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Is a lying cheating spouse really the incurable disorder a few professionals insist it to be?

The symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are hard to tackle and extremely resistant to influence, but does this really make the heartache a puzzle that cannot be solved?

“Looking back honestly on my life I can say now without a doubt that I was narcissistic in my first marriage and codependent in my second (and I have seen many marriages follow this same pattern) and so from my own personal experience I know that these symptoms can change.”

It seems when we feel guilt about our behavior in a failed relationship, in the next we will sometimes swap roles.

So although it took me losing my first husband to wake up to myself, in the end my behavior did change. Sadly however this change was not into something healthy – just a different role in the same angry dance.

I want to help you create that change without staying stuck or flipping between unhealthy roles – so today I have some very simple advice. Because if your partner lies, cheats and is heartless, there is something you can do:

Very simply, you need to stop giving your power away and stop thinking you need to play fair.

A leader should be responsible for the well being of everyone they are leading and take that responsibility seriously – otherwise they do not have the right to remain in charge.

Once upon a time I would beg and complain, acting as if all of my happiness lay firmly in Steve’s hands. I would confront him and try and convince him – waiting to see the change I longed for; when he would start giving me all the love that I craved from him and then I was sure that everything would be okay.

This never worked for me and if you give a heartless and irresponsible marriage partner that much power, it is not going to work for you either.

One of the first things I recommend when people first start learning the steps in our program is to self soothe. This is vital but sometimes I find people get the wrong idea about this and so today I will explain a bit more.

Self soothing is about learning to calm down and not get drawn into arguments or fights in the heat of the moment — which will obviously help bring calm to your household — but this is not where the steps in our program end.

Many people feel a lot of guilt about getting angry and when I suggest they learn to self soothe, they think that I am suggesting that getting angry is wrong or bad and if they learn to stop doing this they will then be rewarded with love from their partner for being good.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reason we teach Self Soothing is because getting drawn into arguments gives your power away and won’t ever create the change you desire. It is not that getting angry is bad, quite simply it doesn’t work and will usually weaken your position.

Learning to stay calm is the first step and the real steps you will need to take can only begin after that.

The truth is if your partner has symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder you need to take the power back in your relationship and you need to take charge. Make a plan and make the decisions about what is going to happen and stop waiting for their permission. If you have all of your families interests at heart, and they don’t, it is time you planned a coup to take the position of leadership in your family firmly into your own hands.

Will they like it? No – at first they will probably fight you like a tiger and that is why you need to be prepared.

Will they know how to play by your new rules? No – and so it is important that you don’t expect too much of them at first and that you use the gap finder (in our Love Safety Net Workbook) to decide where it is sensible for you to start.

Will this be easy for you? No – at first you will probably be terrified and so far out of your comfort zone that you will feel like everything you are doing is wrong.

Because if you grew up with codependent tendencies you will probably feel very guilty about taking over and taking charge. Before I took charge in our household Steve used to accuse me of being too dominating and I bought that line for 10 years. Luckily one day I finally saw the truth, which was that in reality I had been a complete pushover to his exploits and lies.

Will the rewards be worth it? – Certainly! Because if you leave a person with narcissistic tendencies at the helm there is no place the ship can go but down.

Are you up to playing captain and staging this take-over successfully? Perhaps only time will tell, but what other choice do you have and who is going to take the lead if it is not you!

Will your partner come to love and respect you? – There is a good chance that they will, but that will come further down the track and shouldn’t be your short term goal. Whether they do or not, hopefully with our help and guidance you will be sailing on calmer seas by then and you will have a lot more choices about where you can take your life next.

Can this approach cure people of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? – In our experience and the experience of hundreds or people who have shared their stories with us, yes it certainly can!

Now I know you might be wishing there was an easier answer – but growing up can be tough and in reality growing up is what this is all about.

It was a very sad day for me when I realized prince charming was never going to come for me and that all the things I wanted from him were things I was going to need to take responsibility for making happen myself and even fight Steve to make happen.

Change like this is never easy — but hopefully, with our help you can help even out the power balance and watch your partner become more responsible so that, like us, the leadership in your family can one day become a role you can both share.

Please see the links at the top right hand side of this page for more details.

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 116 Comments

  1. Amazingly true! Why let someone who thinks only about themselves captain a ship full of other people??

  2. Thought this was brilliant. Answered ally questions put my expectations into perspective mapped a very clear journey. Thank you. Really want to know the steps and start the process Kate

  3. I divorced my husbands because he was extremely narcissistic. I didnt realize all these years when I dated him what was really wrong. He was very selfish. Controlled me by never really wanting to take care of his family financially. He was a big bachelor for 51 years. He finally married me and my 2 boys. I loved him so much and would have done anything for him. He never could give his whole heart to me. I think he loved me as much as he was capable of loving someone. The marriage failed because he didnt want to share anything. He lied, hid bank accounts from me. Controlled me in every way. Emotionally, physically, sexually. He had me begging for pennies. Leaving someone I really loved was the hardiest thing I have ever had to do. I went back 3 times thinking he would change. I think he wanted to change he just wasn’t capable of it. I pray one day that he will figure it out.

    I just got marriad again and the relationship is the way it is suppose to be. My husband and I take care of one another and there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for my kids. If my ex had been like that we would have had it all.

  4. I agree with this, in theory. I had a hard time allowing myself to push my husband to allow me to lead, but until I did he couldn’t grapple with his illness, a brain disease, and he couldn’t allow us all to flourish outside of the isolation and hell we all in as a result of his overwhelming fear of dying, of being a failure, of being sick, of giving up control. Now I am free to actually be affectionate and offer him ways to enjoy life: take a bike ride, get sleep, etc. Before I felt resentful and at his mercy all the time. Now I have control over kids and what they need, and am able to give more and flourish in my own physical needs–rest especially and bedrest pregnancy. I am in a Christian sub-culture that values headship in marriage, a husband’s leading, but I think only in so much as he is in Christ and willing to surrender in his life is he able to lead in that way–until he does, I can allow God to fill me with the leadership and the vision our family needs, and call him to a reality walk with God that includes surrender and service to our goals as a family–the well-being of our children and our marriage. I am holding the door open for him to enter into real life if he wants, but I’m not waiting and allowing him to destroy our hope in Jesus in the meantime! I am the leader as I’m the Mama, and if he wants to lead and be in reality, great! I think I have a better ability to allow God to change him as I’ve taken leadership and let go of anger both. Thanks Kim and Steve, thank you Jesus. MB

  5. In addition I think the Christian Evangelical Church errs in teaching that the Bible is saying that women are supposed to let men lead regardless of abuse–that God will change them if we do, etc. I think the Biblical witness is clear that women are to obey Jesus first. And if that means standing up to abuse to protect family and integrity of witness in ourselves, we have to do it. In love, ideally–letting go of anger and resting in Jesus, as Kim describes as self-soothing. I don’t think we’re to give into abuse ever. I’m so grateful for this teaching it has helped me because it’s so practical and shows what will happen if you set limits on abuse and set boundaries and do it as offering attachment at the same time. I really appreciate the understanding narcissistic spouses, often husbands, lack a sense of being and well-being through attachment, and you can set boundaries while keeping strong in self and offering attachment–it doesn’t have to be petty anger and control on our side either. Praise Jesus for a lot of wisdom. MB

  6. At 49, How do you get your life back, including a fair settlement and your children, once you have been spit out and replaced by a Narcissist. My 58 year old husband, has the 20 year old girl and everything we built up over 15 years. I was falsely accused and jailed for assualt never to return home again, removed, left for dead now. My children are in the custody of the 20 year old because my ex works all the time to now run our family business alone, I have been temporarily accused of being dangerous by him? He does not care if our children are raised by this bonified prostitute really the truth, in fact he is tring to take them from me permanently. This is Hell.

    1. Hi Laura, You need to work through many of the steps in our program perhaps not to get your husband back (it may be too late for that I am not sure) but certainly to protect yourself and create better relationships with your children. It is vital you learn to stay calm and present yourself as well as you possibly can while you put together a plan of attack and build a network of support in your community.

  7. Found your article to be very helpful indeed. I come from a family of drinkers and I mean a whole family full of them! Although I am not an alcoholic myself I have a very bad habit of being co-dependent. I received alot of help with this which is how I got to heal myself to this day. There are times even today that I feel sad that I have to give the tuff-love approach to my so who is additive along with other family members. Sometimes it feels like I am laughed at by all of them but I know it is because they are very scarred and angry because of the changes that they see around them. If one person in the family decides to make a change they feel very intemidated by the change especially when it is a good one. My mother was very co-dependent but brought herself out of it when she had a nervous breakdown many years ago, although my mother is no longer living as she died many years ago with heart problems, she did over come her codependency with my father.(alcoholic) Bother parents have been dead for quite a few years now along with a brother who was 24 when he committed suicide.(also alhoholic) Their personalities are very much like the narcissistic disorder you both speak of. I believe they take on some of that with being the alcoholic, it becomes a control issue with them. Thank you for the input, keep it coming! Thanks, Cherie

  8. I left my partner almost two weeks ago he harrassed me by phone so i got rid of the phone bought a new one new number and so far I am enjoying my freedom after being kept from others for 7years. I love him but I love me more. I know he will eventually look for me but i am not making it easy for him this time. I have things to accomplish in my life and i felt he was taking credit where it wasn’t due. I feel great about myself at this moment in time I do have hard days but learn to smile through them. He said he loves me but i don’t know words and actions never matched.

    1. Hi Beth – I wonder when you say that you know he will eventually look for you. If you are happy to be away from him that is great – but if you are doing this to teach him a lesson so he will treat you better I fear this plan backfiring. People with NPD often have major abandonment issues and so playing this as a game to win his love and respect could be a very dangerous one. Please make sure that you are safe and if you want the separation permanent I would suggest you give his ego some kind of ‘out’ like saying you had to leave to take care of a sick relative or something (and lost your phone) and you hope you can return to see him in a few weeks. If he rejects you then good – because this will at least calm his anger at being shunned and you will be safer. I don’t know your full situation of course and I am glad you are doing good without him, I just hope that you are safe in your current course of action.

  9. Some people have the advice to let the partners””self-destruct” as the answer. It is evident to me that this person will not go down willingly, or alone, or first. This person will sacrifice anyone that has meant anything to them. Everyone is a potential, disposable human shield. At some point,the other partner (the codependent one on the chopping block) knows this and that is why they conform to comply with the outrageous behavior. It is difficult to know what to do when tensions are so high and mistakes are so costly, and there’s so much bad advice that is the opposite of what actually needs to happen for healing.

    1. It can take years for someone with NPD to bring down their own game – and that usually won’t happen intentionally – it happens simply because they end up sucking all the life out of the system they inhabit and then crash. I think it is much safer, wiser and kinder to host a controlled collapse of their game. That way at least you can be there to offer sympathy and support once their false ego falls to pieces. Without this even after the nervous breakdown many people with NPD will have around 50 they will just end up rebuilding their false ego structure all over again. I brought down Steve’s game and then when he was helpless I sheltered him and took the lead in helping him rebuild his idea of himself into something better. I supported him to get back into playing sport and helping around the house and when he saw that he had no idea how to be with us without puffing himself up or bossing us around I reassured him that we loved him and would accept him if he just stayed quite. I showed him he didn’t need to be a big shot to be accepted and at home with us.

  10. What mystifies me about this NPD is how misleading it can be. One moment my husband seems like the insecure little boy, and the next, a ruthless and heartless man on the attack. We are doing better, and there is less attack, both verbally and physically, but I am always aware of how misleading any good times can be.

  11. Hi, If you give unconditional love and teach them like your child…like Super Nanny…How you can you get Romantic love back? I am not good at self soothing…I need to be alone. My sadness makes the other person mad and reject me. They only want to be with a happy person. I forgive…but am sad.

    1. Hi Wendy, I think most people need time alone to self soothe – if you need time alone you need to make that clear. I also wonder where you got the idea of unconditional love? Not from my writing I hope! Children need boundaries and discipline and the Super nanny has great practical examples of this. Love can only grow from trust being built with your partner and to build trust you must also be able to trust yourself.

  12. Hello Kim & Steve,
    I ordered the Love Safety Net Workbook about 1-2 years ago, not sure. However, I did read about NPD, emotional intelligence, co-dependency; this was EXACTLY my situation,then I fell off the wagon thinking “My husband just needs counseling, someone to be accountable to..” He will not go, in fact things got worse, thank God you kept in touch via email. I started applying some of the principles of emotional intellingence, codependcy and salf soothing. I’m pulling out the Love Safety Net Workbook before I head to divorce court. I want to thank you and Steve for sharing..I’ll be in touch!


