19 Responses to “The Roots Of The Dance”

  1. It was a pleasure to have Maria Rodowski on our radio show yesterday. Maria is a Yale trained physician, board certified in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.
    Kim and I were very nervous as we don’t often have guests, but to have the opportunity to have Maria on the show talking on the subject of ‘attachment theory’ was worth all the nervousness that we felt before, during and after the show.
    We touched on many of the concepts around attachment theory, but by no means all of them. This topic is central to our message and is now a growing field among the social sciences. The ‘roots of the dance’ refers to the problems and challenges of attaching with our families as we grow up, as we have our own children, and as we grow into our relationships with our spouse. Each person’s attachment style will differ with each different person in their life, and the level of attachment will change over time. We can learn much from our present relationship struggles from the quality, or lack thereof, of our healthy attachments throughout childhood.
    Kim and I were permanently unattached for most of our early years, as I would behave like a belligerent teenager, pushing and pulling like an undisciplined child. Kim would become distraught and lose her centre, trying hopelessly to figure out why I could behave so badly. This dance continued for years.
    The story of how the dance ended is in Kim’s eBook, Back from the Looking Glass. Kim and I now put as much effort as we can into building rapport between each other and with our kids. To a lesser extent we also do our best to build attachment with our extended family and neighbors.

    Kim and I must apologize if we talked over the top of Maria at stages throughout the broadcast. Apart from being guilty of the very bad Australian habit of talking over the top of others, there was actually a delay in our headsets that made monitoring difficult.

    Thanks Maria, we are grateful for your time, energy and knowledge that you shared with us.


    The show page if you missed it is here,

  2. Monica said

    What is wrong with me that I even love and want to be with an annoying and mentally/emotionally abusive narcissistic boy/man?, …. who by the way has on three occassions during certain arguments, stated “I should beat you.

    (To which I warned him that his rights ended, where mine began, and that I COULD charge him with assault (for even a verbal threat) if I so chose to.

    Furthermore, I don’t trust him at all regarding having a double life and being a cheat. Still I love the guy and can’t let go. Again I ask, what is my side of this story?

    I have thought a million times to order your book, Back From the Looking Glass, and then I think, why even bother with this guy — just let him go, and let him be somebody elses crazy making problem/heartache.

    Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom/advice.


  3. CD said

    Hi Monica,

    Under the “Narcissism” blogs on October 3, 2009 Steve Cooper has a response to a young girl Claire who is upset about how her self-absorbed boyfriend is treating her (see Claire’s blog on October 1, 2009).

    Now it could be quite easy for Claire to leave her relationship with her boyfriend, but she is confused and searching for answers. Steve describes in his response that there are many people like Claire who have a ‘feeling’ of something of a connection with their abusive partner, and how this deep bond is almost impossible to ignore. Steve also talks about why running away is not always the best solution, because unless the partner of a narcissist or abusive partner does a lot of work on their relationship skills and learns how to limit the abuse (which takes many forms – not only physical and emotional) then they could quite easily run straight into the arms of another abuser.

    If you love your guy and can’t let go (and I believe you) why would you hesitate to buy Kim & Steve’s “Back From The Looking Glass” – it will cast so much light on your questions that you will wonder why you hesitated. There is a lot to learn and work to do, but if you are asking the questions you obviously want the answers – and this is a good place to find them.

    Good Luck & Stay In Touch,

  4. HI Monica,

    and thanks to CD for a great response on my behalf.

    CD is right, the connection and love you feel for him is natural. We all need somebody to love more than we need to be loved. We need to exhale the air from our lungs before we can take a breath in. We often feel it is the other way around.

    From here we have a great range of material for you to choose from. You should be able to step up to the next level of interpersonal relationship skills from here, because if you can’t the only other way is down. Our eBooks offer practical steps to build your skill set in this regard, even if in the end this guy is not worth it. You are worth it.

    New blog page here,

    Narcissism Daily Mirror


  5. camelia said

    at what point would you recommend that you share with the other person information on narcissism?

    i feel exhausted.

