People show different faces to the world depending on the context of their relationships or their environment. It’s natural and healthy to use different parts of our personality depending on where we are and who we are interacting with. At the office, for example, we may be serious or act in charge, different than how we would act at home where we can be more playful or want more attention for ourself.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder however show two faces so completely different from the other it is shocking and disturbing. For people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder their public face may be charming, disarming, sweet and irresistable. Their private face; the one they show only to the people living with them behind closed doors, is often quite the opposite. In private they will be condescending, superior, as if they are better or more popular than you.

People with a narcissism disorder often act arrogantly or withdraw from those who are most emotionally connected to them. They are often unavailable or sarcastic and insulting and show little or no regard for your feelings or well-being (unless they want something) and putting people, including their friends, down behind their backs.

In public, a spouse with a narcissism disorder may either ignore you, giving their attention to others (as if you don’t exist), or else be so charming and doting on you, pretending to be the perfect wife or husband, that your friends will wonder how anyone can be so lucky to have such a great guy or gal!

The emotional pain you feel over your abusive spouse’s lack of concern for your well-being --rejection, humiliation, powerlessness, shame and anger-- may even lead to psychological and psychosomatic health problems, and addictions in your family.

No matter how much heartache and damage a person with these symptoms may cause, if confronted about their behaviour, the narcissist will be indignant and consider himself to be above the ‘law,’ whether that’s the legal system or just the laws of fairness and honesty in relationships. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to make a narcissist change, but through my own personal experience of living with a narcissistic husband I discovered a way to change myself first that eventually helped him change too.

Kim Cooper is the author of “Back from the Looking Glass” and “The Love Safety Net Workbook,” e-books about healing an abusive relationship. She and her husband Steve co-host The Love Safety Net talk radio show and website at

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At Narcissism cured we care to understand and help people to correct and heal the emotional dysfunction they may have been facing all through their life. To find out more information, visit .