is best if you are prepared.

  28. DA – from what was explained to me, a true narcissist does not know how to love…he knows how to survive on his narcissistic supply…which is you…until you’re not. And unfortunately, the source has no idea why it loses status…and that’s why it hurts so damned much. That pain and confusion is enough to drive a person to behave in a way as to not recognize oneself. I was lucky to have had a professional recognize him for who he was before I fell into that trap. But talk about a grieving process – to realize that all that you thought was real love was … not. To find out that who you thought was your partner actually had no interest or ability to play that role. My advice would be to continue to work on YOU. You have given so much to him – you have to give back to yourself now so you can heal.

  29. How much pain! – Why are we attracted to this type? and after everything they do we still crying for them?- there must be some personality traits that mirror ours. I fell in love with what I thought it was a good sense of self, while I was searching for mine. Looking back we both use each other for opposite reasons. Mine came back after 8 years of doing what he wanted. I thought things would change they don’t. Was left for me is to accept the real him and stop falling for the fantasy of who I would like him to be. Why? because I can’t change him BUT I can learn to love myself and stop depending on him to make me feel secure, loved and happy. We have been married for 29 years 8 of which he spent living with someone else. He came back the same except, I know am aware of his limitations as well as mine. I am constantly lowering my expectations but I won’t compromise my safety,tranquility and emotional stability. Kim, thank you for taking a leadership role and sharing with us what worked for you! –
    I am committed to make my marriage work! – and want to learn to truly love not for what they give me but for what I can give! – True, it is impossible without God’s help and other’s support!

  30. I have just left a 10yr relationship with a Narcissist and I feel physically and mentally exhausted. I loved him so much and I am still involved with him to an extent as we share property and pets. It is really unbelievable what they put you through. He is controlling, a bully, very verbally abusive, calls me every name he can think of, ignores me, lives in a constant disordered mess, hates everyone, is never wrong himself,has pychotic episodes (scary) lays blame on anyone but himself etc etc. Sometimes we could go for months without one good day. Ive walked on eggshells for years and hes totally screwed my head ! Now we have to devide property, of course I dont deserve anything, I didnt do as I was told, had too much to say for myself, turned everyone against him and so it goes on and on. I actually feel like I cant take anymore, and now find myself alone at 60yrs when I thought I would be settled down with someone to spend the rest of my life with. I so tried to help and get help for this man as I have empathy for him because I know he is very unhappy also, but I can do no more for him. He tells me Im the sick one that needs help, and do you know… hes right !

    1. Hi Pamela and welcome (-: Empathy is not going to help him but him coming face to face with reality will. It is good you can see you need some help too (-: Our 10 Steps to Overcome Codependence is a great place to start!

  31. I found out after many years that my father had these traits, and I dated several men over the years very much like him. I now know there is no fixing or holding them accountable short of having them arrested if there is criminal behavior. As long as we feel the need for validation from them, we are still in that trap of hoping for real emotions and caring from these people, and there is none–just more manipulation for their own gratification. Leave, and don’t look back. Nothing will convince them or change them. Save yourselves and consider yourselves lucky for getting out when you did, and get your kids as far away as possible. Love yourselves enough to cut your losses.

    1. Hi Liddabird and welcome, I appreciate your sentiments but if you share children taking them away without court permission is considered kidnapping and most people with NPD are very good at charming the court system. It is very important if a partner of someone with NPD decides to leave that they already have a very good plan and have already established effective strategies to de escalate and manage the conflict. Abandonment can be a big trigger for violence and so please don’t consider leaving a matter of being able to simply cut your losses and move on. That kind of thinking can unfortunately get people, and especially children hurt.

  32. Hi Kim
    With regards to your response #31, to Renee. What Renee wrote could have been written by me. My question is, it would be great to rely on someone else (police, doctor, etc) to deliver the bad news to him about his behavior, but the things my husband does are too mild for that. There is no physical abuse, no porn even, no substance abuse, no affairs, no secret spending. Perhaps he’s just a mild case. What there is is putdowns, anger, blaming, no empathy, selfishness, baiting me to get me drawn into arguments, and lack of accountability in the small things in life such as chores or simply doing what he has said he will do in a million small ways. ANYTIME I complain about anything there is ABSOLUTELY no sympathetic response from him. But I can’t call the police, or the doctor, or even the priest, and say “my husband said he’d call me but he didn’t and he got mad at me when I expected him to be sorry about that” or “My husband laughed at my idea like it was ridiculous”. What are they gonna do? When such small things happen occasionally in a relationship, they might be overlooked. But in my house they are the constant fare.

    Thanks, Tanya

  33. I have not heard anyone talk about sex on this website. For a woman in relationship with a narcissistic man, does it make any sense to use sex to hold him accountable? How does sex work in these relationships? Should I stop “saving” him by having sex with him when I don’t feel like it because of his behavior? If he really had to earn my trust like you’d expect a person would have to before you’d have sex with them, that would take a really long time. I mean for me to feel the kind of trust for him and love from him that a woman ought for someone she is having sex with – wow, that would be gigantic. Does it really make any sense for me to be making love to a man who is not trustable or loving? Or is cutting off sex simply the same as threatening to leave him? My husband appears to have pretty strong values, actually, around sexual behavior ie I don’t expect that he’d easily cheat.

    Thanks, Tanya

  34. Thanks Kim. I think the main thing is to BELIEVE and KNOW that you are not to blame for his bad moods and temper, whatever he says. And you have a right to your own views and feelings. I have found dbt [dialectical behavioural therapy] to be very effective for ME – learning to accept reality and deal with it effectively – I have REFUSED to take the blame for his outbursts and now he knows that i really mean it, I have actually got several apologies – that is progress indeed!

  35. There is something in all of the above in my husband.Actually lots!!He shows no remorse,money is his ‘God'(he grew up very poor)I undestand that and that it was’nt his fault.He is very verbally and emotionally abusive,to the point that I can’t describe the hurt and humiliation.What u r saying Kim abt bringing a third party in wld make him laugh.He has called the police on me and turned the whole issue around so I got no help there.I’ve been to counselling,healing all on my own cos he refuses to go cos there’s nothing ‘wrong with him’.He is very,very crude and say’s as a married man he has ‘his right’s’ and if a wife ds’nt have sex(never make love)with her husband he has to go looking ‘elsewhere’ for it.He ‘cut’s me to the quick’ with his slander,always belittling me and constantly put’s me down.He refers’s to me in company as ‘the thing or the wife’.I know pple think and look at me like I’m crazy and it’s becoming embarrasing to tell them cos it’s like going around in circles.Also,he is such a nice guy,pple think he is wonderful and I am looked at as the ‘miserable bitch(excuse the language)that he put’s up with.Sadly he has been ‘my one and only love’.PPle say ‘leave him and move on’but,’move on to what’at my age and stage in life it is’nt easy.And yes I love him and do know there is so much good in him.

    1. Hi Michelle, I cannot urge you strongly enough to purchase Back From the Looking Glass. It will teach you step by step how to stop him turning this around on you. You need to start today. There is no promise once you get stronger that he will change or that in the end you will want to stay with him – but you need to start righting the power imbalance in your home if there is to be any positive outcome for yourself.

  36. #43 Dear Tanya,
    It sounds like you have high expectations (perceived) from your partner. Have you tried instead of putting some effort into your relationship, like “ask not what you want rather what you are prepared to give” have you tried calling him and just saying “I didn’t hear from you so i called you up instead” it may be possible that you both have expectations of each other yet will not humble yourselves to give to the relationship. Surprise him to a treat and see how he responds, put some spice into your lives, take the initiative and action to turn the relationship around. Be bold be smart be loving be caring be humble and then if he fails to respond positively I’d say there is a problem, he may be preoccupied with something he cant talk to you about could be some issue at work or family, he could be bullied at work but doesn’t see it as bullying. Try giving him the sort attention you crave.

  37. MARIE,
    You say your marriage cannot be annulled and your husband doesn’t qualify for Divorce. I’m wondering if you’ve looked at all angles? Surely anyone married to a person with a mental health condition or personality disorder and who is at risk of being emotionally, psychologically or physically harmed is entitled to a dissolution of their marriage. As a Catholic priest advised me: “Some people are just not capable of fulfilling the roles required of a marriage partner, i.e. they must be CAPABLE of honouring, respecting, cherishing, loving, being loyal, protective and mature etc.. They have to be “sane”! Within Canon Law, if these essential qualities are lacking, the marriage can be looked on as invalid from the start, i.e. annulled. On these and other specific grounds Divorce is accepted by the Catholic Church via State Law, and Catholicism is one of the strictest religions. God is reasonable and fair, and doesn’t expect anyone to live a life of torment within a union that lacks peace and love, and causes harm. I’ve had to learn to detach rather than focus on atttachment. “Let go and let God” I say! The pain is lessening day by day… 🙂

  38. Kim, I love your blogs. My guy and I are apart a lot of the time but he still managed to be emotionally and mentally abusive to me after the honeymoon period of our relationship ended. He isn’t a major narcissist but has both narcissistic and borderline tendencies and at times he is a nightmare to deal with. I bought your book about 18 months ago, started working on myself and learning how to deal with a man like him and, and I am thrilled to say, we have both made major progress. He is no longer abusive towards me and he is learning to control his emotions. The most important factor in this seems to be TRUST. I have followed your advice and he seems to now trust me and I guess he therefore feels able to be more honest with me. I can’t trust him yet of course. That will take some time, but our relationship has improved dramatically since I discovered Through The Looking Glass. I don’t allow myself to be in the position of ‘bad guy’ these days. It’s not easy, but that is how the trust grows. Thanks Kim 🙂

  39. Hi Kim

    Thanks for another great article. I am weaning myself at the moment out of a relationship with a very toxic individual who was the final nail in my rocky marriage. I am still married and my husband and i are now really good friends so that had a happy ending. However this individual, who was in my life for 2 1/2 years on and off NEVER said sorry. I tried techniques to try and hold him accountable for his actions – sadly your article has come too late cos he stormed off again the other day. I have had yet another bereavement recently (my mother) – i have had 3 in just under 3 years and have found it very difficult to “flatline” ie show no emotion ever in his precense. I could snap once – that is say one sentence cos I was really upset about something and he would use it as an excuse to storm off, knowing full well that i say my piece and then carry on with my life. Then the row would be about him trying to leave not about the original subject which was over and done with already. I had terrible abandonment issues from my childhood and bereavements and his scared child behaviour never helped. Kim, you also say about leaving accountability to others. He got arrested for teen porn on his computer. Unfortunately he had already sold the offending computer to me – he had manipulated me so much that i genuinely believed that what i had seen on the computer was my imagination – i was the crazy one etc so that by the time the police arrested him he had bought a new computer. Clever eh. The first time my son met him he said “that man is bipolar” and several other people said that about him. I tried so hard and have read all your ebooks but nothing worked until i have just said enough is enough. Thank you Kim, reading your stuff has helped me so much to become a stronger person. Maybe if i had not had all the losses and children and could have spent my life concentrating on working on him there could have been hope but i think it is unlikely. I have a severe physical disability and cannot take on parenting an adult – it is too draining

  40. Tanya we could be talking about the same man here, amazing. And michelle I know just where you are coming from as well. I wish you both good luck 🙂

  41. Hi Kim,

    I was with my ex for 23 yrs – I tried and tried to support him so we could have an honest and mutually giving relationship – I thought I was good at seeing when he was lying – but in fact- it was all lies – everything – the whole relationship. I totally adored him and over time his constant jibes, judgement, derogatory comments, nicknames, mocking and humiliation took its toll on my confidence. I felt I was losing grip on life and sanity and didnt realise his constant insinuations and paranoid comments were pushing me there. This was accelerated when I started studying to be a teacher and earn a better wage (planning for when I could leave him). But I had disintegrated to such a point – I had no fight or self belief left and ended up HAVING to leave – suffocating and drowning in his dispair and the financial situation that we had as he would not work and earn.

    Unfortunately I had no where to take my boys and needed to sort this – but by which time he had totally turned my boys against me – poisoning them as a form of punishment. Then used access to them as a way of continuing to control me. After lots of advice I have had to step back and watch as my boys grow and mature (2.5yrs so far). i cant see them. He never leaves them unattended and puts so much pressure on them not to want to see me. My eldest is 15 and is still watched getting on and off the school bus!!

    A lot of friends think he is amazing although a lot of friends see through him now. But women are usually the worst for believing every word he says. I hope someone might read this and be more careful about their childrens safety and will not go through the agony I have. Good luck xx

  42. After a 13 year marriage my narcissistic ex confessed to an affair throughout. His behaviour towards me and the children became so bad he was forced to move out by court order. Years later he still says it was all my fault and I made it all up. He owes me large amounts of money, takes me to court to harass me and only takes notice of police and bailiffs.
    The saddest part is to deal with our son who copies his father, takes no responsibilty for his own behaviour and impossible to reason with most of the time.

  43. Hi While i think you mean well and i’m sure there are many you have helped. I worked with a woman who had NPD. After numerous requests for cooperation (5 years), (met with abject denials) I eventually went to my boss and asked that I deal with her through emails. This woman was a serial liar who could turn on the tears at will and present herself as a very convincing victim. The result- she flew into a narcissistic rage and fabricated false allegations against me. It was my word against hers. She did not present any evidence but seems to have scared the wits out of my male bosses as she implied she’d make a sexual harassment claim against them if they did n’t follow suit. She was passed up the line again and again. I was her middle manager boss – guess who had to prove they were innocent because I was perceived to be in the superior or more powerful position while being the least threatening . So conclusion I don’t think its wise to ask them would they feel more comfortable getting help from somebody else to help with the situation as they see this as a threat and if they are truly narcissistic they dont think they need help with anything. Also you need to make sure first that your bosses have the backbone to deal with these people. As my solicitor said at the time they were far more afraid of her than me. Your suggestions would probably work with those who have narcissistic tendencies but not people who have malignant narcissism which is a very rare condition.

  44. Just reading all these responses it seems most of the sufferers of this kind of narcissistic abuse are females, and that most abusive narcissists are males; although I’m sure there must also be male sufferers of female N’s too.. It certainly was the case with me. I was with the love of my life and we were unbelievably happy together, were going to get married, start a family; we would talk about everything together, our hopes / fears / aspirations for our life together. She was the kindest most loving, giving person I had ever been with.. until she wasn’t anymore…

    If I had to write about everything that I had to endure at the hands of the woman I love so much it would take a long time. I could never imagine that the sweet kind generous woman I promised to love for the rest of my life, could be so deliberately hurtful, so callous and full of spite and disregard for my feelings. I was slapped, hit, kicked, bitten, told that I was ‘not a man’ and it was all my fault for her behaving in such a manner. The self-doubt and anguish and stress it caused me resulted in adrenal fatigue and stress-burnout and a sense of despair so far-reaching that it affected me every day of my life, because I could not comprehend how a person could be so mean and vindictive to someone they say they love so much.. She told me I was her best friend. I tried and tried to reach her through her anger but the more I tried the more she saw me as someone that was to be looked down upon and treated me even worse. It seems that people like this can move on so easily without a second thought about you or the pain, anguish, and despair they cause to those they leave in their wake.. I still can’t bring myself to hate her, because I understand how her having this problem is probably not her own doing but that of her parent/s.. But that makes it no less hurtful and no less difficult to accept how she simply trashed our hopes and dreams together. And yet she believes there is nothing wrong with her and still blames me for causing her behaviour. I will never understand it.

