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How Do I Divorce a Narcissist?

Serial cheaterDear Chump Lady,

Although he fits the readings, although the therapists tell you he is a narcissist, you don’t quite believe it. It isn’t quite human. How can someone be this weird?

I decided when I worked out that our “reconciliation” was actually emotional abuse, when I discovered I had descended into a bitter, hopeless, angry person I didn’t like much, when I found him back in touch with OW, that I wasn’t going to participate in my own mistreatment any more.

And I filed.

This? Is MY doing, and MY fault. Everything that has gone before, has magically vanished. Communication has shut down.

It is now scarily inhuman and strange, and total out and out war.

He is going to fight to the bitter end to keep the main assets.

HELP, soldiers already in the trenches! What do I do? How do I stay calm? How do I stop the funds being cut off? Are there any good books you recommend, about divorcing a narcissist?

What strategies, what tactics?

Sarah

Dear Sarah,

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Many of us here have had the unfortunate experience (and legal bills to show for it) of divorcing a diagnosed narcissist. It’s ugly. They’re bullies.

The first place I can direct you is this interview I did with Dr. George Simon (his books are in the Resources section, btw) for Huffington Post on “Divorcing the Character Disordered.”  You’ll probably recognize your situation. Unfortunately, the article is long on description and short on prescription — but IMO, knowing what you’re dealing with is half the battle.

Meaning — expect that they are NOT going to be reasonable. They aren’t going to fight fair. And they will be totally manipulative. If charm doesn’t work, they’ll try self pity (chump bait). If self pity doesn’t work, they’ll try rage and bullying. It pretty much cycles through those three tactics, in my experience. Sometimes in the same encounter. It’s just what they do.

Here’s what they DON’T do — accept responsibility. Mediate as an honest broker. Volunteer information. Abide by orders. Act reasonably. Do What Is Best for the Children.

It’s pretty much all about them and their hurt egos — You Will Pay.

Now, you could ask yourself — hey! Didn’t I already pay? Didn’t I already get cheated on and played for a chump?

No, you’re looking at that all wrong. You must pay because you have stopped supplying ego kibbles. Kibbles are the narcissist life force. He sees it as you starving him. Doesn’t matter that he has 1,500 other sources of narcissistic supply — he feels entitled to yours. It’s his. How DARE YOU? You Were Of Use — and now you are not. Do you know how hard it is to find a good chump?

Moreover, you have committed the grave sin of seeing behind the mask. You know the real him. You aren’t loyal to the wonderfulness that is him. You might talk. That might jeopardize the greater ego kibble supply chain. You’re a threat. You must be stopped.

Sarah, when you see things not in human terms, but in terms of ego kibbles, it all makes a perverse sort of sense.

You can understand him. He CANNOT understand you. And that’s your first tactical advantage in divorcing a narcissist — he will underestimate you. By virtue of the fact he is a narcissist, he underestimates everyone. He is the smartest person in the room.

So do those things he is not expecting — go on the offensive. Hit first, and don’t pull your punches. You get the best legal help you can get. He wants all the assets? YOU ask for those and more. You let the lawyers play that game. You depose his affair partner(s). You get a forensic accountant. Whatever he is afraid of — exposure, for example — you use to your legal advantage.

This is what you do not do — appeal to his better nature. Beg for mercy. Explain how unjust this is. He doesn’t care. You needing him — for ANYTHING, including an explanation — is kibbles to him. It’s control. He feeds on this.

So — you go totally no contact. You only communicate by email or text, about children and finances. Preferably, you only communicate via lawyer. If he sends you incendiary emails — you send them to a friend, send them here — you laugh at them. If it’s really threatening? You call the police. You get a protection order. Your lawyer will really make hay with that, but you do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. A protection order will mean there are dire legal consequences if he gets in touch with you — like jail time.

As Dr. Simon says at the end of the article I linked to — they only change their behavior when the cost of fucking with you is too high. It has to hurt THEM. They have zero empathy. It does not hurt him to hurt you (or your children, if you have any). Make the cost of fucking with you exorbitant.

Now, you might get a wing nut that is impervious to punishment. Who will sue you and go on a scorched earth campaign regardless of the personal cost. These people are, fortunately, rare and they’re usually truly mentally ill. (I would put my first ex in this camp.) If your ex is like this, all I can say is it’s a marathon. Don’t let his crazy ruin your life. You’re free of him. This kind of spiteful insanity is very transparent and judges HATE it. My ex (who, those new to the story, sued me mostly pro se for over a decade) lost every court battle. And he lost them grievously — had to pay more money, got less time, had his parental decision making stripped away.

If you have no children with your narcissist? Then Sarah, he’s got no leverage in your life. You’re truly free. He’ll probably squawk and rattle his saber and eventually go find a new victim to make miserable. The agony is finite. Breeding with a wing nut, alas, pays drama dividends.

Also check out some blogs from folks who’ve gone through this — Tina Swinthin of One Mom’s Battle. Or Jenny Ball at The Happy Hausfrau. These women divorced narcissist nut jobs and survived — and you will too!

Don’t let him intimidate you, Sarah. You’ve got this.

This column ran previously.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I just came to a settlement with my ex narc last Wednesday It took almost 3 years, and all of what chumplady says is true. He will attempt to control you (as he probably has been), behave outrageously, look for pity, fly into rages.

    Go on the offensive!! I would recommend you find as much shit as you can on him and your finances, then have your attorney depose him. He needs to understand you won’t be victimized by him anymore. It was 2 months after we deposed him that my narc finally settled. My attorney nicknamed him Sweaty McSweaterson after he poured buckets of sweat during the deposition! Narc’s hate the truth.

    Do Not feel sorry for him – fight him. I have many blogs about my divorce process on clichegurl.com. It’s been hell but so worth it.

    • You reached a settlement, Murphy Cee? Don’t expect him to abide by it. Until you have every last thing in the agreement, don’t expect it to be over. When I took mine back to court and was awarded what the decree stated–again–he then took things away from my children, the things he purchased for them (namely their cars) because he knew that I then would have to provide those things. He will find a way to twist the knife–even when he has no leverage. Narcissists ALWAYS have to have the last word. I won’t believe he will comply with the Court until every last thing is in my hands. And I will take him back to Court as many times as it takes.

      Until you have every last dime or every last item, do not stop documenting every mind game he plays. And THEN do your victory dance. Been there, done that. And CONGRATS on being one step closer!

  • I divorced the seriously malignant kind of narcissist. The kind that goes on the scorched earth campaign with no understanding the concept of mutually assured destruction.

    We are young, early 30s, and had been together 6 years with two daughters under the age of 3 when I filed. The only assets we had were 401ks and the house. As soon as he met the last OW, it was Twu Wuv, and “she” convinced him to stop paying the mortgage. He also cashed out the 401k.

    Finally, I had to get to the point where my bottom line was that I was going to get sole custody of my children and child support. It took me from May 2014 when I first filed until January 2016 to get that first check from the garnishment order.

    It’s definitely a marathon. And they wear you down with a war of attrition. Find your bottom line and never let it go.

    Big hugs!

  • Chump lady is so right about all of that. Mine made noises about divorcing without a lawyer but broke every promise and jerked me around for over a year resulting in almost 4x the legal fees that I should have paid for settling out of court(and counting since the divorce is not final). He removed all of our vehicle assets, stole many many personal items(including some of my jewellery), made agreements with me that he would then refuse to sign after I paid a lawyer to put them in legal separation form( he did that 4 times). I stood my ground and he finally gave in(after I lost about $60000 in assets and $30000 in legal fees). The whole time it was all my fault of course even though I was the only one doing anything to get this done.
    The only thing I would add is to vet your lawyer very carefully because I ended up with a lawyer almost as bad as my stbxh(in my opinion). She has lighted, blame shifted etc just as well as my stbxh. Between the 2 of them I thought I was not going to make it. Just remember the legal profession is fraught with narcissism.
    I am very close to the divorce and my ex still expects me to do his required actions and my lawyer has retained a significant chunk of money for “non compliance”. My attitude must be that the money is gone so I won’t mourn its loss..I am almost out and will go completely non contact as soon as my divorce is final. Oh and on a positive note I signed the papers to keep the house 3 weeks ago. In mighty!!!

    • My STBX also verbally told me that he would agree to certain things and wanted to work out a settlement. So, I went the dissolution process for 8 months. What a colossal waste of time and money. He did nothing and let me do ALL the legal legwork. He rejected everything in the proposal I put together. And then he claimed his business had no value and was in debt, he hired his girlfriend for a ridiculous paycheck to try and hide the business income, etc.

      After his response to my proposal, I realized I was wasting my time. Only thing productive about the 8 months was the sheer volume of documentation I have compiled and records I kept of his time (or lack of) with the kids. I filed in December and am in the process of hiring the forensic accountant. It will cost more than I want but if the income the judge assigns him is close to what I claimed it was, we will be asking for him to cover the extra attorney and accountant fees it cost me because of his dishonesty and fraudulent behavior.

      It is his turn to send me settlement proposals and my turn to reject them if I don’t like them. He would be a fool to go to court with what all I have. I may not get everything I want from a judge’s decision but it will be so much closer to what I am asking than the absurdity of what he is asking. I will take my chances with the court at this point. Hopefully, his attorney can convince him he would be stupid to do the same, but I won’t hold my breath.

  • Lock down your joint assets. I will write more later. But just found out this am – the one thing I had not locked down – he took it all.
    That was joint checking. So now no money to pay bills. And I am a SAHM. I had squirreled some away so I should be ok. But no they DO NOT play fair. It is all theirs. You are entitled to zero. Zip.

    We had status quo and a binding mediated agreement that has already been given to judge so I think he is in a heap of trouble with the law.

    Gosh I just hate him.

    Someday Meh. Not yet.

