The challenge of your life!

Only New Habits Give New Results

When you are upset do you feel that you must find someone to talk to? I guess that psychology and medicine have given us the idea that you either need to talk it out or you need a pill. 

My dad was a doctor and he had a very different idea. He told people if they wanted to get better they had to change their habits. He would sometimes even call people who wanted a pill to fix things, "losers!"

People loved my dad however because he got results. His older patients loved him too because he knew they were scared of dying in hospital. He would say to them "If you were going to die I wouldn't put you in hospital I would let you die at home!"

So this holiday season I want to challenge you to stop thinking you need someone to talk about your problems and start forming some new habits instead.

You do not need a shoulder to cry on for things to start changing. All the info you need is right there in black and white in our ebooks.

Most people with emotional problems didn't have good role models to teach them how to ...

a. Greet people warmly using their name.

b. End non-productive conversations in a non-confrontational way.

c. Handle put-downs in a non-confrontational way. 

d. Not to get ahead of our selves and work on our skills at the level we are really at (also filling in gaps).

e. Handle our own emotions without being emotionally demanding.

f. Read what our emotions are signalling.

g. Admit it when we are wrong or have made a mistake.

All the talk in the world won't teach you those skills if you didn't have good role models growing up. It is actually easier to learn most of these skills when we are older however and we can always choose our own role models to learn from. We have had testimonials from people in their 70's and so it is certainly never too late. 

It takes time, certainly and is not as instant as finding someone to unload on and helping you to 'feel better'. Without changing your habits however, that is just a band-aid and will never create real change.

Because it takes time, I challenge you to start working on some new habits today and see if you don't see some big changes by Christmas and the New Year. These dates will come around anyway and I wonder where you will be? 

All the best for this holiday Season and you hang in there!

Kim Cooper

PS. If you are dealing with domestic abuse please start with "Back from the Looking Glass", otherwise I recommend you start on the exercises in "The Love Safety Net Workbook" or "The Little Book of Empathy Love and Friendship".


  1. Hey Kim, just wanted to say thanks for this site and all the great advice you and Steve give. I do believe that you have found the answers, and given time, the advice would work. Unfortunately, in my case, time's run out. My own man, Steve, is totally addicted to marijuana and the sexual thrill that he gets from it when he is around young women. We live together in a very small caravan and there is nowhere to escape to when his fantasy takes over.We also work together and not hearing a single word out of him for days at a time, when I have no-one else nearby to even say hello to, makes it too hard to go on with. I love him and don't want to leave him but feel I'm just here for him to use sexually, after he has spent all day watching all the young girls and getting himself excited. And then at night, his comments in bed, let me know exactly which girl I'm substituting for. And since I've started trying to set boundaries with him, his behaviour has become even more blatant and degrading to me. Such a shame because I really think you describe him perfectly when you say he is a little boy longing for someone strong. it appears that that person won't be me. Keep up the great work. I know it will help a lot of others.

  2. Only you can decide if it's worth it gennelle, I wish you love in the future (-:

    Kim Cooper

  3. Hi Kim and Steve - Thank you so much for the work you are doing. I have taken you advice and read the emotional abuse articles and this one. Its like you know me so well ! I understand what I need to do and the issue is exactly as you state, my emotions, amygdala, is dominant and all reasoning goes out of the window. I am trying so hard. I love my husband so much but to realise after so long he has narcisstic traits is very confronting. Thank you for all your support. Please keep this site going. Mary

