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Narcissist Taming – Part 1

Step 1 – Tame Yourself First

If you want to tame the narcissist in your life you are going to have to do some serious work getting ready.

Because taming your narcissist partner is about changing the dynamic of your relationship and so this needs to start with you …

WhatAboutMe_Clip

A short clip featured on my blog http://www.narcissismcured.com/blog/narcissist-taming-part-1/ The clip is from the 2008 Movie, “Giant Leap: What about Me?”. Full movie to be found on YouTube here – http://youtu.be/wA26XwqKA8Q

(this clip is an excerpt from the documentary Giant Leap: What About Me? Please watch through to the end.)

Most important is that you cannot tame a narcissist just because you want them to fill an emotional hole inside you. You need to fill that hole yourself.

That hole is sometimes called codependency

I used to think overcoming my codependency would mean I had to learn to live by myself . . .  But eventually I learned it meant the opposite.

Because ever since I have overcome my codependence I have never been alone.

Research has determined that kindness and self respect are what people really find attractive in a partner, but self respect is not only about confidence.

It is about making sure you have someplace in your life that you feel safe – and keeping that space clean and nice.

It is about knowing when it is time to go home and enjoy being alone with yourself (or your kids) when you need to. Without drugs, TV or even books to keep you company.

It is about knowing when you need to take time out to take care of yourself and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.

It is about learning how to wait and let the future unfold as it will and enjoy being here right now. Not forever thinking your bliss lies in the future or the past.

Having self respect makes us attractive. It also helps us trust in ourselves, even when other people let us down.

So this is ironic I know – but really you need to learn to be okay being by yourself if you are ever going to have influence with anyone else.

We have a very short ebook and mp3 download or CD to assist you with this …

10 Steps to Overcome Codependence

Lovable Me

 

Because taming a narcissist is something that is going to take courage and strength of character and so first you are going to need to work on yourself.

 

Taming a Narcissist – Part 2: Build Trust

Kim Cooper

Author of seven books on the topic of relationships and positive mental health.

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', 'End The Blame Game' and 'The Love Safety Net'.

This Post Has 36 Comments
  1. Thank you so much for information you are giving us. For a long time, i really thought changing them was the answer, but now i know i must change myself to get my needs met. I am focusing on myself more than ever and so far it seems that my relationship is getting easier, not harder. The problem with my realstionship is she dont allow my daughter in our house. I do feel trap and controlled with her, but i will find a way out with her or without her.

  2. Hi Kim,
    I really love this post! It highlights the main fear of codependants (I believe) which is being alone and/or unlovable. Hence, why efforts to draw people closer often manifest as smothering behaviours. I particularly like how you explained that its through developing our separateness where love and respect from others will flow. For a codependant, this very idea of separateness is terrifying yet holds the key to what is wanted most – true connectedness. Great job!

  3. I love how you connect self respect with confidence.. with safety… with bliss… with the present…with acceptance of who we are on a deep level and what we need and make ways to get it (boundaries).
    I’ve been on this journey for nearly 3 years. It has changed everything. Not because I’ve been going around changing others or situations, but because I’ve been focusing on me, my needs, my safety. I know, counterintuitive as it sounds, it’s essential. So, this comment is not a cry for help or here’s another problem. It’s a hug to us all on the journey and to really dig in and give generously to ourselves (not money, food, etc.) but what we need as our essence in life. Thanks for the good words Kim!

  4. Re:”Taming Yourself First” actually makes sense and does work. I’ve done it, but I have to keep reminding my self to continue to find time for me and be myself, rather than being a “pleaser.” If you don’t have at least one thing that’s “you” or you can call “yours,” it’s really difficult to live with someone with NPD…and they aren’t going to change, because they feel there’s nothing “wrong” with them. It’s all external locus of control.

    Anthony: That’s a sad situation. You need to find out why she won’t allow your daughter in the house. What makes her so uncomfortable? Part of the equation is learning what makes them “tick.” I’m still in the learning stage, of trying to ask questions instead of assuming I know the answer. Don’t forget, you can always go somewhere else with your daughter, so you get to see her.

  5. Kim, excellent job… very good information and things I feel a lot of us know but need to hear more than once to keep us headed in the right direction.

