There Are Some Things we Must Face Alone

Poem for the codependent woman

A woman sits looking out of her window
at the warm sun gently caressing the flowers outside.
It is a perfect day but none of this touches her heart
and only mocks the terrible pain she feels inside.

The man of her dreams and father of her children
has abandoned her only two days before.

The work of growing to become a
responsible man was too much for him
and frustrated and angry he blamed her
and left with an old girlfriend who could ease his self doubt for a little while.

The woman now feels a deep longing for a boy she knew at school,
a boy she treated badly
back when she was still haughty about her beauty
and the power she sensed she had over men ...

She begins to weep when she realizes
she would give anything to have this same boy smile at her now.

Her children are worried and sad
and do all they can to cheer up their mother
but nothing works for long
and when they start nagging her she scolds them too harshly and goes into her room crying.

She longs for a hero or savior and thinks of all the men she has known
who she might call on now to help mend her broken heart.

Then remembering her girls she thinks,
"But no one will want me now, men do not even love their own children,
how will they love mine to another man."

This thought makes her cry all the harder and wish,
as she has a million times in the last two days
that he would just say he was sorry and come home.

Her dreams were all built on the love that she would receive when she married
and not the hard work and strength of character that would be required of her.  

And no medication or drugs,
no old flames or new fantasies
can do anything to help her now.

She can try and demand that her children fill the gap he has left in her heart
but if she tries she will only curse their lives also.

There are some things we must face alone and the first of these is loss.

Remembering this truth she braces herself and looks in the mirror
at her face all swollen from crying
she closes her eyes and accepts that the dreams she once had were all childish fantasy
and that he is not coming back ...

not ever.

It hurts like a knife through her heart and the pain reaches a crescendo that she finally
finds unbearable.

But in that very same moment when her soul is torn in two
the silver lining shines through and a new brighter future peaks through this same tear.

The girls need a bath
and the house needs putting in order
and it is a lovely afternoon for them all to take a walk in the park.

As she gathers herself and walks out to greet her children
she feels a strength in herself that she has never felt before.

Her girls are so sad but also so relieved to see her back on her feet
that they even forget the TV show they were only a moment ago mesmerized by.

The woman remembers a time when the three of them were together,
without him, but all happy and having fun.

She decides right then and there that this is how
she wants to be feeling again soon.

And so it is and the storm which might have ripped all their lives to pieces, passes.

She has passed this test and found her own power
and though she realizes now that he may in fact return
the woman that was once dependent on him for her happiness is gone forever.

Because there are some things we must face alone ...


  1. Beautiful, heart rending...
    In my time after being left for someone else, through short-comings in both my partner and I, reading this hurts so much. I try to find hope in the future, but am just clinging to my picture of her, of how we were and how much I love her.
    But I try, though the storm is long and savage...
    Thank you, Jonathon

  2. Oh Kim,

    There is so much of me in this poem. So very very much of me.

    Where I have been, and who I am now.

    Isnt it ironic that these things we have to face alone are the things we really want to have someone by our side for...we feel the weakest without them, yet come out stronger than ever.

  3. Hi kim ...your poem moved me vry much as I have been going through the same feelings you have expressed here . as a man and many are in my situation now days as sadly our country does nothing to foster councelling for couples with problems before separation and divorce.As I am a man ( human being also )I have taken the liberty to edit your poem as if it was written by a man I'm one .. who is going through and feels just as in your poem.. . so here goes.. thanks for your support.. Raymond.

    A man sits looking out of his window
    at the warm sun gently caressing the flowers outside.
    It is a perfect day but none of this touches his heart
    and only mocks the terrible pain he feels inside.

    The woman of his dreams and mother of his children
    has abandoned him only two days before.

    The work of growing to become a
    responsible woman was too much for her
    and frustrated and angry she blamed him
    and left with an old boyfriend who could ease her self doubt for a little while.

    The man now feels a deep longing for a girl he knew at school,
    a girl he treated badly
    back when he was still haughty about his masculinity
    and the power he sensed he had over women ...

    he begins to weep when he realizes
    he would give anything to have this same girl smile at him now.

    His children are worried and sad
    and do all they can to cheer up their father
    but nothing works for long
    and when they start nagging him he scolds them too harshly and goes into his room crying.

    he longs for a hero or savior and thinks of all the women he has known
    who he might call on now to help mend his broken heart.

    Then remembering his girls he thinks,
    "But no one will want me now, women do not even love their own children,
    how will they love mine to another woman."