  13. I fell in love with my Narcissistic (now) ex-boyfriend with my eyes open knowing that he had two failed marriages behind him and failed business ventures. We got on so well together and I have never felt a stronger connection to anyone, ever! At the start of the relationship I was one of two women and I took it that he was torn between two lovers and he eventually chose me. I then took control – we moved into a home together (which is my house). He wasn’t working but I helped him to set up a business at home. It went well for two years we got engaged and talked about marriage. I work full time with a stressful job in the helping profession and single mum of a 12 year old. He was all about him and gradually became more unsupportive of me. Alcohol Abuse was also a problem. I suspected he was cheating again from November last year onwards – complete denial when confronted. He questioned the relationship I ended it with him in November – then we reconciled a week later. I was seeing a counselor strengthening me and helping me to deal with him better, but was still prepared to be with him – was fully commited. He sought help for his “depression” All seemed much better over Christmas- I became stronger and more in control of our lives. Then at the end of January a big argument as he had been “working” away for three weekends and i was suspicious that he was cheating. He pushed me through a glass door at home causing serious injury to my arm requiring artery replacement and then LEFT me! I nearly lost my life and have now been off work for 4 months. He is bailed not to have contact me and going to court soon. I miss him and think about him so much. We have seen each other a few times, and he is so sorry about what he did that night and my heart still has hope. I really loved him and main issue was the cheating. I am a survivor and strong enough to get through this but am struggling to get over him.

  14. Thanks for the articles and advice. Every day is such a struggle- the irrational arguments, deception and blaming have taken their toll on me and I am on the fence about staying or going because I refuse to lose anymore of myself. Your advice gives me hope that things can change, but at the end of the day I think something has to click in him. At least I am getting unsolicited apologies, so maybe he’s starting to see that he does have issues. Still hopeful…

    1. Hi Still hopeful, it is very important that you do not allow yourself to be drawn into those arguments. Stick with the steps and exercises and get yourself out of the dark re his double life. This journey is not easy and takes time and so you need things to do for yourself and by yourself to be good to yourself.

  15. EARPLUGS…. works pretty well,when the narcisist just dont care,dont listen,and shes your mother and u live in her home with a back injury and no doctor,or work to pay for doctor to escape,some people enjoy dominating the kindness as if it was a weakness…whatta prison in the free world with narcisist people!

    same thing im going through seems like we the people are going through with their narcisist-government.
    if i can somehow take charge maybe america can do the same with their “leaders”.

    to me a narcisist is a “greedy-dominator”.

    1. Yes I agree about our leaders Nick, nearly all are either narcissistic or grossly codependent. Look at the royals in the UK and Europe for instance and how they insist on being worshipped and adored as superior beings despite their long family history of genocide, crime and despotism. Then watch the worlds leaders all grovel to these same royals and do anything to get invited for ‘tea’ or win some special attention and it is not too hard to see where the worlds narcissistic/codependent problems are stemming from. The God these people worship is Gold, Oil and Drugs. It has always been the same with them (and slavery is not a thing of the past but a bigger problem in the world now than it ever was). Evil is not creative you see – not ever, it plays the same hand over and over and it is beyond time that the world stopped falling for it.

      I wish you every success in taking charge back of your life. My dad was a back doctor and I don’t know how serious your injury is but walking 20 minutes, lying flat 20 minutes and sitting on a hard surface 20 minutes is the best first remedy. You should also never stand on hard surfaces or sit on soft ones. Exercise is crucial and there are many good ones online – but make sure you also work your pectorals and not just your back. I have also found Christian Science healing remarkable.

      I had the second in charge of a company in California use our steps with what he had worked out was his companies codependent business culture. The CEO had serious NPD symptoms but using the same steps we offer individuals in a matter of 2 years he turned things around for the better at all levels.

      I only mention this as yes our methods can and do work in many different scenarios. Healing yourself of your codependence will certainly make you much stronger and influencial in your community.

  16. Aloha,
    I have read through all of the comments, and personal journy’s all are going and gone through. I too was married to a NPD in the military higher ranking to boot! And so he tried to control everything and everyone around him. With a dual personality depending on “to the rest of the world” or how he really was at home, and how he treated his wife. What really set everything “A Blaze” was when i got seriously physically ill, a long term illness. HE could not control it, and it all went into a tailspin.I had to put restraining orders for my safety and well being, and that made things worse also, for me to be alone so gravely ill (Iv’s running to my heart for 1 1/2 years) and not having a loving husband’s comfort and support. He was angry, HIS needs were not met while i was ill, and this triggered a very dangerous situation for me. Though i got counsel from military family advocacy(who came to my home 2-3 week to ill and bedridden to get anywhere for help) It was through that and the links to this site that helped me through, and understand it all. And that I was not crazy! He was 2 differrent people! I do belive that ones dignity and self respect needs to come before all others. And if it is a situation that can be redirected with healthier positve dialogs and behaviors…great!! If not, see it for what it is, except you did all you could do to restore it, and move on.I could have died at his hand! Think listen to your gut!

  17. Please be true to yourself.The one thing i did notice through 10 years of thr relationship…that I ALWAYS GOT LOST, just trying to keep the peace, and not fight!
    Life is to be filled with joy also…with growing and learning…not being mentally, verbally, and possibly physically abused! You are a gift from the lord and your life should reflect that…daily

  18. I have felt similar to you Wendy and am still practising self soothing, something which at the age of 43 and after 21 years of marriage is extremely difficult for me. I also suffer from ‘The Sadness’ but have found that meditaing everyday and listening to ‘Loveable Me’ is helping my badly damaged self image and esteem. I have found by incorporating both things in my dayly routine has surprisingly made me feel stronger and happier. The pain of the past is difficult to overcome. I still grapple with this as it’s like jarring flashbacks that stop you in your tracks and you can’t get them out of your head and they instantly change your mood or emotions, you then start trying to go through the forgiveness process all over again and you’re back at square one. I like some of Kim’s exercises like using the scissors as if cutting a ribbon and the balloon of negativity and just knowing that it’s really nobody’s fault about what happened in the past when you read about the co-dependant/Narcissist ‘dance’.

    What my family friends and neighbours think too also weighed heavily on me but knowing that you can never expect them to understand the decisions you made and by just showing them your new strength and ability to be a leader in your own life will most probably have them respecting you, even if not your decisions. I had a tendency to lean on my family in the past but this only caused them pain and put a strain on our relationship. On top of all of this life can throw extra stresses on you so I wouldn’t hesitate in future to seek out a counsellor for that stronger support network. If I had known all of this when my Mum died I would have handled things in my life much better.

    When I had to deal with the Police recently they put me onto some very helpful services for women and their partners which didn’t just revolve around separaton or litigation.

    From this painful experience I now have a police officer also who I can ring if I’m scared of my narcissist becoming out of control. I thought they would judge me too, as I had been in the past, but these young officers were amazing. It’s weird because with them I showed strength in what I wanted after reading ‘Back from the Looking Glass’ even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. They gave me many options and support. I was shocked that after they ‘spoke’ to my husband he imediately stopped being ‘psychotic’and they followed up with phone calls and their presence. I have told my husband and my children I will ring them again if he gets like that without hesitation. My kids at first thought all this was so terrible and embarrasing. They suffered from the ordeal but I remained strong and apologised to them for putting them through all of this for so many years. They were disgusted in me at first for staying but now that I am strong and happy they are happy. They actually see everything Steve and Kim have helped me with as obvious and true and not some silliness. Knowing what kind of personality problems their parents have makes so much sense to them and seeing their Mum in an emotional awakening has encouraged them to use these same skills in their own lives. They don’t hate their Dad as much anymore either.

    I’ve also noticed I have had better relationships elsewhere like work and with my friends. I’ve backed away from friends in the past because of my marriage but now I find because I’m stronger and I like myself better and I know what I want ie. working on my marriage and family, having fun, exercising, getting healthy, working hard, that they are non judgemental and accepting and I tend to nuture THEM more which is nice for a change.

    My next step is to practice ‘reconnecting’ with my husband as I am finding this hard at the moment, I think because I have been concentrating on working on myself and healing myself which after so many years has taken quite some work. I have at times said to my Husband, “I’m sorry I’m working on dealing with some things at the moment” or “I love you but I just need some time and I’ll look forward to doing something over the weekend with you?”. He’s much better when I talk like this but I still have to constantly remind myself and sometimes I forget so I’ll apologise later and tell him I could have said this or explained myself better etc. Sometimes he still sulks a little or gets angry but I don’t let that upset me like It used to.

    At times I think he still wants his ego sroked from that soft little doormat he used to manipulate so I think he’s still fighting it a bit but at least I can see that now. Other times I think I just want out of this whole mess but then I remember how it feels to go through all of that and I just keep honing my new skills. I do feel though if we ever part I’ll still be better equipped for the future.

    I’ll be downloading the next books very soon. Thanks Kim and Steve. P.s I would like the paperback version though of ‘The Love Safety Net Workbook’ is it only available as download?

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Claire! And yes the Love Safety Net Workbook is available in a full colour workbook folder just have a look at the product page on this website (there are links to the main menu on the top right of this page). I am also really glad that you are using and enjoying Lovable me. It is one of my favourite products!

  19. Kim I admire you for your strength and for the way you look at things. I appreciate the chance to be your reader you always bring the fresh outlook.

  20. I often feel used (or played) when I have sex with my NPD husband. I’m trying to be stronger as a person. Sex is so intimate, so I struggle with “being with him” and yet knowing that behind the scenes he’s hiding stuff from me…that I usually find within a day or so. It’s like he knows he’s being bad, and he wants to be “loved” in spite of it. And I can deal with that “childlike” approach, now that I know what I’m dealing with (an NPD)…but at the same time, it really puts a strain on my sexual life. How do you have a healthy sex life with a lying, deceiving NPD…when it takes possibly years to overcome??

    1. That is a tough one but I think the rules you might want to consider (and balance) are these; don’t use sex as leverage or a reward but also do not have sex if you do not feel good about it. There are plenty of healthier ways to build rapport and connection if the trust isn’t there for you yet.

  21. All of you women living with a narcissistic partner are so amazing. Kim, i am wondering how you and Steve were able to get to where you are today. I don’t know yet if i have that strength but in our separation I am self-soothing and looking at myself. I saw my ex-partner today and despite what has happened the bond between us is still so strong. He is living in homeless accomadation at the moment but the last few times I have seen him he has been so loving, remorseful and still loves me. He seems to be working on himself and I was also able to confirm the affair he had that led to all the arguments has ended. I don’t have to be with him but my heart still wants to. He is devasted about hurting me and i am taking it slowly – still lots of hurdles ahead, including court and the possibility of a prison sentence for him, but i do have hope. I will try not to have sex while we are separate but reestablish the trust and intimacy.

  22. For the first time in my almost 8 year marriage I see light at the end of the tunnel! My mom introduced me to Kim and Steve’s website on NPD and I knew instantly this was what the problem is in our marriage. I always knew the typical counselor would not be able to help us but I didn’t know why, I just knew our problems were different. It wasn’t until 2 years ago when my husband admitted to me he was doing porn while I was pregnant with our 3rd child that I began to see the “problem” wasn’t me. He had a deep seeded issues that I just couldn’t put my finger on before.

    His father is an EXTREME case of NPD and he passed it on only to his eldest son, my husband, and not his second born son. My husband has these issues his father gave him without realizing it. His father’s issues come from a bad relationship with his mother. (I don’t think anyone really knows what happened there.) My husband treats me awful because his father treated him that way and never taught him how to deal with females.
    The hardest part is that my husband’s parents write christian marriage books that mostly blame the women for most problems that are in the marriage. My mother-in-law has learned how to semi tame the beast and writes about it like it’s every man’s problem.

    I’m writing all this for two reasons; 1. I can finally have a place to vent for the first time in my marriage and 2. I can’t wait to take this battle on! I’m so tired of feeling guilty for his bad behavior and mistreatment of me and our children. The nicer I am to him the more he squashes me into the dirt. I don’t nag him, never have, because that’s not what “good wives” do. I don’t cry and get emotional with him, I learned early on in our relationship he viewed this as “weakness” so I made sure I didn’t annoy him with this behavior.

    I am a good mother, I keep myself in great shape, and I am a determined person, but I still have never measure up to his crazy fantasies of how I should look and be. I’ve finally realized I’m not a horrible person who “hates Jesus”. I actually love Jesus very much because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have stayed in this pathetic excuse of a marriage. I feel the worrier coming out. I’m going to win this battle and my husband and I are going to have a great marriage where we are in unity together instead of a dictatorship! I have ordered several of the books recommended by Kim and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. In the meantime I have read over many articles in her blog and have watched several of her videos. (I can only read and watch videos when my husband is not home.) I’ve put into practice a few things I have already learned and I have already seen a difference in him! I have been an enabler to him since we first met almost a decade ago and had to come to that horrible realization about myself.

    I am SO THANKFUL for Kim!!!! Thank you so much for finding these nuggets of wisdom and having the strength to face your fears and go for it! This is IT. THIS is what will save my marriage and my children, I just know it.

