Recognizing that one’s partner is abusive and emotionally unstable or crazy in the common parlance is the first step in helping yourself to heal. The second step is figuring out how to extract yourself from a relationship with Crazy with minimal damage to yourself and any children you may share with your abuser.
That’s a question that must be answered very carefully. Getting hooked up with Crazy is really, really, easy, especially in today’s culture. Getting rid of her or him without resorting to the use of duct tape, plastic bags and shovels or whatever the FBI witness protection relocation program is for Crazy can get a lot more complicated.
This video discusses how you Say Good-bye to Crazy, hopefully while hanging on to your sanity and your assets.
embedded by Embedded Video
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
This show is spot on.
I discovered my wife was NPD in January and began plotting my escape. I found a lawyer who specializes in divorce with NPD and BPD spouses and he advised me not to tip my hand to my wife or to anyone. My lawyer advised me to plan an outing with my kids and have a process server serve the divorce papers on my wife while I and the kids were out of the house.
This advise went against everything I thought was right. Surely I must sit down and talk with my wife and tell her that we should get a divorce.
Thank God I followed my lawyer’s advise! Don’t let on to your wife what you are about to do. Prepare as if your entire house is about to be burned to the ground. Luckily I backed up all my data and set up a safe deposit box and personal bank accounts and get my hands on enough money to last 6 months.
You will need it!
There will be no cooperation after the papers are filed. Every action that you want will require a court order. Count on fighting legally.
Communicate with your wife/spouse by email or text message ONLY. If you must talk verbally RECORD it.
I am now preparing for a hearing next week to fight for 50% parenting time with my children.
I can tell you that I feel very empowered right now, sitting in my rental house, my children sleeping in their rooms in my house. Even though my wife is making this as difficult as she can, I am no longer trying to please or appease her. That is worth every dollar I will be spending on lawyers and new furniture.
Take heart. You can’t fix her. You tried. I tried for a very long time. Too long. Now it’s time for me to stand up and fight.
You can too.
LT Greenwald says
I swear Dr. T is the Harriet Tubman of men dealing with BPD wives and this website is the Underground Railroad! I went through a similar separation and divorce, but had no kids with the ex-wife. I followed the same steps you followed. No warning before I left, and no contact other than email.
As an attorney myself, I’d advise a client with a BPD spouse to be prepared for total war in custody hearings. She will try to destroy you and your relationship with your children. Don’t let it happen. Depending on the law of your state, you may be able to record conversations with her. I lived in Virginia, a one-party consent state — so I made an audio recorded my wife admitting that she lied about whether I hit her. I’m a military officer and she knew she could ruin my career by telling my commander I hit her. Some states require two-party consent (like DC).
Just do everything you possibly can to protect yourself and your children. I was raised by a single BPD mom. It was hell-on-earth. My childhood would have been so much happier if I had been raised by my dad. But of course the family court gave my mom primary custody, even though she KIDNAPPED my sister and me and moved us to a Hindu ashram. She also quit her job, shaved her head and changed her name to “Shuta.” My dad, who worked every day of his life and loved his kids dearly, lost the custody fight to this crazy person. Sorry for the tangent… my point is protect yourself and your children. You are in all-out combat right now, don’t think for one second that you aren’t. You can be nice AFTER you win. Now you are at war.
LT Greenwald says
p.s. My cursory research found that there are only 12 states that require 2-party consent for recording: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii (in general a one-party state, but requires two-party consent if the recording device is installed in a private place), Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana (requires notification only), Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington. And DC is actually a one-party consent jurisdiction (I meant to say Maryland in my earlier comment).
Thanks for the advice LT Greenwald. If it weren’t for sites like this and people like you, I’d still be lost in the dark trying to please my NPD spouse.
I started recording about 18 months ago, when my NPD spouse kept insisting I was screaming and shouting in her face during discussions that I remembered my behavior as calm. This would come up anytime she felt blamed in our marriage counseling sessions.
As soon as she realized she might have to take ownership and responsibility for her actions, she would bring out the “Well, I wouldn’t have done XYZ if you weren’t screaming and shouting in my face during that discussion.”
So I got the iRecorder app for my iPhone and starting recording our discussions at home. This was extremely helpful for sorting things out in addition to seeing she was lying about the screaming and shouting.
