We Need Your Help

Domestic abuse complaints are now around 40% of all police emergency calls and millions of dollars are spent each year on campaigns encouraging victims to contact the police.

The sad fact is however that while domestic abuse takes many forms and is virulent in our communities, destroying families, careers and the lives of children and adults alike, the police are currently ill-equipped to identify or prosecute the perpetrators.

And as with any crime - the perpetrators being held accountable is a first and vital step, second only to the urgent need to protect all parties involved.

This is where at the most basic level our work enters this picture ...

a. Victims need advice on how to contact the police and what to say. This includes basic advice on staying calm, keeping the complaint simple and based on the facts and if possible encouraging them to contact the police in business hours and not waiting till the situation is urgent.

b. Couples need advice, in very simple terms, on how to find better scripts to use when they find themselves being provoked, as well as training in better skills at handling the disrespectful behavior that can so easily lead to more serious domestic disputes.

For the past 3 years Steve and I have been providing this valuable information to those lucky enough to be able to find us on-line. No one gets married to get divorced and the status quo, which tells victims it is their own fault if they don’t leave, is cold comfort in the extreme.

The truth is that leaving without resolving the conflict usually leaves all parties in a worse and much more vulnerable situation. Children at this point often face a mine field of new and often terrifying relationships with their parents' new partners that (statistically) will be even more dangerous.

When I was first told that Steve’s symptoms were that of a disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder I had no idea what I was getting into. Having been raised in a very medical family (my dad was a doctor and my mother a nurse) my first thought was “Well an accurate diagnosis is 99% of the cure”.

Sadly however, I was completely wrong and in fact the worst of the nightmare was only just beginning for us ....

The more research I did into NPD, the more I was shocked. The only advice given to me was basically that my duty to myself and my family was to leave and refuse any attempt Steve made to contact us.

Can you imagine my confusion and despair?

Now not only did I have Steve's selfish antics to deal with but also this insane logic which seemed to consider this disorder something akin to leprosy or witchcraft in the middle ages.

Thankfully because of the values I had been raised with living in a family whose business was caring for people who were ill, it was easy for me to see that there was something terribly amiss in the advice I was getting.

Later discovered I was right ...

You see the man (Sam Vaknin) who has promoted the bulk of the current ideas on this disorder, is a self professed (and publically diagnosed) psychopath who also claims to have NPD.

He "wrote the book" on NPD while in jail for securities fraud. His book and the tombs of writing he has done on this subject has for many years now misled the majority of doctors researching this disorder and he has lured in thousands of unsuspecting people looking for advice on how to handle their abusive partners in his online spiders web.

His advice on how to handle an arrogant or self centered family member? He suggests that you either abandon them with zero explination or stay and expect nothing more than to be treated as an object and do whatever they ask - agree with everything they say and even help find them alternative love interests besides yourself so they don't get bored.

Sam calls himself a doctor but you can witness for yourself him talking about this at 7.11 into this clip. I would also recommend you check out what the maker of this documentary offers as his opinion about all of this at the very end. This is a great chance to see Sam in action but please note that unlike what he claims, NPD and being a psychopath (what Sam has been diagnosed with) are NOT the same thing. People with NPD can be horrible and cruel but they are not generally consciously sadistic (as Sam demonstrates himself to be in this movie);

Back to our story ...

Today (around 6 years after thankfully having found answers which helped us), Steve and I do all that we can everyday of our life to help people who are in the same situation we were in back then.

And I guess it must helping because we get close to a dozen unsolicited testimonials each week.

But our problem is this ....

Sam’s PHD may need some questions asked about it, but his IT skills are very advanced and he has been involved in writing on this subject for many years now as prolifically as only a psychopath could.

His information is slick and deceptive (for example claiming that NPD and being a psychopath are the same thing) while offering advice that breaks up families and destroys lives. I know this because many of his 'victims' then carry on to find us.

I have heard it also claimed that he also secretly owns the forums where people who are having marriage problems go looking for help priding himself on having more victims (and being further above punishment) than the more traditional psychopaths in history.

I cannot judge the veracity of this but if it is true what better way could he have for finding new victims? It would also explain why any positive references to our work are pulled down from these forums as soon as they are posted.

I guess I feel so strongly about this because I know how his influence nearly destroyed our family.

So this is what we are up against and why we feel it is so important we keep our sites online.

You may not agree 100% with what we advocate, but please consider the alternatives. To leave a person and completely block any contact with them with no attempt to resolve the conflict is the fastest way to escalate the potential for violence, in families that are already at risk, at the same time as increasing the children in these families odds of being seriously abused.

Next time you see one of those horrible stories in the paper about family violence check the details - I have noticed 9 times out of 10 the story will say that one of the partners had just left - and usually not because they really wanted to - but because some one else had said that they must.

Of course a person should not stay in a situation where they are being abused simply because they fear leaving. That is NOT our message at all. There needs to be strategies put in place to de escalate the potential for harm first and ways this can be managed that give the victim more safe options. Victims will often need advice in how to ask for help and from whom.

NPD = domestic abuse on all levels - emotional, physical, financial and spiritual and by its very nature the perpetrators are not so easy to spot. A person with NPD will for instance be much more likely to be involved in provoking others to acts of violence than initiating violence themselves.

This does not mean that people with NPD do not physically harm people. What it means is that they are very adept at getting someone else to throw the first punch (usually half heartedly) and then retaliating with much greater force.

And then they can honestly say - “But she/he started it.”

So this is a situation that needs a truck load of understanding and also of care. Having lived through this ourselves, Steve and I do feel that we are good people to offer our perspective.

So here we are! Inviting you today to help us in our mission, because as I always say “World peace can only begin with stable families".