    • My ex raged one night that I had contributed nothing, deserve nothing, and will get nothing. I carried myself to see a lawyer as I was a SAHM with a little income that went totally toward bills. He had all the money and I had nothing. I so wish that I had been putting half into a savings account. 30 years and I contributed nothing? Total projection in that statement.

      • My ex was a firefighter with a nice pension, 401k etc that we both contributed into as I was self employed.
        When shit got real he actually said to me “you don’t put your boots on and go to work for that…..I DO!!!” True story. No disrespect to any LE or firefighters on here.
        Maybe not, but I worked, raised your kids practically alone while you were working or screwing everybody, I took care of our home and YOU!! What a dick.
        I got a great atty, settled out of court and got half of both those things, the house, a good cash payout, a piece of property we bought, a leased car for 3 years….even his holiday bonus for 3 years.
        He lives with his AP now and her kids( he’s the bonus dad) I’m the enemy.
        Every time he bitches about the settlement I just tell him ” you signed it to go be with your girlfriend. So shut up, put your boots, and get to work.”
        Best advice anybody can give a new chump:
        1. It’s not easy, but get up off the floor and get your head in the game quick. I wish I hadn’t listened to all the shit he said in the beginning to try to manipulate me because I was devastated and just went NC and let my atty eat him for lunch.
        2. If you spend time on nothing else it should be researching the best atty.
        I learned in Fla that once I met with an atty even if I didn’t hire that lawyer, they couldn’t represent him( conflict of interest) so I met with everybody good. His lawyer sucked.
        3. If you have to sell your shit or beg your family spend the money to get a great lawyer. What you agree upon in your divorce is most time binding for years to come…..think long term.

        • I know paint widow, I changed attorneys 6 days before mediation. Thank goodness. The new attorney got me the fair settlement I deserved. Attorney #1 was going to sell me up the river. She told me “A girl can only have so many ponies” WTF?
          Got 1/2 of everything including pension along with a nice spousal settlement. Fucktard is back pedaling on the agreement. But it is binding. FT fails to get that.
          He also tried to manipulate me and so did his AP – the mind games they played. I stayed strong through all the emotional crap they pulled.

        • “I learned in Fla that once I met with an atty even if I didn’t hire that lawyer, they couldn’t represent him( conflict of interest) so I met with everybody good. His lawyer sucked.”

          This is unspeakably awesome. You are my new hero.

        • What is it with firefighters and cheating and narcissism? The hero complex is astounding in how far into their personalities it stretches. Kudos to you for using his words to show him that he deserves exactly what he got.

          Now, if only one of those “stand-up” firefighters would have reached out to tell me that the OW was visiting him at the firehouse, I’d be a lot less skeptical of the type of people who are drawn to the profession.

      • I was told I hadn’t contributed to the bottom line for 14 years and deserved nothing. Long story short, leverage. You need leverage that has consequences. Mine eventually settled. How creepy they continue to use the Cheaters Playbook into the scorched earth phase. I still continue to keep my narrative front and center.

      • I am reading this remembering one night when STBXH looked at me and said, ” You know that you don’t own anything here”. Really I was sahw, farm wife and caregiver. Add to that maid, cook, gardener , errand girl, chattel, etc.

        • They always think it is all theirs. After all, we were merely appliances, put on this earth for their convenience. You don’t split your assets with a refrigerator, do you? Our contributions were nothing more than that to which they were entitled. Since those contributions are about to end with divorce, they owe us nothing since their mere presence in our lives was sufficient payment.

          • “their mere presence in our lives was sufficient payment.” Their fabulous, awesome, glorious presence!!!!

        • The X, who talked me into giving up my lucrative career as a trader to stay at home and look after him – or something like that. (I couldn’t make near the money he made in a week, let alone in a year).

          I became a great cook! (I even worked beside him for 15 yrs at the new house). Help build a big house and a big vacation house across the country at the same time.
          Very busy – lots of activities through our 40’s & 50’s.
          No kids, so life was easy
          We travel the country with our dogs
          .
          Then, bam. 56 hits him and everything became very boring to him, especially his lifestyle with me.
          Poor sausage wanted more…

          I’d feel him getting bored with life – he had no hobbies, and I’d try to suggest something fun.
          He was getting resentful of me obviously, when he came out with – ‘why do you want a vacation? A vacation from what??!!’.

          Ok, geez. and, that’s when it all started.
          His g/f was a working woman who I knew very well and she seemed to be jealous of the life I had together with him, which she knew nothing at all about! But, I think she put into his head that I was very lazy. ha. she wishes!

          The nit-picking he did about everything I was doing during the day, the night, which movies I watched, which friends I had…critisism for everything that escalated the longer they picked on me without my knowledge.

          It truly is Evil.

  • I hate to be dramatic, but this column could save lives. And the cartoon made me laugh out loud again. Do you guys get how hilarious/sad/on point these cartoons are when you are in the weeds with these monsters? If you are not in CN, you just don’t get it. I am going to save my energy and stop trying to make people understand the disordered. God help them if and when they have to walk the road with one.

    • I’m with you, Clara. I’m saving my energy and stopping trying to make people understand the disordered, too! As one of my work friends said to me, “People just don’t care.” And she didn’t mean to be mean. It’s just that they can’t understand unless they’ve dealt with someone like this. And that’s why we sound “crazy” when we start talking about it to some people. That’s why I come here to CN and vent and comment on others posts. I don’t need to convince anyone at CN that there is something wrong with my exes behavior over the years!

      • Thats a good answer NWB. So hard to explain. My adult kids have seen it and they get it. Its sad. I tell them their dad was a good dad most of their lives. But when the mask came off cheater pants. Look out! Nasty mean vindictive bully and thinks the law does not apply to him. That baffles my mind.

        • This is so true. Unless you’ve been through a relation ship with a NPD everyone projects their understandings …takes 2 to tango, there’s 2 sides to every story , don’t be bitter blah blah. Mine managed to leave me and the kids with $200 – set up immediately in a fancy apartment, spend like a millionaire , tell everyone we knew he had been sad for years and still come out looking like the poor me victim. It was the mist surreal thing ever. Legal battle is another uphill level of understanding. There is no reasonableness . mine wanted the $30k of debt he racked up since separation to come out of joint assets …and it wasn’t even cc debt – his own equally evil parents has ‘loaned’ him what he wanted and he thought he would spend now and claw it out of the house sale. So hard to stay on track with bastards like this…

  • Chump Lady gave great advice and noting the narc will underestimate you is so true as it is a common weakness with narcs. He is not your friend and will screw you over every chance he gets. Get a lawyer, give the lawyer a head’s up on his personality disorder and go no contact. Go to “YouTube” and search for “KnowingtheNarcissist” videos. HG Tudor is a narcissist that gives advice on how to handle different degrees of a narc. He does have a video on divorce and many others. I suggest viewing that particular video as it is solid advice. All the best!

  • I am sure that my ex describes me as a narc to anyone who will listen. I happened to have hired a great lawyer. I also wasn’t the one who cheated and lied about it. My lawyer was a shark and took him for everything he could get, plus legal bills.

    • I am sure the traitor describes me as a narcissist too. 10 months into wreckonciliation (continued cheating) I found out about narcissism and started educating myself. He hacked into my computer and turned grey rock on me! He had already got a lawyer, gone through a few of the most aggressive lawyers in town, told his kids we were going to split up because we didn’t get on, waged his campaign for months before I even suspected, while I was pick me dancing like a dervish. I am not sure he underestimated me, more like I underestimated him, how devious and vicious he is, that I was up against him, the whore and her family (pack of hyenas), before I got it. He doesn’t cycle through the channels as much or as fast. He is very cold playing grey rock, and did a sterling job of making me look crazy.
      Only another year gone by and now his family had to phone me to get his contact details, 8 months after he left me. He hadn’t told them anything. I warned them they would see the whore and have to pretend they don’t notice the actress playing his wife had been replaced. Now, little by little others are going to see that I wasn’t lying, it will take time.
      As for the assets issues, he is out to force me off the farm he claims he didn’t want me to buy, I am facing huge legal bills and years of entanglement to hang on to what was paid for by money I made years before meeting him and in another country, while he has legal aid. No kidding.
      It’s all my fault of course, I am the evil one for raising his kids and not accepting a menage a trois. He berated me for not being a team player…Poor baby, I threw him out (after receiving a letter from his lawyer demanding money so sad sausage could move out, and giving him the money and the car to leave…)
      Good luck everyone, it’s a long, tortuous road.

  • I would just add that even if you were not with a narcissist or any other identifiable disordered personality type, you should probably still follow this advice. I don’t know if mine is a narc, covert or otherwise (a dipshit with narc tendencies perhaps). What I do know is that he took advantage of so many of my good qualities and where better to start arranging my new kick-ass feng shui boundaries than during the divorce process.
    Good advice for all chumps but I do realise that some narcs are particularly ugly and do need special handling. Positive vibes to all who have these, I don’t know where you find your strength.

    • I agree, not sure what category YoYo Knickers fits into, but they do take advantage of our good qualities and good nature 100%, you have to learn to see through it all and remind yourself what they’ve done, who they are and that their actions speak louder than words.

        • I think we chumps typically want to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially those we have allowed ourselves to trust and feel safe with, usually for years, and frequently for decades. That’s a hard thought-pattern to be asked to spin on a dime. As someone above said, They leave the house in the morning telling you they love you and you can finish discussing the details of your upcoming trip to Paris after work, then they come home from work and they “never did love you,” they love someone else, and they no longer give a shit about anything to do with you or your life. And the “us” is just gone, baby, gone. How’s a brain supposed to reverse course that quickly? They knew, we didn’t.