Listening to those recorded discussions over and over a few times I was also able to see her techniques at controlling the conversation. And it’s all about control for her.
I am in the process of fighting for 50-50 parenting time. I need to provide my kids with at least 50% of the time with some sanity and relief.
LT Greenwald says
Oh yea… that’s classic. “I act crazy because you make me act crazy.” I heard that one over and over again. And she can blame the shit out of you and you take it and try to learn from it, but when you bring up something she could “improve on” she flips the hell out and says your blaming her. It’s the BPD playbook. So damn predictable! Like Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl! We know it’s coming! Lol. 🙂 Unfortunately, we’re not the Seahawks… we’re on the same damn team with this predictable crazy person…
LT Greenwald says
I remember I used to yell back for the first few months, then I realized her yelling didn’t really have anything to do with me. So I stopped yelling back. And she just kept on yelling as if nothing had changed. Sometimes I wonder where she directs all her anger at after I left. She’s a cutter, so she probably takes it out on herself. Makes me sad. But her issues are her issues. I didn’t create them. I tried to help her. She refused my help. That’s all you can do.
You’ve got the kids, though. That makes it so much more difficult. I remember when I was a kid I used to love spending weekends with my dad away from my BPD mom. He was always so reasonable. He was genuinely interested in my life. He was predictable in a good way. He’d discipline me when I needed it. Those weekends really saved my life and allowed me to become who I am today. I wish you and your kids the best of luck in your custody battle. It breaks my heart that you and your kids have to go through such an ordeal.
Heart Broken Geek says
LT Greenwald, would it be possible for me to pick your lawyer mind? I am going through the ringer and am always looking for second, third, fourths opinions.
Hi divorcingnpd or others going through divorce:
I am married to an NPD and dread the thought of taking this to court, losing access to my kids (3 month old and 2 year old) and ending up being in even a worse situation. I know my wife will fight my access to them with every ounce of her power and will further to alienate them from me as they grow and learn from her teaching them “how daddy left us and is a bad person”. Just this past weekend she called me a F$&#ing Incompetent A-hole in from of my 2 year old for forgetting his shoes at a party we both attended. She regulatory refers to divorce, judges, court appointed psychologists, etc. and says she documents my behaviors/competencies for evidence in court. I am in a terribly abusive situation, but feel like it will only get worse and I will lose out
to kids who will taught to hate me and will eventually be shut out.
They mean more to me than anything.
Any advice on how bad will it be if you start the process would be greatly appreciated. How did you get over the hump of making to the decision to move forward with a divorce? I am stuck.
If you want to see how bad it can be, go to the Index and check out
– MWT Radio: Interview with Lt. Col. Joel Kirk (September 17, 2012)
– The Dishonorable Judge Lori B. Jackson (September 14, 2012)
– West Virginia Judge Lori B. Jackson Enables Child Abuse (September 12, 2012)
Also, read the blogs from October 2013, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They can be pretty compelling.
The Forum has a number of dads posting there who are in different stages of getting out of an abusive relationship.
If there’s anybody here that’s an example of a favorable outcome because a father fought for his kids, it’s me. My father fought for me and I’ll never forget him for it.
I missed a big example of “how bad will it be?”
•The New Face of Borderline Personality Disorder: Mary Richardson Kennedy Abused Her Husband and Children and Committed Suicide as a Final Act of Revenge for Perceived Abandonment (June 11, 2012)
The deciding moment for me was when my wife was reminding my 8 year old about something that was causing my 8 year old a lot of distress. I asked my wife back to our bedroom for a private discussion where I calmly asked her to consider that she and I would have trouble remembering what she was asking our 8 year old to do. This led to another rage incident that really became a message from God for me.
I realized in that moment that I could no longer protect my children from inside the marriage. The only chance I had to protect them was from outside the marriage with legal help.
Luckily, I had already researched and found a lawyer specializing in high conflict divorces. So I left the house, opened a bank account in my name only, and drove to this lawyers office. I walked in and 90 minutes later walked out with the dissolution of marriage papers being filed with the court.
My kids mean everything to me as well. You are at a disadvantage though because your kids are so young. So find a high conflict divorce lawyer and get their advice. Make sure the lawyer understands what NPD and BPD are.