    I totally agree with what was said in the clip. I think people are controlled by wanting, wanting to fill a feeling, that they don’t know how to control. I am guilty of using food to fill my emotional feelings. I have recently lost 20 lbs and feel good. I would like to continue on my journey of health. It’s just the beginning. I have been doing all the things that make me happy. Like spending more time with my kids and grand-kids. I’m actually going out with my friends this weekend. I should never have allowed myself to be controlled. I have dealt with this before with my partner. I always get pulled in… but… I always pull myself back out again, you have to, otherwise you lose yourself to them. Which is not healthy.

    Kim, you have given all of us so much positive/healthy guidance. God Bless you….

    To everyone out there dealing with someone with a personality disorder, hang in there and remember to think of you. Don’t worry whether they will leave you or what they are doing… do what you need to do to make you happy. I know its hard at times but keep working at it, it does get easier. Don’t let them control/ruin your life. Keep faith in your life, friends, family and yes anyone that is a loving and positive person. Find a support person, someone that will listen but not judge your choice to be with your partner. I have two people. My sister and a coworker. My coworker was married to a pastor that had a N. personality. So she has had to deal with it too. Just recently the lord took him up to heaven. So she does not have to deal with that situation any longer. She has told me that anytime I need someone to vent to, too call her, what a blessing to have met someone that can relate and give me strength. My sister is great at listening… yes she gets upset with him, but I have asked her to let me vent and not to judge him. She is really good at that.. I love her with all my heart.

    I am sending out Blessings to all of you. It’s OK to speak how you are feeling but at the right time and with the right tone.(it makes a big difference, sometimes timing is everything) Its OK to be happy.. It’s OK to get upset.. It’s OK to ponder..It’s OK to sooth yourself..It’s OK to be YOU!!

    Take Care and remember we are hear to support.. If anyone would like another support system I am here..Let me know.. Ramona 🙂

  6. Anthony, Stay strong… you will have your daughter back in your home/life soon. Think positive and focus on what is good with you and your daughter. Don’t let anyone pull you away from her, she is your child and no one has the right to do that. Make sure there is respect and love between all of you or it isn’t a good idea to have her there anyways. Dysfunction and disrespect will ruin your relationship with her. I am a mom that loves my children with all by being and I had to make some sacrifices to make sure they did not see or hear a lot of the negative things from my partner. Sometimes we have to make a choice… especially with our children. You are a strong man Anthony… be the kind and respectful person I know you are.. I know at times it is hard to be the kind and respectful one,but when things get hard pull away and do for you.. work on that. Go do something with your daughter a few times a week, no matter how worried you are about your partner. Go workout, take a hike, go outside at night and look at the stars, go golfing, go boating, fishing…whatever makes you feel good about you. It sounds like you are attempting to do for you, which is good, keep it up… You can do this.. we need to support each other and then it will be a tad easier..You are doing great, keep working at it! Take care and remember you are not alone..

    God Bless Anthony…

  7. This is a fabulous clip.Thank you Kim and Steve

    As an outed chronic codependent I now treat my addition to people pleasing as seriously as if I were addicted to drugs or alcohol. Because codependency can kill and if not literally it sure as hell destroys your soul.

    Much love to all

  8. It’s been nearly 5 years since I happened upon your website, Kim, and I know I’m a very different person now. You have helped me big-time. The changes didn’t come as quickly as I’d have liked, but they DID come – eventually from a place of deep belief-changes within me. Hubby is definitely impacted by it, and he knows that no longer does my life revolve largely around him; that whilst I’m totally committed to our marriage, my happiness isn’t dependant on him, and that I have a life. It’s still a journey, but it’s a lot less stressful now!!