    This thought makes him cry all the harder and wish,
    as he has a million times in the last two days
    that she would just say she was sorry and come home.

    His dreams were all built on the love that he would receive when he married
    and not the hard work and strength of character that would be required of him.

    And no medication or drugs,
    no old flames or new fantasies
    can do anything to help him now.

    he can try and demand that his children fill the gap she has left in his heart
    but if he tries he will only curse their lives also.

    There are some things we must face alone and the first of these is loss.

    Remembering this truth he braces himself and looks in the mirror
    at his face all swollen from crying
    he closes his eyes and accepts that the dreams he once had were all childish fantasy
    and that she is not coming back ...

    not ever.

    It hurts like a knife through his heart and the pain reaches a crescendo that he finally
    finds unbearable.

    But in that very same moment when his soul is torn in two
    the silver lining shines through and a new brighter future peaks through this same tear.

    The girls need a bath
    and the house needs putting in order
    and it is a lovely afternoon for them all to take a walk in the park.

    As he gathers himself and walks out to greet his children
    he feels a strength in himself that he has never felt before.

    His girls are so sad but also so relieved to see him back on his feet
    that they even forget the TV show they were only a moment ago mesmerized by.

    The man remembers a time when the three of them were together,
    without her, but all happy and having fun.

    he decides right then and there that this is how
    he wants to be feeling again soon.

    And so it is and the storm which might have ripped all their lives to pieces, passes.

    he has passed this test and found his own power
    and though he realizes now that she may in fact return
    the man that was once dependent on her for his happiness is gone forever.

    Because there are some things we must face alone ...

  4. I could absolutely cry this is so very beautiful?

    You are speaking volumes for the lost loves out there wondering why ?

    We all started out in our marriages wanting the Best....But what is the Best ?

  5. If we could simply grasp the very essence of the gifts right before us to be embraced(her gift of life and her children),and rejoice in that (which she eventually did) we would freely live in the power in which our Creator blessed each one of us with. Her husband, alone, needs to embrace this reality as well. Grieving is also healthy and important, but only for a time and for the right reasons. It is only then that they each can become whole, healthy and able to enjoy a meaningful relationship. Thank you for this article as it reveals our powersource which is in Jesus Christ, the resurrected Savior and it is to Him I give the glory.
    The evidence and demise of this woman's life is revealed when she places her powersource in people (her husband in this case) and knows not or forgets who she is. God created us and it is in Him that we find our confidence, peace, strength, courage and power when we submit to Him and obey His word. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

  6. Brilliant, I can really relate to this except I am a man....

  7. Not being much of a poetry person I almost skipped this, soooo glad I didn't. This poem is me. My heart can start to heal now. Someone understands my pain. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  8. One persons tragedy could be another person's triumph. I wish I was alone and safe. The nights that my husband is here are so choatic and crazy. The boys will not be able to sleep and they will wet the bed. I long for the serenity of solitude.

  9. This is a beautiful poem and although eventually we find strength in ourselves it doesn't really take away the lonely does it?
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. That was so true and so well-written. Thank you, Kim, for sharing your wisdom.

  11. It is so true...
    I think of myself at times and wonder why I'm so strong, and stable as long as I have a man by my side. My friends always talk about me being the strongest girl they've ever known, while without a man in my life, inside I'm about to crumble.

    Being in a somewhat broken relationship right now, I find my self soaking every moment of energy I have into thinking about him. I can't focus on anything else it seems, and when I try, I just am half way involved until I can get back to him and feel myself again.

    When I read the part about the children, and I think of mine who have tried to play and cheer me up at times, and how I've snapped and walked away crying because I was on edge and hurt, then later to be upset with myself that anyone could have that much control over me.

    I take a deep breath and snap out of it and start living for a while, and recognizing the things I should be so thankful for in my life...

    But how do you stay that way, as it seems in the poem that you find yourself and everything is well from that point on.

    I wish it was that way.

  12. Hi to everyone and my heart goes out to you all both women and men.

    To anon who wishes she was safe, please you need to read "Back from the Looking Glass", if you can't buy it for some reason please let us know. You must do whatever is necessary to find a safe place for yourself and the steps in that ebook will help you get help and get through this.

    We are here for you, please write to me here if you need help.