  4. Hello,
    I just found this page where every article is neatly sorted on the right hand side. I love it, I am going through reading all of them. Is this what you were doing a few months ago when you said you were re organizing the whole web page design? When you dumped allot of responsibility on steve and he measured up just fine since he is now a n adult? I am very pleased for both of you. It must be wonderful to have worked so hard, both of you, and have great results. It is hard for me to imagine how you figured all of this out. I read where you call your self a thinker, and that is an understatement. You father, as a physician, must feel very proud to see you are so self educated that you can help millions with your wisdom while others, with formal education, still cannot help.Every thing I found wrong with him, he convinced me that the problem was mine. We went to 5 councilors together and I have been to at least 4 alone and they all told me to divorce him.One guy even stopped the session mid way and said he could not help me ,no one could, just get divorced and start over.
    I kept at it because I knew I had problems too and just getting rid of the guy would not solve my life long trouble staying in a relationship.I felt I might as well fix this one and I really fought hard to correct things but did not have the tools in time. Mike told lies to my family about me, and they believed HIM! I was acting the crazy just like you have described in your books . He is too cagey of a fox and he did cause trouble, he never outright said much but always let the person "figure it out for themselves " That made them feel clever and let him off the hook of actually saying anything concrete that could be held against him. Right Steve, that is how its done. OH how I wish I had the knowledge then. sych and social services, I worked as a jailer, for a few weeks, not for me. I interned and worked for two years with the superior courts as an advocate for kids in the foster care system. So I had seen men just like him. He slipped by me, very cagey, very charming and smart. My 13 year old son saw it from the start. Also very smart, brilliant and wise. He kept warning me and I did not listen. As it happened Mike drove us apart somewhat just being Mike, and Hank matured quickly and became self sufficent and a very grown up wise man by age 16. Hank did not put blame on anyone just saw it was bad and kept telling me I needed to be on my own again. I knew I was not relationship material but he was worse, I think now that is why I chose him because I was at least better than he was, something I look back on now and know I was very unsure and embarrassed by my lack of maturity in relationships. So I sought a person who was worse so I could blame him for our failure . Counselors had hope for me and said I would be fine if I just left him. But we know better. I would pick another person low on the emotional maturity scale to hide the fact that I was not emotionally together. That was my big secret, I faced it now. It also influenced all of my relationships and made me understand why Mikes stories to my sisters were believable , because they had seen my state of mind and I was a mess. I know my weakness and I finally know what to work on. I took those years off of relationships because I have always been bad at them and happy on my own. I wanted to raise my boy in an emotionally healthy home and I could not provide one when I was in a relationship
    Hank was so mature when He went to college he met a woman, both are fun but have good heads, they are a great couple everyone comments to me. Hank saw what not to do and he is wise and a fast learner They are young but more mature than I have ever been.
    I am coming out if hibernation.

  5. Hi Kim! I discovered your blog a while ago when I was disappointed and exhausted after trying in vain to deal with my N partner. I can not tell you how relieved I was to find that it's a behavioral problem, that I'm not the incompetent, sloppy, good for nothing person that he made me believe I was. I started following your advice, standing up for myself, refusing to spoil my mood when he verbally abused me. Things started to get a little better until one day when he decided that he wanted a divorce. It came out of the blue. I was not expecting it at all. I am crushed but I guess it was inevitable. Still not sure whether he actually means it or is just threatening me to control my life. I feel devastated but unlike before, I have the desire to take hold of my life. Thanks to you.

