Domestic Valor

Advice for Clergy, Police, Doctors and Family

Narcissism and Abuse

Kim Cooper author of ‘Back from the Looking Glass – Living with the Personality Disorder that Causes Domestic Abuse’ steps through the wall of silence and shame surrounding domestic violence to tell her own true story.

Kim’s husband Steve suffered from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) which is an element in many abusive relationships. “After my husband’s diagnosis I found that much of the information and advice I received about NPD was highly discriminatory. Many sites said that if your partner has this problem you must either leave him or learn to be manipulative and abusive yourself, and even worse, many claim that there is no cure.”

Kim disputes these claims and says that although therapy might not be the answer for NPD, a family that can come to understand why a person is behaving this way, backed by a strong support network in the community can help an adult with this condition grow through their problem which many professionals now consider a developmental gap, rather than a true mental illness or personality disorder.

“Most of the claims come from Mr. Sam Vaknin, who admits to being full blown NPD himself, meaning, by his own definition, he is prone to grandiosity and is a compulsive liar. That considered, I do not think he should command so much authority on this subject.” says Kim. Mr. Vaknin currently claims ‘expert’ status on NPD, and dominates the on-line search engines and forums.

“The idea that NPD is incurable must be questioned. It is irresponsible that people like Mr. Vaknin can get away with instructing women that they must leave their husbands and have no contact with them because they suffer from this disorder. There is an online petition of NPD sufferers and their family members objecting to this treatment. Mr. Vaknin has turned NPD into the mark of the vampire, or a witch hunt. This must stop; enough is enough. Women in abusive marriages have been through enough already and do not deserve to be confused and tormented further by Mr. Vaknin’s dark mind or his bleak and inaccurate diagnoses. To deal with Narcissism, one does not need to delve into a sufferer’s distorted thinking as is suggested by Mr. Vaknin’s virtual encyclopedia of articles on the subject, couples need narcissism simplified.” They need practical solutions to end the destructive narcissism pattern in their marriages.

“The family of a person with NPD, if properly educated and supported, are a great asset to a community working at healing domestic abuse. If they choose to stand by and help, they deserve respect and support,” says Kim, whose husband has now recovered. “Divorce should be the last option, there are much better options to try first.”

“I had some growing up to do,” admits Kim’s husband Steve. “When I see men with this problem now I think, ‘What a baby’. I feel embarrassed too, I remember being there myself. I am the luckiest guy in the world to have Kim, she stood by me and helped me to grow up.”

To learn more about Kim and Steve’s guide “Back from the Looking Glass – >Living with the Personality Disorder that Causes Emotional and Physical Abuse” please visit

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