  45. Thank you to all the people who have made comment on this site, it sure has opened my eyes. I have a beautiful six month old son to a man I love and care for who suffers from NPD. I say he suffers though of course he won’t ever admit it. His entire lifes circumstance from living with his mother in the islands to now living with his father in NZ is everyone elses fault due to their crazy/controlling/manipulative behaviour and his unlucky breaks due to….insert martyr action of his here. He is 40 years old and although we are living separately, my choice, he wishes for us to move to Australia together. I am hesistant as his actions around the birth of our boy showed him to be absent and immature with a failure to own his own behaviour. To add perspective he was not in communication around the birth, claiming the number on his old phone didn’t transfer correctly (he’d moved to NZ a few months earlier but hadn’t told me, I heard from a friend of his, and I got in contact with him looking up surnames in the phonebook as I knew he’d be living with his Dad) and his reason for not emailing me…..his stepmother was always on the computer and so he couldn’t! Two weeks after the birth when we/I set up a date to meet, to top it all off, when I realised he hadn’t told his Dad (who he was living with) about our son he proceded to tell me that he wanted to tell his Dad I’d just surprised him with a baby….as it would make him look bad. Well things have obviously been pretty delicate since then and I’m keeping a healthy distance but we have in the last few months been repairing our relationship. Problem is, long story short, he cannot apologise for any of the above and keeps pulling out old lines when I ask for support….along the lines of ‘you wanted to have a baby, you deal with it’. When he recently visited while I was putting bubs to sleep (after a month of serious sleep deprivation which I’d been trying to pull some consideration or support from him with)he goes to sleep as soon as he arrives as he’s had such a hard day….every day is hard in his world, he does to his credit go over the top. When bubs doesn’t sleep and I get a little touchy when he wakes, he go he goes back to bed, I later discover he’s gone home and I cop the blame for making him feel unwelcome! He tells me in a text later that night after I’d told to drink concrete and harden up. Aue, what to do when there’s a little one involved?

  46. Apologies, crying baby, spelling mistakes and unfinished sentences above. I’d meant to say in that last sentence that i’d text him to say I was tired and hence grumpy that bubs wasn’t sleeping….he told me to drink concrete and harden up it was my choice to have the baby, he’d have had an abortion. Is it an NPD thing that they don’t do phone calls? We had a one year long distance relationship after living together for two years and I didn’t even get a phone call when we had a family bereavement. Sigh:)

  47. Kush #49
    I’ve spent 13 years together following the “don’t ask what you get but what you can give” policy. He HAS improved, but his basic method of interaction is still unempathetic bullying, put-downs, anger, outbursts, only occasionally considering my needs and concerns, and not being accountable for the little things in life. His needs, concerns, and issues are everything. I categorize the severity of it by saying what percent of the time he is like this. It used to be about 70%, and in the remaining 30% he would seem “normal” and nice. It is down to only about 50% of the time being the disordered personality. My question was about not knowing how to hold him accountable when the things he does are “small” and not police-worthy: blowing up at me over perceived slights, put-downs, emotional distance, not following through on his word, his concerns taking priority, lack of caring and empathy. Perhaps he’s just a 2 on the scale of 1-4, but he’s still a 2, and it still is very difficult to live with. I suppose that I feel that I’ve lived the “giving” mantra for long enough to build up some trust with him, and that now it is time to add some amount of holding him accountable.

  48. Understanding who I am will get me through the day .
    When I get criticism,shouting verbal abuse , for no apparent reason , I know it’s not me ,just him not able to process
    a discussion ,and Therefore he responds by attacking me which makes him feel superior.
    Also I realise his controlling behaviour of me , is a lack of control of himself .
    I have had to do a lot of work on myself to stay balanced in this relationship and understand its worth.
    I now remove myself from bad behaviour , when possible.
    I still get called swear names “you are a selfish bitch ” !!!
    I work on myself to cope with that .
    Ultimately that’s whats important if the percentages are ok

  49. My wife been back&4th for all our marriage. these epidsodes are down right ridiculous. I have two kids by her.. Everything is my fault.. Idk if the meds are real or not.. She dont take responsibility, or account. She curses in front of parents and kids, belittle me many of times.. I ask myself, how can I love a person so cruel? She loves me for a mattervof time, its all good, but then hates next, the patterns are the same, im close to divorseN her, almost went to family courts, just to set the boundaries the she refuses to have.. And priorites.its 6 years yesterday, I mean, shes in and then out of my life, the love of my life ..yall pray for me… Pray for us

  50. Thanks Kim.Unfortunately in my sad little world at the age of 51 I don’t have any access to money.I rely on my husband totally.I don’t even have a bank acc.Unbelevable I know!I met him when I was 15 and never went onto study.I finished high school,did some courses and did work until I had my children.I was lucky to b a stay at home mom.I did work here and there and when the children left home I did have a job at an animal shelter.I left and went to care in the UK and that was absolutely diasasterous for my marriage.He had women in my home and lived the life of a bachelor.Since then I have not worked.I live in a small town and work is really hard to come by.Also I wld have to use ‘his’ car which he constantly threatens me with.At my age I have no confidence because I am constantly told how ‘thick and stupid’ I am.I do all my own housework,cooking and so forth.Also every job I’ve had he’s accused me of having affairs with someone.I don’t want to come across as the ‘victim’ here but that’s how it is.My husband has his own business of which I know nothing abt because he say’s ‘it has nothing to do with me’.I have tried to push the issue and get involved but to no avail.So yes,I wld love to purchase ur books but sadly can’t,that’s why I go online and try and read all I can wherever.Thanks for your time.

  51. It’s very interesting to hear the different experiences people have had. But also confusing if you want to find a way forward through this. Anyone’s behaviour can seem selfish, irresponsible and mean if it isn’t what the other person thinks it should be. Perspective is all important and since a couple usually ends up living in the way the dominant partner prefers the other person can seem ‘passive/ aggressive’ simply if they don’t throw themselves into that lifestyle with the degree of enthusiasm the dominant person would like to see. I think mentally healthy people are able to give some space and be tolerant of a partner who is not a carbon copy of themselves and therefore will differ on questions of tidiness, importance of money and life goals. I believe that the core problem is not the differences in living conditions that we all struggle to agree on and adhere to, but the underlying cognitive inabilities and resulting lack of empathy that gives rise to such a consistent lack of regard for another person. No amount of behavioural changes will alter that brain function – however if the N person needs you in their life I think you will be able to make the relationship work by managing the impact of their cognitive disability on your self. My experience is that this requires a lot of work on yourself – to find emotional balance and peace of mind that they cannot reach, whilst you respond to their behaviour gently but firmly. If your energy comes from a place of love but no nonsense they will know that they are loved and will not persist in attacking you. However if they perceive that they do not need you to feel secure and happy you had better find a way to get out quickly because they have no incentive to check their behaviour. This has been my experience of Narcissists.

  52. Hi Kim, I have come across this Blog today, and I can relate to so, so much. Do these people actually know what they are doing? They say they are sensitive, but the behavoir is undermining and abusive and can rip a person to pieces, even if they keep their cool, underneath that one can see that they are seething, but they will never admitt it. They will say that you are the angry one and that you need help,and walk away full of selfrighteousness. They are innocent, and will use this to cry and tell others about you. Councellors appear unable to help – Do they really tell the truth the then. It appears they are in total denial of their behaviour. Mine has just finished with me saying that he cannot deal with my “mood swings”. There is no going forward in the relationship as he is unable to discuss any situation or take responsibilty for his behave. Through this Blog it has become to Clear. I am better off without him. But I still miss him so am venerable and just hope I get stronger. ThaNK YOU.

    1. It means that someone needs to read your post before it is displayed – that is usually me but not always if I am busy (-: We do that to make sure abusive comments are kept off this blog and that this is a safe place!

  53. I rarely can get my husband to admit when he is wrong. He always states he should have been a lawyer because he knows how to argue/defend…He says this even in re to issues at work, he uses that statement whenever he’s feeling like things aren’t going his way. He can have what he calls a bad day or two a week where I suddenly become his punching bag and then when I say hey, don’t talk to me like that, he tells me how I brought it on and how I don’t have any clue what he goes through at work etc…yet he says he loves his job and wants to give his best!?!?
    He confuses the hell out of me! He will call me up, complain about work and when I tell him maybe he should try to work it out this way, I get lectured about it’s his job and should I expect him to go fight with his boss? I never said that! Or just the other day, he said he got a call from Monica, a cheque bounced. I said that is impossible and he said are you sure you didn’t forget the banking? He is already a bit worked up – he gets worked up alot – I said no of course not…turns out, when he said Monica, I assumed Monica from the bank called but I find out no, Monica is the secretary for the company the cheque was written to – which I could not have known and a little further investigation on my part was she tried to cash the cheque before the date so the bank returned it! But when I wasn’t getting what he said he got totally and completely frustrated with me, said he didn’t have time for this crap in his day so I offered to call her back and handle it and he refused said he would call. Later that day he comes home and tells me what a nice lady she is and he had a good conversation with her…wait a minute…she called him while he was busy at work, misinformed him saying it bounced, he gets all snappy with me and he calls her back all nice with an answer that I provided…I feel like he is always the good guy with everyone else, never wants to look bad in front of anyone and yet I know the real him. I looked on the ph bill…he talked with her for 6 min on that horrible day he was having, he never said excuse me I’ll have to get back to you, I’m busy, nope he chitty chatted and dumped on me.
    So yesterday I brought Monica a new cheque, wrote my phone number on the envelope, told her from now on she is to call me that he is busy at work to take such calls. I told him what I did and said it was better that way, that way we can avoid him being the middle man since I do all the banking anyways and it wouldn’t cause a problem for him or us in the future with an argument over the ph cause of a misunderstanding and he got soooo mad telling me again how I don’t know how hard some of his days are blah blah and that’s when I said, I am NOT your punching bag…you wanna rag on someone…rag on the person who first called you at a bad time – NOT me. I am soooo sick and tired of him by the weekend after he’s been a jerk half the week for apologising – yes apologising for being a jerk and defending himself at what a tough week it’s been and he’s sorry only for him to do it again. Not sure if he’s a narcissist but one thing I do know is he is super nice to everyone else unless they piss him off or what he perceives to be an attack on him from someone – usually family/me and he lets strangers/co-workers walk all over him.
    He’s always telling me how to run my life, deal with my kids etc yet I cannot speak to him about any issues he has….I’m supposed to be the good wife, just be there, just listen etc and if I’m having a problem and he’s got the time he’s all ears and all opinions (un wanted opinions too) yet when he wants to hear none of it, he has too much on his mind already, he has no time for the crap he becomes hurtful and nasty…he’s like a jekyll and hyde…loving and caring one minute – don’t bother me with this crap other times…I feel so confused and tired of walking on eggshells and I could write novels about all the different things he gets mad about but I am never ever to be upset with him…he always has a way to defend his actions or justify them…He should have been a lawyer.

  54. I realised my husband is always trying to prove what a good guy he is to everyone. He goes overboard with some of this stuff. He started his job about 6 months ago, since then, he has changed the way things were previously done by pointing out to those in charge how things were un-safe…he told me his co workers call him health and safety for a nick name…he doesn’t realise how I soooo get the name they have given him and I am afraid he has said too much at work. I think the boss may be annoyed with him now because he is always finding stuff wrong no one else does hence making others look bad, he’s been given some questionable stuff to do that I actually wondered if the boss is setting him up for failure. With his having to have things a certain way, he’s cost the company money and possibly earned a reputation…that or the boss really does like him and is giving him more responsibility…who knows, I just know the fall out of it all!

  55. I have not used these technics as of yet. I really am too frightened. My husband and I have been married for quite some time now. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and then again in 2007. I am very fortunate and lucky to be alive. I will be cancer free for five years in September! But it was when I got the cancer that my husband completely changed. He never took me for treatments, he acted as if this was not his worry or fight. He did not give me any support. I was completely on my own and I was devistated. His emotional and verbal abuse has only gotten worse since I was originally diagnosed. I thought at first that he was as frightened as I was, but now I feel he is angry I lived. I will try the technic to make someone else be the bad guy, but I don’t know if I may have waited to long. I am a very loving and caring person that does not pick fights, but will defend myself for my safety. Thank you for all your supportive emails that inspire me and others. I know that something good will come out of this for everyone. Sincerely, Kim Avery

  56. Some of us need to consider that while we are suffering for days months and yrs..that our health is also suffering from stress. Getting our own relationship situations under our control with Gods not optional if we want to live all the numbers of our days offered to us at birth. I found that out the hard way after yrs
    of stress and terrors..overlooking tolerating praying about (God will not do for us what he equipped us to do for ourself) and my having temper storms at him. He got nicer a week or so. None did any good. Forget Counselling..these people are great liars..I got Kims books..they do work. They changed my attitude not his right away.. He is getting the msg now and is much nicer, kinder but he is still the charmer especially of women who adore him..and men want to protect him.. and he is a role playing man. I do not feel the passion/excitement I did when he was abusing me and I was hoping he loved me after all.. and would eventually wake up..and see the error of his hatefulness. My blood pressure is now normal again and I like myself again. Medical people are not asking me ..are you under some kind of stress? Others opinions of me do not matter or define who I am and what I am. I am happy and I have money in my name in case…I am left behind. I arranged that myself. He has money in his name too so its fair. Kims suggestion.

  57. Hi my friend is the love if my life,but i know without a doubt that he is nsrcussistu. The thinh that is scary is that he wants big money and power. He feels no guult and does dent his bisexual lifesyle. I know that it is true by the company thst he keeps. Acter admitting this fi me durung an alcohil binge,he latdr denied. There is ni ither oersi that I livf ir havr lived like i li e him,but i cant find a safe place. He is unstable and is alsi a habitual liar. Si niw I said that I would be his fruend fire er and with that, im o.k.

  58. Sounds great, but if all others enable, they do not bear the consequences–any wisdom on how to get his family/my family to stop enabling him so I am not assaulted again?

    1. You cannot control his family – if he is assualting you – you need help from the police and Back From the Looking Glass will help you with that step by step.

  59. I knew him for 6 years. I am German, he is American and we met and lived in Spain. Relation was ok, he has done many things which I know now were just leading up to hell.
    I collected me from work, he cooked for me, he gave me massages and we enjoyed many interests together.
    He returned to the USA and after two years and 3 visits, I accepted his proposal.
    I arrived on Christmas 2010 and got married on Dec 30 of the same year.
    Within weeks it deteriorated, he became intimidating, coercing, suddenly took over finances, isolated me in a new country… etc. I am assertive and have boundaries, yet none of the above techniques worked. realsing that being assertive and self reflective is of no prevail I fled him the day where he walked towards me with clenched fists, telling me I make his life miserable and he is suicidal!
    Not to forget he announced that he wont adjust my status and will get me deported if I do not finally come around! I fled after just 8 months of marriage.
    I self petitioned for my green card under the Violence against women act and have recently received my papers.
    Have we had good times? Absolutely! Do I miss them- sometimes. My head understands that his efforts and love were nothing but manipulation. Till I got my papers he was supposed to pay spousal support, court ordered. Even though he is so full of himself that he made the entire process as miserable as possible for himself and me.
    According to him, I must have been lying to the government and immigration, and even in court called me a bitch. He had to pay several fines and now faces jail.
    Could I have returned to Germany? Well, we choose USA because of the lesser age discrimination at the work place – we are both over 50. He knew it would be very hard for me to obtain a job in Germany. Emotionally it would have felt to me like defeat – I couldn’t make myself go that road – I was shunned enough. He has taken away so many things, but he could not brake my spirit. Guess that is what still hurts him most.
    yes he already was in contact with another woman whilst I still was with him, he was on dating sites and I have learned; to him I was nothing but a narcissistic extension. Thankfully I know that he didnt reject me because of who I am but discarded me because of who he is!
    I am so grateful for all the support I have received here in the USA and looking forward to passing on strength, compassion and support.

    1. Hi Paula, You story is a great lesson for why it is so important when you are with someone like this that you stay on familiar ground and not get yourself isolated.

  60. This is a good thought-provoking article, and the discussions following it are even more interesting. Getting my narcissist significant other to be accountable will never happen. He is never wrong and will tell you so. He has no remorse for anything he does or says; he has declared many many times that he is never sorry because he is never wrong – he says what he feels and does whatever he wants with no regard to anyone else’s feelings, ever. He hides these lovely attributes in certain company – people he wants to impress and/or people he craves admiration from. He puts on quite a show at times. He isolates me from his “friends” because he knows that I see his other self emerge in front of them, and he does not want me to call him out on it (I have done so before, with terrible consequences). We have been together 13 years, and it was only just in the last few that I’ve identified him as a narcissist for what that truly means. He is a textbook case. Identifying it has helped me work on myself – self esteem, coping methods, etc. I would like to hear more about how to protect our 10-year-old son. I am very close to the point where I may sit him down and explain a few things about Daddy to him, that will help him learn to cope with his father’s behavior, and to help him see that it is not about HIM…it’s Daddy’s problem. Thanks for listening, and thanks Kim for continuing to keep this subject alive with informative articles and discussions.