        • Right.We cannot accept that someone that we shared a bed with has no feelings for us anymore. No regard or hopes for our well being. I worried last night about a crocodile I saw in a documentary that some natives tied up and were abusing and pumping his stomach. My XH discarded me after he saw the jig was up, and he
          never
          looked
          back.
          It is not human. We are dealing with a reality that most people don’t have to endure. I love you. We will grow old together, the best is yet to be. Wait….Squirrel! I don’t love you anymore. Later, bitch. And give me all my shit back.
          You have to keep reminding yourself because you are capable of love and being authentic.

  • My marriage was long term (39 years when I filed) and I wanted to be “fair”. Problem is your wayward spouse could care less about fairness and if he/she has a paramour whispering in their ear, like I did, it gets even worse. I was spending tons of money sending his attorney offers to settle only to have each one rejected. This was after my spouse told me he wanted this divorce and told me he would give me all the things I had asked for! It took nearly 2 years to get my divorce. I finally hammered out what I wanted and I aimed VERY high! I was tired of paying my attorney for sending each offer and on return my Ex’s attorney sent nothing. I was doing all the work and paying dearly. My advice, decide what YOU need to survive and move forward, don’t worry about the STBX. Place a few “negotiables” in the offer that aren’t super important to you, but the Narc will get hung up on. These asses are easily distracted by tiny, nitpicking crap and miss the big picture. Point is you want the things that will sustain you in your new life and future. Get a kick ass lawyer and let them know your strategy. Remember, they work for you. If they get “weak kneed” then find a lawyer who will do the job. Do not talk directly to your Narc or the Schmoopie, let the lawyer handle that. But stick to your “must haves” in the divorce. Get pissed and get focused against these nut jobs! Your future depends on it! For some reason these cheaters think they are so smart and we are incredibly stupid. CL is correct, they under estimate us, but that works in our favor if we plan we’ll!

    • Roberta….my sham of a marriage was very long term also…4 decades plus. On my third and stated final settlement, my awesome lawyer and I also rattled the saber of “We will depose everyone involved.” There were many! He settled. My lawyer told me his lawyer told her he was “a broken man.” BOO HOO. Use everything in your tool box Chumps!

    • I too spent thousands sending offer after offer that would have provided mutual benefits to him, me and his family. All rejected or countered with the most pathetic offers. To all you new to this, fight for you. Fight for you and you alone. Aim high and hold their feet to the fire.

    • This is it in a nutshell: “My advice, decide what YOU need to survive and move forward, don’t worry about the STBX.”

      … because STBX is sure as hell not worrying about you, anymore, that’s for damn sure.

      • Nope. They only ‘care’ they have about you is that you holding them back from living the high life. How can they buy new diamond rings, $1,000.00 bbqs and smokers, new off road vehicles and new toy haulers to haul the new toy and pay the new Ford 350 to tow the crap and buy him and Schmoopbucket a new house when the court ordered support for the wife he threw away. Oh the injustice of it all!! It makes him so mad.

        The entitled one was trying to trade in our old toy hauler for a new one for his new toy and I said no. (It is supposed to be sold) He got so mad. What didn’t I understand ?! He was making it so I didn’t have to make the toy hauler payment anymore! He was thinking of me!

        LOLOLOLOL Thinking of me? Oh brother. I told him, “I don’t think so – you don’t give a rat’s ass about me. It’s all for you, cut it out.” LOL

        If he was thinking of me he wouldn’t have dumped the toy hauler payment solely on me in the first place.

        He was thinking of me to help me. Oh, that was hilarious. The day before he was boasting about watching what I was going to do when my daughter and I lose our house!

  • You have to strike fast and hard and not back down. After years of ongoing amicable bullshit (I was the only one that was reasonable and amicable – just call me doormat for the sake of my child) and one day I just had enough. The asshole truly did think he was smarter then me and the shock and awe method is the only way to go – I knew I was going take a legal swing at him about three months before I actually did and the whole time I slow played him to gather information he just gave it up – he was cocky like that and figured no one would ever fuck with him.

    When I finally said enough I was more ruthless and unfeeling then I have ever been in my life but I had had enough of him dictating, telling me how it was going to be all the while screwing me on money he owed me for a child. He was a bully exactly as CL explains it and would switch from being manipulatively nice to a raging lunatic in a matter of seconds.

    The ONLY thing that saves you from these monsters is NO CONTACT. Every time you engage with the narc they suck the life right out of you and you need days if not weeks to recover from the mindfuck.

    He tried to bully me into a mediation situation after he realized that I wasn’t going to accept his bullshit anymore. I agreed, he called the courthouse to schedule and when he came back to me with a date I said ok great btw my lawyer will be in attendance with me. He was beyond enraged. We never did make to mediation. No contact is the worst thing for these assholes who feed of power and like to control everything and when they realize they don’t control shit they spiral out of control into a very dark place where no one is safe. Once you take on a narc you need to put as much distance as possible between you and fight as if you are fighting for your life. It’s exhausting but so worth it to stand firm in your morals and to stop the ongoing abuse that you are subjected to.

  • I would say to not only get a good lawyer, but one who understands narcissism. My lawyer used to be married to one herself so she gets it. She isn’t surprised by anything he says or does and it helps so much to have someone steady and competent on your side. I don’t have to waste time (or money) explaining his disordered behavior, and she doesn’t waste time (or money) trying to get his lawyer to reason with him.

    • My attorney actually has a doctorate in counseling. First meeting, he called him out for what he is along with each of his addictions.

    • I would add that another good thing to do is when first working on your case with your lawyer, make sure you agree upon what you desire as the final outcome. My situation was fortunately low conflict, no kids, etc. My lawyer and I agreed after a few hours consultation that our desired outcome was for me to get the fuck out as quickly as possible. We created a best case scenario, a worst case scenario, and sort of a middle of the road scenario where I had various negotiating tools I could haul out if needed. But we both agreed that in my case, the best thing I could do was to just get. a. signed. settlement. He’s hiding cash… don’t worry about it. You have no idea what the business is really worth… the time and expense to sort it out probably won’t be worth the trouble. It was helpful to me to have a sense of what my end goal was, with the voice of experience in the form of my lawyer telling me what to expect and how issue XYZ typically goes down. She also told me all the ways that things could go worst case scenario if he decided to go that route.

      On that same page – keep in mind that “stuff” is not worth what these assholes want to think it is. I mean, sure the house, the cars, and the 401K’s have value and are easy to value… but other stuff is a lot harder and probably worth a lot less than they want you to think. I was told that the value of the “stuff” in the house is basically worth what I would get for it on a Saturday morning garage sale. I’m sure my Ex believes his business is worth “millions” (it’s not), but as part of the narcissism, they believe that everything they have is the best. A lot of stuff can be easily given up in negotiation to help you keep your eyes on the prize of your end game.

  • I am at the 3 yr point, it is like a marathon and I’m like the runner with wobbly legs but determined to get to the end.
    My lawyer in the beginning must have thought I was just another heartbroken bitter, disgruntled wife but she see’s now what a walking manipulating,shitstorm tornado I have dealt with for 20 yrs.
    When we did mediation, the mediator was a outsider. My lawyer, who now saw behind the mask was in my corner.
    It didn’t take long before the outsider was asking ,What the hell is wrong with this guy?(very validatating for me, that others were finally seeing and believing my truth.) We had a whole day to go over 8 issues…needless to say we spent 8 hrs not getting past issue one.
    Alot of circle talking on his part, manipulating, gaslighting & sad sausage.
    My lawyer is done playing games and is fed up ( just like I was, the day we first met in her office).
    I am finally seeing the tickertape at the end of this endurace race of bullshit.
    Stay strong …sending good vibes to all my fellow chumps

    • Little red
      I don’t know how you do it and I mean that with feeling. I am six months out, almost divorced and it has been the hardest thing. Also he is not being narc like but fair. Divorce is hard without all the associated mindfuckery.
      I hope you win in every possible way.

      • I win everytime I don’t have to see him in my home, I win, no longer having contact with his flying monkee family. I spent 20 yrs with mindfuckery and I may not be free legally yet, but I am free in so many other ways !!!

        • I just want to add when my d day happened it was the most brutal thing I have ever dealt with, the first year I was a zombie going thru the motions.
          I kept my shit together for my kids but I was filled with resentment, anger and sadness.
          When I heard of others speak of Meh, i never thought I would get there, inside I would question, what the hell are they talking about? I will never recover from this…
          But along my path I have come across random angels that have taken me by the hand. (Opening bank accounts, legal aide advice, my now lawyer, schools, counslers). And a small but steady support system of family and friends.
          To new chumps, even if you can accomplish one thing today, getting the kids off to school, making one call to unfuck yourself, whatever it is …its a accomplishment…
          Be kind to yourself, eat, rest and set firm boundries with everyone..self protect.
          It took me about 2 1/2 years to get here and I have learned my worth and my strength.
          Stay strong newbies…peace to you all

          • Wonderful post, Little Red Riding Hood! I’m so happy you are free of the cheater and his flying monkeys and getting stronger everyday. Here’s to surviving and thriving! Keep gaining that life! Hugs.

    • I can totally relate and ditto: “We had a whole day to go over (4) issues…needless to say we spent 8 hrs not getting past issue one. A lot of circle talking on his part, manipulating, gaslighting & sad sausage.” I stood firm on issue 1, which was demanding a parenting evaluation, a psychiatric evaluation before expanding visitation for our minor child (3 others are grown). He caved two days later and signed my parenting plan that gave me full custody and protected our daughter from his crazy narc shit, rather than undergo the evaluations. Mediation 2 was 2 months later on eve of trial. I showed up and told mediator that I wasn’t putting up with any crap and had no patience for games — I’d rather go to trial and let judge decide. My lawyer didn’t like my exasperated attitude but it is MY case and I was fed up. First counter offer was so absurd we walked out. Even my lawyer said there was nothing to work with.