So please you can help us in any of these ways ...

a. Purchase our products
By doing so you will not only be helping your family (and ours) but also the hundreds of people we give free material to every month. Our material will also help you build better relationships - and gain others respect - even if you are not experiencing domestic abuse.

b. Let other people know about our sites
Domestic abuse is usually very well hidden. If the friends you tell about us don’t need our help they probably know someone who does.

c. Sponsor our business
Help us with the costs involved in giving away all of the free information that we do. For information please go HERE.

d. Advertise our free sites
Do you run a blog, newsletter or newspaper? Please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with artwork to advertise our free sites such as www.fightbusters.com

There are answers that can (and do) help people living with NPD. They are not easy however and that is why we are here to help.

Kim Cooper


  1. The movie doesn't come up. Is he on you-tube?

  2. bravo, kim & Steve. you are brave-and right. Starting years ago I literally avoided even going to sam vaknin's sites and I noticed their internecine quality-and learned to avoid those with the "scent" of sam... Something about the way he operated gave me the creeps. After many years of my personal torment I am divorced and I am not even clear what it was all about-35 years of bizarre and cruel treatment-half the time! (my ex told me years ago he practiced "partial reinforcement..."-
    and I came to see t as true) And-my spiritual path has transformed me and I am deeply grateful. My situation didn't work out and yet I have love for this man and I regret his small, uncompassionate ways. You guys are right on. Steve-Kim is the best thing that ever happend to you. You must love her and stay on your true path--you are harbingers of a true waay. Blessings to all!


  3. i recently found my my husband has been having an affair with his ex-secretary for 18 years. he travels and works out of town several days a week and lived a double life that none of us knew anything about. and i should stay with this man after he lied and cheated and betrayed his wife and kids for years. i don't think so.

  4. Hey, I am so glad to read your post today. I was totally in agreement of what happens to a family that is told to walk away, feel your feelings and get over him or her. Ok, so fine no money, no relationship, nothing even to define for all your work or suffering on all members of a family. I am so convinced that what I was told to do while made a lot of sense for safty and a compartment for the OMG's your experiencing it would have been much better to settle the mess with a conclusion of some sort.

    So I made it happen. My relationship as a "thing" was reduced to myself and my husband and what parts were mine, his and ours to own. Then to deal with each part and then see if coming together made sense to do the we part. It did and we are still together seven years after the incident. Even my son was involved in our healing. He hated his step father until he had a relationship of his own and saw provocation and anger within his situation and naturally he applied our process and no longer holds it against us for being together dispite our incident.

    Now for the helping out part. I am building my Coaching site as we speak and will link with yours to help that way until I get some capital working. When time allows as I have a very sick sister fighting breast cancer in another state I will get in touch with you and figure out a way to host an awareness walk or run to raise funding for a way out of the old ways of thinking. Thank You soo much for writing what you did from the core of your being and I know what that takes. I am also doing it everyday now although not easy it is the only way as they say on the frontier to get the word out because of the funding in the goverment cuts for human services for which I can say is lacking and has been for so many years.

    Their you have it. I will keep in touch and you keep doing the same.

    Speak to you soon,
    Jan with Secondwinds Life Coaching

  5. I read some of Sam Vaknin's online work when I first started reading about narcissism many years ago. Sick man, yet I wonder about distinctions between NPD and a psychopath.

    You say above that 'NPD and being a psychopath (what Sam has been diagnosed with) are NOT the same thing. People with NPD can be horrible and cruel but they are not generally consciously sadistic'

    Couldn't 'horrible and cruel' be considered an accurate definition of the word sadistic? What's the difference? and 'consciously' applies to both as well...they are acting in strange ways yet the behaviors of both are conscious.

    Given that most psychopaths and those with NPD are rarely diagnosed nor successfully treated, then the best information here seems to be in the part of the video showing ways victims demonstrate vulnerability.

  6. I am so glad I watched the entire series. He is so bizarreand may be an expert but I would not want advice from him nor will I be buying any of his books.
    He has a book that he has written also on his website that he is trying to get published.
    I would say he is mad but with an emphasis on mad (crazy and angry egomaniac). I hope Lydia isn't crazy enough to have his child.

  7. I think--actually I know--you are doing a great thing here. After ups and downs, my "N" has finally done a complete turn around and I know it is real this time. I have learned to tell the difference.

    Being such a diligent researcher and problem solver, I, too, have read much of Vaknin's work and as you know much of it is very informative but you have to remember that all of the information is coming from someone who: 1.) is disordered, and 2.) is not necessarily just NPD. Perhaps his circumstances have led him to embrace his NPD, and therefore transformed the disorder into a stronger and more intense disorder...Or as you said, maybe he is a psychopath. Anyway, no matter what the case is, your relationship advice is for anyone with relationship issues that they want to work on. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. Your site gave me hope when I needed it, and reaffirmed that it was okay for me to TRY. We did have to give each other some space. But it left him with a lot of time for personal growth/emotional maturation and finally he committed to overcoming his addiction (to marijuana). He was self-medicating with it, but stifling his growth in the process. He is on real meds this time, and gets drug-tested regularly, is eating healthy, exercising and has lost 20 pounds. He attends church now, and even sings in the chapel. Mind you, this is someone who was not religious at all before.

    We have come a long way and now I am falling in love all over again with the person I almost felt I needed to gave up on. But it felt wrong to leave him like that. And now he is giving me motivation to do a lot of the same good things, just as I helped to inspire him.

    This is why your story resonates with me so much.

    Thank you two for being so persistent and generous. I purchased one of your e-books a few years back and it helped me at the time. I plan on watching some your videos with my "N" soon.