  23. It was interesting reading Claire’s post especially about how she has found the police helpful, and has been able to retain the respect of her neighbours and children while remaining with her narcissistic partner. I feel that the whole world (apart from 1 good friend) would not support me if I was to reconcile with my narcissistic ex and it may have a negative affect on my job and on my son if I did, because of the incident which led to my injury. For now it is probably best that we live apart through this and slowly rebuild the trust again. I find this site and materials so helpful because the general advice I have found is to get away from a narcissistic partner.

  24. Pensive, I can relate to your post. I have just recently found out my partner has been unfaithful for the past 5 months. We have been separated for five years and had lived together for 13yrs before that. There has been a history of physical, verbal & emotional abuse. 5 years ago, I had him arrested and he was charged with Male Assaults Female and Wilful Damage. He got a $500 fine and ordered to do Anger Management after a year of him fighting in court. We had No Contact for a year. I think he still wants to punish me for that.

    I have suspected his infidelity but he seems to be able to lie very ‘honestly’ and convincingly. The other woman contacted me last week and gave me solid proof of my fears, (he always said I was insecure, crazy and ‘making up consipiracy theories”. Whenever I confronted him about it, he would get very angry, deny it and discard me, only to go back to the other woman. (I know that now because she has confirmed dates, etc). She said after our last fight,(last month), he contacted her again She asked him to tell me, told him if he didnt, she would. He said just contacted her ‘as friends’ and she only contacted me because he said he didnt want sex with her (yeah right). He said he told her he loved me and broke it off before we connected last time, but she said she only knew because someone told her.

    I went for an STD last week, he said he had used condoms but he has admitted now, that he didnt. He said he is sorry (which is not usually forthcoming for him) and that he knows he did wrong (which he has never admitted before either) He swears he does love me and only sought her out because he wanted to get over me but he couldnt stop ‘loving’ me. He said she is lying about some things … I dont trust either of them and someone is lying …

    We got your ebook 2yrs ago, I have been doing some of the gap work but he has not looked at it, he is also subscribed to your emails, but only looked at a couple of times and hasnt since. He said his computer doesnt work properly (which may possibly be true and also that he doesnt like computers (he seems to be able to go on trade-me, tho).

    We have been to counselling three times (at his request) but after only 2 sessions, he always runs away and dumps me. We were supposed to be exploring boundaries & past childhood history. But I think he got scared and had his sights on her. He dumped me on New Years Day and hooked up her that very same day (i have only just found that out)

    Since then, we have been on and off. He had assured me he had had no contact with her but whenever I asked him, he would tell me to [email protected]#k off and blame me for ‘ruining’ things. There have been a few further instances of physical abuse but mostly it has become covert and emotionally abusive.

    He has been contacting me since, telling me he wants to try again and he will never go back to her. My fears are that it is only because she didnt want him … and how do I know he wont do it again, with her or someone else, when things get tough with us.

    I have asked him if we could perhaps work on your ebook this time or contact our Counsellor asking her what she suggested for us. I still have her email, but I think it may be up to him to do this, if he serious about trying to ‘find a new way’.

    How do I set boundaries around lying and infidelity. Im not sure where to go from here. Our counsellor does not want to counsel him anymore, as he went to see her after he dumped me and she said she is now caught in the middle She said he does not seem to see me as an equal or any other woman for that matter. I had asked her if she thought he had any problems in the relationship, she said ‘probably’ not. She said she does not judge me for wanting to try again, she acknowledged that I really do love him. She suggested a couple of her colleagues who might be able to help us ‘find a new way’and that she would continue to counsel me seperately. I sent him her reply in March when he asked to go back, but now he says he has deleted it…(at first he said he didnt get it) ???

    We have not seen each other for a month. He always contacts me after anything from 2 weeks to 2 months, saying he loves me and wants to try again.

    I posted a few times of my situation in your last blog … but I find very hard to ‘sort this from that’ and what to do about it.

    I told myself last week, that I will never let him ‘hoover’ me back but I always find myself softening to his words, even now …

    I just dont want to go down the same path anymore. I am not sure how to set boundaries with a person who can lie so convincingly. Im not sure about where to go from here or how to protect myself without abandoning him.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Thank you for this. I just broke it off
    with my married narcissistic boyfriend. I
    had to threaten to tell his wife. I never
    wanted to get involved with him in the first
    place, but he is too convincing. Whenever
    I tried to get him to leave me alone, he
    would not. I have been thinking of getting
    a restraining order. After reading your
    article, I realize I did the right thing.

  26. There are numerous gems here in both the article and the comments, Beth, in particular who says “I love him but I love me more.” This is central to escaping the hell of being married to someone with NPD. There are steps that must be taken to heal, but my question is how the “self-soothing” technique has helped “hundreds of people with NPD” when the statistics show that NPDs typically refuse therapy and blame their partner for their own inadequacies. I’d welcome another article by Kim on how this has been achieved as it would make a difference to so many marriages! Like the others here, I have also married and divorced an NPD – and written about the steps I took to escape and heal in “I Married a Parasite”. I’d welcome your feedback if it helped any of the commenters here.

    1. We believe that NPD is one side of a system dysfunction and that a person with NPD is basically the adult version of a strong willed child that has never (successfully) had boundaries enforced with them. Self soothing as this article explains is ONE step in a partner learning to set effective boundaries. This is sometimes called re-parenting or a reparative relationship and has been show to be much more effective than therapy for dealing with personality disorders.

  27. I have been with you for about 4 years now Kim & Steve. I keep posting about Boundary Setting for Infidelity and Deceit. (there are countlesss other manifestations of narcisism/codependence in our relationship, but this is the latest and most escaleted of scenario’s (that i know of) I dont know how to set boundaries for this … he has been caught and for the first time he has admitted he did wrong (in 18yrs)! He says he loves me and it was only a fling … just wanted to ‘get over me’ with another woman. I have been on all the other sites that say No Contact … even my Counsellor suggested it, after talking extensively with him. (She said she would not judge me if I keep wanting to try, although she said she will continue to counsel me seperately but didnt want to not him anymore and suggested some colleagues for us)

    I have your ebook and I realised I have to re-parent myself first … no easy task. I do love my partner and (against all odds) i do believe he loves me. I told my counsellor we were both emotionally immature (and i realise also, the value of your developmental gap-work, i am working thru this slowly).

    I had an STD last week, today I got the ‘all clear’ and i am thankful, but very bitter that I had to do it … i wasnt having sex with other people!

    He said he wants to be with me, but how do I set boundaries on this. We have been seperated for 5 years, we lived together, raising our children for 13 years before that. I dont really know what he gets up to ..

    He is very busy at the moment, sorting his deceased parents estate. I am not so readily accomodating these days. I want to set some boundaries, like a time frame for when he wants to think on what next to do … we have tried everything.

    I also think I should ask him to wear condoms (he hates them) but I do not trust that he will not do this to me again. (isnt that the price you pay for not having a monogamos relationship)? He said he wants to do counselling, but we have been 3 times now, he always runs away after two sessions (when we start boundary setting and exploring developmental maturity).

    I thought I might contact my consellor (i have 3 sessions left) and ask her to see us both and give her opinion of what she suggests for us. He said he wanted to go back to her, but when I emailed her she suggested other counsellors. He said he accidently deleted the txt when she sent the names.

    Everything in me screams, “he is playing you”!!!! Dont know how to assert my rights … 🙁

  28. and i must say, Dr LL, ‘self soothing’ helps immensely for someone living with a person who has this disorder. It is the only way to reclaim ones own sense of wellbeing and empowerment 🙂

  29. Angie, i can really identify with your situation too. I was with my ex on Sunday evening and we spent such a lovely time together I really enjoyed his company and he made it a special evening. Because of our current situation (he is in homeless accommadation after injuring me and the court case is in August) he has said that for the first time in his adult life he is benefiting from being on his own and sorting out his issues. He seems to be more humble, authentic and insightful. In his absence I have been working on myself but as much as love him I am also getting on with my own life. Have tried some dating (but no–one matches up to him)Best advice i have got is simple – take care of yourself. Since we have been living separately I have strengthened my female friendships, read a lot on healing, done mindfulness meditation, gardening. I don’t know what is going to happen in our future but I know that i will not abandon him even if the nature of the relationship may change. My confusion with him at the moment is that because of the court ordered no contact he is not allowed to contact me. So by me contacting him it is difficult to know if he is just seeing me because I am making myself available, and am caring or because he does love me. I would appreciate advice on this? Also he seems to be at a point where he has lost everything. He was a successful businessman and now at 53 is unemployed with little prospects. Do narcissists ever have a turning point?
    Kim, looking at my situation what one of your books would you recommend? I have a tight budget.

  30. Hey Dr LL!

    If you read Kim & Steve’s ebook Back From The Looking Glass along with the Love Safety Net Work books it should all come together for you to understand how self soothing on the part of the non-narcissist will ‘2ndly’ affect the narcissist while it ‘1stly’ affects the non-narcissist.

    Also good reading to accompany those is the 10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence. This will solidify the steps described in Back From The Looking Glass.

    Hope this helps.

  31. Hey Angie!

    Which step are you currently working on from ‘Back From The Looking Glass’ or the ‘Love Safety Net Workbooks’?

    It sort of sounds to me that you may be your own worst enemy(figuratively speaking) concerning what boundaries and asserting them. I’m reading that your co-dependence is still very strong in you. With that, that you may be ‘affraid’ to put forth boundaries. Do you have the ebook ’10 Steps To Overcome Codependence’?

    Another great read to help with this process is Kim & Steve’s ebook ‘Emotional Stupidity’. Kim has also mentioned a book titled Emotional Intelligents written by Daniel Goleman.

    I wonder if you re-read the comments in Kim’s “Share Your Story” blog if that would help you identify some things or give you ideas.

  32. Thank you again for your words of inspiration. I have been working through your ebooks and positive changes are real. I do have to remind myself not to fall back into old habits when things are going well. Staying in the present is a piece of advice that gets me through. I also remind myself to take the time to take care of myself to stay strong. I have 3 grown children who still live at home and have developed a lot of the same problems that my husband and I have,and so I am hoping that as a family we can undo the patterns and have much healthier relationships.Thank you so much. I agree with Steve,Kim’s writing is really becoming quite polished and assures that she is credible. Thank you for being there and helping us all grow along with you both!

  33. Hey Pensive!

    I think it’s hard for anyone to change, or mature who lacks self-awareness/reflection(caring enough to act on change/betterment) and empathy. Atleast until their ‘rock bottom’ hits them. Which sounds like that’s the case for the narcissist in your life. And for you.

    Warning, I was involved in the exact same scenerio as you are in right now. The offender was ‘sweet talking’ me in hopes I would alter or minimize my testimony in court. I didn’t, and with that he became very angry proving his alternate agenda. For if someone truly is remorseful, genuine and sincere in/with their ‘sweet talking’, they wouldn’t get angry or anything close to that would they.?. They would be more prone to bow their head in shame, embarrassment and genuine remorse. Alot like what they do while they’re ‘sweet talking’ with you. So with that, if I were you I wouldn’t fall for what he’s saying and doing right now. Certainly rebuild your relationship if that is what you want, while protecting yourself at the same time. Wait until court, don’t alter your testimony.

    ‘Back From The Looking Glass’, the ‘Love Safety Net Workbooks’ and the ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’ is what I suggest you start with. It describes this very situation, not to shelter them from the consequences of their actions. Most importantly these actions. If you do, their ‘rock bottom’ isn’t there anymore is it.?. Therefore, they don’t have to change or mature. You’ll have protected them once again reaffirming to them that you’re a doormat, a bug, a pushover, they’ve fooled you, controled/manipulated you again, that you yourself think you deserve this treatment and the cycle continues.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Yes I agree 100% Darlyn – what you have offered Pensive is right on target with our suggestions. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you so generously offer.

  34. Well, I’m thinking that this may be another step for my co-dependence and self improvement to be able to accept a compliment. With that Thank You! Alot of credit for my personal growth is due for you, Steve and your family.

    I am being diligent with what you have offered us, and so far it’s working. Maybe not as fast as I would want(LOL), but I’m in a better place ‘for myself’ and my marriage.

  35. Replace the ‘but’ with an ‘and’! The ‘but’ takes away from the statement which I did not intend to insert that negativity that has the effect of hindering or recognizing my personal growth. Complicated and still so simple.(notice how I used the word ‘still’ instead of ‘yet’!?! That’s important!) Noticing this helps put healthier directive in place.