    Kim Cooper

  13. I saw so much of me in that poem. Where I was. I often find revelations about my past relationship that this poem reminds me of. I knew while I was in it that I was experiencing loss. I just accepted that I also grieved. Many often ask me how have I and my children moved on so quickly as it has been less than a year; but by the Grace of God. I prayed for healing in my relationship I prayed for my man to be the man he promised me to be. My prayers were answered by giving me the strength to heal and have the faith to move forward; by having the strength to honestly answer my children's questions and acknowledging their viewpoint instead of trying to shield them or vilify their father. God's Grace is the only thing that got me through. I thought I was alone, and realized I was not. I am smiling to have read this poem and see the resemblance of what I came out of...more confirmation that I did the right thing, and the blessings have continued to flow. God is too good.

  14. Hi anon who asked how do you stay that way.

    The point of renewal is when we accept that the relationship we fantasized and craved is not going to happen not ever.

    Accepting the loss hurts like hell but it allows us to move on.

    Also deciding to be happy again regardless of what he is doing and remembering a time when we were happy and then just waiting till our feelings catch up with that decision.

    These are the points of genuine change
    and they take courage but do work.

    Kim Cooper

  15. I was left in that situation once. It took two years for me to wake up and realize that I was doing just fine as a mother without him. Then he came back years later with an aggressive lawyer and legally kidnapped the children. Now he is a bully to the children and all I can do is go back to court and hope for the best. I wish judges had to read your work and be trained in recognizing bullies/narcissists.

  16. This is so true, my wife is leaving in January, we have four children and for months she has been seeing other men in the plural and ignoring their needs and my distress for them.

    I've grieved and cried and even screamed whilst alone in the house, venting all the inner pain, but just these last two weeks I've accepted that the loss is permanent and I have to move on for my four girls' sake and for my own.

    That realisation has been liberating, and has set me free to begin investing emotional energy outwards again, firstly into my children, then into friendships and network networks for us as a different family unit.

    And yes the yearning for past relationships which might have been better than the one which has died, the wondering what the present would have been if different choices had been made in the past! The if only's and the anger....they all have to go so that the present can be lived in, not simply existed in.

    This piece of writing is so perceptive, so true to life and so affirming.

    It reflects a deep truth spoken by Our Lord,"Love others as YOU LOVE YOURSELF", set free to love selflessly with His love, self giving and unconditional instead of the love which demands something in return.

    Thank God for His gift of our humanity and the gift of His Son who is able to redeem our broken natures and make them whole again.

    With Love


  17. and God said, be thankful in all things. The empowerment comes when I work through the pain. Not in hiding from loss...but actually feeling it and then the gratitude comes. Mainly I feel the gratitude for the resiliency of my spirit.

  18. Kim, I love this, and have a slighly different take on it to share.

    Sometimes, man she loves doesn't physically leave. The work of growing to become a responsible man is still too much for him, however, and frustrated and angry he blames her, abandons the family emotionally, and seeks to ease his self doubt with fantasies or purchased lovers. Frequently, she weeps.

    Because he still shares her address, it is more difficult for her to come to the realization that he is actually gone. It is more difficult for her to realize that he is not going to be available to her and to their children – ever.

    Perhaps, because of her own childhood abuse, she has never felt secure in her own beauty, never sensed that she had power over men. When he first loved her, she thought it had given her value and now she feels worthless.

    Her sad little boys try to cheer her up, the little men trying to fix what the big man has broken. If she leans on this to fill the gap, to ease her own pain, she will curse their lives also.

    She tells herself that if men do not even love their own children, how will they love her children to another man. And so, believing that she is chosing the lesser of two evils for her boys, she does not remove herself and her children from this situation. In spite of her pain, she stays. She continues to weep.

    She longs for him to change his ways, say he is sorry, and be the hero and savior she thought he was when she built her dreams on the love that she would receive when she married. The thought of going on alone seems unbearable.

    But one day she looks in the mirror and realizes that she has been alone all along and has survived. She accepts that the dreams she once had were childish fantasy. She never saw herself as having a strong character, but now she sees that she is much more capable than she had ever realized. She embraces the hard work ahead of her.

    She gives herself to the tasks at hand – caring for her children. She no longer overlooks the beautiful days, the sunsets, and the flowers. She begins to take better care of herself. She devotes herself to making good memories for her boys by taking the opportunities to be happy – just the three of them - because he is never home. She finds her own power. She chooses a new path. She passes the test.

    Now, even if he should change and accept things how they are instead of how he wants them to be, even if he becomes a responsible man and says he’s sorry, the woman who was once dependent on him for her happiness is gone forever. Because she has faced the truth that she can be OK alone.