Things will only get better after you make that leap to leave. But you need to plan carefully. Don’t make your move until you are ready. And never disclose what you are about to do.
Just today I got my wife to sign an agreement giving me 50% parenting time with my kids. This was due to my lawyer who had enough evidence (emails and audio recordings) to make her look really bad in front of the judge. That was enough to convince her to give me what I should have gotten anyway.
Good luck to you. Plan ahead and find a good lawyer.
One trick for others dealing with an NPD/BPD spouse. My wife likes both to be in control and to look good/be respected in public.
The trick to getting her to sign the court documents to give me 50% parenting time was for my lawyer to say to her that we would let the judge decide at every occasion when she refused to budge.
Of course, this was backed up by HARD evidence which means emails and audio recordings of my wife acting in a way that was clearly not in the best interests of the children.
The court will side with the party that is putting the best interests of the children first. You need evidence to show that YOU are that party.
You MUST have hard evidence. Emails and audio recordings are best. You cannot rely on he said/she said arguments. My wife can run circles around me in that department.
Best of luck to all of you.
I read alot of your comments and situation . I also in the past was married to one and it grew into a living hell with her. The lies and the drama coming from her to get what she wanted were blatant and obvious. Alot of these women with these disorders actually use their kids as tools to get what they want. They are not really worried about their own kids welfare . They are worried about their own self. It took my years to figure this out the hard way, then I started educating myself with psychology books and with the help of a therapist it becomes easier to spot the “demons” in these women. The sad thing is alot of judges are not concerning themselves enough with it. They have a weird approach and say well ” you married her didn’t you” . But we all know that over time these women turn into these monsters that we didn’t see in the beginning. HPD , BPD, Bipolar , NPD it really doesn’t matter because you cannot do enough for any of them. I’ve been there.
Clearly Paul and Dr. T are stalwarts in the area of dealing with Crazy. Some really high quality advice.
• Do Not Confront CB
• Do not Confront family of CB.
• Do Not let her have the slightest idea that you are planning on leaving.
• Always be recording during the leaving phase.
My Experience: At times with the Crazy sniffing that you are recording, you wish you had a bug size recording device straight out of Bond Movie (which is difficult to get not impossible though), it is very difficult to record the abuse.
• Simply get a Phone (Andriod) preferably which has lots of Applications of recording surrounding sound.
• Password protect your phone and keep changing passwords.
Remember the classic I can check your phone because I am your wife(ENTITLEMENT) but you cant check my phone because you have trust issues and learn to deal with it Moron”.
Still Password protect and don’t divulge the passwords. Remember Dr. T’s Enforcing Boundries.
• Get a simple call recorder installed which records all your phone calls with her.
Regardless of how smartly you use the technology and how you continue to be have the same frustrated body language, Crazy will find that you are UPTO SOMETHING. They are experts at that and you cant beat her.
• This will definitely cut the drama to a extent (atleast 20% drama reduction potential) as she will be fearing that you are recording. (Fear : Yes they have primal insticts, Fear which will culminate into anger now and then)
• So now when she tries to hit you, she will still do it! However within minutes she will realize you might be recording and stop and will say stop beating me, etc. The drama is still there but reduced ( thats why I say can cut it by around 20% )
• Also sometimes without even recording if you pretend with those whacky eyes that when she goes volcano, she is recorded, the volcano stops abruptly. (See 20% reduction)
• Now she will stop harassing you in Office by calling you again and again as you might be recording (20% reduction)
Note: I work in Technology and Consulting area and presently creating a Crazy Proof IT Solution. Will release the features here shortly to get you guys inputs.
We can combat crazy and outclass her if not in her game at least with technology.
LT Greenwald says
“Crazy Proof IT Solution”
Lol, I love it! How can I invest!? 🙂
“Do not confront family of CB”. True! Wish I had thought of that before, back in the dark days of wedded bliss. I wrote some letters to my (then) wife’s parents about her behavior…thinking they would help get their daughter some mental help. It backfired, and I was verbally assailed and blamed for causing their daughter’s problems, I didn’t love her/hug her/kiss her enough blah blah blah. Took me years to accept the parents, esp. the mom, was major BPD and in this case, most likely genetic.
