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How Do You Divorce a Narcissist?

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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.

First, go read an interview I did with Dr. George Simon, “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. Deposing his affair partner(s)? Forensic accountant? Whatever he is afraid of — exposure? — let your lawyer use that your legal advantage.

(I am NOT a legal professional. I’m a chump who has freak divorce experience. Talk to a lawyer. Also read this post about the perils of mediation. If you can mediate a settlement? Awesome. Sometimes they’re dumb and they just want out. If you’re dealing with an abusive fuckwit? Time for heavy artillery. JMHO.)

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 wingnut 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 wingnut, alas, pays drama dividends.

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

Evergreen post, updated.

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  • Sarah, your other advantage is that you recognized the abusive behavior before it was too late. It may be war, but at least you didn’t ignore the shells whistling past your ears.

    • It bring me great comfort reading this post , we were together12 years , not married and my life is falling a part , I keep trying to understand what happened or why I’m still being treated like this , during the sale of my house , the realization that you dealing with a. Narcissist, and there is no human side

        • I had to do this for a short time. In my case, I had failed to see what was going on behind my back for years and years. On D-Day, the Douche knew what I had found out from what I blurted out in our confrontation, but that was very little. After that I continued to play the Chump while quietly gathering information. If the monster is still in the house you might still have access to passwords, electronic devices, e-mail accounts, etc., and can try to have a look while also gathering copies of all financial documents and storing the copies off-site. One positive result of divorcing a narcissist is that I have finally learned how to scan documents to a memory stick using my printer. I tracked down three OW ex-husbands on the Internet and met with them and obtained their information, then looked for correlations with the information I had. My lawyer later helped me use this information in an appropriate way in my interrogatories (and threats to depose). Physically, I staked out my bedroom and bathroom and he had his. His stuff got dumped in his room. We did not share meals or conversations. I e-mailed him when I had to even from the next room. It is not a good situation for healing but look at it as an opportunity to go on the offensive. You can take charge, holding out the possibility for more cake in the future, letting the monster think things are coasting along with a chance of thawing, and meanwhile use the opportunity for access to get things lined up.

        • This is super hard and I would try to limit this. I did it for 10 months once I started the process and it was hell. I mainly did it for my son who was in his last year of high school. It took a huge toll on my health (not a lot of healing it was only survival). My STBX played a lot of games and I felt like my life was on hold just trying to do chores around house, drive my son to his activities as he did not have his full license, and do all of the work for a separation agreement. My STBX did dick all but he did manage to travel many times with his girlfriend and party a lot. It was brutal because I never knew when he would come home or not so it felt like PTSD every time I heard him come through the door.

          Be careful. My STBX set up a camera in his room and that freaked me out (it made me question how else he could be trying to monitor me – even though I wasn’t doing anything wrong).

          My STBX was smart enough to plan for getting caught. He had changed all passwords and locked down all accounts so I was very in the dark about things. Thank god I did most of our banking or I am sure he would have drained the accounts. As it was he took out a lot of cash to pay for viagra and stuff (cause he wouldn’t want me to see that as I would have known about his cheating) before I realized what was happening.

          If your cheater doesn’t know you suspect then you can line up your ducks but I found out in such a way that I couldn’t hide it. Then of course it was lie lie lie until I realized that it was so much worse than I originally thought. Good luck!!

          • Wow. My STBXH installed cameras in our home during wreckonciliation at the end. Like I chump I believed it when he said that it just made him feel better to be able to look in on me and the kids at work. I had nothing to hide so, again Chumpyme was like “ok!” When he started to interrogate me over ridiculous things even while having that much open access…is when the crazy was so apparent that I had no choice but to end it. Wreckonciliation was the worst

  • It still floors me how this formula holds true for these disordered nuts. I just checked all the boxes; Tracy described my ex and my experience to a tee. Three channels, endless legal bills, no owning of their mistakes, grandiose entitlement, and disregard for their kids, the rules and the law. Uncanny.

  • I agree with her. No contact and be prepared for working with bratty teenager behavior!! I am sadly in the last category…my ex has harassed for 2 years. He emptied accounts, cut power, put things in mailbox, etc. Divorce…check. I sued then he lost. He sued me back the next day for something laughable and hasn’t showed up to anything. I got a no contact order which he violated in 2 months. Police helpfully are taking it serious even though he is squeaky clean. And found out yesterday that he is messing with my alimony again. I wish it stops….Do these types stop?? I wish you luck and stay strong!

    • Ask the post office to hold your mail. You can also get yourself removed from junk mail lists. As for the rest, he is trying to wear you down and away because he’s an entitled jerk. Messing with alimony is such a dick move. Judges get testy with people who flout their orders.

    • “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.”

      This is the answer to your question as long as you don’t have the scorched earth type, like I did with my second husband.

      First husband was a physician. I did all the stupid things that doctor’s first wives club members do….pay for everything, ruin my own career for his, move around incessantly and think of no one but him and his career goals. Then I was handed divorce papers the day after we had spent our last dime (including no more money for rent) and he had signed a million dollar contract with a group 3000 miles away.

      I fought him hard and we actually reconciled for about 1.5 years, but it was truly awful…him putting me on an allowance of $200 per month and that was to be used for all household expenses. He started making subtle threats about killing me or saying how he fantisized every call was from the police saying I had been hit by a truck and killed. Stuff like that, until I filed and fought hard.

      He stole things from my mailbox, poisoned people I was acqaintances with against me (friends told him to fuck off), had his gal pal call all of the lawyers in town so that I could not use them (I had already hired pitbull so he failed there). When that all failed, he tried emailing me funny pictures of geckos in coffee cups and artsy cheer cards. When I ignored that he had his brothers, who I adored, call me an beg on his behalf that he really was a good guy and never meant to harm me.

      I went Grey Rock, got a restraining order and a new boyfriend (I don’t recommend this last because it is unfair to the new guy). By the time we got to court, he was coming unhinged. Even his lawyer didn’t act civilized…because all he heard was crazy coming from my husband…like how he needed his movie rental card back and his extra car key (neither of which I had, but he spent thousands getting his lawyer to write mine letters for these items).

      I ended up getting significant alimony for 10 years and I imagined that every time he wrote those several zeroes…he otted my death.

      Which is why you Grey or Black Rock (if you don’t have kids). I moved, retrained on his dime into a high paying career never saying a word to a soul. I cut off everyone…and I mean everyone. NOBODY from that life got so much as a goodbye.

      Difficult, but necessary to deal effectively with these assholes.

      The second was the dangerous one. None of my previous tactics worked on this guy because he was not motivated by money, he was motivated by image and fear of exposure.

      When you have one of these types, this is the really dangerous realm. This is the “hit back hard, do not pull punches, tell everyone, document document document, get a protection order and MOVE” RIGHT NOW sort of situation.

      You don’t wait for a year or two of their bullshit. When you hear even one threat? You knock them on their ass. That means financial threats too, not just physical ones.

      How I know? This guy never learned. No mattet how many consequences were laid at his door, he had himself convinced if he just could show the world I was lying about something…anything…all of his horrifying behavior would be forgotten and he would be absolved.

      This is the trait of convicted murderers and rapists. They have a magical world all set up in their pea brains that has them as King of All They Survey and nobody gets to tell them otherwise.

      Second husband had me accused of stalking and harassing HIM, he took pictures of me driving on my road to work claiming it was somewhere else near where he was living (and I had no reason to be). He planned and plotted this for a solid year. No one heard from him because he was laying low…and then all of a sudden paperwork comes accusing me of these horrible things.

      Thus is what the dangerous ones do. You don’t know you are in peril until months or years later, after they have sat and festered with their plots of revenge against you.

      I won, of course, but not before spending thousands in legal fees to defend myself from lies wrapped in vague semi truths depending on if you knew the context. Most people did not know the context so mamy believed him.

      I ended up moving 2000 miles away, having the court change my name, having them assign me a domestic violence post box for mail, cut off all of my friends because he simply would not let the situation die.

      To this very day, he continues to probe and prod….who will give him a tidbit he can chew and stew over…researching endlessly on the internet for where I might have gone.

      When you mess with narcissists…you never know which type you will get.

      Therefore….

      You treat them as if they ARE like my ex #2. You never wait for them to become this dangerous nor do you let yourself believe you have the exception and that “they would never…”

      Yes. They would. My ex #2 was 7 years ago. To this day, he continues to pursue. I will never be able to sleep soundly or tell any new friends my story for fear someone might say something inadvertently.

      Want to live like you are in witness protection? keep trusting a narcissist to “do the right thing”.

      • Wow, jellybeanmom, what an experience! Sending you good vibes. I too had to cut off many “friends” even if they simply didn’t understand how to not reveal what they knew of my new life. In some ways, that new life can be liberating.

        • Thanks, Marci.

          It is extremely difficult even to get close relatives to not “accidentally” say something, that to a violent predator like ex#2, is gold. He’s constantly on the prowl for any tidbit and even the most conscientious person can slip.

          So you know the old adage—“Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead”?