  9. Hi,
    I also got a lot out of the advice and the clip.
    And I totally go along with all of it, but there’s one thing that is contstantly mentioned , but said in a round about different way.
    Regarding the focusing on yourself and make sure that you have others or another that you can vent to sometimes. And also the part on ” go do this, go do that. Do things for yourself. Be indapendant etc. its all right and great , but listen to the word that was used ” GO”
    This really is sounding more to me like a preparation for separation .
    Truly, Is it really fair that a normal human being should be advised or expected to live like this until death do us part?
    It’s pretty much like living under the same roof with somebody that you’re not in a relationship with.
    I mean, even if you are strong and indapendant , a N is still going to cheat and lie, because we can’t change them.
    We can change how ourselves and the way we relate to them, but we can’t change them.
    Is it fair that we are taking a risk of catching STI’s from our N, just to say we are working on ourselves ?
    To make things easier to deal with?
    An STI isn’t something that we can just stop ourselves from catching by being indapendant and making sigurd that we do the things that we love.
    What I’m saying is, regardless of all the work that we do on ourselves, a N is NEVER going to change.
    As I said, this advice is fantastic,
    I could feel the strength while I was reading it.
    But to be realistic, it sounds to me like the beginnings of living a seperate life from the N or a preparation for breaking up.

    1. Hi Everyone and thanks for all of your generous comments 🙂 And hey Angie I understand how you feel but this is only part one! I don’t believe that you have to just accept what they are doing – but you do need to take these steps first or the rest of what we offer is not going to work.

    2. I think if you read “Hold onto your Kids” that you would see a possibility for change in N. They are like children who need gap parenting and if you get them pulled in and attached to you they will start to take instruction from you. They should naturally be more loyal and follow your example of honesty as well. But you have to get very good at parenting without them knowing that you are parenting.
      I have seen my N become more loyal when he is attached but I agree that you will have to lower expectations for N. Be patient, it will take some time but with love and stability I believe that miracles can happen. Don’t forget to pray all along the way and watch for Gods little tender mercies every day.

  10. Hi everybody;

    I have been struggling in my relationship for three years now and I have found that the information published is been a blessing every time I take it into consideration… Such a blessing!
    I still struggle with separation; my partner goes ballistic when we are apart and now I’m away caring for my sick father…
    All your comments are very helpfull to understanding my partners frustration; I’m new at this topic and appreciate the wisdom provided to make better decision in my life.

    Thanks so much for your publications; they are like a light at the end of the tunnel.

  11. LIBERTY OR…LICENTIOUSNESS
    “The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts; he introduces confusion and disorder into society, and brings misery and destruction upon himself. This, therefore, cannot be called a state of freedom, but a state of the vilest slavery and the most dreadful bondage. The servants of sin and corruption are subjected to the worst kind of tyranny in the universe. Hence we conclude that where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.” – Samuel West, On the Right to Rebel Against Governors, 1776

    So often in our culture licentiousness is mistaken for freedom or liberty. Liberty truly sets us free whereas licentiousness enslaves.

  12. Kim, excellent and to the point, sometimes less is more when you write. Loved the clip too, never seen it and its inspired me to buy the DVD. I’ve been on this journey with Kim and Steve’s help since January and I still forget about myself and my needs. I am now helping a friend with thanks to Kim and Steve’s work, hopefully another marriage saved. Co-dependents too often forget that we are just as emotionally immature as the narc, we are no better! Nearly finished Eckhart Tolles Power of Now and finally makes sense…spread the word 🙂

  13. Thank you Kim for these thoughts. I married and have 3 children. When the second one came along, I lost attachment with the first. Then I hard to work full time when the second one was one year old and lost attachement with him. I never lost attachment with the third. Because the father, who has been diagnosed officially with NPD, of my children was able to erode that attachment which was strongly seen by their behaviour, it was high time when the eldest was 7 to leave. For 2 years there was no contact to the father, which enabled me to re establich some sort of attachment, albeit fragile. Now, another 2 years, there has been contact enforced through court to the point that he was again able to erode attachment to the eldest by placing her again above her mother and her siblings. Her wish becamse so strong to live with him that she also encouraged the seond one to behave in a rebellious disobedient way, who also wished to live with him. I didn’t want to loose the youngest, so I allowed the other two to live with him. The youngest has been exposed to heavy pressure to live with them. After one week of holiday there, she has been instructed that her place is with her siblings and not with mum. Father has enforced this and refused to encourage her to come home with me. What is the best solution? Would anyone recommend Foster care or the like? I have no contact right now and all conversations are monitored via speakerphone. I have to go back to court. Is Care an option for me to at least have contact without the children being torn to pieces and for them to have a chance to heal? The eldest ist an exact replica of her dad.