  6. Thanks for this. I also know deep down that to leave would be the WORST thing ever for our family. I am beginning to work on myself, addictions, and setting limits for kids and dad. I just got out of a rehab facility for rapid detox of suboxone 30 days ago.
    Not only am I working on myself, my kids need help. My youngest is showing attachment issues/behvr probs. I cant seem to reach her. A program was offered that she can attend to "improve self-esteem, be evaluated, learn cognitive behavior, relationship building . Please follow mw here- the program requires family counseling. I am feeling that my N husband will totally pull-away here, that he will not benefit, and may be too demanding for him right now. I also cannot really tell the counselors of my kid that the dad is undiagnosed NPD etc...
    Im going to watch supernanny, implement that type, and also work on making the kids feel safe (as well as N).
    But I am conflicted here because maybe my daughter I feel needs more help than that. I dont know if you understand what I am saying. The daughter refuses to go to counseling, (she's9), gets very emotional- I tried to get just 1 on 1 for her- but the therapist said that if she wont go willingly then it wont work. Then the therapist reccd this outpaint/family program.
    I will hold off for now, maybe she will come around.
    Since getting out of rehb 30 days ago, I have also had to withdraw my other daughter who is diagnosed with Aspbergers, and place her in a private school. We have to pay the tuition, and the sue the district for reimbursement.
    I am so overwhelmed that I jush rush from thing to thing, though I generally know where my priorities are. I am making an appt today with the domestic viol. dept., I called the police on him once 2 mos ago already for rages/verbal/emotional abuse.
    Additionally, I have been sick with sinus infection (real bad!) although that is slightly improving (it is tourmenting), and will further improve when I get healthier on 3/29 when I become an ex-smoker.
    OMG KIM. I KNOW that you didnt get this overwhelmed? Stop the world I wanna get off! I have been for at least a year, not working, or even cooking, or much of anything. Now, that Im here it seem EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in the whole world needs to be done and fixed- Thanks for listening and for giving me hope- I feel your spirit and your husbands comments are wonderful. So, I know already what u will "Hold onto your kids", (I also need "Silently seduced", and simpleology. _____I know- they are on my long to-do- list to get. I feel like I need a mother! I dont have any support to help me out really, and with the private tuition and transmission that just went out- we will soon be back in debt (N is demanding to goto Hawaii for a wedding in mar which we cant afford).
    I do not trust him to be alone with kids, although rarely physically abusive (twice in 10 yrs) to kids, if I step outswide for one minute and come back in, daughter who was fine is now in her room crying. I ask N "What did you do now?" (intimidate kid, belittle, etc).
    KIM Doesnt this seem too much? I am very overwhemled. I can work a little when he is at work and kids are at school 9am-2pm, or maybe a business thing. But for now, he is drowning and he is pulling us all under. It would seem so nice to just escape. Take the kids and go, and start anew. Now Im in the fantasy world.........I am doing one thing at a time, and if I dont cook, or have to hire someone and pay 50 dollars to get 1/2 the house cleaned, then I will. It was important that I talk to someone today, before I decide on that program or other options for my daughter. Thanks for listening. Keep up the good works

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  8. Hi Anon whose partner wants a divorce ... He may be bluffing, when we first get stronger they really do tend to fight back! What is he fighting for and what are you fighting for? If he is fighting for his right to be proud and immature while you are fighting to have a decent life you have every right to use whatever means you need to win! A narcissist puts so much into outer appearances it is easy to think they have a plan for the future that is better than yours when really they don't. You need to find the courage to take charge.

    To anon overwhelmed ... I certainly did used to get that overwhelmed! I remember sitting on the floor in the middle of the mess in our house crying.

    You are on the right track but take it solid and slow and one step at a time now.

    I also say follow your own instincts on family counseling. Your daughter seeing you back on your feet and you working on your own emotional intelligence will help her more than anything over the long haul. We battled with my eldest son (who is strong willed) for years until only just recently we have seen that all the work HAS paid off. He came home angry at a teacher who had been too hard on him recently and when I said write down what made you mad and then let it go he said "I already did write it down and I was thinking maybe now I will go for a surf ... I really don't know why I let myself get so mad." The next day when he went back to school calm and with an open mind the teacher didn't carry through on the punishment he had threatened and everything came good. We can actually talk about emotions with him now and help coach him. That never would have happened without being good examples however and so the work on yourself must come first.

    Your husband is going to be scared when he sees that you are growing stronger and will probably try and knock you down again so you be ready! Once he sees the change is for good and that you are not going to put up with his BS (or fight with him about it) but that if he drops the BS you are not going to leave him behind he may decide it is time to stop fighting you.

    Hang in there and be ready, learning new emotional responses is tough but when times get hard you can say "Now is a great chance to practice!".

    Kim Cooper

  9. Hi Kim! Thanks for responding to my message. I am the anon whose partner wants a divorce. As it turns out, he indeed wants to separate ways and I am starting to believe that he was planning it for quite some time.

    I had come to stay with my parents because they met with a fatal car accident. 2 days after I came to my parents' place, he called to tell me that he wanted a divorce. I was with my mom to take care of her, she narrowly escaped death with multiple fractures in her legs and arms. (It has taken over 3 months for her to stand on her own. Walking is still a problem.) I felt so betrayed that I thought it wasn't worth the effort to try yet again to make the relationship work. He contacts me almost every week asking/threatening/convincing me to divorce him without hassles. I am just lost here, I was overwhelmed because of my parents' accident and then my personal life is rocked. And he does not even have the decency to leave me alone for some time. He pesters me every few days coz he wants a quick divorce and he has the guts to tell me that he wants to start a new life with a new person.