  8. Thank you for your insight and honesty, guys! Your wisdom regarding more loving ways to handle NPD spouses -for the sake of my children specifically -has been more precious to me than you may ever know. And although our marriage won't make it (he still refuses to admit that there is anything wrong on his part,)I have been learning to communicate more effectively and to avoid the traps and triggers that lead to the more destructive behaviors. Thank you both for a more humane way of looking at those people that we love, and offering a solution that doesn't cause more unnecessary pain. Sincerely, Eileen, Houston, Texas.

  9. As always, superb! Thank you for staying the course & for not backing down from those who say the horrible things they say! Thank you for bringing this issue further into the light. Your work, books & resources have been priceless for me. To finally understand what I am dealing with is a relief beyond words! (30 years this Sept! Divorce is just not how I want to end up! Now I have hope) And thanks for recommending the book, "You Might Be a N. If..." I got it right away & the help & insight I have recieved has helped not only myself, but several of my friends who also are dealing with NPD people & partners. Love you both for all you do!!!!

  10. I had been following on my own what I now read in your site. In hindsight, I wish I had left earlier than I eventually did. With the help of a very good therapist, I had made considerable efforts to resolve the conflicts and find a way to live together peaceably, in large part for the benefit of the children. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The abuse escalated. In my case, I was subject to ever increasing attacks at random times of the day. NPD, in its worst form, is an insidious, virulent condition that gives the individual an unending hunger for your energy and life. They will not acknowledge they have a problem, and will attack more virulently if any hint is given they have a problem. I wish your advice could work, but for me it didn't. I left everything, including my home, my country and my children. I have spent the past year trying to reassemble myself and trying to cope with not being there for my children. Had I stayed, I would be dead (I have been medically tested and found I was being poisoned - unfortunately, she was too smart to leave any evidence) or in jail (in her final steps, she was trying to have me arrested on trumped up charges of rape and spousal abuse).

    Leaving was the best thing I could do. I was being given an option of staying on-board the ship to face certain death or to be thrown overboard for an uncertain, but potential future - the type of choice my ex was exceptionally good at - a choice between hell or hell. I chose to leave and have managed to find myself in a good place, with hope and love and a future. Since my departure, I cannot tell you how many estranged friends and members of my family who were pushed out my life by my ex have returned to tell me of their hurt at her hands and to congratulate me on my courage to leave.

    I stay in contact as best I can with my children (Skype is a wonderful tool when their mother is not restricting their computer access) and look forward to the day when I will be reunited with them.

    My ex is a malevolent force, unwilling to change and unrelenting in her abuse. She will appear on the surface as charming and engaging, convincing in her desire to be perceived as the victim. But the trail of discarded people in her life is testament to the evil she has wrought. I fear for my children but have the hope that comes from love and from the knowledge that there are good people still involved who are aware of the problems and working hard to help protect them from her ongoing abuse.

    Sam Vankin is a serious problem. He is a psychopath and uses his forum to seek and destroy his victims. However, there are likely many cases like mine that do not have a solution other than to leave and never make contact again. Do not write off this approach for all simply because its primary standard-bearer is such a horror. No one approach can be the answer in all cases. Some situations require action different from yours. Some situations are truly life-or-death and leaving is a must.

  11. Thank you for exposing Sam V. to be more of a psychopath/sociopath than a Narcissist. He may be both. But I wonder if Steve would be willing to give us an alternative - what is it really like to be a narcissist? I know he can't match the reams that Sam writes, but maybe if you could point out some distinctions of the differences you see between you two? Like, could you list maybe 3-5 things that you see that he says that are more extream than a narcsissist would say/do/feel/think that sound more like a psychopath type? What do you think is the number one difference between NPD and PPD? Lastly, would you say that "NO Contact" would be the best choice for someone dealing with an abusive psychopath? Or do you believe there is a cure for them too in a marriage, or do you see it at being a completely different kind of cure than what a NPD needs to help them change? I have seen borderline personality disorders cured, so I am open-minded to these types of answers. Thanks, I am really interested in this. No research could replace the opinions and experiences that you two have had. I think you've both done an excellent job and at presenting this material and giving people options and practical suggestions.
    Take Care,

  12. Hi and thanks to everyone who has posted here, yes this movie is on YouTube and the name of the documentary is ipsychopath.

    I will try and answer all the questions here but first I want to say clearly and once and for all that we are NOT against leaving an abusive partner! That is a completely valid, rational and sensible choice. We do however suggest that this is done with extreme care and in a way most likely to de-escalate the conflict. Telling a person the solution is to leave with no contact is not adequate or responsible advice.

    This leads to the next questions about narcissism and pyschopathy. I am NOT an expert on this but when you see Sam in this movie discussing impassively the way he is going about bullying the film maker, that to me is not NPD. NPD is much more a matter of pride and scapegoating a person's problems on someone else than sitting back in an arrogant and intellectual way and admitting - while in the process of doing it - that they are carving up a person for sport. I know you will also find that any true expert on this will tell you NPD and psychopathy are NOT the same thing.

    I also think it is important to see that Sam is not NPD for another very important reason - that is that it is obvious to see that Sam is arrogant and disordered. Yes he fools people with his charm sometimes - but usually not for very long, in reality it would appear that Sam cares little about what people think of him and (like a true psychopath) instead enjoys being feared. In my experience someone with NPD is very charming on the surface and has the majority of people - including themselves - convinced that they are actually the one who has been wronged. That is also why someone with NPD would never talk openly about the tactics they use to bully someone. They do not consciously see themselves as bullies but instead as victims.

    So getting back to the pride. A person who is extremely proud and over reactive to any percieved hurt (as people with NPD are) is going to be a very dangerous person to jilt. Their pride will not allow the situation to end this way and that is why they will keep fighting to destroy someone after the split or keep sucking them back in - so that they can then dump you and by doing this try and get back the upper hand.