    1. Hi Everyone and thanks again 🙂 Sue I can’t imagine what you are going through now. I have not been in your situation so it is hard for me to give you advice. The most important thing is that he does not push you to act crazy by what he is doing. It would be understandable – but it won’t help you at all. You need to show your kids, the authorities, your neighbors and the courts what a responsible and respectable person you are. I am also sure there are other people here who may have been through this and can help with advice. This is just one example of why we always warn people that leaving isn’t always the easy answer it can appear to be.

  14. I’ve spent 20 years being sucked down the rabbit hole. Reacting to him. “What Did I Do?” response. Putting the blame on myself. The N is so good at finding “all” of those little things about you that he can pin you to the wall with. We become frail broken souls.

    Taking a step outside of the box and looking in is key. Taking care of ourselves. They are good at pulling you back and breaking you down. Continuously.

    I love this video. It shows the beautiful comforting mechanisms we use for the needs that are not being met. WAKE UP!

    Finding that inner piece and self development is key. That is what I am doing now. Self Care. Self Love. Exercise. Friends. Career. Get out and get as separate from him as possible.

    Tough to do when they keep on pulling you back in.

    But it IS all about our own lives. Our own heart. Our own souls. Our own Peace. Our own GOD.

    Thank You

  15. One of the nicest things I ever heard was NOT “You need to go to a meeting,” but instead WAS “I’m going to a meeting. Would you like to go along?” I’m going to work on me; you are free to adapt (by being around me) or leave (by being away from me). This is true whether my changes are positive or negative. Thank you, Kim & Steve, for the words of encouragement & guidance. And, for the invite to come along on your journey.

  16. Kim, another great blog post! Encouraging those who live with a narcissist to take care of themselves first is excellent advice! We can only take care of others when we look after our own selves and make sure we are healthy both physically and mentally first! Keep up the great advice and I look forward to your next blog post!

  17. These comments have all been useful for me. As I read some of them I recognize ME as the people pleaser rather than ” ME” pleaser. I recently came across the word Narcissist and recognized the type of individual I was with as someone who may have an NPD.
    I then started by redefining the relationship but this has brought an onslaught of verbal condemnation from him against me. What I am getting to accept is to ignore the outbursts and just Please ME. It is difficult but I am slowly getting there. I do not have the luxury of leaving the relationship but I have the luxury of setting boundaries. I am glad I found this blog as other people’s comments have helped a great deal

  18. My NPD husband was incarcerated last fall, and I have been in the process of dealing with legal problems he left on my lap… a huge mess! During the seven year marriage, I had no idea what he was doing/not doing and his bravado/charm was so completely confusing… he had everyone fooled. And now, even from jail, he is able to petition friends and family to contact me on his behalf – they are all well meaning, but putting pressure on me to do what he wants. I just found out from our family therapist that my husband’s diagnosis includes NPD. I already knew from our former marriage therapist that he was sociopathic… the problem is, we have 2 beautiful children, and he is going to be out next year. He is determined that we are going to stay married, and I am terrified of his return – the chaos, the lies, the scapegoating, the triangulations, the constant drama.. I had no identity for the first 5 years of our marriage.. I have now gone back to school, started teaching & a small personal training business.. my life with my kids is full, stable, fun and full of love and compassion.. when he comes back I am afraid it will devolve back into being all about his constant, bottomless needs and craziness – I appreciate all that you say, and your posts have been integral to my changing my life over the past two years – but how am I going to manage his resurfacing? I am so afraid he will try to turn the kids against me – he’s so entrenched in himself – he has almost no capacity to think about anyone else but himself.

    1. Hey SS,

      You are going to need a very well developed plan of action in place before your husband gets out. If you get in touch with our help desk at info@narcissismsupport.com Steve can tell you about our private mentoring program. I would be happy to help you get things in order so that you stabilize your husband rather than him destabilizing you!

