• Unfortunately, dealing with narcissists is all too common of a problem in divorce. Thanks for the helpful article Miles!

    December 05, 2012
  • Thank you for this article, it has helped me have a better understanding on dealing with a narcissist during a divorce. My ex-husband had the affairs and was the one that left but will stop at nothing to destroy me and I don’t understand why? He has lied in court, to psychologists, mediators, everyone. he is charming, educated and good looking so people esp women tend to believe him, although there are some who have seen right trough him. I have tried to cut off communication with him as the article suggests except via email but he has the co-parenting psychologist convinced that it is in our children’s best interest if we talk. My experience is that he would call when he did not want record of something. There is so many horrible things he has done I could write a book! I have been through and am still going through a living nightmare with this man and your article was so right on that I just had to write.

    December 29, 2013
    • Alisha,
      I am going through the same thing, it is a living nightmare. Hang in there, it has to get better!

      January 03, 2014
      • A

        You hang in there too! I keep waiting for it to get better. He is remarried to one of the women he was seeing when we were married so now he has an accomplice. It’s like they want blood! She got what she wanted (she can have him and good luck with that) so I don’t see why they can’t just leave me alone and do what is best for our children. He does anything he can to try to hurt me even using the kids. He knows how to manipulate and is a pathological liar to where I look like I am the emotionally unstable one and he is calm cool and collected! I have been reading about narcissistic personality disorder and sociopaths. I know that not only does he like to constantly toy with me but has done numerous things to try and get our children because of the amount of support he has to pay me but also to try and hurt me. I am back in school working on my bachelors degree but he even try’s to sabotage that! I a good mom and don’t do anything wrong so he has not been able to accomplish things he has tried. It just amazes me how he has no problem lying in court and to everyone! You would think someone you spent almost half your life with, had children with, built a life with, and was a good wife and mother could be so mean and cruel! I have lost almost half of the month with my children, lost my home, credit, stability and am in major debt still paying attorney fees. I never thought my life would be life this, but I do feel like it has been a blessing (although I have different issues to deal with) to no longer have to be in an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist!

        January 09, 2014
    • Alisha,
      I am also involved in a nasty divorce and understand exactly where you’re coming from. In fact, our stories are identical. Hang in there! Perhaps we can start a FB support page for other women in the same position. You can never have enough support. Good luck!

      March 18, 2014
  • I read posts so often on this, seeking understanding and validation for something that has been so devestating, and now, very humbling for me. I’m going through such an eerily similar situation. i met him 10 yrs. ago, at which time I was going through a difficult time in my career. He’d just come out of a divorce. As we became more involved, he had me convinced of his ex-wifes culpability with every step she took (which I later learned was actually to free herself and her children from his emotional abuse.) Well it didn’t take long for the roller coaster behavior to begin with us as well. He had been a pretty heavy drinker for years, and after a couple of tumultuous years we split up. He continued to harass me for months for money I said I owed him, or things of his he said I took, blah, blah. All claims which were twisted, exaggerated, or complete lies. It finally stopped when he found another victim. Well this relationship apparently was short-lived as well, and after being arrested for stealing vodka from a local liquor store one evening while his children were home asleep (and after being awarded partial custody!), he ended up with a month in jail. Upon getting out, he re-engaged with his AA program (after several other failed attempts in the past), and this time continued to attend regular meetings. After several years of sobriety, he recontacted me, convinced me he’d changed and to take him back. He moved into my house. Well, I still don’t know what I was thinking, but shortly after this we got married (He’d lost his job of 13 years and his parents were throwing him out of the house they bought him upon his divorce for not honoring the monthly payments he’d agreed to). He had me convinced they’d been unreasonable in their “expectations” given HIS situation, job loss, etc. . While originally the behaviors I’d only attributed to his drinking had seemed to decrease, it took little time to realize they were still there under the surface, and eventually reemerged. He became increasingly judgmental, patronizing, manipulative, and emotionally controlling. He trashed my computer with porn, reached out on personal sites, petty retail theft, borrowed money from people, would do “good deeds” for others- in order to expect something in return (usually something he already had in mind), then becoming really angry and resentful if not given to him. I have a demanding professional job, (in counseling nonetheless!) and it was becoming increasingly harder to keep myself focused at work. I realized what indeed I had married. After three years, reoccurring and escalating emotional abuse, I told him I could no longer go on with this. I had become increasingly depressed, and financially depleted. Then during a disagreement one morning just two months ago, he became physically violent, grabbing me by the throat, took my ATM card, and jumped in his truck and left to go somewhere. I too then left- my own house, went directly to my son’s where I have remained since. He’s staying elsewhere himself now, but has refused to move his things until we have an “agreement”. We have no children together, nor any joint property during this short time (He was out of work several times during this 3 yr. period as well, we fell behind financially, never getting caught up. We couldn’t have purchased anything together if we’d wanted to!). My credit is ruined. Regardless of my academic understanding of this disorder, the insidious nature of emotional manipulation had too easily invaded my soul. Well I’ve learned a whole lot more about myself since this time, and clearly see areas I need to work on in my own healing now, which is a good thing. As I work In the field, I am always challenging myself to grow. But I guess I just didn’t see the degree to which my own “stuff” allowed me to ignore the obvious- despite repeated evidence. I see a counselor myself, and have been receiving excellent support and encouragement. I don’t know what he wants from me now, I have nothing. He said he thinks paying into our expenses for three years “should be worth something”. I’m emotionally and financially depleted, and from being assaulted have experienced some trauma symptoms. Every time I see an email from him my stomach jumps. I’m letting my attorney handle it from here. I want nothing from this man- only that he, his violence, and his belongings be out of my home and life for good. .