  61. Kim and all,

    I am wondering why Kim hasn’t responded to me…I immediately think, as he and his friends do, that it is because I am to blame for his leaving. Or, maybe it’s just that this network isn’t designed for the marriage that has already fallen apart?

    Although it was his decision, not mine, he recently said that he felt “abandoned” by me before he abandoned me. I did fall into withdrawing from him when it started to fail and now recognize that this may have been due to my own inability to love/TRUST…and my way of trying to yield a different result (aka “control”?) (it had worked in the past and thought that as we were married, we would work through it)

    Do you think Looking Glass will help me at this juncture, or just bring me back to trying to solve this with someone that isn’t interested in solving it and is now “attached” (however temporary that may be) to someone else?

    It’s hard to know the right steps to heal oneself and have taken many wrong turns in this regard. I have become physically ill from this(lungs)…

    I did give…and give…and do and do…
    Ann (response 38) hit the nail on the head. The 2nd counselor I went to by myself(after the couples attempt, where he wanted to be “friends”) told me he was likely a narcissist. (first disbelief, then unreal grief, then disbelief, grief, etc etc) Rather stuck in a cycle of grief…It doesn’t seem like anyone could “fake” love as good as that…and yet, it isn’t the kind of love one would want or expect from a husband, or at least he is unwilling (unable) to do that now!

    If anyone knows what resources will be of help to me, please let me know. Someone mentioned DBT…and thought that would help me…but finding the right connection/therapist is very hard for me. (they seem to have a hard time understanding the grief I am experiencing, for starters!)

    1. Hi DA, Sorry this post has been so popular I haven’t had time to respond to everyone. I am sorry that I didn’t see you original post – but if he is gone I would suggest that you start with The Love Safety net Workbook and 10 Steps to Overcome Codpendence and also if you want personal comfort and soothing – Lovable me. Back From the Looking Glass may be important if he returns and the fighting starts again. These resources won’t gaurentee he returns but they will help you understand what went wrong and heal yourself.

  62. Oh, this one is huge. Holding him accountable for mistakes. Man, I don’t know how anyone believes they can make a mistake and refuses to own it like my friend thinks. And talk about the blame. I will be back in a few minutes to read this blog. I’m going out for a sandwich and coffee. This is going to be quite interesting to get a hold of.

  63. Hi Ann, I certainly agree with Kim. Reading your post and you said you love him, my heart went out to you because the love will still be there for him. If you want to reconnect with him and he’s willing, it’s is going to take more work on your part than you ever imagined anybody should do for another. I’m doing it with my friend of five years. I have not entered a relationship yet until I am convinced he’s relationship material. In the mean time, I date other men on a non-sexual basis but for some reason, my heart is drawn to my NPD friend. He was hell on earth in the beginning but I researched and read materials to the point I understood his disorder. He is a little boy on the inside. I hear it in him. The thing is whenever he performs one of his roles, I tell him that isn’t the person I want. I want the real man. He has different roles for different situations. It depends on what they are is the role he will play. He is so fake but good at it with others. Yet he is exhausted because of them. What i do is speak to the child in him at that point. Because I want him to relax and be himself. He does not know how to be himself as a child so when he has questions and here is the hard part for me to remember, he really doesn’t know beyond the child age he is. So developmentally I have to bring the cookie jar down and allow him to explore the answer. But Ann it all depends on the individual. The thing for my friend is he doesn’t want me to leave him so I try to become a safe person for him all the while being very careful to not become his victim. That means I do as much as possible to surround myself with loving people, things I like to do, and time for myself to process everything in my life. Then I will return to my friend and find a little bit more have changed since the last time and I pray alot too. That has caused me to understand that God loves my friend too. He wants him to be loved under all the pain my friend feels. I have come to understand that there are some people that unless sacrafice is made, they may never know what true good in life they can have. It’s a hard call to make but it’s your choice.

  64. “However if they perceive that they do not need you to feel secure and happy you had better find a way to get out quickly because they have no incentive to check their behaviour. This has been my experience of Narcissists”

    Jackie, you hit it so head on. If my friend thought he didn’t need me, he would be gone as fast I could get my next breath out. He would not be remotely aware of his behavior while leaving. I would be hurt and he would be riding the clouds towards his glorious throne.

  65. Kevin, the reason people can go on with their lives hurting others is because most people let them. The reality is they are not kings nor queens. The very first time my friend yelled at me, I have never known such fear in my life of another person. I was shocked. It took me awhile to recover but the next time he begin, I immediately put him in his place and each time he tried to come out, I put him in his place again. I kept doing it over and over again until he finally realize, his yelling at me was over. I also did not raise my voice when I spoke.

  66. Eventually he began to say that he couldn’t say one word with there being an issue. He was right. Everything that came out of his mouth was horrible. I would not let him believe he could get away with it with me. We would have conversations and he would tell me that I need a spanking, o no. I immediately confronted that thought. A thought becomes action. I started planning that when we meet for anything it would be in a public place. Every step of the way I had guards and boundaries in place. I use to say to myself, o my goodness, how in the world will we ever get to the stuff that makes us want to be with people. We had so many issues it was simply not funny. He was a master of so much and half the battle was one when I realized that he actually had people around him who let him do and say the mean things that made him go on being such a horrible person.

  67. Most of these people around him had low self esteem and really did not want to be exposed for there own fears. He would have some way of getting them to do what he wanted and leading them to believe that they were his all time best friend. What a joke.

  68. The man could argue a ridiculous point. He has his own rules that no one else knows about. He told me yesterday that he was changing phone carriers because the sales agent hung up the phone on him and he thought that was rude. He was very serious about making the change. I know its not funny, but I know why the sales agent hung up. He argued beyond belief, way past any reasonable amount of time to state a point. The woman probably had to go home after that. I felt sorry for her.

  69. DA, the first step to heal yourself is quickly find people who love you and will affirm you. They don’t have to know the details but soak yourself in alot of love. Stay away from anyone who will judge and criticize. Write in a journal, do something good for yourself. Love on yourself. One thing that was powerful for me was to tell me friend about others loving me. Not throwing it in his face but letting him know that he is not the only person in my life.

  70. Charlie, it really sounds like he is afraid. He will do anything to keep his fear a secret. I do mean literally do anything to not be found out.

  71. One thing I am puzzled about is how do these people keep their jobs with all of the chaos they can cause such as in the case with Catherine. Now that part I don’t understand. I have a friend who is a school teacher is going through something similiar with the principal.

  72. WOW very interesting since we are just going thru an episode of what you describe Kim. Our finances are seperated and always have been but he has been borrowing money from me several times and is paying it back in monthly payments. However he keeps asking for more and then tries to blame me for having credit and being able to handle my finances as if it is my fault he cant handle his. Just last night he tried to manipulate me again into lending him more money by setting the stage thru being super sweet cooking and cleaning and then bamm, here he goes again. I couldn’t believe what I heard coming from him. I have to say after reading you article it does make perfect sense. I didn’t handle it right, I got upset and was hurt and we had an allniter fight again. I did however make the decision to stay firm and say no to him. He does need to learn that there are natural consequenses for his actions and that I will not always bail him out. It’s just he has been so good about making me feel bad if I don’t help him out and making it out to be me not loving him.
    I have no problem supporting him to a degree that is part of a partnership but it has been VERY one sided. Thank you Kim.

  73. My story is not so different from many documented here. I almost feel I don’t even need to write my own post as pieces could be taken from almost everyone’s posts to write my story. Ironic, isn’t it, how many stories there are and yet in the midst of such circumstances we can feel so isolated.

    During our twenty-eight years of marriage, my husband’s manipulation has been very successful in keeping me from many relationships… including family, both mine and his. Only within the last couple of years did I start studying manipulation techniques for something unrelated. Doing so, it began to dawn on me why my husband is who he is. I did not understand how I was allowing others to have such unhealthy control over me. I understand now why I kept drawing “emotional leaches” or “vampires”. Either term seems to fit well to me, as either one describes a parasite that drains vitality of life. Forever taking and never giving. A parable says, “A leach has two sisters. They are “give” and “give”.

    Despite the difficulties of this life, I love my husband and do not want to leave him. His mother committed suicide when he was a child and later his father and step-mother abandon him in his mid-teens. I cannot imagine doing such things to our children. Who will love him if I do not? Only through God’s grace can I continually forgive him over and over. It is so difficult not to become bitter. I do not claim to be without my own issues. This is indeed, a difficult road to travel. After twenty-eight years of this, I feel used up and find it difficult to persevere. He is becoming more unreasonable.

    So many of you sound as if you’re writing about my husband. So then, you cannot hold someone accountable who will not be held accountable. The only way to reach someone like this is through the pain of consequence. How depressing that they are so selfish they will not be responsible. The ultimate problem within them is selfish pride. Pride kills humility.

  74. I find the advise you offer well intentioned but in my situation my relationship is over. He left me after several years of a push/pull, secretly planning to end it for a long time, but misleading me. Yet, I still call his answering machine and leave a message or two most nights. I’ve analyzed this thing a zillion times, gone to therapy, gone to grief groups and have come to the conclusion that I’m just going to accept that I call him. I’m still trying to re-do the past with him and I still try to point things out that he said and did and I still try to explain my behaviors to his abusive remarks and all to no avail. This guy is gone, not one word said to me in 1 1/2 years after he ended it and told me he “wanted to get rid of me for a long time.”

    The things you’re teaching I could apply if there was ever any other relationship, but, they seem extremely difficult since it’s such a strong tendency to want to point out their behavior and to explain mine. Obviously, it does nothing and never has. For years I thought eventually he’d come back into my life. I guess I’d have to print your article and brand it into my head since the other way seems to want to come out of my mouth. I know where this comes from, even knowing this it hasn’t changed a thing. Obviously I wanted my parents to love me; I want this guy to love me, forgive me and at least talk to me on occasion, but he’s gone. I also know I hang onto him, at least by calling his answering machine almost every night once or twice because when I hear his voice mail greeting, I remember the good times between us, which were years ago and I don’t have any replacements. Being in a wheelchair and having other health problems and for the most part being alone and often too ill to go places I want, or not having the funds to attend places I’m interested in leaves me very isolated. So, I think who am I hurting? It makes me feel good and yet it’s a fantasy that he’s interested in anything I have to say since not one single word of response. Yes, he blamed me for “ruining our relationship.” I’ve told him a ton of times, it takes two and there I go again pointing out the hurtful things he did. This is all past tense and yet in my head it feels like yesterday. I can’t redo what happened between us and he has no interest at all in making any changes in himself and obviously he’s not interested in me anymore and I’m wasting my time by trying. I think it’s sad actually what I’m doing and yet, since I once had so much joy in relating to him and he was so much fun in the first five years, a long honeymoon period, that at night I miss our talks since he and I used to talk almost every night. I never did something like this in my life, but, I’ve always been a very active person and did a lot on my own and now I’m stuck in a wheelchair with limited funds and spend a lot of time and energy on my health. The fact that I’m still doing the same thing with someone who isn’t at all interested shows me that even if I met someone new, I don’t know if I can try your suggestions. I don’t change easily, to say the least, but, I always enjoy what you teach. Ronda Dee

  75. Thanks Kim. Hoping they will help me deal with the overpowering emotions that arise if there’s any contact/attempted communication with him. He’s so consumed in his own feelings he actually believes that I hurt him and he is suffering more than “I could know”, which gives him license to be mean(er). I am not the one that started up with a girl friend and LEFT their wife. ugh. This is hell. Absolute hell. Insane.

  76. #45&46, Hi Tanya. You ask the same questions that I want answered. My partner’s behaviour is exactly the way you describe. Very subtle and not the sort that you can bring others in on. ‘Neg hitting’, a compliment followed by a slight insult, is one of his favourites. Telling me I’m stupid if I don’t like his music, TV shows, food tastes etc. Like you I don’t want sex with him, but feel that to deny it too often is the same thing as withholding my love. What’s the answer?

    1. Hi Genelle and welcome (-: There are exercises to deal with this type of behaviour in the chapter on limiting abuse in The Love Safety Net Workbook.

  77. I had my ex boyfriend arrested for assault. He was charged with a felony crime for impeding my breath. Like a fool I tried to withdraw the charges but the state took over and would not allow it. I went in front of the Grand Jury stating he had emotional trouble and he tried to kill himself bla bla bla, they decided not to press charges and afterwards he became even worse. Everything that has been stated here is exactly what I’ve been through. His favorite statement is, “No one listens to me”. He actually even said,or yelled, “the whole world is wrong there is nothing wrong with me.” He has made threats to kill his biological daughter and her family. etc…then says he is not violent.
    I’ve had my hair pulled, been hit, wakened in the middle of the night by yelling and screaming, breaking objects, punching holes in walls. He mixes prescription meds and alcohol and is a walking time bomb. I got out. I’m still trying to recover my self esteem.

  78. I met my friend over 30 years ago. From that second I met her I wanted her. But she always thought I was better than her. She and I wound up as live ins with no sex several times but I was no more to her than a paycheck and servant to do all the things in he house she didn’t want to do. 30 years later and the situation is only different in that I never set boundaries with her. I moved to Minnesota to help her because she is 70 now and had rotator cuff surgery. She got me conned into coming up here and taking over the lawn and garden. And me in my unrequited love stage and I am married to someone else.Long story and my wife knows about our relationship. Non sexual but emotional. Whenever she felt “smothered” by me or felt “I went to far” it was always because it was me. Never her.Now after almost a year up here. She is ignoring any opinions I have on any subject and basically shut me out of her life again. It was all my fault she says because I “crossed the line” but she didn’t do anything wrong.

  79. hi Kim I just read Back from the looking glass, I cannot wait to get a plan going and start this long journey…

    Ive been married 6 yrs but only been going thru this for about 2 yrs.

    I have the same questions as TANYA and also wonder where to start, do i say I love you and forgive you and just start? how do I get over the pride and resentment I have?

    Also as far as a male role model he has blamed all the men at our church for “our” problems and we are now going to a different church whice actually has much older and stronger marriages, but will this work with someone he doesnt know very well – to hold him accountable?

    This is soo much information but I cannot wait to make some changes. thanks!!

    1. Work on attachment and boundaries (there are defined in The Love Safety net Workbook) before you think about forgiving and the new church sounds great just give it some time. Sorry to rush and also sorry to everyone I haven’t answered today – I have a job for the next few days and don’t have a lot of time! Hang in there and keep working through the steps and exercises in the books!

  80. Dear Kim Avery, I am so sorry for what you are going thru.. it breaks my heart! Most people get closer together in bad times but I just know if we had a Tragic situation it would be an argument. I will pray for you!

  81. Linda, thanks for your insight. I relate to alot of what you are saying. I know I have the strength to give him more than I expect to get from him. My counselor told me that he would understand if I stuck with the relationship…but he needed me to know that even the strongest of women are affected on some level that they may not even realize and that many of his current older clients are suffering dire consequences of enduring this behavior long term. The other piece of this for me is…I know that somewhere along the way, I’m going to really NEED him for something. I’m human. But my heart knows that I will never be able to count on him to be there for me unless it suits him and his own needs at the time. How do I step into a “partnership” knowing that I realistically do not have a partner? My logical, intelligent brain struggles with this, no matter how much my heart is drawn to him.

  82. Looking back on a long-term relationship with a Narcissistic bf, I see I had big delusions about us both… For a year we worked hard using Kim’s materials- which worked really well- to the point where I no longer felt weak or controlled, and my partner altered behavior beyond what I’d ever (EVER) thought possible! But ultimately, I realized that when I enjoyed being with him, it was because I imagined he had real empathy, and like Ann, in difficult times, though he was sometimes kind, it hurt that he obviously couldn’t feel for me unless it was really feeling for himself. Living with individuals with NPD means accepting the facts of 1) being the only adult in the relationship and 2) giving empathy and recieving “empathy”. After more and more learning and healing, the less I want to give intimacy of any kind to narcissists in the future, because it will never be an equal relationship… Kim’s comment about pulling on the “thread [of one’s own] superiority” really struck a chord- one of the main reasons for staying (besides much love) was, in retrospect, to feel like his hero- which meant feeling a little morally superior to him! I’m not proud of it, but wanted to post in case this might resonate with others out there… After truly saying goodbye the hero role, Narcissists don’t hold the same interest anymore.