  19. How do you approch someone with NPD? I have been on the net looking for help with my codependence issues as my husband told me i needed help with. I stumbled arcross you guys. your story is soooo my life. I dont want to leave him, but I cant live with the fear and fights anymore. How do I make him aware of his own issues without starting another fight. He gets very defensive when I suggest anything about him having issues. I need help.

  20. Thank you for your beautiful poem, Kim... It is very touching... I am a man who has been separated from my wife for over a year... we were in a codependent relationship and we were both miserable... We now realize that we need time away from one another and alone in order to find our true selves... Keep up the great work!... Aurelio.

  21. These are some wonderful comments -- and a great poem. Thanks Kim for all the work you do to heal a hurting world.

    The one step that I would underscore is that walks in the park are not enough. A broken heart is one of the most severe disillusionments we face in life. The ultimate source of love is God. God is love; love is God. If we leave that out of the equation, we are set up for failure.

    Many people leave one broken relationship and find themselves in another toxic one. The reason that happens is that they do not allow the Holy Spirit to do the healing work that must be done inside them. Whether or not we realize it, we draw people to us that reflect our spiritual condition.

    Typically, upon the breakup of a relationship, our focus is on building another relationship, rather than on dwelling in spirit. As we dwell in spirit, our internal conditions will change, and we will see that reflected in changes in our external circumstances.

  22. I also agree this is wonderful and makes me think of the power inside of me that somehow I cannot muster up to take action. I sit alone and feel so alone and depressed. Somehow I cannot get the strength to move on but being grateful for what I have helps. I have no children to help me move only myself and it is hard. Thank you for the poem.

  23. I keep reading your postings..watching your videos, and I think you are an honest, caring person. I am however, having trouble trusting right now. Because I trusted him, I trusted 'us' I face the same task as the woman in your poem..trusting me. ♥

  24. How I relate to that poem. It is my life and my feelings. How much pain must we endure. We know the answer but lack the strength. Thank you Kim for all the encouragement.

  25. I too am really moved by this poem. For me key is the line:
    She has passed this test and found her own power
    and though she realizes now that he may in fact return the woman that was once dependent on him for her happiness is gone forever.

    Because there are some things we must face alone ...

    My days have been so tied up with his and our issues that I have forgotten to laugh.


  26. Hi to everyone! Well it seems like the person who wrote to me was right and I should be writing more poetry! I even have an idea for a short book I might start on today.

    To Freiya, you hang in there and you fight to win! We are here and please don't hestitate to ask for advice. He will count on you playing a bit soft in this fight and will probably underestimate you so you have the element of surprise on your side - don't pull your punches!

    To anon with a slightly different take - you understood the poem perfectly. Im my case Steve did come home - but the woman who used to let his childishness and irresponsibility control her (a part of me) left for good. What is the saying that sometimes you need to let something go if you want it to be yours ...

    You see when I went through what I did with Steve I had no idea if he was going to come back or not or how he was going to react to me seeking outside help. I had to accept that the realtionship I had been obssessing about was a sham and that really he was a liability at that stage and I had to be the adult and be responsible and strong. So I really did have to grieve and let go of my image of him. I saw I had to count on myself and I had no idea that he would return or decide he was going to drop his pride and work with me.

    To Marty, you are in the right place. "Back from the Looking Glass" and "The Love Safety Net Workbook" are where you should start. You will see them advertised down the side of the site.

    Facing our loss is very painful but when we do, it really does help us move on ...

    Hang in there (-:

    Kim Cooper

  27. I was married to a woman for 13 years, apparently I was never good enough for her. She left me cold one day, or should I say had me removed...because I started to push back finally.It took counseling 6 months to realize I was under the spell of a narcissist, then it took another year and a half to get my self esteem and soul back. I found myself entering into relationships as a codependent for about 2 years, it seems I was easy to be duped by people with narcissistic tendencies. In this society there seems to be many narcissistic women, especially professional women which I am attracted too. Well another year of counseling on codependency and I know what to look out for now.

    For the first two years I was absolutely lost, I gave up on many things, my life, my business failed because I was unable to cope,I went bankrupt through divorce costs and she took the rest of it all, I hid from all my friends because I was ashamed...and at times I was not a very "there" dad. I mostly (75% time)had my boys living with me after we split and continue to do so. She spent 4 years running around from guy to guy, they were more important than her children.... Now after almost 5 years she asked me to come "back home" What a joke that she even would think I could.