      Fast forward a month later– week long trial, experts, thousands of documents, hundreds of exhibits…. I was cross examined almost as long as Clinton was on Benghazi! Judge ruled– gave me everything I asked for and 20% more of everything. All real property, full retirement, 75% of cash, maintenance, fees, full child support, 80% of all kid expenses. . . . I still can hardly believe it!

      Satan’s ugly brother (my new name for STBX) is literally losing his shit like Rumplestitskin did when the Queen reveals his name! Too bad mother fucker!

  • My ex wife vacillated between:

    Sending me love letters,

    Asking for another chance,

    Laying blame for the divorce on me (because I initiated it),

    claiming she was “above it all” and that it wasn’t worth fighting over,

    accusing me of leaving her financially responsible (for a month-to-month lease in our marital home) while I…paid the same rent but lived in a shittier neighborhood and rented everything (down to the utensils) in that place,

    accusing me of owing her all sorts of money,

    backing up her nonsensical claims by saying she had spoken to lawyers about what I owed her,

    reasonably reaponding when I’d send her the applicable section of the State Code dealing with our particular issue, and

    (My favorite) asking me if I want to grab a beer after we left the courthouse to fix some filing errors.

    This was all within the first four months of proceedings! (Although some behaviors lasted through ’til the end.). And my divorce was relatively “simple”–no kids, no shared real estate.

    Cheaters are fucking clueless when it comes to divorce. Because it’s about how they suck, and how you want to get them out of your life ASAP with minimal damages. It’s not about pick-me dancing or their centrality. That’s the narrative–no way around it, for the duration of the process. So, they try to shift the narrative–to make it about how YOU suck, and this is your fault, and you’re unreasonable and not worth dealing with.

    They don’t understand what “fair” means, because there’s nothing fair about being cheated on and the having to split your possessions and $$ with the cheater (let alone sharing the children).

    Grin and bear it. Get it done. Pick your battles.

    • In other words, she vascillated between:

      Will you give me kibbles?

      Will you give me kibbles?

      You’re responsible for giving me kibbles!

      Give me money or give me kibbles.

      Will you give me kibbles?

      Charming.

  • This advice is invaluable and helped me tremendously through the early stages of my divorce. Six months after our judgement my Narc EH has taken me back to court again to try to reverse child support, alimony, and child custody. He’s lost his job and is hiding his significant assets. He now wants me to pay him! Fighting back is exhausting (and expensive) at times, but I’m convinced it is the only way.

  • These men are all the same. I was the OW and called his wife to inform her about his affair because I was tired of watching him have affairs on the side with even more other women then myself. She took it as competition and fell into his narcissism charm and they both teamed up against me. He told her so many lies about our relationship and denied any other affairs.
    Do whatever you need to do so that the narcissism your husband displays to try to control your decisions stops. You deserve better. I was stupid and fell for his charm for almost five years… he will always cheat but for now, he is using his charm to control his marriage and is remorseful and is doing what he needs to so that his wife keeps him. I have no doubt she is making a huge mistake and will be cheated on again, if he isn’t already doing so. Maybe his wife likes the competition.
    I respect all of you on this site more than ever. I would never let a man manipulate me with his charm again. What a nightmare it was!
    Best of luck to all you smart women who walk away. You are saving yourself from even more heartache in the future.

    • No, Cortney, his wife does not ‘like the competition’.
      Don’t try to imagine what a woman with ethics is thinking. You’d be wrong.

    • So you were okay with him when he was just cheating and gaslighting his WIFE but when you realized he would cheat on you too (big surprise) that was a bridge too far? Is this a serious post?

      • Yep. As Chump Lady often reminds us, these folks just aren’t that deep.

        Cortney, I hope you took this as an opportunity to develop chacter, depth, and a moral compass, though your continued lack of insight on the wife tells me you’re making slow progress.

    • Please ignore this, CN & don’t comment. You can’t talk sense into an OW/OM any more than you can a cheater. Their inner channel is permanently set to “self-justification.”

    • How to qualify to be an OW:

      1. be stupid
      2. be available.

      That’s it. Dumb and accessible. A huge dose of selfish self absorption seems to come with the package. What, a wife is a HUMAN BEING? Children HAVE FEELINGS?

      • Hey! My ex’s standards were higher than that! You had to have your legs open AND look at him with adoring eyes! (I know that requires stupidity, or at least ignorance, which was my case when I met him.)

  • WOW – I can remember first reading this blog when I discovered Chump Lady almost two years ago. It was ENLIGHTENING then and it still is now.

    DOCUMENTATION. To me, that is how you divorce a narcissist.

    I just finished my divorce in December, I had filed 18 months prior. I had three binders filled with documentation – notarized documents; phone records; bank statements; his personal ads and emails; I even had text messages; screen names and email aliases. I kept and organized everything.

    When you are going to war, you need a battle plan and you need to have your preparation already done because the onslaught of his mindfuck will distract and torment you throughout the process. Do not engage.

    To be honest, I was in a different situation than most in that when we married, we signed a pre-nuptial agreement. It was my first marriage, his second. I owned a home, he didn’t. I had a 401K, he didn’t. (Notice: these were major red flags that I ignored, but my subconscious obviously did not.) Still, he thought I should set aside the pre-nup and give him half the house and half of my 401K when he decided to leave. Somehow, he still hadn’t amassed any assets during the 10 years we were married.

    And, we he announced he was moving out because he had met someone, I had him meet me at the bank the same week and sign a financial separation agreement where I assigned a payment amount to very specific line items (child support, discover card, karate, child care)… everything but “alimony”. We both signed and it was notarized – making it legally binding. I think he was in such a fog over his “new love” that he wasn’t thinking clearly (good for me)… and he was still working the impression management angle and wanted to appear as the good guy. I also had him sign a document allowing me to remove him as my beneficiary on all my assets (until you’re divorced, you need this). And we closed the joint accounts.

    As you can tell – I’m a Virgo… I organized and organized and planned. It gave me something constructive to do with my time beside wallow. It made me see that I did have a way out.. in fact, I had OPTIONS.

    I originally offered him a settlement that he refused (ironically, it is the same amount that I ended up paying my attorney!). So, without telling him, I filed. When he counter-filed (to challenge the pre-nup and the financial agreement), I hired an attorney, again without telling him.

    I stayed one step ahead the whole way. He wanted to introduce the OW to our son and our son needed to see a counselor to help him process his feelings. I documented. He skipped picking up for visitation or came home late, I documented. He denied he had personal ads, I subpoenaed the web sites.

    I became a gray rock master. You want to stop paying the financial agreement? No problem, it will get resolved in court (he’s ordered to pay it now). You want me to drop the adultery complaint? No problem, it will get resolved in court (I used it as a negotiating tactic). Someone told the OW about your newest Adult Friend Finder personal ad (and they told her sister too?)… anonymously through the mail? Wow – weird, I got mail too.

    Yes – Narcs are fuckwits, but they are not invincible. In fact, I would argue they are weak little creatures who are so very insecure that they need drama and chaos to feel alive, otherwise, they would become invisible. SO – make them invisible. Let your lawyer do their job. Don’t feed the narc beast. Document. Advocate for yourself – don’t be a victim. BUT – be very honest with yourself about what your freedom is worth and what you really need to have to get away… it’s like the scene in It’s a Wonderful Life when there is the run on the bank and everyone wants to take their money out of the Savings and Loan… and one woman steps forward as says she only needs grocery money… she took what she needed, no more, no less… and she got on with her life.

    I never want to relive those years, but I’m one of many here to tell you… you can do this. And you and your kids will be ok. Life has changed, true, but it is far from over.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

    • Best meme I ever saw says “Underestimate me. That will be fun.”

      I didn’t always feel mighty… CN and CL gave me that… but my worst days of the divorce process were still better than my best days with my Narc. You can’t put a price tag on freedom from a disordered fuckwit. I still share custody, but as CL always says… even that is finite and kids can smell shit from a distance.

      🙂

      OH – and I forgot to mention… I named the OW in the adultery complaint… so she got served. BEST. DAY. EVER.

    • Inspiring. Totally agree. I’ve been going through it now for 13 months. 2 5.5 inch binders later. Supeonaed everything. Uber and grocery store purchases(to show his alcoholism), school records to show I did drop offs/pick ups and built a calendar from social media posts and pictures of my sons entire life o show the court I was the primary caregiver. He was rarely ever with us as he chose golf, bars, whores and drinking trips out of town rather than “mundane” things like his family. I documented and still document when he calls to talk to my son and when I return his calls if we’ve missed it. In case he tries to claim parental alienation. Do not give him more time than outlined in your court order. I do not budge from it. Even if it’s more convenient for me.
      It’s a every day battle. Ask that you only communicate via a website like ourfamilywizard. And have it so you are only required to check it at a certain time one day a week. So he can’t send you something last minute and then say it was your fault not checking it. He needs to plan ahead to send you only one email a week. That way only one day a week can he ruin your day. I have ptsd from him. Seeing his name come up via a call or email sets me off. Limiting the contact is the best thing you can do. And totally agree with everything you said. Gray rock all the way. Haven’t said a word (unless through my attorney) to my ex is 13 months. I don’t even look at his direction when we do the exchanges. Can’t tell you what he was wearing, if he had a beard etc. he is invisible to me. And me? I’m a grey rock. I’m so boring he won’t mess with me. He’s too busy mindfucking his whore. See you on this page in7 years bitch.

      • LOL… you nailed it KansasMom… nothing will change for the “new” woman… if she’s lucky, she’ll find her way here. BUT always know in your heart and mind… she didn’t “win” anything… she got him. You, my dear, got a second chance at life!