    You see unless they move beyond this stage in their development, you leaving will injure their pride and then their pride will continue the battle in any way that they can because it is consumed with winning.

    So in a nutshell if you want out of a relationship with someone with NPD you need to be smart and don't let your pride get you hurt.

    If it's over it's over and I would suggest that you be smart and let them think it is their idea to leave (while also giving them little reason to stay).

    I have written a chapter on this in "Back from the Looking Glass" and so I assure you that I am NOT and never have said that a person must stay and endure abuse, but if you want help to try and reconsile things with your NPD spouse we have a lot of material to help you with that too.

    At the end of the day it is really about learning how to become a person who is not a soft target for abuse. I used to be that but every day I get stronger and every day my boundaries become better defined.

    I know a lot of our subscribers tell me they feel the same way. Many have saved their marriages and many have not - but most who study our work understand that this is not at the heart of what we are really all about.

    It is about understanding and being able to grow past needing to play victim and learning that with no matter what resources you have available to you it is possible to little by little learn to defend yourself and if nothing else learn to live at peace with yourself.

    Kim Cooper

  13. I have been in this relationship 8 yrs.I am learning to swim now where is b4 I felt I was drowning.Still I wonder if its worth it.We havent kids..Emotionally I feel numb as he has done most hurtful to my heart,my motors still running but if I can see away out without making waves I will jump at it!!!Seems he still thinks its me thats the problem & all his past woman.never him.....

  14. I thought I would add my few cents worth here: I corresponded with our friend Sam for a while back in 2003, when he had this absolutely enormous web site all about himself (not a great surprise) and held himself up as the world's expert on all things narcissistic. He is a sad, sad individual, stuck in a state of arrested development, barely out of infancy in fact. He is now himself the victim of abuse, so things come full circle: the abuser abused.

    Rest assured that he is not in the least bit influential among the people who are the true "experts" on narcissism. ie the counsellors and psychotherapists of today and yesterday. When my son was diagnosed with narcissism I asked a therapist what we could do about it, and the reply was one of helplessness and despair: " A very poor prognosis I'm afraid" they said. Now these self-styled " experts" are no more knowledgeable than any one else about Narcissism but out of their own narcissism they won't admit it. They write great and expensive books and journal articles, all quoting each other, but no one admits that no one really knows why some people never grow up and spend their lives in a seemingly unstoppable campaign of destroying relationships, terrified that anyone will notice how weak and helpless they truly feel inside.

    I think your work is absolutely amazing and very courageous - do not let yourselves become paranoid about silly little people like Sam Vaknin, just keep going, giving and loving, just as you are. We are right behind you. Bless you for your work.

  15. Dear Kim and Steve,

    Thank you for letting me know about Sam. I honestly felt that life was devastating after reading all his stuff.That was all that was available until you guys came along.I cant thank you enough and tell you thanks for all you have done for my life.

  16. Hi to everyone who is written in and thanks for all of the encouragement and support. I know Sam doesn't have the influence he used to but he does still dominate the search engines on most terms relating to this disorder.

    To Jeanette - I am sorry I cannot give you advice on dealing with a psychopath. Thankfully that is something I have not had experience with but I will ask Steve to try and meet your challenge if he can. Everyone is always asking him questions like that but I guess because he has never had an introspective bone in his body that has always been hard for him LOL. The way he speaks to me about it is that I was just finally a person who managed to earn his respect and trust. He never thought the rules were fair before or that there was even a chance he could play fair and win but he is very proud now that has all changed.

    Anyway I will see if he will write something when he gets home!

    Kim Cooper

  17. Hi, I have been getting your emails for some time now. My First husband as diagnosed with NPD and given Prozac for treatment....it didn't help. Now 13years later I find myself pregnant by and engaged to a man that hasn't been diagnosed yet, but with the years of experience that I have would be willing to bet that he also has NPD. There is no way I could get him to go to a doctor. I love him but I don't think that I could ever stay with him. I also have other children to consider. I got them out of that once. I can't put them through that again. What I need to know is how do I fanagle him into calmly accepting us just being frineds and parents of our unborn child. Is there a way that I can maybe get him to think it is his idea?

  18. Hi to engaged and pregnant - yes there is - you will find the information you need in the last chapter of "Back from the Looking Glass". I would also encourage you to stick with us and read all that you can so that you stop attracting this type of relationship into your life!

    Kim Cooper

  19. I am unsure how to advocate for my (x)? Boyfriend to have him get some help, we had gotten into an arguement about a 2 months ago. N I had asked him to leave, n he got violent, n the police were called. Etc. We go to court next week; we have not spoke in a month, I am concerned that he will go to jail, n he will never get any help... I'm sure there is so much more to say, n without getting to in depth... I think in one hand, how in the world do u get them to see their problem? N is there really a way to help, without seeming foolish or decieved? Looking for some guidance... J

  20. Allowing him to be punished for what he has done is part of what will help him. I would highly recommend that you read "Back from the Looking Glass" and "The Love Safety Net Workbook". If you want to get back together with him I would say clearly that you can forgive him but that you do not know how to handle him when he is violent or threatening and so if he cannot control that you will need to call on the police to talk to him whenever that happens.

    A person who is narcissistic is probably never going to really see their own condition or what a problem it is to others and the fact is that they don't have to see it to get better.

    Some people analyse themselves and others fantasise and a person with NPD is the latter.

    So what I am saying is they can come back to the real world (and out of the fantasy world) without neccessarily analysing where they have been and what they have been doing.

    Kim Cooper

  21. Hi everyone,

    My feeling is that a narcissist wants everyone to adore him/her.

    I don't get that impression from Sam from reading his material and viewing this documentary. He seems to delight in upsetting others and taking issue with them.

