Your Dream Lover

Finding Your Dream Lover and Conducting the Perfect Affair ...

This may shock you coming from me, but today I am going to share exactly how to conduct a life long affair with the ideal lover of your dreams, beginning today in real life!

But first ...

Have you ever believed that you understood something, only to have a life event make you realize you didn’t understand it at all? 

The first time this happened to me was when I was hit by a car.

Of course I thought I knew that cars were big and heavy and could hurt people - but it wasn’t until one hit me, that I realized previously I hadn’t understood this at all.

Before being hit by one, cars were just sound and vision to me, a bit like watching a movie or watching TV, but after my minor accident I began to start feeling the cars around me in the street. A new sensation had dawned in me that caused my whole body instead of just my mind to become aware that I had to watch out.

In a very similar way it was only last night that the story of Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection and the experience of my own personal redemption from this same situation, became very real to me.

There were a few events that led up to this breakthrough and I will share with you today how in just the last week, my own experience of myself and my life has completely changed.

Narcissism generally describes someone who is conceited and self centered, but as you may already understand, in reality narcissism has nothing to do with loving yourself at all.

As the Greek myth describes so well, Narcissus was not in love with his true self but instead a reflection of himself which was not real. Far from being ‘self centered’, Narcissus was a totally off-balance individual who died lonely searching for his ‘perfect lover’ in his reflection. Rather than being centered in himself, he is pictured leaning forward trying to catch a shallow glimpse of himself in the outside world.

Longing for this perfect lover does not only apply to people with narcissistic tendencies either. Just like Echo in this same myth, people with codependent tendencies also long for their ‘perfect love’ just as tragically, only in different ways.

Someone with narcissistic tendencies searches for completion in the praise and admiration they can win from others for their own achievements - or the personal worth and glory they can see reflected in the eyes of their admirers - while the codependent seeks their true ‘soul mate’ (who will know all of their secret hopes, dreams and fears) locked behind the defensive walls their aloof (and perhaps narcissistic) partner has erected against them. The codependent is forever looking for the key to the dark well their true love (who continues to reject them) has locked his or her own heart in - to set it free and heal them - so they can finally feel all the love and sympathy they are sure is there waiting locked inside.

Both of these ideas of finding true love are equally as flawed and equally as dangerous. After repeated attempts at finding their perfect love in this way fail, both the Narcissist and the Codependent are likely to resort to searching for this ideal lover in fantasy.

Many of us will have a little of each of these characteristics within us and vacillate between these two states of being, with neither working effectively as we slide further and further away from the wonderful life we once dreamed of for ourselves.

So this is the pain of the human condition - We cannot forget about this love that we crave, but the ways in which we search for it hurt ourselves and the people around us and can cause chaos, destruction and emotional pain.

So how to find your perfect lover, if not in any of the ways I have just described?

There is one person who will truly love and care for you in the way that you secretly crave. I am not talking about a divine or religious identity - your perfect lover is a real life, living and breathing human being and I want to introduce you to that person right now ...

I hope that this isn’t too disappointing but the 100% rock-solid truth is that only you can be your own perfect lover.

So maybe that’s a big let down. Perhaps you are thinking “Oh yeah - loving myself and all that New Age rubbish, I have heard it all before.” or “Hey I have worked for years at loving myself and sure it helps, but still it is not the same as what my heart really craves.” Or perhaps you may even think this idea sacrilegious?

If so I need you to trust me and keep your mind open for a moment (minds work better that way (-: ) and give this idea half a chance.

Because what I have described so far was only part of what hit me last night and these ideas I am sharing are experiential, which (like getting hit by a car) means that they are things that you must experience to understand.

If you truly want to experience self love and all that goes with it - you cannot just read this article - you will probably need to do some things, some of which may even scare you at first ...

Before I get to that however, first I want you to simply imagine exactly how your ideal lover would care for you. Even if you are married or in a relationship please give yourself permission to do this and be as detailed in your imagination as you possibly can. Remember the dreams you have had about your ideal love and the actors and perhaps songs that have evoked a picture of this very emotional character for you.

Maybe you imagined someone who would take care of you by cooking and making a nice home for you? Or someone who would support you emotionally and financially while you changed your occupation or went back to school? Or maybe you imagined someone who would give you the life you always wanted. Someone who was sympathetic to your emotional pain and who understood that you only made the mistakes that you have, because you were hurting, afraid or misunderstood?

Or maybe you imagined someone who would carry you off to live in the neighborhood or country where you always felt you really belong?

Whatever your fantasy, once you are ready please give yourself the gift of a lifetime and stop and write down some notes about the following points;

1. The character traits this person displays (such as beauty, strength or honesty).

2. The ways they would care for you and protect you if they walked into your life as your perfect lover right now.

Make sure that you make a few notes about this, because I will suggest that those notes may become a checklist of the most important things you will ever give yourself in your life.

You see most of us have been brought up to believe that loving ourselves will make us egotistical or conceited (or even evil) and this has caused us to deny ourselves the most important gift this life will ever offer ...

and that is the chance to be our own perfect lover. 

I learned this the hard way over Christmas and New Year, because with a house full of kids (and their friends) all off school on summer holidays here in Australia, I lost my direction and inner courage to continue giving myself a lot of what I really need in my life. The first and most important being an office where it is quiet for me to work if I am to financially support my family.

You see I work from home and my daughter shares her large bedroom with me as my office and this usually works fine when she is at school. It is a big beautiful room and she has a desk and a big art table in it too, but with the kids home from school it just wasn’t working.

So I went into hiding and moved my computer into a corner of my bedroom and without seeing the ‘loveless’ choices I was making for myself, my anxiety and fear began to grow.  

My story is very relevant to what I hope to share with you today because this journey I am recommending is not easy and the number 1 thing you will need to be your own perfect lover is COURAGE.

When I look back at the problems I have faced the last 3 summers, me needing a quiet space to work during summer holidays should have been obvious, but unfortunately it took all my ‘bad old patterns’ coming back, such as putting demands on my family / trying to please them to get them to feel for me more / challenging their feelings for me / blame and anger / and even now and then me seeking attention and recognition elsewhere.

I am ashamed to say that it even finally took me having a severe anxiety meltdown before this and a few other things I was needing to sort out for myself became clear.

Once I got through this and decided I better start taking a bit of my own advice and start treating myself better no one in my family really helped me (Steve has been overwhelmed with his own workload too) but no one argued with me or stopped me either.

You see what had happened was really no one else’s fault and the real reason for me not seeing the problem sooner was that I had to do some things that were new and this was why it had previously been so hard for me to see what was needed or face my fear and believe in myself enough to look after myself better.

First - I had to call on a friend and admit that I urgently needed some financial support, which is something I rarely do and always feel very uncomfortable about.

Second - I had to tell my in-laws, as soon as we arrived to visit them for 3 weeks, that before I could do anything I needed to find a room to rent (with internet) for me to work in without being interrupted for the duration of our visit.

While they scratched their heads asking how much that might cost and saying they didn’t know how I would find something like that - I was already out looking at the notice board in the local launderette and was very soon on the phone.

I was scared inside about this new thing I was claiming the right to organize for myself - but after my anxiety meltdown, the idea of my own office had, in my own mind, become a life rope back to peace and sanity. 

Now because I have never done anything like this when visiting my in-laws, no one really understood and no one really believed it would actually happen. Being my own perfect lover however meant that I didn’t need their support, permission or help, instead I just did it - even though I felt nervous and scared that someone might try and talk me out of it or stop me, or judge me for giving so much time and attention to myself.

So in less than 48 hours after arriving in Melbourne, and with a little help from Steve, here I am sitting in a beautiful upstairs room, with trees outside the window and flowers I bought myself.

This space I have found to sublet comprises the whole upstairs of a beautiful two story house and has total peace and quiet, and the fastest internet connection I have ever encountered.

And it is not just like heaven sitting here - in a way I believe it actually is ...

Because I believe God wants us to know we are deeply loved and wants us to love and take care of ourself from the inner depths of our own heart.

This is not selfish either because back home while I forgot to love myself, guess what happened? ...

I started believing that the love and support I needed was outside of myself and hence I became egotistical and dissatisfied with how my family was treating me. I also became anxious and hard to live with. Once I saw the light however (after my fall) and became my own perfect lover, I can now see that what I have organized for myself is not only good for me but is 100% better for my family as well.

Because loving yourself does not make you egotistical and self centered but instead far less demanding and easier to be around.

So please go back now and have a look at that list you made. Because the truth is that no one is going to give you those things if you don’t start giving them to yourself.

Are there ways you want to live your life differently? Well maybe it is time you start taking responsibility for organizing those changes (without demanding too much from anyone else).

