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on 30 October 2010
I came across the concept of Ns and co-dependents last year whilst studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
I had at that point been working successfully as a therapist and life coach for many years (just shows this can happen to anyone) but this was the first time I studied in any depth personality disorders.
Whilst it took some time for me to accept that the strange things going on in my own 23 year relationship were due to the N and co-dependent loop, in the end it was irrefutable and actually a relief to finally recognise what was going on.
The idealise/devalue and engagement/disengagement loop were finally explained, along with the need for him to play Prince to a Princess (he had a variety of these throughout our marriage). Also explained were the compulsive and often unnecessary lies, the excessive and inappropriate anger which could be ingnited as quickly as it would change back to calm and pleasant.
My chap was handsome, self deprecating, charming, kind, generous, extremely intelligent and one of the most credible and well liked (to those he chose to engage with) gentleman I can ever recall meeting.

He was also a liar, hard done by, illogical, irrational, totally lacking in empathy, insensitive, cruel and a cheat who regularly threatened to leave if ever there were differences or things to discuss. (Although he never actually did go, I had to leave him in the end).
We started as THE best couple ever, and I was apparently THE most beautiful, intelligent and amazing person he had ever met in his WHOLE life.

Besides studying the suject in depth, I have now also read a number of books around Ns and found Dr Les Carter's 'Enough about you, lets talk about me' to be extremely helpful because it not only explained the characteristics of the disorder but also how to start making moves to manage these people if you have to have them in your life.
Their extreme need for control at all costs is also explained in this book (Narcissistic Lovers) and it really does what it says on 'the tin', helps you to recover and move on.

NPD is reckoned to be one of the toughest of the personality disorders for the victims, and whilst others might think we (the victims) are unintelligent door mats or wimps, if we were that, our N's would never have picked us. However, it has to be faced that to stay in a relationship with an N for so long, desperate to make thing right, is certainly a sign that there is something wrong, and co-dependency issues have to be faced. It's addressing and understanding our own issues, and educating ourselves about N behaviour, that are the keys to recovery and finally going and getting a life.
This book really helps in this journey. It not only educates regarding Ns, it also educates regarding codependency.
Other books do these things to varying degrees. But this book does more. It also takes you on a journey empathetically, and offers a variety of 'stories' which allow you to see N and Co behaviour from a distance, so that you're willing the Co's to go get a life, and want to disengage from the N.

Few people who haven't been in this kind of relationship would understand the torture that goes on. I'm not sorry for myself, and nor am I exaggerating when I use this word.
This book has helped me take the next step to recovery.
I would recommend it unreservedly and thank the writers for their insight and manner of writing, which have proved extremely helpful.
My own experiences have been horrific (23 years is a long time), but not wasted. As a therapist I am able to help others find themselves and recognise their own power, value and self worth, and move on, all the better for my own first hand knowledge. The key is never to be bitter or resentful, but to learn how to let go, move forwards, recognise own self worth, and no longer need such levels of external validation.
This can be quite a journey. When I was needing help to understand all that was going on in my life, I found even fellow therapists just thought that it was a case of walking away. If you've been in the grip of an N, this is simply not that simple, as you will know.
Anyway, if you suspect you could be struggling with some of these issues, this book is a great thing to include in your recovery process.
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on 7 October 2011
After struggling to save my 34 year marriage for the past 5 years,eventually getting divorced in January of this year I was devastated to find out (after the divorce) that my ex husband had in fact been chasing women continiously during the marriage. I still found it difficult to understand how a)I was so foolish and trusting and b) how he could so easily move onto another relationship and arrange his 2nd marriage so soon (next year). After reading this book I now understand a lot more about his manipulation techniques and necessary "supply" of partners and my co-dependence that attributed to this. In fact after reading one of the case studies I found myself in tears because it mirrored my marriage in so many ways. This knowledge has helped me move on with my life a lot quicker and I definitely recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in this confusing state, if I knew what I knew now after reading about Narcissistic Personality Disorder my new life would have begun so much earlier.
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on 29 May 2010
I have had trouble getting over a guy, and I knew something was not normal, but I just didnt know what. This book was amazing for me, it's quite a thin book, but has a tonne of information about narcisstic lovers. It had all the answers to my questions, it was an amazing read. I just couldnt put it down once I had started it. It was my situation exactly, and have the answers has indeed helped me rationalise it, cope and move on.

It explains about the character types, and co-dependents who are pulled into this situation. It has helped me hugely in giving my sitaution the right label, in a situation where things just didnt add up. Where the partner just abandons you and very quickly moves on to someone new, too quickly while you are left stunned and wondering what happened.

Only negative about this book is its written sometimes referring to the narcissistic person and "he" then almost one paragraph later switches to a "she" which is irritating, as they should have just picked on gender and stuck with it. The reader after all is smart enough to know it can apply to either a male or female.

Great book to help understand and cope if you suspect this is your situation with a very selfish, self-centered person who can only see their view of the relationship.

DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED, it's given me answers and closure, and for that alone is totally worth it.
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on 5 March 2012
For me, this was a fantastic read! and opened up the answers to many questions which I've had through my life. I realise now, that I am indeed a co-dependant, which stems from my upbringing and thus has continued into my relationships with others.
I had heard of Narcissists but didn't know what they were until I read this book! and it seems there are many out there!
The reason, I personally bought this book, is because I had so many questions, having been suddenly ignored by a man who I had spent 9 close months with. I couldn't understand the no explanation and how someone could be so cruel, cold and hurtful but now that I have read this, I understand and above anything else, this book has helped me realise, that I did 'nothing wrong' and the problems lie with that person and not me. Though, being a co-dependant I realise that I to have lessons learnt here.
so, basically, if you're feeling a little lost in this world and feel that many/most relationships you have with others fail due to those people being so cold and bitter, this is the book for you!, so as not to keep blaming yourself!
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on 17 December 2010
This book was extremely helpful in opening my eyes to see who this person I was involved with for the past 5 years, was. I was finally able to "let him go" after reading this book. He was a master manipulator---and I was very much under his "spell". I knew I had to do something to break that spell and go on with my life. The book was "right on" in describing many of his actions and how my co--dependency was feeding into those lies and allowing him to try to convince me to do things I would never think of doing. He was sooo good at what he did---having been in many relationships that never seemed to work--thru no fault of "his". I am so glad I ordered this book---I now have a peace within that I didn't have before.
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on 18 March 2013
I chose this book after reading the positive reviews.

This is such a helpful book if you have been questioning your cat & mouse relationship.

I could not put this book down as it related so much to what was happening in my relationship. It is so reassuring if you are being made to feel worthless & unloved,continually asking yourself why you are allowing your partner to make you feel like this,it's NOT normal, you know that it's NOT normal, but you keep hoping it is going to change.

The lack of emotional connection, the lack of empathy & understanding due to selfishness, your partner always playing the victim turning everything round onto you, the blame game.

Please read this book if you are trying to make sense of a relationship that is exhausting you sucking every drop of life out of you,a relationship that is changing you from a happy confident outgoing fun loving person, to a weak, miserable needy lady that is always feeling let down, giving so much but receiving nothing back, a relationship that you know if your friend was describing to you, you would just shake your head in despair & ask why are you still with him????

The book was delivered within 48 hours of ordering, excellent service & an EXCELLENT read!
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on 27 September 2010
Hi, if you have been a victim of Narcissism, this is the best book to read.... its easy to read and totally backs up personal experiences, knowledgeable rather than psychological theory!
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on 25 September 2014
One of the best book on the subject because it addresses coo-dependency from both perspectives : the Narcissist and the 'Narcissized'. I am very grateful for the authors for addressing other issues regarding society and expectations of modern women (who now hold down responsible jobs yet they are still expected to cater for the whole family and never question their 'duty' to serve their husband and why would men challenge this traditional convenient arrangement !? ).

This book is eloquently written without being too academic but intellectual enough for those who are already familiar with this subject.
I am also grateful for those 'sample letters' that you write to the Narcissist -but you never send them as he/she has no emotional intelligence to comprehend the contents (be it your parent or your former partner). You do this as you are feeling enlightened and empowered to move on and you use this as closure - as you would never get one from an N! ["...Because I have realized that you are at mercy of this disorder, I no longer need you (or anyone else) to validate me; ..."]
Many people find the 'No Contact' rule hard to practice. This book will explain and justify why you should not give in - you know the drill: " first they put you on the pedestal, thereafter they start devaluing you and finally : they discard you and move on ... so : Idolize - devalue -discard ... and if you take them back the same repetitive cyclic pattern will follow ... You will find out why they manipulate you this way - it is quite mind-bending read and at times it is a lot to take in but you will get used to the mindset of an N: " ...It doesn't really bother me that I disturbed your sleep ...after all you are here to cater for me and make me feel better...besides, you are doing me a service by listening to me and encouraging me. It is time well spent. If I need you, I will grace you with another phone call sometime tomorrow ...when it is convenient for me. Get some sleep...or don't. It doesn't really matter to me as long as you are available at my back and call. I don't love you because I don't know how to love anyone. I don't even love myself. I only love my disorder. Good night ."
Of course that's not how they put it for you : "I am sorry Babe. I am fading fast. I really need to get some sleep before I deal with those idiots at work tomorrow. I will call you tomorrow. Get some sleep. I love you. Goodnight." ... (Now you make your mind up ...)
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on 13 January 2011
This book was bought for me by a friend who explained that the abusive relationship that I had just ended was due to the fact that my wife suffered from Narcisstic Personality Disorder (NPD). The book did give me a good insight into what NPD is and helped me to understand some of her crazy behaviours. However I found it to be very repetitive (on a couple of occasions I thought that I had lost my place and was re-reading a page to find that I wasn't and the book was just restating the same facts). Case studies are used a lot and some of them seem to have no point to them. Overall it helped (but as much as a good leaflet on NPD would have) but I am sure there are better books out there - I will let you know when I have read some!
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on 30 April 2011
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