    Sometimes I feel relieved that I won't have to go back to that mess again but then my future looks so uncertain to me. I gave up my high paying job for him 3 years ago. I feel I've lost everything.

    I feel so stressed all the time. Don't know what is in store.

  10. Hi anon whose husband wants divorce.

    You left a high paying job for him says it all.
    Don't give him a quick divorce if he has been cheating on you and is now trying to bully you. Hire a PI to get evidence of his unfaithfullness and go for the biggest settlement you can get. He is not expecting that probably because he thinks that instead you will be too emotional.

    You do have your future to take care of so keep cool and play smart and get all that you are entitled to!

    And I am sorry to hear about your mother.

    Kim Cooper

  11. Thanks for your words Kim. They mean a lot to me.

  12. Hi Kim, Steve and everyone who reads this blog,

    Firstly, thank you. You're a group of courageous and loving people. I can't imagine how reading this information could possibly deny that you have the best interests of the abuser and abusee at heart, and what you offer is realistic and helpful. It's also better than anything else I've ever read on the subject, which typically tries to protect the abusee, leaving the abuser completely out of the picture. And I'm a psychologist!

    I'd be interested to hear anyone's advice. I'm assuming other people struggle with this too and for me it's probably THE BIGGEST thing that stops me from making as much progress as I'd like to. And I would like to keep implementing the steps in the e-books as I can see why they would work and be better for both of us.

    But what I find really hard to deal with is the emotional fall out of putting in place limiting behaviours. I've only taken very small steps to limit the verbal abuse but it ends up in at least 3 days (to possibly 2 weeks!) of sulking and tension and further damage to our relationship because of the coldness. Also, I know during those times when he's feeling unconnected to me (I know because he's told me) that he thinks of everything negative that has ever happened in our relationship (or any mistakes I've made prior to our relationship) to justify his behaviour and continuing coldness and to 'demonise' me. So I usually end up making up in some way, apologising for things that I've done, or even apologising for things that are his fault so we can get the warmth and connection back.

    Of course I know long-term that is not a good strategy and gives him an excuse to keep behaving the same way.

    I think self-soothing is wonderful but it's not the full answer here because it makes him even more suspicious (e.g. if I go for a walk he wants to know why I've been gone for so long) and while it helps me somewhat it doesn't help him and I find it very hard to feel good when he's being so distant and really suffering (self-inflicted, but suffering nonetheless). And I can't have people over during that time or go out with other people as then he feels abandoned or it further justifies to him that he's 'not my priority' (something he says over and over no matter how much I make him so). I'm really struggling with this!

    I would LOVE your comments as I really haven't found anything about this specifically, but I know it is likely to affect others too as sulking and pulling away are very common when there's a lack of maturity.

    Thanks again to everyone, and thanks in advance for using your wisdom to help me!

  13. Hi anon looking for advice ...

    Hey I am so glad you have found us!

    If you let him know that you will be back in an hour or so when you go for a walk that is not abandoning him and will certainly do you both good. He needs to learn that he is not going to get so much attention from you for sulking or acting out in other ways.

    The truth is only he can resolve his negative mood. You can let him know that you care but you also must get on with your own life because him sucking you into his sulk will only make it harder in the end for him to solve it for himself.

    If you look at the top right of this blog you will find a list of articles and you might find verbal abuse 3 on sulking useful.

    I cannot handle other people's negativity very well and find it very unpleasant and so I tend to become a vent for it - so the getting mad early trick (there is more on that trick in the article I just mentioned) is good for me because it helps me not let it bug me until I lose my temper in a way were I feel bad about myself for being used as that vent.

    It is a work in progress however and sometimes now I can avoid getting mad at all and can simply hold my ground and really point out the fact the anger is in the other persons and not mine. Not blaming but just going "Wow I can really see you are angry and that you feel really bad and I hope you work it out - but I'm in a pretty good mood right now so if you're angry with ME I hope you can let me know what the trouble is in a straight up way and let us resolve it right now - because I care, but I really don't want to get dragged too far into the bad space you are in."