  83. Why do we struggle with the concept of inalienable rights? We are loosing the ability to teach our children this concept, and it is affecting all of our adult lives. Questions upon questions, leading to more unanswered questions. Some hopeful partially answered questions; yet, here we still are: trapped in our own cause of slavery. One of the big problems for me, is my own sarcasm of others, when it comes to this sickness. I think if I respond with a more idiotic statement, the liar’s will see the light. I give them the fuel, to take to others, to set me on fire. They “intercept” a forward progress. They can tell you anything to make you feel sorry for them, sometimes when they do “get it”, they even apologize: but, so soon they repeat, rendering the apology useless. We are going to change this? I say, “no” you are not going to change this. We have to understand, explain, and educate ourselves on what is actually happening, not just the repeated symptoms. We have to stop becoming fuel for these types of people. I have tried many times for the sake of my children. I have only learned that I must accept being crucified, and still have the opportunity to live forward. It’s a hard life, but for me, I’ve put down the sword, and have decided to find the believers in me; not the leaders or followers that are only destined to “intercept” my “inalienable” rights to exist. We keep educating ourselves to belong to something, to excel, to achieve, to alienate all those in our own selfish path. Slavery works like that; not freedom. Democracy creates this slavery in our society, and we call it “progress”. I wish people would wake up. Mostly, I hope you will, if you’re reading this….

  84. Kim first let me say thank you for being the only voice that says it is possible to stay with a Narc I ordered Back from the Looking Glass I was hiding it as I was reading it but he found it and boy was he livid to put it mildly after being subjected to a horrible rage episode I put it down for a while and felt a bit hopeless…I’ll spare you all the gory details we’ve all heard them before but my breaking point came when he put my son out (who suffers from depression) and I told him I would be leaving also but that I would come back on weekends I just needed to be able to think clearly while not being subjected to his tyranny under the same roof with him everyday. This was my effort at not throwing in the towel b/c i just don’t believe all Narc’s are useless to society.
    My quandry now is the see saw that I am on with him, believe it or not he actually has admitted to me that he knows he’s difficult to live with but then he goes back to being Dr. Jekyl this is causing such an absolute drainage on me sometimes I truly want to give-up. Although he’s only hit me once and I know that sounds like denial but believe me when I tell you I have made it very clear to him that if he does it again one of us is goin’ to jail and one of us is goin’ to the hospital. The emotional and verbal abuse though that I experience sometimes makes me wonder if I would rather he just go ahead and hit me and get it over with (I don’t really feel like that I’m having a bad day he just finished raging b/c I forgot the listerine)anyway I guess I to order love safety net. i wish I could at least get him to discuss the fact that he is a Narc but I’m willing ot stay help him through it. Any hope of that happening?
    Thank you for giving me the hope that you do give Kim it is so refreshing!!!

  85. This is painful stuff to deal with emotionally, spiritually and financially. My ex of 12 years NPD and BPD has tried everything in his power to destroy me and our two girls. One has treatable BIpolar the other ver narcissistic personality traits. I’ve learned a lot from this website, emails and posts. Thanks everybody for sharing.

  86. All of you bloggers have a great deal of courage. You have expressed perfectly what it feels like to be in a relationship with a narcissist. My family and friends did not expect me to make it out of my marriage alive. I kept leaving and going back to a spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically destructive marriage. (We were married for seven years and have been divorced for 1 1/2 years now.) I finally found an article about STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. That’s what helped me get to safety. The link is as follows:

    My hope and prayer is that this will help others as much as it helped me.

  87. Finally understanding that my relationship with my mother was actually a relationship with a narcissist was the key to the rest of my life. Literally, I thought it was me and I was being unreasonable. I kept thinking I was going crazy. I was!!! Narcissists are excellent “crazy makers”!! Now, with the knowledge of what she’s doing, I will never try to make sense of her, just my reaction to her. Thank you all of giving me my life back, especially Kim. Your a God send.

  88. Holding accountable? That’s something I’ve learned to be so difficult with my husband (we are both men). As many people have pointed out here, I try to reason with someone who seems to have the emotional and rational capability of an eight year old. Most of our issues now revolve around money. If money is borrowed I have to ask him to please find a way to make his own money through employment. We have bitter fights about the importance of money in a married relationship. At the end of these emotionally exhausting talks, I end up talking to him as if he was 7 years old. I say, “A job is important, it will make you feel worthy; and it will also make me happy”. I try not to belittle. The means of asking for money at the very last minute, the lack of initiate to look for work, and his explosiveness and blaming when he does not receive money he asks for; has now led me very strongly to believe he is narcissist. To me, there is no other explanation. I have been married to him only for 3 months but this revelation to me is scary, uplifting, and also confusing. There is a part of me that wonders if I am narcissistic too, or that maybe I am misdiagnosing. He has broken up with me in the past when I denied his marriage request (didn’t get what he wanted and didn’t need me anymore), he appears to take me for granted now with money, and has this idea of our perfect future. He’s got issues with alcohol which I believe can be closely tied with narcissism. His are exhibited in binge drinking, he states this is to maintain his happiness; he frequently waits for the next weekend to ‘live it up’.

    He is a good person and has morals. I married him out of love and also because we have much in common. The stress of this is hard and I have known him for a long time. I know separating would be devastating for him, I believe him to be a vulnerable person without support. I do feel very disappointed in him because this is our second go-around and this time marriage happened.

    I see that codependency is an issue that I am working with. I’m here to look for tools, connect with people with common problems, AND offer my unique story as well. There are men out there who also face these issues and not all of them are strait.

  89. For myself and my family, I divorced in 1983 without ever understanding about NPD. I was married 19 years and had 4 sons. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the help you now offer. In my marriage, I only said something when I was pushed to the wall and was accused of being the one at fault because he was perfectly happy in the marriage. I did go to counseling but he wouldn’t go, after cancer treatment, diagnosis, physical abuse,life of pornography and affairs. I told him that since he wouldn’t go for help, he had to leave. He then made one last effort saying he wanted to see if he could salvage the marriage and his offer was that he would be willing to stay in the marriage, but I should not look to him to be a husband in any way.
    I couldn’t live the lie and we divorced. I really didn’t understand his behavior then, but I want to now because of my boys. Thanks for your counseling and sharing. It really helps!!

  90. Ann, was he ever there for you? Mine was in the beginning, then less and then gone. Curious as I educate myself on this. I will say, I was probably nearly every DSM diagnosis when he left…getting better, have days of no tears and even feeling happy some days!

  91. I read and read and read…I find myself wishing he would hit me so I would have a definable reason to leave, something our adult children would understand. Everything is subtle. Others think he is wonderful. Ongoing hostile silence that never ends. I am always at fault. Kim, what is the natural consequence for ongoing, deliberate, hostile silence that is simply meant to punish? Being home is so draining.

  92. I am very sad at the moment because after reading these comments I now think there is no hope of happiness for my daughter who I love dearly!

  93. I wonder if there are any young men out there who have made a relationship work with a NPD young lady I feel with love and support from friends and family there must be a chance, I would appreciate any advice like most people who deal with this personality type as a mother I have been to hell and back, as well as most advice saying basically its my fault she’s like this.

  94. All I can say is wow. I have been married 36 years and most of my married life has been filled with sadness and anger. I use to think it was all me, if only I would change, and of course he helped by saying I was right. I was not a good wife, or mother, so on etc. Being married to this kind of person has got to be the most tiring thing in the world. One thing I know is that until it hurts them more to be the way they are then to change, nothing, I mean nothing will change them. Good luck everyone. Each day I ask God for grace to get through my day.

  95. Hey Kim!
    Just a quick note to let you know that reading your material (every bit of it) and then putting it into practice has changed my marriage. I’ve become a new strong women and he has become a new man. People do change but sometimes it takes blood, sweat, and tears. We still have a ways to to but I just can’t believe how different things are with us now. We have not had a fight or argument for over 6 weeks! That might not sound like much to some people for us we were lucky to go 5 days without something happening.
    Thank you so much for what you are doing, don’t stop.

  96. Dear Michelle, (Comment 48)
    Your husband sounds EXACTLY like mine was. I would encourage you to read all you can get your hands on from Kim and Steve. It has totally changed my marriage. Be strong and don’t give up or give in.

  97. Hi to everyone who has written in, this has to one of the very best blogs ever. It’s all straight from the heart and tells it like it really is. As Kym and others have said living with someone with NPD is at best very difficult and at worst totally impossible. On another site I read that ” A true relationship with these people is impossible” A relationship of sorts is possible if you are prepared to put in a lot of hard work and be very strong but it might never equal what you deserve and what can be achieved when two people truly love and respect each other. I can relate to just about every single one of the writers here except for physical violence. Thankfully I never had to suffer that but mental and emotional stuff can leave scars just as deep. After 37 years he left with his then current lover and finally divorced me. It was pure agony yet the best thing that has happened in many ways. I’m still trying to get my life on track again and deal with a very messy property settlement with him. Leopards never change their spots, they just get darker and he is up to all his old tricks and then some. Thankfully, I can now see the forest for the trees and can see his manipluation and deceit for what they are. To say that it is difficult is an understatement but now that I have healed a little and am much stronger, I simply don’t take his rubbish. I will admit though, it is very hard not to slip back into old patterns, and the hardest of all, is that I still have strong feelings for him, it’s just about impossible not to after all those years, 5 kids and so many shared experiences, not all of which were bad. To all those good people out there, keep looking for the help you need, get a good support team around you and as my brother says to me, “Take a cement pill and harden up” He wasn’t being unkind, just realistic. Do what you can do and stop worrying about the rest, above all stop blaming yourself ! We pretty much all do that but that just adds fuel to their fire and gives them more power.You are most likely a very special person and through your experiences will have developed qualities that some people may never have.To Kym and Steve, I propose a toast for being honest enough to share some very private and personal things so that others may be helped.
    Your openess and willingness to help is a wonderful breath of fresh air when one has been suffocating in a toxic relationship. Thanks to all of you as well.

  98. I have experienced all of the above, married to a Narcissist with appears Sociopathic & bipolar tendencies as well. I am over him but we have 3 kids and he has created a life of hell for all of us. He is a disbarred attorney who signed an amicable divorce decree but of course, has refused to pay a penny and has left us in a mess. He also sexually assaulted our 4 year old one night during a drunken binge and was arrested but got off on a technicality even though CPS said there was no doubt it happened and all of us are in counseling due to the additional verbal and psychological abuse. The kids are terrified of him due to the many dangerous situations he put them in (drIving drunk, putting an apple on their head and prentending to throw an apple at their heads, forgetting one of the kids when he would leave to go get more beer, exposing them to porn, girlfriends jewelry, etc., etc.). He is also a huge sex addict and turns out he had a secret apt. for 2 years before we divorced and hosted multiple person sex parties where anything goes. I could write an encyclopedia too. My problem is as much as we want to move on, we can’t because he won’t stop contacting us, harassing myself and the kids and we have no protection. I just got served with a baseless lawsuit by him and now have to find a pro bono attorney as I have no money but with his slick attorney ways, he will someone win even though CPS has said he can’t see the kids unsupervised but the courts are allowing him to file suit for custody?? It is a freaking living nightmare. If there is anyone who can possibly help us with the legal stuff, we would greatly appreciate it. And if you know you are with a narcissist? RUN RUN RUN if you can. There is NOTHING you can do and even attempting to manage is not worth the headache and most times doesn’t work anyways. There is no narcissist worth the effort and life sucking environment they provide.

    1. Hi Beth – The situation you are dealing with indeed sounds very extreme but the situation you are now in demonstrates why running away usually doesn’t work. You need to find yourself a private detective who will help you and gather information for the police on his criminal activities. Don’t let him know that this is being instigated by you. Play as nice as you can and de escalate the fight and let the heat come down on him from police.

  99. Kim,

    I’d like to thank you for your work. I appreciate your indepth understanding, and drive to help others.

    Being involved/loving a highly Narcissistic person is the most draining, devestating rape of your life, soul, family, work, financials etc. Simply put, for me.. sacrificing my life for a never ending torturous journey for no gain became an insane choice. I stopped wanting him to respect me, my sacrifices, and started asking myself to do it. By respecting my emotional, mental, physical health, financials, relationships with others, mature consequence based became very easy to see, that at no point, was tolerating this person’s selfish, cruel, abusive, irresponsible and dangerous bullsh*t, a correct choice in any way shape or form. What (they) choose to believe is irrelevant. When i got my head together, i never respected a damn thing about this type of person, and found them to be utterly repulsive and pathetic. Ridiculous. I had to get over my embarrassment of ever tolerating or choosing this deranged fool for a partner, how ridiculous. I don’t tolerate stupidity anymore, from myself nor others. Life got really calm, respectful and enjoyable. All the idiot’s get tossed out quick, and ‘NO’ i don’t care about their opinion, and all the good solid people started coming into my life. Meanwhile the lunatics are still carrying on the same as before, just with whoever will tolerate them, those poor people have my sympathy. I look at it like a job now. If you don’t have the skills nor are you willing to learn them, you can’t do the job. Further if you carry on like a Narc whilst being oblivious to the fact that it’s you who is actually dragging everyone down..i promptly fire you! Your opinion on the matter is no longer relevant. Over, done. So..I learned alot because of this horrid person and a few others, and i will never repeat that kind of stupidity. I respect peoples choice to try to fix it, but more so i truelly feel you will be further dissapointed and utterly devestated dealing with these idiotic individuals. It’s no suprise they hide from their toxic shame. If i was a cheating, lying, deceitful, manipulative, coniving snake.. i doubt i’d ever want to take a good look at myself. The only thing that’s good about these types, is getting rid of them, knowing throughout their life, everyone else will dispise them too, sooner or later. They don’t out run their lessons. Cause and effect. I suggest, with respect, you get out of the way and let them learn their lessons. Learn your’s also. Respect yourself and trust your mind, your ‘heart’ is just some needy mess you need to be grown up about. These people aren’t logical. Nor was I, when tolerating them, i kept making excuses for unnexceptable behaviour. I wish you all peace and kindness in your lives. You won’t get it while allowing a NPD to be in it.

  100. Hey Everyone!

    It took me quite some time catching up on reading all of the comments.

    All I can add at this point in the blog is that I encourage everyone to get Kim & Steve’s ebooks and other materials. It will put all of these blog pages, information, and the events and/or what is happening within your life into a healthier perspective. Once you obtain that, the cloud hoovering overhead will become smaller and smaller – the sense of freedom and relief will ease and bring peace to your heart, mind, soul, and with Kim & Steve’s teachings overcoming our own gap work will ease putting strong boundaries in place.

    I’m hoping to share and hear more with everyone.

  101. Hey Catherine!

    Your comment stuck with me. Kim & Steve have a blog page titled ‘Because I Love You-I’m Learning To Say No’. You may find help there. Also, please get Kim & Steve’s ebooks ‘Back From The Looking Glass’, ‘The Love Safety Net Workbooks’, and ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’. These as with all of Kim and Steve’s materials and information are interchangeable for whatever the situation you are in, including with your daughter.

    Hope to hear from you again.

  102. Thx Kim. I can relate to this. Nothing seems a to be my partners fault, other people are always to blame 🙁

  103. Kim reading over all the other’s complaints only reinforces these type of people do the same thing over and over. I have been married to a NPD for almost 45 years and been with him 48. I was taught at a young age to be a caretaker my grandmother choose me since I had patience. She told me when I was in high school that she picked me to take care of all the family members. The good thing I have taken care of many members but most of all this is how I have withstand being married to a man like this for this long. I do not give up on him for one moment. I know he will never be ok and get past this but I can daily handle all his misbehaviors. The good thing I am glad he finally is looking old so the women will possibly be out of our lives. He has been a major womanizer and into porno all my married life. He uses people big time to get what he wants out of life. It’s sad he has used one old gal to get her home. totally convinced her that he would take care of her til she died yeah put her in rest home and she never came out. My children and now oldest granddaughter can’t believe how I do it with him. Its always something new to the list of bad things he does daily. It’s always been his way or no way but I have been the bread winner for a very long time while he plays all the time and so with this it has given me strength to not let him bully me into anything i stand firm. All I can say is that if you care enough for the person don’t give up and just make it part of life. I would never trust another man anyhow so I stay put and just take it as it comes. The worse thing is seeing how he uses older women who are lonely and they need the attention they have no idea why he is in there life but its for something he wants done and they can help him accomplish his wants. Its pathetic and he totally blinds everyone what a user he is. His sister is the same way and I feel for my brother in law. I heard her talk to him one time and knew he was suffering with a monster too. Both of them were totally neglected and punished severly when they were young and left for the oldest sister to raise them. Hang in their people get yourself educated about their illness and know this is a mental condition. He of course will not go seek help remember there is nothing wrong with him just the whole world. God bless you all….

