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“I transformed our bad marriage . . .
even after the professionals said I had no choice but to leave or change the locks”

Beyond Narcissism

Our work defines narcissism and codependence as the leading roles in marriage dysfunction, but this is not about pointing the finger and saying everything wrong in your marriage is someone else’s fault.

The solution I discovered to creating a great marriage was NOT blaming everything on my husband Steve’s narcissism  . . .

Don’t Read Another Word About Narcissists Until You Read This!

I have seen online forums where people are sometimes bullied into believing how evil their partner is (and how wrong they are to still love them) and how different their partner thinks to normal people. I have seen people become so scared and disconnected from reality, that they nearly forget their own name!

  • Do narcissists hate women?
  • Can a narcissist truly feel love for his children?
  • Does a narcissist ever forget an insult?
  • Are narcissists cruel to their pets?

The internet is teaming with these kind of questions – but I want to warn you that this kind of thinking can lead to a very dangerous trap.
On TV when we see conflict or crime, ‘hey presto’ some hero policeman, detective or doctor shows up to profile the disordered person’s thinking  and figures out an ingenious solution – which usually means the bad guy goes to jail (and often the victim finds a new love).
Real life, however, is different. Trying to get into a disordered persons head (to manipulate them) may lead to you becoming crazy yourself.

I visited those kind of forums when I needed help with my marriage and these same kind of people nearly scared me out of my wits. Luckily I had a friend who said “Sure you are both unhappy Kim and I know Steve is really hurting you – but you two love each other. He ‘s not a monster.  Kim you are talking about Steve!”

That broke the spell and I was lucky to have such a smart friend. It caused me to rethink things and realize that trying to work out how Steve was thinking wasn’t the answer – I had to get as strong and healthy as I could and I had to start getting us help!

Because if you are trying to manipulate a manipulator what does that make you?

The only way to help a disordered person is to learn solid and healthy relationship skills yourself.
Think back to your teachers at school. I bet there were some who could handle just about any class and still get them interested and wanting to learn. I bet those teachers brought the best out in their students and had a positive impact on their lives.
And maybe you remember other kinds of teachers too? The ones who were emotional and reactive and brought out the worst in their class?
This is the new way I decided to look at my marriage. Instead of letting the labels psychologists had placed on Steve daunt me, instead I decided to take a different approach. I had spent years studying psychology and finally decided those ideas were not going to work.

I decided if I wanted something better, I had to work on bettering myself. Instead of complaining and expecting Steve to fix things I had to work on my own leadership skills and become a better manager in my home.

Hard work? Yes, certainly, but this approach had the added bonus of improving all of the relationships in my life.

10 years on and our work has had global impact on how Narcissistic Personality Disorder is treated and changed it’s status away from incurable in the latest DSM.

Is dealing with a narcissistic person easy? No. But this is not little league territory, just look at how many marriages fail. No one gets married expecting to get divorced – but look at how many couples do.

Narcissism and Codependence are very useful terms that help describe the tow most common emotional patterns that are likely to cause a marriage to fail. But if you are looking to shift all responsibility and blame on someone else, our program is probably not right for you.

For fifteen years, the Coopers have offered themselves as humble guides and mentors, helping families avoid cynicism and chaos. Leading the way as peer support specialists whose own family has traversed love's dangerous terrain.
Taking you to that place inside yourself that you can't go by yourself. Helping you get back in touch with the power of love within you to restore the sanity in your marriage whether you stay or leave.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I like your perspective on each partner working on their own relationship skills as crucial to the success of their marriage. The thought that you have to fix your partner first is what codependency (and narcissism) are really all about. So, thanks and I look forward to receiving your updates.

    1. Thanks Eric 🙂 Even if one partner works on their own negative patterns it will break the pattern that allows the sad dance of dysfunction to continue 🙂 But you are very right that the focus should be on standing up for yourself and setting boundaries more than looking to change the other person.

  2. Thank you for your advice in the book. I have just finished reading your book. It’s a very good book. My husband is a narcissist. I would like to ask for your advise of how to response to his silent treatment. After he bursts his temper on me, say many bad things about me then he left and come back with silent treatment. He ignores me and moved out of the bed room. I really don’t know how to cope with that. It would be good to hear your advise. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Anny, You will find many free articles (and other paid subscriptions) dealing with these kind of subjects on my blog here.

      It is a good place to read and ask these kind of questions where other people who will join in and help with ideas too. Dealing with the silent treatment is tough and there is not one simple answer. Working through the steps you have now will help build trust. Your husband does this because he has a lot of anger inside of him that he doesn’t know how to deal with. It is good if you can protect yourself from this by keeping a nice place in the house with happy things in it that is just for you.

      1. My husband usees the silent treatment all the time he also states that he’s just so angery and doesn’t know why except that it has to be my fault he has moved out and says that he’s no longer so angery?

  3. Hi
    I discovered after my husband first affair. …that hevis a NARCISSIS. It was a difficult time for me n my children.
    He became another person that we dont know. After almost 2 year of rolecoaster life he brough us..
    He came home after a few year i was thinking that he became normal husband n father again.
    But almost 8 years after he came home he run way from hone n cheating again. Cant face me n our children. It has been a month since he left.
    He always asure me that our marriage stronger before he left us the second times.
    In this point i dont know what to think.
    Iam broken at the same time confused. ????
    Do know what to do.

  4. Glad to hear there is hope. Is there a support group and or counselors that acknowledge this hope?

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