    That approach takes a lot of practice and strength but I am finding it is working very well with my son who used to be good at using me as a vent for his anger (which I didn't like). I wasn't the only person he was provoking and so it has been a problem in our house that we have been putting a lot of work into solving.

    After I have said something like what I suggested above I can then be friendly or even make a joke and it isn't like I am being in denial or insensitive about his sulking or his mood because I have said "Hey I see you feel bad and I care and I will listen if you have a problem with me - but you also need to respect that I am not feeling how you are and I really don't want to go there!

    You might also want to check out the free report at our new site which might give you a bit more insight into why you feel that his moods are your responsibility.

    I know it is tough to do this at first but caring doesn't mean you can't get on with your life (-:

    These ideas take some time and practice but they do help.

    Hang in there!

    Kim Cooper

  14. I've recently had this revelation that I may be in this type of relationship but I'm not sure if it's me, my husband, or us both. I do stuff for him sexually that he knows I no longer want to do but has many excuses why I should continue to do them. If he doesn't get what he "needs" it does control his feelings& behavior & in turn mine too. So am I codependent & him narcissistic? The bad combo or are we both codependent? I've told him I'm done with this but at times still find myself appeasing him just so we can move forward in a day, week, or whatever. Some times he's given me money if I just do it which I really find hard saying no to but I hate it. I have no independence of my own I feel. Every time I preform this act for him on any kind of level more bitterness and hatred is built up. Thanks for advice you can share.

  15. Working through the steps in our program will help you. Figuring out who is narcissistic and who is codependent is not so important as you learning to say no and set boundaries for yourself. If he punishes you for saying no you need to learn how to limit that abuse and stay focused on your own goals. In one way it is no different than a spoilt child who never learned to take no for an answer. Saying no will escalate his bad behavior sure, but you probably know all of the stuff he pulls - so plan ahead and be ready with new 'lines' and new ways of dealing with it. When he finally sees you are not a push over anymore he will respect you for that I am sure.

  16. Hi, Kim and Steve:
    I am working through "Looking Glass" and "Love Safety Net" now, and I wanted to express my gratitude to both of you for creating such a great resource, and for allowing yourselves to be vulnerable in order to help others. I'm learning a lot about becoming a stronger advocate of my feelings and boundaries, and it's very empowering.

    I have a situation that I did not find in the books. When respectfully confronted, my spouse responds habitually (and belligerently) with either one of the following:

    "I don't do that - YOU do that!" or,

    "I don't remember ever doing that, so I guess it's your word vs. mine."

    How can I respond in a way that is healthy for our relationship?

    Thanks so much.


  17. Hi Lisa,

    I think it is really best if you stop
    confronting your husband as this does
    very little to build trust.

    Take some time and think of firm
    responses that don't get you dragged
    into a fight that you can use at the
    time he actually does the things you
    are talking about (see the limiting abuse
    chapter in the Love Safety Net Workbook)
    and then just leave it.

    Our program is all about action. Trying to
    set boundaries with words is not going to
    be effective and will only make you look weak.

    I hope this helps.

    Hang in there Lisa!

    Kim Cooper

  18. Thanks, Kim.

    To clarify, it's not about arguments necessarily - typically this has been about promises he's made to me or the family, or decisions we've made together, but either he denies making them, or he 'can't remember' them. I want to set a boundary here, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what the boundary should be/how to state it.(For example, obviously I can't 'make' him remember or admit that he made the promise. But what can I tangibly do?)


  19. Since you can't make him acknowledge it don't try. Instead you can just ;et him know that you have noted it. Such as "It is disappointing that you din't keep your word about ..." If he tries to argue you need to end the conversation by perhaps giving him a "really" look over your glasses etc. and then you just get on with it and leave it.

    Most importantly also is not to accept promises only actions count. If he promises something you can say " Okay that what you say but let's see what you do?"