Such good information! Thank you. I hope the next ” going mental” can touch more on ways to deal with coparenting with the crazy ex wife.
Firstly, huge thanks to Dr T and Paul for the great work they do supporting men through these unbelievably tough and complex relationship experiences. Through my own experience, I feel like I have entered a world that I never knew existed, and in many ways, wish I had never experienced.
Nearly two years ago, I ended a relationship with a woman who definitely has abandonment issues and sits somewhere on that spectrum between abandonment and being full blown borderline.
Looking back at all the material I have read, my experience and the dynamic between us was classic abusive relationship cycle, me being passive, kind, gentle, empathetic Mr Nice Guy, her being the emotionally unstable, hyper-vigilant, controlling, often irrational CB.
During the relationship, I did not know what was happening on a conscious level, although my body knew, as it was giving me signs through mild anxiety attacks and other psycho-somatic symptoms. Looking back, I can also see the red flags I ignored, as my emotional, physical and sexual attraction to her was intense. During the good times between us, it felt magic and other-worldly.
We were together for only 8 months and in the end, I had to walk away as I knew something was very wrong, and at the end, literally went into pure survival mode. I felt relieved after the first month of the break-up, and then after that, all emotional hell broke loose with me, to the point of chronic panic attacks, beating myself up for walking away and hurting her, and then going through the most excruciating emotional pain and psycho-somatic symptoms for most of last year. The post break-up emotional fall-out has been worse than the 8 month experience together.
I have been seeing a clinical psychologist who has helped me understand exactly what happened, and I have resolved things intellectually very easily. Working through the emotional side of things, letting go of the trauma and emotional pain and healing is proving to be so much tougher.
I know we both share similar childhood wounds (emotional deprivation being the strongest), though hers manifest in a highly abusive way when emotionally triggered. I am working on healing mine, which I never even knew existed before unpacking the aftermath of this experience. I am also seeing how elements of my parents marriage and the abusive behaviours I witnessed have subconsciously made me prone as an adult to normalise this abnormal behaviour.
Post-break-up, I struggled to maintain no-contact, and reached out a few times by email and on the phone. We spoke for about 90 mins on the phone last May, and she was very rational and amongst other things, conceded that not everything was my fault, she regretted not challenging her automatic thoughts when we were together, she had never met a guy as sensitive as me.
Tellingly, she also mentioned that it was unusual for a guy to leave her, and she still feels emotional pain for not being nurtured as a child, more so than the pain she feels at having lost her husband to a terminal illness 6 years ago (they had a daughter before he passed away). All this from a 36 year old woman, with no admission that she is doing anything to work through these issues. Part of me does regret never asking her outright if she is doing anything to address this.
Post-break-up she also initiated contact a few times, even though I had told her not to as I was doing it tough emotionally. Intellectually, I can see now this was more mind games and seeking to maintain an attachment. What freaked me out was when she did initiate contact, it was during times when I was really struggling and it was like she was psychic in knowing this.
I bumped into her at a conference last November and my body had the most intense psycho-somatic response, like it was screaming at me this woman is DANGEROUS. It was like the effect of cryptonite on Superman.
Since then, I have decided to tough this out, listen to my body, maintain no contact, and work on myself and my healing. Each time I initiated contact, it was like reactivating the pain and the trauma.
My struggle is in really letting go and healing emotionally, as there is a part of me (my heart) that seems stubborn to accepting that she is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and in the long run, very damaging and toxic for me. It’s like I refuse to believe someone can possibly have simultaneous extremes of behaviour.
Intellectually I have sorted this out, as I am dominant on the intellectual side of things, though struggle with processing and resolving the emotions.
As my friends have all said to me, we all have baggage, she has got freight!
My head knows I deserve so much better, I should work on my own inner healing and attract and be attracted to someone much healthier in future.
I am working through the book by Dr Patrick Carnes on trauma bonds, and will work through healing maladaptive schema using the framework by Dr Jeffrey Young.
Would be great at some point if these talks by Dr T and Paul can touch on the recovery and healing process, and mental processes to get these toxic people out of your heart, mind and soul.
The advice has so much more impact when verbalised in these videos by Dr T and Paul.