          I keep my own counsel. AT ALL TIMES. With ALL information. It’s a hard way to live–it’s great in the respect that I don’t have him in my face all the time–but it is so difficult when I just want to have a confidante to help me with some of the night terrors or the loneliness of being somewhere new. Putting on a brave face and a smile is okay but sometimes you just want to talk to someone.

          Therapy is a good thing. I have a therapist who deals with PTSD and Trauma victims. It took me almost a year to finally “tell the truth” because of my trust issues. I was so fearful that he would reveal what I say and my ex would find me.

          This is what these assholes do–make living a normal life impossible.

          So my advice to ANYONE—if someone is violating your boundaries, threatening you outright or even if you PERCEIVE that you are being threatened? Go nuclear. Right now and full throttle. Don’t give them one inch and don’t back down.

          The only way that these motherfuckers get it is when someone bigger and badder with a very large stick and a badge comes to knock their heads in. To the ones that are “image motivated”—getting arrested is the same as dying. To the ones that are “vengeance” motivated—they DESERVE to get their heads kicked in by someone who is bigger and badder.

          So tired of the fucking bullies of this world.

          • Hugs to you, Jellybean. The ONLY way to survive that sort of monster is to get angry and get strategic. You’ve got both going. Just be sure to stay safe.

      • Holy fucking crap JellybeanMom – that is the stuff of nightmares. I hope you are safe and sound now and forever.

        • TY, NSC.

          I am safe–for now. It’s constant vigilance though. It’s not something I’d wish on anyone.

          This is something that any one of us could experience if we show weakness to these fuckers. This is what they all want to do—destroy us if we aren’t going to play the game their way.

      • Great comment Jellybean! No matter how bright these narcs and sociopaths are they tend to repeat bad behavior that cost them in the past. They never, ever learn from mistakes or bad judgment due to their wiring being so off. I place my hand on a stove top burner while its on and get burned I know not to do it again. The disordered on the other hand will do it again and again. Why? Who the heck knows, I’m not even sure its because they think this time it will be different, I think it may be that they completely forget the previous outcomes.

      • “When you reject a narcissist, they never forgive” from the Swiss German television show “The Undertaker/Der Bestatter”

        Best of luck to JBM and sorry you have to keep looking over your shoulder because of the wingnut.

        • They don’t. Not ever. Anybody who believes that just because the asshole who blew up their lives is playing “nice” right now—is because they aren’t going to harm them—is truly deluding themselves.

          Kids don’t stop these people. They use and abuse kids the same as they use and abuse adults. If you insist on staying with one of these cheaters? You need to at the very least—send your kids to live with someone who gives a shit about their mental, physical and financial well being.

          Because a narcissist doesn’t. Ever. If you haven’t experienced this with your cheater yet—you just haven’t pushed his buttons. He hasn’t reached into the bottom of his scorched earth bag yet—you’re still “worth” something to him.

          FFS. When I hear that someone is raising children with a man (or woman) who has been caught cheating 1-2-3-5-10 times—-I look at them and just shake my head. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE who think it’s okay to raise kids around this sort of abuse???

      • Cheater x was one of those. I hid, he found me. Tried three times to break in; I caught him on the third. Forwarded my mail to his office. Grilled my friends and relatives for information that might be helpful to his vendetta. Stole over $100k in marital funds. Had me arrested for domestic violence I did not commit. Deposed my supervisor, who was asked such questions as “How many of the partners did Survivor sleep with?” I lost that job. Got another, and moved to another city. Went no contact with his family and all mutual friends and acquaintances. He let me know he’d found my new office by sending me a love letter. I spent a decade maintaining high security and staying as invisible as possible to avoid his radar. Right up until I read his obituary. Distance was helpful, but I never truly felt safe until he left this world entirely.

        • Wow, Jellybean and Survivor, I don’t know what to say, but your stories remind of the Julia Roberts movie “Sleeping with the enemy” and that was SCARY! Well done for getting out and stay safe ladies!

          • Dealing with that level of character disorder IS scary. They think their chump is their toy to break whenever and however they choose. So any of you who see yourselves heading down that road need to get a good lawyer and a good therapist, both of whom understand malignant narcissism. You’ll need them. Moving out of their vicinity is key, and it must be far enough away that there is no easy explanation for how they tripped and fell onto your doorstep. Get a P.O. Box, even if it just to forward your mail to you. Lock down social media and your credit. Block the asshole on your phone or get a new number. I even replaced my car so I could safely park in my new driveway instead of having to garage my car and worry about being followed, again. I did a good enough job that Cheater’s family could not find me to invite me to his funeral. Don’t know if I would have gone, except to confirm he was dead.

            But for Jellybean, and other chumps still dealing with a scorched earth cheater, please do stay safe. Eventually, the asshole will divert their attention to someone who they feel crossed them more recently (permanently, or at least for a while), or they’ll cross the line into incarceration, or they will die. It won’t be a happy story. The trick is to find a way to thrive away from the drama while they circle the drain. Best of luck to all.

        • I am so very sorry this happened to you. I feel you. The weirdness is the randomness–that you’ll be toddling along doing your thing and one day open the mailbox to some innocent looking birthday card from them.

          When I changed my number and didn’t give it to him—that meant I DON’T WANT YOU TO HAVE MY NUMBER. When I moved and didn’t give him my forwarding address–that meant that I DON’T WANT YOU VISITING ME. So goes for email and linked in account and facebook and employers.

          Unless I give you the fucking information, you are not included. These asshole just never believe they are subject to the rules all of the “little people” are—and that if they want this thing? They get it. They have the right to it.

          Well, no. No they don’t. My address is private for a reason. This goes for nosy colleagues at work as well. I’ve fought off several NosyNellies in my workplace who sit around all day and their own time at home—looking me up, trying to find a facebook page, an ex, where I went to school—and one even called my former employer to find out if I actually ever worked there.

          Narcissists aren’t just dangerous in an intimate relationship. They are dangerous in ALL dealings with them. This asshole co-worker almost blew my cover with my new name and address.

          I ended up having to go to HR and drag her with me—with a copy of the court order and other paperwork that basically said that anybody who spreads this information around (about my new name and my old name) can be sued and held liable.

          She was pretty shocked—but she never apologized. She is very petulant and sullen when she is around me–because she knows. One word from her about me or anything in my life I will bury her financially and legally.

          People need to keep their fucking noses out of other people’s business unless they are invited to know.

          These people are the ones that will get us murdered or raped or otherwise harmed—because they just cannot stay in their lane. I absolutely fucking HATE gossipers and snipes—the world needs to pile them right on with the narcissists and send them all into outer space.

          • That is shameful. Wanting to out you is like wanting credit for outing someone in witness protection. Anyone in my workplace at the time would rather kill the fucker than say a word.

        • {{{Survivor}}} BTDT.

          The ones that accuse you of what they’ve done are the worst.

          I did the same–new car, parked in odd places, changed my number/address and then finally my work, sold my home and moved 2000 miles. Then had to change my name.

          SOMETIMES these assholes can be diverted by something new. Sometimes—that new is the one that is winding them up to pursue you. You can’t be sure.

          Ex #2 had SEVERAL girlfriends. All of whom received different stories. He had a compartment for each—an “identity” to each—and none knew of any of the others. This did not deter him from pursuing me to the point that when he was busted legally—and some of these women were discovered—-he didn’t even take responsibility for that. He blamed ME for toppling his world of whores. He raged at ME that now none of his well groomed harem would take him in. Except for one.

          This girl egged him on, helping him by spying on me with her friends and family. She fed him information because she lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrved him and wanted to see me pay for “ruining his life”.

          Just walk away, people. Drop the crazy and walk away. NOTHING is worth continuing to fight them, even if you know you’re right. I would rather lose every dime I have, every stitch of clothing, my house and my car—to make sure 100% that this asshole would NEVER be able to reach me again.

          Anybody who continues willingly to orbit these freaks needs to have their head examined just as badly. Seriously. Anyone who allows a thief, abuser, liar into their home and into the presence of their families and loved ones—needs to get exactly what they wish for so fervently—that this creepo “loves” them again and they can go off into the sunset—just leave the kids with someone not insane and stay away from the family who did nothing to deserve this monster in their midst.

          • Cheater X had the new replacement part drive the gettaway car during his last break-in attempt. He turned on her soon enough, after his bad behavior on the job (involving her) got him shit canned from his tenured professorship, Division Chair, Federal grants, and lots of lofty posts on the national level, but that shitstorm came after marrying her. I was told long after the fact that her family showed up with a moving van, had an intervention, and extracted her from that abuse. So he was hating on her for what he did during that time, instead of me.

            • And that asshole was a licensed clinical psychologist. In the newspapers. Wrote books. Published hundreds of articles. A big dog until he had no one to rein him in from his assholean tendencies.

    • Yup, my ex would pick up my prescriptions! And put them in my mail box, despite me asking him and the drug store to stop. He tried to take my snow tires from car shop that stored them; they didn’t even fit his car! I chased him for months to sign property over. Only when threatened with contempt of court would he do what he agreed in writing to do.

      The kicker….when he brought me my things and I opened the boxes, I saw that they were junk store items, none of my actual keepsakes. The lawyer said it wasn’t worth the court costs to go after them. Give him NOTHING that he wants until you get what you want first.