    Kim Cooper

  20. Kim,
    I have been working through two of your ebooks-Back from the Looking Glass and the Love Safety Net Workbook.
    I have been reading through the Limiting Abuse section and trying to come up with a list of responses for Building My Repertoire. My situation is one that I have not seen discussed as yet, I don't think.
    My older children are living at home with my husband and I while they are still attending college and working to save money to move out. This is creating a toxic situation at times. We are a close family, and we do get along well most of the time, but I am noticing more and more that my husband, who has N tendencies, is getting his "Supply"from performing for the "kids"- He has always had a habit of acting like the incorrigible child in front of them to make them laugh. When they were smaller he would do things that he knew were inappropriate, and that they would get in trouble for like burping at the table, acting silly and unruly in a store. I would get upset with him and he would make me look like the rule police and a meany. The kids would never say anything and would, for the most part, not mimic him. Now,however, it is a different story. The inappropriateness is about having to use the"F"word in every sentence,making racial comments, and making comments about me being controlling and not finding his jokes funny,(his humor has changed from silly to offensive) talking behind other people's backs, telling the kids about crewmen that he had to tell off(which by the way is not boasting, he is the boss at work and prides himself on his ability to let other people know how big of an Ahole they are) The kids are now agreeing with him and I have started to avoid their company when I feel a bully session beginning. When I try to give my husband a look,that I make sure the kids do not notice, he will bring attention to it, by saying"Why are you looking at me like that?" They now run to his defense and say I am picking on him, and they are now calling me "Controlling" He has two daughters that I feel should not hear their father say certain things, even if they do hear the same things from their friends. My husband does not set a good example. He always needs to be "Cool". Now that the kids are older he seems to forget that he is not one of the guys. He seems to look forward to their friends coming over. They are all starting to hang out in the garage.Sometimes when he is talking to his children and referring to me, he calls me by my given name and not refer to me as their mother. What does any of this mean? He still wants to be center of attention and monopolize the conversation when we are all together.
    Somehow, I have to find harmony in our home. I feel that although the situation alone, without all of us working on our own separate issues, is stressful enough,it, however presents an opportunity, that if handled right,can take us into the next stages of our lives as a very healthy, loving extended family. We all obviously have issues that need to be addressed.If it is handled right, and my husband and I can set a good example of what a healthy relationship looks like,we may change everyones lives. (They are also having relationship problems-big surprise!)
    Can you give me any tips on diffusing uncomfortable situations such as I have described. We are a family that loves good conversation, cooking and lingering over dinner. With the right tools, I think that this can be a time of day that we look forward to where we can be supportive of each other in good ways, not coming together to bash the people in our day that give us a hard time. The emotions here are contagious. I am learning to use "magic scissors" and it is allowing me to see them interact with each other. Can anger be addictive? If I try to offer a different perspective, they act as if I am an outsider. Please help!

    1. Yes anger can certainly be addictive and emotions are contagious so it is good that you protect yourself. Anger makes people feel stronger and so this can be a quick fix that people learn to reach for when they feel weak.

      This is going to take some work to deal with - but what choice do you have but to take him on? You are right - it is a bad example and will come to a bad end whatever happens so it is probably best if you crash this one in as controlled a manner as possible before it crashes by itself.

      That is going to take all the steps and exercises we offer including step one in Back From the Looking Glass about getting the people your husband performs for out of your house. Now I know that can't be your kids - but it can be their friends ...

    2. But first you will need to be actively building rapport with your kids wherever and whenever you get the chance. That is all the stuff in step one in the workbook. You need to be as kind and thoughtful and considerate as you can with them while also not allowing yourself to be put down. In the beginning this may mean you just refusing to be present when they have a bully session. You can say "Call me what you like but I have better manners than to stand around listening to your slag-fest" and then you just leave. You should make sure you do this before you are angry if possible and with a little bit of sassiness too. Then you should make sure that what you go and do is much more interesting and uplifting than what they are doing.