I do feel part of a select community in sharing these painful experiences on these types of forums, and when I am healed and emotionally whole, will pay forward what I have learnt to help other men.
Keep up the good work Dr T and Paul.
Listen to what your body is telling you Demarigny.
I was where you were 15 years ago, but I didn’t listen. I also didn’t have the knowledge about this that you do.
The highs of these toxic relationships can be great. That’s how you get hooked.
And they are very good at drawing you back in when you are pulling away.
You are doing the right thing by staying away.
Keep working on your own issues which are drawing you back. See a therapist, read books, stay healthy and stay away.
Thanks so much for the encouragement divorcingnpd.
I am sorry that you too are going through such a tough time, though hopefully, there is light at the end of the tunnel for you and your children.
Sometimes I feel like I have unwittingly become an expert on my ex’s issues, just to make sense of the madness, and am now focusing on myself.
One other great book I came across is How to Love by Dr Gordon Livingston. The first part of the book talks about disordered traits you should be on the look out for in a prospective partner. When I read this and got to page 16, it was the proverbial OMG moment as it was so close to my experience with my suspected BPD ex. When I have kids one day this book will be mandatory reading for them when they start dating.
Good luck with the hearing, and stay strong and safe for yourself and your kids.
I too have been seeing a social worker after ending a relationship with a NPD and worse than that , really too much to list. It takes a while to get better after a relationship from one of these crazy bitches. This social worker has 35 years of experience dealing with these issues. I wish what I have learned from my own experience I could put that in others minds that right now doesn’t have a clue about what is going on. You will get better it just takes time. I told my own social worker that “Now I know why there are so many women to one man” . She asked “Why is that?” I said ” Because you have to go through so many of them to maybe find a decent one”.
Dear DivorcingNPD, This is the freakinest, most awesome story! CONGRATS!
Go for full, or primary custody and negotiate to 50/50. remember, NPDs and BPDs only appreciate what they steal and not what you give AND you need to keep your kids away from her as much as possible. See another spectacular Dr. T piece on that phenomenon!
In August, one of our kids started college 1.5 hours away before the divorce finalized in November. I told my kid, “Don’t come home often. Let us come visit you. Stay up there and make your world big.” She listened. She is rocking college.
Go for full, or primary custody and negotiate to 50/50. Remember, NPDs and BPDs only appreciate what they steal and not what you give AND you need to keep your kids away from her as much as possible. See another spectacular Dr. T piece on that phenomenon!
In August, one of our kids started college 1.5 hours away before the divorce finalized in November. I told my kid, “Don’t come home often. Let us come visit you. Stay up there and make your world big.” She listened. She is rocking college.
There are so many good points in this video, I’m not sure where to begin. I went through a divorce a little over a year ago and was fortunate to find this site in the latter part of last year.
* ABR – video, voice, whatever you have.
* Document, document, document
* Keep your foot on the gas and DO NOT LET UP. Do not feel bad for them. Do not get suckered into the BS. Stay with your gut instinct.
* If they abuse you, call the Police and follow through. I was punched a number of times leading to the divorce. I filed a report, but failed to have her arrested. Nail her while you can, but be prepared for her repercussions.
* Do your research on lawyers in high conflicted cases. As stated in the video, don’t settle that all divorce cases are high conflict.
* Do not trust mutual friends nor her family.
* During court, “Shock and Awe” and do not stop. Use everything you have in your arsenal. I settled because of being so tired of dealing with it all. Even after spending so much time on gathering the “ammo”. Do not make this mistake. Suck it up, this is your time. You may not have another chance, especially if children are involved.
* If you have children, have a safe point to pick up and drop off the kids. Once CB was arrested, I was able to file a restraining order to stay away from my house and meet me at the local PD. Those were dropped during the divorce.
* Be prepared for the smear campaigns, her new Captain “Save-A-Ho” bf or new husband wanting to fight you and others that will question what happen. Don’t waste your time defending yourself. Fuck them. If they can not see that she is a CB right now, they will later.
* If the safe point option is not available, install a camera system at your home and a portable to use when you meet her.
* Keep your boundaries. Do not make deals with the devil.
* Do not question your sanity. Surround yourself with people who know and love you. Once you are away from CB, the fog will start to lift. You will see life in a new perceptive and realize the life you were living is NOT normal.