Do you long for a lover who is honest, hardworking and sincere? This is a message that you need to begin working on those traits in your own character and growing stronger so that you can begin to trust yourself.

Will that be easy? No.

Will you get to where you want to be overnight? No.

Will you always get the life you dreamed of or what you want? No, you will often have to make the most loving choices for yourself from what is available and that sometimes may mean needing to choose to be by yourself or to spend some quiet time contemplating nature or even to go hungry if the food available is not a loving choice for yourself.

Will other people help you? Not if you make your needs optional or ask permission for what you need. We all need some support from others, but you need to keep your requests direct and simple and be ready to accept a “no” if the person you ask can’t help.

Will it be worth the fear and discomfort you will feel by leaving your comfort zone? Undoubtably the answer is yes!

So from these ideas here are 3 new rules I have adopted in my life that I hope you might consider adopting too ...
1. My needs and desires about the way I wish to live my life are no longer optional.

2. I will no longer ask permission for the things that I need to be happy.

3. I will not expect people to guess my needs and will ask clearly and politely for the things I want/need help with.

Being your own perfect lover means working to give yourself what you need, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It means finding courage to claim the freedom to live your life the way that you need to, while demanding as little as possible (particularly emotionally) from anyone else.

Because self worth is experiencing and giving yourself love, not just talking or thinking about it.

So now for what hit me last night ...

Being back in Melbourne this week (where I lived when I was younger) has caused a lot of memories to come back to me. Also, because I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, many of my memories are of moments of acute anxiety from the past, and so even though a lot of great things happened for me here, it is easy for my daily experience (walking down streets that bring back memories for instance) to become defined by anxious memories which then in turn test my self esteem.

However, turning to my own ‘inner perfect lover’ for advice, I discovered this ...

 ~ My Own Inner Riches ~

Sitting quietly yesterday evening working in my new ‘room in heaven', I had a realization where I felt - perhaps for the first time ever - my own genuine and intrinsic self worth ...

Because if I am to be my own perfect lover what could possibly be more valuable to me than myself?

For the first time in my life I experienced that what was inside of my chest was worth more than all of the gold or riches in the world, and this same moment I suddenly saw and experienced two things; The first was a flash where I saw that what Narcissus needed and longed for was not the image he saw in the cold water of his reflection but instead to feel his own incredible self worth inside his own warm and living chest.

“It was like I was Narcissus and I felt the cold hard reflection come up and join me
and then my heart expand with love and joy at discovering the warmth,
love and realness of cherishing and valuing myself.

Narcissus’ shame was not to love himself,
but to foolishly look for that love anywhere but inside himself. 

The next thing I felt was that all of those anxious memories that had been defining my day were falling away like old leaves.

This revelation was no day dream or wishful or fuzzy thinking either and I will tell you exactly why ...

because true love is a verb.

Giving yourself the things that your heart truly longs for (like the quiet office I had given myself) is not wishful ...  it is about doing and it will take courage, determination and hard work!

At first you will say; “But I can’t afford the life that I want,” or, “My partner won’t let me do that,” or if you are more honest perhaps, “But I feel nervous because this is all new and I am afraid.”

It takes courage and strength to love yourself and giving yourself a new and kinder life than you have in the past may be harder than you realize at first ... but if you don’t have the courage to learn to love and respect yourself, who else will?

Loving yourself is also tough because it means giving up all your old bad habits, such as the junk food, drugs and stimulants that you rely on to make yourself feel better about denying yourself the life you truly long to be living.

- Or your addiction to fantasy with soap operas, pornography, romance novels, music, movies, magazines, computer games or TV.

- Or your reliance on blame and always feeling you need things from others (that you won’t even give yourself) because you don’t have the courage to take some risks and step out of your comfort zone and start taking the steps necessary to create the life that would express who you are. 

Well you can cringe and beat yourself up about your bad habits if you want to - but I am telling you now that you will never get rid of your current habits until you replace them with something new and filled with more love for yourself.

For instance, if you are a drinker and you try and stop drinking without first finding some new pastimes which you enjoy and that are more loving towards yourself, what do you think will happen?

From experience I can tell you that it will only be a matter of time before you are back filling in your spare time drinking, because it is a habit and what feels natural to relieve your stress and anxiety, even though it actually creates more stress and anxiety in the long run.

Further from this I want to be straight with you and let you know that the things I recommend in my ebooks are not what will bring heaven into your life. My ebooks simply offer new ideas of how to live a life of self respect, replacing some of your old habits and responses that are no longer working for you (or perhaps never did but you learned simply from bad example) with better ones.

What will bring heaven into your life is for you to face your fear and decide to become your own perfect lover and find the courage to replace your old habits with new ones to love and support yourself as you want to be loved.

If you are truly working at change, these new ideas will feel strange and scary at first and some may indeed be challenging, but most of the time it will simply be because these ideas and suggestions will be new.

If you have never made an online purchase or purchased an ebook or read a self-help book for instance, even deciding to get started on this may be something that feels foreign and a bit scary and that fear is completely normal.

But if you are to grow and develop as a person and move towards a better life full of love, avoiding the anxiety trying new things causes and just saying “Don’t worry and just be happy”, is never going to cut it.

I have written 5 ebooks now and the first Back from the Looking Glass (which is now in it’s 5th edition) is about how I turned my marriage from one of emotional and physical abuse and humiliation to one of the best marriages that I know of. The truth is however that while I was working through the steps I offer in that ebook, I felt so scared that a lot of the time I felt like I might throw up!

So here is the catch 22 - if the new ideas you are trying are not putting you far enough out of your comfort zone to feel some distress, you are probably not genuinely growing and the things you are doing to improve your situation are probably not going to work.

Just like exercise, no pain no gain!

So alongside our ebooks I also have something very powerful to offer you today to help with this ...

The Wellness Audio Institutes Audio Library was developed in conjunction with our work and was designed for you to have portable, private support that will help you overcome the inevitable fear that you will experience when you begin putting the steps we recommend in our ebooks into action. You facing and overcoming that fear is necessary and will help you move closer to the life you really crave ...

Personal and Private Support

Do you feel that no one really understands you in your neighborhood, at work or at church? Do you have ideas and dreams that you feel might make you an outcast if you were to act on them? Do you find yourself unconsciously asking for permission before you do anything because you are afraid of the rejection or the disapproval of others? 

Well you need to step out and take some risks, because you only have one life to live and there are no dress rehearsals and there is NO place on earth where putting the life of your dreams into action will be easy or risk free.

Please understand that I do not advocate you being rebellious or reactionary and I have written reams on how to better fit in and be accepted and loved in your home and community - but needing love and acceptance cannot be at the expense of the steps you need to take towards a life full of love for yourself.

I want you to think now about the people you know who live life by their own rules but are still loved and accepted by their friends and family, even if their lives are a bit unusual and their choices may sometimes be criticized or judged.

There is hard science we can all learn from about the skills these type of people possess that allow them to make the choices that suit them (instead of what the crowd dictates) while still being loved and accepted by the people they want close. I would even say that having the courage and confidence to ‘call your own tune’ in this way is a very important ingredient to being attractive! 

I have collected this kind of research for years and I will continue providing you with the most up to date psychology on the skills you need to develop to create this kind of deep and lasting attachment with the people you want close, but first you will need to find the courage to try these new things and the Wellness Audio Institutes Library is support that will help you relax and find courage at any place and at any time.

These recordings are state of the art technology and have nothing to do with hypnosis. You can find longer scientific explanations of brain wave entrainment online but I will give you the experience of this simply ...

Remember that great safe and warm feeling you probably once felt sleeping in the back of car while your parents were driving, or maybe as you were looking out the window of a train with the noise and vibration of the wheels and the track lulling you into a deep state of relaxation?

Can you remember that safe and relaxed feeling you felt in either of these situations?

Now imagine being able to give yourself that very same feeling, privately (even if you are sitting in a waiting room, in a car or on a plane) at any place and at any time.

There are no words or subliminal messages in these recordings. Instead they produce an effect very similar to medication (that will last for hours after you have stopped listening) but without any of the hazardous side affects.

To give yourself this gift of personal support, you will need a portable MP3 player such as an iPod (or a less expensive version will be fine), some earbuds (the modern word for headphones), and the downloads of the albums that will best help you with the current ‘fear based’ problems you are now facing.

You might also wish to buy these albums on CD and listen to them on a CD player, but this will not be as portable or private.

If you choose the CD version you can however still load the tracks from your CD onto your computer and then transfer the recordings on to your MP3 player. This choice is a good one if you have a slow internet connection which may make downloading the files difficult.  

