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Narcissism & Marriage

Steve Cooper discusses being called a narcissist

Steve Cooper

After 8 years helping couples in crisis, Kim and I do not consider narcissism a mental illness but more a destructive stereo-typed role men and (some) women play. Rather than labeling and condemning yourself as a narcissist, let’s label and condemn the behaviour!

  • Did you grow up believing that as long as you get what you want, the end always justified the means?
  • Did you have more expected of you as a child or young adult than you felt realistically able to achieve?
  • Was lying the only way you felt you felt able to keep people off your back? 
  • Do you hide things from your marriage partner? Such as pornography, romance novels, affairs, crushes, hidden lines of credit (credit cards) or plans for the future which don’t include them?
  • Do you excuse behaviour that upsets your wife or husband by comparing yourself to people who behave worse than you.
  • You control the money in your household and watch all of your partner’s spending. Leaving your partner limited funds, while you hoard money or hide money transactions and/or lines of credit (credit cards) to buy yourself luxuries, treats or indulgences (or make investments in your name), thinking you deserve more than an equal share – or perhaps unfairly blaming your partner for your current financial situation and everything wrong in your life?

Back when Kim and I were fighting, I knew I wasn’t doing the right thing by my family, but in reality I was even unhappier than they were. It is hard to let your family be happy when you are unhappy yourself. Before I tell you anything more about how we saved our marriage, there is something I first need to share.

There was a time that I was labelled ‘mentally ill’ because I displayed the symptoms above. Below I am going to share that story with you . . .

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They Said I was a Narcissist!

Years ago when Kim was looking for help with our marriage, she was scared very badly by the online expert* on Narcissistic Personality Disorder who very accurately described my self centered behaviour. Kim spoke to other professionals at that time who agreed that I was a narcissist.  Because this disorder was incurable (this has since been changed in the latest DSM), they pronounced ‘no hope’ for our marriage and declared the only smart choice Kim could make was to leave me.

I am lucky that I have a smart wife who found better advice

Even though Kim wouldn’t accept that I had an incurable mental disorder – the stereo-typed behaviour I was displaying was very real and very hurtful to her and our children. It took a long time for me to look at myself (and I hope you don’t make the same mistake). I made the decision, a few years down the track when things were much better between us, to support Kim’s efforts in sharing what we did to turn our marriage around by helping her become an author. Before you risk having the professionals telling your wife to take the kids and leave, I suggest you give the information she has put together some serious consideration . . .

Everyone likes an easy scapegoat, probably in marriage more than anywhere else. Because the tag ‘narcissist’ has become such a powerful ‘demoniser’, it’s no wonder it gets so much attention.

Looking for the ‘lone shooter’ (that killed your romantic happily ever after) is so much easier than looking deeper

The problem is that narcissism doesn’t just dwell in individuals. It is a belief system that is at work in just about every aspect of our lives. At each and every turn we find ourselves surrounded by narcissism in our society. Make sure you protect your family from this dangerous trap!

Signs of Narcissism

Are you a narcissist? Are you married to a narcissist? Do you know the difference between love that hurts and love that heals? We have the information you have been looking for:

Learn the Signs of Narcissism

Narcissism Blog Angelican Huston

Celebrity Narcissist Spotting . . .

Don’t fall for the lie that narcissists are psychopaths . . .  Examples of Narcissists in popular culture . . .

Narcissism Spotting

Self Help for the Narcissist . . .

*Sam Vaknin the supposed expert on NPD, claimed he was a narcissist but instead was diagnosed (on TV) as being a psychopath! Please make sure you don’t let people fool you or your spouse into believing that being a narcissist and a psychopath are the same thing!