    Anyway, to make a long story short.... Get help the moment you realize you have a narcissistic relationship, heal yourself first, look after your children like there is nothing else on earth that matters, enter into another relationship only after you have forgiven your ex and healed yourself....If your ex realizes that they are the ones who need the help, consider it, if for the woods and stay away from them, they will try to control you forever....stay away from sick people.

    I have met a woman and entered into the best relationship I ever had, she too was a victim of a narcissist and got herself help and healed herself first, and he still tries to control her and her boys, no one wants a thing to do with him and we have all told him to stay away..he continues to try, we continue to push him away...

    I am now a stronger and better person for going through this, I have learned that I too am important and keeping someone happy to maybe have a good feeling once in awhile myself is just not worth it....Narcissists are not worth holding on to, they are monsters and only harm people close to them...there is too much damage done by damaged people...there should be a law for them to require help and protect those they effect and injure.

    No longer a a great life now!!!

  28. HI Kim ...this is Shannon and I loved your poem and I read the other's before me ...WOW so many hurting people but to know yourself first is a AWESOME thing ...I agree w/what everyone has said and I will be Divorce Jan 16...I do miss him but he isn't good for me and what the pastor said is true w/must let the Holy Spirit mend our broken hearts and hopefully by GOD's grace we may attract someone to us that Love's the Lord first and everything else will fall into place no marriage is perfect but there is someone out there for everyone ....we were created for relationship's and that's the hardest part ...LOL...we family, friends and spouse's ...but it can be the most beautiful thing also...thank you so much for your time and wisdom for sharing these posting free...ty,ty, ty....Shannon "Merry Christmas!"

  29. I am going through this now. The verbal, emotional and physical abuse has taken it's toll on me. I've tried for 9 years to help him. He's been gone for more than a week. We've argued on the phone. I've tried to remain calm and talk, but sometimes I can't stop myself from getting angry and yelling back.
    He says he loves me more than he has ever loved anyone. I want to believe him. He has made promises to 'work' on his temper, his anger issues, this time he's even read some of my emails with information that I've sent from your site. He told me that he can finally 'see' what he has done to me and he wants to work on it. He's made so many promises in the past, I just don't know if I believe him this time.

    I know I'm a stronger and better person than I was years ago.
    I love him, but I don't want to live a life of walking on eggshells.

  30. What a crock, when a person is "damaged goods" there isn't enough therapy, time, or help from heaven. I know, I live it every day. I look forward to the day my body gives out and ends this misery.

  31. Thank you for this beautiful and insightful place you have written from- it's as if you are peering through my window and seeing every moment I've experienced over the last 12 months-I have prayed non-stop for healing and his return- He says he'd never come back to me- I'm still not sure how to let go of the hope of his return- I want to be strong for my children, to be a woman of strength and dignity- I crumble after hearing his voice on the phone-where do I take this pain that I feel after encountering him?

    1. Anonymous take the pain you feel from him to the bathroom...and flush it and visualize his face and wonderful voice going away with his junk. While youare at it..tell God you forgive...him and yourself And then get on with your new life step by step..going forward not slipping back again.

  32. I watch Super Nanny and The Nanny of TV. The first shows how to get live under control again, the second shows a narcissistic relationship of a woman wanting a relationship with someone who is closed down emotionally but is also narcissitic.
    I would think..."Let God and Let God". I can't handle it on my own power. I do is like passing a test...the guy gives you or God gives love yourself enough. Know you are enough...a child of God and not to be controlled by the dysfunction in another give them so much power...that controls your life/happiness.
    Great poem...make a book of poems. You have great insights. I am still learning...let people who withhold love affect me. I am like waiting for life to happen... I pick narcissitic guys maybe because I am used to that kind of person...I hate to be controlled...don't want to be their identical twin...I wanted to be loved for who I am...not just my body. Your site is helping me and so many people...You are God sent!! Keep it up! A real paper book..not e book would be so much easier for me. It would spread your ideas/help more...and help you financially. I would buy books for my whole family tree. I tried to learn to talk to a narcissitic person on the internet...but they attacked me nonstop. I still have alot to learn.