    • Your post makes me think of your ex as Voldemort when he is turned from omnipotent demon spawn into a wee mewling creature on the train platform. Stories like yours make me want to stomp around in sassy boots, cuss like a buccaneer, and punch somebody right in the throat with all the force my 5′ 3″ frame can muster! Well done, you badass!

  • “Here’s what they DON’T do — accept responsibility.”

    If there were a Ten Commandments of infidelity, this would be one of them. I waited and waited and waited and waited…………….for her to take any responsibility for screwing around. Please don’t do what I did and waste your time waiting for this – trust me, you will be the last person on planet Earth that they will ever apologize to for anything.

    And they are not going to cut you a break in the divorce either, what’s theirs is theirs, and what’s yours is theirs (#entitlement). Your money’s probably all in the bank where it is traceable. Theirs is in their desk drawer at work or hidden somewhere else. You want to know where all their money went or if they’re telling the truth about their assets? All you can do is follow CL’s advice, and good luck to you.

    As for fairness in divorce, there is no such thing, particularly if you’re the one that has the higher paying job. All you can do is mitigate the damage as best you can – or pray that you don’t live in a no fault divorce state. Just go into it keeping your expectations tempered.

    Unfortunately, to a court it doesn’t matter if you were the responsible money saver or were the one that paid for everything for the family. They don’t care if your spouse was the one that blew every single dime they ever made on shoes, blouses, workout gear, vibrators, plastic surgery, purses, everything Amazon has ever sold, and multiple gym memberships. You can be the one that bought all of the household furniture while she was deciding between saline and silicone……………but in the end, the courts don’t care about any of this. Divorce court is basically a meat market where they take your collective assets and split them up equally. And as a final insult, whichever one of you makes more money has to pay the other one support, which is a really nice parting gift from the court for all of your efforts in supporting your narc over the course of the marriage.

    My only advice is to go into the divorce process understanding what you really need, figure out what your ex really wants (and if you can, use it as leverage to mitigate your losses), and then get the hell out of the relationship as quickly as you can. You can’t put too high a price on what it means to regain your sanity.

    • “If there were a Ten Commandments of infidelity, this would be one of them”

      And Blindside for the win!

  • SAHM here too. We lived on his savings during our marriage (he earned his money before we married) and made no profit or income at a few failed businesses during our marriage. So we have no joint assets except a house we only recently purchased with a small down. I’m 52 and have to go back to work but feel so unqualified and my self-esteem is so low. He tells me I have to take responsibility for my life now and says I didn’t contribute to the marriage either. I feel so screwed financially. I was never pervvy to any financial information. I told him many times we need a will in car anything happens to him, how will I know what to do? Where to get the money to pay the mortgage, the groceries….

    • MJo
      Take heart. There will be plenty of advice here. I’m not divorced yet. Six months from ddays. Just turned 51, very peri menopausal, SHAM for 21 years. I retrained recently as a psychotherapist and will be volunteering for one more year before I can start working ‘properly’. I would not be where I am without CN and CL. Any hope and confidence I have is down to the people here. I take advice and suggestions, I listen, I learn, I aspire to be a mighty Chump. I keep coming back for help.
      You will make it I have no doubt. Yes it’s scary and paralysing at times but give yourself credit and time and small goals at first. You will get there.

    • Got the job of my dreams in my mid 50’s, you can too. Just start somewhere. I had a strong accounting background (not what I am doing now) and that helped me get started. Work hard, stay positive (in the workplace anyway) and good things will come. Basic accounting skills, knowing your way around creating a spreadsheet (excel) and writing skills is a great start and free tutorials are available online. Many companies are now hiring “older” candidates due to the younger candidates demanding high compensation and not staying put.

      • KB22,
        I needed to read this today. I’m 49. Married 21 years to a serial cheater, SAHM for 18. And like MJo feeling unqualified for any type of job, let alone making it through a job interview trying to sound competent/confident.

        • Treading, think of getting out in the work field as a project. Start with learning tutorials, update your look, such as hair and makeup, try to get three different “interview” outfits. Make sure they fit well, not tight and not too loose. Mention on your cover letter how dedicated, hard working and responsible you are, trust me that goes a long way, especially when your work history experience is light. Start at entry level if you must, think of it as paid training. Work hard, be pleasant, stay out of office gossip, politics and any other nonsense. When you have any free time ask what else needs to be done. This will not go unnoticed and companies like to promote from within. One example I can give you is we have promoted (significantly) two entry level employees to positions that are actually critical for our company in a short time. Two other employees that are actually very good at their jobs, engage in back biting, tattling, negativity and undermining. Guess what? Both are staying put in their positions and any increase in pay will not be significant. If you do not want or see a future at the first company you work for, that is okay, again think of it as a stepping stone. The first job I had, after many years out of the work force, the owner was psychotic. Not kidding a complete whacko and well known nut job through the community. The games she played and the abuse! Of course I was, at first, her favorite. All the others in the office would tell me how much she raved about me and I told them that my day would come, count on it. Sure enough when I corrected her on something she turned on me. She went to another employee (knowing it would get back to me) to say that she was thinking of firing me but she wasn’t quite sure. That was my cue to kiss her ass and take abuse. Nope. I asked for a raise, an outrageous amount by the way for the position and I got it, only because she was thrown for a loop. However it was only a few weeks later I left to go somewhere else. She was going to fire me, no doubt, as she was secretly interviewing other candidates, but I beat her to the punch. Office work may not be your cup of tea either and I know of a couple of well educated women that clean yachts for a living and do rather well so up to you. All the best!

          • Thanks KB22. Your suggestions about the hair and clothes are good. I have no interview outfits and have seriously neglected myself the past few months. I used to work in hr and I wouldn’t hire me. Maybe that is part of my problem. I compare myself to the 28 year old me who was mighty and to use a phrase I see here often, I’m a shell of my former self. I appreciate your advice!

            • With your background in HR you have a bigger head start than most……take baby steps since you have more than likely been through hell and back. Not sure if this applies to you, but I do know some women that went through hell with their spouses ended up having a hard time making eye contact. I think it was that they felt they were hiding or invisible (maybe a security thing) if they didn’t make eye contact.

              • It does apply to me. I think it’s the years of pretending that he wasn’t a cheater. I never told anyone (family/friends) about the cheating and they all thought he was a great guy. It made me less genuine to act like all was well.

              • Yes! Eye contact disappears you are right. It has taken me years to get back that in the eye confidence that I am ok. Taking a standup comedy class really helped actually. Scared me witless but I remembered I could always make people laugh back in the day and it taught me to stand tall and make eye contact. Because it was all “an act” it was easier to do than digging deep for the inner confidence that wasn’t there. So that helped. And then the inner confidence came along bit by bit as I stepped up and out of my comfort zone and knew I didn’t have to worry, it would be ok. Nobody would belittle me, criticise or laugh at me like my ex did over and over and over again. And if they did, well my boundaries are nicely in place again and that’s all on them.

                It’s great to see so many of you were able to fight hard and deep for a decent settlement. I didn’t.

                My ex was a tactician of the highest order and nothing would have given him more pleasure than to destroy the lot rather than let me have it. Litigation in the UK is expensive and a long game. I decided my health and time were worth more to me than cash that probably would have been torched before I got it. I took a fairly rubbish settlement that gave me a modest but manageable bottom line and am now setting to to rebuild my finances at 51. It gives me a perverse pleasure that I just didn’t play the game that he so hoped I would so that he could continue to control, provoke and try to destroy me. He is his own reward and I suspect the financial security he stole from me will wear a hole in his metaphorical pocket and drip out another way.

                I have taken the same “Why Don’t I Try Stand-up?” approach to my whole career and job hunting and have managed to score a job in my core skill area with enough reward to meet the bills and enough time to reskill in other areas.

                It’s a time of exploration and experiment and I am so enjoying it. I trust myself now and know I will keep the boat afloat whilst seeing what is out there.

                As others have said – dig deep and look at what you love and don’t close your mind to options. I choose now not to spend as much time on my backside doing cerebral work but getting on my feet, doing tangible projects, working with my hands etc. It’s bringing a new balance and calm to me and I’ve found out I can give a good service to others in ways I’d not even thought about a few years ago.

                This has taken years. I am 5 yrs + past D Day.

          • “Office work may not be your cup of tea either and I know of a couple of well educated women that clean yachts for a living and do rather well so up to you. All the best!”

            Excellent advice.
            (often it’s WHO you know..)
            I worked as a house-cleaner when I first got married as I wasn’t ‘quite legal’ yet.
            Eventually, worked for a wealthy family who got the hubby a lucrative job – who knew?…and the rest was history for our lifestyle.
            That family secured my future after divorce, just by me working for them a couple years.

            I have a friend who just turned 80, living on SS and she just got a lucrative job in CA filtering Pot off it’s stem.
            Apparently, they are always looking for workers and you can work from home..

            Who knew those opportunities would be avail to us in our old ages.
            lol

  • “Divorcing a narcissist” by Tina swinton saved me. I finally understood what and who I had been dealing with. That it wasn’t my fault and that he’s never going to change. He will never apologize and I will never get closure. But I have to be ok with it because I got out.
    I have spent $20k on legal fees vs his $2500 cuz he is using his drinking buddy who’s he’s attorney. (Who’s also an alcoholic).
    He has denied his alcoholism and his whore even though I have evidence she’s not a unicorn. I got it into our custody order that he needs to give me 30 day notice before he introduces his whore aka supply to our son. He did that, on thanksgiving. Just so he could ruin my thanksgiving. On my birthday he emailed me about something else. Narcissists love to ruin holidays. He did it for 6 years married and now tries after.
    Funny he was saying he wasn’t cheating on me with her but yet she’s the exact “girl”(you should see her, not attractive) that he’s now bringing around our son. Guess I wasn’t making it up right? Even in the obvious (like this and the proof) he has yet to acknowledge his cheating. They will tell people they started after I left him. Lol. Cuz narcs tell lies so save their image. He only plays with his son when it’s out in public. At home he watches tv for hours while my son plays by himself. He hasn’t read a book to him in years if ever although my son asks him
    Still trying to get divorced but I’m better off cuz he will never ever change. He comes from a long line of narcissists. His whore will be sitting at home in a year or two with a newborn wondering when her new husband will come home from the bar. And you know where I’ll be? Living my own life, not worrying about if anyone is cheating, lying, gaslighting me.

