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Does your marriage need help?

If so you are not alone …

Welcome to our blog which is visited regularly by lots of loving and friendly folk and jam packed full of information and resources. On this post you can share a little of your story and offer support and encouragement to other visitors.

Narcissism & Codependence are patterns of behaviour passed on from generation to generation. This can mean, unfortunately, that if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, these bad habits may seem like normal and healthy behaviour to you and you won’t see the damage they are causing.

Sharing our stories helps us see these patterns for what they are and strengthens our determination to overcome them.

This blog is moderated and to protect all participants from abuse or criticism, and all comments are viewed before approval.

There are a few golden rules to make sure your posts are approved (anywhere on this blog) so please read through these carefully . . .

  • Do not make posts if you are feeling emotional and looking for someone to talk to to help you feel better – An important step in our program is learning to self soothe. This means learning to help yourself feel better when you are upset. If you don’t know how to do this – I suggest you start with our free tutorial today.
  • Likewise, don’t make posts if you are angry or distressed. If you are angry make a short note of what upset you (to consider later) and then forget about it while you take a walk, have a bath or do something that will help you relax and feel better.
  • Do not suggest that other contributors here leave or divorce their partner. Leaving is not the easy answer people pretend it to be and if not managed correctly may escalate the conflict and potential for family violence. We strongly respect this decision to be very personal and up to the individual.
  • Please become familiar with the steps in our program before giving advice to anyone. Put simply, this blog is a place for people already using our program to support and encourage each other, not suggest other theories or modalities.
  • Do not post here if your only intention is to promote other websites, books or products.
  • Do not use sarcasm or insult or criticise other people’s comments (or your posts will NOT be approved).
  • Do not provide your last name, address, email address or any other identifying information about yourself or anyone else.
  • For ease of reading, if your post is long please use paragraph breaks.
  • Steve and I are real people and also deserve courtesy. If you feel the need to criticise either of us or question our methods or approach, please do so by contacting us privately at our personal email addresses (which can easily be found by searching for our names in Google).
  • Don’t take it personally if we don’t get back to you. We respond to as many emails and posts as possible, but this depends purely on our schedule and availability. If you don’t receive an answer – you might try asking again a few days later!

I look forward to hearing your story!

Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper

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 4 Comments

  1. My husband has just told me that he doesn’t want to be married anymore. This happened five days ago. I am heartbroken right now and trying to understand. He says that he will go to counselling but I’m afraid that he will expect all changes in our marriage to be mine and that if I make a mistake he will simply say he wants out again because he has seen the devastating results occurring now. I desperately want my marriage but I also don’t want to have the marriage held hostage so that anything I do can be considered grounds for him divorcing me. We have been married seven years. He does have a tendency to blame me and others for all bad things in his life and looks down on everyone because he always knows best. My aunt is a big help as she understands his narcissist tendencies and know I want to stay in the marriage. She helps me work through things he says and does and supports me. Our first counseling session is four days away and I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know if he really means it about wanting to leave or if he is just using it as a manipulation. He is sleeping in the basement but then treats me like everything is normal during the day but gets angry when I try to get any real answers out of him. I am trying not to push him but I’m not very good at doing this. I felt safe in our marriage (that he wasn’t going to leave and neither am I) now I don’t know anything…

    1. Hi Natasha,
      I feel your pain exquisitely because I’ve been living it for years. After 17 years and 2 children, my husband announced that he was leaving me. It was the day after last Christmas. He had been planning it for a while, yet even though we were in counseling, he kept those plans to himself. I struggle with anger, self-doubt and guilt every day, but I’m working through it.
      His story goes like this: He tried for years to make me happy but never could. I was passive-aggressively critical of him, which made him feel weak. He worked hard to provide for us and often rushed home from his job because he wanted to be with me, only to be met with anger. He also often felt rejected by me sexually, and so initiated emotional affairs to ease his pain. I began shopping uncontrollably, leaving us in debt and then refusing to get a job. I also stopped cooking and cleaning, and selfishly started doing things for my own pleasure, regardless of the family’s needs. Despite his pleas for me to return to my previous role, which would have salvaged the marriage, I stubbornly refused. Miserable, he completely withdrew from all forms of intimacy with me. He claims to still like (and even love) me, but he’s no longer “in love” with me and cannot muster the effort to save the marriage or family because “it’s too much work.”
      This is my story: I supported his hard work but felt that he prioritized his career over me and the family. He was frequently gone for 10-12 hours a day, working every weekend and holiday, except for Christmas day. He often promised that things would change (once the season was over; once the new person was hired; once he accepted the new job and we moved 1200 miles away), but they never did. My dreams and desires were traded for his success, while I struggled to build my own career around the demands of maintaining our home and the family’s stability. Overwhelmed and exhausted, I succombed to chronic depression, which expressed itself through anger, irritability, and loss of sexual desire. He responded with condescension, treating me like an irrational child or, worse still, as if I were insane.
      When I learned of his affairs, I vacillated between desperate attempts to win him back and hopeless withdrawal. He denied the significance of his extramarital activities, invalidated my pain, and refused to discuss his sexual dysfunction, other than to blame me.
      My anguish was met with icy gazes that defy description. His blue eyes sparkled with contempt, but the happy smile that accompanied the fierce gaze was extremely odd. It seemed both superficial and intense at the same time. The first time I saw it, I was so stunned, I blurted out, “who ARE you?” I have no references in my experience to help me translate it. It’s not simply that it doesn’t fit the man I knew. Rather, it’s incongruous unto itself. Whenever I recall it, it makes me nauseous.
      I write all of this because I’m trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together. I need to look at my own behavior honestly and make sense of what happened. I’m not sure what’s real in my world anymore because the person I believe(d) he is/was doesn’t fit with the one revealed through his actions.
      I don’t want to fall into the trap of labeling and blaming him because it keeps me stuck in a cycle of pain and anger. In order to learn and grow, I must account for my own part in this mess, regardless of whether he ever takes responsibility for his part.
      I remain wounded and confused, but I’ve found that accepting the reality of the marriage helps. It’s an antidote to the denial that led me here.
      I now practice dealing with him graciously (no tears, accusations, anger, or attempts to get him back) despite my impulse to do all of the above. I have recently apologized to him for the pain I caused him. For the first time in years, it wasn’t a ploy to win him back, make him change, or manipulate him into reciprocating an apology. I actually meant it, and it lifted a great deal of weight from my heart. This combination of grace and compassionate self-inventory is helping me heal. I’m beginning to see a happier, healthier future for myself. Occasionally, I’m even surprised to find myself thinking that I don’t want him back, regardless of what happens.
      I know this reply won’t soothe your pain right now because no one but you can provide the comfort and strength you need to pull through this. But know that you are not alone in this and you are worthy of better. Open your heart to yourself and your journey. Look for comfort in honesty with yourself and acceptance of whatever may come.
      I wish you all the love and peace you deserve.

  2. Hi KIm I recently rediscovered an email where I discovered information that saved my sanity. I need to know more about how to relieve the verbal abuse. I recently purchased the article verbal abuse Hurts. but I cant retrieve it please help. ASAP. in the mean time ill read these blogs hopefully they will help. Thanks to anyone else who may be able to offer some support . I am resdy to save my marriage even if I have to do it without my husbands help. I know I have enabled him because for 3 years I did not realize what was occurring. Im ready town and stop my part.

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