  36. Wow, I just love to hear the stories so similar to mine. Proves I’m not alone! I need to read Kim’s books again. I feel stuck. He is always trying to make it my fault. He is the one who cheated and lied about it. He wouldn’t talk to me so I confided in my friends and he found out about it. God forbid anyone knows what he did. My kids know too because for the 4th time I was spliting up, and they had to be informed because I was done with all of it. He subliminally indicated he would commit suicide so I threw him a “bone” because I couldn’t live with that. He was OK for 6 months, then did a total turn-around and was furious on how I have involved the kids (both over 18 yrs old). He says I caused all of the problems. I don’t think he understand what taking true total responsibility means. None of this would have happened had he not cheated, and try to cheat over and over, then lied about it. Now my son has no contact with him and my daughter doesn’t care too. He blames me, but they see differently. He threatens to ruin me if I leave or do anything to cause him harm and I believe he would. He is vindictive. I know I need to read those books again. Thank God I saw a counselor with him who confirmed his NPD. I am stronger after seeing her. He hated her and said I polluted her before he got to see her even though I gave him the option of coming with me the 1st time to hear what I said. I told him I will have relationships with both of my children for life because they are not disposable like he was disposed of as a teen. There has been direspect on my kids part, in the teen years and beyond, but I correct them in hopes they will understand that it isn’t acceptable. My husband demands to be respected because he is the parent, but he doesn’t realize how he comes off, like he is some kind of King that has to be bowed too. Most of my friends have been driven away by him, but I am putting myself out there and making plans to do things so I don’t lose myself again. Thank you Kim for allowing me to talk. You are truly lucky that Steve was able to see his NPD, mine doesn’t. Thank you to everyone sharing your stories. Makes coping that much easier in knowing that I am not the crazy one.

  37. I have the work book and I just don’t get it. I try to set boundaries but it blows up in my face. So for example, he told me he’s going out to dinner and I was like oh with Steve? He said no I retain the right to be with whoever I want and I don’t have to tell you. What do you do? I said ok have fun…because I know it would be a stupid argument yet it did not stop his behavior so he took a lady out to dinner and drinks. How do you set boundaries with someone so string willed. He basically told me he’s in control, he will do what he wants and if I don’t lik it leave. I did leave six months later because he upped the verbal abuse for which I had to keep leaving the house until he would calm down. It’s like he’s unstoppable.

  38. Hey FEEFEE!
    I live in the US and am on CST/CDT. I think Kim and Steve’s time is like 15 hrs ahead of mine, so I thought I would chime in on this.

    “So for example, he told me he’s going out to dinner and I was like oh with Steve? He said no I retain the right to be with whoever I want and I don’t have to tell you. What do you do? I said ok have fun…because I know it would be a stupid argument yet it did not stop his behavior so he took a lady out to dinner and drinks. How do you set boundaries with someone so string willed.”

    With that example, as described in ‘Back From The Looking Glass’, ‘The Love Safety Net Workbooks’, ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’, plus ‘Emotional Stupidity’ my response to that would have been ‘If you are in any form of a relationship with ‘me’ that holds any form for either one of us to be exclusive, commited or have any respect for eachother and to the relationship neither one of us is allowed nor is it acceptable to go-or ‘step-outside’ of our relationship AND it is my business due to that fact. When he retorts hold up your dominate hand(I’m right handed) with your palm facing him, have a disapproving and unacceptable expression on your face, and walk away. Narcissist hate it when they can not draw you into their game AND you’re not argueing with them. Not to mention that you have developed some self-respect/value/worth/esteem etc…. That is a clear boundary. What they do next is up to them, and you will need to stand firm. Use the magic scissors. I know it hurts and I know it works for the narcissists that are what I call ‘reachable’. After some progress I would discuss the rebuilding of trust issue and how it affects those of the opposite sex as it pertains to your situation.

    Is this your husband? Long time boyfriend? Don’t leave the house, simply continue with what you were doing or do the self soothing techniques that goes with Kim & Steve’s material. You need to be as strong willed as he is, just healthier. I went through the same scenerio and it took a few years and Kim and Steve’s information/material to reinforce and give me the strength ‘I’ needed to come to a healthier place for me. If my husband wanted to be on board, he was welcome – under healthier terms. So far so good.

    Reading the articles and blogs again might be helpful in continued reaffirmation to build your strength and a healthier self.

    PS The workbooks are only ‘part’ of the solution you are asking about. They do not hold the whole insightful process and steps offered. Do you have these ebooks?

  39. Thoughts from anyone … I just need a space to “talk” right now. Trying to be the warrior inside while also recognizing that sometimes my jumping in and taking charge (overcompensating)has also been part of the problem.

    Things have been on a roller coaster at home for the past few days. I can totally recognize some of the triggers for my husband’s behaviors (the things which he can’t control, which he finds threatening to his self-esteem and “invincibility,”) but I have been the brunt of really escalating rages. Is there more which he is ashamed of than I see? I don’t know.

    I do know he is over-valuing the risks for adverse events/major societal unrest which is leaving him with a trigger fuse to slights/fears. He seems to feel that he needs to show he is strong and in charge, to show the world he is invulnerable, but as an off shoot of that he is trying to show himself that he is more powerful than I am. I don’t know why I threaten him – he keeps saying I think I am the one in charge, that I think I am the “man in the house,” yet want to act like a child and not be responsible (when there is something I should have addressed that I didn’t.) He wants to show that I am weak and he is strong, and I should have been much more appreciative that he would be the one protecting me … (now he says I killed a part in him and while he would protect his kids and his parents, he no longer wants to do that for me and would be glad if I got hurt etc.)

    I know this is his emotional baggage and is being used to try and get under my skin (and it works,)and I am torn between understanding and wanting to be supportive and soothe whatever is making him feel so insecure, but also knowing that I will not accept blame for everything, nor agree with his global negative assessments of me. His disappointment with me cuts deeply, and it is very difficult to not start defending myself after a while.

    He is essentially still in control of his behaviors, but clearly was trying to threaten me and to “make me recognize what others would do if I was “being aggressive towards them,” as he felt I was to him. I can see that I am pushing his buttons by not walking away when he says leave him alone. I respond by saying I am not going to leave him alone (and allow him to act as if I am both not in his life, but also the cause of most of all frustrations in his world.) I am not going to accept being cut out, will keep saying back that I love him, and continue to offer love and support and not allow him to destroy the family I know he wants. I try and reach out an touch him warmly – to try and connect and to calm, but I also see this is manipulative and unfair in another way … I could work harder to stop that, but sometimes it does seem to be a way of saying I am trying to stay calm and on your side, even if you are overly emotional and angry (as I would with the boys.)

    The biggest problem is that he does not feel I have been appreciative, loyal, given him the respect he feels he deserved, and that he doesn’t trust I am on his side. Part of these feelings are escalated in the moment, but part of them seem to always be there, easily retriggered by any small incident that supports those conculsions. I’m doing a lot better at not getting upset (or regrouping more quickly,) but he is clearly ramping up internally and I am scared for that.

    This is all tearing me apart.

  40. Hey Long Time Reader!
    I would like to respond to your comment as it resembles what many of us go through. I need to do somethings first and will respond later. In the meantime if you re-read Kim & Steve’s ebooks I think you might get some of the answers you are looking for.

  41. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for this article. You are an amazing support person.

    I understand your disappointment about never finding the “Prince Charming” you expected, but honestly, I had a prince charming before I started a relationship with a narcissist and it was much harder to get over this person the narcissist. I believe “Prince Charmings” are actually bad for codependents because it makes the codependent even that much more unstable should Prince Charming decide to leave. With the narcissist, at least you know the crap you’re up against from the get go, and you take it one day at a time.

    In life, we will always pay a price for everything that comes to us, good and bad. So start paying the price now with the narcissist. You have absolutely no other choice than to get stronger and improve the relationship and how they treat you. It is necessary to fight the tough battles and be able to stand up for ourselves. As a codependent, being with a narcissist I believe was a wake up call and I actually feel blessed for the pain and hardships this relationship has caused in my life.

  42. Darlyn and Kim,
    Thank you very much for your responses. it is good to hear from women who have been in a similar situations and come through the other side. Darlyn, Are you still with the same partner? I have remained constant with my statement to the police/courts and i will not waver with this. He has been allowed by the court to come to the house on Friday to get all his stuff and I have already removed everything from the house to the shed. I feel that if there is any future he is going to have to live away for now due to the physical abuse incident which caused me to be injured. He has so far been remorseful, ashamed etc but I am well aware that this may change when it goes to court. If he pleads not guilty it will go to trial and my son of 12 and the other woman (who he is no longer with)have been cited to give evidence too. One of the things that has been difficult for me is that I live in a small city and I work very closely with the police and courts in my job. I have worked with child protection/gender violence for all of my adult life (am now 46) and it has been a very uncomfortable and humbling experience to now be a survivor of abuse myself. However the domestic abuse (he pushed me during an argument and I went through a glass door) was a one off incident although he had been becoming more difficult for a few months before. We have only ever argued about his cheating because I always found out and confronted him which made him angry and then eventually lose control. I don’t know what the future will be but I still have hope that this incident is a wake-up call for him. It has been so helpful “researching” narcissism because he ticks all of the boxes and this site especially has helped me to understand more.

  43. Thanks … I’ve been working through all of this for some time, there are always cycles, but I’m not sure if this is a step forward (his recognizing his vulnerability, and my being stronger) or not. We get such blinders when in our own relationships and the convoluted dynamics that arise.

    Sometimes it is helpful to get others opinions who are also aware of these issues – and opinions from those who can be blunt and critical about what we are doing wrong, yet understand that just leaving does not seem like the right answer.

  44. I have this evening bought Back from the Looking Glass (downloaded) and read (all in one go)all of it and will keep going back to it again and again because it is so relevant.
    I have a few questions.
    My (ex) partner was talking about looking for his own place before the domestic incident happened (because he was depressed, needed space and possibly so that he could have his affairs without me finding out) and has now been forced into this because of what happened and the bail conditions.
    Due to the severity of the incident, the injuries it caused me (I have been on sick leave for 4 months now and physical healing has been a nightmare!) and the pressure from support services (police/courts/domestic abuse services) and combined with possible risk of his physical aggression (now exposed) to me and my son if he was to return, and also impact on my job etc I have been under so much pressure to go along with this when all I really want is to work things out with us. Will he not feel I have abandoned him? The system her in the UK is very black and white and as far as I am aware there is no such thing as an apprehended violence order. We are separate for now and it is also possible he may get a prison sentence. How can I demonstrate to him that I love him and want to be with him while at the same time protect myself? I am not even sure if he still wants to be with me anymore. He says he loves me but is scared because of what has happened, and I am sure a new beginning with a new woman (fresh narcissistic supply) must be very appealing to him right now. When he comes to sort out his stuff on friday (which he has been putting off as he has nowhere to put it- he is in homeless accomadation) should I allow him to leave some of his things here as he has requested, to demonstrate I am not abandoning him? I am so confused as to what to do. I do so much want things to work with us but just not sure they can because of what has happened.
    I feel as if I am living a paralell life – getting on with things as normal, even dating again (doing all the things I should to get over him) – when I have been seeing him secretly (because of the bail conditions) and we have been rebuilding the relationship (slowly) and I still feel closer to him and get on better with him than any other man I have ever been with.

  45. I have this evening bought Back from the Looking Glass (downloaded) and read (all in one go)all of it and will keep going back to it again and again because it is so relevant.
    I have a few questions.
    My (ex) partner was talking about looking for his own place before the domestic incident happened (because he was depressed, needed space and possibly so that he could have his affairs without me finding out) and has now been forced into this because of what happened.
    Due to the severity of the incident, the injuries it caused me (I have been on sick leave for 4 months now and physical healing has been a nightmare!) and the pressure from support services (police/courts/domestic abuse services) and combined with safety concerns to me and my son if he was to return, and also impact on my job etc I have been under so much pressure to go along with this when all I really want is to work things out with us. Will he not feel I have abandoned him? The system here in the UK is very black and white and as far as I am aware there is no such thing as an apprehended violence order. We are separate for now and it is also possible he may get a prison sentence. How can I demonstrate to him that I love him and want to be with him while at the same time protect myself? I am not even sure if he still wants to be with me anymore. He says he loves me but is scared because of what has happened, and I am sure a new beginning with a new woman (fresh narcissistic supply) must be very appealing to him right now. When he comes to sort out his stuff on friday (which he has been putting off as he has nowhere to put it- he is in homeless accomadation) should I allow him to leave some of his things here as he has requested, to demonstrate I am not abandoning him? I am so confused as to what to do. I do so much want things to work with us but just not sure they can because of what has happened.
    I love him, feel closer to him and get on better with him than any other man I have ever been with.

  46. Well, something just happened to my computer as it jumped into cyber space. LOL

    Hey Long Time Reader!
    I’ll try to start from your beginning to offer how I interperet Kim & Steve’s material and all. Please keep in mind that I too am working on my co-dependence and the rescueing aspect that comes along with it that does not pertain ‘just’ or ‘only’ to my partner.

    Talk away! As I understand it, Kim & Steve, this is to be a safe haven for just that thing. And I certainly hope you have the material or what I say to you may not make much sense.

