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Help for Partners in Destructive Romantic Relationships

You are not alone!  We offer help for those who have been through a romantic relationship with a narcissist, sociopath , or psychopath (popular terms) which are really personality disorders that exhibit low conscience and externalize responsibility. These traits play out in forms of abuse (e.g. verbal, physical, coercive control,  deceit, emotional manipulation, financial, sexual, spiritual) which have traumatizing effects.  You probably feel isolated in your experience.  Even well-meaning friends, family, and often therapists don’t completely get it and why you can’t just get over it.  We can help you gain clarity to stop blaming yourself, work toward healing the damage, and regaining your lost self.  We can help educate your therapist to better help you.

What are the core traits of this type of personality?

  • ✓  Lack of empathy, which allows them to serve their own needs no matter how this affects you. It means they cannot perceive or meet your needs, if they are different than theirs. It means they are not capable of true emotional connection – in fact they would be threatened by it.
  • ✓  Lack of conscience, and therefore, insight and remorse.  Lack of conscience is based on lack of empathy – if someone isn’t connected to their own emotion, they can’t connect to others’ emotions or the hurt they may be causing.  There is no ability to look at themselves and take responsibility, or, therefore, feel remorse for the hurt and be motivated to change their behavior.  Lack of conscience allows for the deception that is usually present in these relationships.
  • ✓  Reward-driven.  They are not motivated by conscience or consequences but by reward.  And, they are usually confident and arrogant enough to take whatever risks to get to it.
  • ✓  Narcissistic Self-Perception.  Whether you call the personality narcissistic, sociopathic, psychopathic, antisocial, etc. they all have a narcissistic self-perceptionwhich will be internal at least, and may also be overt.  They must maintain this self-perception of being blameless and flawless at all costs, which their partner is expected to accommodate.


The outward personality can take on many variations and outward presentations.  One may be impulsive, irresponsible, and volatile, another may be calm, courteous, and financially responsible.  But at their core are these basic internal traits that drive their behaviors. Instead of healthy interaction and a balance of power, this relationship will inevitably become one where one person has the control and the other is controlled. This is almost never apparent at the beginning, but subtle and gradual over time.

If you are in a relationship with a destructive partner, you begin to break down in a number of ways. You  slowly over time lose yourself, as you learn that aspects of you or your emotional needs are dismissed, not tolerated, or are met with a hostile response. You may experience physical, verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, or spiritual abuse, deceit, manipulation.  You are finding that that seemingly perfect person who presented themselves to you at the beginning of the relationship has become a cold, hostile, devaluing, and/or deceitful person. You feel more stress and anxiety over time in the relationship, which manifests in more physical symptoms and illness, psychological distress, confusion, depression, anxiety, panic, insomnia, loss of energy, loss of focus. You are likely to feel increasingly debilitated, and wonder what happened to the strong, confident person you started out as in this relationship.  Over time people often describe this as feeling as “falling apart”, “broken”, “I lost myself.”

You may at some point be shocked and traumatized to find that the person you thought loved you clearly does not, perhaps never had the capacity to. You may even find the person has been leading a double life that’s been hidden from you.  The realization is shattering.  You will likely be confused, and wonder what to believe and what to do.  You will wonder how you missed the signs and why this happened to you.  And, if you have children together, you may feel all the more conflicted.

You will need support to find the self you lost, to gain clarity and gather strength, to figure how to proceed in a way to stop the destructive cycle. You will need support (and possibly therapy) to heal Post Traumatic Stress. You will need to hear stories of others who have been or are going through the same experiences, to affirm that you are not crazy and you are not alone. Only those who have lived your unique situation do understand. And that is critical to healing.

People are not their potential; they are what their actions say now.
Love is not a feeling; it is the ability to put oneself aside for the needs of others.

Not in New Jersey?

No problem, online support options are available.

Online Support

Groups and Services

Our mission is to provide a haven of safety, strength, healing and hope.

We are committed to:  Confidentiality, Anonymity, Mutual Respect, Constructive Positive Interaction

Groups – In New Jersey, we offer live professional and peer facilitated support groups. Contact us for information on these and other locations around the country and around the globe. Most groups are free or donation only.

Free Conference Call Support Group – For those who do not have access to a live group, we offer a weekly call-in group, which is confidential, anonymous, and free. Click here online support group to find the date of the next scheduled online group.  Use the contact form to let us know you want to join and we will send you a link.

No support groups in your area?  Start your own!  (and use our contact form to let us know)  We can send a bound guidebook for a fee, or the send the doc electronically for free.  However you decide to go about it, we are available for guidance at any step along the way. See our Resources page for additional information.

Questionnaire to help you and your therapist!  In response to the hundred’s of people who have complained about their therapist not understanding these relationships, you can now download a questionnaire that clarifies traits and behaviors of various abuse categories, their negative impacts, and common responses to it.  It includes explanatory information for the therapist. See our Resources page for additional information.

Continuing Education for Therapists – We participate in providing education for professionals (CEU’s included) through Lovefraud Continuing Education Webinars. also offers informative courses for lay people. See our Resources page for additional information.

Trauma Therapy – Because of the nature of emotionally or otherwise abusive relationships partners are almost always left with the effects of post-traumatic stress (PTSD), which require trauma therapies to help heal. Contact one of these trauma professionals who may work in person or remotely. You may also fill out the comment form at the bottom of the home page to inquire.

Consultation by a Professional Therapist To schedule a consultation about the relationship in your life, request by filling in the comment form at the bottom of the home page.



If you feel called to start a group in your area, we offer a guidebook and help to get it up and running.

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