Dealing with a narcissistic ex

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  • #43617 Report



    Does anyone here have an ex that they believe has narcissistic personality disorder? I think my ex has it and he seems to be incredibly manipulative and it’s unlikely to change. Three years after he left me for someone else (who he is now married to) and he still tries to control me and our child often returns from his house with, what I believe are messages for me, in the form of sly and petty digs. . Our child often comes back from his historically upset because he misses his dad and is asked this time if he could try to prepare him before his return so that he wasn’t so distressed. I thought this had worked as I had a much happier child upon return. Only to be told later that he hadn’t cried because ‘daddy Told me not to cry because he says that you told him he makes me cry so I mustn’t cry because because you are saying he has made me cry.’

    Whilst I want to be grown up, it’s hard to let it go.

    why is he still so intent on controlling me? And being manipulative? If he is so happy with this woman,  why does’t he just get on with life? He left me, so where’s his problem?

    he refuses to engage in any active Co parenting. I’ve invited him for Christmas and birthdays etc when our child is with me and he always declines and says it’s down to me that we can’t Co parent. Apparently he believes it’s not what I want and I’m just pretending to make him look bad and says it’s me and not him that’s preventing it! Communication with him is often like this. Full of twists and turns.

    Maybe it’s my perception, but he now seems to be embracing all the things he was never interested in before with me. Eg our child advises they are getting a dog. id had a dog with him previously. This dog he was not interested in. He rarely walked her etc and would kick her across the kitchen if he’d had a bad day and she dared to walk in front of him. When he left I struggled to afford to pay for her so he told me to have her put down. She was subsequently put down but due to health grounds. I had to borrow money to pay for her to be put to sleep because he’d left me so broke. I’d been looking into whether I could get another dog now And had been talking about this with my child. Now suddenly he’s getting a dog.

    maybe it’s coincidence and it sounds petty, but these coincidences seem to be happening fairly frequently.

    He often smirks at me at drop offs and I’ve become adept at telling when I’m about to get some news come my way as I get an extra large smirk before a few days later getting a piece of information fed to me from our child that he thinks will hurt me.

    is anyone else dealing with this sort of ex? How do you approach it?

    grateful for any tips as like I say, I can’t see this will improve with time!

    #43620 Report


    Yep, me 🙋‍♀️

    I’ve read up so much about this as I tried desepertly to understand and ‘fix’ everything.

    I came to the conclusion after reading everything that you will never win. It’s far better to come to terms with the fact that you cannot argue, rationalise help them see the right way or make them have any empathy. In their minds it just doesn’t register. You may have given them everything that they charmed you into to begin with, but them they turn on you.

    I’m trying to heal it’s so hard and I’m strong but he stripped me of everything. It’s coming back slowly but you cannot negotiate with these types of personality disorder. In their eyes they will always be right and you wrong.

    #43625 Report


    Thanks for your reply weenieone. How do you manage this and stop him from using a child like this? It’s really very tiring. He too stripped me of everything (including my job). My child is all I have left and he seems to want to destroy my relationship with him as well with his negativity towards me. The problem is my son is so easily bought. He responds well to his fathers presents and manipulation. I’m continually hearing from my son that ‘this needs to happen to make it fair for my daddy’ but yet my son wouldn’t consider it in terms of me ie his dad expects 3 phone calls a week when he’s with me but when my son goes there I struggle to get any phone calls agreed and it’s not 3. My son wouldn’t think that wasn’t fair. It’s so difficult because I can see my son being brainwashed in front of my eyes. How can I explain to my son that fairness isn’t  about giving his dad what he wants without criticising his father?

    #43629 Report



    Add me to the list too.  The only thing these ‘types’ are happy with is total destruction and you’d think the kids would be a no go and only you will be the target.  When you realise what you’re dealing with and start picking yourself up they then will move on to the child because they don’t have as much hold on you.  This is the toughest part because you have to not engage, greyrock and ignore the behaviour which is near impossible when you can see the impact on your innocent child.  The smirk I know all to well.  A few days later my anxiety and bad feeling from that look is matched with some action of control by the ex.  You get so used to the pattern that you start to trust you gut again and know somethings planned to hurt you or your child.  Stay strong and remember you’re not alone.  There’s so many of us experiencing exactly the same and secretly rebuilding ourselves whilst protecting the children from the damage we can’t stop.  Remember mums you’re dealing with a toddler who you’ve said no to.  Have you ever tried reasoning with a toddler having a tantrum? Stay strong and be proud of how far you’ve come.

    #43632 Report


    Yes, me! I am currently going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage to someone who not only has some characteristics, but all the characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I am very lucky to have a very supportive GP and counsellor, both of whom have experience of this. But believe me, even with 3 years of counselling and treatment for PTSD, I am still only just coming to terms with the fact that I am co-parenting with a psychopath who you just CANNOT reason with. He charms my friends and family, making me question my own sanity on a daily basis. He has no idea how much his manipulations emotionally affect his children or he doesn’t care, because all he cares about is winning and hurting/punishing me. My only successful technique of dealing with him has been the grey rock method. Literally, three word texts as the only communication. I never meet him face to face and never speak to him on the phone. AS one of the previous comments states, you can’t stop what he’s doing to the children when they aren’t with you, but you can be solid, constant, loving and fair to your child when they are with you. When you start noticing the patterns, you can start to predict it and be better armed to deal with it. And yes, you really are NOT on your own x

    #43634 Report


    My goodness, I didn’t realise this was so common.