If you do not have kids, get as far away from the CB as you can. Do not look back.
It never stops. The crazy may pause, but it will never fully stop. I’m still learning on the fly. Especially when dealing with a BPD that you have joint-physical custody of the children with.
Thanks for the great suggestions painandrage.
Can you comment on things you settled on that you should have fought?
Also, I would be interested in hearing how you worked out your co-parenting/custody situation.
I am going on 6 weeks since having my NPD wife served the divorce papers.
I can confirm that the fog has lifted for me. I can see the lies and manipulations much more clearly. I can resist the urge to feel sorry for her/try to fix her better now.
But I would recommend to anyone approaching this divorce process to get a good high conflict lawyer and a good therapist who understands NPD/BPD as well.
I am meeting weekly with my therapist to identify and work on my boundary issues. It’s been helpful for me to identify the genesis of my low expectations from my relationships. And I need the assistance in maintaining healthy boundaries while trying to co-parent with my soon to be ex.
Best of luck to all of you out there in similar experiences. There is hope. Reach out for the help you need. You deserve it.
Sad State says
divorcingnpd, I too was able to reach a settlement with my ex. I believe it is uncommon to reach agreeable settlements because they are so un-agreeable. It seems all my posts are about how difficult it was to reach the agreement, so I will summarize it like this: There will be no agreement if they believe they will win in court. You must realize their “belief” is based on deluded world views supported their sense of being right, the skewed bias of the court system and their attorney, who was no doubt selected due to the promises of taking us to the cleaner. My settlement didn’t happen until the attorneys had already met with the judge on trial day and it became clear she was going to lose.
So true, Sad State.
I had my Temporary Orders hearing last week. The only reason I was able to get her to agree to 50-50 parenting time was that her lawyer had explained to her that she would lose if we went before the judge. Remember that losing in front of a judge is a bigger narcissistic injury than losing in a private room with the lawyers.
Another tactic I notice regarding my NPD wife is that no matter how much I have compromised to agree to her position, she will always set up one last hoop for me to jump through before she will commit to the agreement. This is all about her reassuring herself that she is in full control.
So as I prepare to enter the mediation phase of the divorce (Colorado law requires it), I am preparing a number of red herrings that I can give away to get her to sign the agreement.
Thanks for sharing Sad State. Those of us in this situation need all the help we can get. We are up against skilled adversaries.
You said “skilled adversaries.” Yes and they are clever at manipulation , deception, acting, and telling lies to get what they want. I have seen one put on a fake crying episode in front of people to try to get sympathy just to get her way in the court room. When that battle was over with she said “I told you I would get my way, I’m good at it.” Everyone dealing with these crazy bitches needs all the help they can get having to put up with them.
divorcingnpd, I need to clarify a few things first. When we actually went to court, it was because the two prior “settlements” were insane or let me say that she was not “winning”. Court was to let the judge decide, but I will explain.
What I had going for me:
The ex was arrested
There was a restraining order to keep her from my house
Documentation, audio, video.
Deposition ( of her account). She really showed her ass.
She was already engaged (yes before we were divorced) and living with the guy (one of them) she she cheated with me on.
My lawyer was already in the judge’s ear after the arrest
Food stamp fraud
The only fault that was held against me was that I had starting speaking to someone a month before the final court date.
On another note, a few years prior she was awarded FULL disability for “Fbromyalgia”. Do not get me started on this.
I went first on the stand and was there for about 3 hours, but there was really nothing. We broke for lunch and upon coming back, my witnesses started to show. When the excb saw who was there, she decided to settle. Her lawyer advised this as well.
There was a 50/50 joint custody ruling for our two children with my house as the primary address. I am also over sports and education.
She was not awarded child/spouse support nor did I have to pay for her court costs.
My regrets is that I settled instead of putting her on the stand and having my lawyer and others blast away. Also to let the judge see first hand how she acts. However at that time, I was ready for the nightmare to be over with.
The excb drops the children are with me at 6:30 p.m. and I drop our 3 year old with her when I take my son to school. This will change when the 3 year old starts pre-k. Which means that during the week she will have hardly any time with them. She gets the kids on the 1st and 3rd weekend and holidays are split.