  6. camelia said

    i really dont think it is love keeping me to him. i have been in love before and have not felt hurt when things did not work out – i had to much love and appreciation for the other person to stand in his way if he wanted something other than me. but with this guy i am constantly coming back for more – more insults – more insecurity – more wasted opportunities for joy. i barely stay away enough to regain some strenght before i feel the need to go back….

  7. kimcooper said

    Hi Camelia,

    Only you can work out why you keep going back if you do not love him? Perhaps there is a lesson for you to learn in all of this. If so I think that by working through our information you may find what that is. As for when to talk to him about narcissism I will make sure that Steve has moved you onto our customer list. I believe he gave you our main ebook package but I am not sure that he moved you to the customer list so I will check on that. You will receive and email with a link there where you can listen to a radio show where Steve and I discuss speaking to your partner about narcissism and in about a week you will get a series of short movies each day that may help you unravel what your lesson is in this. .

    I think it is very important that you give yourself the time to read through as much of our information as possible and also listen to or read the transcripts of as many of our radio shows as you can (they are all free) before you make a decision as to how you are going to move forward and what it is you want. Steve and I have a great marriage now but I really wanted that and was ready to do whatever I had to. We had three young kids together as well and even though things were VERY bad with us by the end I did still love him and in our hearts we both did want to see it work. We had both grown up with step parents and did not want that for our kids.

    Whether you have the will and desire to re create your relationship or you simply discover what it is that it is teaching you and find the answers that allow you to move on and find love in the future I hope that our experience might help your on your journey.

    Merry Christmas Camelia and you hang in there,

    Kim Cooper

  8. MR said

    Perhaps this is helpful,

    I know Kim has talked about past relationships that also were with narcissistic people. I know for myself this is also somewhat true … I can think of several that had these features – amongst others, my last romantic interest prior to my husband was probably immature, self centered and somewhat confused in his own right. I went through several years of his seeking me out, starting a relationship, and then disappearing and rejecting me again. While at the time I sort of knew this was not a good pattern, I also was very much drawn back to him and wanted to make that relationship work. I’d make excuses and try and rationalize what was happening. Probably fortunately for both of us things never became very serious, but my desire to figure out why he was so ambivalent or whatever was definitely fueling the attraction. At some point I made a conscious decision to focus on my current relationship (he made two attempts to reconnect – one after I met my current husband and one several years after we were married)

    I used to believe in Richard Bach’s writing about some internal connection that draws us to another (the soul mate thing) With maturity, I believe much more that there are many people with whom we could be happy, and the process of “dancing” with someone for years and years is the strength that builds a relationship. Perhaps sounding too much like our religious pre-marital course – at rough spots, the commitment of both people to the marriage sometimes is the strongest bond.

    Happy New Year – with wishes for the best for everyone.


  9. CD, Australia said

    Hi Kim,

    Could you please tell me which radio show you are referring to in your response above to Camelia (where you and Steve discuss speaking to your partner about Narcissism)?


  10. kimcooper said

    Hi CD,

    You just caught me – the show is here;

    I would also suggest that you might start feeding your husband some protein amino acid tablets (two three times a day) and L-glutamine and tyrosine (1/2 teaspoon each) in water 2-3 times a day. They can work like magic on relieving cravings and restoring mental function, relieving mood swings and improving sleep.

    The alcohol is what is destroying his sleep. I know too much about all this (LOL) as the gene is in both mine and Steve’s family. From how much you say he is drinking I think this is probably his whole problem – it can be a major cause of NPD. Can you perhaps organize a family intervention to get him into rehab? Health Recovery’s program is the best in my opinion but unfortunately they only have a clinic in the states. Their book “Seven Weeks to Sobriety” is fantastic and something you might order online and leave around the house. Following the regime is pretty intensive, but it does 100% relieve cravings and restore health.

    Sorry I don’t have more time and thanks again for helping others here. I am very excited as I am finally able to buy a car today to drive the kids around in and I have to organize that. We have been without a car for over 3 years now paying off debts. This will be a big change for our family and one I have worked so hard for. I am both excited and nervous, even though I drove for years before that it still feels like another big step (-:

    Kim Cooper

  11. CD, Australia said

    Hi Kim,

    Thank you so much for your help once again – not sure where I would get all the ingredients for the magic potion – or if I would even be able to get him to drink it, but will have a go. He is not receptive to anything from me at the moment, in fact he is either withdrawn or very hostile verbally or in body language/vibrations. I have been wondering if I am making things worse, or if he is near the point of an awakening and is feeling very vulnerable, but does not know what is shifting in him. Thank you for all your other suggestions too, I will explore them also.