  • THIS Blindside! Just get out as best you can and try to mitigate the damage! Most of these Narcs are pretty short sighted and easily distracted if you know thier weak spots. I rolled right over my Ex and his Schmoopie during my divorce. I stayed one step ahead of him and did things the opposite of what he expected me to do. I did go to mediation after I said I would never do that. I had the same experience as a previous poster who said that the mediator wondered what the heck was wrong with my STBX! She was just blown away by his attitude and stupidity. Again it actually worked to my advantage. Took two years, but well worth the time and effort and headaches! I’m free!

  • Along with CL’s great advice, I would add the following:

    Find a good tax accountant.

    Find a great attorney (the best you can afford) who will move the case along smoothly and quickly in the fewest court appearances reasonably possible. In third year of separation, my divorce has still not entered trial phase but my legal bill has surpassed $100k, which is scary as I am unemployed and late middle-aged trying to support young children. If your attorney repeatedly acts flaky, pushy, or absent, do not stick with him or her just because you are afraid of what the Court will think about you switching attorneys. I stayed in bad, expensive attorney-client relationships way too long and got some bad permanent deals and sky high legal bills as a result.

    Read works by Bill Eddy and Lundy Bancroft.

    Don’t be swayed by well-meaning but naive people who try to convince you to ‘try to work it out–explain to your STBX why XYZ is a reasonable course of action.’ Following their misguided advice can harm you. You are not dealing with the mainstream. You are dealing with disordered terrorist. Act accordingly. Be honest, but don’t show cheating narc adversary anything you are not required to by law. If he is like mine, then he will use any information you give him to punish you. He will take what you say out of context or twist it around to abuse you. This information is fodder for his incredibly long speeches in court about your many faults, often imaginary or exaggerated by him. These long speeches will cost you $$$ as they take court time and judges often don’t award the innocent, who had to mount a legal defense against narc, reimbursement for legal fees. The legal system is broken.

  • My advice would be to work out what you want from the divorce, custody, settlement etc…and then stick to your guns and DO NOT give into any of their games or bullshit. If you believe in your heart that what you are asking for a settlement is fair, and in the best interests of your kids then fight for this. Get a lawyer, don’t fall for the cheaters bullshit narrative, don’t engage in one to one dialogue about the divorce with these disordered types, take a financial hit and LAWYER UP!

    I’ve wasted over 2 years trying to settle with YOYO Knickers by avoiding lawyers..I’ve got nowhere and her settlements and custody claims are getting more and more ridiculous, only since I lawyered up has she started to listen, but even then it’s like running through mud sometimes!

  • A good attorney is so important. My first attorney billed for all the hours he spent talking to my ex. My ex would get upset over paperwork and call my attorney. My attorney would then tell me he got ex to agree to X,Y,Z, and draw up papers. Of course ex wouldn’t sign.
    I spent thousands and had a cheap judge that didn’t think my ex should pay anything, but the minimal child support.
    My bottom line was retaining custody of my son with ex having limited visitation. That I got. I had to let go of a lot, but got what was most important to me, my son.

  • The narcissist’s fear of exposure is a major tool to deploy strategically and wisely. I was concerned that confidential information I had confided to Jackass might be passed on to the MOW, so in my last communication to him, I reminded him that if he wanted me to be discrete about what I knew about them, the door swings both ways. And I dropped a little nugget that someone in MOW’s neighborhood has “something she wanted to talk to me about.”

    I never heard a word back, but in a few weeks, he and the MOW were history–because he really did not want anyone to know about them. REALLY DID NOT WANT THAT. I didn’t have to do anything but put that out there.

  • “they only change their behavior when the cost of fucking with you is too high”
    This is how I divorced him – I am an honest and fair person. I never manipulate people. But when he started trying to bully me in the divorce process, here’s what I did:
    He had made the mistake of telling me some ugly and disgusting details about the affair. His family thinks he is perfect. So I calmly told him that the divorce would be easy and we would divide things according to the law and we would be agreeable and respectful to each other. We would not drag the process out and lose more money on attorney’s fees. “If things don’t go smoothly like I just described, I’ll call your family and tell them the nasty details of what you did”. He went along peacefully from that point forward. Totally out of character for me but I had to do it to make the process happen as quickly as possible. I had limited energy because of the aftermath of D-day and was not up for more drama. I’m not ashamed or regretful for manipulating him. I’m proud of myself for finding some cards to play in order to stand up for myself.

    • Flowerlady, I have thought about using that kind of leverage as well. I have pics of one of his sexting sessions, complete with dick pics he sent her. He doesn’t want his mommy to know the sordid details of his affair, so I could certainly use those pics to get what I want. But then I think maybe that lowers me to his level…

      • Sausalito
        Believe me you would not be able to get down to his level. Your levels of evil end way before his even begin.
        So use what you have as others have suggested.

      • Hold your cards close to the chest until you need to use them. (and you’ll probably need to use them. Not too many members of CN have had an easy time with divorce. I’m pretty sure my divorce was easy because X didn’t want his sexual harassment suit publicized, so he cooperated.)

        • Yes, this! Hold your cards close to the chest! Don’t let him know your ideas, feelings or strategies. It goes against everything we have been as co-dependent chumps – but we aren’t the ones who switched things up. They did. It’s a different and brutal game – divorce – and we need to do whatever we can to take care of ourselves. Be mighty. Be smart. Be safe. Play your cards when the time is right.

  • I was married to a Narc for 15 years. I just finalized my divorce after 6 years. My therapist has told me that he was the worst sociopathic Narcissist she has encountered in her practice and my lawyer ranks him in the top five of the worst ex spouses he has had to deal with in his 40 years of practicing law.

    Here’s my advice:

    Get yourself a good therapist. You’ll need one to get through the separation and divorce not only for you but your kids. It will be money well spent since the therapist can explain most of the Narc’s behavior while your head is spinning!

    Get yourself a good lawyer. Preferably one that can put you on a payment plan as the divorce will not be done quickly.

    Get all of your ducks in a row. Get all the financial information that you can, including statements, account numbers, account balances , life insurance, auto insurance , 401K, pensions, Social Security numbers, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. Copy the info and then download it onto a flash drive. Take it to work or to a trusted friend or family member’s house. Do the same thing with the jewelry and treasured items. I moved all that stuff out of the house with out him even noticing. However I somehow missed the last statements of his 401k and pension which he refused to turn over for 6 years! This meant I had to continue to pay my lawyer to chase him and his lawyer for that info, thus running up my bill – his intention was to bankrupt me. But that backfired. I may have spent a lot of money, but because he dragged it out, he now has to give me all of what is in his 401 k, 60% of his pension and alimony – he now makes substantially more than me. Ha!

    Make sure you get court ordered child support and visitation. A Narc believes that he doesn’t have to follow any rules. Make sure the support is garnished directly form his wages and deposited directly into your account. I carried copies of the custody order in my purse so I could whip them out as proof for either him – because he lost the paperwork 4 times or the police.

    Do your best to go no contact. This was extremely hard for me. He knew every one of my buttons to push and he was really good at getting a reaction. In retrospect I was the ultimate kibble dispenser. It took a lot of time for me to ignore his agenda – but this was because he put the kids in the middle of everything.

    Take the high road. This too is very difficult sometimes. There were hundreds of times when I wanted to bad mouth him to the kids, but I bit my tongue. Instead I bitched to my friends about him. This was therapeutic and led to a lot of laughter at his expense, thus sparing the kids. My kids are 18 and 15 now and I can see how this has paid off. They love him because he is their dad, but they see him for what he is too.

    Educate yourself. Chump Lady and Chump Nation provide so much love and support. Read as much as you can about Narcs – there is a wealth of information out there, use it to your advantage. The more you know about them the better it is to understand them. Although I don’t believe you can ever fully understand them. Their values and ideals are so far removed from a normal person, they truly just don’t make any sense sometimes. That is the hardest part for me – watching what he does to get back at me by putting our kids in the middle breaks my heart. Narcs are void of both hearts and souls.

    Lastly, but most important – do your best to make sure your kids don’t become Narcs themselves. My oldest was 12 when we left and I could see some of the tendencies in him that he picked up from his dad. I have struggled to break him of some of these traits, but he still bullies both me and his brother. My younger child was 9 when we left. I am doing my best to teach him to draw boundaries and stand up for himself. He didn’t see me do that while I was married, but I drill it into him constantly.

    I teach love, respect and open communication to my kids – all of which were non existent in the marriage to the Narc. I wish nothing but the best to those of you who have to face this battle.

  • A word of warning about Tina Swinthin of One Mom’s Battle…

    I read this, and yes, it made some good points about how narcs act. However….it also scared the sh** out of me. A never-ending saga of trying to protect your kids from their narc parent. It scared me *way* more than it helped me. I don’t recommend it.

    “Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” is much, much better.

  • I cannot wait till I get to the place where the price is fucking with me is too high. He fought me in court for almost 3 years…so here’s another 3 year chick, and 30k in legal fees later and a ton of other bills, I’m finally free from the troll. Well, as free as you can be with two kids with him. I got full custody of the kids, which is he now realizes us a mistake for him and uses the kids as a way to get back at me. As much as I gained all of the marital debt, I also kept the marital house, so he’s living with the OW in his parents basement.