    April 19, 2014
  • Thank you for the article. It is amazing how all the books, article, blogs, and experts say the SAME thing about people with this personality disorder. Are we all living the same life? I’m glad to find camaraderie, but unfortunately it is for something that is at a very high price..our lives, children, and our sanity.

    Is there a private FB support group? I would love to join one.

    Also, does anyone have tips on dealing with the family members of narcissist?

    I have never talked about any issues with any of them. My ex and all his family live out of state. We have a 14 month old child together. I only met the family 2-3 times during our short relationship/marriage (met, married in 5 months, never lived together, birth of child, filed for divorce 1 month after his birth, and custody/divorce 12 months after filing). I want them to have a good relationship with my child, but I fear that my ex has caused damage that I won’t ever be able to repair. I want to send them pictures and updates on my little one, but I don’t ever want anyone to feel “in the middle or to feel like they are “on my side vs. his”. There are also cultural issues, that I do not fully understand. They all have only been nice and kind to me, except my ex. The custody battle is over now and I have sole custody. We had just two things (Skype visitation and judgement for birth expenses) to resolve. He continues to want to fight and “win at all cost” and I fear we will have to go back to court soon. I have scoured the internet on this to learn more and find strategies while my little one is still young. I want us both to be resilient and learn how to survive and thrive in a very difficult situation. Thank you for any insight, help, or advice.

    April 26, 2014
    • Please check out “One Mom’s Battle”. She has a website, two books and several facebook pages. It has been an excellent source for me as I go through this battle. Best wishes to you

      June 30, 2014
  • I too am currently living a nightmare whilst divorcing a narcissist. I was with him for 16 years and feel like it was all a lie and that I never knew that person and it’s funny how I always had a strange feeling that none if it was real or right.
    He has tried to convince everyone that I left because I didn’t love him anymore and that it was all my fault blaming me for every kind of action he took and the scary thing he is totally convinced that he is right and I am the evil one. The hate campaign is just unbelievable and I know now that he was straight into another relationship 2 weeks after I left putting that before his children and his responsibilities.
    I have stopped access with the children due to the upset he was causing them when they spent time with him and my oldest daughter actually asked me to make the decision so that she could have peace. To see her now is a treat as she is much happier and we have set up a new home which the children call our happy house.
    He is being very difficult throughout the divorce and I am moving nowhere fast, everything he tells his solicitor is a lie and I now have a court battle over custody of the kids which is making me very stressed and ill. He has told the court that I physically abused him and that the children were witness to the abuse he took. Obviously he cannot prove this and uses every opportunity to have a laugh about me. He constantly posts thing on Facebook which are directed at me but is very clever at saying they about other things in his life so it is hard for me to prove again.

    I am living this nightmare now and just hope that one day my children and me can be happy and settled without him there in the background. Just hoping that his new girlfriend and children can take him on and away from us ASAP. Saying that I feel guilty letting her have him without knowing what he is truly like but that’s not my problem and I just wish her good luck.

    If the court rules that he can have overnight access I don’t know what I will do as I don’t trust him with the children and to be honest I don’t think they can take any more.

    Sending positive wishes to everyone who has had to ensure such a nightmare. It must get better.

    Emma B

    June 04, 2014
  • O!!!!! M!!!!!!!! G!!!!!!!!!