    First of all, you may be giving him too much credit. Not all things that a narcissist does or says is from past baggage or any thing remotely close to it. It’s a tool for them. To get you to feel the way you described. Some things in life are simply ‘Black & White’.

    You have your own roller coaster to deal with, why let him (as a child does with temper tantrums) drag you into ‘fixing’ it-the situation-him-or circumstances when the reality of it all is the ‘two’ of you? Not Just you. Let him do the leg work and you allowingly acknowledge the fact that you can’t be there for his every whim or ‘scapegoating’ tactics.

    I have back pedaled, I have stood strong, then back pedaled again and again, then strong again. There comes a point(as Kim & Steve describe it) where plain and simple maturity kicks in because we are done with it-the game, THE DANCE.

    I don’t know you. And I’m guessing that his ploy of ‘you being the dominant one’ and ‘not showing him sympathy/empathy/respect/appreciation or gratitude’ and the like – is his ‘tool'(like a spade shovel if you will).

    Don’t let him drag you into his warped sense of unhealthy reality.

    It is really more helpful for me to be able to offer you anything I’ve learned from Kim & Steve if you yourself are using the same material.

    I do not mean to be rude at all by any means if I come across that way. Tomorrow will be a better day as today has been a long day for me.

    Hugs to you! I will write again tomorrow.

  47. Hey pensive!
    I’m so glad you got the ebook. You are not alone. I am disable from my husbands behavior for me standing up for our marriage, myself, our history and the like. Please do not feel ashamed.

    “Will he not feel I have abandoned him?” As Kim & Steve point out, unless he has come to terms in a mature manner, Yes he will. AND PLEASE REST ASSURED THAT YOU HAVE NOT. HE ABANDONED YOU! In this respect!

    Now lets talk about how you Abandoned yourself.

    “How can I demonstrate to him that I love him and want to be with him while at the same time protect myself?” – Put words together with action. As Kim & Steve describe it in ‘Back From The Looking Glass, ‘The Love safety Net Workbooks’, ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence ‘Emotional Stupidity’, your will to survive this and your own shortcomings with this.

    “I am not even sure if he still wants to be with me anymore. He says he loves me but is scared because of what has happened, ” Earlier today you were convinced that he was all that sincere and genuine. Please don’t be affraid to say/write what you are feeling. We’ve all been down that road, paddled with that same oar, humbly and sometimes shamefully walked those same alleys.

    Do you have an outside structure to hold his belongings(due to circumstances)? I’m guessing that you are experiencing what I went through. And to answer you question – NO I am not with the same partner. Only more proof of Kim & Steve wisdom considering the trickle down effect. Unless you get health(ier), you’ll follow the same pattern. Just as they do. So what do you want? To be healthy or dysfunctional?

    I’ll copy and paste. PLEASE give it some thought.

    Darlyn Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 11:28 am
    Hey Pensive!

    I think it’s hard for anyone to change, or mature who lacks self-awareness/reflection(caring enough to act on change/betterment) and empathy. Atleast until their ‘rock bottom’ hits them. Which sounds like that’s the case for the narcissist in your life. And for you.

    Warning, I was involved in the exact same scenerio as you are in right now. The offender was ‘sweet talking’ me in hopes I would alter or minimize my testimony in court. I didn’t, and with that he became very angry proving his alternate agenda. For if someone truly is remorseful, genuine and sincere in/with their ‘sweet talking’, they wouldn’t get angry or anything close to that would they.?. They would be more prone to bow their head in shame, embarrassment and genuine remorse. Alot like what they do while they’re ‘sweet talking’ with you. So with that, if I were you I wouldn’t fall for what he’s saying and doing right now. Certainly rebuild your relationship if that is what you want, while protecting yourself at the same time. Wait until court, don’t alter your testimony.

    ‘Back From The Looking Glass’, the ‘Love Safety Net Workbooks’ and the ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’ is what I suggest you start with. It describes this very situation, not to shelter them from the consequences of their actions. Most importantly these actions. If you do, their ‘rock bottom’ isn’t there anymore is it.?. Therefore, they don’t have to change or mature. You’ll have protected them once again reaffirming to them that you’re a doormat, a bug, a pushover, they’ve fooled you, controled/manipulated you again, that you yourself think you deserve this treatment and the cycle continues.

    Hope this helps.

    Hugs to you. I’ll write tomorrow.

  48. Hey Anna!
    I quickly read over you comment. And am happy for your progress. Stay calm, strong, consistant and true to yourself.

  49. Good Morning Everyone!

    Once in while when I need alittle something extra to stay on track or simple reminders I often refer back to other sources Kim & Steve have provided me. I’ve copied and pasted some below with the idea it may help others also.

    I am missing the link for their google+ site if anyone would be so kind in sharing it with me.

  50. Hi All,

    I really related to so much of what everyone is saying about NPD and how it damages us if we do not change the way we respond to it. I have lived with my spouse who was diagnosed as having NPD several years ago, along with alcohol addiction and self-mutilation while under the influence. I have refused to live with him several times if he chooses to drink. We managed to live 17 years together after he stopped the alcohol dependence by getting help in AA. Unfortunately, he relapsed last year after a major argument about him not attending Christmas festivities with the family. I left and have been gone for a year and a half (this time). I feel so much better about myself now, but of course have days when I still miss him. The answer for me seems to be to stay away, or learn to take charge, have strict boundaries and set limits, but I don’t know if I’m up for all that work at this point in my life. I’m old and tired. I work full-time and he doesn’t help in any way, in fact he just bought himself a new Mercedes. I’m not sure if there is any hope here. Any comments would be appreciated.

  51. Hey Debbie!
    I just noticed your comment as I was shutting my computer down. If you have Kim & Steve’s ebooks or material/information I would suggest you read it again to help get you through the night/day.

    Tomorrow is a new day.

  52. Hi darlyn, its my husband. I have the ebooks. Part of the problem is that most of our communication takes place over email. So he’s at work, picks up a girl during lunch and agrees to meet with her after work. So he’ll email me that he’s not coming home. He likes being in control so he often will ignore my responses or if he does email back he’s rude, insulting and crass. Secondly when he’s home he says he doesn’t want to hang out with me and goes in his office and texts and calls other women. Since reading the books I does respond. I take that time to do my own things, but it’s like he’s never drawn back to me no matter what I do. The only reason he hasn’t divorced me is that he doesn’t want it to come out that he’s this way. He is a government lawyer and has dreams of making it big in the US, potentially in the polical arena.

  53. I’m sure my boyfriend has NPD. Especially after his latest rage. It’s like once that “switch” flips, he turns into someone else; a raging little boy. This one lasted 3 days & he ended up in the hospital after overdosing on pills; he said the pain was just too much. Long story, but he’s still having difficulties w/ ex-wife. Once I started reading about NPD, it was like, Wow, that’s him. We’ve been together 19 months & we live together. Everyone says I’ve changed. Obviously, I’m extremely co-dependent. That’s why I’m trying to figure this out, before marrying this man.

  54. Hey FEEFEE … What a difficult situation for you to be in. He is totally disrespecting your personal bill of rights The cold indifference, silent treatment and total lack of empathy, must be a difficult thing to keep taking. I am not sure how you would set boundaries with someone who blatantly believes he is entitled to behave in that way. It is indeed emotional abuse, very cruel. I do hope you have support FEEEE and are taking good care of yourself … be gentle and kind to yourself <3

    In Kims ebook, (Exercise 3) she suggests bringing down his house of cards, which is informing him that you will be contacting and involving others. You said he does not want people to know? You need to be calm and non attacking when you contact these people, or you come across as being unstable (which we usually are, somewhat)It is not appropriate behaviour for a married man to be taking other women out 🙁

    I like Darlyn's example of what to say, but like she said, "what they do with it is up to them". What does one do if they just carry on doing it? How can trust be rebuilt then?

    My partner and I have been seperated for five years, we were together raising our children for 13yrs before that. But we have continued on with our crazy dance of the codependent/narcissist all this time. He kept dumping me, running off with his hangers on and then after a couple of weeks or so, txting me, declaring his love for me and wanting to try again.

    I have suspected him of seeing another woman for some time. He kept saying he had no contact with her and did not want to be with her. I emailed her and last week I got a reply. She confirmed all my fears, he has been seeing her all this year. She said she was sorry but didnt know either – he told her we werent together.

    She said he contacted her after our last fight (the fight was because I suspected he had been seeing her) Because she had my email, she was on to him. He is saying he only contacted her as 'a friend'. Hmmmmm ….

    He said he had broken it off with her & told her he loved me and that is why she is bitter. She said she kept asking him to tell me about her and that if he wont, she would. They are both accusing each other of lying about certain things …. she said she doesnt want to see him anymore.

    He contacted me on the weekend. He actually admitted he did wrong (first time he as ever done that) and said Sorry. I told him I appreciate his apology and I have always loved him, despite our problems. Said he wants to try again and that he loves me like no other ….. he can be very sweet talking. Its horrible to think it might only because she doesnt want him anymore and he has no other source of supply.

    He swears he loves me and wants to restore our relationship, but he always says that …

    How do you set boundaries when someone keeps lying? He does it so convincingly … He finally admitted he did not use condoms. I had an STD last week, the blood tests have come back clear but I am still waiting on the swab result.

    I set out to find out the truth and sadly,I did 🙁 I guess it is better than being kept in the dark and accused of being jealous & crazy. He seems genuine, but then he always did. I know I need to put him in a safe place and to 'catch' him if he does let go of the mask. My fear is that he will just continue to play the game without my knowing it. I dont want to be a doormat or a pushover any more.

    I dont know how to proceed from here.

  55. Darlyn, I have the Love Saftety Net Workbook. I have been working on the gap work for my own development. I have achieved some things and am at least looking at other things, I need to address in my life. I have been on this site for 4 years and spent the last 5 years reading and researching about the dynamics of this type of relationship. I have used every available resource to me, to reclaim my sense of wellbeing.

    I first came to know this dynamic is real from reading the Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans and understand about my own codependence from reading “Codependent No More” by Melody Beatty. However,it was Kim and Steve’s site, where I learnt it had a name … Narcissism.

    Every step forward, I get pushed back 3. However, I know I have come a long, long way since those very dark first years of seperation (he kicked me out, physical violence, court, u name it) He still maintains that I abandoned him and that I am the abuser). I understand this is projection.

    I was practicising the suggestions for Attachment … but as I posted above, I have just recently found out he has been seeing another woman all this year. He said he couldnt let me go because he ‘loves’ me so much. He just wanted his cake and to be able to eat it too …

    I guess I am ‘my own worst enemy’ but like Pensive, I love him very much … I really hate his behaviour though, especially when it is so covert.

    I would like to get Emotional Stupidity, Overcoming Codependence and Back From the Looking Glass.I am interested in reading about the Magic Scissors, etc … However, I am from NZ (there used to be NZ prices but I cant seem to see them anymore). Also, I do not have a credit card and am living on a benefit with my teenage son, so money is tight.

    I will have a look again and see if I can find prices for NZ and how to purchase them without a credit card.

    Thankyou Darlyn

  56. Hey Angie! Out of curiosity, how did you get the workbook(s) without getting ‘Back From The Looking glass’?

  57. I see now. No need to reply. Another great read(which they are ALL so valuable) is the ‘Little Book of Empathy Love and Friendships’.

  58. Hey Kim!

    My heart goes out to you(as with the rest of us coping with these pertinent issues). I’m not sure what suggestions Kim Cooper would state with your situation concerning your possible marriage to your boyfriend/fiancee. Although I think she would recommend that you read ‘Back From The Looking Glass'(and the workbooks), ’10 Steps To Overcome Codependence’ and ‘Emotional Stupidity’.

    Me personally, I would not marry this person just yet. It truly is a world from H E dbl hockey sticks. don’t get trapped. Learn what you can, make the appropriate changes, get healthier for yourself first. Heaven forbid that you marry, become expectant, and there is more difficulty for yourself and what the ‘whole concept’ of Kim & Steve’s long term purpose of their shared journey is. And that is to make this a better and healthier world to live in.

  59. Hello Kim and Steve.
    With all the narcissism ‘no solution, abandon ship’ blogs out there, I really am appreciative of your courage and confidence that there can be a solution. You and Steve remind me of a bumper sticker I saw that said “People [all other blogs] who think they know everything really bug people like me (Steve & Kim) who actually do know everything…” Well I don’t know if you know everything, but giving structured hope and help is ‘everything’ to all those who are unwilling to just give up. I remember the first time I came across a standard definition of ‘Narcissism’ I just about fell out of my chair instantaneously knowing that my wife personified exactly that definition. While I haven’t yet had the privilege of reading any of your e-books, your blogs and websites give hints as to what to do, and some of those hints really are just the same {Plain common sense principles a good firm parent would use on their wayward child, in not letting them manipulate and turn the tables. Again, thank you. P.S. I’m married with a pretty wife , but I gotta tell you Steve, keep Kim, she’s cute.
    Your friend, RFL.