    He actually had the nerve to ask if I could evict my paying tenants in the house I live in so that he and the OW could move in….for the sake of the children. The request was so ludicrous that even HIS lawyer objected to the request. He said that divorcing people should live separately. I said that to make that request, he had to have a death wish.

    I’m no contact except for kid related things, but even with a solid parenting agreement, he is always asking for changes. My reply is always no. He has his whore, why won’t he leave me alone!? I know, cause he can….

    • My narc had the same asinine idea. Thought he would “take the other side of the duplex (we owned together following my brother’s death five months before d-day) as a settlement” in the divorce. His plan was to “live next door so he could be close to the boys and make dinner for them, and be there after school, etc.” The mediator we met with said this wasn’t a good idea because it would confuse the kids (duh), and the estate lawyer for my brother went so far as to say he “must have rocks in his head.”

  • My x and I own a business together. I am thankful every day that during the good times I had the prescience to insist that 50% of the business be in my name. My x was an unscrupulous businessman, he was always being sued and falling out with business partners. Since I had been brainwashed, I was always on his side, hated whoever he hated, thought whatever he did was golden.

    Fast forward 30 years, and I was discarded for his nth affair partner (n = ??). He could no longer keep the mask on. He locked me out of the company office and conducted it completely unsupervised for over a year. During this time I was out of my mind, attempting reconciliation, broken hearted, and didn’t want to make him angry.

    When I finally came halfway to my senses, I filed for divorce. I wanted to put my x under that financial restraining order. During discovery I got access to what business records he begrudgingly released. Those were enough to see that he had been taking the OW on local weekend junkets, out to nice dinners, and on vacation to Hawaii and Mexico on the company’s dime.

    Then I went to a pit bull of a business lawyer and had him threaten my x with receivership and sale of the business if he wouldn’t voluntarily turn control of it over to a neutral third party. I knew what my x was capable of–during a rocky point in our marriage and a brief separation several years earlier (must have been an earlier affair that didn’t work out), our joint savings account with $250k disappeared! We reconciled that time and he put it back, but that was a wake-up call.

    Over a whole summer, we inched toward blowing up into major litigation. But finally, it worked! My x accepted our adult son as the business manager and turned all the financials over to him. My son has now run the business for a year and a half, completely transparently. My x no longer has the opportunity to embezzle funds for personal use, or to bribe contractors, or god knows whatever else he did.

    To me, the most dangerous thing about being affiliated with a narcissist is their power over you. During the divorce process they KNOW how to charm you and get their way with you, even while they’re stonewalling you on everything you want. As CL points out, you have a binary choice between all-out nuclear war and rolling over and doing things their way. I recommend going down the nuclear war path. If your narc is the coward that 99% of them are, he may capitulate before you actually have to use the nuclear codes! That’s what mine did.

  • So, divorced six months now after a 36 year old marriage. Because he has a cash business, because he kept no records at all, and because courts in NY don’t credit the spouse who contributes to the business (me) with more than 20% interest (even though I saved his ass and the business countless times), he walked away with the business and saddled me with 100% of the business and family debt. I was lucky to walk away with the house (refinanced to the hilt to pay off the said debt) and my 401k (to which he was entitled to 1/2). He wanted me to sell my jewelry and take 50% of that as well but I refused!! So I walked away to be done. He didn’t talk to me since May of 2015, when I caught him talking to Schmoopie Dicklips for the fourth time in five years. (Yes, even I have had enough) SO, about two months ago he calls me and says that he made a terrible mistake. It was infatuation, not love. He gave me everything, he got nothing. So yes, I do have to work full time and for the rest of my life and yes, he is only working about one week a month, but he doesn’t even own a home anymore. Poor sad sausage. He does, however, live is Schmoopie’s manse by the sea in Florida. He loves me and wants to come home. Then after spending two weeks in Fl where he went to break up with her, he calls again and says: I’m sorry i mislead you two weeks ago, but I don’t want to come back. I don’t love Schmoopie, but she is very nice. I love you. You are the love of my life. But if I came back I would probably do this to you again. So the lesson: married or divorced: these fuckwit assholes don’t change- they fuck you anyway they can: he walked out without a concern if I even had a roof over my head- not a thought to me- our son- the pets!! not a thought! and then when things were starting to go bad there- maybe he thought he would use me a little more! couldn’t even leave me in peace- the only way I walked out with my roof, my 401k is because they are complete cowards. No guts to stand and fight. I still wonder if forensic accounting would have been worth it but my lawyer assured me that my ex would flake out on that as he did on every other thing he ever did and that the best thing I could do was walk away. So the best thing to do is to know your enemy. Sad end to a very long story.

  • What we struggle with as chumps is the horror of realization. We have morals and values and believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. We try to do things the right way. We know everyone makes mistakes, but we hate to believe that some people make “mistakes” intentionally. We don’t have the drives or evil forces inside us to cause us to desire perversions. We do not believe we are entitled to live off of other people’s accomplishments. We have a sense of fairness, boundaries, a moral compass. We have a heart, and a capacity to love. We learn to carry more than our share of a burden, we work hard. We have goals. We don’t want to believe that some people are just evil, and we don’t want to believe we could fall in love with a mirage. We think that if we love a person, and have lived in a relationship with that person, that we know that person.

    Then one day, the mask slips, and we realize we are living with a stranger. Or, over a passage of time a series of things happen that let us know our perception of reality is not reality. We become horrified, as the truth starts seeping into our gas lit brains. Some of us shut down, some of us get really mad, some of us go into police mode. We decide we will not be chumps, we take control of our lives.

    For me, I had to realize that I had been conned, and that there was no remorse, no way to change who he was. I had to accept that I would not have closure. I had to accept that I had been used, and the only reason he had ever been there was to use me. I did not have the life I thought I had. I got mad, and I went into police mode. I started gathering evidence, and planning my exit strategy. I thought about revenge. Although I was able to accomplish some restoration, I had to write off some losses. I know I am better off now, and I know none of the narc’s I have dealt with in my life will ever be better off. They are doomed to repeat and recycle their bad choices, and as they age, it becomes more and more difficult for them. They will never be happy. I found Meh, and I am reasonably happy. In my mind — I win.

    • Well said Portia. Especially the last paragraph. These creatures exist and it’s difficult to fathom unless you’ve encountered one. Once you have, your whole perspective changes. Knowing that evil really does exist, makes me glad I am not like them, never will be, and never want someone like that close to me again *shivers*

    • Well said, Portia. Even with all the evidence I had- the business emails, the bank accounts showing the withdrawals of thousands of dollars, the airline tickets and the evidence of the vacations spent with the OW, the lawyer still told me to walk away and I did. My lawyer was himself a chump, so he totally understood how these disordered people operate. It was hard to believe and accept that this person I grew up with and loved my whole life didn’t even see me as a real person- but just something to be used for his own benefit- a doormat really- and that is what I was- a willing, loving doormat. But I am better. I can get better and he can’t. As you said, he is doomed to repeat and recycle his bad choices. He is her problem now. I am not totally at meh yet but I am getting there. I am not happy yet but I am no longer unhappy.

  • I guess I am lucky. He left and moved in with the OW right away and did not bother to hire an attorney. He signed off on child support and there has been no contact with me or the kids since November. We have not had mediation yet so I don’t want to speak to soon. I was a little disappointed when all he asked the attorney was when could he get his last bag of clothes instead of when he could see his son! I guess he has totally left his old life behind. It is a bitter pill for me to swallow

    • Heart Broken
      That is so unbearably harsh. A very bitter pill. But I suppose the silver lining is that you see him for who he really is now and he hopefully won’t be able to mess with your sons mind day in day out.
      Have you looked back and seen things that look different in retrospect I wonder?
      Time to forge your own future on your own terms.

      • Thanks for responding Capricorn! I feel that he only stayed as long as he did because he didn’t want child support and I was really responsible with the finances. I suspect he was cheating all along and once the kids were grown he decided he didn’t need any of us any more. I rarely leave home as I don’t want to see him out with his new family

        • HB, a friend of mine was dumped and he told her he waited until the last child was 18 so he did not have to pay child support. I met her about a year after he left and she was a happy woman. She said she had been the one in charge of keeping his life perfect. Once he was gone she found her sense of humor and became a well loved person in the community. She said after playing around for a couple of years he married a woman who barely tolerated him. He told my friend leaving her was the worst mistake of his life but she was so over him. I asked her if she would ever take him back and she said maybe….if he was dying. He did die and his kids rallied around but she did not even bother going to his funeral. She said she had so much more fun after he left. I asked her if she was interested in finding another man and she looked at me like I was crazy. I moved so only talk on the phone every couple of months but she is still doing great.

    • I will never understand the abandoning of one’s child. I get that these sick assholes like to blame us chumps for everything but how they can just walk away from their own flesh and blood is truly is a mindfuck. Virtual hugs to you!!

  • So I don’t get hit on by married men …you know why…I’d ask them lets call you wife and see if it works for her…your asking me out………lol………very rarely happens they can tell I don’t go down that path….that being said ladies all of my friends are married for quite some time over 20 yrs and there are some divorced too………….but I must tell you I know it’s easy to blame the other person …don’t waste your energy there the other person can also be being told BS…..and btw they owe you nothing…….they made not commitments to you……….period……….the fault lies with the beauties you’re married to…..stop putting the the blame on the OP you’re wasting your time take the low life to court and hammer them legally ……

  • Go Jedi Ninja, file first and for fault if you have the option in your state. Never back down, worry only about what is fair to you. Do not try to bend over backwards, trust me the asshole is going to try to bend you over, no need to help. Assume the worst. Don’t stick with a lawyer that keeps advising you settling is cheaper than court if negotiations have gone on longer than 6 months without any closure. The lawyer is right but the court date looming will usually get the asshole in your life to settle before he/she hits the date because their lawyer is telling them the same thing. Far as I’m concerned FILING immediately is the most important thing to do. That gives a hard date and frankly I’d roll dice on the judge rather than hang around for years trying to settle. But in most cases the asshole you want to divorce won’t be happy with that outcome. That’s why they try to mediate and keep upping their ante, they still think they run you, they still think they can control you, get you to roll over. Fuck that. File.

