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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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Can you please point me at a good beginners book for someone

Customer Question

Can you please point me at a good beginner's book for someone trying to understand and deal with Narcissistic Personality Disorder in partners. Also, co-dependency.

Having suddenly discovered this site - it has taken me 19 years of misery with two separate partners (the first for 13 years and the second for 6 years)to realise that they were both suffering from this. They were both abused in childhood by their respective mothers and were completely unloved.

I have this week thrown the second one out of my home after yet another bout of drunken abuse. Yet I feel sorry for him and want to help him. He exhibits all the symptoms of this condition listed in the encyclopaedia! Of course he doesn't recognise that he has a problem and blames me and my son for his behaviour. I am not taking this on board and have found great strength and solace in this site which has changed me from the pathetic zombie which I had become, into someone who wishes to take control of the situation. Help! Ta
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hi Customer:

Glad you discovered our site. To answer your question directly, a good book to start you off will be Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life, by XXXXX XXXXXez-Lewi. There are a lot of books to help therapists deal with clients who have this diagnosis, but not a wealth of books to help the spouses/partners.

By the way - I would really like for you to seek therapy for yourself as well. It sounds as if something in your past has set you up to continually choose these characters. My wish for you would be to eliminate that drive and set yourself up for success in future relationships with healthier partners! You've got to do a better job of re-connecitng with that inner voice that tells you to run when you feel these guys approach. Im not sure what heppened to quiet that little voice, but until you pay attention, you may be blind to the allure of the narcissist.
Best of luck-


Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks Steve. I did hear the warning voices the second time but ignored them thinking it couldn't happen to me twice. I will listen to them if it happens again! (I have had a couple of good relationships as well.)

What book (written in fairly non-medical language) would a therapist use in this situation - and is it feasible for me to try to help? - from what I have been reading, prognosis for this disorder is poor. Will the book which you have recommended help me to help him as well as help me to understand my own situation and reaction? Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hello again:

Well... look, I am going to guess he does not want any part of "help," as he (almost certainly) feels as if the problem lies completely within you, and is in no way because of anything he is doing. So I don't think you should venture down that path - ESPECIALLY in light of the way you have already identified your own "co-dependent" tendencies.

In order to heal, you must begin to separate and live for yourself rather than for him.


But your question is still valid, and I will answer it: the book I recommend for therapy-types who are struggling to achieve boundaries and a secure relationship is Identifying and Understanding the Nascissistic Personality by Elsa Rottingstam. It is written in a far more clinical language, so may not be as easily followed by a lay person. Still, the concepts are sound, as is the approach.


Dr. Steve

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Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hi Customer... I am wondering if you could kindly press "Accept" if you are satisfied with my response... it is the only way I receive credit for the answer!

Dr. Steve
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Steve, I did press "Accept" some time ago and have got e-mail confirmation that you have received payment. Have we "crossed in the post" so to speak?
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hello - and perhaps we did. I also received notice of payment, so we are all good. Please do not hit "accept" again, or you will be dinged for another payment.

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