    June 29, 2014
  • T

    I am married to someone I suspect has NPD. We have 3 children 7,8 and 10.
    The years of put-downs and arguments have worn away my love for him and I feel it will never return. We have not been intimate for over 5 yrs. I sleep on the couch. We had another pointless argument tonight like the others every 6 mths or so, that go in circles where he asks me unanswerable questions like “Why do you treat me so badly? Huh? huh? Answer me!”, “Why do you think you’re so much better than me? Huh, tell me?” and calls me “Loser”, “Stupid”, “B…..” and he refused to listen to a word I try to say and my begging to please just stop going on and on, and let’s talk about it when we are not so upset, and all while our sweet innocent children crying in their beds asking us to stop fighting! So again I plan another booking with our counsellor, but wonder if it should be a mediator to start a divorce. My heart breaks for the damage this is doing to them – what they think is normal behaviour, how to speak to someone, how to resolve differences, how to treat your wife/husband…. I couldn’t bare to not see them half the time and I know he feels the same way but for them to hear this sort of fighting and disrespect, and see the lack of affection, it has to be worse doesn’t it? Or is it? I know they will be heartbroken if we split up. And if they are alone with him for half the time I can’t protect them from his controlling rages. I worry about his anger at me and how he takes it out on them. Every time I hear of a father that kills his kids in a custody battle to get back at his wife, I wonder if he has NPD. It is a risk I am too scared to take. But am I damaged my children by staying. Should I take the risk. He can be a wonderful father, especially when proving how much better he is than me, but he can also be a controlling angry father and if we split up, will it really make it better or will he stay the same but not have me to vent on and vent on the kids instead? He has told me he will not let me have “his kids”. I know a civilised divorce is very unlikely. he has told me I am a verbally abusive mother and eluded to the fact he will make sure I do not get primary custody. I ask you all, is it worth it? Do the children suffer more going through an ugly divorce, than living in a home with co-habiting parents who have ugly fights every 6mths or so?

    July 05, 2014
    • Unfortunately, the issues you raise are judgment calls only you can make. All experienced family lawyers have seen what you fear most. But, the anticipated carnage must be weighed against the problems not divorcing. In these situations, I always recommend speaking with your pastor, priest or rabbi, hiring a mental health professional for counseling, seeking help from friends and family members you trust and hiring an experienced family lawyer. Talk through your issues in detail with everyone. Listen. If everyone is advising you to do the same thing, you may have found your answer.

      July 06, 2014
    • Mom of 4 boys

      I have been through the very same nightmare and I only wish I could have gotten him to leave a long time ago because he has sacrificed our children in his efforts to prove how much nicer he was than me, and I could do nothing to stop it. He constantly takes them out or indulges them with high calorie meals and endless fatty sweet snacks. Our youngest 2 boys are now super-morbidly obese. He buys them expensive electronics with no limits and parental controls while they were making Ds and Fs in high school/middle school. Since he left I took away all the devices, including a Kindle Fire, ipad, ipod, laptop, and iphone!! All for just 2 boys. Boy was my x mad! But the boys got through it and they love me even though I am the ‘bad guy’ and they just brought home report cards with As, Bs, and Cs!
      What l I know now is that I was so confused when I was being blamed for being the sole problem in our relationship for all these years (yet he would not leave), because he designed it all that way. My gut feeling was that there was something not authentic and manipulative about him, but because he was so charming and everyone just loved him, I told myself I was wrong, for twenty seven years. Now I know as clearly as I have ever known anything, that I was right. Pelple like that will destroy everything and everyone to win and to be right. I pray I still have time to save our boys.
      God bless you and yours, stay strong, and trust yourself.

      November 06, 2014
    • This is my life to a T! I elected to stay to protect my children until I felt they were at an age that they could speak up for themselves. They are now 15 1/2 and 17. But I will tell you that the divorce was ugly, but his dragging me back into court over stupid stuff (I’m not ‘nice’ to him when I text) has been brutal. I’ve paid thousands because I’m not nice to him! Can you even imagine???? Everything is a game to him. Everything!!! The pathological lying is horrendous. He’s remarried now but can’t move on with his life. He still feels the need to make me pay for leaving him. It’s awful. What will happen is that you will wind up in court for years, so you have to decide when you want that process to start. Myself, the peace I have on most days is preferable to the hell I have to go through on court days. At least…AT LEAST I don’t have to put up with his awful behavior every day now!

      November 13, 2014
    • Mo

      I was married to a narcissist for 26 years. He was living a double life. He had me so stressed out and sick that for the last year before I filed for divorce I was not able to smile or laugh. I started getting panic attacks. Then one day I found him with a girl the same age as our daughter. I filed for divorce and found out he was all along lying to me about everything. He use to do the exact same things you mentioned above. Why you do not look at my eyes lovingly? Why you think you are the smartest person in the world?… He fought about everything every night and went on and on when I would beg him to be quiet to not wake up and hurt our three children. He would stop for a day and then start back on worse than before.