  19. Sue, I was nearly dragged through the courts over custody for my son seeing his father, luckily I stumbled across Kim and Steves site, learnt everything about NPD and Co dep, attachment. No one would listen to me, partly because I was so emotional. I can’t imagine how you are feeling, I would buy Kim and Steves ebooks, understand exactly why your husband is the way he is. Kim’s advice about creating a community around you will help. My partner and I spent £1000’s on therapy and it didn’t work, the small amount kim charges is worth so much. Our children are suffering all over the world, it’s never too late. My thoughts are with you. x

  20. This statement says it all:

    Andreas Moritz – (on Facebook)

    There is no need to change other people if we can simply accept ourselves the way we are. When we judge another person, it is not because we dislike or disprove of them, but because their behavior, opinions, or actions reflect our own feeling of not being ‘good’ enough. Likewise, when our perceived or expressed expectations of others do not meet, we criticize them in order to make the reflection of our own pain more acceptable and bearable. In truth, judgment is not real. It is never directed against anyone or anything but our own feelings of guilt and inadequacy. And that is an illusion, too.

    The challenge at this time is to claim your power and hold it dear, for you are the only one who can determine your reality, now that the new energy is permeating life on Earth. It is no longer helpful to look for others to make a difference in your life. Changing yourself to please someone else is only dispersing your power for no gain. The days of spiritual and political leaders who will tell you which way to turn are gone. Unless you choose to become a spiritual slave who believes there are others greater or more spiritually advanced than you, there are simply no more Gurus or leaders to follow.

  21. Excellent advise, Iam trying to work on me, and free myself from being co-dependent.. not easy but hopefully doable.. reading everyone’s comments is a real blessing, knowing that others are going through the same thing… Thank you Kim for this site.. helpful and encouraging for sure.

  22. First to Kim & Steve ~ Thank you for your commitment. The information from your personal experience coupled with the research, etc. you back it with, is invaluable. I first realized I was married to a narcissist while doing my own work on my raging codependency. I feel like my knowledge went from 1-2 over many years, and then 2-5 in several months of reading your info. I ended my marriage of 25+ yrs. to immediately get into a relationship with a person I almost feel I could say is NPD. At first I thought I could save us, based on your unheard of approach, but I think too much damage has been done. I don’t know why , but when I take care of myself, which I have worked on learning to do for some time, it makes him crazy. I spent the first years complying with his unquenchable need for attention from me. At first I thrived on it because my marriage had been so empty of affection. But all my responsibilities, other relationships, everything started suffering to the point that my life is now a total mess. I don’t blame him anymore, tho it was a tough challenge to take total responsibility. Anyway, I feel like I’m walking up a down moving escalator. He will stop at nothing when he isn’t getting what he wants. I will continue reading & stay focused on the “now” and take responsibility for me. Thank-you

  23. Best information I have found about Narcissim and Codependence…it’s made a huge difference in sorting myself and my life out. Thank you.

  24. I have recently dicovered through my 3 counsler in 9-yrs, that my only daughter (34 yrs) is N. I moved from Ohio to Florida just so we could get to know each other as adults, n hopefully b friends. She was surprised n looking forward to the move as I was. It’s been nothing but downhill for 8 -7/8 yrs. I know now we had different expectations of each other. She never talks about her feelings to me. I attended the 12- step co- dependent program n can spot one a mile away. I feel so much better about myself since. Her dad n I divorced when she was 13- months young (my choice). He n I adopted her when she was 3 mos young. This all happened before I took the 12-step program. I was so messed up. I knew I couldn’t stay married to someone I was not in love with. Marriage lasted 9-yrs. She n her dad r friends. They have been ever since she was young. He would share conversations he n I had. Just so he did not want her mad, angry, upset w him in any way. He gave her everything.

  25. HeHI did not give her material things. She had chores at my house, her dad waited on her. Now she has grown up w such expectancy n entitlement. She is married to a wonderful man. He is so like her dad. I told her ” sounds like you’re marring your dad”. She agreeed. He can n does stand up to her but she she has quick, condesending combacks. This is here 3rd marriage. She wants to move back to Ohio to be w her dad n step-mom. Her husband is a teacher n loves his job. She also is a teacher w Masters, but does not want to work, rather stay home w my precious first granddaughter, another on the way. I have never loved a human being as I love my granddaughter( 20) months. Her n I are joined at our hearts. I know my daughter wants me in her daughters’ life. Now as I write this my daughter hates me. Since I don’t support Her decision to move. ” what kind of mother doesn’t support what her daughter knows what is best for her granddaughter”. No empathy for my feelings. Now I know y. N. They r in Ohio now looking for jobs n housing, be back in Aug. I’m trying to learn how to talk to her when they get home. She does not answer my texts. Her husband Skyped w me n made sure we will be Skyping again so my granddaughter n I can keep connected. I don’t hurt as I used to. I want my daughter back. We were close when she was in college. Thanks for letting me vent. God bless everyone.