  60. I would love to get Back From the Looking Glass. How much is it for New Zealanders, and how do I pay without a credit card. I dont understand how Pay Pal works.

  61. Darlyn,

    Can you explain this comment further? – I’m feeling like I hugely back peddaled because we have had a very negatively escalated few days, after what seemed like some good weeks.

    “I have back pedaled, I have stood strong, then back pedaled again and again, then strong again. There comes a point(as Kim & Steve describe it) where plain and simple maturity kicks in because we are done with it-the game, THE DANCE.”

    I’ve read all of what Kim has written, and have been in this a long time, so I’m pretty familiar although re-reading is always good. It does help to talk/write through things, and I know from earlier times posting on these blogs, that sometimes my disclosures give others help/hope as well.

    I 90% know the bad phase will pass, but part of me feels as if my husband is trying to test me, to see how far he can push me before I leave. He says he wants me to leave, and in the moment I think he really does because I remind him of his imperfect parts, and I have called him on them in the past. Seeing how I have that effect on him, is part of why I believe this approach will work – if I can manage to do it well enough (and that is the delusion of grandiosity that I hope I am not just being pulled into.) I’m more worried about how far things will escalate in the process
    than I used to be.

    It seems as if there always has been a power struggle between us – he has always told me this is my doing, that in the beginning of our marriage he was trying to work with me, but I killed that. I recognize that I have had a hard time getting my feelings/thoughts heard and respected, and there are a number of times I will do something (which seems rather trivial on the surface,) which I know rationally will push his buttons, yet I end up doing it somewhat unconsciously. Sometimes I show my disagreement non-verbally, and hurt my progress towards my goal of harmony. Sometimes I can’t put aside my opinions and disagreement internally even when my brain is saying, it is not an important issue, just go along. I haven’t totally figured out why I sabbotage that step for myself as often as I do. Maybe seeing it more clearly will help.

    I can just hang tight and this will pass, although each time we cycle, I doubt that it will, and we are left damaged by that. However as he correctly notes – our relationship just isn’t going in the right direction, and he just seems to want to drive it into the ground. I’m never quite certain what are just words from the cycle of anger, and what is truly where he is. I do see he is totally un-raveling right now.

    He voices exactly what Kim and Steve describe – that he feels I am immature, that he has to be a parent to me, and I have make it difficult, that he can not trust me, that I have never been on his side and I do not know how to love, and a ton of projections on to me, the parts of him he does not like. He will express that I have never understood who was in charge here, that he could not get through to me – part of him wants me to make me fear him (to show I respect him?) yet part is ashamed of that behavior. He will say that he feels he has to do everything any time he gets engaged and addresses something around the house, or take care of something that is clearly his, but he didn’t want to be bothered to do – yet from my perspective these times are when he is actually stepping up and filling in his own gaps about being fair and responsible in a family … (he is definitely contributing financially, and that is all his own generated business. He also puts great effort into contingency planning to protect against risks, and provide the best for the boys.) I mean helping with the mundane tasks which go with a house and a family.
    So I keep going, day by day, trying to keep myself centered while living around a roller coaster. Is this being better at stepping out of the “DANCE?” I’m better at walking away, but really have been pulled in again the past few days – the ante was raised again … I need to go re-address some things that are self-protective and that frightens me and makes me horribly sad / crushed inside because it also means taking baby steps towards accepting I might not be able to fix this – I never can stay with expressing that to my husband when he wants me to “agree with him,” that it is over, and can not be fixed because I can not undo things I have done. He craves the validation of what he thinks, yet there are places where I can not give it to him, and times where he seeks the praise/attention so much, that it nauseates me and it is difficult to give even when I do agree.

    I am trying my best to counter some of what he does that is not good modeling for the boys, but also to reinforce what is good and to appreciate when he is doing things that are helpful (need to remember to do a little more of that without sounding artificial.) I’m seeing the opportunity and the need to build up his self worth which is clearly so poor right now, despite the verbage constantly telling us how great a dad and a spouse he has been – and to do this without accepting the second message he attaches, that I have been “inadequate,” regarding this. Despite what he says, I have been the one who has kept the mundane parts of life together.

  62. Hey Long Time Reader!
    Usually after a period of ‘good times’ when he switches back it will sometimes catch me off guard and the new skills I have learned aren’t in the fore front of my brain so I’ll respond or react poorly. I’ve used Kim’s idea of putting sticky notes on my mirror to help with this.

    I don’t see it just as that they are testing us. They are actually learning new skills also, from us(which they don’t like), as well as having to face their inner demon. My husband has made comments of me ‘being his mom’ and I say ‘apparently one is needed and this one isn’t going to abandon you or withdraw love, care, or concern’. When my husband has his moments of pushing me to leave(even by saying so) I know he means it because if I do he can ‘carry on’ single life feeling guilt free. I’m not about to give him that pleasure. LOL

    Yep! Bad phase, good phase, bad, good, etc… The Dance, and they want to draw/suck us into it and the immauturity. AND then they can blame us, not just for that event, it snowballs for them and they won’t give up until we’ve been beating into submission. Then they walk around with a ‘block’ on their shoulders, not a ‘chip’. And because they are ‘adult children’ we are re-parenting the struggle is that much more intense.

    “I’m more worried about how far things will escalate in the process than I used to be.” Are you feeling threatened? Is he threatening you?

    They are going to resist and fight the change/growth not just for themselves, for us as well, if not because they will need to change too, also because they can’t control us, & the like and keep us beat down.

    My husband and I had/have that power struggle as well. His kids love to play on that and encourage him to ‘try’ to beat me down some more. They love haveing us at odds and Me being noone to him. The girl especially likes this so he can continue his ’emotional marriage’ with her mother. As well as that they can get away with just about anything and everything they want to then.

    Using the emotional intelligence/maturity in Kim & Steve’s ebooks and material I have come to recognize how and what he uses to push my buttons. And with that it has become more consciously aware of how and what I do that in return.

    I’ve found that alot of what they, my husband, says is empty. Unfounded, no truth or basis for it. It is further proved or proof of that when I look back or think of the ‘good time’ phases. He really doesn’t think that or feel that way, he is in his cycle and merely wants to kill me(figuratively speaking) as he is needing his ‘throne’ or his ‘supply’. It is so hard for him to accept himself for just being human, an ‘equal’ human with faults and shortcomings as the rest of us peasants.

    “However as he correctly notes – our relationship just isn’t going in the right direction, and he just seems to want to drive it into the ground.” This is how he is avoiding taking responsibilty or being held accountable for his participation in this breakdown or dysfunction. So he can blame you. If he is what I call a ‘reachable’ narcissist, which he may be since there are good phases as well(only you know if he is or can be), the damage or trust can be rebuilt. And even better than before.

    And how much truth is there really in what he says he can’t trust you? My husband would say that also so I just laughed and said ‘really!?!’ when I realized there was no water or weight to that.

    If my husband would say that I’ve never been on his side I would give him examples of the times I was and did trying to phrase it as a question. Like; ‘You mean when I did this….’ or ‘When I did that….’ or ‘When I stood up for you(and/or us) here… there…. at this event/incident… You get the idea. It works good to with him saying you don’t know how to love. I, myself, would also add in the non-dysfunctional and mature form of love. That’s me.

    “He will express that I have never understood who was in charge here, that he could not get through to me” Is this a religous belief of his? It isn’t one of mine so with that I would say ‘You mean the two of us, together, as husband and wife’? ‘It is the year 2012 isn’t it’?

    “part of him wants me to make me fear him (to show I respect him?) yet part is ashamed of that behavior.” That doesn’t work with me. There have been times where I was in fear of or affraid of my husband. Probably not as often or as much as I should have been. I am the RdHdScot, must have been a lowlander because I fight back. And mostly intelligently and maturely which just burns my husband to the core because he knows this is his gap work, and I am his wife, a woman. If he says the sky is purple, it’s purple. So as Kim & Steve describe I just challenge him through questions. That burned him too. With being consistant, calm and using Kim & Steve’s ebook and material (re-reading and such to help me stay on track myself) things have become better, more peaceful and respect is being restored.

    “He will say that he feels he has to do everything any time he gets engaged and addresses something around the house, or take care of something that is clearly his, but he didn’t want to be bothered to do – yet from my perspective these times are when he is actually stepping up and filling in his own gaps about being fair and responsible in a family” “I mean helping with the mundane tasks which go with a house and a family.” I agree. When my husband told me that the only thing he had to do was go to work while I tend to everything else including his children I told him ‘Not with me it isn’t. Not in this life time. I work(ed) too. You are not my God or his son.’ I stayed consistant with that. Then I became disabled. Boy did he go on a rampage then. I didn’t back down, I only had more amunition.

    “So I keep going, day by day, trying to keep myself centered while living around a roller coaster. Is this being better at stepping out of the “DANCE?”” If you are able to stayed centered or grounded while still holding your boundaries calmly and consistantly as Kim & Steve describe it in their ebook ‘Back From The Looking Glass’ then yes, I think you are stepping out of the ‘Dance’.

    “I’m better at walking away, but really have been pulled in again the past few days – the ante was raised again” Are you maintaining or reinforcing your boundaries before or ‘as’ you walk away? Or are you just walking away injured like a puppy with his tail between his legs?

    “I need to go re-address some things that are self-protective and that frightens me and makes me horribly sad / crushed inside because it also means taking baby steps towards accepting I might not be able to fix this” What self-protective measures are you speaking of(just in general, not descriptive). Only you know if your husband is reachable, and only you know when you feel you have done everything within your means to decide if the time has come to end your marriage or if it is managable to live within it without having a relationship with your husband.

    “I never can stay with expressing that to my husband when he wants me to “agree with him,” that it is over, and can not be fixed because I can not undo things I have done.” You don’t have to agree with him that it’s over unless that is how you truly feel. As I said and as Kim describes it, this may infact be his way of running from maturity, his inner demon, his fear of abandonment. We can undo the things we’ve done by ‘not’ continuing to do them. You can point that out to him; ‘That is not happening anylonger’ or ‘How long ago was that?’. Do you need to ask for forgivness like for a large purchase, a speeding ticket, an affair?

    “He craves the validation of what he thinks, yet there are places where I can not give it to him, and times where he seeks the praise/attention so much, that it nauseates me and it is difficult to give even when I do agree.” If he is asking for validation with something you do not agree with like something he did but didn’t do as to exploit credit for something, why not just say ‘I don’t see it that way/like that’ or ‘I have a different idea/perspective about that/this’. If it is something legitimate give it to him. That is what you would like so show him how it’s done(and point it out gently with ‘See how I did that’? The praise/attention is his ‘supply’ as well. Feeding his grandious ego. If it holds truth or substance humbly offer it as to not ‘exceed’ the value or worth of it to feed his ego. Maybe like ‘I don’t quite see it as some grand gesture, I do recognize you did that….’ Or switch it around with the later in the beginning – maybe add in that ‘It’s something that I think most would consider as expected’.

    I do think it will benefit you if you re-read kim & Steve’s book ‘Back From The Looking Glass’. It helps me stay on track.

    I hope this helps.

  63. Long Time Reader and other readers!
    One of the events that happened as a turning point for the narcissist in my life was his children became of age and therefore are no longer in our home. Initially of course things were real bad, worse even. Then the opportunity arose for me to say ‘Oh, you mean because it’s happening to you now’? Of course that was during one of our good phases/cycles. And I continued, still some back pedaling although, with Kim & Steve’s material.

  64. Hi all,
    I am finding it so helpful reading your posts and I share so many of your challenges. My ex (?) partner is coming to collect his belongings tomorrow and i have been focusing on self-soothing, being good to myself, eating well and spending time with women friends and I feel calm and strong. I have much more of am understanding of me and him, and the dance, from reading Back from the looking glass. I am going to remain calm tomorrow will try and take things in my stride. I have decided I will let him store some of his things in the caravan and shed in the meantime. I am not financially or legally tied to him (we were engaged) and this has helped. I will post tomorrow.
    Thanks to Kim and Steve for information about self-soothing. I find it really helps rather than go down the spiral of anxiety and emotional pain.

  65. Hi all,

    I am a qualified Australian social worker of ten years experience and have been applying Kim’s idea to coping with my partner of 2 years. I have worked in child protection and with domestic violence and abuse survivors. I have not experienced verbal or physical abuse with my parnter but he his a high functioning borderline/narcissist who lies and has a history of drug addiction. He works in a professional capacity and is very charming and goodlooking. He is also highly vulnerable and struggles to regulate his moods and look after himself properly. He has a number of really bad habits. I got involved with him because returning from living it up overseas as a single gal I found him exciting and the first man I had ever really fallen for on my return to Aus.

    What I want you all to know is I recently sought out a specialist counsellor to help me deal with my partner’s intimacy issues as he has a very serious history of child hood abuse. I had a bad experience with the counsellor unfortunately although I am certain she did her best for me in the session. She was unable to absorb what I told her about Kim’s program, understandably because my profession tend to see helping your partner as co-dependent rescuing.