      • Mitz—wow….that’s just….fucking intimidating as hell and I really have never heard of a pharmacy giving an EX something as personal as a prescription.

        What if he put drain-o into one or more of your pills or dusted your medication with rat poison??? I would absolutely report that pharmacy to the state board and even the state attorney general’s office. That’s criminal.

        The items. I get your frustration on that. My first husband left everything—and it was weird—I never thought about it until reading here—that he may have done this because he had every intention of returning at some point as if nothing had happened. That is a very sickening feeling.

        I gave him a month to get his shit out—he ignored me. I set it all on the curbside and took a picture and sent it to him saying that if he wanted his shit—he needed to get it before some college kid beat him to it. Suffice it to say he was at my house within an hour with a truck. The looks he gave me and my friends were lethal. I think the only reason he didn’t beat the living daylights out of me was because he was the money guy—if he got caught assaulting me he would lose his patients and most likely his job (his specialty had a lot to do with being up close and personal with women–not a GYN–and if he were accused or convicted of assaulting a woman, his group would not be able to recover from that bad publicity).

        The fact that your ex took the time to switch those items that meant something to you was a very ominous and threatening gesture in my mind. He was telling you that he is daring you to do something about it—and he’s not afraid.

        That means he’s not afraid of authority. Which is NEVER a good sign. Stay far, far away from this man. Forever. I mean no contact even if there are kids involved–you stay with scheduling software and every communication is done by email or in front of an attorney. Talking to someone like this is like playing russian roulette—you just don’t ever know when you’re going to push the wrong button and that bullet gets loaded into that chamber—and BOOM! you’re paying the price.

      • I agree. Anything that matters to you is fair game to them. X told the court that my Grandmother gave him her bedroom set because she liked him more than me. I believe they met twice.

  • This is pretty much my ex. unfortunatly I have two children with him so i will have to suffer atleast the next 20 years around him as my youngest is 18 months old but its already getting easier with grey rocking his face off.

    we tried mediation (its a legal requirement in the uk to do mediation before court) and he stopped going just as we were about to sign the papers on what was agreed. ”im not paying for those pointless meetings, we dont need a piece of paper to say what we agreed, why have you got trust issues”. yes i know, that sentence made me laugh for weeks, I didnt respond.
    he tried to sell the house and take an estate agent round (Im still living here with the kids) and got upset when I shut that down, threatened to take me to court but I havent heard anything yet.

    His newest ‘drama’ is contacting child maintenance to request a reduction in his amount he has to pay for the kids as he still pays the mortgage.

    I feel he will always try to start the next ‘drama’ to get under my skin but hope if I play dead long enough he will get bored and walk away

    • I also had to go to mediation with my ex over access, which I had not in fact denied him. First he had a company phone me to try and bully me into paying to do it in a different city. I said no as I had had to give up my job when we split (due to having to relocate) so was no longer getting a wage and had my child to care for.
      We did finally go to mediation at his instigation to which he turned up late, as he always did to everything back when we were together. He then used the session to berate me and shout in my face, which the supposed mediator allowed him to do with any objection even though I said several times that I did not want to be shouted at. I should have just walked out.
      He also lied to me throughout the session even though I knew he was lying, and he must have known I knew.
      The mediator asked me why I couldn’t “just come to an agreement” with him and I said “Because that agreement would require some sort of trust and I don’t think you can trust someone who lies blatantly to your face.”
      She said “Yes but you have to understand that there are two versions of every story.”
      I replied “Yes but you do understand that there is still an objective version of the truth. When both of use are saying opposing versions, we can’t both be telling the truth. Just because you don’t know what the truth is, doesn’t mean I have to swallow things I know to be lies.”
      I refused to go back to any more sessions after that. Mediation is futile when you’re dealing with a pathological liar, because their words are meaningless.

      • My explanation for leaving our mediation session (after seven hours): “My past may have been based on his lies, but my future will not be!” Please never try mediation with a Sociopath.

        • In our country you are legally obliged to do mediation before you can go to court but only one session. It’s a massive waste of money because it only works if both of you are prepared to be reasonable – but sadly you have to do it.

        • Or go into mediation prepared to battle. I went into mediation with a 4″ 3 Ring binders of his Facebook, Instagram and Messages to me. They were threats, lies, and all his rantings of crazy. Also character proof of him and his AP. I actually had the mediator say “I would go to court with you any day against him.” and “I don’t know what Kool-aid he is drinking but his lawyer is drinking it too.” I stood my ground and walked away with my 1/2 of the money and 70% custody of kids. He still threatens, Insults and plays victim on the court ordered communication on Insisted on for the children. If he doesn’t back down, I will have to go back to court with the 500 or more contempt charges. I think mine falls in the wingnut impervious to punishment category. My piece of advice keep battling! I am.

          • I don’t know if the rules of mediation are different in the US but I did the same and was told by the mediator that it wasn’t relevant. They said that only stuff about practical arrangements for parenting could be discussed and they didn’t want to hear about any of the circumstances leading to the split.
            That said, I have doubts about the quality of our mediator because she was obviously rather taken with my ex despite him being nearly an hour late (he’s good looking and charming to her, as he can be when he wants to be) and bent over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt despite his threatening and aggressive behaviour.
            Your mediator sounds awesome – I wish I could have used them!

            • Sounds like the mediator bought your ex narcissistic charm. My ex is a different kind of crazy. After I was advised by police to take my kids and leave house my ex threatened and bashed every friend we ever had on his Facebook account. He sent threatening messages in text to family members who helped me. Has harassed and stalked anyone who didn’t think his affair was normal marital behavior. Has even stalked people I work with (Job I got after I left house, I was stay at home mom before.) Pretty sure he even threatened my 1st attorney. Luckily to this point he hasn’t physically hurt anyone. But mentally and emotionally me and kids are hanging on. Some days I want to give up, but I got two kids to save and he gets to have them to “Brainwash” as he claims.

              • Wow Finding Peace, that really sucks. I’m amazed he still gets to have access after behaviour like that – and in front of other people as well (my ex doesn’t show his nasty side in public if he can help it, he reserves the abuse for behind closed doors). What a fucking stupid decision by the courts. I am truly sorry you are having to give your kids over to this freak on a regular basis. We are lucky that my ex gave up visiting my child after a few months. He probably found new victim to torment or got sick of it when he realised it was going to be a lot of hard work.

      • @GolgothaGal
        “He also lied to me throughout the session even though I knew he was lying, and he must have known I knew.”

        It was ^^ this that most astonished me about the ex….. The judge turned down his demand for a 4 day trial (he was going scorched earth), and ordered him into a settlement meeting. I arrived with a suitcase of files, including all his financials, which he had refused to produce for two years (thank you Xero). Every-time he told a ridiculous lie (actually he spent two hours ranting), I would dip into my files and produce “the truth” and hand it to his Barrister.

        Eventually his Barrister asked for the room to discuss things. We could hear his Barrister shouting him down from the corridor and we immediately settled.

        But telling blatant lies was the total shocker for me.

        • It’s astonishing isn’t it, the way they just think they can bend reality? I was shocked by his lies when I first discovered them (he was living a double life, had a secret child whilst we were living together, had numerous other affairs on the side) but by the time we got to court nothing shocked me.
          Funnily enough, he was giving it all the big threatening talk right up until we went to court at which point his solicitor (who had mainly excelled at sending me bullying letters previously) took him aside to quietly tell him to just accept what I had been offering him in the first place, which he duly did.
          Stormed off in a massive strop afterwards, which I found highly amusing.

    • My response to any cheater, liar, manipulator who says, “You’ve got trust issues”: Nope. You are not trustworthy. You are not worthy of my trust.

      • Exactly. Sadly the legal system presupposes that co-parents have to trust each other. How can you do that with someone who lies all the time, about everything?

  • It took almost 3 years of separation to realize that my ex not responding to my lawyer (or his) is abusive and about control. He’s not responded for over a year at this point and I’m basically stuck unless I’m ready to go into a contested divorce. I’m working on accepting things as is and being grateful for the extra time with the children.

      • I could try to file uncontested, but w/o a parenting plan, which he will abuse and ultimately end up in court. Or we file contested and it costs another $40k+ and additional stress. Like a lot of stress. I don’t want to be a crap parent b/c of it. It’s really sucks.

      • @LovedaJackass – the time and the expense and the emotional trauma.

        Even though I was awarded 60% costs, it was only the court costs – I’d been forced to spend $60k of un-claimable costs just getting him to a court room. When they are going scorched earth, narcs are beyond reason – they don’t care if they hurt themselves as long as you are going down too. And unfortunately most family law systems are based on people being reasonable.

  • If you haven’t done so already – change every single account and legal document that currently has him as beneficiary or with some sort of power over your life in the event you are incapacitated.

    None of those require an attorney, I believe, with the sensible exception of your will.

    Contact the credit bureaus, make certain he hasn’t fucked around using your social security number, etc. Oh yeah, if you haven’t set up an online Social Security account do so immediately. Grab all the tax and financial documents and make at least two copies. At least one to keep under lock and key elsewhere.

    This is war. Loose lips sink ships! Don’t discuss or disclose your plans to anyone, if possible. You really don’t know when someone will let information slip because they are angry on your behalf or if it turns out they are residents of Switzerland.