  26. OK.. I am in a continuous life of working on my co D, and NOT reacting to his N ing… IT IS SO FLIPPING hard.. I am in constant mind trips form the manipulaions.. Because he is in the midst of “discarding” me.. even though we are married… I FEEL SO BAD !! God.. I do not feel satisfied by hugging kissing loving myself !!! How do you handle the PHYSICAL part of the discard ???? I am starving for affection.. I was raised in an affectionate family..touchy feely.. I have, unfortunately, let him know that this is important to me, so, of course, that is what he used to f*** with me… How do I keep from going out and finding someone to hold me ?? I have cats and THEY even are sensitive to the longing.. they try to comfort me… Right now he is “blobbed” on the couch watching TV..I should “COMFORT him !! Because I have “wronged” him!! Is it time to move out when I feel like murdering him ??? there are times I do not care if I would go to prison… It would be worth it.. I know I truly hate him SO much… I feel like I am having a nervous breakdown… When I have something good in my life happen, I get the “treatment” for a couple days.. Because it is NOT about him !!!People are in tuned with ME, and HE doesn’t like it !!! Thank you for letting me vent.. Things are not getting better..they are getting more intolerable.. Right now hwen I am typing because I would let him see what I was typing.. I got a barage of names called..”fucking child drunk”…And I just went AFTER HIM IN RETALIATION !!! Oh God… Now he is leaving to drink or whore around.. again … I cannot afford therapy.. I am just about at the end of my rope.. I got myself into financial bind with him.. At sixty years old, how do you start over..

  27. Cathy, I feel for you. I have been there, still am. Have been through several years now of discovering what N really means – bizarre stuff that resists logic. I have been through the process of being discarded. Really, anyone in the family acting like a half -criminal is better as long as they make an effort to please him, and not contradict him . I got punished for my honesty, and my naivety: the belief that an honest conversation, or righteous anger can show the person what is right or wrong, and change the situation. The whole family is ostracizing me now, as they find it more comfortable to be on his good side. NO CONTRADICTION and ADMIRATION are the rules. And certainly there are lots of perks coming from it.
    Cathy, I have been where you are, your anger is very familiar. Please, calm down, and think about what you are going to do. Think about yourself. This anger creates the tie that is exciting to your partner, because it is, yet again, about him. Even hatred. Sometimes I wonder if Narcissism is a proper term – where is the line between the N, and sociopath y?
    I do not want to give advise. I can only tell you what I did – found myself a passion (kayaking), and a group of people to do it with. Discarded the attempts at controlling (“if you hurt yourself, you won’t be able to work”)I became happy (sort of) again, and this made me an attractive person. Got involved in learning, sharing and teaching. Became physically fit again, after a period of self-medication. Re-discovered my value as a companion to other people, and a resource to beginners. Started making my own equipment. Now he wants to join my group, I told him to find his own. After every refusal I get punished, this way or the other. He is quite impressed with who I have become, wants to be seen with me and be admired for it, show his domination and “ownership”. Too late. I am becoming now who I really always was. I let myself slide really far down, this co-dependency is VERY real.
    Cathy, I am 53, a mother self employed in a home-based business,in a small, relatively secluded community ridden by recession and unemployment. Holding 2 part time jobs at minimum wage, which will not sustain me. I can’t stay. I can’t leave. I work very hard on retaining those friends who did not get discouraged by my whining. I am working my way out slowly, trying not to shred everything, but way out it is. Because of the financial ties I am threatened by loss of everything (my home and my business – not so easy to re-locate where I am), but try I will.
    Warmth is important, but can be had from company of friends or animals. Cathy, calm down, take care of yourself. I know there is life out there – for you, for me, and others entangled in the destiny created by our own characters. Big hug to you.