    I was very upset after the session for a few reasons:

    1. I was told I was wrong to look in his phone when I became suspicious of him twelve months ago. This was because he is an abuse survivor and would have experienced this as a major violation and intrusion.

    3. My “boundary transgression” of looking in his phone was no different to his lies, emotional affairs and general heartless disloyalty to me. (Most recently I have discovered he passes himself off as single at work despite the fact we have been romantically involved and I have been his close personal support for 2 years).

    4. I should deal in the future with his suspicious behaviour by stating “I won’t look in your phone but I do worry about what I would find if I did.” She then went on to tell me that I should accept that I may never know what he has been up to with other women but trust is essential in the relationship so I must behave in a trustworthy manner also! Seems a little rich to me- he gets to run around being dishonest and I’m not allowed to investigate because it is a breach of his trust to do so.

    I was also told that I should just be his girlfriend and stop “social working him” as he will feel “worked on.” She also said that I was intellectualising too much and was happy to see when I broke down in tears while describing some of his behaviour as it was important for her to see how I really felt about his behaviour.

    This counsellor I can tell you was just doing her best to follow our code of values and ethics. Aside from the telling me what to do, which counsellors really are not supposed to do- she was trying to get me to recognise what my values should be in an ideal relationship. I realise now that this counsellors and most others will not understand Kim and Steve’s program. It was naive for me to expect them to as I would not have either if I was dealing with a client like me and had I not been in this predicament myself.

    I hope that most of you are not experiencing this kind of thing when you visit counsellors but I suspect you will at times. It is important to remember that the work Kim and Steve are doing is very new and revolutionary. Even domestic violence workers will find many of their ideas foreign but that does not mean that there is anything wrong with these ideas. Our profession needs to support this work in order to show what results this kind of approach has to dealing with very difficult, immature, dishonest partners.

    I would be really interested to know if others have struggled with the same problems with counsellors. I would say from a social work perspective please do still seek out professional help but be careful who you go to and if you don’t feel good afterwards perhaps talk about it with someone or write about it on one of these forums.

  66. Hi all,
    Courage&truth – I can so relate to your post! I am also a Social Worker, with 25 years experience mainly in domestic abuse and child protection. Do you know that most earth angels and people in the helping professions are co-dependent? It comes with our personalities and training. We see the best in everyone. It is an amazing but painful gift! It serves humanity well but when it comes to relationships it can be so hard. So many of my relationships have failed in the early days because guys don’t like to be “social worked” and it is never intentional.
    My ex (?) came round today and it was a disaster from start to finish. He was a complete narcissist and I got so caught up in the dance despite my intentions after doing so much work on self-soothing etc yesterday! I was a full blown co-dependent! A friend came round who is a relationship counselor. She asked him if he would be willing for us to go for counseling. He was keen and took the number. After refusing my suggestions when we were still together!
    Your experience sounds difficult, and I hope we fare better – if he does make the contact! Tonight I am cynical and feel so alone. Tonight i feel why bother with all the effort – Life would be so much easier if I was a narcissist and I might try this out in my next relationship!

  67. Hey Courage&Truth!
    Yes I have had similar experiences with a counselor. And as Kim has pointed out the majority of those in that field do not possess the knowledge or skills pertaining to narcissists and co-dependent relationships. I sure wish they did.

  68. Hey pensive!

    Self soothing is essential, as well as the other information, steps and skills Kim & Steve offer us. I’m sorry to hear that things did not go as well as you(or any of us) would have liked or planned. I don’t know if you your joking when you wrote that you might try narcissism in your next relationship. Go with a happy medium.

  69. Hey Everyone!
    Does anyone else go through this, with the extensive history my husband and I have I find that certain things trigger my resentments and bring them to the surface. The things that have yet to be resolved ‘by him’. I also find it difficult to self soothe when this happens because after 36 yrs of history he still won’t keep even his own boundaries or expectations he places on me.

  70. Hey Kim!
    Had/have you felt or rather put a boundary in place pertaining to no contact with certain family members due to their lack of respect and honor towards you & Steve as a couple?

    1. Yes we certainly have. If you are codependent/narcissistic you are bound to have other people in your family that cross your boundaries and when you have kids that can be particularly bad. As hard as it is sometimes, it is more effective to let them do the rejecting. Steve for instance gave his father the chance to move into a new more responsible role as grandfather by offering him a few challenges, but instead he choose to cut us off. Sad sure – but it would have been much harder if we had been the ones to instigate no contact with him.

  71. Also, does anyone get the idea that the narcissists sort of ‘make’ us co-dependent? You know, like with the isolation and the sort, them actually instilling in us that they, the narcissist, ‘is’ to be our everything.

  72. Hi All,
    I have been reading a lot about co-dependence, because difficulties with my ex (?) partner yesterday really brought out the worst in me. He was so angry from the start about the sad state of his life (rock bottom)and collecting his stuff after not being allowed at my house for 4 months due to bail conditions, and he gave me a hard time. I also realised that he has been completely erratic about what stuff he has taken and has left some of his important things. I stayed so calm all morning, with good boundaries (this site and materials helped so much)then I got more and more upset until i became tearful and pathetic. I asked him why he felt so angry with me and he said because I was all he had left and he wanted to help me (practical stuff – diy, cooking and garden) but couldn’t. He did mow my lawn! His emotional state was so up and down it was painful – anger and rage one minute and then hugging me the next and telling me he loved me.
    Before this relationship I was on my own for 7 years – lonely occasionally but independent and successful with good frienships (male and female).
    Darlyn, I do think narcissits “make” us co-dependent and it is the dance. I have alwys been caring and compassionate in all my relationships but this one has brought out co-dependence.
    I question why I would even want to have this man in my life often, because of the emotional pain but find it so hard to let him go. We were very happy for three years and there is a closeness and attachment I feel to him that I have not experienced before. Really strong chemistry. Common interests. Oh, and the only thing we have ever really argued about was his cheating….. i feel much better today and will be seeing him again on Monday. I guess this will continue until court (in August) but I have lots of positive things to look forward to over the summer. I have also found out there is a type of interdict here which could enable us to see each other for now but with a power of arrest if he became physically abusive.

    1. Hey pensive, it is great if that kind of court order is available. That really helped me with Steve!

  73. Hey pensive!
    Firstly I would like to wish you well for today(and every other day) with your meeting with your ex.

    I think and feel that as co-dependents we are getting a grip on our emotional well-being as the narcissist may just be beginning. I’m sure that may be relevant with your ex’s emotional up & down spiral when he was there as he is growing up as well currently.

    As Kim & Steve point out this is a journey, and learning these new skills is a process and we will all make some mistakes or do ‘alittle’ back pedaling. I remember in school turning in my homework and upon it’s return to me having those ‘red check marks’ that I had to correct and turn back in again for a satisfactory grade from the teacher.

    I know I had some co-dependent tendencies prior. Although small or expectable for relationships per se, it came out full blown a few years ago.(I have an idea that being women of certain phases in life can have an impact on this)

    Isn’t it confusing that with most other people in our lives we are or can have healthier boundaries and emotions? Even to the point of realizing that continued association with these people are not desired. Then our hearts get involved with our partners and all things become easier said than done.

    You mentioned that in the past some others felt ‘social worked’. And I maybe misunderstanding your statement. In your defense this is a ‘Huge’ part of your life and you as a person. I think it maybe useful with Kim & Steve’s material because I get the idea that with you doing this you ask questions to directly or indirectly assist the other person. Also, recognize a boundary so it doesn’t spill over where it should not.

  74. Hi
    I found out about three months ago my husband for almost seven years has been having and affair for nine months now. She called and text me to tell me about her and him. We have a son who is almost six. At first he denied all of it saying she is just a friend. When her evidence was overwhelming I realized he had been living two lives. He is even more involved with her kids than his own. Upon seeing a therapist myself to understand what was happening in my once wonderful marriage. I learned he has NPD. And he finally admitted about two weeks ago to living a double life since our son was born. during these long three months it’s been he’ll for me constant lies and deceit. She texts me their texts and pictures together. I’ve told him he needs to choose a family and he says he can’t leave her but doesn’t want to leave us either. He is addicted to her and her daughter. I’m hurt angry sad mad confused and terrified. My son is just like his father and looks up to him like a god. It’s so hard for me to be happy for my son when he talks about his dad especially knowing he took someone else’s kids to Disney world for a weekend when his own son has been asking to go there for three years. I am a stay at home mom. So I have no income. He controls all the money, stopped paying my credit card bills and now I am being sued for them. It’s such a disaster I don’t know where to begin. I know my son is my life and I will do whatever to protect him from all this drama. So I stay strong for him,pray and have faith for a better day tomorrow. I read these blogs get books from the library. He talked me out of seeing the therapist after a few sessions, he met with her also. Sorry this story is all over the place but i am really scattered. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone out there.

  75. Hi Darlyn … yes I can download the ebooks – thats how I got the Workbook. 🙂
    And Pensive, so glad to hear you are taking care of yourself You go girl! <3

  76. Hey Kim!

    HaHa! I found it Kim. It was in ‘Back From The Looking Glass’.

    I have made a commitment to myself to re-read, in succession 1 page or section from where I left off the day before, ‘Back From The Looking Glass’, ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’, ‘Emotional Stupidity’ and ‘The Little Book Of Empathy’ as a part of my daily meditations. Guess that one wasn’t on that days reading. LOL

    Today I am in need of pulling out my ‘magic scissors’ for I am leaving for a few days and the thought of leaving my husband ‘unattended’ is nerve racking. So with your guidance I’ve come up with an added tool that has helped calm and ‘soothe’ myself. I’ve added color to my ‘magic scissors’. They are now Lavendar! How peaceful and calming that bit of a difference made for me.

    So I guess with that, wish me luck. If I feel a need to while I’m away maybe I’ll finally add color to the balloons. haha!

  77. Hey Quinn!
    I’d truly like to respond to your post and realize at the same time I need to get on the highway. As Kim wrote, you’ve come to the right place.

    Hugs for you,

  78. Hi Quinn,
    What a hoorible situation for you to be in. I am glad you have found this site and are reading what other people have experienced. You are not alone! If you can, try and read Back through the Looking Glass – it has helped me a lot. I have found the concept of the magic scissors has been really useful, when I have been constantly obsessing! Also as Kim says in this book seek support from agencies which can provide it. Try to arrange to spend time with woman friends who are able to listen when you talk about what you are going through. If you feel isolated (as i did) self-soothing and meditation can be very helpful. I was one of two woman for a while in my relationship with by ex (?) and we kept in contact with each other. He then seemed to get more narcissistic supply by the fact we were “fighting over him” rather than recognising the absolute emotional pain his behaviour was causing. Hang in there and focus on you and your son! Sending you a hug!
    I have returned to work today after prolonged sick leave due to injuries as a result of domestic assault. It is really good to be back at work because I enjoy my job and it stops me from getting caught up thinking about him all the time! I had a good meeting with my ex (?) on Monday but I am leaving it at that for now. He knows I love him. I am trying not to contact him for a little while for my own healing for now. Will see what happens from here!

  79. Hey Kim & Steve!
    As you know I was called away from home these past few days(3 hrs away). Leaving my narcissistic husband unattended(we all know what that does and can mean).

    With the information you provide us/me and the use of your ebooks, so much information and guidance you offer, I was able to conquer my co-dependence and do what I needed to do without anxiety/panic, worry, the annoying phone calls and so much more that you describe. I was at peace.

    Upon my return I found that my husband, was respectfully and honorably my husband in my absence. Can anyone imagine the joy, true happiness, security all else I was/am feeling? Yes, I was apprehensive, scared/fearful and expecting the worse(I do have things/instruments in place so I do know the truth).

    I can’t Thank you enough for what you have instilled within me. And the added benefit is that it seems to be saving my disfunctional narcissistic/co-dependent marriage. You helped me get more of my ‘backbone’ back.

    Not to mention that all those sweet, wonderful, meaningful, devoted/committed and secret(s) about his true feelings over these past 36yrs he has told me, is true.

    On to the next step in your 13 steps towards a peaceful home.

  80. Yes I agree with you. And I really love this self soothing concept you have introduced to us. This helped me lot not only for my relationship problems but also at the other problems too that I am facing in my life. I can remember once Kim emphasized in her articles “people have the courage and ability to control and calm down themselves and their emotions without begging love and care from others. ” That had become the golden theory of my life. After I made this theory in to practice I have notified that so many things around my life got improved and I got better responses. Especially from my partner. Thank you kim and steve for helping us to find the real happiness in our lives.

  81. Hey all,

    Thanks for your responses to my post back in early June. I’ve been studying and doing exams so only got back on here weeks later. So great to read about how you are all going. I think you’re all being very persistent and brave. Life can be so hard with a narc with the cycles of good and bad. I have had so many ups and downs with my partner and he is not even physcially abusive towards me but the stress can be huge- self soothing is so important.

