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My Narcissistic Ex-Husband

Reflections on loving and living with a Narcissist.  Let our experts guide you toward the healing power of moving on and allowing yourself some time in the spotlight.  Get advice on healing from his behavior and finding yourself again.

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To all of the women who are divorcing a narcissist, I write this as my own journal and in hopes that it helps others battle a narc in court. If it bores you, feel free to skip reading it. It certainly bores me living it, but I hope the tips help as you navigate through the the process and form a future court strategy.

Tip #1: Follow the rotation/visitation court order.  A narc will try to cause trouble by making it look like you do not let him have his visitation rights. If given an opportunity, this can cause trouble for you with a judge.

TIP #2: Communicate by email only.  Save all communications with the Narc in a folder labeled "Dickhead", that way you have proof of the Narc giving up his visitation days that are unsolicited by you. So I was not surprised when I got court papers in the mail.  I was expecting to renegotiate visitation, but he decided that he needed to file for full custody... weird. A Narc will threaten with things like you will never see my youngest son ever again if he can help it. Trying to create FEAR, and declaring that I we are abusive parents. Trying to create BLAME and PUNISHMENT. Interesting Narcs are usually guilty of what they accuse you of. 

TIP 3# - Nothing happens until it happens.  Just because a Narc threatens this or that, it doesn't mean that the judge will go along with the narrative in the Narc's head. In fact, as a divorced person you have a say in court.  The narc cannot isolate you in court. You have rights, a say, a voice, so prepare your argument. Most courts do not recognized NPD. You don't have to prove a Narc a liar. You do need a good argument. A narc will twist the truth, but you have a voice and opportunity to tell your truth and your argument. It is easiest to prove a narc is inconsistent, that he has more than one truth or narrative. A narc changes his truth as often a new mother changes a newborn's dirty diaper. In some states, full/joint custody is a term used for legal rights of a parent. With joint custody it means if there is a medical emergency that either parent can make decisions. It also gives both parents a say at school. Visitation rights are for seeing the child when the child doesn't live with you most of the time. Child support is paid to the one who has residential custody. Residential custody is given so that the child has one address and school district etc. for legal reasons. Then the state rules on who claims who as a dependent for tax purposes, who pays what for medical, insurance, tuition, etc. But paying for stuff doesn't necessarily tie into "full" or "joint" custody.  "Full" custody, in some states, refers only to decision-making power. Some divorce papers provide joint custody with an exception; some provide full custody in the area of religion. We can make all decisions regarding religion with absolutely no input from the ex at all. Religion plays a big role in the chaos that the ex, a narcissist and bipolar, causes all of us. The Narc betrays us all in the area of religion. It can be Narc Chaos on a grand scale.

Tip #4 - A narc likes to cause Chaos for his own entertainment.  It is common for a narc to be unhappy with whatever your court orders are. What better a place to cause chaos and have all eyes on him than in court?  In court he can be important, demand your full attention, zero in on your possible fears and that is why my ex is pro se. He is his own lawyer. He gets to file and prove how smart and powerful he thinks he is. If your Narc takes you to court after you are divorced, don't be surprised. This is common. 

TIP #5 - A narc will make it complicated.  Why file for a change in visitation when you can redo the divorce decree from years ago? A change in visitation is a simple task, but a change in custody is a new trial, more involved, more complicated, and more chaos.

TIP #6 - A narc usually doesn't say what he wants. He waits until you say what you want first. Then he quickly decides to want the opposite of what you want. His goal is for you to be unhappy. How dare you be happy when he is so unhappy? 

TIP #7 - A Narc will cause drama for no real reason. Your children should be thinking about girls or boys and college, but instead all the focus is on who gets custody of them for one year. The drama is rather unnecessary.  My child high school years has become all about daddy. A narc is the center of his own universe and all of us that are within reach are suppose to orbit the Narc happily. 

TIP #8 - Let it go.  It doesn't really matter what the court decides because a narc will challenge it eventually because a Narc is never happy. The Narc is not in charge. You are not in charge. The court, the judge, the agreements and the orders are in charge. Build good character in yourself and your children. Everything else will take care of itself. Follow the orders until they change. Be happy and do your best and let control go. You and I can make any court order work. Children all grow up. Time makes sure of that.

TIP #9 - New mantra: "I don't care." The narc misses me in his sick way, or rather the control of me.  Question: If I don't care, how is the narc suppose to groom narc supply from me?  Answer: He can't. My son can live with his dad or with me.  I personally no longer care.  Whatever the judge decides, I will do.  If you choose not to care (APATHY) then there is no more control.  

