After Divorcing a Narcissist: The Struggles Continue

I’ve almost survived another weekend that my children spent with their dad. I have just 4 1/2 hours left to go.

Of course the weekend started with chaos and confusion. I asked him not to go to pick up our children until I got home from work, told him that the babysitter didn’t know him. I sent him an email about this, followed by a text.

He ignored me. He went to my house several minutes early in fact, while I was just two blocks away in traffic. My young babysitter called, hysterical, afraid she had given my daughter away to a kidnapper or crazy person. I did not tell her that, in fact, she did give her to a crazy person.

And then I found out from her that he entered my house, against the court order and several emails from me. He was inside my home. Again, pushing the boundaries and showing me he can do whatever he wants. Showing me that even a Court Order won’t protect me, or protect my 19-year-old babysitter.

And then there was the sporting equipment fiasco. I made the critical mistake of emailing him about soccer and baseball equipment for my child’s weekend practices and games. I did it for my child, to make sure he had all the equipment he needs this weekend. But it set off a firestorm of emails back and forth with my EX, with him demanding to give him everything I’ve bought, from socks to bats to shirts to batting gloves to a soccer ball.

I capitulated, of course.

It didn’t help. You cannot appease a NPD.

He then refused to pick up the equipment on Friday when he picked up the children. Then he told me he would come back and pick it up Friday night. He never showed up. He then insisted he would pick it up on Saturday. He wrote that I was “silly” in an email. He told me I had to be there at 10:30 am when he would arrive. I told him I would leave it outside the door. Again, an opportunity for him to come on my little piece of city property.

But more than that, he got to send me more than a dozen emails and texts about these matters, upsetting me to no end.

The only way to survive a NPD is No Contact. But when you have children with a NPD, this is impossible. They are tenacious, insatiable monsters who thrive on drama and beating down their “enemies.” They will spend thousands of dollars fighting over a $25 clock. (More on that to come, I’m sure, as I deal with divvying up the household next week.)

Mine refuses to use a shared calendar. He would rather email me. When he wants to get away with something, he sends multiple email chains about the same subject, contradicting himself, so he can use whichever email chain looks best in court. He throws out a proposal, I agonize over it, and then he retracts it like it never happened. And when he’s really feeling hateful and wants to do something awful, he does it via text.

Now I go off to pick up my children in a few hours at my son’s baseball game. I asked him to meet me at the entrance to pass off my children. He has decided he wants to go in, to create a scene and make me uncomfortable. “We’ll meet you inside,” he wrote to me. So I will put on my best poker face and pretend it doesn’t bother me. Because if it does, he’ll do this forever. Linger in places where everyone stares at him, places where he knows he’s not wanted. A real NPD trait. 

These are little things and big things. Baseball gloves and entering my house against a Court Order. They all make me feel scared and powerless. 

I’m not feeling good about this life of mine right now. My attorney told me that he’s going to do this to me until my children are 21. That’s a long time. And we’re only given one life.



7 thoughts on “After Divorcing a Narcissist: The Struggles Continue

  1. Ugh. I know I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes, but I do know what it’s like dealing with an NPD personality (albeit outside having children). I also still have certain tenets in mind after rereading portions of The Gift of Fear recently. (I’m happy to send you a copy if you’d like. It is life changing and touches directly on some of the behaviors you describe.)

    IMO, as close to no contact is the way to go, even if he kicks and screams at first. (Let him! Better than you kicking and screaming.) He can send you all the emails he wants, but I really believe putting things on the joint calendar is the way to go … whether or not he wants to. “I’m not emailing you anymore. Look at the calendar. You cannot come in my house anymore or I’ll have you arrested for trespass,” with no more email follow up, because that follow up benefits only him and he will keep milking you for it. As for the babysitter, she should know never open the door for him–not ever, not even if someone is visibly chasing after him with a machete–but instead to call the police.

    • Thank you so much. It’s funny, I read The Gift of Fear a few years ago and never imagined it would apply to my H, my marriage, or a future divorce. I will go and re-read it. Thank you.

      I’m going to start using the joint calendar again. I think it allows me to add things like sports equipment. And yes, no contact, no contact, no contact.

      I don’t know why I imagined anything good or productive would come out of me suggesting ideas for my son’s sporting equipment/uniforms. Nothing good ever come out of any dialogue with a NPD. You can’t win.

      I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, I can’t control it.

      Yep. Funny were I find truth these days.

  2. I agree my 1st ex was the same way and I kept trying to be accommodating and no conflict but people like that see that is weakness – and they just keep pushing an pushing and pushing and they’ll push til they break you. The only thing they respect is strength – you have to stand up to him and the advice she gave you above is priceless. you might also check out the blog one mom’s battle and her support group and . I’m so sorry you and your kids have to deal with this craziness – it’s so unhealthy and stressful. Prayers.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. My children have spent such a small amount of time with him that they have been protected so far. The custody evaluation revealed that they are doing surprisingly well, thank god.

      They are so little, but they are already seeing through their father. I feel like they think of him as an uncle or something. Not a real dad, and certainly not someone they count on, or confide in, or ask for advice.

      I’m in a dangerous period, though. I’m trying to take it day by day and give my children tons of love and security – trying to surround them with good people.

      Thank you so much for reading this craziness.

  3. I am so sorry! I live this still, after 4 years. Entering my home, emails, control, all of it. My heart hurts for you. It’s a long road we face. Keep centered on you. Gain strength. The battles continue and the lies they spin via email and submit to court are atrocious. Stay strong, my friend.

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