So this is a new habit that your own perfect lover might choose to give yourself to help relieve your anxiety and give you the courage you need wherever and whenever you need it while you are working on our steps towards a more loving life.

This library of audio recordings will provide genuine solid support instead of you reaching for those bad habits that will never help you achieve a life full of love.

There is even a Wellness Audio Album for overcoming addictions - so next time you are reaching for that coffee, cigarette, drink, romance novel, porn site, TV remote, prescription or non prescription drug, or even phone for a friend to lean on - instead you can fire up your MP3 player and relax into a better state of mind - ready to make better choices (guided by your inner perfect lover) of how to better spend your time.

Because the truly valuable things in life don't come from others but come from inside of ourselves and of our own creation; such as talent, creativity, inspiration and joy. 

And even if the new lifestyle choices you make are a bit scary at first, you will need to face and overcome this fear if you are ever to find the path to self love ....

So please take a look at my list of favorites in the Wellness Audio Library and I look forward to hearing about your success  ...

Here’s to you experiencing your own true self worth and truly knowing that you are loved.

Kim Cooper

If you haven't started yet on the steps in our program
 Click Here to see our Introductory ebook Specials 


  1. Kim,

    What you wrote is beautiful, helpful and real.. unlike anything I have read from you before. My own journy is about at the same place as yours. I am feelings self love for the first times in my life. Before I thought the notion was silly and impossible.

    Thanks for sharring such a real and transformative peace. It has helped validate and strenthen my own self love.

    John H.

  2. Kim

    Sounds like a real breakthrough for you. I love how you take your own experiences and use them to help others. Well done!!


  3. Thanks Kim, as always your words and helpful, insightful and inspiring. I love that you make it real, its not a magic recipe, life is not that easy. But its about taking steps and facing your fears to take action to make your life your own. Thanks for the heads up, I am about to go into situations where I will need to be very clear about asking for what I want and your article will be very helpful to remember. I'm so glad I found your website, its helped me so much in understanding a lot about narcissism. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thank you for your directness and incredible insight. I am always so impressed and excited to read your well expressed and poignant suggestions. I feel they are right on and unique in their all encompassing approach. Your perspective on narcissism and finding a way thru WITH your husband as opposed to abandoning him I have been so touched by. And how you take such responsibility here for your own emotions is amazing. How often do we all blame others for our emotional states, when we haven't met our own needs.

    Thank you for your commitment to this site and the excellent material you provide. I came across this site years ago and have downloaded many of your materials. They have made tremendous impact in my life. Thank you.


  5. that is tremendous. Real talk about thye very issue. I have read one tenth of the article but couldn't help a desire to thank you and to share my appreciation. I am back to continue reading it :)

  6. Thanks for sharing Kim... a very real, honest and truthful message. Provocative, in that: 'dare I love myself'?
    Yes I do dare.
    It is an 'age old' message for me too.. I've always worked on that! But to what end...
    it does take effort and resolve to make those 'uncomfortable' choices and 'stretching' of boundaries to 'face your fears'. (that which I've mostly cowered away from!).
    Your description of Narcissus is perfectly explained... and opens my heart to it more.

    Thankyou, for your beautiful 'reflections'..!!!

  7. I got it.
    How similar we are!
    I'm going to think about this right now.
    I don't even dare to have a dream or a goal.
    I'm so anxious that my shoulders are up to my ears.I don't want to live like this anymore.
    Too painful, too uncomfortable.
    Merci Kim.

  8. The message in your article has real relevence for me, where I am in terms of the marriage and my personal development. I have spent the last four years attempting to retrieve the person my husband was at 16yrs when I met him. In hindesight, his strongest influence in his life was and always will be is his npd mother. I have often struggled to understand why he changed from the loving caring young man to the abusive tyrant he became, around the time we married. I was aware his mother stepped up her control and interference then. I had thought she was upset at losing her son. I now see he was part of her supply system. It seems to me she triggered early adult onset of the personlity disorder in him. As for me, perfect npd fodder. Dad died when I was 6yrs. Mum had to go back to work when the money ran out when I was 8yrs and I becamemy younger sisters carer, keeping an eye on her, walking her to school, looking after her in the holidays because mum had to work and couldn't afford to pay for someone to look after us. It wasn't a sad childhood and mum made sure we were all
    loved and developed a sense of self in a healthy way. It did set the tone for the way I viewed myself. My career and lifestyle choices reflect that. What rings true for me in your article is that I have wanted to save something that has been lost a long time ago. I had survived the abuse by creating my own bubble. It has been painful and sometimes difficult to get out of the bubble. I have had to face up to my part in all of what has happened, have learned to not take responsibility for what isn't mine. Mine has been a lifetime spent in hoping if I love someone enough, that will be the key to setting them free, unfortunately forgetting to leave some love for me. I have read too much into what I thought were break throughs that were in fact npd smoke and mirrors.
    In concluscion, my future lies in setting my own course, making my plans, seeking what I want out of life. I am not responsible for anyone else but myself. It is amazing just how much time and energy thinking and living this way generates. I believe I have discovered the benifits of healthy narcisism.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It helps to
    keep it all in perspective

    1. His mother and your husband may have been Celiac which can affect the brain/body. At age 21 my son started to act goofy and now is very narcissitic. He is taking LDN that helps to block Celiac...but needs to eat no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar and take more vitamins/good oils. My son is only doing half of what he needs to do. With full help he may be fine...but to get him there while he is being stubborn in hard.

  9. Kim,

    Thanks so much for this blog - it speak volumes to me. Only yesterday, I spent the afternoon listening repeatedly to the 'Anxiety Reduction' audio I had loaded onto my ipod. When I got home that evening, I was able to have an enjoyable evening with myself without feeling the stresses of what was going on around me. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I did wonder if it had as a result of listening to that particular audio over and over again that afternoon. Thank you so much for blessing me with that avenue of healing. I love the information and wisdom you impart. Keep up the good work.


  10. Dear Kim: It is so I spend my time alone with or without my God...looking for ways to
    comfort listening to some instrucmental or praise and worship music, make a cup of coffe or honey hot tea!, feet up, reading a good book or I really like reading to my children...polishing my nails...all this makes a difference...getting centered I can move on...problem-solving, planning, do what I need to do! Kim H.

  11. Have you ever experienced God sending a person with the right message at the right time in your life...or the right song that just blesses your soul? Well Kim your message was that right thing at the right time that was sent from God! Thank you so very much for allowing God to use you to bless so many in this way. I for one will take and start to put into action what you have shared with your readers. God bless you Kim!

  12. Thank you Kim for your thoughts and wisdom and writing.
    I wonder...are you familiar with Richard Schwartz's work? I'd bet you would be open to IFS- Internal Family is a link to one of his books (You are the one you have been waiting for):
    And another IFS author:
    I appreciate your openness to share your healling journey.

  13. Thank you Kim, that was a powerful kick in the bahookie (as my kids like to call it (= )Just what I needed.
    And I wanted to back you up on the brain entrainment, I have several selections I listen to, and they are amazing. They truly do help me feel better, and put my in a completely different state of mind, and it does last for hours after listening. I am so thankful to you for introducing me to it.
    Thank you again Kim for all your hard work, to share with us your life, I know it is helping me.
    Much Love to you and your family

  14. Thankyou for this beautiful piece of writing and life observation. So happy to have been sent it, to have read it and so happy or you too. Love and light to you. Shine on and shine on everybody. Truly beautiful.

  15. Hi - thanks for sharing the idea of self love. I want to share from my experience of a husbund with (I think) npd who eventually left me for another woman. I loved him deeply during the years we were together, and believed that if I only loved him enough - it would stop. He was my dream-man except his anger, manipulative sides, and controlling behaviour. The most frustrating was that no-one else saw this. He is very intelligent and highly educated academic - an expert in hiding his real agenda which is mostly about winning and falsely gain control of his chaotic self by controlling others in the family. Any explanation from me about the problems his behaviour brought to me and my eldest son, was deamed to fail as he felt "attacked" no matter how careful it was put. He himself had few limits for anger or bad treatment if we only made minor mistakes. I learned at last to set limits for myself - I understood that I had to take care of myself if I was to have a chance in giving my two babies what they needed of love and care. I hoped he would understand, used tons of energy on explaining. When my limits and priority of my children over him gave him too much trouble he left. I have learned so much from reading you e-mails, and maybe if I had read them before, I would have handled it differently. When he left he did it with so much harm and dispair against me and it was clear he wanted me out of his way. He started a triel against me and is constantly manipulating the kids into believing horrible things, at some point leading to that the oldest girl almost turned against me. Quite desperate for a while I found literature on the internet, that was effective in "reprogramming" the kids from false ideas, but it is hard work every week. With help from some of the strategies from your pages, I have also managed to turn things around so that it seems to him that the (my) goal (which is helping the kids cope - is something you may manage, or you don't. Also a good strategy was to say politely that I needed a better situation and better cooperation around thekids, or I would need to ask his new wife to take care of the cooperation around the kids. This was a spin-off-idea from your advice about talking to a third part about a specific problem and irrational destructive behaviour. Even though talking to the new wife may be a little painful for me, it would surely be even more painful and degrading to him if this was to happen. This was just to share some parts of my story and to say that your advice really helps.