There is no co-parenting. We all wish for this, but in reality it can’t happen. I have given up on homework when my son is with her. That place is Disneyland. She can care less if he does the work, but wants a problem to pinpoint me as the failure since I am over education, get it?
Even with everything that I had, I’m not 100% that I would have been awarded full custody of the kids. But there is still the thought that I should have pressed on that bugs me.
Don’t let up. There have already been problems with her and the reason that a camera is mounted on my house.
Lean on your “true friends” (you know what I mean) and family when you need someone to speak with. The people that love you and will support you. There is also this forum 🙂
Better times are ahead, I promise, but buckle up for the storm.
Sad State says
I see you have experienced the joys of trying to reach an agreement. My experience was that she used the required mediation time to try to get someone else on her side. Nothing came of the time or expense of mediation.
I came to verbal “agreements” with her no less than four times. But by the next day and the time it took to get the papers from the lawyer (at my expense), she changed her mind. I believe her thinking fell into one of two camps (written from her mindset): 1) if he willing to agree to it, then I must have not asked for enough, so I should ask for more or 2) if he is suggesting it, then there must be some secret way he is planning on screwing me over.
My suggestion is to offer an agreement that you believe is fair and you can live with – then stop talking. If she agrees, then have her do the paperwork to get it signed. If she doesn’t agree, tell her you will see her in court.
My ex used my desire to get an agreement as an excuse for contact and conflict. I finally wised up and offered the final version and told her to take it or leave it. She left it until court date, although she frequently offered counters, but only as attempts get me engaged again.
I am dealing with the same thing Sad State. My wife will use any means necessary to draw me back into interacting with her. Positive or negative attention, it does not matter to her. It’s all about attention. I have a 4 year old child so I understand this from a 3 or 4 year old, just not from an adult.
The goal for me is to minimize contact so that I can maintain a sense of well being. Any contact with my wife is bound to leave me feeling frustrated and exhausted.
I think your solution to offer her the final version is spot on. That way she can’t draw you into constant conflict to negotiate.
I will definitely use that advice in my upcoming court battles.
Looking back after almost a year after my divorce, there was not a specific day, or one specific incident. There were many signs before, during and now after. Now that I’m dating again I feel more literate to see them coming. There have been dating situations I can just sense do not make sense. At 54 the dating pool almost always involve “baggage” that present themselves is various degrees. Some involve complicated family commitments, codependent behavior, significant abandonment issues…..the pathologies seem endless, but I don’t bite the hook.
Itza Sekret says
Congrats…. and Amen to that Tomg.
About 3yrs after my tango with BP/NP…. the red flags just POP out now when I see them. In work, family, and dating relationships I recognize self centeredness and codependence much more clearly.
Just last nite I was getting blamed by someone for their insecurity. “Oh… I get it… you’re projecting.”
I’m not as far along as tomg and Itza as I am only 120 days into even knowing about NPD and 60 days after filing for divorce from my NPD wife.
But I can say that I can see things so much more clearly now as well. Part of the strategy that the NPD uses is to keep those close to them confused and off balance. What helped me immensely was recording our conversations so I could see her tactics more clearly. I was able to determine without a doubt that she was gaslighting, etc.
The testimonies of so many people who have experience this abuse are so important. Without this knowledge I would still be stuck trying in vain to fix what cannot be fixed.
I am so much happier now and learning to create and defend the boundaries I need to feel good.
Right now that boundary is to maintain contact via email only. And that boundary is under attack! I got a text message from my wife saying there was an urgent matter and I needed to call immediately. Thinking one of the kids was hurt or sick I called only to find out there was a scheduling issue with the lawyers that was not urgent. So I am prepared for her to go to great lengths to create drama to draw me into closer contact. But I will maintain my boundaries that make me feel good and not allow her attempts to instill guilt to erode them.
divrcingnpd I dated one for 10 months . A selfcentered histrionic crazy bitch. I could say other things as well, but I know you know. they have to be in control, if all is quiet they cannot stand quiet and normal they love drama and chaos. You will never be able to do enough for them as far as that goes anyone. They will have many boyfriends. They will manipulate and lie to the very same people that wants to help them. You will not be able to win. You said cannot be fixed you are right. This woman I dated knows she has this problem but doesnt acknowledge that anything is really wrong with her. I offered to help pay for therapy and to get her on medication, but she refused so I got away from her, now with no contact at all. She is constantly looking for whats called narccisistic supply because thats what these personality disordered people need . I had to learn the hard way, but like its been said develop your own boundaries with these women and ask questions if something doesnt seem right . Its probably not. For them its all about the attention from wherever they can get it boyfriend, husband, friends, it doesnt matter. You mean nothing to them except what you can supply them. They feel nothing for you.