    • Be careful, though, as some states prevent changing ANY Financial or other legal documents once you have filed for divorce. Change the accounts and then file.

      And in some states, like Texas, the beneficiary of any policy MUST be the spouse, so you may not be able to change anything except the secondary beneficiary.

      • “Change the accounts and then file.”

        Yes, I should have stated that. Absolutely correct.

        “in some states, like Texas, the beneficiary of any policy MUST be the spouse, so you may not be able to change anything except the secondary beneficiary.”

        That sucks diseased donkey dongs. Does the ex-spouse have to get 50% or can they receive less? Didn’t they tweak that or am I getting confused by the way this is written?

        “Following a divorce, it is important to change your beneficiary designations on your benefits, especially life insurance beneficiary designations. Unless the Decree of Divorce requires you to carry a life insurance policy so that your child support will continue to be paid in the event of your death, you likely do not want your ex-spouse to continue to receive any or all of your benefits if you die.

        Because many people forget to change their beneficiary designations following a divorce, Texas has adopted a law to address the situation. Texas Family Code §9.301 specifically deals with the situation where a pre-divorce designation of an ex-spouse as a beneficiary of life insurance benefits has been made.

        Under that statute, a pre-divorce designation of a former spouse is not effective UNLESS:

        The Decree of Divorce specifically requires the insured to continue to list the ex-spouse as the beneficiary of the policy after the divorce is final; or
        The insured goes to his/her human resources group or the insurance company and re-designates the former spouse as the beneficiary after the divorce has been finalized; or
        The former spouse is designated to receive the proceeds in trust for, on behalf of, or for the benefit of a child or a dependent of either former spouse. (So, the beneficiary listed would appear on the policy as, “Mary Jones, on behalf of my minor children, Bobby Jones and Suzy Jones.”)

        If the designation of the beneficiary does not meet ANY of the three preceding criteria, then the proceeds of the policy cannot be paid to the ex-spouse. Instead, the proceeds should be paid to the alternative beneficiary. If no alternative beneficiary is named, then the proceeds will be paid into the estate of the insured and they will be distributed pursuant to the insured’s Last Will and Testament, or to his/her heirs under law.”

  • Please know that everyone in the family law system is going to believe you are just bitter at first. He will calm down. This will get better. Let’s try to be reasonable first. Then when he is unreasonable and rejects everything they still push that this is being caused by you BOTH.
    I am a CPA w tax specialization so o get that reading case law is easier for me than most but please educate yourself. The FL bar journal has great articles on equitable distribution and the changes over the last 10 years. Other topics as well. I’m sure each states bar jirnal.has similar. Read them. Get the basics. Know that you must attend 4 hours of mediation but that is it so u can walk out at 4 when mediation goes nowhere as u knew it would be. Tell the mediator and your lawyer to shove it.
    Read some appellate cases. When family court judges go off reservation, appeals generally smacks them down, but you need to know that. It lessens the fear.

  • My ex served me with divorce papers on my birthday. His reason was that I opened a joint credit card. His lawyer told him it was fraud. He failed to tell his lawyer that he was cheating with my cousin. Hiding money in his parents safe. We decided to work on the marriage. He stopped the divorce. But, his lawyer still wanted all my finicial records. I refused and had my lawyer send a letter. My ex became angry. And said because of my lawyer contacting his. It was going to cost more money. He only got angry because I hired a lawyer.

    I should have let the divorce go through then. But, I was shell shocked. Chump Lady is spot on. Go no contact and get a good lawyer is the best thing you can do for yourself. My ex never thought I would find out about his affair. He wanted everyone to think I committed credit card fraud. He would look like the victim.

  • Find professional allies. I found an attorney that seems to understand narcissism. There is a book “Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Randi Kreger and Bill Eddy. My war is not over but it doesn’t matter because I’ve recovered my power with the help of an invaluable trauma therapist. Shoulders back, head held high, as the bullets whiz by.

    • That’s a great book for navigating divorce and if your attorney isn’t familiar with high conflict narcissists find one who is. Also must reading is Bill Eddy’s book “The Five Kinds of People Who Can Ruin Your Life” and Sarah Esposito’s articles on Psychology Today “Forget Co-Parenting with a Narcissist.” I spent 8 years being abused legally, financially and emotionally because I wasn’t armed with this knowledge. For the last two years I’ve been calm, in control of my life and ruthless in protecting myself and my household which has made me a better parent and a more peaceful person.

  • frankly, I would say be tactical. Lay low. Gather information, and whatever you do, no matter how much he provokes you, dont show your hand. Go and seek legal advice, see a CPA, do your budget. Go through your house with a fine tooth comb and copy every document you can and store them off site, I mailed mine to my father. Take pictures of every room, inventory items. Document every time he walks in or out of the house, every minute he spends with your kids (if you have them).

    I went to mediation 4 times. I was advised to walk out by the mediator as my ex “is not here to mediate”. I wrote my own custody and holiday agreement. He argued every point. I presented my documentation of when he was in the house, when he was with the kids….I got my custody agreement. It is generous towards him. He still doesnt think it is.

    Your best bet IMHO is to gain leverage. What is he the most afraid of? Losing money?, Looking like an ass? Poor reputation? Whatever it is, find it and don’t tell him. Save it for the big negotiation. Get everything in writing, even if he doesn’t comply, you will need it if he continues to sue you.

    I had leverage and walked away doing well. He pays because of what he doesn’t want me to reveal. (barely legal business practices, use of prostitutes etc) If there is money that you will get as alimony or a settlement talk to a CPA because language in legal documents matters when it comes to tax law.

    Disconnect your phones from family plans. Take your computer to an expert and make sure he can’t access your emails. Get a new email account. Change every password on everything. Close everything down, credit cards, notify banks. Ask your lawyer if you can move 50% of assets. My ex had access to my correspondence with my lawyer…in the long run it was ok, but it showed the level he would stoop to.

    DON’T TALK TO HIM. Don’t tell your friends what you are doing, you don’t need him to depose them.

    Good luck. It’s a scary time. Chump Lady and Chump Nation are safe places.

  • See this is why i think my STBXH is different . He has not fought me on anything .

    He does not want a thing from the home , he has not fought me with the financial settlement ( a couple of back and forth ) but i am paying him off . But that was fairly easy . He has not contested Adultery for the divorce although he has put it in the agreement that he was willing to wait a year for the divorce and therefor the divorce is my idea and i should pay .

    I don’t think he is a narc or anything like that ( i am really not sure ) i think he fell in love with his howorker and abandoned me without a look back because he just wants to be with her & not me .

    • karenb – take advantage of that while you can. I know you said the other day you already filed but be wary that his attitude will stay as it is. I hope it does for your sake – even though it is emotionally hard to cope with.

    • Karen,

      If he was not disordered when he fell in love with a co worker he would have come to you and told you, not lied for months, years or how ever long it was before DD.

      Mine also did not fight at first, he was content to just be gone and loving life. He would write his text like business letter with just a hint of kindness. You know end with I hope you and the kids are well. He did not even change the accounts or the direct deposit at first. Then one day he came over and I was happy, peaceful and OK with getting divorced. It all changed. Next thing I know he pulled funds(I had prepared well for it so it was OK) He was really pushing the slander and lies with anyone who would listen (still is 4 years later) and he physically assaulted me with his sister one day. He was enraged that I was done. My advise is spend the extra money and get the divorce ASAP. It is a stepping stone to healing and a protection from his cycling rage.

      I will agree, he wants to be with new shiny and not you, but please see that for what it is, as narcissistic/disordered as it gets. “Healthy” people do not go from one long term relations to the next that quick and easy. What is is feeling is as far from love as it gets. Read Psychopath free by Peace it is a short but really informative book on the disorder and your responses and some great healing advice.

      Trust that he sucks. Know that someone like this is not what you want, you deserve better regardless of his disorder or lack of one.

      • The line “he has put it in the agreement that he was willing to wait a year for the divorce and therefor the divorce is my idea and i should pay” even though he committed adultery is pretty telling as to his sense of entitlement. He cheats. He wants you to either wait to divorce him or pay for it.

        Case closed.

      • You are 100% Correct of course TheBestMe

        I know he has some sort of disorder i mean he bought a house with whore months and months before I knew D Day was going to happen .

        I know he is not right i mean no one ” normal ” can pass off the way he was with me up to D Day then just total discard . Very Sad

        • They change, VERY QUICKLY. A lawyer warned me, I had no idea I’m too chumpy for that. Settle everything, finally while this mood is the current one. Be very watchful and don’t believe the ‘nice’ behaviour, it’s all good while it suits, then it isn’t.

          I hate to say it but be afraid, very afraid. Except you don’t have to be if you sort everything out now and get the hell out. Lock, stock and barrel.

          • I posted in the new reddit forums just on this topic! Dr. Cheaterpants left the family home and everything in it except for his clothing and personal items, said he wanted to leave my and the kids home intact. This was the second time he’d left for a schmoopie in our 20 years together-the first time he insisted we sell the family home and he argued over every piece of furniture until we wreckonciled.