  • These are great words of wisdom, and a serious reminder that a narcissist is incapable of caring about us. In fact, they will spend a great portion of their time making us look like the bad person to anyone who will listen. I read somewhere that 95 % of relationships with a narcissist will fail. Those are pretty high odds. Just wish I would have known about these type of personalities years ago. Wishing you the best, Sarah.

  • My experience with my narcissist was a little different than a lot of what I’m hearing here.

    Early on, I connected with an acquaintance who had been involved with two narcs, and she gave me some invaluable advice.

    Firstly, she told me that narcs aren’t so much just about them, but rather have egos that require them to feel like they have all the power, control, and have the upper hand.

    She told me that the way she finally got what she wanted from him was to play into that. She played helpless. She acted the part that he had laid out for her. Once she simply “admitted” he was right and she was wrong and wouldn’t he please help her, they stroked his ego enough to come to an agreement with her.

    This strategy slowly sunk into my head over the year and a half that I was battling my narc for finances. He was fighting to the bitter end to get his way. I was told through the grapevine that his lawyers thought he was a real ass and totally deluded, but heck, it was making him money so who cares?

    Anyway, also during this time, I was getting my Project Management certifications, and happened to go to an industry event, where a very well-respected expert in negotiation was speaking.

    He began talking about how, often when you can’t teach an agreement in a negotiation, it’s because one of the parties is looking for something intangible that has nothing to do with the main terms of the negotiation, and you have to did a way to figure out what that intangible is, and satisfy that.

    That got me to thinking, what was it he was looking for that he couldn’t get?

    Then it struck me: The only thing he hadn’t been able to get his hands on was my car. We happened to put it in my name only when we bought it, and when I left Australia for the US while I was still in divorce negotiations, I left it with a friend, rather than give him the satisfaction of getting his hands on it.

    I thought to myself, he likes to think he’s in control of everything and had the upper hand. I wonder if I offer him the one thing he can’t get his hands on, if that will make the difference. After all, at this point, it was going to be difficult for me to get rid of the car on my own from so far away. I didn’t really want it anyway.

    So I offered to throw in the car to the deal we were negotiating. Right away, he said, “Deal. I’ll have the lawyers draw up the papers.”

    We’d been negotiating for a year. The car was worth maybe $20k (which is nothing for a car in Australia), and he’d never been interested in my car st all when we were together.

    But it turns out he wanted the thing he couldn’t have and for me to admit that I needed him in order to complete this settlement, and play a bit helpless, like my friend had suggested.

    It was that simple.

    My advice, make them think they have the upper hand by giving them something intangible that they feel they don’t have control over. They just want to feel important and special and right and better than you. Give them that and you will get what you want.

  • Good advice except my ex thinks he is entitled to it all. He does not accept mentally that he should give me anything.
    In his world he gets whatever HE wants. He is Mr Wonderful, I was a wife appliance, he now has another one. His business is going from strength to strength, he has inherited millions recently.
    Our so called final court settlement was no such thing as he has just ignored the judge. It has cost me a fortune in legal fees.
    He rarely sees his kids, except the odd holiday, does EXACTLY what he wants and currently there seems to be few consequences for him.
    His life is wealthy and entitled and perfect for him. Honestly I see no downside for him .
    My children and I have just been abused and abandoned it seems to me, with the kids being thrown the odd crumb.

  • My, oh, my…did I go through a marathon and a half, sweet Chump Nation! I was separated in-house for 9 months (I wouldn’t recommend, total hell) and it took almost another year and a half AFTER that to finalize the divorce. If you look up narcissist on Wikipedia…my ex’s picture should be there. Chump Lady…YOU were a rich resource in my survival as well as One woman’s battle blog. Also, Lindsey Ellison’s email and FB page. Yes, we did have 4 children whom I am so thankful for. But they are pawns to him. He tries to not pay for things any which way he can. Money (and himself) ….his ONLY focus. That is where it hurts. It cost me about $85,000 to divorce him….worth EVERY penny. Without legal rep….it is next to impossible to win. I agree….get a good lawyer. You can make payments and money is only money….my kids are invaluable. I left with nothing in the settlement because he rat-holed all of the money from our 21 yr marriage…still worth it. You can do this. It is SO liberating to be out and to have a say in the lives of your children and your OWN life. I have considered writing a book. No joke. Biggest piece of advice….DONT BE NICE. This was told to me….I didn’t listen at first…and paid for it. I learned very quickly. AND …get into counseling. I saw a fantastic one for 3 yrs. Super helpful. Even my lawyer knows who ya are , CL….he heard about you often. You are golden!!! Thank you so much.

  • We had a mediated binding court settlement. Now cheater is back pedaling. Our mediation tapes went to the judge. Why do they think they are above the law? He actually told me he was going to charge me rent because house was not ready to sell. House is ready and on the market the exact day agreed to in mediation. I don’t even live in the house! He does. He is so disordered! Accused me of stealing his car keys. Keys were in the house the whole time. Already at $14,000 attorney fees for me. He is not abiding by the law. So frustrating. Stay strong. His schmoops had cervical cancer /HPV and now I have been exposed to that.

  • Document, Document, Document
    Google Docs is your friend…… I have email files for every month, scan every court order, letter, receipt, spreadsheets for kids expenses, files for audio and video- they can be shared with your lawyer and pulled up in court!!
    It’s some work initially getting it set up and organized but now, it’s a few minutes a day and I have everything saved on the cloud – no huge drawers and binder and nothing that gets ‘lost’.
    I can print and or email anything I need.

  • Thank you CL & CN, I’m 8 years out but still dealing with the fallout of breeding with a fucktard. I have a response document to send but I was holding onto it because chumpy me thought going nuclear was a touch OTT, but you are right the only time I’ve got anywhere is when I’ve said Fuckit see you in court. The other respondents are absolutely correct, for majority of narcs you have to make fucking you over too expensive an option, being nice and fair is not going to cut it. Give a taste of their own medicine and watch them carry on about how nasty you are – Yep one badass nasty woman right here. I was fair and he still thinks he’s hard done by, you can’t change their narrative with the truth so don’t bother. Get the best you can and get the hell out. You’ll be happier away from all the lies

  • The fucktard I divorced wanted to share a lawyer to save on costs…I absolutely told him no way in hell. He’s the one who told me he wanted the divorce, yet he would never go file. He wanted his cake & he wanted to eat it too…lying & sleeping around & I was just done with the whole mess. I kept prodding & prodding & he just wouldn’t do it. I got on the ball & found a rent house and moved out. I told him he could buy me out of the house or we would put it on the market…either way, I wanted my equity. He had it in his mind that I was going to pay him for half the house payment on top of my rent payment and my lawyer said no way. Since I had made the decision to move out & had been out for six months prior to the divorce, the court ordered him possession of the house, the full house mortgage, all the bills and upkeep expenses. It’s still on the market. He was not happy AT ALL.

    I could have fought him for so much more than I did. I made a deal with him that I would help him pay off his precious Harley prior to the divorce and he could have my half of the equity in it WITH the stipulation that he would take over the boat payment and apply my Harley equity to my half of the boat debt. He could keep the mother fuckers because those two items were more precious to him than anything else. We had two vehicle payments, my car and our son’s pickup. We owed about the same on both & the payments were like $20 different, so I took over the car & he took over the pickup. We also had a a nice pickup that was paid off worth about $12K. I fought for and was awarded half the value of it and he kept physical possession of it.

    Now, with regards to his railroad 401K…ha that’s a funny story. He wanted to cash it out to pay off debt and I said no fucking way. I wasn’t about to get stuck with the penalty & pay taxes on top of it. He AND his family were furious about me wanting half of it. Same old story that I didn’t work for it, I shouldn’t get it. Guess what, asshole? Texas is a community property state and I was married to your lying, cheating ass for twenty years. I am entitled to it whether you like it or not. He never kept up with what was in his 401K. Actually, he never paid any bills, never knew what we paid on anything or what was owed on anything. He never had passwords to the 401K nor the bank accounts. It was only during the separation that he decided that he needed the log in information to our joint account to make sure I wasn’t stealing money. OK fine whatever. During the time he was wanting to cash out the 401K, he kept asking me for the log in info for it as well, but I wouldn’t give it to him. The day I had an appointment with the attorney to file for the divorce, I got an email from the 401K admin that the password had been changed. I was mad as hell, but I was already printing copies of the account daily as proof of what was in there for when I filed just in case. Rather than say anything, I simply went online and changed the password to our joint bank account. The next morning, I got out of the shower and had 7 missed calls from him. And then the beating on my door commenced. He demanded to know the password to the bank account. I simply told him that when he could provide me with the 401K password, I would be glad to give him the bank account password.

    After he was served papers, he came by my house with his tail between his legs. I honestly think he wasn’t expecting me to file. I had put up with his bullshit for SO LONG, I think he just thought I’d continue taking it. He had the audacity to tell me that if I wanted to drop the whole thing, he would be OK with it & we could just continue on and forget I ever filed. UM, NO!! I wonder if his girlfriend knew he was basically asking me to stop the divorce? I don’t think she would have cared one way or the other. Rumor has it that not only is she fucking him, but she’s also fucking a married farmer in her little small community. The way I hear it, my ex leaves for work out the front door & she sneaks the other guy in the backdoor. Maybe I wasn’t the sorry bitch that he liked to call me after all…

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