    I think not only self-love but also love must include setting limits for oneself and for others.

    Love is to be able to say YES to others with all your heart. You can't do that unless you really feel free to say no. Thank you.

  16. jamie in florida, usaJanuary 12, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Kim- this is your best yet! You are so right on. Thank you for being so honest with your own life. It makes us love you all the more and it opens our hearts to learning from you. Keep up the good work.

  17. Thank you, Kim. Thank you for gently shaking me with my own permission to go get the things I need. Action may be the best cure for anxiety.

  18. When I read an NPS it is exactly what my husband has this exactly. It is hard on my ego and make me fell less than I should. Thanks for the insight. We all want to be happy and it hard when this person is what he is. But I am trying to get stronger.

  19. Thank you for this article, Kim. It reminds me of Aesop's fable "The Wind and the Sun" and how we can either be the wind or the sun to ourselves.

  20. Grateful says...

    I have spent the last 26 years with a narcissistic...except I didn't know what it was until last Thursday when I met with a therapists; all of a sudden the last 26 yrs. made sense. I did research on the disorder and stumbled on your site...which I am so grateful for. Although, I am at the beginning of my journey I am convinced that God is leading me. I am a christian who is married to a now former pastor....from what I read this is a very common thing i.e. men of the cloth with narcissistic personality disorder. Your article Kim is so enlightening and confirming to where I am on this new journey. I am reading a book by Brennan Manning, Abba's Child...the cry of the heart for intimate belonging. The first 2 chapters talk's about the hiding we do in creating a false self in the hopes to be accepted by others hmmmm. He than goes on to say that in order to move forward in our true self we have to first and for most truly love,embrace and nurture who we are. This is just what you are conveying in your wonderful article. Thank you so much for the work you do I am so appreciative of the hard work that you have done to get to where you are today; and to share your insights with others...again thank you!

    Gratefully yours...

  21. Kim,
    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences that have truly enriched my understanding of what I have learned from you. As I have come to the complete understanding that my happiness is my responsibility and right, it has taken my husband a long time to believe that I no longer hold him responsible for my feelings. He began getting angry about some problems in his life the other day and blaming me for them. I listened and empathized then told him how much I care about him. He then got really angry telling me that his biggest problem is that on top of everything else, his biggest problem is that now I am going to fall apart and he will have to deal with that too. I sat quietly for a minute and then told him (and showed him with my actions) that I do not expect him to solve my problems or deal with my feelings. It is my job to be happy. He continued to be angry for a bit, but calmed down soon, and I can see that he is beginning to believe me. His healing can take place to the extent that he does not feel responsible for me in unhealthy ways. Thanks for all you do, and know that you have the support of many people.

  22. I feel like you have been reading my mail I'm a writer and I have been complaining about getting a desk into my office so that I can work thank you for your help !

  23. Thank you for sharing I also have been having issuses with my work space and now I have been "hit by a car" thank you for that lesson I needed that today!

  24. "We are but a shadow of our former selves." As always, this post is such a powerful message of strength and healing.

    Most of us come to our adult lives with some level of brokenness from our childhood. The idealized model of love that we had every right to expect was not what we experienced. But, as Kim as pointed out, we must find the way back to love.

    Often life's most trying circumstances are Christmas gifts in disguise. We just have to have the courage to unwrap them and deal with the present -- not the past.

    I, too, have had my rough journey along love's highway, and with God's help I have arrived at a place where I know who I am. And I know "whose" I am. Therefore, no one deserves a seat at the table of my heart who cannot honor and treat me with the same respect that they will receive.

  25. Outstanding article and a wonderful insight that is easily forgotten and at times, not even realized. You are an amazing woman, thank you for your wealth of information.


  26. Disagreeing and making new points is enlightening. In research studies, it is called critical analysis, and it opens new perspectives for learners. The interaction triggers an internal response that leads to deeper introspection.

  27. Kim-
    Your new post is truly amazing. I love the way you share so much of yourself, both good and bad, so that readers can become enlightened. I am on the self-love journey, and you have helped me so much with my life and marriage. Thank you!

  28. narcism, generally is a behavoir rooted by childhood and the means of survival. It's a defense for the abused and neglected. Just helping my husband feel that he can trust me and trying not to be too judgemental has helped us quite a bit..but it will take as long for them to feel safe as it did for them to feel expect alot of mistakes! Have alot of compassion and importantly have alot of you time

  29. Well done. Important work you are doing thank you for sharing. As you are healing you help heal others.

  30. Hi Kim
    This is the first piece i have read by you and it seems you are in the right spot....and I think this is a RULE deep down that we all know but dont follow because of the effort involved. if we fail at loving ourselves it can only be our fault. It places accountability which I think is very important. My partner and I well god knows how we came ogether but we are two peas in a pod, both with high narcissistic traits of course i believ i am better mangaed with it then he is becuase i have a good core value system and sense of accountability but none the less the co-dependant versus abuser im not sure relates to us as we are both very hot headed....i wanted to raise a point ive been thinking about while evaluating how to proceed from here with our relationship
    We arent a healthy many im sure on here we have extreme highs which can be euphoric and extreme lows as well which are devestating and i guess my question to you is since youve worked through this before have you found that the "love and attraction" was less when your relationship became balanced? this is a big fear that without the lows there are no highs and i didnt fall in love with the middle ground...the balanced..we are working on things and im scared that when we find our way we wont be enough for eachother...that what we fell in love with was the idealation (on mine and his part)
    just looking for comments aNyone?
    Thanks and i really enjoy reading your work

    1. Casey... you and i could be the same person.. I believe my man and I have the same issues. We both are hot heads and I think we both have both NPD and Co dependent traits. So life has been a merry go round. I always felt I was just a tad better because I grew up in a BETTER neighborhood and with both parents and my mother was so much more ethical and moral. The hard part I just had a long conversation with a family member about the abuse i suffered as a child (sexual) and how the entire family knew about it and never said anything. So.. having that finally recognized (before that they all said I was crazy that anything happened, I mean how could I remember...I was 4) I came to the conclusion almost instantaneously.. I really had suffered and was from no better a place than he had come from. It put me right on his level and took that haughtiness away... now we can battle on the same level and I hope that I can now move forward from the past. The one thing this also did.. was make me realize.. I have taken care of MYSELF almost all of my life and now I can recognize that and I am finding it easier to set boundaries. Do I think two people who have the exact same problems can last... well I guess we will see. At this moment we are separated but with some of Kims help and readings I feel Im getting so much more of ME and right now thats all that is important. Time to figure out how to do all the things I have always wanted others to do for me.. because I was ENTITLED to them because of my POOR POOR past.. yea it happens and now its over... I totally know what your saying though.. sometimes I wonder if we can get by with out the outbursts and fights.. his outbursts arent as volatile as mine.. but they are on the same level with the denial ... its a work in progress... but my work now.. is on ME! I wrote that so fast.. I hope it made sense... Love your work Kim and this one came at a perfect time!!

  31. Oh Kim,
    I read it, and on an intellectual level, it all makes such sense. Currently I have little or no sense of self, no self esteem at all. I see a psychologist weekly, and we are just beginning to work on my codependancy. I suffer depression, and have had a niece and brothe-in-law diagnosed with cancer over Christmas, so I'm really low at the minute. I'm going to print this off, as it read so wonderfully, though, I really dont feel strong enough for me at the minute, just functioning on what has to be done, and barely getting that done.
    Please keep up with the wonderful articles, you give me such hope for the future. I know now is not great, but, I hope, with your help, my future will be bright and full, with my 'dream lover' (me), and my husband NPD, if we make it.
    Thank you,

  32. Hi kim, thank you for being so honest and personal. I follow you from time to time as needed. What you wrote was very relatable and useful for me today and forever. Especially the part about stepping out of your comfort zone, and being your own perfect lover/character traits. I took notes,they are a true eye opener. You are a God send. Thank you for helping me to heal and to better develop myself at this point and time. God Bless you and yours.