    1. Hey Argo thanks for your wonderful response to Cathy 🙂 You hang in there and stay true to yourself, I know economic times are hard but most of us are all in the same boat and we will get through I am sure.

      Cathy, I want you to ask yourself why you want to be touched by someone you despise? I know you say self love isn’t the same – but this is exactly where you need to start work.

      This is a hard lesson and one I had to learn and which Argo has described very well. You need to give yourself time – but keep asking yourself why taking care of yourself and loving yourself feels inferior to being held by someone else? Even a person who you hate? Because answering these questions and solving that problem is where both the problem and the solution are for you – not in the arms of your husband. Argo has described her journey of self love, I wonder what loving yourself would look like?

      There is a youtube movie I will try and find of a TED talk about synthesizing happiness. They talk about how people are very bad simulators. This means simply that we are terrible at knowing what will really make us happy. We think that winning the lottery or having a vacation will make us happy when statistics show clearly that they probably won’t. On the other hand we think that happiness we manufacture ourselves is somehow inferior than happiness that comes through luck. This faulty thinking tells us that a person who says they are happy to make do with what they have and don’t care that they are not rich is somehow fooling themselves. The fact is however that happiness we manufacture ourselves is far superior than happiness that falls in our path. People who have have gone bankrupt, become paralyzed and had all sorts of misfortune – but who have decided to be happy regardless tend on the whole to fare much better than people who have good fortune smile on them.

      What this teaches us is that we CAN decide to be happy regardless of our circumstances. The problem is really that we have to get over our faulty belief that this kind of happiness is inferior and not worth diligently seeking.

      This brings me back to self love. Like you Cathy, I also did not think it could ever possibly be the same as or equal in any way to the love I wanted from my husband. But now 8 years down the path or diligently seeking, poor Steve has to be very patient these days to get to give me a cuddle! Most mornings (and some evenings) I am much happier meditating in the sun with my headphones on (and the mask I wear over my face to slow down my breathing). I started out having trouble sitting like that with myself for even 20 minutes – but these days I have to pull myself away after 40 minutes to an hour. Once I thought in stillness and silence there was only emptiness and that I would be consumed by that emptiness. Back in those days I couldn’t be alone and I also ate and drank too much. These days I know that the stillness and silence is utterly filled with love and acceptance. I don’t eat half the day and drink very little that isn’t simply for hydration. Am I kidding myself that less is more and actually more satisfying? Once I would have thought this was true, but now I KNOW that less is more.

      If how you are living is leaving you feeling empty you need to change how you live and stop looking to your husband for comfort. The Wellness Audio Institute recordings (the ad is on the right hand side of this page) are a great place to start. I would also recommend the Paleo diet and intermittent fasting and giving yourself permission to do the things you really enjoy. I also believe in prayer – but personally get much more out of listening for God’s influence in my life in the silence – rather than me doing the talking 🙂

  28. I read what you said and like the idea, but we have a huge problem here. I not only have given up on any hope, but have an overall repulsion for men and their sexual needs and thoughts. Not wanting to shame my husband, who is already.filled with shame, but kind if like being fond of a lion but completely repulsed by his.hunting down, tearing to shreads and.eating an animal. A normal but revolting behavior. I can never be a need meeter again, nor can I live in a house with a guy meeting his own needs by doing himself. I can not explain the disgust and repulsion I feel. I never felt this way but over the years its been him being nice to me to get some, then ripping me to shreds after as enraged I suck so.much of his time….that being if I needed more than to provide his fix at 8 pm each night. Like if Iwanted held or to.be able to talk, etc…I’m in the house but don’t know how to stay another week. I had breast cancer year and half ago from constant adrenaline dumps , now four weeks ago thyroid cancer removal. I have to live to raise our five and 11 year old. Do you have any ideas on this damaged heap?

    1. Hi Jo,

      It doesn’t sound like you want to continue in this marriage.

      I am not sure the dynamic of your relationship and how open and cooperative he would be to you asking for a divorce?

      If he is going to fight you on that you should look at the last chapters of Back from the Looking Glass that describe how to end a relationship and get closure and peace.

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