  104. Hi all, First time I’ve contributed to this blog and wanted to get more info on “Because I loved him – I needed to say no”. Cannot yet share my own experience but am on a huge learning curve so am needing to understand more and recognise fully that the change needs to come from me: not only because I would like to have the NPD in my life understand the impact of his behaviour on me (and others)
    but to ensure that I too learn from this experience and can move on to a healthier way of life – either with or without him. My learned behaviour has been over many decades so will take time but recognise also that incremental change is sustainable, so am comforted by this.

    Thank you Kim and Steve for your inspirational insights … I’m trying to hang in there!!!!

  105. Hi Kim,
    I believe you are on the right track, I’ve been married to my N husband for 29 years. I’ve been aware of his N personality for 10 years & actively working on me instead of trying to change him, for the past 3. It has been a terribly difficult 3 years, but understanding I had to stop being the victim & use techniques I’ve learned through you and others, has helped. 29 years has taken it’s toll, it is not easy at all trying to get mentally healthy myself, while protecting myself from further hurt from my husband. As my counselor said, he won’t change, but as I change he will either adjust or leave. He did say it would get worse as I started to set boundaries etc., he WASN’T kidding. I am far from having a healthy relation with my husband. As I am writing, I am sitting in a beautiful Hotel in California, at the end of a 4 day all expense trip he won. I sit here feeling alone, empty, worn out…as usual, he was in his funk, I was invisible most of the time to him, his excuse is his job issues(once again). This is the story of my life and almost always my experience when we are on any sort of vacation. This time I was able to enjoy myself, keep busy and not think too much about “why”, I finally understand it isn’t me, I understand his narcissism, after immersing myself for past 10 years, it still hurts though, I hope someday, the hurt will go away. The sadness seems so deep, even though I know understand, I’m not sure I’ll every be whole.

    Thanks for All you do & continue to do for all of us that struggle with this challenge.

    1. Hi Lisa, Hang in there! It is true that our program means you have to do most of the work (in changing how you deal with their abuse) but I do believe that your partner can change – as I have seen it in Steve and so many others now. Maybe growing would be a better way to describe it rather than changing – but the truth is that a person cannot start growing again until their false pride comes down. That is a hard task I know and only really happened with Steve once basically he was cornered.

  106. Hey Beth!

    Do you have availability to a womens shelter or crisis hot line? Many of them have legal advocates that help you with your situation. If you are in the U.S., you can call 211 for a list of numbers for help. Also ask the CPS for assistance and any numbers can give you.

  107. It has been a while since i wrote last. I have been reading your information for over two years. My husband has not changed in fact he has moved on to another woman whom he can control. Through 15 years of marriage he was never faihful and treated our children and me disrespectfully. What I have learned is that I can not control or make another person accountable for their action. I am only responsible for my self. I can only make choices for my self. I thank you Kim for all of your words and information. I have worked hard the last two years, but short of losing my own identity to stay in the marriage I needed to rescue me and build a new life. I guess he was held accountable for his choices and the natural consequences for his behavoir was the loss of his family. I have returned to college studying the medical field, I am on the honour role which opens my eyes to the fact that I am not dumb and stupid like he drummed into my head for so many years…. I can be just who I plan to be. I just need to decide. Do I love him… the answer will always be yes. I know a side of him that he can not hide from me, however the ugly side wins more often these days and so I reach for a new life with less turmoil and frustration. Thanks for all you have shared with me and my sons.

    1. Thanks for writing LeAnne and I am glad you are doing well and moving on with your life – I am sure the future has good things in store (-:

  108. Kim or anyone please help.

    My husband has NPD. We had a huge fight the other night have not really spoken in 3 days. Only hi, goodnight and have a nice day. He knows how to push my buttons to get me so fired up it turns into a raging fight. This morning I get this txt from him
    “I was thinking and came up with. You do what you want and let others deal w it. You simply say I did nothing you deal with it, it’s your problem.
    Just food for thought. Take care”
    I need to know how to respond or do I respond?
    I know this is his way of turning this back onto me.
    Any suggestion would be great
    Thank you.

  109. I’ve been involved with a total narcissist. Thank GOD I didn’t marry him…he had said he would probably never marry me anyway…and more and more, I’ve discovered that he did me a huge favor that way. I’m burned out on his verbal abuse and lack of accountability, blaming me for his frustrations with how I want things at my house..which it IS, and he’s lazy too. I’m tired of it and have told him that this isn’t working for me…he’s too irritated and frustrated with me so much of the time, and I’m burnt out on the tension and the fighting. None of this is worth staying with a Narcissist. I want out. I only hope I will be safe in doing so. He doesn’t seem to be taking me seriously. Its going to cost him a whole lot more when he moves out and has to pay someone to live somewhere else. He’s a gigolo too, pretty sure of it….I need him out of here and don’t know how to be more blunt. help me please Kim. Thank you.

  110. Hey Anonymous!

    When my husband would say something similar to that I would respond with ‘I will/can only take responsibility/accountability for my half/end of the situation, NOT your half/end of it’.

  111. Hey Cindy!

    In Kim & Steve’s ebook ‘Back From The Looking Glass’ there are several examples of how to accomplish this. Even to a point that it appears to be his decision letting you off the hook.

  112. so many nights i wake up wondering what happened to my sweet man….. He was an illusion all along. Why do i hurt for him so much when i know it will not change and he has moved on. i am not supply anymore.

  113. Hey celesta!

    I know how painful this feels. And I wonder if you may be co-dependent if it is not merely the grieving process of a break up. Only you know.

    Sometimes we’re in love with the ‘image’ of the person that we admire. So I guess I would ask you to ask yourself if you are grieving or co-dependent(co-dependence effects most of our relationships). Are you familiar with co-dependence? If not, I’d highly recommend getting Kim & Steve’s ebook ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’. It is very enlightening.

    Hope to hear from you again.

  114. Hi. Kim, I haven’t yet bought your book Looking Glass. I need to do that. I have been doing when you suggested here. And at times it does work. I actually learned this thru therapy I receive from my Psychiatrist and psychologist. Matthew and I also go to marriage therapy once a week.this is the therapy that can be super hard, as my husband is such a great liar, charmer, manipulator, etc. I have been debating for the past 2 years on whether or not I will stay. I do love him. There is good in him. But, I don’t know if the good is genuine. He always has an agenda….which is for himself only…ultimately to make himself feel good about himself. It disgusts me. Now that I have a voice and he suffers consequences….he is can be harder to deal with. All of the blaming, name-calling, lying, deflecting, financial abuse is worse. I had an affair a year ago, I told him, and it is over. He decided to stay with me, but know the affair is just another tool for him to use to punish me. I fortunately can deal with it all for the most part. I do break down and I pull myself back together. But now, we are looking at the possibility of him losing his business and losing out home. Lawyers have said to put all vehicles in my name. And to start a business that my name is on, 51% mine and that it will “buy” his business. This keeps the people that are suing him, unable to take his business….I’m scared to death to put my name on a business that he has any control over! But, we can’t lose the business either. It is our lively hood. I don’t trust home to not jack this up too! Also, since it is getting harder to jack with me…he is moving on to our 13 year old daughter. She has a cookie business, that he controls of course. That money was for her college fund. He has drained it! He told her the other day that if she would be more involved then he would start putting that money towards her college fund! Liar! And he is blaming her for his spending of her money! What do I do about the kids? How do I protect them? I have to ask them what he says to them to unskrew the lies and manipulation put on them. Fortunately, my 13 year old can see most of his BS, but the 10 and 9 year old boys can not. When Matt has consequences, he uses the boys against me. He is already beginning to poison them as punishment or me. This is craziness! I feel trapped! Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I leave him…he will make mine and the kids’ lives a living hell!!! Am I supposed to live a life of unhappiness till the kids graduate and pray he doesn’t completely f*** them up in the mean time? I will be fine. I’m a survivor. I don’t want my children to marry a person like him. I don’t want my children to be like him. What’s sad….my 9 year old is already showing narcissistic tendencies. I pray for him and work with him now As much as I can and as lovingly as I can. I do not want this life for my children. I don’t want them to be the victim or the perpetrator. And I have no idea what to do with the business. I have no idea what goes on there and he has take. Over all control of the money. I have to ask money now for groceries and my parents have had to send money to survive on twice! And we are a wealthy family! My husband is unbelievablely brilliant, cuniving, manipulative, and charming. He is well known in Our small community. A director on the chamber of commerce. Everyone loves him….minus his employees. They are perfect for him….his puppets. Yesterday, I wanted to give up. I’m tired of the game, the dance, the rollercoaster. I’m at a loss.

    1. You need to get Back from the Looking Glass, 10 Steps to Overcome Codependence and The Love Safety Net Workbook ASAP. Read them all cover to cover first, and then start following the steps and doing the exercises.

  115. So I have a question, I hope someone could give me their perspective. Even though our finances (checking accounts and credit cards) as seperate we do live together and as it has been, I end up paying for most of the groceries, entertainment and the maintenance of our home (which I bought in my name only cuz his credit is messed up. Go figure) Well we have been arguing for months now about the fact that he wants to “Do this together” but he wont make any decisions as to the details of “doing it together” financially and we end up fighting every time we talk about it. He owes me money and keeps asking for more. He is about to deploy and so we do need to discuss and make decisions on how we are going to handle things while he is gone but he wont make a decision and wants to fight instead so he can avoid the subject everytime. I told him that I needed him to make decision by tonite which ofcourse he didn’t like at all. Is it OK to do this? He doesn’t want to decide because then he has to be accountable I know that much. I feel it is OK to set the boundry that he needs to decide what he wants or I will have to make decisions on my Own. I am thinking I want to ask him tonite if he has decided and if he starts all over to bypass and avoid answering, to tell him that its ok but that I have to make decisions and that I think it is better that we keep our finances completely seperate from now on and that he find his own place to live when he comes back home. Reassuring him that I am not ending the relationship. What do you guys/girls think?
    He has used me for money and to bail him out of problems continuesly and it took me a long time to realize it. I am tired of him doing that and am trying to set boundaries.

    1. Our whole program is about you becoming authoritive and able to take the lead effectively. You know that he will blow up and make a scene about this so be prepared. Your idea may work but it may also be hard for you to make him carry through on when he gets home. It might be a better option to push for him to have his pay deposited into your account for budgeting (so his bills are covered first before you give him money to spend) or else you may need to speak with his employees about the situation because he is not providing for his family. You may also look for help from organisations that help the families of problem gamblers in your area. He may not be a gambler but your situation is similar. My guess is that he may be hiding credit cards you don’t know about and is struggling to meet the repayments. You may need to do some detective work on this and bring that out into the open.

  116. Dear Kim, thanks so much for your input. I know he will never agree to have his check deposited into my account. Also I cant go to his employeer, we are not married. I do know he does not have credit cards because he just filed bankruptcy. I feel it is within my rights to decide that it might be better to live apart so he can’t constantly rely on me to make sure there is food in the house and such. I do have two children from my previous marriage so I have to make sure our home is in order and there is food LOL, so to have him have natural consequences for example there not being food is not an option. He has been paying for his share of the utilities so that I give him credit for but everything else is pretty much up to me.
    Is it OK though that I gave him time to make a decision and set a time for him to tell me? HE keeps pushing it out and starting to fight and I really need to know what we are doing, IE what my budget will be.

  117. Dear Kim, I have the book and the workbook and have been working on it. I also bought the codependency book. The problem is that with the upcoming deployment time is very limited and decisions have to be made.

  118. Kim & Steve, thank you for sharing your wisdom. I wanted to share that last fall, I called the police to report that my husband was drinking and driving. He was in the habit of driving completely drunk. I told him that I would, because of your advise, & I was so scared to follow through, but I did. He did not get arrested, but he did get stopped and sent home. He was mad, but he has not been pushing this limit since. I really think your theory is wise! Thanks

  119. Well I wanted to update. I spoke with him last night and ofcourse he did not want to make a decision and was evasive and got angry. I told him if he didn’t want to make a decision then I would have to make one on my own and told him that I felt it is best to seperate our finances completely and that in order to do so he would have to get his own place to live once he comes back home. Ofcourse that did not go over well. Well long story short, I have made the decision to end the relationship because I have finally realized that he has been using, abusing and manipulating me and it has nearly destroyed me. I have tried to work thru this with him and have seen a small improvement thanks to the advise from Kim and steve but he is so beyond any reality and reasoning that I have to do what is best for my children and myself. It does hurt tremedously though because I do love him and wanted to marry him one day. It is the hardest thing in the world to accept that the person we love is just not capable of loving. Even though I should be mad, at this point I just feel sorry for him because I know within his limited ability to, he does love me and is hurting too, but the rollercoaster he rides is just to much. I will continue to work with the information provided by Kim and Steve in hopes that I might heal and not attract another person with NPD in the future. It will be a long road but I have faith.

    1. Hang in there Amy – and you be careful to follow the steps in Back from the Looking Glass about leaving – because it really can escalate the abuse.

  120. I wondered…What do you think would happen if 2 narcissist got together as a couple? Would the more dominate one win out or would they x each other out? I am serious..and I would love to hear your take.

  121. Thank you Kim. I appreciate your concern but I can put you at easy because one thing that you are not aware of is that I am not and never have been afraid of him physically. Granted he has almost destroyed me mentally but Physically no. Actually I feel freed by the decision to leave him for the first time in over three years I feel like I have part of my strength back. We’ll see how long that will last. I know there is a grieving process. I know I will have bad days but again I have hope and I will continue to learn from your experience. I can’t thank you enough for all you do.

  122. In hopes that others may see and be able to decide what is best for them. I am sharing this with love to all none NPD and NPD sufferes out there…….

  123. Right or wrong, I had to write this, of you each decide for themselves……

    A Letter to a narcissist,


    Just incase you are still not clear why I am ending this relationship and you are feeling sorry for yourself let me show you why.

    1) During your deployment’s R&R, as I was in the process giving up my job, selling my home, pack, finding a rental home in a new state that I didn’t know a soul in. With two dogs and two horses close to your job, so we could be together and just had lost my mother to cancer two weeks before. I asked, if you could come to where I was living so I could still do some packing and getting the move ready. You told me you did not have your car because your brother needed it for work and could not rent a car because you had no credit card. I then drove 11 hrs to see you, and while there you had your car the entire time and I found out that your brother wasn’t even working. I didn’t say a word.

    2) When returning from you deployment you told me your ex-wife was coming to town and bring the kids so they could see you. I understood and told you I would not come to home coming, so it would not make it uncomfortable for your kids since by your choice your kids and your ex-wife didn’t know of our relationship. This meant I would not be able to see you for several days after you got back after you being gone for a year.
    I only asked you to let me know when you made it back via phone so I knew you made it ok. You did not call me for three days after you came back and it took me calling you mother because I was worried and her telling you that, for you to call me. Then a few months later I found out from you ex-wife that you slept with her several times during the time you spent with her and your kids. When asked you about it, You said you did that because you wanted her to move back so you could be closer to your kids.

    3) You wanted to clean up your credit and had a car repo on it. You asked me to lend you the money to pay it off knowing that I made some money on the sale of my house, granted I did not have a new job yet after leaving my old one to move and am a single mom of two. You had just gotten your tax return, which was plenty to cover the debt but when I asked you why you didn’t use that, you said because you wanted to have money in the bank. I told you I would lend you half of the repo and you had to pay half, which I did.

    4) During deployment you asked me if I would be OK with your parents moving in with us because they were going to loose their house. I had only met them twice but commanded you for wanting to help them and said yes. I moved a second time 6 month’s later, with my daughter, the dogs and the horses so we could rent a house big enough for all of us. When two month later you parents decided they wanted to stay where they were, and we had to get a roommate to be able to cover the rent, you blamed me for having a stranger living in our home.

    5) During that second move, you got mad at me again and watched my 11 year old daughter who had been on her feet for two days, with 4 hours of sleep and having a cold. Carry in a recliner with me after I asked you to please help me because it was outside and it was about to rain and you refusing, while sitting on the bed eating pizza. Listening to her say “mom it’s to heavy, I can’t do it” and me having to apologize to her for making her do it.