    My worst narcissistic behaviour was all about wanting others to love and adore me. I would stop at nothing to be endearing and a most-gracious host. I wasn't like this with Kim however. I would treat her with little regard while trying to charm everyone else in the room, building, neighborhood etc. Kim would wonder why I was so charming with everyone else, while holding out on her.

    This does not seem to be Sam's style. He doesn't seem to care who his next post mortem will be. It is his dispassionate analysis that makes me wonder if he is anything like the people we hear from everyday through our site, who have a desire to know what's going wrong in their relationship and their life. The problem of narcissism is its effect on families.

    One of the worst types of narcissistic behaviour is confabulation. The best web definition for confabulation I could find is here,

    "To fabricate memories in order to fill gaps in one's memory"

    This was me. I would change history all the time, and believe my own lies. I would also fabricate events in order to render KIm as the aggressor or 'crazy' one. I would dodge responsibility so much that I felt it was OK to dump the burden, and blame, on Kim and her reputation. This is also a strong theme amongst the messages we get through our site from people looking for help with their narcissistic partner. This battle goes on behind closed doors with little chance for any kind of peer review to help the couple find the truth as to who might be the abuser.

    Confabulation is the narcissist's weapon of choice. Nevermind the grandiosity and 'lack of empathy', the truth is being fudged so badly by this behaviour that it seems no-one is able to assist the victim. This is how I tortured Kim, and this is why I find it hard to trust Sam Vaknin.

    This is why Kim and I are so desperately trying to wrestle the debate away from the academics and medics and hand the power back into the hands of families. Within the family is where the truth lies, an academic or a doctor can only diagnose/comment based on their specialist training. This may be useful, but specialist training can only go so far.

    Besides, NPD and all 'Personality Disorders' are a convergence of medical science and social science. We have the power to be our own experts in our own lives if we choose to continue to learn relationship skills and values. If Sam was an expert plumber and I had leaky pipes, I would trust him to fix the problem. As the science of personality disorders is so imprecise, I can only trust my own judgement and make decisions relating to my own path and take each day as a learning experience, all the while being responsible for my own actions (and if I am not, hope that my family will know how to hold me accountable!)

    That is, "Don't believe the Hype".

    Your family's future is in your own hands, if Kim had listened to Sam all those years ago, we wouldn't be together now, we'd still probably be in conflict, and our kids would still be having to deal with that.


  22. steve, i am wondering if you really believed your lies or not. my ex could spot this kind of behavior and analyze it in others, yet when he would do it, would be outraged if i pointed he was doing it. i think some part of his brain was conscious of what he was doing. i was always quite curious about this.

  23. I'm a psychologist also unwittingly just discovered that I am in a relationship with EITHER a narc or a psychopath. I have yet to diagnose completely.
    If intent to cause harm is deliberate, it is highly serious and I think that therapy treatment or even making the abuser aware that they are being tested are dangerous to their partner.
    I suspect Sam sees a similar website as a threat. I'd personally like to see kim and steves website continue so that people have a choice to try her suggestions. Be aware they may not work and be ready to be safe and sound regardless.

  24. to reply to althea,
    I believe the prognosis for Narc is so poor from therapists because one, a narc is highly motivated not to attend appointments except to manipulate all round them, and two, they need to WANT to change. Three, they are faced with the problem of defining what the couple want to achieve in the therapy. How can either of the couple define the problem without getting the back up of the abuser and ruining the narc's motivation? It is NOT that fault of ther therapist and it is not a case that they are not trying. it is more a case of the nature of the condition that the narc is too aware and threatened to want to progress. The N is already happy where they are! This is not the only condition considered unlikely to treat. Kim is uniquely placed to be able to us her actions silently until the narc reacts and learns. A therapist ISNT. A psychologist.

  25. Hi, I dont have much to say about Sam, he was my first discovery on a long voyage of learning about the disorders of the self, and how my life had been affected, so he was helpful for me.

    If there is anyone here who feels they may HAVE SOMETHING ABOUT THEM, OR INSIDE THEM THAT ATTRACTS THEM REPEATEDLY TO ABUSE, then I may be able to help. This was my story and I am on my way to recovery.
    I had to do some deep searching and found the understanding that I needed. Nothing works for me more than working with others who share this issue and want to work through it.
    Theres a website with more info and understanding here:

    And Kim, if you see this post, I hope I can be helpful to anyone who feels they may need this extra bit of help, so I hope this website will be useful as a resource. Theres a contact email on the site.
    I do the same for your work whenever I can, as I think its an important sensible, realistic and humane part of the jigsaw of whats needed.

  26. I cannot view the video, it doesn't show up at all. Is there another way to view it?

    Thanks for all your hard work and commitment to share knowledge to those of us who can use it in a positive and effective way.

  27. Hi again to everyone who has gone to the effort to make a post here. I am really glad to hear from you! If you want to see the movie in YouTube do a search for ipsychopath. The clip featured in the blog post here is the last segment.