            When I changed the locks as per the separation agreement (I specifically asked for him to have all his belongings out of the home within 30 days), he was shocked and then I got to see the rage channel. KarenE posted from her own personal experience that cheater wanted to keep everything in place incase it didn’t work out with schmoopie. That makes sense.

            I think there’s a narrow window when the cheater has one foot still in the current life while they are testing the water in their new dream life. Once you either kick them out fully or they come to realize the land of schmoopie twu wuvs isn’t so sparkly, especially without financial resources you are still receiving, then they turn on you.

    • Karen- You are in a rare window of opportunity. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, you need to move quickly and fiercely before the window closes. It is shockingly narrow.

      Not all cheaters provide this window of opportunity but I think it usually stems from their shiny new kibble supply. Their heads are filled with pie in the sky dreams of their new life with true wuv schmoopie. This works to your advantage!

      You have to act before normalcy settles in and the kibble high wears off. If they immediately move in together that illusion is shattered pretty quick.

      Don’t worry about why it’s happening; just get what you need and get his signature on the dotted line of the settlement.

      He is disordered. He isn’t in love with schmoopie. She is just providing him with a kibblefest to win the “turd.” Put this divorce in high gear before she gets tired!

      CN has your back!

      • They have been living together for months now – no sparkle seems to be wearing off . I have said all along these 2 will get married

        He is more than happy to get divorced he just doesn’t want to pay for it . He would never pay for anything anyway so this does not surprise me in the slightest .

        He has not contested anything really , he is just happy to be done with me and off he pops with howorker .

        • They may get married and if they do they will definitely divorce. By then it will not be your problem. You need to divorce him even if it means paying (initially) for it….if I remember correctly he bought a house with OW while you were still married and living together. You have claim to that property and can use it as leverage if need be. Someone warned you to be careful, I agree. Change the locks and change your routine.

          • Hi KB22
            Yes he did buy a house with her months before he left me . This has been concluded in the financial settlement I’ve to give him . Again though he’s not argued about it . That mistake has cost him thousands of £ I’m happy to say . He’s getting a lot less than what he originally requested .

            Locks are changed and divorce is under way . Settlement should be paid to him in next 2 weeks

    • @karenb …. this thought you wrote is cognitive dissonance IMO “I don’t think he is a narc or anything like that ( i am really not sure ) i think he fell in love with his howorker and abandoned me without a look back because he just wants to be with her & not me.” A person who leaves a partner in this manner is disordered and a narcissist by definition. I hope you read everything possible on these types because it will help you understand that his behavior and choices are ALL on him and he is incapable of “love” and reciprocal, ethical relationships with everyone.

    • Karenb6702
      I too think this about my XW (heading into 2 yrs of divorce) — she’s not outright someone this post would resemble … OR I think she reveals this “narc-ness” in a different manner; way more subtle…etc…

      Two things I thought I’d share:

      1. I’m wasting my time wondering and thinking about her. Aint worth all the effort. Its part of the process, but its a waste to analyze her. I still do it, but why? To what end?

      2. I keep STRICT boundaries as if she’s disordered. EM only. I document everything. Strong greyrock.
      Who knows what the future may bring.

      I have a friend who divorced and “co-parented” and did the occasional dinner w/ xw, but then xw flipped-out/went wacko, brought him BACK to court for nothing, threatens him, etc… So, he has had to redo all these boundaries, reset all these habits, etc….

      Better to start from “go”.

    • The quiet before the storm.

      Ask for everything you want to receive, get him to sign it straightaway.

      Afterward – do not engage any more than is necessary for parenting with a Fuckwit.

    • Karen he had been practicing leaving you in his head for months. Each time he went off to OW he was devaluing you more. His lies, deceit and devalue of you are all classic narcissist. It is early days for you yet but he has been doing this for a long time. Also you are paying him off, paying for the divorce and he gets new shiny so of course he is happy. Get divorced as quick as you can before new shiny wears off!

    • Not sure why you should pay for the divorce. He was fucking someone else and bought a house with her.

      As to whether he wants to be with her? They are two of a kind. I realized later on ex and his whore were Perfect for each other. Very negative. Mean spirited. Obsessed with appearances. Just plain nasty.

  • My advice lawyer up. Plus visit all the really good lawyers in ur area. Fuck him.

    They don’t want to mediate they just want to fuck u over and the children. That is what I have experienced, saw with others a read about in narc books.

    Protect your self he has shown you he won’t. Sorry.

  • I am so glad that I had a cowardly, lazy, manchild for an X. He put up no fight, he didn’t even have a lawyer. The pursuit of young pussy was such a great and powerful force that he lost all ability to think clearly.

    His plan was to lie and future fake me up to the moment of abandoning me by e-mail while I was out of town. He wanted an online divorce so he wouldn’t have to show up for anything. He thought that I would just vanish into thin air somehow at that moment and that his adult daughters would continue to dispense huge buckets of ego kibble. He thought that his whore and daughters would all be great friends (since they are the same age dontcha know).

    It is all ridiculous, but at least his little head is not savvy in the ways of money management and I got more than half. Maybe when the twat dumps him he will regret not paying more attention and there will be some rage shoveled at me.

    For now I am very grateful to the hole. Thanks magical young pussy! I love my debt free life thanks to your powers! Keep the asshat quiet as long as you can, mmmmkay?

  • Silence is golden. It’s such a strong tactic because it’s difficult to practice but it’s very effective. If you can force yourself to stay silent, and I mean not even the most innocuous chit chat passes your lips to you ex, you will be astounded by how powerful you will feel and how much it unsettles assholes. In their discomfort, I’ve found they often tip their cards by saying things to fill up the void when dealing with you. I learned a ton of useful stuff just staying silent by listening to my asshole’s bullshit- stuff about his lawyer, what was happening in his office, what was happening with the OW, his business concerns, what he was scared of…so much useful stuff that I crafted a hell of a battle plan. When I launched on him it was complete shock and awe and he never saw it coming. It leveled him and I must say that from that moment on he began treating me with respect. It sucks that he didn’t treat me with respect while we were married, but the settlement and custody agreement I fought for and the fact that you do eventually reach meh and move on and away from these abusive assholes makes me feel very satisfied with the outcome. I’m a huge advocate of silently crafting an ass-kicking, launching at the right moment and then moving the hell on. Life is good when you take your power back from these cheating fuckers.

  • And I’ll put my usual vote in here for not allowing them to access you through normal text or messaging channels. Whatever you use with other people, block the Cheater on that. Otherwise, that’s a direct pipeline of abuse, from their fingers to your brain.

  • How common is it for people to turn out to be narcissists? What are the initial red flags?

    All this reading I’m doing is freaking me out in terms of finding a new partner. My cheater is the opposite of a narcissist, at least as I’ve seen them described. Always takes full blame for everything, says none of this was my fault, but then instead of focusing on me and what I’ve been going through launches into a pity party about how terrible of a person he is. The attention remains squarely on him. Does this in private and with other people around. If I’m crying my eyes out about something he did to me he’ll just sit there frustrated, staring ahead saying “God, I’m such an asshole.” Idk, is there such thing as a covert narcissist?

    My concern, though, is that in avoiding people like him in the future and seeking someone who treats me the way I deserve (with enthusiasm) I’m going to walk into a trap laid by a narcissist and wind up in an even worse situation.

    • Nicole, this type of person is what’s known as a ‘vulnerable narcissist’. Their focus isn’t on how great they are, but on how hard done by. They are victims! They may admit to being awful (although can rarely articulate what they actually did wrong and the harms they caused)! Their lives are so hard!

      But notice; it’s STILL ALL ABOUT THEM.

      I knew how to recognize the ‘arrogant, charmng, superior’ type of narc. I got totally taken in by my Ex because he was like this; clearly insecure (despite being super smart and good looking). It actually feels good (to a CHUMP!) that they show their vulnerability! It seems like some support and solid love will help them feel/be so much better!!!! The self-centeredness takes time to show up….. My Ex also gradually revealed what disdain he held other people in, while his mom, the QUEEN of vulnerable narcissism, seemed always so kind and caring … while gossiping a ton about other people, and making herself out as the powerless victim in situations SHE had gotten herself into and only she could get herself out of.

      It’s not that hard, NOW, for me to see this type of disorder. It takes TIME; Ex, like any narcissist, love-bombed and mirrored me and rushed the relationship forward. That rushing the relationship? Telling you how special you are and what an amazing connection the two of you have, before they even know you? Wanting commitment fast? Huge red flag. Then you have to really look at the person’s life; do they have good long-term friends? How are their relationships with their families? What is their work history? Are they responsible about money? Do they follow up when they say they will?

      Once the infatuation calms down, you need to watch their BEHAVIOUR carefully; do they actually reciprocate, especially even when reciprocating is hard on them or requires effort? How do they talk about people behind their backs? Do they take responsibility for what’s going on in their lives, or is everything someone else’s fault (huge red flag!)? Do they require an inordinate amount of attention and admiration and propping up? Do they tend to always take the easy way out? Can they clearly and specifically apologize when they’re in the wrong? Don’t take one situation or example of proof of anything, good or bad; look for the long-term patterns.