    Congratulations on your new family car – would make a great family photo – you will all be smiling so much!


  12. kimcooper said

    No worries CD, you can get the amino acids at a body building or health food store.

    The Tyrosine and Glutamine will make him feel much better very fast so if you don’t want to be completely transparent just tell him that it will help him sleep and if he isn’t prepared to try it then he should stop whinging (LOL). It is the truth really because restoring his brains chemical imbalance will help him stop craving alcohol and as well as help him sleep. If his heritage is from the vicinity of the UK he will also need some fish oil and Evening Primrose oil for the omega 3’s in them. People from that part of the world (myself being one of them) very often need these to prevent alcohol cravings and also depression as most don’t eat fermented cod livers like their ancestors did! I take about three of each a day. You can also let him know that you heard it is what all the really smart guys are doing these days to give them the edge (I am naughty aren’t I) that might also help do the trick!

    As for him not liking or being attracted to you please stop and rethink this CD, he couldn’t even like himself with all the shame and remorse that much booze will cause and you being so close to him he will be terrified of what you really know and see, he probably doesn’t remember much of what he does and says and can only blame you out of his own inner terror of being humiliated and exposed (his own fears for himself nothing to do with you!).

    If you offer this magic potion with a little tenderness but no strings attached a few times a day as you would perhaps a cup of tea (on your way to somewhere else you need to be?) and even with a bit of a dare I reckon he might find that hard to refuse. Alcoholism is a horrible curse and although that does not excuse his behavior he may be in dire need of a little sympathy for his real problem (rather than the lies he spins to get sympathy) because he is too proud to admit the shame he really feels and how much he is really in need. Many people think that alcoholism is a matter of will power but the fact is many people DO stop drinking only then to commit suicide because of the cravings and how bad they feel without it and the sense of entrapment all of this causes. Without nutritional support others leave the drink only then to then binge on sugar to the point they make themselves even sicker than they were before.

    Basically you going slowly and not confronting him with the real issue straight off and first offering the nutrients saying they are for his sleep depression etc. may not be so much a lie as letting his ego off the hook a little because until he sobers up facing the truth may simply be too hard. Once he starts feeling a bit better then you can try a little distraction and perhaps an excuse for him to have a rest from it a day or two before you even get close to suggesting that perhaps his drinking is really the problem rather than anything else and saying you care and you want to help and you will try and understand but you can’t continue to sit by and watch him bleed.

    It is a lot to offer and maybe he isn’t worth it but then you have come this far and if he throws it back in your face at least you have tried it all and perhaps got the the real issue on the table even if you still do leave. It may also work and he might find it easier to put all the blame on the alcohol instead of his character and see that by exorcising this devil he may finally find the the scapegoat he has felt he needs to pile all his past bad behaviour on and once sober finally feel he has a right to feel proud of himself and be forgiven and be free.

    From the research I have done this may not be so far from the truth either. NPD can and does cause alcoholism in some people who otherwise would be fine and from what you say it must be at least a contributing factor.

    Oh and yes I got my car!!! I am going to get out more this year and back into life again, it is scary but also time. My kids are great at getting around and the taxis buses and trains pretty good here, but I finally figured out that me being their taxi driver will give me more time with them and an excuse to get involved more in their lives and keep them close. Life is really changing quickly now for me (-:

    Kim Cooper

  13. CD, Australia said

    Hi Kim,

    You are right on the money again! My husband’s mother and grandparents were from the UK and his father was born in Australia but his father’s parents were from Ireland.
    I have tried to get him to take fish oil and evening primrose oil in the past but he flatly refused because he had previously taken a stance and didn’t approve of me taking nutritional supplements and I heard he was also very critical and sarcastic about me behind my back to others about my taking “pills”, making out that I was some sort of hypochondriac, and not tough like him – that he did not need a pill for everything.
    Nevertheless, I continued to take the FO & EPO regardless of his character assassinations, plus green lipped mussel & glucosamine because they all helped reduce and control my arthritic inflammation to the degree that I could postpone a partial knee replacement operation now for more than 2 years!
    I did not take any other form of anti-inflammatory drugs. What I found to my surprise also was that it helped my mental and emotional well-being – I felt great – alive, focused and enthusiastic – which in turn helped me cope with being in a stressful job and relationship. Maybe irrelevant but I am Norwegian decent.
    There is reliable evidence now how essential FO & EPO are for human health in many ways including managing depression. He only stopped criticizing me when he voiced his opinion to our marriage guidance counselor but our MGC was also a pain-management and sport psychologist and he endorsed the products I was taking as being high quality and proven to be beneficial, and he assured my husband that I wasn’t doing anything dangerous or addictive. My husband rarely gives up on his opinions though as he is a right fighter, and he hasn’t given up his opinion on this, he has just stopped saying anything in a martyr like way and scowls.
    However he is also contrary – when our poor dear 15 year old golden retriever, whom we both love very much, was suffering terribly from arthritis I suggested that since it helped me avoid a partial knee replacement for the time being, that we give her some fish oil each day to see if she would get significant relief too – well he didn’t hesitate and she is much improved, she is “smiling” & happy, still got her “marbles” and is behaving like a pup again – and guess what – my husband is taking all the credit for taking the initiative to put her on fish oil! The vet is happy and endorses it also adding that it is good for her arteries and her heart is amazingly strong. I see this result in our sweet old loyal friend as leverage which I could apply to my husband as soon as he is receptive to me again – he needs it now, but I know he will be anti to anything I suggest at this stage. I purchased the Tyrosine & Glutamine and will work on getting him to take them also.
    You are right also that he doesn’t like himself and suffers inner terror, guilt, shame and embarrassment over his addiction. He treats me like the enemy because I am close to him, and I do know his dark side and could expose his charade at any time to anyone – but he also knows I live in fear of his temper tantrums if I did that. However this situation is not going to change while the secrets, lies and denial continue in him, and in me for aiding and abetting it. I agree also that in order to get the lines of communication open again, he needs to be off the booze sufficiently to do so. His thinking and memory is frequently and significantly distorted.
    By the way, I need to clarify further that I really don’t know how much he is drinking – but he has admitted to drinking 12-18 cans of light beer per day at times, but most days he is consuming 6-12 cans of light beer – which is still in excess of safe limits. How he physically functions, mentally organises and achieves such a high level of work output I really don’t know – it takes a lot of beer before he starts fumbling and stumbling and slurring his speech. He has escaped drink-driving detection by taking back roads as much as he can – I have expressed my concern that he may hurt or kill someone or himself one day – it is not just a case of beating detection by the cops. He states there is no shame in losing your driver’s licence for drink-driving because it is so common-place and accepted these days – but it must concern him, because he is trying to convince himself and others that it is not a concern. Thing is that if he ever lost it he has two guys who work for him that would be recruited to drive him around – so he would not be entirely inconvenienced.
    I have come a long way – and while I have learned how not to absorb the abuse and to keep my responses respectful, clear and in a low tone – I still have a lot to learn to achieve a higher level of understanding, emotional intelligence, assertiveness and fair-play to empower him and me in a healthy way while limiting his abuse, and hopefully building trust and attachment between us again.
    Thank you so much once again for all your tireless support.

    CD, Australia.

  14. camelia said

    what is lipped mussel & glucosamine? as in what is it and what is it made of? thanx

  15. CD, Australia said

    Hi Camelia,

    The products I take are Blackmores Lyprinol (extracted oil from the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel) and Blackmores Glucosamine. Blackmores are an Australian company and their products are readily available over the counter in Australia and New Zealand. They are also available in other countries, but if they are not available in your country then you may be able to buy them on-line – you could find out more on .

    These two products should not be taken if you are allergic to shellfish – and you can check their product info sheets or with a Blackmores Naturopath for contraindications or medicine interactions too if necessary.