    Kim Cooper

  28. Hi
    I have been reading yr blogs, listening to yr talk shows and also attended counselling(where it was pointed out that I seem to be in a 'victim' state always-15 yrs in this marriage and 8 years before that) they have helped me a lot. I have been able to recognise the dependent person within and trying to get out of that. I am also able to recognise the pattern of attachment in my relationship with my husband....fight- withdraw-I apologise- he becomes indifferent. If I withdraw- he sucks me in- dumps me/or starts making a non-issue Big... Uses lot of confabulation(as Steeve said) and makes me throw things at him, abuse him...then acts the
    victim-making me feel guilty- go back to him....We had a big fight just two days back and in spite of that I ended up inviting him for my birthday treat with my daughter(in our community the person having the birthday treats family/friends) I don't know how he reads that now. But at least, I'm not letting myself feel totally under his control and feel
    absolutely rotten inside ... I don't know where the next bomb is going to land though...if I hadn't invited him, that could have also triggered a fight. Incidentally, this fight occurred because he took offense at something I said and didn't turn up home for two days and one night... (this is a very common tactic) And when he came home, he was upset that I didn't invite him to the table which was set... and then when i told him I was worried, he completely disbelieved me, said then I would have called.(i had called several times only to be answered by ans machine)..then when i started hitting him, he is cold and says - this is not the way a person who is concerned will behave!
    Will you please help me get out of these traps? Just when I was beginning to feel confident, this fight has unnerved me..though I'm not as disturbed as I used to be... Thanks for all the tips. I want to end this relationship now but with proper closure...I lived 13 years away from him, but still connected by phone/e mail/ occassional visits.
    (Everyone wonders why!) And we have tried living together for the past one yr. I am sure he is not good for me, I only want to put a complete end to this. I know it'll not be easy and he will want to continue making me feel guilty, the one who has anger!!
    Please advise.

  29. Hi to anonymus May 6th,

    The situation you describe is complex but very common with people who come to us for help. It would be impossible for me to advise you in the space here but if you subscribe to our main site at http://www.narcissismcured.com and look at special offer 1 I think that the two ebooks included in it will help you tremendously.

    Hang in there!

    Kim Cooper

  30. Hi Kim & Steve,

    Check out "Narcisistics Verses Psychopaths" on YouTube. It was made by Sam V, but I think it shows the differences much more now. It helped me not see the differenc - THANK OU@

  31. 5 years ago, after 20 years of marriage (many of which included couples counseling), I thanked Sam by email for describing life with my husband and filed for divorce. He was 2nd in command at a neighboring town police department. Sam replied, congratulating me on my decision. Within a month, I had the help of the courts, our own police, Domestic Violence counselors and a petition authorized for his involuntary psych eval.

    It was only then that I suddenly realized that I lacked the one quality Sam did not mention: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Even as an active participant and well educated in the Catholic Church, this was never mentioned when I asked for help over the years. Divorce was ok and annulment was attainable.

    After tears and prayer, I found a Christian women's group whose mission was to help avoid divorce. This new found outlook on real love and marriage led me to you, Steve and Kim. We are all blessed to have you in our lives.

    Sam needs to understand that it is not us, but God who has the last say on the potential of ANY person's personality traits and actions.

    My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this summer.

  32. I just wanted to say that I have not spoken to my N mom in almost 15 years now. I may not have gone this long if I hadn't read Sam Vankin's stuff plus heard at every group saying "no contact" was the only choics to save myself.
    Now after seeing more clearly the differences between NPD and sociopaths, I see where people came up with the No Contact idea - they were probably dealing with more cruel sociopaths but thought they were NPD.
    I'm very torn about this new insight. But I am grateful that you have given us all another alternative, or I might have never reconsidered my NC decision..
    I have no idea what to do about my mom now. I just don't see her as so bad as I did before and yet I know she's not going to give me ther mother-love I always wanted and I may get hurt again when she critisics me or whatever.

  33. Wow, I empathize with Lydia (his wife), and have felt like her before until Jesus renewed me again from the sad state of being with a man who seemed to me unable to love me and full of himself. Looking back, it seems as if he was only mimicing love in one way or another, but not really able to truely give and receive love in a wholesome way. I felt stuck in a relationship in which I gave up on knowing what unconditional love is between a man and a woman, and I resigned to live with my ex-husband no matter his inability to love me because I loved him, and love the God that has shown me unconditional love.

    Now I see in Sam's wife what I was actually doing. I am worth more than what I was provoked to believe of myself through the interactions with my ex. Now I know better, and will live a more fulfilled life not being under that type of abuse. It seems that Lydia has resign to living with this man despite his inabilities, but at least she knows to some degree what she is up against. I surely did not know what I was up against. Now I know, and I could not live like that, even though I committed myself to him through thick an thin.

    Afterall, he left me because I did not completely put up with the coldness, cruelty, and bitterness he projected on me, as I began to call him out- he sure does hate me now. I am not sure what mental condition my ex is operated on now, but he sure does remind me of Sam when I think of our relationship dynamics- but more like that of a narcissistic personality.

    Sam does seem to have a tendency to be narcissistic to me. However, psychopatic personality dominates. Also, he said he worked two years, and presented a thesis at about 7.11 of the video. Said, it was a acquired in a diploma mill, then said I am a Ph.D, then it was, and just was not a rigorous Ph.D that people are led to believe when you use the tite. He is quite imbalanced.

  34. Dear Jeanette, (May 8th 9:43 post)

    Wow, How sad!!! There is such a huge difference between the psychopath who only feels joy when they're inflicting power or pain on someone and a narcissist, who, like Kim and Steve, have said is highly fearful and reactive around issues of feeling incompetent, imperfect, out of control, emotionally needy etc... and therefore is critical of those qualities in others...I think the book, The Mom Factor by John Townsend and Henry Cloud would help you greatly. Each chapter clearly spells out various dysfunctional mom's and then tells you what choices you can make and how you can deal with your mom given her specific character issues... Also my book, You Might Be a Narcissist If...gives bullet point examples of how to deal with N mom's... It is true that some people are evil and we need to protect ourselves from them, but it would be a shame if that was not the case with your mom and you two have lost this many years... It's good you're re-evaluating this before it's too late... I wish you the best!