      If you take time, and keep your eyes open (impossible while infatuated, but this naturally calms down in 6 months or a year), you can choose a much better partner in future. We are not perfect, and are not looking for perfect partners, but we need to partner up with CARING ADULTS.

      • That sounds a lot like my ex. The good news is my divorce was relatively easy because he didn’t want to piss off his family any more than he already had. He had always been the golden boy until he blew up our marriage by cheating and then falling for the slut.

      • Wow Karen E that’s hit home with me !

        You said ” ny narcissist, love-bombed and mirrored me and rushed the relationship forward. That rushing the relationship? Telling you how special you are and what an amazing connection the two of you have, before they even know you? Wanting commitment fast? Huge red flag. Then you have to really look at the person’s life; do they have good long-term friends? How are their relationships with their families? What is their work history? Are they responsible about money? Do they follow up when they say they will?”

        As for my STBX this is why i struggle as many of these hit home – some not and this confuses me
        Yes he love bombed me i did the same with him .
        Yes he rushed the relationship he asked to move in a week after we met ( I had my own place he was getting evicted for non payment of rent ) He moved in after 4 weeks but i let him

        He always from the second date said he was going to marry me he had never met anyone like me . I thought he was joking and he sort of was as it took him 4 years to propose .

        He is terrible with money as soon as he gets it he spends it on i don’t know what i think he gambles on line but i had to bail him out lots of times with bills . He was £38,000 in debt when i met him

        He has no friends not one , he has work colleges but not a single friend .
        He is very close with his family and he keeps long term jobs .
        So some fit some don’t i confuse myself thinking about it

      • Well my issue is that he didn’t display any of those red flags. He didn’t rush the relationship. He has strong relationships with friends and family. All of his relationships with women have ended with him ignoring their needs and distancing himself emotionally and sexually until they cheated on him or left him. He acknowledges this and recognizes that he’s the common denominator there. Never any attempt to blame anyone except himself. And that’s the annoying thing. I could forgive his measly affair. But I can’t look past his insistence to wallow in despair and self-hatred instead of focusing on me and what I need to heal from it and enjoy my life.

        • See, STILL always about him!!!! That’s the biggest indicator. That’s what finally allowed me to see that Ex’s mother was a narc, not just his father (actually I think his father is more of a sociopath, but hey ….). And your ex ‘takes responsibility’ BUT doesn’t do the truly blatantly obvious things that would show that he accepts responsibility, such as trying to make up for or repair at least some of the damage he’s done.

          This is the type of ‘regret’ that narcs sometimes do actually have; they regret messing up THEIR OWN LIVES. Chumps often mistake that for remorse for their actions, or regret that they’ve hurt others. Naaaaah, it’s the consequences FOR THEM that they don’t like. It’s more that they recognize they’ve miscalculated, than that they know they’ve actually done wrong.

          But in the end, it doesn’t matter whether they’re narcs, sociopaths, or just idiots or jerks. ‘Is this relationship acceptable to you, as it actually IS?’ is the most important question. Once the answer is no, well then we know what we need to do ….

          • So very helpful KarenE! Dr. Cheaterpants is some sort of narc and he fits so many of those indicators for the vulnerable type. Not every single one, but many. I had to try to untangle that skein for a long time and I finally realized the relationship was not acceptable to me and really hadn’t been for a long time. It took years for me to see the big patterns but those red flags were there early on and I spackled. Hopefully if I ever decide to date in the future, I’ll be way more astute and recognize them as soon as they wave.

      • you are so so right with all of this. i had no idea i was in a marriage with a narcissist until after we separated and i could look back and see all the above behaviour for what it truly was. if only i knew how to recognise the sighs prior to the shit show.

    • More common than we think. Yes, there are lots of covert and, worse, malignant narcissists.

      That said, you perfectly identified the one thing they all have in common – it’s all about themselves. You are crying and he is not comforting you, he is enjoying the kibbles and directing the spotlight to himself. That right there is your big clue what kind of a person you are dealing with.

      He isn’t actually taking responsibility even if it sounds like it to you, he is enjoying the attention and the damage he has caused. “Look at me, I’m such a dick that I made you cry. I’m powerful like that.” Narcs have a very disordered sense of the world around them, what’s right and wrong, what power looks like and they drink up all attention, good and bad. In fact, they tend to prefer bad attention because in their mind, it’s power to make others suffer. This distortion of reality is a huge part of the disorder.

      So don’t listen to words, look at the effect, at the actions. The pity party is self centered and has nothing to do with taking responsibility for anything. Normal people may have a bit of a pity party sometimes, narcs are always about themselves. They will find a way to make everything about them. That’s your clue.

    • You don’t need to diagnose whether he’s a narcisst or not. Maybe he’s just an asshole. It doesn’t matter. Just use your experience to notice when a relationship is genuinely reciprocal.

  • I tried to be nice, hoped he play fair, told my lawyer I didn’t want to poke the bear, well I got mauled instead. Showed up with false docs about how much his house was worth so I had to pay him out of my savings and he took HALF of my pension, claiming he didn’t have one.

    I wish I had had better advice, but I was also terrified of him. He is violent and ruled the family by fear, I was in a state of fear when I filed. I was physically shaking while filing for divorce. Spent one night praying all night he wouldn’t kill me. So, I feel lucky he is out of my life, I am happy and alive. That’s the important part!

    • totheMax, sometimes it is best to walk away, leaving whatever we need to leave on the table. Our lives and safety are not worth any amount of money. We even need to ask how much money just dealing w/the revenge-crazed asshole will cost, when there is no danger. I left a lot of $ behind when divorcing my first Ex, a super smart (but alcoholic and emotionally unstable) LAWYER. It was worth every penny to get it over fast and get out of his orbit (and I had no kids, so could afford to take a financial hit.)

      I am so glad you are safe and well and this asshole is out of your life. That is truly what is most important.

      • tothemax, I agree with KarenE. Your safety is important. You can consult a lawyer if the outcome bothers you enough, – to see if anything is possible now – i.e. he hid assets etc. But if you are happy, just leave well enough alone. Good riddance to the guy.

        • When I decided to finally divorce my abusive, serial cheater, I made up my mind I would rather live in a box under a bridge than to spend one more day with him. I’m not living in a box, but a much bigger, nicer home, with a new man, more money and my health and sanity. So yes, I agree the most important thing is he’s gone!

          • I am a person who has always been frugal because $ has always meant security to me. This process showed me that some $ is too expensive. While we sorta did 50/50 it was a bit more tilted to him and he managed to squeak an expensive vacation and half of my savings account (around $4000) because I couldn’t prove that he spent $ on his OW (heck I didn’t even know who his OW was while we were writing the separation agreement) but as the lawyer told me it would be expensive to fight this and not really worth it. I will probably have to work a few more years because of it but that will be better than living in a situation where I was treated like a piece of trash. My STBX built himself a whole new life and has skipped over to his “new friends” and “new interests” while I try to pick up the pieces for me and my older teens. The tears still well up when I think of how brutal he was to me once I realized what was happening and how he obviously never loved me. I now realize how alone we are in this world (friends and family are great but it is a spouse who is supposed to be your rock). Life is certainly not fair but now I really appreciate the small things.

    • I walked away from a lot of money also. He was a serial cheater, sociopath, making scary threats after the 25 years of lies started to come out. I was a complete wreck and decided my health and sanity were not worth a fair settlement. I had enough to survive on and support my teens but have never worked less than 2 full-time jobs post-divorce (it was 2 FT, 1 PT with some side gigs the first 1.5 years) to be able to get a place for the kids and I and get by. He has lots of money, the latest of decades of whores to live in his I’m a portstar fantasy and living in his lovely home with him, no friends – literally none, but does have his awful mother and sister who still don’t know the facts. He is pretty damn happy withhow it all turned out I think. I am recovering emotionally and physically but will be forever damaged financially and am beyond exhausted. The emotional and physical conditions are far more important though!!

  • I divorced my narcissist BPD XH and it was a horrible experience that lasted only 14 months through a week long trial, which is pretty quick timeline (fast because I pushed it through to the finish line, got documents out ASAP, didn’t fight over stupid shit I didn’t care about and saved energy for the big battles, kept on my lawyer 24/7 re case/depositions/experts/failed bs mediations, etc.). I ended up with the majority of our assets, full support, full custody and the best part is I’m totally and completely legally free of that abusive sicko who ruled my life for 26 years. No contact is key.

  • The web site and FB page called “One Mom’s Battle”, run by Tina Swithin is a great help. I had this same problem and learned a heck of a lot from her page and books. The advice given above by Tracy Shorn is extremely good advice. Remember, this is a marathon and your desire to get it over will not stop him from dragging it on and on, wasting money, just to abuse you using the legal system. They want you to just give up, but don’t do it. Hang in there and you’ll win in the end.