    6) You gifted me a pair of boots and then pawned them without telling me, when you needed money. When I noticed them missing and asked you, you lied at first and then came to me later to tell me what you did.

    7) During an argument I lost the necklace that you knew my 11-year-old daughter bought for me the previous Christmas. You found it on the floor and because you were mad at me you threw it in the trash. When I was looking for it and asked you, you said you didn’t see it. A few weeks later you bought a new one and called my daughter and me over and told us what you did and that you wanted to FIX it and asked her to put it on me.

    8) When my 15-year-old son called me crying and wanted to move back home after moving in with his dad for a year to try and have a relationship with him which was not working. Your response was that he is a teenager and eats a lot and that it would create more work and trouble.

    9) You had messed up your credit so much that I suggested for you to file bankruptcy to get out from under your debt and start over. I went to the attorney with you. When he suggested filing before the first of the month so the creditors would not take their payment, I lend you the $800.00 to pay the attorney fees since you did not have it, with the agreement that you would pay me back on the first. Then on the first you told me you didn’t have the money because it was Christmas and you needed money. After another long fight, I agreed to add it to your tab and for you to pay it back with your monthly payments. You then asked me to lend you another $400.00 so you could buy Christmas presents. Which I did. You then threw in my face later “Well I had to borrow the money from you so I could buy YOU and YOUR kids Christmas presents. Keep in mind that you earn more than I do and that I am raising two children.

    10) When it was time to renew our lease, which was possible, because I had found a great roommate and she wanted to stay another year. You called our landlord while being mad at me and told them WE where not going to renew our lease without telling me. When I found out and tried to explain to them that, that was not the case they would not renew our lease and we had 30 days to find a new home. With two dogs and two horses, close to your job and being able to leave my kids in the same school since my daughter had moved schools twice already and my son was in high school and had just moved back.

    11) Since my son was going to eventually get my old car and your car was part of the bankruptcy and they were going to take it, I suggested that I buy a new car 10 month earlier than I needed too. We made the agreement that we would split the payment and insurance in the meantime so you had a car to drive. I offered for you to drive the new one but you said “no it’s ok, I drive the old one”. When getting orders for your second deployment you told me that you didn’t feel it would be ok for you to pay for your part of the car payment if you were not going to drive it.

    12) While driving the old car you locked yourself out one day and violently damaged the car trying to break into it causing hundreds of dollars of damage, instead of calling me to give you a spare key or calling a locksmith. You didn’t tell me about the damage until I saw it one day and when I asked you about it, you told me that you were going to tell me about it after you fixed it.

    13) I found a house, got a loan and bought it and had to use my life insurance savings to pay for the down payment. You did nothing to help in the process and blamed me because the house had to be in my name, since your credit was bad. I paid for the costs to maintain and repair the home since.

    14) When it was your daughters birthday keep in mind she is 8 and I was worried about you not buying her a present and letting her know you loved her. You told me you didn’t have the money to buy her anything. Being a mom and knowing how much she had been through and not seeing you, I told you that was wrong and that I would buy her something. I did and you talked to her on her birthday and I was so glad you made her feel loved. When your second daughters birthday came, keeping in mind again she is 9, a week later, I asked you if you bought her something. Knowing you got paid in the mean time and you lied straight in my face and told me “yeah I bought her the doll she wanted” Then when I talked to your ex-wife wishing your daughter a happy birthday asking if she liked the present you sent her. I found out you didn’t sent her anything. Who does something like that to their kids?

    15) You continuously disrespect and ignore my children when they ask you a direct question and get upset if they don’t want to talk to you. They have forgiven you time and time again.

    16) You continuously ask me for more money and then act like you are doing me a favor by paying it back in monthly payments.

    17) You accused me time and time again of cheating on you.

    18) When I got a fever blister on my lip, because I had been so beyond stressed, you told me that women get it from sucking to much ….

    19) You called me a dirty old whore.

    20) You blame me for having credit but ask me to use it time and again.

    21) You watched me doing side work to meet ends meat, while asking me for more money and letting me pay for 90% of the groceries and other things. While taking 60 days of total leave in a year and doing nothing.

    22) While doing the side work you accused me and I quote “yeah side work I am sure that’s what he is paying you for” even though I did most of the work from home.

    I am sure I forgot something’s if there is any doubt in your mind while I am ending this, read this again until you get it.

    Your last comment to me when I told you I was giving up on this relationship was.
    “I get it you want me out because I am of no use to you anymore”
    You had your kids, myself and my kids, who all cared about you and loved you, but you, are incapable of caring and loving, I feel so very sorry for you.


    You’re ex girlfriend.

  124. After 16 years I am done. I don’t have another day to waste with him. Yet, I hang on to this thing called hope. Hope that the blindness of narcissism, the torment it brought to our marriage, and the happiness it stole, will somehow heal itself, like a cut on a finger. Then he will be able to see the error of his ways, not just by word, but by deed. One day, I will be thinking or doing something other than engaging in the endless hours of preoccupation about another tumultuous display of rage and blame, when he comes to me and finally says…I now understand. But that is just fantasy. I have adopted his ways of thinking. Though, in reality I don’t really believe this will truely ever happen. When we mix lies with the truth, when we turn friends and family against our beloved, there is nothing left. And even hope disappears into the sea blindness.

    1. Hi Hannah, Yes you are right it will not heal itself. If you want to forge a new path you must vow not to get stuck in those endless hours anymore. Learning to spot non productive conversations and end them before they begin is vital.

  125. Hey Amy!

    Why do feel the need to write and give him this or, of the sort, letter? I understand the need of getting these things off your chest. I wonder if maybe there is something else you wish to gain in doing so.?. Have you approached him with these things as you have them stated here in the past?

    They sound like clear boundaries you can put in place while helping yourself(sorry if I have missed or misunderstood something in your previous comments)

    I really think that Kim & Steve’s ebooks ‘Back From The Looking Glass’ and ‘The Love Safety Net Workbooks’ would benefit you, even with the separation.

    Good Luck!

  126. Dear Darlyn,

    I felt the need to give it to him as part of the seperation process for me. I have tried to set the boundaries time and time again. I have tried to approach him regarding each of those things as they happend. That is why I am ending the relationship. I am done beating my head into a wall. As to the books, you may have missed it but I wrote that I have all the books and have been working the workbook and will continue to do so.

  127. Hey Amy!
    Thanx for clarifying. I thought that maybe I missed reading something.

    Good luck, and let us hear from you from time to time.

  128. I came across this information 4 yrs. ago and it has been very helpful in the way I react when I do not get defensive and criticize back it helps so much. They want you to become irrational to have an excuse for their behavior. When he calls me names I tell him I am sorry he feels that way because I think (something nice) about him and it takes the wind out of his sails. I have purchased all the books here and recommend them highly. When dealing with the childlike behavior and consequences another good place for practical steps is love and logic. I also take a supplement called laminine (amino acids & FGF) that helps regulate my hormones and neurotransmitters which get out of whack with the roller coaster ride of living with a narcissist and it helps them as well with theses issues Kim writes a lot about taking care of yourself emotionally and physically and I couldn’t agree with her more. Thanks Kim and Steve for all your work and make sure you do the exercises in The Love Safety Work Book :0)

  129. Well I read almost everyone’s comments and I am glad I am not alone. After over 9 years it has got worse. But recently it has about chewed me up and spit me out. The guy I’m living with even wrote 2 books and the first one he is actually describing the messiah (him). He started a few online groups too trying to get people to follow him. Financially I’m in a bad place as I quit my job a few months ago and now make jewelry but I’m broke. He makes real good money but tells me he works his ass off for me because I quit my job and hurt us. Everything is my fault. He calls me stupid bitch and screams in my face. Never listens to a single word I say. He just gets louder. Now he’s drinking more and loves to stay high. I’m trying to find a way to heal mentally but he doesn’t give me a single chance. Sometimes I wish I’d die and just get it over with. I like some of the suggestion although I doubt it would work. Right now I’m in therapy and EMDR is being used to help heal old wounds but in the process he’s creating more.

  130. I have been married to my N wife for 16 years. We have two terrific kids. It was only in the last two years that, through counseling, I realized she was a narcissist. I lost my job (third time…I’m in sales) and times have been rough the last 9 months or so. We separated for 6 months and identified the things we needed to work on in order for her to move back in and us to be a family again. Unfortunately, as I tried to work on the things we had identified, she fell right back into the N-pattern of denial and assigning blame (all to me, of course). She is also a functioning alcoholic and has had an affair. She tells me the affair is over (actually, she insists it never happened most of the time; though I have evidence to the contrary) and she is still working for the guy she had the affair with. I’m doing my best to deal with everything. Really tough though. I didn’t realize how much the years of her abuse and alcoholism has impacted my ability to be successful in my work and just being a healthy person. I’ve also had to realize that I am a classic co-dependent and always thinking we can somehow get back to the way things were…or at least how I fantasize they were. I assume there are different “degrees” of narcissism…and though my wife doesn’t do some of the more egregious behaviors many of you are dealing with, she is a text-book narcissist in her inability to accept accountability or in any way see the world through eyes or perspectives other than her own. I can give up on accountability for most of her behavior, but the alcoholism HAS to stop. I just don’t know how to hold her accountable in a way that will WORK…and not just make things worse.

    1. Hi John – I really feel for what you are going through. You will find loads of advice and support in the articles here and also my ebooks (-:

  131. Hi Kim,

    Thank you for your article. It has me thinking but in my case, I would say that I had the opposite experience.

    In my early days with my partner, if I worked really hard(!) and managed to touch the place that connected us, he could see his roll in our relationship, apologize for what happened and be accountable. Mostly, nothing changed in the future, but I felt better (which of course, is another topic!) and we had had a moment together.

    But over the years, I got exhausted. I switched tacks and did something close to what you described. I set limits and gave consequences–if this happens then this other thing will happen. I thought this would be easier than the long, drawn out emotional battles with me trying to get him to be accountable in our relationship.

    This had 2 effects.
    1. I felt more distant. My avenue of communicating with him from closeness instead of opposition was shut down. I made clinical decisions about consequences and my role became the enforcer of boundaries.
    2. My partner became ENRAGED that he had consequences. He couldn’t see any connection to his actions and thought that I was arbitrary and unfair. And since the consequences were triggered by events, there was no means for understanding through close communication.

    In the end, I regret trying to make him feel consequences. Granted, I can’t honestly say I could have done anything differently because by the time I did that, I had nothing left from years of dealing with his disorders. But still, I felt like a better person, a kinder partner and a loving mate when I put in the effort to reach past his disorder. Giving him boundaries didn’t help him and made him feel more alone. It made me feel alone too.

    It just goes to show that there are no single answers. Everyone needs different ideas and I thank you for adding yours to the discussion. I’m sure that your ideas will help many people.


    1. Hi Julie, The response you mention is very common and this is why in the Love Safety Net Workbook we outline 4 areas with exercises that need to be worked on together. Keeping rapport at the same time as setting boundaries is tough – but a balancing act that helps a person become a better leader for sure! Personally I think that boundaries are better if they are set to protect yourself and your own life and interests rather than to ‘teach someone a lesson’. Steve did get very enraged when I first started setting boundaries – but as it was about what I would not live with for myself rather than me putting myself above him there was still room for him to come down out of his ivory tower and be with me once the corner he had painted himself into had become too uncomfortable.

  132. Ohhh my God- I wish I had found this website and this article in the early stages of my marriage. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and loss.

    I am so relieved to read LadyJane’s post (response no. 1)- i feel soo normal after reading all this – knowing that there are other people like me, knowing why i have become a horrible woman who is vehemently cursing her husband and getting relief from it.

  133. Your materials and tips were and are instrumental in my change from complete co-dependency and despondance to feeling stronger and communicating clearly. Thank you so much for all your hard work in getting the word out about NPD/co-dependency and a way to work through a marriage and not just run away from it.

    In my case, the steps I implemented helped me face my co-dpendency and make strides to getting out of it fairly quickly. Sure, I back-slid some, but mostly I made forward progress. I definitely felt stronger and more in control of my own feelings and responses to the verbal and emotional abuses. My husband definitely changed how he responded to my new way of communicating and living. I don’t recommend this to anyone, but as his abuses escalated over a long period of time and never decreased, in addition to other factors, I very carefully planned and executed the plan to leave and divorce him so I could survive. This was NOT my desired outcome but a result of our unique situation and personalities, and was not the fault of any of the materials or tips I’d used during the time I tried to rescue myself and the marriage. But those same tips and advice allowed me to safely leave without it turning into an ugly situation.

    Thanks again for all the hard work and time you put into all this, keep up the good work!

  134. I understand why women with children with the narcissist stay with the NPD because of the children hoping things will change and get better, they have committed to marraige and family. ( but remember your children are learning this unhealthy behavior)
    I dont understand why someone that doesnt have that connection stays, there are other fish in the sea you can find love you can find someone who is healthy and please dont bring your children into a narcissist relationship that is so selffish and unfair to them it hurts my whole soul to think about it. Why are you afraid to respect yourself and not allow someone to cross your boundaries even once! Stand up and say sorry I cant be with someone who does these things and get out of the relationship the first time it happens! Thats how they have consequences. Remember if they do it once it’s happen again! Remember its ok to be alone and in these cases its better to be alone. Your children should come first and if you have an N boyfriend you need to break up. Protect your kids! After they are grown you can have whatever unhealthy or healhty relationship you want its your choice. Just dont make your kids suffer cause you love him and dont want to be alone!! Please!

  135. DA I read how to hug a porcupine and it explained that when you are dealing with a toxic person you can start behaving toxic too. Kim has also said this. So take kims advice and work on becoming your best and highest self, learn to set healthy boundaries, learn how to respond to criticism, learn to protect yourself, and learn to not be critical. I have also read kims info and much more. I dont believe it will work for my husband and I as I have tried for 7 years and nothing has changed. I was going to divorce him and he asked for forgiveness and a second chance it was good for a month but he couldnt keep it up and now 7 months later I am telling him I want a divorce our eclesiastical leader is helping he hopes to heal our marraige But I feel my N is immovable to compromise. He still works very closely with the woman he had an affair with for two years and I need that relationship ended even if it isnt an affair I feel it is still too close and too much
    he says I am paranoid and obsessisve and crazy and has no empathy for my feelings. He is unwilling to change I have tried to work it our for my kids sake he’s a good dad Just a lousy husband or even friend to me and I will be the bad guy if I divorce him because no one sees it or wants to.

  136. When I said your kids learn this bad behavior either to be a codependant or narcissist I see my own children my daughter being unable to keep boundaries and stand up for herself and what she wont accept. He broke up with her and I am so glad but she wont move on. He wont make her happy she will be sad feel unloved and insecure with such a guy. She can do so much better and deserves so much better. I hope and pray a good guy will come along for her
    that is healthy and will treat her right. Before he comes begging her back!

  137. Great information! And SO much pain from people who have walked more than a mile in my shoes. How different from what I normally get from my husband. Kim, I look forward to buying your books and learning more. I’ve read a lot of wonderful responses to your article, but I especially would like to respond to Amy.

    Dear Amy (No. 162):

    You are my hero. =)

    You laid the facts straight out down the line without a hint of self-pity or confusion about your rights as an individual, or as a mother. That took a lot of courage and self-respect.

    Please tell us, how are things going for you and your children?

    Did your partner admit to the lies you wrote about during the early days of your relationship, and then turn into the man who damaged your car and didn’t mention it until after you found out?

    Thank you again for your courageous letter.

    Kim, in response No. 17 up above, Deborah said she likes to think of the narcissist’s brain as “a mass of short circuited wires that just don’t connect.” I read that narcissists may have faulty brain circuitry – left brain/right brain functions don’t work properly, making it difficult for them to process information – much like people with dyslexia see the alphabet backwards or skewed somehow.

    I know that dyslexics can overcome their disability by sort of rewiring their brains, and can learn to read and write, but I understand that this is a difficult process that takes some time.

    Kim, do you think your husband had to do something similar when he learned how to be more accountable? If so, what was his incentive? If narcissists are sure that they’re perfect, why would they mess with success?

    Thank you again. I hope everyone reading this blog is able to share a genuine laugh or smile today.

    Kate M.