  35. I just had a thought I wanted to share...In the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose clients, it points out that the antisocial personality disorder (or psychopath or sociopath) shows a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of others occurring since age 15 that includes at least 3 of the following: failure to conform to social norms and laws, deceitfulness (repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or gain, impulsivity, or failure to plan ahead, irritability and aggressiveness as indicated by physical fights or assaults, reckless disregard for safety of self or others, consistent irresponsibility as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations, lack of remorse for having hurt, mistreated or stolen from another. The DSM says, "Narcissistic Personality Disorder does not necessarily include characteristics of impulsivity, aggression, and deceit. In addition, individuals with Antisocial Personality may not be as needy of the admiration and envy of others, and persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder usually lack the history of Conduct Disorder in childhood or criminal behavior in adulthood" (P.717). Hope that clarifies some things...

  36. wow, always so much to read and digest. I'm trying to decide about staying with someone I love that is obviously NPD, or breaking up. It's been a month and 1/2, and he's trying even harder to get me back then ever before. I tell him that his issues are bigger than us, as a couple, and I dont think he can change as he says he will to stay in my life. I wish I could know if this is genuine or part of the cycle to keep me there and only always return to behaviors that I have seen in the past. This is the first time in 6 years I have made this much of a break from him. We are not married, but were intertwined so much we may have well as been. Any advice is appreciated,
    and I do have Back from the Looking Glass, recently, I must not have gotten far enough in it yet!

  37. Hi Anonymous May 13th,

    Keep reading and I would also suggest that if you do decide to get back together you set a time frame. After you reconcile you could say that you will give him 6 mths and the behavioral changes you want to see improvement in. I would also set a few review periods up front - say every six weeks where he agrees beforehand that he will look at wether his behavior is improving and if he can look at this without him blaming you for what he does.

    I would also strongly advise you get "the Love Safety Net workbook" and work through the exercises in that as well. Because if you give him another chance you are going to need to be very well rehearsed in your own mind about what you will do when the disrespect returns - which it very likely will.

    Only you can decide if you want to take on this challenge. Watch a couple of Super Nanny episodes and you will see with children what you are likely to have to go through!

    I would also tell him clearly right now what you are looking for in a man and be clear that you need him to show you he truly has those qualities. honesty? Sobriety? You decide ... Him proving this to you needs to be something that happens over time and you need something that you can do about it if he lets you down that is not going to hurt you as much as it does him.

    If there has been intimidation or abuse in the past for example you need to make it clear up front that if it starts again you will be talking to the police and getting them to deal with him about it. You can say that not as a threat but just honestly like "You must understand I will be talking to the police if it starts again because I do not know how to handle you when you are like that."

    You also should not let him pressure you to decide to soon, see if he can enjoy your company and give it time.

    Kim Cooper

  38. Thank you Kim Cooper, this almost applies to me, lived with a N man 10 years , figured it out almost too late, he ended up being succesful business man , thanks to a partner and wife that handle money, and keep it all together, we of coarse did not get allong,he had to leave to another province to work , in the middle of trying to buy a house, to finally live well now he is successful and I carried him for those years, and his son for 5 years, off coarse he hated to go and especially the horrable icy place he went, so mr charmer finds friends to be grandiose with and gets a lady with a big farm and children to fall in love and me I didn't know grumpier and meaner he was getting when he would give a quick visit.... he moved without me, as I didn't get a long he made it impossable, I did the break up , while I had the opportunity, he begs me back , but will not let me come to Alberta, so impossable, he did not want me to bump into her of coarse...so I went on with a new man, he continued with his girlfriend, and we still talked on phone, he tried to woo me back, after a year, he did not tell me he was getting engadged, anyhow, he was to come back and I realized I would want to give it a try , but don't know it to late... I know he is interested, but he is scared to tell this women in alberta , he thinks he can just peter that out... I want her to know, so I don't have to worry about them dragging it on and her visiting, him at another 3 month job away from her town ...I am not sure, you say cut the strings between these other women, but this one has his ring on like I did, and I think he preferes me, she can not move with him atleast for two years probably cause of kids and farm...this is what he says...so if I'm to get this reparetive relationship going i feel I need her gone, but she will probably phone him and really get mad at him, which he deserves, but doesmn't that break our trust and bond period that I'm trying to establish...he knows I know all about her and the situation,but he knows I was trying to interfeer, and he made it quite clear in strong additude, to mind my own business and stay out... He would not of perseued her and engadged her, if I would of told him I was going to give him a chance 2 months earlier, I threw him for a loup...any advice from anyone. especially kim...do I also give him love and sex to bond him better sooner to get him away from the other lady who did not know he was engadged to me while he was wooing her ????I do have your workbook package, and I love your theory Kim, it gave me hope...I think it would of been good to have kids of our own... I am lucky we have seperate homes so I am independant and confadent now... so i have leverage and we can take it slower, and get him to prove he is working on himself, perhaps... any other clues to rebond us it is embarassing to walk tall infront of all his friends and workers, but I'm doing it...they don't know about his N. HELP PLEASE...

  39. I love reading all the stories on this blog and how I have so much in common that I thought was normal. It's not. Just received Kim's book and workbook in the mail the other day. Can't wait to get started and straighten this thing out.

  40. Thank you Kim & Steve for providing continuing support of how to deal with this situation. I never felt that leaving with no further contact would provide a satisfactory solution for my family.

    Anonymous of May 4, asked if Steve knew and believed his own lies. I have found my partner becomes enraged too when confronted with his confabulations. I am very curiuos, as to whether this is a conscious behaviour or not.

  41. Hi and thanks for the tough questions.

    I firmly believe that we are all, always, capable of making a choice. I know that we make conscious decisions every day, some strengthening decisions, and sometimes diminishing or weakening decisions. We get into habits, and those habits are about decisions.