  33. Wow Kim ,that is quite a Christmas you had, I hope you are over this mountain and again excersizing your strength and courage.
    Oh so true is your sentiments of love , you must always have your own cup full and overflowing so you can adequetly look after the others around you .And only 1 person can fill this cup and that is you .
    Who is the perfect partner Kim ?. I am leaning towards someone who knows the true definition of love .
    Many good thoughts to you : )

  34. That was very moving. I kept it in mind all day. I carried a small notebook in my bag with intent of writing the things I wanted my lover to do for me when I left the house that morning. But the day evolved with me needing to manage an unexpected series of problems for one of my children. Guess what? It so helped me be a better parent to her by thinking of being her perfect lover instead of getting frustrated. We had a calm, loving day during some (medically) painful storms. Wow. What a difference.
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

  35. Casey - I would love to talk with you. I think I am in the same position as you - 2 NPD people together. Is it worth us trying to understand each other as perhaps we may be each other's best bet for a partnership (instead of inflicting ourselves on anyone else??). Or will we never be enough for each other once we find a balance between the highs and lows that you mention.
    How long have you been with your partner? And is there any way I can contact you, I would really love to share ideas!

  36. Kim I admire your courage! I only hope that one day I can find the courage to find happiness again. I have walked on eggshells with my husband for years.It seems the highs are becoming more lows. Time for me to find peace! I love your work!!


  37. Hey, Kim... I've been reading your work for over a year... but this article has been the best one for me... your most personal... and which really resonated for me... I've been separated from my wife for over a year, and I'm going thru my own journey of discovering how to love myself... Thx for sharing your experiences... Keep up the great work!... Aurelio.

  38. I think after reading this both myself and my partner are co dependent. Believing that the other partner should be the one to make us happy. I have often thought that I was the one who could make him happy (really who do I think I am?). So I need to make me happy and do what I can to survive this bad ol world

  39. Kim-I too am working on taking care of myself in healthy ways. I was married to a great man with NPD and he chose to leave us (myself and 3 children). He is now and it seems to me has always 'taken care of himself'. I have a couple other family members with NPD as well. It is a fuzzy line for me as to when to take care of myself and not at the expense of others. It does seem like we need to do things for ourselves on our own, but families, especially young children, are affected by our choices and are interdependent of each other. I guess I am still looking for a model of balance. I appreciate your story and can see myself in it, as I have gone back to school, have 2 jobs and am making my way. Still, figuring out when and how to take care of myself is still fuzzy.

  40. Kim I thank you for allowing us into your life and seeing what others experience and how they deal with those issues in the marriage instead of leaving the marriage. I believe you have hit the nail on the head that people need to work on loving their own lives first before they can fully and truly love another. I am so glad you show the process and not just a quick resolve thanks for all your insight!!!

  41. Hi Kim,
    It has been a couple of months for me to read your blog and I like getting your email messages regarding your newest articles. I thank you. My sons and I are living on our own a safe distance from my husband. He has had a break down and natural consequinces have stepped in to manunver him into getting help. We have not closed the door to him however my co dependency has to be addressed, which you have helped me to see and begin the steps to change. This new article is awesome! It addresses the narcissim in all of us. May I print it off and give it to my husband to read? I do see the power it would have for him and me and our family! Thanks for sharing your self with us.

  42. Kim, after reading this I have decided to purchase your books and work the steps to save my marriage my husband is NPD the sides of him that are loveable are so endearing that I didn't want to leave but he is killing me slowly but Oh so surely. May of 2011 will be 10 years I have for quite some time been building up the strength to leave I was about to implement my safe plan of I believe I was building up the strength to stay and love myself first.

  43. I am ready to submit the legal separation papers now if I had the money. I have read every self help book and own up to my share in this marriage ending, I am codependent and hubby is the other word he would freak out if I said it to him....just like abuse. "I have never laid a hand on you and never will" yeah physically but mentally he's scarred me forever. If I get these books what good will it do if he won't consider changing? He fits the description perfect and mine is right on. I hate to toss this marriage away and almost did a year ago, but on our 17th wedding anniv gave him papers saying I was dropping the divorce. I fell for the cards,flowers,txts and you name it. Within 3 mos I had changed my mind and within 6 mos he was back in. Now we are right back fighting or not discussing very important things. If I had the money I would have him out and I read that Kim said it was a blessing she didn't have the money either. So, post your email or number to txt with some questions or help anything! Thanks Pam

  44. This article was eye opening for me..seeing how I have been and finally facing that I am codependent and working on myself. I finally feel good about myself and this will help our marriage! Thank you for can be scary facing this alone and without critics.

  45. Kim- Thanks wonderful post.I think you're talking about having the courage to step into the unknown, which is huge. No longer asking for permission takes you out of voluntary servitude. Julia Cameron in the Vein of Gold talks about finding your own version of yourself, instead of someone else's. And asking clearly and politely for what you want, what a concept, no mind reading!

  46. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self with us, Kim! Once again, your words have triggered an insight within me -- your sharing of these most personal thoughts is really a blessing for all of us who are going down this path. (Not to mention that you write well and hit your points right on the nail-head!) It's been a little while since I had an "A-ha!" moment, but for me it was when I realized that I didn't have to be perfect to be good enough. And that I was good enough! No narcissistic person could now convince me otherwise. And good enough is pretty darn good! Having been envious of others who were taking great care of themselves, while not taking care of myself, I wasn't progressing on my own path in life at all. Giving and giving didn't make me feel any better. Everyone else has benefited from my life but me. It nearly killed me. I'm now on my way to becoming my own perfect lover, and it's totally right and the only way to go. I'm able to give more and still feel fulfilled myself. An amazing sensation. You're right, Kim! Thank you for saying what needs to be said!

  47. Wow thanks everyone for such a wonderful response! It is actually my birthday today so I will make this brief before I go out.

    To the woman who is scared about leaving behind the highs with the lows - yes I was worried about that too but Steve and my life now has an external focus as we work together on our goals. We are not looking for romance to complete our lives and so yes our relationship may be less intense and less center stage but it is certainly deeper and we totally value each others company, friendship and trust.

    To the woman who wants to ask questions before buying my ebooks. Please respond to the emails I send you (if you are on my list) and someone from our help desk will get back to you as soon as they are able.

    To the person wanting to talk to another commenter on this list. Please join the friends connect badge on this page and you will perhaps find the person you are looking for there so you can contact them direct (If they have joined friends connect).

    OK I am off to be nice to myself for my birthday so happy to hear that so many of you have been inspired by me sharing.

    If you like my writing please share it and please consider buying my ebooks. I write so much here for free but I still need to pay the rent and that is sometimes still tough!

    Hang in there!

    Kim Cooper

  48. Kim,

    I have to share that this is consistent with some thoughts that I have been having lately, largely because of what your materials have taught me. The most important relationship any of us will ever have is the relationship we have with ourselves. When I love myself in an honest and heathy way, my relationships with others will be more healthy. This may mean loving more honestly and in a less needy way. This may also mean halting efforts to get love and support from those who are not going to give it, whether they are unable or unwilling. When I am fulfilled within myself, I don't need validation from others. This doesn't mean that I won't be kind, but if my kindness is not accepted in the way that I expected or wanted, oh well.

    I have a one year old son, and I feel so hopeful that I can raise an emotionally healthy child by teaching him that his relationship with himself is the most important thing he needs to have healthy relationships with others, even God. This doesn't mean thinking he's the greatest thing ever, but that he needs to behave in a way that he will approve of and love himself for. I am hopeful that I can teach him that when he acts in ways that are kind, compassionate and empathetic, he will continue to build a strong relationship with himself, because he can be proud of the person he is.

    Kim, I am always so impressed with your honesty and your willingness to keep learning and growing. Pushing 40, I am realizing that is really what life's journey is all about. You have been instrumental in this realization. Learning this (not just intellectually, but actually feeling it in my soul) has brought me a tremendous amount of peace and hope. I thank you again for sharing your wisdom.

  49. Well Ill tell ya Kim, I have to give a more cynical reply. I feel like we are all trying build our illusions in a world full of lies. Sooner or later, that world of lies falls apart. Some are really good at embracing the illusion; criminals, prostitutes, sports heros, actors etc... some try to fake it for a while with honorable work; carpenters, landscapers, laborers but what happens is the Inorganic Lie of the World starts to consume your equity, generosity and charity and you either go broke or die from some unnecessary medical/legal/government/social expense that intrudes into your life. Fighting for those trees, while honorable, takes time and energy out of the day and it shouldn't even be an issue in a healthy society. But some jerk comes along with the appearance of authority and "says so". This is one small example on a local level of the constant hexation from these intrusions that keep the foundation of lies for our illusions alive. This world is sick with International Narcissism. I feel trapped and I want out.
    By the way, Happy Birthday! Andre'

  50. Kim,

    Thank you so much for sharing your revelations. We all have them but sometimes we don't even give ourselves permission to meditate on them and actually make them a part of our consciousness. It's time for that to change. And change takes time. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

    Unfortunately, my relationship is not going to survive and I am coming to terms with that. Your ebooks have helped with that too. My husband is happy with the way he is and not willing to participate in changing the way we deal with each other. And I honestly don't know that I have the energy needed to keep going. I know I can change (it's very hard!!) but in the end it's worth it.