Unless your children are too young to have cell phones, I would not be as quick to respond. (my boys are 18 and 20) so that is a different matter. Usually if there is a real problem, I rely on my boys to call me.
Yes, my ex somehow thinks I now have a pen pal, so (unless I choose) I generally do not respond until I speak to my son’s first.
Our pathology was that if she so much as spoke nice to me, I thought I had won gold at the Olympics….That also signaled to her to step up and ask for things while I was feeling “oh so special.”
No more…..The word no (if I choose to engage at all) is now an entire sentence. Last incident was an email telling me she did not have her share our our oldest son’t tuition. I commend myself for saying that if that were the case, we needed to tell him “we” are not able to aford certain things. Legally it is all laid out perfectly in the MSA HER ATTORNEY wrote that I signed…..no mistakes or misunderstsng there….
I feel like such an idiot today.
I got duped by my NPD soon to be ex-wife.
When my brother and his wife were out visiting last week, she made a special point to tell me that the kids were afraid that my family hated her and that I hated her.
We agreed that all adults would greet each other in a friendly manner like always in front of the kids (youngest is 5). So my brother and his wife hugged my STBX just like always when they greeted her and the kids saw this.
So yesterday, my STBX’s sister comes into town. I attempt to greet her in a public space with the kids present and watching, and she frowns and turns away from my attempt to hug her. And the kids see this.
After this occurs I have a private conversation with my STBX and she informs me that I should not attempt to hug any of her siblings since they are “aware of what occurred.” Translation: “She has told them horrible things about me.”
So she totally set me up.
I was trying to do the right thing and show the kids that my siblings still loved and supported my STBX.
And now my kids see her siblings rejecting and attempting to shame me.
This fits the pattern of my STBX trying to make me out to be the bad guy. According to her I abandoned the family. Never mind the fact I fled my house in fear for my physical safety due to her rages or the fact the she was hiding 50% of our assets. That does not justify me filing for divorce. According to my STBX, I should be a real man and stay and continue to take the abuse like always!
So I just need to vent about this incident because I am so mad and blaming myself for allowing it to happen.
The rule that I should have followed but didn’t is MINIMIZE CONTACT! I should have done the transfer with the kids without my siblings present.
I foolishly thought that if I agreed to have my siblings act friendly and cordial with her, that she would do the same for me.
But from my experience with her, I should have known there is no reciprocity with an NPD.
divorcingnpd – these women are evil. Just tell yourself she is Hitler reincarnated & then you’ll never let your guard down again.
Itza Sekret says
hey divorcingnpd…. don’t sweat it. the kids also saw something else… your family was gracious and her’s was not. of course, she’ll spin it differently but that’s why you’re getting clear of her. over time, the contrast in your parenting/people skills will be more evident and the kids will see that too. the day will come when you’re at a park/something with your kids and you’ll just breathe a big sigh of relief that you have way less drama to untangle. that happens every 2-3 days for me now and it makes me smile.
oh… and that bit about the kids being afraid your family hates her…. sounds to me like she was projecting her fears onto the kids.
I am often tempted to, or entrapped into having contact with my ex. When she calls, texts, emails it’s ALWAYS about money. Let me be clear. She wants my money, and since I disagree she tries some typical, some more refined ways of extracting it. Shame, fear, guilt for openers…..then contacting and pal’ing it up with my own Mother as it pertains to giving special attention to an 89 year old woman who in may ways rivals her own manipulation (Yes, I married my Mother).
I reject them all……they can spin and plan all they want and I just refuse to take one step….. Stand still my friend and watch the show.
You will never please them, and they will never offer you anything useful.
I know it’s hard, but watch the show…..
Discount the obvious political blather, and wonder, as I do, what a male stalker would plan on the 10 o’clock news……