    It’s interesting I’ve noticed how much more responsive my partner is when I am really firm- have read all of Kims books and I am particularly working at the moment at learning to be the parent in charge which I find difficult at times. I don’t notice how intimidated I can become by just his tone of voice and response to me and I think I’ve really got to focus on addressing his bullying behaviour. He’s never been physically abusive towards me or even name called but he becomes beligerant, shouts, is completely unreasonable and does all the inverting and turning things around on me to avoid looking at little things I am trying to address with him.

    We had a huge argument recently but it was good because I really showed him how tough I could get when he is intimidating. He backed down after carrying on like a pork chop in the car park- he’s great at making scenes in public. I told him I would be contacting the police if he continued and this seemed to scare him enough that he shut up then and calmed down.

    I do find it very draining however when I’m confronting him about things and I know he’s going to start his nonsense.

    Wonder if any of you can relate to this; he is not allowing me to visit him at work and reacted badly to me bringing him flowers there. I have to try to get the flowers past the receptionist and through the wards for the strategy to work of getting people to realise he is in a relationship- dear me. He works in a hospital and I have worked in hospitals before so I know how they run. He was really heartless with me about a month ago when I showed up with flowers and he responded by looking really embarrassed and exclaiming “What are you doing here!” he took the flowers but wouldn’t show me around or introduce me to anyone. I was mortifed and extremely upset afterwards- he didn’t see this. There was no good reason for his behaviour as I know his work environment. I felt really stupid for letting him get at me like that and for letting him intimidate me into leaving. I probably should have just walked up on to the wards and started chatting to staff. I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t have the guts.

    I couldn’t believe his attitude towards me and work as I helped him learn his work so he could get this job and now I’ve figured out he has been keeping me a secret for about 18 months at work. How’s that for gratitude- these narcs are just amazing how they can use people.

    I’m trying to get up the courage to turn up again but actually walk up on to the wards this time and chat with the staff. He can’t actually stop me doing this as I work for health services and am a perfectly credible person to visit a hospital. I think he gets narc supply from all the extra female attention he gets with women thinking he is single. He admitted to me he has told some young nurses in the past he is on a sabatical from relationships- I confronted him about this being a lie and told him that if he didn’t start telling people at work he is in a relationship, I would have to do something about it.

    He admitted a few weeks ago that he had cheated on girfriends a lot as a young man. I have never caught him out on having a physical affair during our relationship but his behaviour has been sus and he has owned up to the fact that until recently he had been having emotional affairs. I think he is still having an emotional affair with his ex the mother of his two grown children- unbelievable. She’s a bit of a narc as well- very selfish.

    Has anyone else had this problem where your partner actually really keeps you away from friends and work? It’s amazing- he doesn’t fit your typical domestic abuse perp who isolates the woman in her home from outside but he is controlling through his compartmentalising.

    He is getting better- I was allowed to meet one of his friends the other day and my partner is supposed to be coming to a dinner with me with my parents and relatives on Sat which he would have never agreed to before.

    I have to say I think it is particularly difficult when you’re in that in between stage of a relationship- we are not married so it feels harder for me to reinforce healthy relationship rights because of the grey area of bachelorhood. I’ve told him tonight that he needs to realise I am helping to protect him when I take steps to secure our attachment. I have to get better at responding firmly as I think I back down when I start to feel intimidated by his tone/response and before I know it he’s back into one of his ridiculous tandrums deflecting from my simple request or assertion.

    The other issue I have is timing. If say I go to the hospital tomorrow then it is likely he will be so annoyed with me he will refuse to come with me to the party with my relies on Saturday- his coming to an extended family dinner is hard won territory for me so I don’t really want to sabotage this.

    What do you all think? I’ve been toying with the work issue for a while.

  82. Hey Courage&Truth, Quinn, pensive and Shyama!
    I’ve just now ‘woken’ my computer(the machine can be addictive). LOL

    My apologies in advance, I need to be a bit selfish right now for I am busy today and have what ‘to me’ feels pressing or atleast I’m curious about something. So with that, I will write you all later. Thanx for understanding.

  83. Hey Kim & Steve!
    This past week-end my husband actually allowed me to, and accompanied me to one of my grand-daughters birthdays(6 yrs old). A surprise of course as this is the first and one and only time this has happened. Not sure if this was maturity growth on his part or an alternate agenda because he too now has grand-children(you know, the ‘because it’s happening to him now thing’ and how will he possibily use this against me in the future). Only time will tell.

    Moving on, I was singing and acting out the ‘Paddy Cake’ song for the youngest of the 3(just turned 1 yrs old), and when it came to the part of ‘mark it with a ‘B’ for baby and me’, he boasted out ‘I thought it stood for B_______(his/our last name), sort of borderline with arrogance and a funny. I just shoke my head with a slight bow and smiled. Neither of us said anything else on the subject.

    I feel confident and at the same time would like your opinion. I think I handled it well with my body language as you described in ‘Back From The Looking Glass’. I don’t want to hinder his or MY OWN growth/maturity by ‘jumping’ or assuming. AND, he did notice my body language(he told me afterwards) as you said he would. He felt a little set back as this was a debut for him with my daughter and her family to which he attempted to instill guilt in me for my body language later saying that he just can’t be happy.

    Am I following the steps correctly and maybe he’s trying to get me to doubt myself again, or did I over do it?

    1. Hi Darlyn,

      You are doing great. The fact he joined in and had something
      to say with your game of paddy cake is a good sign I think.
      He wants to be involved and close if he goofs up sometimes
      and says the wrong thing – but there is no harm done I would
      just treat him like you would one of the other kids and so your
      reaction was probably perfect.

      I wouldn’t get into letting him deconstruct events too much
      after the fact however. In those situations I think it is best
      that you end this kind of non productive conversation and change
      the subject. You can say – Let’s not discuss that right now …
      How did you like the cake? or something similar.

      Likewise it is best if you can avoid going over his behavior as well.
      If you didn’t have a comeback ready at the time it is probably best that
      you just let it go and work on building trust instead.

      Steve was very pleased (and I think also relieved) when he realized that
      I would hold him accountable in the present (more with actions
      than words) but I was no longer going to go over stuff from the past.

  84. Please excuse me for what I am about to write (I am very angry). I just wanted to put out there a bit of my story. I am married to a narcissist. The lying, stealing, cheating began at the onset of our marriage. It took me quite awhile to even begin to see what was going on.

    I have been married to my narcissist husband for over 45 years now. In that 45 years there was 10 “good” years….no lying, stealing and cheating. It was during that 10 years he found God and was trying to live a christian life.

    Fast forward to the present. My husband is approaching 70 years of age. I am ONCE AGAIN dealing with “another woman” and lies!

    He has told me (as we have talked in depth about this) that he can NOT be around other women. He fights the lying, stealing or “women” issues every day!

    The only thing that I can give him credit for is that he no longer steals. At almost being 70 years old, being retired and being at home most of the time helped curb that I’m sure.

    The “other women” this time is a cashier at the grocery store across the street from where we live. Crazy isn’t it? Can’t even send him to the store for a gallon of milk.

    I do apologize for this message. I just wanted to “put it out there”….you may feel your narcissist has “calmed down”….however, once a narcissist always a narcissist! They can “rear their ugly heads at anytime!

    Wish all of you the best!

    1. Hey no apologies necessary – this blog is all about sharing and I understand that you are angry for sure. I think your story shows just how serious this condition is and that without some serious actions taken things will not improve by themselves. Even at 70 I don’t think it is too late for you to change the dynamic in your home. We had a testimonial a few years ago from a woman in her 70’s who followed our program and had her husband charged with assault for an incident that had seen her hospitalized the year before. At the time she had lied to cover for him but after reading Back From the Looking Glass she came out and told the police the truth and had him charged. He was very angry at first but then came to respect the new stand she had taken. Her adult children then began chastising her for bringing shame on her family (them) and it was him who ended up coming to her defense. Abuse is something that should not be tolerated at any age and I do not think it is ever too late to do whatever must be done to protect yourself. Your husbands interest in other women is one thing – But I am most concerned about how he treats you.

  85. Hey SixtiesChick!
    From what you have described it seems to me that your husband ‘may’ understand ‘somethings’ concerning his narcissism or NPD.

    As Kim stated, which I agree, even at 70 yrs old there are things a person, yourself(and him) can do to put an end to all of this. Kim & Steve’s ebook ‘Back From The Looking Glass’ is perfect for what you are describing. And it’s not all about or for ‘him’. It will help you get out of this rut you find yourself in.

    You’re correct, not all persons with NPD can or are willing to overcome this. That is why and ‘how’ Kim & Steve’s ebooks, information and other materials approach persons in this situation. For ‘both’ sides of the spectrum. It has helped me immensly(sp) and my N husband now only needs subtle reminders to stay ‘grounded’ and ‘centered’ from his NPD. Granted, we don’t know what challenges will come tomorrow or in the future. They will be handled in the manner of what has worked thus far, and that’s with the steps and guidance that Kim & Steve offer.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  86. Thanks for the comments and support. (I haven’t been on here for awhile.) I will be checking into your suggestions. BTW…I learned recently that the 10 years of him “living a christian life” was a lie as well. Thanks again for your attention to my post,

  87. Hey Everyone!
    Make sure you check out Kim & Steve’s updated home page. They add things periodically to help us. I’ve just viewed an added video/movie and it really helps me with my current dilema. Plus it helps remind us when we may forget somethings.

  88. Hey folks,

    Just learning about NPD in the last year or so…..reading all of these posts has me completely depressed. So many of the things i see here fit both my partner but i also see a lot of NPD characterisics in myself!
    Mostly it is my partner though who exhibits all of those patterns: lying, cheating, arrogance disguised as “humor”, twisting all situations around to be my fault (except when he thinks he will really lose me— then he can admit that all this stems from his deceitfulness and whatever underlying problems he has that are causing him to do the cheating and lying to begin with).

    It is 28 years into this dance and really the worst is not knowing how to trust someone who has convincingly lied and said all the “right” things to keep me tied into the “rescue” mentality. Very distubing to learn about the “hidden life” involving prostitutes on aregular basis throughout our whole relatuonship. Our child is a young adult bit still needs both of us in his life. Just not sure if it should be as a couple or as separate parents. My partner “swears” he loves me and wants to be with me forever but shit …… How can i believe that anymore?

    I don’t want to be his mother. I want to be his partner. I don’t want a “little boy” i want a man.
    Sometimes he seems like he is a true man but so many lies……

  89. Hey Rory!
    Until I got Kim & Steve’s ebooks I was depressed as well. I think most of us are/were. I too found myself in a level of narcissism that I needed at the time to combat the NPD in my husband. It didn’t/doesn’t work as well though does it!?!

    The 1st ebook of Kim & Steve’s that I got was ‘Back From The Looking Glass’. What a relief and sense of freedom did I feel after reading that. The light bulb came on bright, the ‘AHA’ moment was realized. And of course you can’t stop there, next needed was ‘The Love Safety Net Workbooks'(for the steps and strategies) and ’10 Steps To Overcome Co-dependence’. Then the other ebooks. They all tie in well with the others and this stuff really works.

    I needed to make changes in myself 1st, my husband noticed, he had no real other choice than to make changes in himself. Which has improved our marital relationship and with some of the children(we have a blended family and some live a distance away). Instead of constantly dealing with an adult child as my husband, he’s growing into an adult(myself included from the co-dependence stand point).

    Have you read the other Free Articles of Kim & Steve’s on these blog pages? Do you have their updated homepage or YouTube channel link? Have you watched many or any of their videos?

    If you haven’t made up your mind on what to do concerning your marriage, I’d give these other resources of Kim & Steve’s a look 1st.

    Hope to hear from you again!

  90. Hi Kim. This is a very belated comment considering this discussion is over a year old. However, I thought I would respond to your number 24. It’s not just the Royals who have the NPD or codependency problem – look at the Churches. Look at the genocide, crimes and despotism in say the Catholic Church. This stuff is rife in our society. “Normal” (whatever that is) people do not have delusions of grandeur or require being worshipped. My personal take on the “Leaders” whether in the Banking Industry or in Royalty or in Politics is simple. Anyone wanting to send their county to war should be the first one who is sent to the front lines.

  91. I just found out my husband and stepson are narcissists for twelve years I knew something wasn’t right but never had a name for it the both try to make me doubt myself treating me like I am crazy .I now understand me not feeding their egos was the problem. was raised humble and never cared for self centeredness . my biggest problem with this is its like we have to change and they stay the same is it just be to get away for them or just always feel unimportant and devalued. Thankfully my stepson moved in with his mom. I am getting less abuse but we have two autistic sons as well and they also seem unimportant to my husband. gets old being the only adult (or so it seems).been married ten years he controls everything . just feel hopeless and advice would be great thanks .sj

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