Or maybe someone you love has suggested that you are a narcissist?
Kim: When you first learned about narcissism, I wonder if you felt a sense of relief that you had finally found a diagnosis that might help explain all of the heartache and chaos in your life?
Steve: And once you discovered that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is considered a medical condition if you became anxious to find a cure for narcissism?
Kim: And if instead of finding a cure for narcissism, angry people instead started telling you that there was no cure for narcissism and that your situation was hopeless?
If so we really feel for you and can imagine just how desperate this all may have made you feel.
We know this because we have helped thousands of people feeling the same way that you may be feeling right now. People all searching for a cure for narcissism and needing the same better answers.
Personally, I don’t need to guess how you might be feeling, because I was once in the same situation.
Sadly all of the professional advice I received at that time only encouraged me to feel sorry for myself, blame Steve, and cut all communication with him.
As parents of three beautiful children I was shocked that anyone could pretend that was even possible—without forcing our children to become go-betweens which would have made their lives and ours even more miserable.
What the Narcissism Cured Story is About
Steve: Our story is how Kim was once told that I was a narcissist and that she had no choice but to leave me; it is the story of how this beautiful woman, who remains my wife and equal partner in life, continued her search for a cure for narcissism while resisting the temptation to call herself a victim.
Although she faced incredible criticism for questioning the “No Contact” approach to dealing with my selfish and heartless behavior, Kim decided to speak out and insist that the problem was not as simple as most people were pretending.
By refusing to put all of the blame for our marriage conflict on me, Kim came to see the problem from a new perspective.
Kim: Our story is not a simple cure for narcissism, instead it will offer you a new way of understanding love, with practical steps that you can take that are simple but will not be easy–and may not save your marriage–but will improve your life in all sorts of ways that right now you may not even imagine possible.
Steve: I once filled Kim’s life with fear and insecurity with my constant criticisms and judgments, but despite how hard it was for her to hold her confidence together and know how to deal with me, Kim somehow found the courage to face her part in our problems. Changing her responses opened a dialogue between us that blaming me and cutting me off never could have.
Kim: Do you worry sometimes that the fighting might partially be your fault?
Many women in abusive relationships are told they have psychological problems if they don’t just leave their husbands. That psychological problem—no longer classified as a mental disorder—is called codependency. Narcissists are relentlessly demonized in our society but the truth is that codependents are also guilty of most forms of abuse.
Steve: No matter how angry Kim’s statement might make some people, there is real power in accepting your role in the problems you now face.
The psychology that puts all the blame for your relationship problems on another person, labeling that person as a toxic narcissist, etc. is bad psychology.
Kim facing her own role in our marriage conflict allowed her to claim her power back, with actions that forced me to start facing my responsibilities.
Protect Your Treasure!
Kim and I offer ourselves here as guides that will help you protect the greatest treasure in your life. A treasure that money cannot buy. That treasure is a loving and peaceful home.
Kim: Steve and I are not psychologists and we do not want to claim that our life is any better than anyone else’s, but without any hope to guide us, we have had to learn these lessons the hard way. We have attempted to do the right thing by each other and our family even when that has brought us criticism and even cost us our reputation. We have also experienced many pitfalls and made many mistakes. There were even times when the people in the past who had told us that our situation was hopeless–and that we should have given up on our marriage–appeared to have been right. Yet here we are, still together today with our love for each other stronger than ever.
Despite our struggles, we have no regrets, because leaving is not the easy answer that people pretend it to be. When I was in this situation many years ago I was asking myself these questions about leaving;
- How was I to safely manage shared custody of our children when the conflict had not been resolved?
- Or afford the expense of running two households while also providing for our children’s care?
- Or manage the mess that would result if our next relationships turned out the same?
Steve and I were both from broken homes and had first-hand experience of the hurtful mess our separation might cause our children. A situation that neither of us wanted for them. Steve had given up on our family, but I had a desperate need for answers and began devoting all of my spare time to conducting research.
Emotional intelligence was the subject that first flagged my attention. It promised something that I knew I sorely lacked. No one on the internet at that time was talking about emotional dysregulation; which in layman’s terms means not being able to manage your emotions.
I saw in myself that emotional dysregulation was a major symptom of codependency.