  33. This is exactly what I am going through right now. I am 41 years old and have one teenage son still at home. The other two are grown and making their own lives. My husband left 2 months ago. No real explanation, blaming me for all of his troubles. We have been going to marraige counseling for the last 9 weeks and nothing has improved. Usually he uses them as a "Bitch Session", to make sure I know how much I have ruined his life. We have been married for 12 yrs. I have known him for 23 and never even saw this coming. I thought we were on the same page, working for the same things. Now I have no job, no money, a pile of debt and I am working so hard to improve myself and get on with my life. My son is torn and feels abandonded. I am looking for counseling for him. he is so depressed and I know we both need help for ourselves. Somethings you do have to face alone. hard as it may seem.

  34. your poem and so many of the posts made me cry,currently in a relationship with a narssist,only thing is hes probably made me one-a bitter aggressive person and i dont know how to change myself.I NEED HELP BEFORE I EXPLODE.IM SO WORN OUT EMOTIONALLY WITH THE PAIN AND THE PRESSURE

  35. beautiful poem...yes, the thought of his saying hes sorry...or i love you and the kids and i want to work things out...or a compliment instead of a put down...oh the longing. but it is christmas..i have no money for presents but i was able to pay the morgage and car and a friend helped buy us some food. i praise the Lord that i am not dependent and mentally ill from him any more...that i am learning on my own and standing alone...on my two become a beautiful woman once again. to be treated with respect and dignity and not to be judged. alone...yes. more. poor..yes. but i hold my head up high and hug my kids and look out over the snow and the beautiful lights .. there is love... there is hope... and its christmas. God Bless

  36. Isnt life grand !

  37. That was a very good poem and it's relatable for sure. One thing I've learned from all my relationships is that there will always be something missing from your relationships if one looks for someone else to make them happy. You must have God first as your centering core or you will have nothing left to ground you when the bottom falls out. You must love yourself before you can love anyone else.

  38. It would have been lovely to have been able to read this when I went through the break up of my 11 year marriage and it seems at the time and over many years if the grief is blocked and you focus too much on what you feel you did wrong that the sun wont shine again. But my experience was that in time a new relationship came and through it I was pushed to feel all the wounds and longing that was left from having emotionally unavailable parents. And in this relationship I learned that my feelings and my life are my responsiblity and no one elses. What you said somewhere, Kim about hoping for someone who would share or acknowledge your feelings was true for me. My first relationship founded when six years into sobriety I began to feel my pain from the losses of my childhood and young adulthood, especially the loss of my Dad. My husband too lost my father but he couldn't meet me in my pain. I thought that was necessary but I now see it isn't. I have to be there for myself and love myself and believe in myself, only then can I give. These days so many people focus on what they can get. A friend is so sad as he has met woman after woman who has a list of what she wants and he fails in several categories. And so he asked "what is it that you have to give?" This is the sad endictment of our narcissitic culture fed on operas and songs like you say in another blog that feed addictive longings. There is a great book by a guy called James Hollis called "The Eden Project: The Search for the Magical Other". Guess what that is a childhood dream and one that recycles in midlife when men leave their wives to find the love that is missing that they never found inside. The lesson to get love we must learn to give love. We must learn what love is and no longer tolerate abuse whilst having compassion and depth of insight to see how others abuse and develop good boundaries. I thank you Kim and Steve for your work. Through it I have learned a lot more about what it is to develop a mature partnership. I think you are both inspirational. Keep up the amazing work. This world badly needs it.

  39. Hi Kim and Steve, I also wrote a song, "Cry this Christmas Blue" and it's exactly what you are writing about, but thank U Jesus, these are not my emotions this year, but I needed to write the song because people need to go there, they need to feel the right to feel sad about what is gone, and not available. Sometimes, I think that it is people who live behind their narcissistic sheild are the ones who have to cry about something that they never felt safe enough to mourn for, sometimes that is their own dreams and desires, sometimes it is their own gentle souls that they walked away from so that they could survive a situation. Christmas is about love, and love is like a glowing connection that just wraps around everything it touches. If you are going to believe in something, believe in the healing power of love, next to, close by, and even far away. I know that Kim and Steve are on the other side of the world, yet their story has healed my marraige, by helping me understand. My husband is happy now, and I am finding my own seperate peace. Merry Christmas Kim and Steve, and Kim keep writing, even think about a fictional novel, and Steve, just keep cooking ! -- I live in the Jersey Shore of USA, and we say over here ( Oh Vah he ah ) We Got a Holiday Situation !