      After the divorce my children are so happy. They ask me why did I waited so long? No more nonsense fighting over nothing. No more him throwing temper tantrum and acting as if he is the victim. Yes it took me four years of hell to get a divorce but the kids and I are free now! The kids have thrived so much since the divorce. They do not have to hear him putting me down and yelling. We live in a house 1/5 the size we did but we are very happy! The kids are doing so well in school and have found new friends. I can see my family once again because he was very controlling and made my life miserable if I would talk to my family. No More! My children and I do not walk on eggshells anymore. At last I can breath freely and sleep peacefully. My children have thanked me many times for getting them out of hell now that is all over. Yes he still tries to bother us but we will not let him. No contact.
      Good luck

      November 18, 2014
  • Standing firm

    My wife jumped out of bed one day and said she did not want to be married any longer after 25 years. She would not agree to counseling so I agreed.
    We have not spoken since.
    I look back at how smooth my divorce went compared to my current girlfriend who is also divorced but the former spouse has continued to file legal claims for three years.
    I consider this harassment. A judge even asked he stop filing claims and get a job. DOES’NT our system have a method to shut these people down???

    November 05, 2014
    • Yes, the system can be abused. But, Tennessee judges have the authority to award attorney’s fees and sanctions. So there are legal mechanisms to punish the frivolous family law lawsuit.
      Miles Mason, Sr.
      Attorney, Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC, Serving clients in Memphis • Germantown • Collierville • West Tennessee. Our response is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only way to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an experienced Tennessee family law attorney, let the attorney review pleadings and orders, listen to you, ask follow up questions, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an opinion. The basic information provided is intended as a public service only. A complete discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. All information on this site is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. Answers are provided for informational purposes only. We strive to be your best option for finding a Memphis divorce lawyer, Germantown divorce lawyer, Collierville divorce lawyer or West Tennessee divorce lawyer.

      December 07, 2014
  • Mom of 4 boys

    This is my soon to be x husband of 27 years. It took me years and years of study to figure out what he was really about. After asking for him to admit we should divorce and to work with me for the sake of the boys, he finally left…. but only after he found another woman. He accused me of having affairs for many years, and made my life absolutely intolerable in so many ways, I had given up on life in general. Now he’s gone. We proposed a settlement but he replied only by berating my lawyer and announcing that he was insulted by ‘my’ offer. He refuses to put any counter offer on the table. Now my attorney is pushing for mediation, and it is scheduled for 13 days from now. Everything inside of me screams that it is a bad idea. But I am not being heard by my attorney. I don’t know what to do and who to trust.

    November 06, 2014
  • Aloneinthis

    I feel alone in this and at the mercy of my attorney. Most of the time I do not understand what he is doing or why. Although I was awarded alimony which was to start in July of 2014 I have yet to receive it. After 29 years of marriage, putting my ex-husband through college and homeschooling our 3 children, I am homeless and had to sell everything I was awarded to start over. My daughter and I had to move in with a friend. My ex is appealing the judges decision and I have no money to pay my attorney for the appeal. I am tired and wonder how many attorneys realize how close to the brink of death narcissistic spouses can take a person. I have scoured the internet looking for help, for answers, for relief. Sadly to say there is none. Those of us going through this in most cases are alone in this and at the mercy of our abuser.

    December 20, 2014
  • Shari

    I wish I had known all of this when I got my divorce in 1995. I started the proceedings in 1994, knew that my husband of 15 years was a total control freak and that he thought he was better than anyone else, that he was very abusive and always putting me down, but I didn’t have a name for it. Now that I’ve read all of the traits of a narcissist, I realize that he has all of them.

    He hid our marital assets during our marriage, and even though we were wealthy I left the marriage with virtually nothing. He controlled our divorce mediation session and had to have everything go his way – nothing went in my favor. He didn’t allow me to work during our whole marriage, and I had been making really good money prior to the marriage. By the time of the divorce, I was no longer able to get back in the job market, my husband had control of all of our assets, I had our two children as the state and court system considered him an unfit parent, and I ended up with very little.

    If I’d only known how to deal with a narcissist and how to come from a much stronger position, I would have insisted that my attorney stand her ground and that the mediator realize that he was a narcissist and treat him as such so he couldn’t have gotten away with all of his nonsense. Then I would have insisted that the divorce be held in front of a judge so that all of the hidden assets be brought out into the open, as I would hope a judge would do – or is that impossible if the husband decides he’s going to plead the 5th? My husband said he’d plead the 5th if a judge asked him about the assets in divorce court, so I didn’t fight it and my stupid attorney didn’t question it.

    Anyway, I think this is a great article about divorcing a narcissist as I sure wish I’d had this information back in 1994 as I would have done things differently.

    February 06, 2015

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