Are Narcissism & Codependency Destroying Your Marriage?
For 10 years, we have helped couples in conflict; offering an online alternative to marriage counseling that is private, inexpensive and yet effective. This work began with the release of Back From the Looking Glass – 13 Steps to a Peaceful Home. An easy to read reference book now in its 11th edition. A book which has inspired thousands of testimonials and is still our best selling title.
Right from the start we have challenged ‘the narcissism witch hunt’, an ideology which often pits women and men against each other. Instead we see narcissism & codependence as two very different, but also very common (dysfunctional) world views. So different that many couples end up playing ‘the game of marriage’ from totally different rule books.
Which Role Sounds More Like You . . .*
Before risking it all in a marriage counselling title match, lets see if these conflicting world views exist in your marriage?
- As a child: You were expected to bring recognition to your family.
- As an adult: You feel angry at how much life expects of you.
Despite the name calling and sheer volume of misinformation on line, narcissism is a very common way of thinking and behaving.
Narcissism is often encouraged by society, including movies, our friends and TV.
It is not about loving ourselves. Instead, unhealthy narcissism is about loving a fantasy idea of ourselves. A fantasy that won’t allow a person to grow or to be loved for who they really are.
In its most simple description, narcissism is about being self-centered, which is something we obviously need to look at if we want to improve our marriage.
Narcissism is easy to spot in other people but much harder to spot in ourselves.
- As a child: You were expected to keep your parents happy & keep the peace.
- As an adult: You give your best to your marriage but your best is never enough.
Codependency describes a person who spends a large part of their life trying to keep other people happy. However, this is not entirely unselfish: they do this hoping to get their emotional needs met in return.
Just like narcissism, this pattern of behaviour is common but can seriously damage a marriage.
A codependent’s thoughts and plans are centered on their partner.
To create a happy marriage, a person must be centered on their own needs and the needs of the people around them . Unfortunately being other-centered can be just as unhealthy as being self-centered.
Narcissism & Codependency are learned family roles; they represent opposing views on life that will cause conflict, chaos and disappointment, eventually destroying love & companionship.
Kim Cooper – Author of Back from the Looking Glass
* Please note that in most cases our team have found these labels to be stereotypes that do not represent the real person. Despite the pain and suffering these patterns of behaviour undoubtedly cause; our experience has shown this is learned behaviour and these are NOT incurable psychiatric conditions. Couples can outgrow narcissism and codependency as our story and work both demonstrate.