    When you receive an ultra-defensive/aggressive response to questions around accountability, that is a difficult situation to deal with. My guess is that he is not accustomed to admitting fault and therefore is not able to map what might happen next if he does admit he is at fault. He fears rejection maybe, or alienation? He fears the unknown, he doesn't know how to fix what he broke. In many ways he needs you to fix what he broke. Or, at least, that's what he thinks he needs.

    A support network is crucial here. You need to find others who can keep him accountable, while supporting you, without being too heavy on him.

    The question from Anonymous, May 4, about whether I believed my own lies. Well, kind of, yes. I *had* to believe my own lies because I hadn't faced my own shame and guilt. This means that I would have to believe my own lies to avoid facing the pain of my own shame. A reader recently gave me a link to a webpage on the power of 'restorative justice'. Kim and I do our best to foster this concept in our work. A victim and a perpetrator both need to heal after a crime. In situations based on love and marriage, it's the same deal. A guy who has learned to lie and cheat for so long that he believes his own lies is in real need. He needs to be set free. First, the power imbalance needs to be rectified, but that is another post....

  42. Some people are totally disgusted with Sam Vaknin. I have researched a lot on this online and read what he had to say, just because he was discredited it many ways, I figured maybe he had something substantial to say. I had nothing to lose and it takes a nut to know a nut. No wonder he is full of conviction about the no contact thing. It makes more sense now after seeing this video.

  43. when involved in this, how do you know who is who? i came to a point after crazymaking, that i questioned my own memory, so i started journaling. and keeping paperwork, and insisting things were in written form. only to have history revised on me even so! i began to think it was my memory off kilter. but when i was the one always getting my world rocked, and he was the one acting non chalant about it, not at all humble or even ruffled at the wreckage he left behind, i guessed he had NPD traits. i really questioned if i had an issue myself. it was that convoluted and certifiably confusing. i might add that sometimes the family members of NPD folks will actually defend and deny the situation, i believe this is because they have lived with it and do not want ANYONE discovering the real case. even to hide behind christianity! then i read ministers are a high %. even if they have witnessed some behavioral issues in this persons growth from childhood, they cant admit. can anyone resonate/relate incident to this? i felt like there was no sense trying to enlist the blind deaf and dumb. i asked am i dealing with the best actor i have ever seen? or is this subconscious behavior of a really emotionally challenged person? my partner had 2wk turn around for apologies, but he gives them. what i saw was promises, promises with no follow thru. now i require absolute action and do not listen to his words, i only relate to changed behavior which in turn changes his thinking. the day he looked at me with sincerity and said do you think i have something wrong with my brain? why do i do this? i had hope and faith. if i had in one instance behaved like milktoast, he would be walking all over me. unfortunately, for most reading this, its way past this point in your relationship, but you can turn it around. i heeded the red flags, and i still got caught up for a time. i think there are the weaker versions and then the full blown ?? he did not know what to do when he met me and couldnt get mission accomplished, but it has been an exhausting at times.

  44. I would recommend everyone who is dealing with this type of abuse, where history rewrites itself, take a look at a wonderful book:

    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    It is about the Russian Revolution, but what it is externally about is how pigs distorted their use of power to convince other animals that they were inferior and did not deserve the same privileges. They refused to teach the animals to read, and therefore manipulated their education and knowledge to convince the animals they knew best.

    It is so much like our lives... involving narcissism. These pigs slowly changed things to the way they wanted while the whole time convincing the animals that they had agreed to this the whole time and that this is what was best for all the animals.

  45. I would love to read your books, but I cant. My husband watches all of the funds and questions every transaction. He makes sure to get to the mail first, he checks all of my social networking sites, emails, and text messages before I can. he is not home right now, so I am posting this quickly. I have to erase my history so he does not see what I was reading about. I dont know if he is a sociopath or has NPD. He is aggressive, irresponsible, and has poor work ethic. He also has what is called social anxiety. He avoids all of his supposed friends also and thinks everyone is beneath him. especially if they are my friend. He acknowledges that he hurts me cause he admits he says some things to hurt me and he makes comments about his physical abuse that he makes sure not to leave marks so no one would believe me. It is making me think that he is not NPD at all after reading your site. Sams stuff is why I thought he had NPD, but now I am confused on the topic.when I get afraid or start crying because of the scary and hurtful things he says and does gets me upset, he tells me and my children that I am crazy. He was in Afghanistan for a year and in that year I built myself back up and felt better about myself. even being that far away he found ways to make me feel afraid and paranoid. He has been back for three weeks and it is worse than ever. He know trys using PTSD as an excuse for behavior that has always been there. I want out, but still love him. (I hate him also) wish I had access to your material. ;-(

  46. Hi anon,

    Hang in there and do make the effort to get our material even if you have to ask a friend or relative to get it for you or wait till he is away again. I can't tell you here and now what you need to do because obviously there isn't enough space and you are in a dangerous situation so you really need a solid plan not just bits and pieces of advice.

    Someone at your local library may even help you. The other thing to do is set up a web based email address that you can access anywhere and if you contact our help desk from that address at support@narcissismhelp.com and they can send the info anywhere that you ask them to.

    Kim Cooper

  47. Kim and Steve, Thank you so much for all the information and support you have given me, and so many other people. I have watched your site, and blog grow into this massive reference to the help and support that is not found elsewhere. I have used your advice personally in my relationship, and though its a DAILY struggle, I really think alot has changed, at least within myself. There is a better understanding of what is going on, and not as much self blame. Kim you are so brave and courageous for sharing your own story-- and its refreshing and very insightful that Steve is able to put his thoughts into words as well. His input lets you see things from another side. I think you two have created by far the most helpful information site on the web.

    Thank you so much for all you do, all you continue to do, and the ongoing support you show daily. I appreciate it tremendously.



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