TIP #10 - A narc is a fool.  He will argue the foolish in order to fight. It's all about the fight. He is trying to win something, something vague and constantly changing along with his unhappiness, and the courtroom is his stage; a Narc will argue the foolish in order to remain center stage.

I hope these tips help. ((((hugs))) and remember to embrace your freedom!

(the blog was originally posted by a community member.)

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  • Comment Link Linda Saturday, 12 August 2017 02:34 posted by Linda

    There was a court battle and the NARC won. I had a lawyer(useless)he had a better lawyer. Everything he asked for, he got. I was under a DR. care for Mental Issues(still am)he played that to the max. He portrayed himself in a way that made me want to barf. He and his mother both-2 peas in a pod, equally as sneaky and manipulative, arrogant and pathological liars. But to the world they are pillars of the community. He still to this day tries to push my buttons any chance he can. I cringe when I have to ask for a change or something that isn't in THE agreement, he loves that, it's always I'll get back to you on that. But I have to communicate because of our daughter. I hate it. Any ideas on ways to make it easier?

  • Comment Link Casey Crowe Tuesday, 02 May 2017 21:14 posted by Casey Crowe

    I am going through a custody battle with a narcissist, problem is he has the attorney coaching him whereas i cant ever save the money for my defense cuz im in court every 2 months. Any tips on how to work this so i can have more time?

  • Comment Link Michael Saturday, 22 April 2017 20:56 posted by Michael

    You need to change those "he's" to more gender neutral terms.

    And you forgot one key aspect. They accuse you if being the narcissist. And will read articles like this to use all these tricks against you. Don't ever call them on it. Just play along, else you will trigger the rage. And if you have no power, you will be the victim.

  • Comment Link Jon Saturday, 01 April 2017 18:41 posted by Jon

    I'm currently on bail conditions in the U.K. For assaulting my fiancee
    We had a row ,her screaming at me telling me it was over etc
    She went to walk off and I pulled her coat
    She then caused me several lacerations to the face and back of my head with a set of keys
    Then she went to police and had me arrested
    This,convieniently after I had fitted a new kitchen at my expense approx 16k
    Then she gets me locked up and on bail
    Then she plasters it all over Facebook
    Then she text me
    Then she calls me
    Then she calls me family
    Then goes to my family's home to drop a book of
    Is she a narc ????

  • Comment Link Rose Miller Monday, 27 March 2017 23:05 posted by Rose Miller

    My sons father is the opitomy of a narc! We fought for custody 10 years ago. Things were and hVe been better since then. I got awarded primary physical and joint legal. He chose to get him when he wanted after that. Never helped me with homework, responsibilities, discipline only pd child support off Min wage and Owens his own business. Now has a wife and kid and lives in "heaven" neighborhood. Has big house and boat and 2 brand new vehicles but claims he only makes 25,000 a yr. Such a joke. Recently he took me back to court used all his joint legal rights to try to fight me for custody cause he wants our son to live w him now. I settled outside of court and allowed my son to go live with him but I have weekends and 1 night during week. Narc stated he would do all I wanted until I signed my rights over for him to be primary custodial parent and now he wants legal. All because I don't want my son on a dependable stimulant drug that he has him on for ADHD. He's manipulated the system and now my son whom has started treating me badly just like his father does.
    It's the hardest thing I've ever had to go through.

  • Comment Link Deborah Wednesday, 01 March 2017 13:39 posted by Deborah

    Very well stated. So very true and totally my story! I have a daughter that has been hospitalized 5 times while in her Narcs care so I need to get her away from him. But you are right, it doesn't matter what is decided. What the judge says, goes. You just made me realize that after years of worry. Thank you!!!!!

  • Comment Link jessidawn Tuesday, 22 November 2016 19:28 posted by jessidawn

    Thanks for this post! I can relate to all of these. Narcissists think they are so clever. In some cases, they are. But, the cleverness wears off over time. These tips are so great because it helps you not to get caught up in their cleverness. Stick to the plan. Have an argument in court. Don't be controlled. The narcissist will create their own destruction if you let them. Unfortunately it takes time.