    I'd like to respond to "Andre'" who posted here. Andre', I can completely relate to what you're saying and would ask that you consider things on a grander scale. You talk of the international narcissism that exists and I couldn't agree with you more. However, as pervasive as that poison may be, I don't believe in universal narcissism. Man in his present narcissist state (general, not individual) may believe that he is the ultimate and has the last say. But I don't buy it. We didn't create ourselves and just happen to be here by accident. There is a Creator who has a purpose for us and this planet. He hasn't forgotten what he's created and narcissism isn't part of his personality. When man thinks he is a demi-god, that's when narcissism prevails. It seems as if these self-made gods will win but look at what's really happening in the world. If a better world wasn't possible, we wouldn't hope for it. If there was no "right," we wouldn't recognize the wrong. It is possible and will soon be our reality. Please don't feel trapped. "Lift your heads up because your deliverance is getting near." I don't mean to preach, just encourage. Take care.

    R in FL

  51. I know I appreciate it. the advice Kim has given me was priceless and has actually helped the other person and I to move onto better things. Unfortunately my worldview of the people around me here in America is a dark cynical one. Too much corruption with too many helpless sheep, and the few good in between, get chewed up and spit out. There will be revolution in America, of the darkest sort and most Americans are ill equipped to handle whats coming down the pike. The best I can do is witness before God and probably end up telling the sheeple, "I told you so." Ill take any prayers anybody has. Much appreciated.

    God bless, Andre'

  52. Kim,

    Wow! I can't believe it! Talk about providence. I too had an anxiety attack over the holidays. I was as calm as can be when it happened. I learned that is usually when it does happen. For the first time an ambulance had to come and took me to the hospital. I am only in my 40's and healthy so it was a surprise! I still have to find out my test results to be sure it is not the heart but so far the tests prove it wasn't so an anxiety attack is what I am considering. Your message was so timely! And I needed to hear everything you wrote. I am going to return to this site after I go to bed earlier and get some needed rest, and read more about those audios. I have a good friend and pen pal since we were sixteen who lives in Melbourne. I loved myself enough to leave the family for 10 days back in 2003 and meet and visit her. Awesome! I love Australia. Went to Sydney too. :) Also just have to say that I love what R in FL wrote. I totally agree!! Thank you again Kim.

    L in GA

  53. My first time posting, though I've been periodically reading articles and posts from this site. I am married (10 years) to a man with NPD and am a co-dependent. I am his 3rd wife, have stayed with him longer than the first 2 (they left after 2 and 8 years: had affairs first), but even though I've been in counseling throughout the marriage (I wish I had lived with him first , then maybe I might have seen the NPD and how abusive it would be for me) and we've been through 5 marriage therapists (each time when they close in on the real problems, he quits therapy citing they are not as well educated as he is!)...I want to give up though will be finacially destitute if I do because I gave up my career and moved to his state. I am a teacher who is now 56 years old and no one will hire me. He has maintained control over me and our finances and I think planned it this way in order to keep me from leaving him (and embarrasing him publically) as did every other woman before me. He used to physically abuse me but after being arrested twice has stopped that. But now the emotional and verbal abuse and neglect (I've battle cancer twice since we've married, had treatments, ER admissions and surgeries that he never joined me for...and has even said so many times that he hopes I die!!!!). I do love myself and obviously have mastered taking care of my physical self out of necessity but I have 4 sons who would suffer financially if I left. I agree with the person who shared how she struggled to find a balance...taking care of oneself and not at the expense of otheres we love. My husband is very much untrustworthy and is so selfish...he never restarins indulging his wants and desires for his family but in public acts as if he's a genuine philanthropist. If people outside of his family ever knew the truth...his sons from his previous marriages also share my feelings...but they have escaped and get some of their emotional and physical needs met by their significant others. We are all hiuman abd therfore want and need others in some very basic ways. To be totally independent looks and acts like a NPD but without the outward abuse and use of those who are closest to us. I think I need to do as the other women in his past did and find myself a lover and best friend to fulfill the needs I have that I just can't give to myself.... teacher

  54. Dear Kim -- i have been deeply grateful for your articles -- I would never have found a useful way out of co-dependency or understood what I was experiencing if it had not been for you. I wrote this essay -- i speak about the Rattigan play and I am writing about the play. But the deeper understanding comes from my own experience and from the help I have had from you. I can only post a segment of the essay but if you like that then tell me how i can send the rest.

    An exploration of Terrence Rattigan’s play “After the Dance” and how it is a play quintessentially about narcissism with reference to Neville Symington’s new thinking regarding narcissism and the controversial Web site set up by Kim and Steve Cooper called “The Love Safety net” .

    “ They should be taken out and shot? “ says my Spanish friend as he and his New Zealander partner share a pizza and a glass of wine with me in his Spanish town. By the time this has been pronounced Paco’s sweet, gentle, slightly ironic persona has taken out and shot a great number of the more irritating characters in the world and I am perfectly convinced that he, more than anyone, would shoot no one. But at the present moment he is quite willing to shoot all narcissists. The world - in his estimation - would certainly be better off without a group of people who treat others as merely useful objects to be exploited or discarded. “But what if ” say I “ the society we live in breeds narcissists and even prefers their chameleon like natures -- Will we shoot everyone who tells us to have a nice day without any desire to know we have other plans? And what if we are the narcissists!”

    To answer some of these considerations it is first necessary to know what being a narcissist means.

    In Terrence Rattigan’s beautiful play After the Dance we encounter David and Joan Scott-Fowler in their beautiful London chambers with a spectacular view of London. They are bright young things only they are not so young; now in middle age. They belong to a generation just younger than that hewn down by the first world war. And this is crucial. They are part of a world that lost faith in its adults and in a future. They turn to their peers for attachment and find no immediate older brothers who might twin them and reveal a pathway blazed. They find children, like themselves, intent only on forgetting the war. They party, they do drugs, they are alcoholics -- they are not adults. Are they narcissists or part of a narcissitic world?

    Into this world come two younger characters. Helen Barren and Peter Scott-Fowler ( nephew of Joan and Peter) . Helen thinks she sees what to do. She believes David wishes to achieve more in his life than he is doing. She will make him give up drink. She says “ You see when you were eighteen you didn’t have anyone of 22, or 25 or 30 or 35 to help you. Because they’d been wiped out. And anyone over 40 you wouldn’t listen to...’ ( After the Dance, p28) and she asks ‘Why are you always trying to look back?’ ( After the Dance, p28 ) The inevitable happens. David agrees he will divorce Joan and give up drinking. This will be his ‘ segunda vida ‘. He is not convincing to us -- the audience. But Helen is truly ruthless. Though David is not able to actually tell Joan -- Helen pre-empts him and tells her herself. And tells Peter to whom she is engaged. She pretends that she has no idea what effect this information will have on them and is delighted when Joan takes it without a seeming care in the world. But the audience can see both Peter and Joan will be destroyed. Is Helen a mirror image of David? Is she drawn to him because she sees something of herself? Is she just very young -- only 20?

  55. Re the woman who writes that she is co-dependent and would like out only she cannot for financial reasons. maybe not every person with NPD is redeemable. Maybe sometimes it is more psychopathic than NPD? Maybe there are times when safe houses for women and making a clean break are best. I have a friend who watched his mother mistreated for all his childhood and only recently recalled that he too was mistreated when he tried to defend her but he was too small and he could not defend her.Later he felt angry with her for not leaving his father and felt too that she really could not because of the financial situation. Then -- late in life -- he punched his father and watched him fall over. He did not pursue the moment. He did not want to act thus. But he said it releaed all the pain because for one moment he saw his father where his father had kept him and his mother and knew one always had a choice how to treat others and that was his father's choice. mabe his father was a frightened child unable to find the lovee he needed and destroying any love offered because he did not deserve anything good -- maybe. But there is still you and you are being hurt.If you snip and think -- maybe I want to be happy again so I will not let this control my happiness now -- maybe. But the effort to do that is huge. And the love necessary to do that is huge. One needs to love oneself unconditionally and spiritedly while needing nothin from ones partner. One needs not to frighten ones partner but one is human and inevitably frightened oneself. One is ill and yet must find all ones comfort from within or in specific ways from friends who give very conditional but also patient love? That is a huge choice. Sometimes its the choice that would lead to greater happiness and yet one fails and becomes needy. That is me. But sometimes its a choice that cannot be made. And the truth is what one needs is another partner. and another life. Then safe houses and networks of support for vulnerable women must come into play. And onem must need to know how to resource them. I think the teacher writing to say she would leave s she could afford to is in that place. To love and look after herself she needs to feel financially safe. Maybe Kim can offer some pointers a on how to find a safe house.