    …I also lost my job he provided nothing financially to support us, but had two cars worth over 200k! Refused to support me financially. He always used to tell me how important he was and he thought I was a lardarse (a useless one apparently )  I became a shell. My friends didn’t recognise me as the confident vibrant gym fit person I was. I saw the red flags but ignored them. He was voilent when I was pregnant too (never told anybody that). Charmed his way through his friends and their wives so they shut me out and made me look awful. It took such alot to get the confidence to leave. I literally have tears running down my face reading everybody else’s stories.

    In response to him and her. She is only three, he’s done this before and his ex left him with their  son when he was also 3 years old. He has seen her once in the 3 months we’ve been separated. He can’t be bothered to drive, it interferes with his social life and being able to spend time with his hareem of women. I honestly thought at 50 years old he would be a man. It was like having two toddlers. I dread the days when he calls which is every night by video. But I stay calm. Say little to nothing and don’t get into any lengthy conversation with him. I guess that’s the grey walling?  I don’t know how this works going forwards but I feel that I could do with therapy, they should come with a health warning should they. Xx

    #43639 Report



    As mentioned above, the only way to deal with this is to just acknowledge and do whatever you think is right. Put as much emotional distance between that person and yourself as you can. There is no way in changing their behaviour and they can only feed on you if you let them. They have a short attention span and out of sight is usually out of mind. So if you carry on and just do, they will not engage long enough because they are so easily distracted. They aren’t attached enough to their children to actually bond with them. The children are just there to make them feel better. If you are constant, loving and caring, the children will know the difference and hopefully not become like that other parent. Our children , 10 and 18 now, know very well how their mother ticks and have learned to deal with it. Just be there for them and always remember, now that you are separated you can just close the door and he is out. And you need to keep a watch on this door and use it. You make him part of your life and it is you, who decides when to show him the door. After four years I really start to enjoy this and whenever I fall back into my old habits of fighting her unreasonable behaviour, I just lock her out and think what I would do if she wasn’t their mother, but a third party. As she doesn’t think like the textbook mother I just can’t assume any reason. As our youngest one said, it is her way or the highway. So sometimes we have to take the highway. I only wonder where he got that one from ;-).

    #43640 Report


    @weenieone..mine bought a £60k car from the joint account before we had a chance to split it. When I asked him to wait until he had his own account, he tried to run me over. Thought it best to try and get back in the car, but the pressure and abuse was so bad I asked him to stop and let me out. He wouldn’t and kept driving faster and faster. Eventually I jumped out while he slowed for a pedestrian. Not sure how i didn’t break both my legs.

    I have a feeling pregnancy is a thing, he was at his absolute worst during both of mine. I have subsequently found out that he was sleeping with my best friend and prostitutes during this time. Jeez putting it into black and white, it sounds like a bloody TV show. I can’t believe I lived like that for twenty years and thought it was normal.

    #43687 Report

    Bradford mummy 2020

    Yes same here. I have found few helpful tips in my months since leaving this psychopath.
    1. grey stoning. They do it to get a kick, to feel they have won, to gloat when they get a reaction. Be a stone: give them NOTHING. Example: when you get a passive aggressive email, just skim through for the relevant questions and reply to only those – in brief.
    2. Your child will see through the act eventually. You will be there for them when it happens.
    3. Try not to engage in the toxic tit for tat. You do you. You can’t every change them. They think they are right. It’s like arguing with a brick wall. They will tell you black is white. Save your energy.

    if you disengage they will eventually lose interest. It might take years but it will happen. I’m still waiting but I have hope x

    #43755 Report


    Thanks so much for all your replies. It’s nice knowing I’m not alone!

    #43758 Report


    Omg every single one of your oats has described what I have gone through and the daily torment from my ex. He will message constantly when he wants something but if I need him for the children or message him he will ignore me or leave it for hours on end. I am currently being taken to court so that I cannot move the children out of the school in the village we live in so I can move back to my original home, he is using things like mental health (even though I have no record now) only positive natal from 5 years ago and the fact I have pain from endometriosis which is brought on by stress…of my ex had not had the pain it doesn’t exists. Even to the case that I called an ambulance once when I was in so much pain and he made me crawl on my hands and knees to answer the door to Paramedics whilst he stood at the top of the stairs. I left my house and left with nothing after 10 years because his controlling and narcissistic behaviour and put downs were too much but as I had nothing his dad bought a house literally 500m from my house and I’m loving there….I do pay rent like a lodger but don’t get the same rights as one. Boiler breaks….they leave me for days with no water as my ex has the kids so I’m not important, or have a key and just let themselves in when they feel like it. I am just so done.

    #43771 Report

    Oh my I can relate too:'(, it is so hard not to let it all consume you, how do you all cope and get the strength back to taking back your life? Do you ever met anyone else? Who actually genuinely cares.

    It is so hurtful when all you have ever wanted is the best for the other person and they have just abused your kind nature and then in turn using your innocent child as part of there agenda to hurt you, for what? Being a kind person !! I just can’t comprehend it.

    I feel I let my child down everytime I drop off to him, how do you all deal with this? And then the free time I do get I’m just constantly worried about what’s being said and how it’s all effecting our child and then bracing myself also as will get the brunt upon return as be playing up kicking me as everything is mummy’s fault.

    I just wish we all didn’t have to go through all this


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