  40. I just finish reading eveything above this. Yes this is my story to, as a man that learn this subject from a female friend, both her husband and now my ex-wife are both narcissistic. It is a battle to understand our partners, and the only and main comfort is in Christ Jesus. My friend is been married over 30+ yrs. My marriage lasted less than 9months. I am divorce from my ex-wife 8 months and feel sad for her, but I am happy I am moving on with my life. I like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from Canada. And Kim, I like this open letter to encourage, each one of us, this way we do not feel alone.

  41. Thanks so much for your beautiful poem and all that you do! I, too, am married to a man with narcissistic tendencies. I see myself in this poem, but thanks be to the Creator, I recognized my the problem early on and took action right away (your products have been a tremendous help). My husband frequently threatens to leave me and my children. He has never actually left, though. The more I take care of myself, the stronger I become and the less power his threats have over me. Your poem might have provided me with an important insight--- his threat of leaving has nothing to do with me, but rather his feeling of inadequacy as father/husband.

  42. Kim - Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful articles and insights. I am in the middle of this journey myself. My biggest concern right now is that my narissistic spouse has chosen to leave our family. He chose not to move to our new home with our 5 year-old son and myself, and is living in our old home with his girlfriend, a 21 year-old bartender (he is nearly 30) we hired in August to work at the bar we own. He knew her for only two months when he told me he wanted a divorce. I saw a lawyer at my parents' and his parents' urging in order to financially protect my son and myself(he does not know), but have not filed the papers. He has done nothing to initiate a divorce, but is living as if we are already divorced. I do not want a divorce from him, but don't know what I can do to help him realize the enormous mistakes he is making. I said for better or worse, and I meant it. I know my husband is sick and needs help. I also know that he's the only one who can decide to get the help and start making healthy decisions and making right actions. I just need to know now what I can do to try to help him understand reality and his need for help, and that we have all the answers to what we need to do to have the life we used to dream of and talk about.

  43. Hi Anon,

    If you husband has choosen to leave you there is not much you can do to prove to him he is wrong.

    The dreams you once shared are an illusion that you must let go of now.

    Even if he returns the future will not be like it was in those dreams because you have seen the truth now and that is he is not as mature or responsible as you once believed he was.

    You need to set some goals for yourself now that do not require his help but first and foremost you need to take care of yourself and your baby and make sure that you face the hard steps that are required of you now in becoming emotionally mature yourself.

    Our ebook 10 steps to Overcome codependence would be a great start.

    You CAN change the way your relationship goes in the future with or without his help. You cannot force him to return but you can change your reactions and your focus (onto your own life and not him).

    Your strength of character (and not his) is what I believe is most likely to change things for the better with your family. You cannot expect he is going to see that error of his ways and lead the change. He has shown you by his actions he is not strong but weak.

    Hang in there,

    Kim Cooper

  44. What a wonderful poem Kim.

  45. Thank you for the beautiful poem. I relate completely. I have been going through counseling for almost a year now working on all the issues of codependency and living with a narcissist. I am an extremely sensitive person who successfully beats myself up about every little thing. I try desperately to turn off the voices that tear me down and desperately long for another person to walk through these times with. I strive to see myself as God sees me, but I just seem stuck and cannot imagine how to have these ways be "gone for good". I don't feel I can turn them off even though I earnestly desire to. I feel I have such deep insecurities even though I know my value in God but for some reason I cannot fully embrace a sense of wholeness or confidence to move forward. Any suggestions that helped you?

  46. Hi Anon,

    I have a friend who can help you (via Skype) tackle the inner voices you speak of. Please contact our help desk at our site at and write that Kim asked you to write in and ask about a contact address for her friend Dallas and then they will pass that on to me.

    Kim Cooper

  47. My NPD husband leaves today for a new job-overseas. He took the position without deep conversation with me, or his adolescent children. It pays much more than he's been making, and he sees dollar signs and has a change-the-world mentality. Our 8-month marriage [2nd for both] has been utter chaos, and he's blamed me for all of it. He bruised my arm in a drunken rage in July, ruined an August vacation with his selfish anger, and has withdrawn since I stood up to him and started creating the support systems Kim teaches us to make. I have really tried to internalize and learn so much of Kim's teaching, and put it into play-he says it is all fake. In his final one-sided rant session two days ago, he called me names and shoved me-again I stood up to him and took myself out of the situation. Yesterday his final request of me was for $5,000. I politely refused. My heart is broken and my head is spinning, but thank you Kim and Steve for helping me realize I am not crazy.