  56. Kim,

    A lot of comments here. Would you please start a separate new article or blog titled "Tips, Comebacks, Suggestions and Information" so some of us who have learned from your articles/products and our personal experiences with NPDs can make this blog useful to each other ?

    I would like to post many tips from what I have experienced and learned and would like to learn from other NPD victims, so we can face it and deal with it rather than moan and groan about how helpless we are.

  57. Hi everyone and thanks for the comments, I only have a moment but to anon who wrote the review of After the Dance ... yes please send your review to and let me know if you mind us publishing it or where it will be published? Also to the suggestion that I write a post called tips, suggestions and comebacks, the funny thing is that I was just thinking of doing something similar to that so thanks for your ideas, it will happen very soon.

    To the woman who can't afford to leave I would strongly suggest that you look at the exercise in the Love Safety Net Workbook called "Your personal Bill of Rights" and consider what it suggests.

    In response to the other comment on safe houses I really need to make it clear that the points you have highlighted from our recommendations are only part of what we suggest. We also insist that it is vital that you keep yourself safe and put real limits on the abuse. Loving yourself and self soothing does NOT mean that you should ignore or tolerate abusive behaviour. This is criticism we have had leveled at us for 3 years now so please understand my need to be direct about this. We do not tell people they should stay and 'suck it up' as I feel your letter implies. We give solid advice on setting real limits on the abuse and also give advice on leaving as well.

    Our ebook "Back from the Looking Glass" does not specificaly deal with safe houses but it does deal extensively with how to talk to the authorities in a way that will require they take action and give you the best chance of getting help. Finding a safe house is something fairly specific to each area and we have people from all over the world read our website and blog so giving advice on that would be nearly impossible.

    Building a support network and seeking help correctly while loving and taking care of yourself and learning to handle your own emotions better CAN be extremely challenging, but I don't think it wise to suggest that simply finding a safe house and leaving is an easier solution.

    A safe house for instance will not solve a person's financial problems in seperating.

    In the case of someone who is financially dependent on their abusive spouse I believe that dealing with the hard task of sorting the unlawful and inappropriate behaviour from the lies in a way that their partner must face the consequences of their behaviour is probably even more important.

    I have stayed in a safe house and know many people who have (as well as many people who have worked and financed safe houses) and my experienece is that generaly after a few days of basic rations and little or no contact with the outside world (and once their emotions have calmed down) most women are of course wanting to go home.

    The people who work in these facilities will however often then consider this weak or stupid of them ...

  58. Yes, "Of course the stupid women just end up going back to him." Is the standard line I have heard over and over - from people that should really know better - but it is so common a cliche and the problem not a simple one to solve everyone just ends up saying it ...

    And when the person does go home of course little has changed.

    In my case what worked instead was turning my own home into a safe house and working setting boundaries from a base where I felt more familiar and secure and had my things (a lot of which I need to take care of myself right) around me.

    So to the woman who first wrote saying she is scared of the finacial consequences of leaving I really do understand. It is great that you have called the police in and limited the physical abuse and now the exercise I mentioned I hope will help you take this a step further.

    You should also start asking around and see if you can find a divorce lawyer that you can trust. Make sure that someone you know knows them personally and that you have the questions you need answered written down and that you stick to these points in your meetings and don't expect them to rescue you.

    You need to know what evidence you will need in court for a simple divorce that will provide for you and your sons financial needs. You husband will lie and do anything to derail this so you need to know how to put forward the most simple and rock solid case that you can that someone with experience in your area knows the judge will likely be sympathetic to.

    If a divorce if what you want you need to play this very straight and very clean and also it would probably be a good idea to let your husband believe or even say in some way he has "won" so he is less likely to persue revenge.

    Divorce is not something you should ever play at to teach your partner a lesson however and if there is someplace in your heart that is hoping that the divorce will make him admit they he is sorry and try and make it up to you I am afraid that you will probably lose alot of money only to find that doesn't work.

    If you want a divorce you must be certain of that and you must be ready to play a very hard quick game and be ready to play to win.

    You having an affair now will put yourself on extremely shakey ground in regards to divorce law and significantly reduce your likelihood of solving the entanglement you are now in with any kind of closure.

    OK this is just my own personal opinion and experinece and of course you need to make your own best judgements about what will work best to keep you safe.

    Kim Cooper

    1. I agree with what you said him with love and he may push you away and want a divorce and you don't have as much to fear since he is the one leaving...not you.

  59. Kim, this was one of the most inspiring things I have read. It hits the heart and the head at the same time. Thank-you! I believe this is something we all know is true...but it is easier to be a coward and therefore we resort to the blame game.
    To have courage is hard and scarey!! To be there for yourself is like being your own parent. Again thank-you for all your insight and for sharing.

  60. Kim and Steve's materials really do work. I ordered their book and workbook about five months ago out of pure desperation. My immediate change in behavior did result in immediate change in my husband's. But, I didn't do some of the more extreme things recommended because I wasn't sure they were necessary and I thought they would cause more conflict. Within the last week, I have been forced to. While they were difficult, and I doubted myself, just as Kim warned me I would, instead of reacting negatively, my husband sat on the sofa with me tonight and showed genuine affection - something I started to think he was not capable of. He normally goes to our bedroom and watches TV all night.

    I just wanted to give some hope to those of you who feel frustrated and trapped. This program is hard, and you truly have to do all the work, but it is worth it, especially if you have children and you don't know how you will handle sharing custody. That was my biggest fear.

  61. Hi Kim
    I am on to working the Love Safety Handbook. We are making small steps in progress. I do own all of your books and the have been read over many times. The Children and I are still living apart from my husband. I am learning many new skills to help me and the children relate to each other. My husband is working very hard to understand himself and work towards getting his family back. The steps are bring us closer. We are working on attatchments and communication skills. We all suffer in those areas. One more day, one more step, one more success. Yes there are the failures but we are all learning to move on and keep working towards the next sucess. Thanks Finances are always an issue when you have a second home. It hasn't been easy, however I must say it is worth the hard work.

  62. I am in the situation that my partner has left and i am fighting a huge feeling -- it has been 5 months so surely this feeling should lessen but it does not -- of loss. And re-thinking all the things he said. And asking myself why I could not deal with other personal issues and him and not need looking after. And knowing that sometimes one fails and thats how it is and one has to pick up the chips and go on. He told me everything that had gone wrong with his life was down to me. He has a host of sympathetic freinds who will think he is difficult but also think I am to blame. I think I have been because I went to a therapist who told me I was causing all the difficulties because I did not confront or say what I needed. Whatever went wrong -- I know I tried. Now he does not want any contact and I am fighting a huge hurt and need to hear from him. I know the best thing I can do is shoulder the sky and drink some ale and get on with my own life. I know I have to find my jou in myself. But I keep thinking of how to break things further when I want to mend them. I know I cannot mend anything. I think I need to have a divorce rather than just not hearing from him but I do not know how to ask for it. I do not trust my heart because my heart is being co-dependent -- or just longing for some resolution. I wish we could find our friendship and kindness even if not living together and sometimes think getting the divorce would make it possible. I have blown everything. I do look after myself and am happy often but then the under toe comes and I miss his company badly and have to remind myself that his company was very hard work. Help.

  63. Thank you Kim! I know I am guilty of having let my grown children move in my house (even though it is necessary) I feel like I have lost control. Things aren't neat as a pin, my yard looks awful, and we have a new puppy. The one thing I need the most, is like you, time to myself. I'm trying to quit smoking to, and they all smoke. I love my family, but would like to selfishly have my home to myself. I've lived with someone else for almost the last 30 years and I'm tired and just want sometime for me.

  64. Hi Kim,

    I don't know how I found this web page, but I am so grateful for having done so. I am still paralyzed with sadness over the recent break up with my mate. I am going to keep reading, and make a purchase, and WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH ME.