  • This is a important post for anyone whose dealing with
    the disordered selfish narcissist. When I discovered the affair with the Owhore I immediately served him divorce papers. He was angry & cruel towards me.
    I don’t know why., he said he didn’t love me & wanted out. He should’ve been happy but after 34 years married I wasn’t going to be used any longer.
    Freeing ourselves from these horrible people is the only way to live a honest healthy life. Good luck to all the faithful spouses. Stay strong it’s worth it. 💪🏼

  • Cowardly chump here. 5 months from Dday. Wife had a 5 month affair with an ex con. I was ready to pull the trigger but backed out as my lawyer pitched me a deal I couldn’t live with. Basically, on top of paying both our legal bills, I would have to write a $50k check from my employer’s stock plan, pay alimony for 2 years, and pay child support for 16 years while she keeps the house and primary custody. I decided I want to spend my savings to pay off every debt possible and enjoy my success rather than having my accounts frozen.
    In my delay, I got a promotion which makes the math even worse. I went from 3x her income to 4x, not including vesting stocks that she will also be entitled to.
    She clearly has some unknown personality disorder so I’m experiencing the classic unrepentant but sometimes nice cheater.
    Those who would argue to gtfo asap may not have an appreciation for transferring my hard earned assets to a disordered cheater.
    My plan is to get my finances in total order, which will have the side affect of lowering the savings division.
    I know the marriage is toxic but I believe a cost benefit analysis says to remain status quo, make smart financial moves, and wait for the next inevitable cheating episode or ideally ex to just get bored and agree to end this in a mediation where I have the upper hand due to patience.

    • Just be careful that she doesn’t decide to file first and then you end up in an even worse situation. Don’t be blindsided. Also, take her off your credit cards if you can and take tight control over the finances so you don’t just end up losing all of your money anyway through her spending. Be generous with spending related to your daughters needs, however so you don’t look like you are neglecting your daughter if your wife decides to divorce you later. Also document the time she spends with your daughter and the time you spend with her and what you do to care for her vs. your wife. If your wife has more affairs document every moment she spends away from her daughter to fuck him and every penny spent down to bus or gas money if applicable. Make sure you are prepared to fight hard if she ends up being the one to pull the trigger. Also, do what you can to defend against any false accusations of abuse. This person is dangerous and cannot be trusted in any way.

      • Appreciate as always CiR. Finances are under control. She can’t get to the stocks (main asset), her $1200 credit limit is maxed out. I’ve reviewed the credit reports. Our joint checking account goes to 0 after I pay the bills and she goes on a shopping spree. By my calculations it is better to absorb that small cost and get to live in my nice house with my daughter and spend my money freely. I picked up golf and am absolutely loving it – while at the same time realizing it is simply a distraction.
        From what I read here it sounds like divorce in 2 years is inevitable and I am operating to optimize my situation under that timeline.
        My mental health is improving though I still have bad days.
        Most frustrating is that these cheaters simply cannot fathom how egregious their actions are. There’s no point trying to convince them that crushing your spouse’s hopes, dreams, and goals due to pure selfishness requires complete repentance and a core change to their thought processes for even a chance at reconciliation. That’s why I feel divorce is inevitable but I simply cannot stomach the shit sandwich right now.

        • I feel you friend. It’s a personal choice. Sometimes playing the long game works out. Best of luck.

  • She’s correct. Whatever your cheater is afraid- use that slyly. XW was afraid of exposure- didn’t want to be in a courtroom with my lawyer.

    Also, gray rock. No emotions. This confused the hell out of my XW. She wanted drama, she wanted conflict. I didn’t give it to her- and it confused the hell out of her. She didn’t know what to do.

  • When the separation starts, get all your facts straight. My ex tried to get me to pay her an allowance, so that she “can follow her dreams” – that is what her lawyer actually wrote on the letter. But our tax returns of the previous year listed her income as slightly higher. Plus the kids stayed with me (they refused to stay with her). My lawyer clamped down pretty quickly.

    Also, have a “nuclear option” in your back pocket. If they escalate, you can bring it out. In my case it was a police report on her assault (of me), which I told the officer to hang on to but not to charge. She (the officer) was quite supportive.

    Well after the divorce she tried to threaten to change the financial arrangements. That can’t be done here in Canada.

    Finally, she went through the same 3 cycles – friendliness, sadness, aggression. Especially during the sad phase, don’t respond. Never give in on a single thing- because it will be the crack in the dam wall.

    • Alsi, I got very good advice from friends. She left the house at 8 PM the night. The next morning I was told – go and secure the money. She had rights to my account, I didn’t have any to hers. So by lunch time I had opened a different cheque account and moved the money across. Again, the staff at the bank was ultra helpful and understanding.

  • Stay calm in all interactions, be prepared with information and as CL says go on the offensive and ask for more than he does.

    Dont let your worries about your kids be played. Stay stoic.

    The best phrase I used in interacting with my ex post divorce when she comes back for kibbles:

    I gave you my A- game and that game is done.

    Shut her right down on any expectation of kibbles.

    Good luck, stay strong.

  • 29. 29 times I have been in court with my ex narcissist. And 9 times since the divorce was finalized. They don’t stop. Stay as far away as humanly possible.

    • No wonder your moniker is ‘Enough Already’. Do you live in fear or do you just get to a stage of Oh god what next. I really feel for you, it’s like you are constantly re-living it. Honestly my heart goes out to you. It should not be possible for this to happen.

    • Enough Already,

      I am also in the 20+ club (20+ hearings since my husband, now ex-husband, left five years ago). I decided to ‘let him win’ the last round to avoid racking up legal fees beyond the $100K I have spent defending myself. Met our dentist, who is a childhood friend of my ex, this week for appointment. Our dentist felt sorry for my ex-husband, saying it wasn’t fair that I got the lion’s share of physical custody! My ex abandoned us, even after I urged him not to leave and told him that he could have affair partners while married to me! (I was an Olympic gold medalist chump.) My ex is still, many years after leaving ME, spreading harmful rumors, including rumors that I commit felonies, I filed for divorce, I cheated on him, I alienated the kids against him. I think that he scared off my first/last/only partner since separation five years ago (guy I thought was my friend for nearly thirty years before we started dating, after my husband left). But then again, it seems extremely likely that my last partner (post-separation boyfriend) is a covert narc as well as a jerk (at least to me in many ways). Sick of this @&!#. If you married a person who has severe personality disorders, brace yourself for many years of harassment. Guys don’t seem to want to date struggling old moms (of kids still at home) who are divorced from scary, aggressive men. Oftentimes over the last several years, I have felt permanently screwed in the worst way. Sadly, the kids also suffer. I really hope that I can find permanent, family-sustaining work in the area soon. Never imagined, with a professional background, that I would become a ‘welfare mom.’ Feels rough and embarrassing.

      I wish the OP well in her journey forward!

  • I am strictly No Contact with my narcissistic retired Military cheater. Now he wants access to my house to inventory the contents. This little shack was purchased to house our sons while they attended college. It is tiny and in poor repair. It is furnished with second hand furniture, loans from friends and family, curb finds and my creative efforts.

    I discovered from his financial affidavit that he is loaded. He makes a lot of money. I am so angry that his children went without and he makes so much money. I am so angry that I pinch pennies and watch for the sales at the thrift shops while he has so much money. I do without while he makes a generous six figure salary on top of a military pension. He abused me and the kids financially.

    He will have to pay me. Until that happens I live in peace in this little shack. This little shack is as clean as my hands can make it. It is comfortable, organized, a cheerful space with books and music. I don’t have any money but I do have morals.

    He can inventory this little shack. He will look ridiculous. I have duct taped repaired curb find club chairs. He has matching Italian Leather Recliners. I have a 1972 GE radio, he has four supersized smart TVs. I have a borrowed laptop from my son, he has two top of the line computers and a laptop and an IPad plus his work devices. I have a borrowed twin bed, he has a California King Tempur-Pedic Bed. I have a small bathroom with fixtures from 1968, he has three complete bathrooms. He has six cars, a motorcycle, three Hot Rod Cars, I have the eleven year old car needing repairs that I left in. He lives in nearly 5,000 square feet, I live in a tiny little shack of 600 square feet. That he thinks this is equitable is evidence of his narcissism.

    I can’t wait to be divorced. Any money will be more money that I had access to in our marriage.

    • I’m retired military & most service members are terrified that their spouses will “take” half their pension. I believe knowledge is power. Because your ex is retired military, you’re in luck! You can get up to 50% of his retirement / pension & up to 65% of it if it includes Alimony & Child Support. All you need is a specifically worded court award in the divorce decree. The agency that handles Dept. of Defense pay is the Defense Finance & Accounting Service or DFAS. That means if your STBX’s new six-figure paying job is a government job, DFAS is who handles his pay, too. So, if you haven’t already shared these resources with your legal team, please do. It will make your life much, much less painful.

      Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) DFAS pays all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as major DoD contractors and vendors.
      Call toll free:1-888-DFAS411
      Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern

      You absolutely need to have the military menber’s Social Security number. You’ll need to know current or retired rank, the dates of military service,

      Military Pay Charts
      https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/Pay-Tables.html

      Child Support & Alimony instructions
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/childsupportalimony/startpayment.html

      Medical Support
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/childsupportalimony/medicalsupport.html

      Former Spouses Protection Act
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/usfspa/legal.html

      Acceptable Court Award Verbiage Example
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/usfspa/faqs.html
      “For examples of acceptable award language, please see Appendix A of Chapter 29 of the DoD Financial Management Regulation, Volume 7B. If the retired pay award language is not acceptable, the former spouse must have the court clarify the amount of the retired pay award by expressing it in an acceptable manner.”