    No doubt there are other manufacturers of these sorts of products around the world, but I have found there is no bad taste or smell with Blackmores Lyprinol and you only need to take 1 or 2 capsules twice a day (I take it once per day as needed with excellent results). Other people I know are taking 8 tablets of green lipped mussel 3 times per day and the brand they are using stinks! Because they have to take so many also makes me wonder about the quality of the product they are using! They are going to switch to Blackmores! You can read all about these products, including studies into the effectiveness of their products on their website at – then look under their products listed A-Z, or by their other site search facilites.

    Once I finish my current supply of Blackmores Glucosamine I will be switching to Blackmores Joint Formula with glucosamine and chondroitin. The chondroitin in this product helps regenerate cartilage.

    CD, Australia.

  16. Joann said

    I listened to the power of love,, part 1 and I am having to deal with some things mentioned. At the present moment I work 40 hours a week. My husband got layed off about 9 months ago (basically fired and not the first time!)and now he is home doing a hobby that he hopes will make him money, (nothing made to cover the costs yet). So I was really into the conversation about helping with the unpaid work (housework). In the begining he helped out somewhat for about 2 weeks. Then it got less and less and I mentioned that I needed some help since I work, his response was “well I work 10-12 hours a day”. I also get three of his other typical responses. “I will do it later” (never gets done). “If you want it done do it yourself” (after a second request), and finally “my dad didn’t have to do it”. Yes he does work but not as much as he says.
    His typical day is sleep until 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. (maybe longer – don’t know). Have a child (10 years old) that needs to get to school by 8 a.m. and have been told “dad was sleeping when I left”. I leave for work around 7:00 a.m. In the summer time he goes for bike rides with a buddy for anywhere from 10-20 miles and takes the dogs to the dog park for at least an hour. Sometimes he goes out to lunch with a buddy for who know how long. Anyway his usual bed time is midnight or after.

    I have been reading your “back from the looking glass” and hope that helps.

    He is on the computer alot and I have mentioned that I do not like what he looks at. He told me that I can see what he looks at, but I know that he deletes the history, I have checked it when he forgot to delete the history. Have even put a lock on the sites but he found a way to get around that. When I mention that I don’t like it his response is “it’s no big deal, my dad looked at girly magazines when my mom wasn’t home”. I said that the computer sights are different than magazines.

    I also like the idea you mentioned about getting rid of people in your life that aren’t good for you. How do you get rid of a mother-in-law though??

    She is an enabler for my husband, when I mention the house work she has an excuse for him.
    From the stories I have heard from his family the parents got the boys out of alot of mistakes that they made growing up. So I feel that my husband hasn’t grown up. She will give him money when he needs it. So I feel that there is no incentive to get a job if mom will hand money over.

    I have had my job for 15 years and my own banking account from day 1 of the marriage.

    Well will let you go thanks for listening.


  17. michelle said

    hi kim, have recently purchased your ebooks and am grateful to finally have a name for my situation of the past 15 years. I have two children aged 22 and 15 and their stepfather is the NPD. I have found that I have fortunately followed alot of your recommendations and have good relationships with both my children. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for ex-husband. My questin is how to cope with the situation when the 43year old child still has a lower ET than said children without me losing the respect of my children. We have been through AVO’s, divorce(9 years ago), counselling etc. He is an only child who has been lied to and maninpulated by his mother all of his life. He has a 26 year old son he hasnt had any contact with or been made responsible for (execpt for 2 weeks when the child was 14 and paid maintenance for for 2 years at my insistance), is a heavy pot smoker and has worked away for at least 6 months of the year since the age of 17. Has no incentive to make a life of his own as he will inherit everything. He has more than dual lives it is more compartmentalised. I also have not only been told to leave and have nothing more to do with him, but to run! Still here but am at wits end!! Not sure of the outcome for him!
    Any ideas would be apprecitated! Kind Regards Michelle

  18. Angie said

    Hi Kim & Steve

    I was interested to read about the Protein Amino Acid tablets, L-glutamine & tyrosine.

    Do you have a page or an article with information about these and other supplements?

  19. kimcooper said

    Google the health Recovery center and check out all of their info and resources (-:

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