    1. Hi Kate – That is a great question. Steve only changed because I basically made his former way of life completely unmanageable for him at the same time as giving him a better option. Narcissists can only play the game they do if the people around them allow themselves to be deceived by their lies. Steve had pretended everyone loved him at work – but of course that wasn’t true. He had created chaos there as well and when it all finally came crashing down on him I was ready to take him in and protect him. I said that I would speak for him and get the whole world off his back – and all he had to do was be quiet and useful and learn what it was like at home with him not around. Because he was ashamed of his failure it was easy for him to be quiet – because really he didn’t know what to say anyway. So I became the breadwinner but still worked from home where I could monitor and also protect him. I also defended him from everyone that tried to push him to get back to work. I told them he wasn’t ready and needed to learn how to be a father and husband first. He really didn’t want to go back to work – because the chaos narcissists try and manage leaves them exhausted. I saw that and I used that knowledge to my advantage. I said you don’t have to pretend or lie anymore to anyone because I will speak for you and I will give you a chance to get the rest you need. 5 years later and Steve is still working with me at home and the new lifestyle he has learned here is simple, solid and dependable.

  138. I was married to someone who could be defined as a toxic narcissist for thirteen years. I don’t know how I managed to get out . I only realized what narcissism is about when my current boyfriend told me he was a narcissist , I didn’t get it at first. When I started realizing it all , I was panicking , feeling trapped each passing moment . I left him four months ago , but somehow I found myself in a state of sadness and heart brokenness I have never thought I can handle for such a long time . I really love him , and after pulling things back together, I feel weak , and I don’t know how to handle him or myself. I don’t want to possess him or be obsessed with him. Somehow, we r having a long distance relation now, that makes it even more difficult to manage. I find myself resenting his behaviors and yet I am tying to keep my mouth shut. I know that if I just pull a little bit back, give him his own feeling of space he will be fine.. But I cannot pretend things r ok when I am not seeing them ok. He is a man who keeps running away from commitments , he is traumatized . I know he loves me , but somehow, he loves his pleasure and freedom more. This makes me feel degraded. I do admit that I pushed too hard. I insulted him, I judge him, I made his life miserable for some time. But I wasn’t trusting his intentions. His escaping from commitment, especially that we r far now made me obsessive and jealous. Now that I decided that I want him in my life . I don’t want to lose him. I know that I need to be patient and quiet.. But how can I do it .

  139. Hi Kim,

    I am an Australian living in the UK and am a single parent with an 11 year old daughter. I had broken up with my ex (daughter’s father) 3 years ago in London. After my split from my ex I met this guy from a dating website over year ago and thought I found my perfect soul mate… Three months into the relationship things started to go really strange. Over the christmas break, whilst my daughter was with her dad, I spent 3 fabulous days with his daughter and him only to find on the last day being rushed out of the house so that he could watch a rugby match with his best mate with no idea when I’ll see him again. I texted him saying I wanted to thank him for the wonderful time I had but being rushed out of the house was not acceptable. After a while and much anger being vented by both sides we tried to work on it and I immediately thought I had reacted badly and apologized for my slighted messages. Still not enough he then decided to leave on New Year’s eve to go with his daughter to Hastings (leaving me alone and my daughter with her dad) but months later I realized he went with his ex wife and daughter to Hastings because he couldn’t cope with my outbursts. Naturally being codependent I resolved that one and pretended all was fine but felt deeply hurt. A week before my birthday I’m told that he’s going away with his daughter to see his brother in Singapore and my birthday would be missed. There was no mention of when we could see each other and I guess I had to accept it… But noooo I didn’t instead I confronted my ‘n’ by saying that my friends have noticed how sad and depressed I am and certain friends were concerned about me. Having spent New Year in a pub on my own I slowly discovered that I need to find out who the hell I am and not accept men to approve what I do… I became very insecure with a lot of things that were to follow… The silencing that he gave me was unbearable and I slowly realized that I am not to bear my feelings and accept being played to fit his fantasies… Months went by and a year into our relationship I started to feel that I was feeling more depressed and felt very insecure about a lot of things that I started to think about suicide as an escape from my reality. I immediately hated who I was becoming, he was trying to get me from being a mum to being dependent again (this was good!) but then it got controlling and he was saying I’m not trying enough and that I didn’t understand pressure being a mother and I should work full time then you’ll understand pressure…. You must understand that I’ve no family support to help me raise my 11 year old daughter and my family live in Oz, so this was a real blow to me… Something snapped and I thought… Right I’m moving on. I ignored all of his suggestions, found a fab clinic to provide all my treatments in, perfect location and great clients to gain… Before that happened we split up after him not handling our discussion about his controlling ability. Oh yes! let’s talk about his controlling ability. I have never loved nor despised a man as much as my ‘n’… I was told that ‘Your friends have told me you have drinking issues and you are not in control and I’m worried about you’… This was said in a romantic restaurant in central London so Sandy stormed out and ran away.. (storm no 1) Then I was told that I’m not conforming and I should accept him for who he is and was immediately slighted for not complying to his needs… Storm no 2… On this one he persuaded me into the car and verbally abused me for an hour whilst locking me into the car… I’ve had telephone calls at the middle of the night for 3 hours with him trying to explain his point of view because I just don’t get it… It’s a sad thing being codependent but I’m now aware of my upbringing and why I always look for men to approve me. I am confident, blonde and not a bad looker but boy can this man bring me to grey and confusion to any woman. We are now over a year on and to this day I still love him but not the same way. I can now have an evening in and not feel insecure because I’m learning who I am and strangely with his silencing since our last split I’ve realised I need to find me. We are about to meet up this Saturday night after not seeing each other for 3 weeks.. Most of our communication has been through texts but I’ve completely removed the emotion and now I have him helping me with my graphic design for my business and there he shall remain….

    Your Co-S

  140. Dear Friends…

    It is a relief to find this page. I am 38 years old (never married, but have 1 child) and in love with a man for the past 4 years. It was only recently when trying to find out if the man I love is a pathological liar or not, that I tripped upon information on narcissism. Every crazy thing that has ever happened in our relationship that I could never understand was outlined in the characteristics and traits of a person with NPD. Perhaps it is my personality, or my relationship with God, but I still believe everyone deserves love, and can finally see this man as wounded…I do love him still with all my heart, and want to help without losing my soul in the process. I do feel relief in at least knowing there is a reason why he does what he does, but how do I heal our relationship?

    I have a beautiful daughter which is not his, but whom he has been in her life for more than half her life. He is so good with her, and loves him just as much as he loves her…and I hate to give up on him because I believe there is a really good man in there, I am just trying to reach him. He does have a unique bond with children in that they adore him, and I wonder if there are other partners of narcissist that have witnessed similiar bonds with children? Though I have not seen much online regarding this, I wonder if their bond with children is because these men are also very delicate and child like…that they don’t understand their own emotions, and have no self reflection. So playing with children and being a hero to them, feels safe, because children don’t judge.

    This man I love can’t own up to his own behavior that breaks the trust. So many times he had me convenced that I am the crazy one, when contridicting himself, lying, when all the while the intuition told me, I should trust my instincts to believe him, so I blindly trusted him to find out I was lied to over and over again. I just asked him via text after four years of love and devotion is he willing to give it all up for one moment of truth? He said he is done trying? My heart breaks wide-open again because I am not sure what he is trying! Trying to be honest? Trying to hide the truth, trying to avoid real intimacy? In my heart I know it’s not over, but things are far from good! He goes to the himalayas next month on sabbatical for two months and I am praying to God he realizes how much he has hurt me and how much I truly love him and decides to change on his own. It’s hard to give up on a man who has saved you in ways…and who you know deep down, he is a good man…but his fear keeps him from being able to create real intimacy, and build on a relationship based on trust and honesty. I’m hurting and I don’t know what to do. I still love this man. But looking back, I guess I’ve loved a few of them and I am just now seeing it. I think my father was also a narcissist, but has been tamed by his new wife who showers him with compliments. If I leave, considering I have a narcissist for a father, and loved 3 other narcisst including the one I now love more than all the others combined…I’m doomed to end up with another narcissist. So why not work on this relationship now that I can him for what he really is, instead of waiting another 4 years to find out I am just now seeing the same traits in someone new? This NPD thing really does a number on those that love them’s self esteem. If they knew how much really love them, they wouldn’t be so damn narcissistic I think…but when your heart can’t feel, it does not know when they are being loved…everything to them is rejection. And we are the ones that love them most of all!

    Thanks for listening 🙂

    1. Hi Butterfly and welcome! The best thing you can do is work on your own codependence. If you haven’t checked out the information on this please see the links at the top right hand of this page.

  141. Hi Kim,

    The constant struggle I am working on and don’t know how to solve is how to deal with broken promises. Right now we are working on trust, and honesty to build that trust. The key element here is that I always know when he has started to break that trust, because out of the blue with no reason at all, my NPD starts treating me very poorly, acts evasive etc. When I remind him of the promise he made, he says he won’t be guilted into keeping that promise. How do we build trust, if my N is not willing to keep a promise? He’d rather throw love away (or so it seems) than keep it together by being honest, and being kind. I am all ears for any suggestions, because right now it’s hard to say…it’s o.k. to lie to me, break your promises and treat me badly for asking you to keep your promise. I don’t know how to get passed this hurdle, but I am willing to try because deep down, I believe he is a good man.

    1. Hi Butterfly, You cannot depend on promises because this leaves all of your power in someone else’s hands. Then what if they break the promise? As you have seen it turns into a trial and everyone gets their defences up. This is why we highlight the need for action. You need firm boundaries that are real and you need a new repertoire of comeback lines that end non productive conversations before they even begin.

      I have said this before but setting a boundary with a promise is like thinking you have built a fence by drawing a line and asking your horses not to cross it. Of course that is not going to work and is not really a boundary at all.

      Trust will start being built when your partner begins to see that you are capable of protecting your own interests and that you are not scared of doing what you need to do to stand up for yourself – calmly and with deliberation – without abandoning them or using emotional manipulation to try and get your way.

      That may not make sense right now but really it is about respect. If you respect yourself enough to stand up for your own interests this will earn others respect too. As that happens they will most likely begin treating you differently and seeing that they need to earn your respect too.

  142. Hi Kim, thanks for the response. I wish I would have read this yesterday, and after giving kuddos for better communication and then N becoming evasive again…I asked if we were o.k. He turned that into I am insecure. As for the promise, I finally had to stand my ground. The promise was that if at some point either of us move on and leave, we need to let the other person know becomes it significant impacts my daughter who loves this man like her own father, and is the only father she has ever really known. N decided that he did not need to keep this promise despite it being made a few years ago to protect all of us from hurting each other, should one of us move on, because we are very much a family. Going from being a family to no barely no communication at all had started to confuse me and my daughter who longed to spend time with N who a month ago and a half ago started talking about reconciling, but suddenly as of a month ago, became evasive, unresponsive, and completely absent from the family life we created. I finally questioned it. His response is that he does not need to tell us whether or not he has moved on, while hurting the ones that love him because not care that he who calls us his family, is feeling this change in him, and yet he refuses to explain. As of last night (all through text because he won’t communicate these days any other way), I said I can’t drag my daughter through this anymore. It’s not fair to her. We had an event October 12th to attend together, and I said we will keep this date, but that if things don’t improve, that this will have to be goodbye. I can’t continue this with the emotional scares he is dragging my daughter through as he plays daddy for the last four years then suddenly heads for the hills to go MIA without an explanation. I don’t know what else to do. I love him, I love my daughter and need to protect her, and I know there is a good man in there…but as long as he sits on both sides of the fence, we will continue to long for the real family that he is not sure he wants to be. There is huge part of me that feels very used, as if we were just this family he created out of loneliness until something better came along, and now that he is on his way out, he has no concern at all for the pain that created for all of us. How does one stay true themselves, their daughter and the man they love, while N is determined to destroy the love of a family he so wanted and created, without hurting everyone, and still finding a way to mend what is so very broken?

  143. Hi Kim and Steve,
    I have been a believer and customer of yours for several years now. Your solutions have always been the right way to handle my N husband. I thought we had a strong attachment but I found out last week that he has been having affairs with several different women. I have pictures, clear pictures to prove it. I haven’t said anything yet.. I have been working on our attachment and his security to me before I say anything. I am also feeling at fault because I would always push him away when it came to affection/sex. I would like to approach him out of concern and not as a bully. What are his consequences without losing the weak attachment that we have? Who should be the person who deals out his consequences? He does not respect anyone.. He hates most people. I want to make the right move at this critical point in our relationship. Staying calm and in control of my emotions. I would really appreciate any input. Thank you so much for everything! Sonia

    1. Hi sonia – And I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. The consequences of his actions in this situation are hard to tell. I wonder if the women he is having affairs with are married? I wonder who else knows? I think it is wise that you talk to him but also be prepared. If he begins to blame anyone else or confabulate you need to be ready to end the conversation very confidently and remain calm and in control of yourself. I also wonder why you have chosen to avoid his affection in the past? This is a very volatile situation and you need to sort through it – but also to take care.

  144. There is no helping these Nar people, you can only preserve your own sanity, be strong and protect yourself. They have to learn the life lessons on their own, no more hiding the “family secrets.” Nar need to see that they have to own what they have done and live through the consequences. Everyone makes choices, let them be formed by their consequences. Nar may never learn, but they will pay for their mistakes at their own hand. The only thing you can do, as I have see everyone noting, is that you just manipulate your surroundings to your sanity and survival. It is not wrong to use this survival skill, everyone benefits and it is to ensure your own safety. It is not a control issue, but a stress reliever for your soul. It is not done in an effort to hurt anyone, used with bad intention or control them (the Nar), just to guide the outcome of the situation for the best. The only one who is going to take care of you or really cares how your life turns out is you! 🙂 Harsh, but true. Lived 25 years with verbal, mental, emotional and physical abuse. The toilet bowl of my Nar life is flushing and he is finally being “fractured” and hopefully reformed for the better by his own actions and choices. I have just stood by and finally let it all happen to him. I will not protect him from repercussions of hurtful, moral wrongs, and what society accepts as odd behavior. My Nar is no better than the next person and should have to integrate in society with what is seen as the social norms. Feels good that no one is blaming me for his faults anymore. I don’t contribute to what they have wittnessed, he is doing a fine job of that by himself. I have found out who I am, what I need to do for me and to protect my children. Hide nothing and do the best with what you have, but never, NEVER, accept the responsibility for your Nar behaviors. Once you see that and live your life as a whole person with thoughts, ideas and etc., of your own, you will flourish. Never be afraid of the consequences they (Nar) will have to suffer for their own faulty decisions, it will only help them. Be the happy person you were meant to be and fear nothing! I have survived and will be fine, regardless if he gets better or not! : ) Stay strong my friends. There is life with or without your Nar. Let him ignore you, set your boundry and just walk off. Don’t engage, it leaves them stunned. Booyah!

  145. I have known for years that my partner is a nar. We’ve been together 7 years. Everything is always my fault, and he never takes responsibility for hurtful actions.
    Our ongoing battle has been over his ex-wife. She calls him for everything, and he’s always going to her house and hanging out with her. He says they are not having sex. I told him dozens of times I would not put with him spending so much time with her and talking to her on the phone every day, and he says there’s something wrong with me that I don’t accept their “friendship.” He confides a lot of intimate things to her first before telling me… it’s the whole emotional infidelity thing. So, I finally left him in December. A month ago he started calling me and emailing me telling me how much he loves me and wants to get back together. He drew me back in, and then I found out at the same time he was softening me up and I was letting down my guard he was seeing and sleeping with an ex-girlfriend! I got upset about this, and he doesn’t see that he did anything wrong because “he’s single and can do what he wants.”He says I need therapy because I react to what I perceive to be his lack of respect in an angry way. Should I not be upset?
    He will never admit he’s wrong. My advice – if you are in a relationship with a nar, get out and don’t let them manipulate you back in. They are experts at playing with feelings and getting what they want, and you are the one who pays while you self-esteem continues to diminish. It’s not worth it.