      Retirement Pension Garnishment
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/usfspa/receivepay.html

      High 3 pay calculator
      https://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/High-3-Calculator/

      Survivor Beneficiary Program
      https://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/FormerSpouseSBPDeemedElection.html

      From DFAS:
      “The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), 10 U.S.C. 1408, accomplishes two things:
      It recognizes the right of state courts to distribute military retired pay to a spouse or former spouse (hereafter, the former spouse), and
      It provides a method of enforcing these orders through the Department of Defense.
      The USFSPA does not automatically entitle a former spouse to a portion of the member’s retired pay. A former spouse must have been awarded a portion of a member’s military retired pay as property in their final court order. The USFSPA also provides a method of enforcing current and/or previously owed (arrears) child support and current alimony awarded in the court order. For more information please see 10 USC 1408 and chapter 29 in the DoD Financial Management Regulation.

      Court orders enforceable under the USFSPA include final decrees of divorce, dissolution, annulment, and legal separation, and court-ordered property settlements incident to such decrees. The pertinent court order must provide for the payment of child support, alimony, or retired pay as property, to a former spouse.”

      I hope all this info helps! All kinds of happy thoughts to you & your sons. 😊

      • Nemesis, my lawyer told me that I am a divorce lawyer’s dream client. My lawyer reassured me that I would be granted spousal support. He also said it would take time. I think my financially abusive military cheater is trying to starve me out.

        I know my military cheater doesn’t think I should get a penny of “his” money. I know that he has hidden money and moved money from any account I can access. He also stopped the one joint credit card I had. Found that out trying to fuel up my car. I wonder how that will look to the judge.

        I am bewildered that my military cheater is contesting the divorce. He so obviously doesn’t want me. I guess he finally has his dream marriage, I’m gone and he has all the money.

        Thank you for taking the time to list those sites. I took a screenshot. It makes me feel so much better to realize someone did that for me. It has been a terrible week. My beloved dog died. My car needs repair. Your response was a bright spot, a reminder that I have support. I am not alone.

        • This is just awful and heart wrenching. I am sending you love and luck!!! I’m so sorry. It will get better; I can assure you that. It just might get worst before that happens.

        • Thirtythreeyearsachump, I’m glad my post brightened your day. That makes me feel better, so thanks. 😊 I’m so sorry you have to deal with STBX’s financial abuse. A good Forensic Accountant will fix you right up! 😉 I might guess that he’s contesting the divorce to break you financially & give him time to move all assets to other accounts or person(s).

          I’m so sorry for your pup’s loss. 💔😓😢😭 💔 That’s awful.

          I’m glad your legal team is pleased with your case, that’s great to hear. Too many times military spouses don’t know their rights or have access to resources that can help them & they end up getting effed. I didn’t want that to happen to you. Things are looking up. 😊

          You’re not alone, you have us. 😊🤗😊🤗 We’ve got your back & want only the best for you and your family.

  • I could have written this a letter. CL is so right. My winning formula was: (1) no contact and complete banishment from my emotional/mental world (never ever show him your feelings on anything ever again), (2) lawyer up and let lawyer do your talking RE divorce 100%, (3) make it hurt for him (my ex only complied with signing a fair divorce agreement when he literally had 15 minutes left before my attorney was to file our request with the court and request sanctions for his bad behavior, which likely would have been granted).

    Also, only communicate with him via email so all of his nastiness is documented. Best of luck. It truly sucks, but you can survive

  • I haven’t read all the comments. And I’m sure others will tell you to be very very careful. Bide your time. Document everything- quietly.
    I found Bill Eddy’s book “Splitting: Protecting yourself while divorcing a narcissist” https://www.amazon.ca/Splitting-Protecting-Borderline-Narcissistic-Personality/dp/1608820254 to be spot on. It is SCARY. but please take advice. Get a great family lawyer and take their advice. I had a lawyer who was familiar with this book and “controlling and difficult” personalities. The narc-ex I was married to went mental (2 visits to a psyche ward) after I found out. He also went scorched earth. It cost me near on $60,000 (over 6 years!!!). Yes, you read it right. But don’t let that deter you. Step by step. You can be free. I ended up with lots of assets. Enough to be free.
    If I had beleived my lawyer- if I had done as she suggested, right off the bat it would have cost me a lot less, and taken less time. But I was a good little wife appliance, and I had huge faith in the goodness of the narc (deep down). It was all a mirage- not a marriage.
    Sending you all kinds of well-wishes and heartfelt energy and support.

  • I’m just a dick ..I loved my husband ..my life ..my kids ..our life ..forgave first indescretion ..well I say forgave …we don’t do we really .. then out of blue he did it again . Broke me . Broke my kids . I loved this fucker. Part of me always will . 3 years later. I know what he is I know what he did …twice ..that I know of. Have done no contact ..it works ..thank god . This site saved me . Thank you Tracey. I’m healing.. I’m letting go ..I feel that meh ..is within sight . I’ve made a life and left a cheater . I read here every day and a UK patron
    .will continue to be ..spread the love
    .but I think this is the last time that I’m checking in ..love to chumplady and nation .
    .could not have got here without you all X

  • as per usual, chump lady, you RIGHT ON THE MONEY. how i wish that i had found your site earlier. would have saved a lot of time and wasted energy trying to understand what the hell was going through narcissist’s mind.

  • Talking about evil exes, how do you deal with frequent years-(decades-)long character assassination by exes who abused and discarded you and still publicly malign you and make false allegations against you to the public on-and offline? Anybody can anonymously rate you on MyLife. Employers may look at online reviews of prospective employees to make hiring decisions. As I, a late middle-aged mother, need to secure a family-sustaining job, I am worried about how false accusations by abusive, cruel, dishonest exes will affect my chances of securing a decent job. And I didn’t even leave them—they left me after they found and secured ‘the greener grass on the other side of the fence.’

    • Potential employer with 3 pinches of brain isn’t going to believe what (s)he sees on a website where everybody can post whatever they want. If they do, you’re better off not working there.

      You live your life with dignity and maturity regardless of what whoever is saying. If people see a person who lives in a normal and mature way, who do you think people believe, her or her ex with some wild accusations?

      I’ve been there under different circumstances and it works. Also, you probably have more supporters and friends than you realize.

  • In my case, ex-husband2/the evil one, filed against me.
    I waited him out.
    D-Day hit, he moved out, he came back, wreckconciliation, then GTFO-day, then he came back around over the next month or so talking wreckconciliation all the while I was documenting and reporting to certain friends just in case
    I’ve seen enough 48 Hours, dateline, snapped to know what could happen if I made threats or filed first, it became confrontational.
    About three months after D-Day, the OWs mother skulked around my Facebook page and found a mutual friend. She contacted that mutual friend and got the truth about everything. TEO was enraged, but not at her mom, me. I was was the bad guy in this because I told the mutual friend everything.
    All the while, I did nothing but focus on my Autistic daughter, myself, documenting everything he was doing, and his Facebook posts…
    He finally hired a lawyer to draw up the papers but I refused to sign unless it contained every dollar I was entitled to for child support, and several specific items in the divorce decree related to DD.
    He was pissed, but he wanted out so badly to be with owhore that he agreed.
    Our divorce was final a month later, and her married mrs.dumbass less than 60 days later.
    Four years later, he still claims I’m the bad guy.
    Bitch, please.
    For me, time and patience have been my friends.
    No contact 99.999% of the time helps too.

  • Hi Persephone,

    Thanks for writing. I’d prefer to work for someone who has the sense not to believe hearsay, but beggars can’t be choosers—I need a permanent, full-time job in the area and I no longer believe that most people are logical and reasonable. In the job hiring process, a lot of times, the employer does not know the applicant in question, many applicants apply for a single position, and an employer will weed out anyone who looks ‘questionable,’ even though the applicant might be an upstanding person. Employers don’t usually want to ‘gamble.’ Fortunately, I do have some supporters.

  • hi, cheaters actually believe their own hype, my ex thought the school actually liked him.Maybe they did but he was a addict, he believes his own lies. chump lady said they wont volunteer information and that is true. ex has a lot of flying monkeys around him. thats their choice.

  • My therapist said, ‘the person you choose for a partner is one decision that will follow you your entire lefe especially if you have children with them.” As an idealist at 17 I probably would have taken it as I will be with this person for the rest of my life which was what I thought marriage was. Not perfect but a partner to share our lives with.
    I preach what she told me to my kids and any younger person because it is the truth!
    The ex showed up to my mom’s memorial service but did not approach us. I knew it was an omen. Weeks later I’m served with papers to do away with alimony due to his health reasons, closing his business ,yadda yadda , yadda One pissy part of is that I have to give my financials to him plus he wants to control how I spend my settlement money. Five years out divorced three. I had to file contempt charges every moth for almost a year then he paid for a year without issue now year three and he can;t take it. Narcs never forgive or let go.
    If you are starting, put that if anyone files contempt the offending party pays all attorney fees, and try to get a lump sum as opposed to alimony that keeps them tied to you and in control.

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