    Jen C., my heart goes out to you. It was a hard decision to leave my ex narc. But, I knew I'd be happier, a better mother and my daughter (4 yrs old) would be happier as well. Before divorce, I thought, psh... I've got this in the bag. No waY is a judge going to give my ex 50% custody. No way does my ex even want 50% custody. Boy was I wrong. Although my ex does not want 50% custody, he still fought for it and won. I was devastated at first until I followed these tips above. You are loved. You are a good mother. You are strong and doing the right thing. These are other mantras in my head. It's so hard to share custody with such a crazy person, but over time, his chaotic destructive behavior will catch up to him. I'm sure of it. In the meantime, if your narc is wreaking havoc on your happiness, I think it's still best to get out before you endure years and years of emotional abuse. Good luck!

  • Comment Link Calee D Saturday, 22 October 2016 07:33 posted by Calee D

    Thanks for these, they really help. Recently with my Narc, he works and knew a few players in our child support case, in far of him so he didnt get a huge increase, dispite the fact this was the first review in 7 years. In addition, we have an open visitation that we agreed on long ago, but he is never around seeing our child twice a month "MAYBE" for a total of 8 hours max in the month. Then recently questioned her aout everything about our plans, counseling sessions "he chooses NOT to be a part of" but wants a progress report.. ugh the list goes on.. I just want sanity

  • Comment Link Jen C. Monday, 27 June 2016 16:54 posted by Jen C.

    My daughter is only three years old and I know that my NARC of a husband will fight for custody out of spite and because he believes were his possessions, so I haven't left yet. Do you have any other advice for me when it comes to young children? My daughter often tells me "daddy is mean" and I honestly don't know how to ensure that he wont get any custody. I know she is not safe with him, if I do leave, how can I win the custody battle. Btw I'm in California if anyone has advice for me I'd greatly appreciate it!

  • Comment Link Happiness is Peace Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:24 posted by Happiness is Peace

    Great article and so true! I went through a long 4 year battle getting my decree. Wish I was able to read this before experiencing it all myself!

  • Comment Link Mrs. Allard Sunday, 08 May 2016 21:46 posted by Mrs. Allard

    Not sure if my ex is a narcissist, or a sociopath? Divorced for a year and a half. after being together for 25 years. He was so secretive, I didn't know he constantly screwed so many women- must have gotten more and more difficult even for him, to hide affairs, one night ,stands, etc. I still wonder what he told them- "I'm separated?, no love at home?"- who knows,... I was so grateful when he took his adjunct professor job in Maine, (We were in California)- I could have about 7 months of quiet, without the angry judgement of everything I did, without the excessive drinking, and lame stories about sleeping in his car while not helping to pay for anything or do anything at home- wouldn't even wash a dish, or his own laundry, or buy food. He'd often tell me he'd already eaten dinner, when I tried to serve dinner at home....I didn't know he was taking so many others out to eat,& paying for hotels,....When he took the job across country, I wrote in my journal "my children and I would actually come home and have a peaceful evening. I didn't realize how on edge, and fearful of him I was until he left- the quiet of his absence, knowing he would not be back for months allowed me to relax a little. I still didn't want a divorce. Everything when he was around was about him. Sex, was not fun, as I was just a servicer in that event, when I asked for hugs or kisses, he wouldn't brush his teeth, or wash dirty hands, going to bed like that to prevent me from hugging him.
    At first I was just glad to have a little time for me, although I gave up a lot to divorce him, I have my life back...I gave up my job, had two hip replacements, and sold the property I thought we were going to build on to be with him in Maine, when his daughter, my stepdaughter got married, - he brought the woman he'd been living with to CA for the wedding, had told our son to come to a party that I was not invited to...that is how I found out- when my son returned from the event. I was devastated, yet when I was told, not surprised. Like finding the last few pieces to an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. finally realized I was hanging onto marriage as if it were the same commitment my parents had for each other. Of course it was not, nor had it ever been.

    THe most difficult of all this is acceptance of myself for for not knowing. Not being suspicious, hard to forgive myself for taking care of him while he treated me with abuse that is only possible because I loved him, failing to see signs of what he constantly hid...but how does one know of another's secret life?.
    There is loneliness in my now peaceful days, yet better than fear or anxiousness required when living with a narc.

  • Comment Link JoEvan Tuesday, 03 May 2016 20:36 posted by JoEvan

    I've been divorced from a narc for 5 years. I was married to him for 25. I'm glad you are writing for others to read. I wish the freedom of the internet had come my way earlier in my situation. I would have found what I was married to long before I did. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this for others. I hope for the recovery of the beautiful souls these people harm.