      Once you have got a nice rapport happening with your kids (just listening to their stories and asking questions that let them take the story where they want is great for this too) then you need to start getting down to business limiting the abuse. In this case the personal bill of rights exercise might include you doing a little private investigation at his work. There are bound to be people there who dislike his bullying and he may not be as popular as he pretends. You need to be careful and say that you are asking because you are worried about him (not out to get him) but your aim is to find allies in what is going to become a war ...

    3. It may take some time for the whole picture to unfold and in the end you need to be ready for the fact that he may need to lose his job for him to be brought back down to earth. Who knows but things can't be left to continue how they are now. I remember looking Steve in one eye and nearly hissing at him that I would always stand by the weak and scared man I know he really was inside - but that the arrogant bully in him was my sworn enemy and I would sacrifice my life if need be to bring that bully to his knees before it dragged our family into the gutter! I then brushed off my apron so to speak and went back to baking the kids pie and smiling listening to their happy stories. That scared him because he knew I meant it and mean it I did. Steve did lose his job from me asking questions at his work and finding out that his bosses at work had had enough of him too.

      The funny thing is that even if I hadn't called he still would have lost his job anyway and our family wouldn't have been prepared. As it was I was prepared and ready to take charge back of my house with him at home.

      So you are doing great with magic scissors but this problem is going to need all four pillars of our program and the steps in Back From the Looking Glass too.

      Who is your husband criticizing? They may become an ally for you too.

      I would love to see the guys from work he is telling stories about walk into the garage and introduce themselves with their arms crossed!

      Whatever it takes you need really strong support now from wherever you can find it to deal with this behavior.

      There is a saying that the only thing that cures a bully is a bigger bully and maybe that is true. What are you fighting for however? He is fighting for the right to puff himself up at everyone around hims expense. You on the other hand are fighting for your whole families well being and reputation.

      Who is going to win? The bully in him or the tigress in you who will fight to defend your family? I think the tigresses will is stronger and I think once you get beyond the circle of kids he now has mesmerized that you will find you have a lot more support than him too.

      Bad mouthing other people behind their backs is the fastest way to ruin your reputation.

      As for the friends of your kids that are so impressed by him, maybe you need to say to them sometime soon "You should hear what he says about you when you are not around!" That will get them thinking and they need to. Remind your kids of all the things they love you for by keeping your best qualities front of house. At the same time you need to be 100% ruthless in putting the bully in your husband in his place.

      It will take investigation work and planning and courage and also charm but I think you can do it. It is time the good people in the world unite to stand up against this kind of degrading behaviour and you can count me as one on your team!

  21. But isn't talking about him w/ his colleagues at work "badmouthing"? Isn't that a good way to ruin your own reputation? Even if it is out of concern (which I believe it is, at least partially...) this is all so confusing! Kim, I'm so happy that you and Steve have found a successful way out of this mess. I'm just skeptical that this can work for every one. So much can be at stake. It all seems so risky! Somehow steve was able to accept and believe that he has some behavior issues, and that is great- but how many narcissists are actually going to come to that place of acceptance? I do believe that your approach is worth trying and continuing to work at it is a big part of the commitment. But man the amount of work is... exhausting. This may sound callous, but life was so much easier before these types of people enter into the picture. There are so many easy, straightforward, gentle, kind people to love! So I personally don't fault anyone for throwing in the towel. That said, sometimes we don't have a choice. And sometimes there's too much to lose by throwing in the towel. So I guess I'll soldier on for now! Thanks to both of you for the very important work you do :)

    1. You don't get away from them from just throwing in the towel -- and what about your kids? Steve didn't wake up to himself until he had zero other options. everything is at stake yes - that is where it already stands and what are you going to do? Let him take you all down with him? Learning the new steps I offer was terrifying for me - but it made me start growing again too.

      You know the difference between making enquiries out of concern for your family and making sport of putting someone down. Keep your self resect as much as you can - but you also need to take action.

      I really encourage you to sign up to our site (the link to our site is at the top right of this page) and look at the Steps to a Peaceful Home Package you will be offered after you subscribe. Don't let things get too much worse before you see the corner you are really in. There are no 'get out of jail free' cards in this game. Divorcing a narcissist is a bit like feeding yourself to a shark. If you have truly had enough just pray that he is the one who decides to leave!


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