    Keep writing,
    Stuck, though not for long,

  65. After writing my dream lover list, it dawned on me I was selling myself short. I wasn't asking for much. In attempting to simplify things for my NPD husband, I'd pared my needs right back. When he wouldn't stop ridiculing me, I reduced that to stop interrupting me, when he wouldn't do that, I moved the goalposts again. Eventually he was back to behaving as he pleased without regard to my feelings or wishes.
    A few days ago, I told him if he kept up the behaviour, I would only have the most basic of exchanges with him and otherwise not converse with him. His response is that I'm being harsh, he's misunderstood but I'm wise to him playing the victim to him portraying me as the persecutor. It was his trick to prevent me from looking after myself by getting me to feel guilty for not taking his abuse. Said like that I both wince and smile. His 'poor me' routine no longer fools me.
    I've learnt to be more forgiving towards myself and raise my expectations. If I don't care myself and respect, how can I expect others to respect me.

    1. That is great that you are starting to understand him and his victim role that is not right for the situation. I am glad you can raise your a kid...don't let him get away with it. You calling him out may make him more secure/safe/loved. Best wishes.

  66. he's told me he is a masochist but his behavior looks otherwise. one time he told me ''i have my (late) father's killer charm!" He's let me know his late mother 'did too much' for him but 'didn't fill (his) needs' it's like women are there just to fill his needs. really hard to figure out at times; i have to be careful not to do anything for him without the attitude that i am not filling his needs. one need he seems to have is a woman who 'looks good' ; he's presumed i 'need his help' ( i have a minor disability) when my parents didn't raise me to see myself that way. I've had to put up with petty, nitpicking putdowns about my appearance, even when he knows i have done everything i could to make the most of my looks.

  67. in short, he won't believe that my parents and others see me as good enough or even myself, and persists in trying to make me think i 'need' his approval to be myself. what can i say to him in response to that? this is demoralizing

  68. Thank you Kim for sharing your life story and lightening the load we carry in our hearts , living with physical , emotional and psychological abuse.
    Many of us live in almost unbearable circumstances and seek to connect to others who have experienced similar situations in our marriages and family lives.
    I am one of these people.
    I feel deep compassion for anyone who has cowered in the the face of a cold , calculated put down meant to disable a persons sense of fairness, self respect and self-esteem. The false sense of power in the aggressor only serves to feed his ego even further, as he convinces his prey that they are completely to blame for any relationship problems , thus they maintain control over their victims .
    I have spent many decades trying to figure out how to raise a family , stay in the marriage inspite of the complicated scenario I live - that is my life.
    We are unable to work on changing family dynamic, as his inability to see his own failings prevent us from working together . Marriage counseling unveiled a borderline psychopathic problem for which there is no cure . In fact , I believe he proud of it , as it is part of the package that I need to accept and learn to embrace . At times I feel very lonely , few notice the two sided facets of personality as the condescending , passive aggressive behavior is often camouflaged and directed at me privately. I have learned to cope in private , as well , nursing my broken heart, wondering how I will endure a lifetime of this behavior. To leave him would destroy the life we have built for 30 years...
    Thank goodness I do love myself , I am a good person and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, as this is what keeps me going one day at a time . It really helps heal my broken heart to share my story , as well. We can all learn from Narcissus- no matter what our age.

    1. I would not say there is not cure. Niacin, Vit C, eating no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar and taking vitamins/good oils and LDN may help. Alternative medicine...not drugs may help. Best wishes.

  69. Hi anon,

    I cannot stress how important I believe it is that you go right now and purchase my ebook Back From the Looking Glass and follow the steps in it. He does not have to see or agree to anything for you to take those steps. You CAN change your family dynamic by refusing to see yourself as a victim or prey. If I had believed the professionals who said that Steve was incurable where would I be now? Part of loving yourself is learning how to stand up for yourself!

    Kim Cooper

  70. Dear Kim,
    is it purely coincidential that my husband is named Steve and has dark hair, prominent jaw and thick, dark eyebrows, like yours? And that I have recognized a narcissist in him? I'm almost tempted to post a photograph, although I share little to nothing online...
    Thanks for your work!

  71. Dear Kim
    I have recently purchased your book Back from the Looking Glass and wish I had done years ago.
    Having been married over 30 years everything fits into place, only now I feel a fool. My husband is self employed working in a female office, he,s rarely taken time off, often not given presents for birthdays and not shown much interest in me and the kids over the years.
    I put it down to running a business, he never went out in the evenings or weekends so I never suspected any thing.
    The only time I could have been more aware was after our first child when I was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease which he manged to convince me was a hospital mix up.
    I had my own friends worked part time and generally ran the home, trusting him completely, then 2 years ago I received text messages to my mobile saying horrible stuff, naturally he denied it. Then I found a bracelet left in the house, some of my underwear was taken, things moved about. It reminded me of years earlier when a shirt had lipstick on it I didnt even bother to ask as I knew he,d say it was a client peck on the cheek.
    Now I feel a fool I went to see a Solicitor who knew him who said now I knew I,d be leaving town.
    Trouble is I know and don,t know as he wont talk and I feel I,ve lost my confidence I,ve dropped friends who I thought behaved badly around him, one said she,d done something to offend me but I dearn,t ask what. I,m a mess.
    Years ago it seemed someone was coming into the house when I was at work leaving a couple of things behind, he said it was a neighbour only they didnt have a key. I must have been mad my only excuse is that our second child was born with problems needing 13 years of hospital treatment ,surgery , thankfully now ok.
    I,m finding this hard going


    1. Hi H,

      I am not sure what happened to the end of your post. As hard as this all is - it is so much better that you are out of the dark. The time has come now for you to get much stronger and keep working through the steps. I would not trust the solicitor that is suggesting you leave town. Why should you leave town? You have nothing to be ashamed of!

      Your husband has also probably heard (from this man) that you know - and so I don't think there is any hurry. Let him sweat and wonder what is coming - while you build your strength as outlined in the steps in Back From the Looking Glass.

      You stay strong and in charge and don't let him get you in a spin!

      You may feel ashamed but you must overcome that. You have nothing to be ashamed of and now you need to hold your head high and calmly and slowly pull in information and support.

      The evidence you need will come if you don't play your hand too soon.

      Also you might find if there are neighbors you can get to watch your house.

      As tough as this time is for you the steps are all there - and you would do well to also start working on the exercises in The Love Safety Net Workbook.

      Remember the dance of grief? You need to stay strong for your kids and work through this now in a way that will eventually bring peace to your family.

      This is going to take time for you to work through and become stronger but now is your time to grow and eventually shine.

      You will be victorious over this situation - I just know it - but it is going to take time and deliberation and you must not let him destabilize you and your kids.

      You may forgive him and you may not - but first you need 100% out of the dark and to heal your own codependence so you can deal with this emotionally volatile situation with courage but also making sure that you are no longer disrespected and exploited. This will earn the respect of the people around you - but it will take time.

      Personal growth is often painful but you are on your way.

      Hang in there H!

      Kim Cooper

  72. I have 2 suggestions for developing this into an ebook: first, add sugar to your addiction list (having just relapsed the other day after 2 months of no sugar, this addiction let me know how real a problem it is for me. I am left managing my moods while I deal with a bad cold. Not fun.) and second, determine the difference between a deeply held value and a consideration you're denying yourself - and help people to figure out the difference.

    I value the integrity in myself, so, I demand honesty from the people around me. Expecting that from my lover does not mean I don't give it to myself, but that it's a deeply held value in my life. Helping your readers to figure this out would make this article and idea an invaluable resource worthy of payment.

    Everything else in this article is spot on. I will be referencing back to this article quite a bit as I develop the self love I am desperately needing. My main issues when dealing with fear have to do with outside forces, other peoples influence. If I fear something I have control over, I just power through it. If I fear something that I need other people's involvement or participation in, I freeze. Oh boy, do I freeze. Otherwise, I'm pretty courageous. Wish I could be more so when dealing with other people. It's not that easy for me, so this will be a lot of work and effort (two things I also don't allow myself in self care).

    I have a relationship I'm trying to develop and she represents where I would like to be in my life right now. I am deeply afraid of getting close to her for fear of... success, failure, both... not sure. I haven't fully explored those feelings yet, but just recently realized that she intimidates me BECAUSE I'm afraid of what she represents for me. I believe overcoming my fear in relation to her will open wide doors I once felt too sacred to touch.

    I really think this article will help me further develop my self reliance - and in doing so, my self love. Thank you for writing it. And please excuse my utilitarian manner, I tend to get right to the point.

  73. Lots to think about and figure out for myself. Its hard after so long of being manipulated into believeing that the other person was everything I ever wanted.


  74. Hello all,

    I think many of you ask yourself, what if i had the password of my friend / girlfriend / boyfriend, associate, life partner, etc. .. to know the truth about your near partner, and reassuring that they do not hide you something.

    You have the right to be reasured !

    For all that are in need of this kind of services We come to your aid, feel free to contact us on our mail for any information, we will be happy to help you

    "Owning the information, means having the power "


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