Steve: Most valuable is that Kim tracked our journey over the years through the many books and articles she has written; keeping an honest account of our successes and failures, as together we rewrote the rules that said that our situation was hopeless. This journey, combined with the stories of the many other people we have helped over the years has made us confident that we might help bring peace to your life, to your marriage, and to your home.
Men Must Face These Conflicts
It is not only women who are romantic about love. Most men get married expecting a fairy tale happily ever after. We think we will be perfect husbands, that other people will be nice, and that life will play fair. Sadly, the story doesn’t usually work out that way. Instead many of us men discover that we are not perfect but proud, lazy, and selfish and the people around us hostile, competitive, and unkind; and that life can be cruel, random, and heartless.
Are people in this world abusive and unkind? Yes, they are, but how do you deal with that sad fact and what expectations do you have? How might you play into the game of bully and victim? Is turning yourself into a bully by pointing your finger, judging, gaslighting, ghosting, and stonewalling people close to you going to make your life any easier?
If we seek wisdom we may even discover that we are usually our own worst enemy.
Love’s Battle Field
The wisdom of seeing our role in our suffering comes from the important work of halting our judgment and looking in the mirror, but Kim and I have also come to understand love’s battlefield together. Assessing this has shown us that something is not right in the world and that many of the problems families are facing today have external and not internal causes. Something that we will never see if we continue pointing the finger of blame at each other.
Kim: The city we call family life in our world today is being attacked by the equivalent of a fierce and terrible dragon, and we must urgently learn practical ways to protect ourselves.
Sadly, popular psychology aimed at helping people deal with their relationship problems is based mainly on pathologizing other people (medical name-calling) and blame.
‘Narcissist’ has sadly become the most nasty and hurtful name you can call someone. Not a mature or scientific approach—to say the least.
I was told that Steve was suffering from an illness but also that my trying to find a cure for that illness was futile and even made me crazy. Coming from a medical family this advice did not look right to me. It seemed like a good recipe for driving good people–who were already confused and suffering–completely crazy.
I was also told that I should not try and change Steve’s unhealthy behavior. In this regard the pop psychology writers were right. That was indeed difficult and unhealthy. All I had done was complain and become emotionally distraught asking Steve to change. A habit that I am embarrassed to say took me a long time to break.
The First Sign of Promise
The idea that I might be part of the problem felt like an opportunity that might offer some positive steps. With little pride left, my being part of the problem was actually a huge relief. I was ready to work on changing myself; blaming Steve hadn’t changed anything and only gave my power away to him.
But I knew that leaving Steve wouldn’t fix my codependency. I had been running away from selfish and judgemental people all of my life. Steve was seriously pushing my buttons, but I knew that I had serious problems asserting my needs effectively and poor emotional control. I didn’t want these negative aspects of myself to continue embarrassing me and hurting our family.
So, instead of taking the advice to simply label Steve a narcissist and leave, I dug deep into the scientific research to finally get past the name-calling and blame.
Becoming more emotionally intelligent took longer than I could have ever imagined.
Still, I made progress and my dramatic emotional outbursts and fits of despair, over time, became less frequent.
At the same time, I was also learning how to stand up for myself more effectively.
Emotional intelligence, indeed, is our best armor in this battle, with equality and teamwork the only prizes worth fighting for.
You Must Become Your Own Hero!
Steve: We are not psychologists or doctors and don’t want to suggest that we have a universal cure for narcissism or that you should try and diagnose yourself or anyone else from the information we provide here.
Quite the opposite, after years of helping couples with our books—written from our own experience—we have come to understand that narcissism and codependency are opposing mindsets that society has programmed into most of us from birth.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Hopefully, you will find our latest book Love Indeed is Still the Answer extraordinary in the evidence that it lays out for this claim.
I say our books but Kim is really the primary author; instead of judging her and putting her down, I have become her number one fan and support person. Happily ever after is a myth, but the journey Kim has led us on over the years has improved my state of mind and enjoyment of life.
Kim: And I have learned just as much from Steve.
Together we offer ourselves as humble guides and mentors in our books and audio products, leading the way as regular people who have personally traversed love’s dangerous terrain. Taking you to that place in yourself that you can’t go by yourself. Helping you get back in touch with the true power of love that is within you. Helping you discover the programs you need to avoid chaos and cynicism in your life. Programs that will help protect you from all the bad suggestions and misleading signposts that our world deliberately tempts you with every day.