  48. You hang in there anon! He is trying to run away from himself but of course that won't work. You stay focused on your own life and goals and if it is your wish just keep letting him know that you will stand by him but not his false pride and anger.

    Kim Cooper

  49. To those that feel there is no cure or help for a narcissist, I would remind that Kim and Steve are survivors! I am in the early stages oftrying to figure out my relationship, which for me, has just recently taken a turn downhill. For my wife, the relationship was never there, hard as she tried with me, because I hadn't let myself heal from a previous (controlling) relationship. I have let all that go now, thanks in part, to Steve and Kim's words, and the book Codependence No More. I have just begun my journey and I hope my wife sees that; she has been by my side for 5 years now, albeit many times in abusive fashion as she can't understand why I don't "love her the way she loves me". I love her very much. I just didn't feel like I deserved her and all the good she brought to my life and my son's, as well as the feelings of guilt residing in me from my past marriage. I have let all that go and I do believe I deserve a wonderful partner in life. I hope it's not too late. I just hope she realizes that the new girlfriend down the street she started hanging out with is, firstly, an alcohol and marijuana enabler, and secondly, a (maybe) a friend. I am done trying to fix her new ways and am working on fixing my (old and harmful codependent low self-esteem) ways. Any words of encouragement/direction/what other books, are greatly appreciated! Sorry so long and Bless you guys. :)

  50. Hi anon,

    I would highly recommend our short ebook
    10 steps to overcome codependence and
    also The Little Book of Empathy Love and

    Of course you must be feeling sad about losing
    your wife to her new friend down the road
    but the important thing now is that you do not let
    that pain totally unbalance your life.

    She is probably not as strong as you believe
    and will need you to stay strong and focused now!

    Kim Cooper

  51. Happy New Year . Time to time I visit your site because I live live with a NPD person , and it has caused a lot of pain in my life. I`m thankful for you and what you do. It`s also good to read other people `s comments . Every little bit helps. I just went through last year the process of letitng go of my dreams of my marriage. My husband will never be my father and I needed to find myself . I`ve ben living like this for 31 years. It can get better but it`s painful . Mu part is to find my own streinght and not let to be swayed by his behavior. It is not my husband who gives me my value , that comes from God who loves me , just because I`m his child, unconditionally. Thanks . God bless you.

  52. I am "ANON" from Dec15. I downloaded the "Little Book of Empathy, Love and Friendship" and I'm glad I did. It enlightened me to what empathy is, and made me realise another facet of my life I have been screwing upon.I will read it a hndred more times I'm sure, just to make sure it all sinks in. It is a slow road to re-gaining my "self". I also hope my wife realises the road she is going down is not a good one. Maybe it is? I suppose it is not for me to judge what is good for her, only what is good for me and how I feel I should live my life. It's just not easy detaching from her, when all I want to do is be with her, enjoying the things we used to! We are still so alike, but so different now. Good luck to you, freegrace, find strength in all that you believe in. :)

  53. love the poem, and was me .have a partner that shows signs of NPD well a lot of signs, but now i have taken control the arguing, nasty fights have stopped, the nice side of him that i fell in love with remains we now debate rather than argue, finally he needs me as a strong independent women that i am :) i get respect and what i like to call genuine side. and he freely shares his feelings with me now. i came to realise i was the one creating a lot of what triggered him off, yes came across as needy even though i'm not. now its him that wants the closeness. and its not about winning its about being! thank you kim and steve my inner strength came through, if he tries to be nasty i just say i will talk to you later when we can discuss rather than argue, if he phones complaining i turn the mobile off for a while give myself time out then will txt later not refering to the previous conversation, and it works, i no longer have to get my point across.and i don't need him to make me feel better, the last time he tried to hurt me, i just said i am not doing this i am having trouble self soothing and that tells me i need time out, he actually left me alone, and that evening was fine, i self soothed :) and i think he had too. bottom line.... its me that makes me happy... my partner now gets the best of me and i do him.... i didn't fall in love with a monster and NPD sufferers if totally honest don't like themselves anyway. they to have to learn to love themselves from within. mirrors lie

    1. Thankyou for sharing that it was very well said! I am always so happy when I hear people get it!

      Kim Cooper

  54. beautiful poem- very encouraging- just what i needed right now

  55. beautiful poem. boundaries work. not angry boundaries (Don't you ever do that again!!) but simple ones. I've noticed that they don't always command instant respect, but in the next conflict, things are different. Thanks!


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