  146. Hi. I have been in a relationship with someone suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder for 14 years. I knew something was wrong, but I was so accustomed to allowing people to disregard and abuse me that I did give it the attention it deserved. I have just learned in the past few months about these disorders. My husband asked for a divorce November 2012 and we are in the process. Every couple of weeks to every few months of our whole relationship he has threatened to divorce me, but I finally decided to stop fighting it and to stop begging for forgiveness for all of the things that offend him. I have learned to be a very calm person and have set up healthy and stern boundaries for myself. We have 2 children together and this time has been very difficult. He has refused to speak to me for the past 3 months, but has called my friends and family and told them I am mentally ill, he has tried to take our children from me without speaking to me, he has come to my house uninvited, and he has taken money from me. I love him and I am concerned for him. Like I said, I have been firm with establishing boundaries for myself in a calm and non-confrontational but stern manner, but he continues to violate them and refuses to speak to me. He denies that he has a problem. Is there anything I can do at this point to help the situation?

  147. Hi Rose – Boundaries should always be set with action not words. One clear warning of what will result if their behaviour continues and then action. Being stern long term will probably only result in you damaging your attachment. So it is a balancing act to be courageous about setting boundaries but also being as warm as you are able to be. The exercises in The Love Safety net Workbook will help you with this but ultimately you have done the right thing to call his bluff and hold your ground.

  148. Hi Kim. Just one question: How to set a boundary if someone is flirtatious in general but you don’t know how far this goes? And it went too far once, already, he has had an affair. As we don’t live together, but see us on a daily basis (working together), there is no chance to verify, what he is actually doing. We are only committed to a few people as a couple.

    I would not stay next time he is cheating. But this seems a weak boundary to me because I can’t see when the line is crossed. He also tries to provoke me often – telling me with a smile his best moments of the day were when he had been with one of his favorite female colleagues.

    Is it a good idea to just go and do my own stuff then in a non-confrontational manner?

    1. Hey Hazel – You really need to work through the 10 Steps to Overcome Codependence and The Love Safety Net Workbook. You need to find a way to track his double life (without obsessing about it) and practice a repertoire of comeback lines for when he tries to bait you like this.

  149. Hi Kim. I worked through all your books, eagerly. And this already had effects. I managed to get my ground back in some important ways. Especially the magic scissors and self-soothing are very powerful skills. I am so glad to know about it!

    My partner realized the change. I really was obsessed about his cheating. And even more so, that he couldn’t help me to get over it in any way, just in the contrary, he tried (and still tries) to belittle my concerns and even stir them up again and again to lower his own bad feelings about it.

    I do love this man. He is a deeply insecure person when it comes to intimacy. Whenever we are growing closer, he will try and start a fight about nothing, just to give himself permission to get away and blaming me for it.

    But with your advice in my mind, I already managed to stop discussions without threatening to leave him. I did this wrong more than once before, I wanted to leave him four times already out of anger, out of fear and just in the heat of the moment, when we were arguing. He always managed to pull me back. No wonder that in his eyes I have been a perfect pushover.

    These times are probably gone forever. I do feel much more grounded. And I am practicing to manage my own defence.

    Ok, comeback lines for the provocation mentioned before, Kim – ideas are welcome:

    He (saying that doing a favour for one of his attractive female colleagues saved his day, sighing):

    X, what you are saying hurts me and it reminds of your affair and I instantly feel afraid that you will do this again. I do love you and I hope you do too.

    For how to get in control of a double life, I really don’t see any chance. )0: he is travelling so often, it is always possible to lead me on!

    Ideas are welcome!

  150. (sorry my neglish is not very good) I realise now my first husband had some signs of npd. He was a wonderful, handsome man. But he invented all kinds of stories about how succesful he was. But i didn’t immediately saw that it were fantasy. He moved in with me after 2 weeks dating. After a vew weeks he hit the wall just next to my head. And i said to him (with tears but very cool): “Do not ever do that again. This is called domestic violence. If you do it again i will go to the police and file a complaint, not just report it, but file a complaint. And our relation will be over, you’ll never see me again. I will do both. So not just the police, and stay with you, but police and ending the relation” He never hit me, or anything near me. We later talked about it and agreed that he would ask for a time out if he felt uncomfortable in an argument with me, so he would have time to let the anger out by running a view blocks for example.
    The other problem we first had was that he thought that i was there to be angry at if he was upset about anything (even if it had nothing to do with me) I explained him immediately that i was not there for that reason. Partners were not there to be scapgoats. He took the message and never did that again. He became the most loving partner in life and we got married. Unfortunately he died 2 years ago.
    After his death i met a nother man, also with some npd behaviour. I didn’t set boundaries with him because i was so hurt by the sudden death of my husband. I was confused and insecure. He was agressive in subtile ways, ignoring me, humiliating me, always complaining about the things that were not good about me, telling me to put on other clothes if we went to freinds.. and so on. I’ve now found myself again, and this website. I’ll set boundaries. I’m already doing that. He has admitted what he was doing and also admitted what he feels. He said he hates himself and directs that hate to me, but that it is his own selfhate. That it had nothing to do with me. so we’ve come to a better situation, but there is still alot to do.
    The reason i fall for these men? My sister is a NPD. I’ve heared my whole life that she is so wonderful. Everybody want so know her. My friends would even try to be her friend instead of mine ones they had met her. And she would gossip about me to my friends. I’ve so learned that people like her are the good ones, the ones you wnat to know. I think that is why i am attracted to these kind of people.
    I think however there are differences in people with npd. And also there might be a difference in willingness to open up. If the man really almost kills you, than leaving is probably the best thing. For me with my man, well, i’ll try and see if this could become better.

  151. Hey Kim,

    My husband seems to be addicted to stimulation, attention, and acceptance to say the least. He is now getting these fixes by yet another activity. I want to convey acceptance in this new activity which is actually appropriate but is not leaving time for us or home responsibilities. At this point though I would like to create a boundary and consequences for his going for drinks afterwards at a very late hour which I find inappropriate and creates a cycle of sleep deprivation and more NPD actions for long periods of time. Your or Steve’s suggestion would be so appreciated!

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Trying so hard – I wonder if first you might want to work on making your home into someplace he wants to be? Setting boundaries is one thing – but if he is not attached to you yet it probably won’t work. There are steps in The Love Safety Net Workbook that will help you create a home environment that builds attachment and trust.

  152. Kim,

    So nice to get your response and timely! Thanks you!

    Yes I have been working at making our home and relationship safe and secure thanks to the information that you provide and I can see a definite change in my husband. My next step is to purchase The Love Safety Net Workbook. As you can imagine finances have been a total mess and I’m trying to save bits at a time for your book.

    Are you and Steve doing the Radio Talk Shows anymore? I don’t see any additional archives. They have been so helpful!

    Thanks again for being so personal! The work you do must be exhausting and yet rewarding! Please don’t ever stop! 🙂

  153. The call the police one didn’t work for me. Nor did getting a councilor and mental health services involved. He was threatening suicide and has a history of using violence against me. As soon as we were separated and he had a chance to talk alone, he turned them against me. It went from serious concern about his behaviors to the police belittling my call for help (“we are not here to solve your relationship problems”) and the mental health services deciding I’m disturbed and needed to be put in hospital against my will to give me a break from my husband.
    He instantly claimed he did nothing wrong and tried to act like they were against both of us. He left me to clean up the problems (getting myself released etc). As soon as it was all over, when i questioned him, he admitted to maybe saying some things that could be taken the wrong way i.e he threw me under the bus.
    Making a narcissist accountable can result in them putting more effort into protecting themselves at the cost of everyone around them.

    1. I am so sorry to hear this Aspen, This is why we put so much stress on you being calm and very careful in how you approach the police. Where are you now? Are you safe? If you are still living with him you are going to need to be very strategic in figuring out how you can 100% limit the abuse. I talk about this in depth in Back From the Looking Glass – sometimes it takes time until you find the right person to help. My first calls to the police did not go well either until a policeman I met taught me about how to deal with the police if you want them on side. Whatever you do you need to make sure you are safe.

  154. I have a husband with Borderline Personailty Disorder & he is very narcissist. I have come out of the fog, realizing how much I have been lied to & manipulated–I had feel under is spell and had the ‘gas lighting’ tactic used on me—–and I am wanting him to be held accountable for all the things he has broken of mine–at the times he has acted out –destroying my personal property. (1)He slammed my iPhone on to the ground (because I refused to give him my car keys) he was not sorry, he blamed me–I made him do it.(2) Damaged my car– I have been scared of him & Several times I have ran to my car, locking the doors to get away from him& when I refuse to leave safety of my car, he threatens to damage my car if I don’t get out of it, which has resulted in: door Handel ripped off, entire windshield wiper broken off, Three big dents in my door, cracked windshield and him keying my car. (3) my own personal property with in my home: doors repeatedly ripped from hinges, furniture thrown, broken, smashed my guitar in to pieces, throwing cups of coffee on walls, twice he has smashed & broken walls (but he claims he barely touched those walls, he didn’t hit it–I was there I saw him angry and punch the walls.(4) he lied to me every day, hides stuff and he verbally attacks me telling me what a liar, I am, how I lie lie lie lie—When he is the only liar.
    (5) he is slandering me–he makes up stuff that’s not true and he decides it’s fact-he maintains that I have cheated on him, tells me daily(I have seen him text that to his parents–so he is spreading lies about me. ——-but the most disgusting Thing he has made up is to lie about is that I was sexually abused by adult family member as a child and he sometimes says I’m still being sexual abused/raped??!!?!!? I know he is or will spread this lie about me because when I first met him, he said the same thing about his exWife—he lied about her and is gonna use the same lies on me?? I believed him about the stuff about his EX, why wouldn’t I, who would have thought a man could make up such immoral disgusting things about another person. He slandered her and he will slander me. (6) he steals my personal data and every photo I have ever had off of my cell phones– I have never given him permission. He most recently climbed in window, in middle of the night-sometime before 4a.m. While I was asleep, got my phone and synced with it taking all of my photos– my phone showed that his phone synced to mine at 3:53 a.m. And he took things of mine and continued to invade my privacy until suddenly woke at 5:30 and saw him standing at the foot of my bed!!! Of course he lied about what he was up to. It was days later that I discovered the truth after he got drunk and sent me my pics in a texts–but he of course had no idea how he got my pics??!!!

    For years I was unwilling for those kind of things to happen, he was accountable —he did not do the blaming thing. He would feel bad for actions, shameful even and would replace, apologize or do what he could to help resolve the issue for me that hurt me. When he was alcholic and drunk he would do the stupid lying stuff, but when sober and caught he could at least give bits of the truth–who knows. New phase, new job, not drinking, instead taking adder all for his ADD– he became obsessed with new job working with his parents–they can be a toxic at times. He got tunnel vision obsessed with job– the aderall had him on the go, then yo projects in house( over 3 years and not one of the many projects to house completed) I was mainly emotional, feeling ignored by him. Me feeling of hurt on emotionally not feeling special. That was my on feeling of insecurity. He couldn’t be held accountable for what I was feeling, he had done nothing negative. I guess it was during his ‘good state of mind’ that I lost that one on one level with him….I weaken abit and did police him because I was having my own feelings. Anyway– the aderall med increased and over time he was prescribed a insanely large dose. Things crumbled –he was a extremely paranoid, trusted no one, every body out to get him, stealing from him….became unemployed depressed and isolated him self. Year and half ago, started hearing voices, making outrageous claims, obsessed over me, needed wanted me, if I didn’t give him attention it would be horrible on me. No sleep and he would keep me awake– I feared sleep for a year because as soon I fell a sleep he was gonna wake me either to be sweet or to fight. The lack of sleep weakens me and the ups/downs instability , paranoid state he was in with aderall— I was miserable I could take him it was a life not worth living. I had no life it was controlled and taken over by him.
    Once he stopped the aderall– i could see manipulating, the narassium. I was wore out from defending myself, arguing and emotional abuse. I just wanted have a lil peace so I couldn’t go up against him and hold him accountable to much.

    He was physical abuseive at times and pretending he did nothing or I lied or to blame me really messes my self worth up. And I just been letting get away with these destructive things.

    I understand the accountable methods u suggested, done it that way in spme situations.

    My phone broken, the destruction on my car, my stolen pics, do I just have to let go.

    When he starts calling me cheater and liar and states lies as facts — no point to argue?? Will he ever understand what he did was wrong? Do I defend myself how do I handle the lies he tells me or texts me. What is response? Say nothing let him think he right since he is gonna thinks he is right anyway. He remains unaccountable for everything and so much more.

  155. Hi AJ,

    You really need the steps in “Back From the Looking Glass”. You are correct that there is no point in arguing – but that does not mean he will never understand it was wrong. You need to write a clear account of his behaviour that is concerning you from the perspective of him as a patient. Do not include anything about your relationship. Just the paranoia, the aggressions, the damage to your property, his alcohol abuse and him breaking in to your bedroom at night and making stories about other people that are not true. You should also make it clear in this ‘report’ that you fear this may be a symptom of the medication he has been prescribed.
    This may not be 100% true but you are not the expert are you? What you want is for his doctor to understand that he may be held responsible if he does not take your letter seriously. You need to send this to his doctor and also CC someone else as a witness. Perhaps your local mental health team? The letter should be very matter of fact and unemotional and only stress your concern about him. Do not make it a call for help for yourself or they may suspect you are trying to manipulate them. You cannot decide what they will do and if they ask what you want you need to be ready to say, “It appears he is having severe withdrawals and if his medication is not monitored more closely I am concerned about what may result.”

    So that is something that should raise a warning flag in their mind, if for no other reason than to cover their own butt.

    In the meantime you need better security on your house so he cannot break in. You also need to let him know that if he damages anything of yours again you will go straight to the police.

    As for your car I would make a statement to the police and say it is necessary they investigate this for your insurance claim.

    Again be matter of fact.

    Do not warn him about this or he may have time to make up a story.

    If he gets caught off guard when the police question him what is he going to say, “that you keyed your own car?”

    When he gets mad about you making the police report you need to be ready to say calmly that he did thousands of dollars damage to your car and so of course you needed to report it to make an insurance claim. You need to say that he will need to pay the excess or you will be forced to contact his work (parents) about the claim requesting that the excess be paid out of his pay. Again be matter of fact and say that you are concerned that they understand how serious this is and deal responsibly with how dangerous his behaviour has become.

    You can also be ready to say to him that he should also know if he breaks into your house again or damages anything you own you will be reporting that immediately.

    You shouldn’t be angry or vindictive – and instead say something like, “I am sorry I didn’t do this sooner because it is obvious that you need to learn that this is wrong.

    Do NOT get into and argument and DO NOT take these steps without reading all the steps you need in our book Back From the Looking Glass.

    Forget needing him to be sorry – that is a losers game and only got things to where they are now. What you need is a 100% clear no nonsense boundary that you are in control of not him.

  156. You do not *ever* talk to a doctor about someone else without their permission, and you do not respectfully obtain permission by stating what you are “going to need to do.”

    You cannot judge a person’s personal choices involving themselves and their body by how it makes you feel, that is your responsibility.

    Nobody owes you self-denial of gratification, that is simply your own fascist narcissism at work and is an outgrowth of your insecurity.

    Furthermore, none of the three quotes you suggested would actually /work/. This is, both practically and morally, bad advice.

    1. I do not need permission to talk to another adult about concerns that I have that affect my families well being. I would also suggest that you look at the research that is in about porn and how it affects men’s health and well being. Further if you are married to someone who is spending your money on gambling, an affair etc. I assure you that separating bank accounts will work to stop that.

  157. I’ve lived with this for 24+ years and I have had it. I didn’t have a name for it until a few months ago – I just called it The Wall. I have naturally done everything they tell you to to try to get a glimmer of anything out of him. It is ridiculous to have to kiss his royal rear end cuz why? Cuz he’s made himself King? I gave him a choice – he choose wrong and he is definitely suffering the consequences. I am becoming the woman I was when we met – the one he hated.

  158. Holding a person accountable for what they did in the past is a waste of time and should be forgotten. Does this include rape? Is it worth making then accountable for that?

    1. I don’t think the answer to the question of rape is simple. Is the rapist a relative or stranger? Are they likely to rape you again? Is there law enforcement in your area that are likely to believe and protect you or is exposing the rape going to put you in further danger? Many rapes occur repeatedly and by family members and even if exposed the victim is not believed. In this situation the priority is on setting boundaries. How can you prevent this person raping you again? In the case of a one off event I believe that yes the person should be held accountable – preferably by a court of law. In some places in the world this is not possible however and the victim becomes further victimized by the system. This is certainly difficult. Narcissism in itself does not describe rape. In this article I am not talking about rape, but about people who lie and put others down.

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