Marriage, Separation and Narcissism

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  • #47539 Report


    Hello everyone,

    I am knew here and having never done this before (posting on a forum) I don’t know if I am doing the right thing.

    I have been single for 5 months now having just come out of a narcissistic relationship 16 years and marriage 3 years. I have 2 step kids and 2 of my own which are with the mother. I see my children all 4 of them every other weekend as two weeks after having our trial separation my mum was diagnosed with Dementia and then in September my dad dyeing of Dementia and my wife saying she wanted to make the separation permanent. I now live with my mum to help and support as this dreadful disease takes hold.

    I felt as if I was coping with everything, it has been hard but I realise I am not coping. I am throwing myself into projects, online support, helping others but I know now I am not handling me and my issues.

    I have got us both to agree to a divorce which is great.

    I honestly don’t know how to do this. I feel lost, alone (I know I’m not) , sad, wanting to cry but at the same time I am trying to push these feelings away as I know I have to be here for my mum.


    Can someone please offer some advise as to how I can move on, care for my kids when I have them.


    Thank you



    #47540 Report



    I am sorry you are going through this hard time. For reasons I also live with my mum and I also do a lot of care for her. I have both my children with me as I am a widow but I struggle to spend time with them not feeling guilty that I am leaving my mum at home. My advice is to see if you can get careers into help you as you may find you become to resent your mum. I find that my relationship with my mum has changed and I feel my home is like another place of work.
    what ever you do take care of yourself and enjoy your children.

    #47542 Report


    Hello Jason,

    your situation is bad and there is no way around acknowledging it. You lost a big part of the foundation your life is built on and still have to function on a day-to-day basis. It must be extremely difficult, and I would feel overwhelmed too, if I were in your shoes. Take it slow.

    We love the highs and want to wish away the lows very often. Work, drugs, helping others tend to be the main avoidance strategies, and you pointed out where your path might be going. But we know, it will catch up some way or the other. My advice is, make yourself familiar with the stages of grieve, look at the strong points in your life, look out for what you can learn to improve your situation.

    As the highs, the lows are only a stage in our life. How we get out of them determines our life, humble in highs and strong in lows, not the fact that we got into them. How we get there is arbitrary, chance. How we get out is work and personality and a good portion of luck :-0. Trust your strengths, trust time and work hard and it will be overcome.

    My version was ABC analysis, take it by the hour, day, month and listen to myself. I did feel the pain and acknowledged it. So I could heal. And with the kids. I did what I could and that was enough. I stretched myself and they could see me aching. They were aching as well, they were grieving as well. So were in it together. And we came out of it together.

    I wish you strength and luck. All the best.

    #47564 Report


    Hi Jason,

    It is an awful situation to find oneself in. Having been there myself I.E. married to a narcissist and going through divorce. However the breakthrough in overcoming the downward spiral of emotion in the valley period, is acknowledging your loss and working through your grief, you may go through all of the stages below or be stuck at one of them. But being real with yourself and not trying to avoid what you’re feeling helps you to heal and move on with your life:
    <div class=”co8aDb gsrt” style=”font-size: 14px; font-family: ‘Google Sans’, Roboto, HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);” role=”heading” aria-level=”3″><b>These seven <b>stages</b> include:</b></div>
    <div class=”RqBzHd” style=”font-size: 14px; margin-top: 12px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); font-family: Roboto, HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);”>
    <ul class=”i8Z77e” style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px;”>
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Pain and guilt. …
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Anger and bargaining. …
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Depression. …
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>The upward turn. …
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Reconstruction and working through. …
    <li class=”TrT0Xe” style=”margin: 0px 0px 12px 16px; padding: 0px; list-style-type: disc;”>Acceptance and hope.

    I feel that your actually grieving for several different factors you don’t realise your grieving for in addition to the more obvious factors  I.E. the obvious:

    – The loss of Your Dad – my sincere condolences

    The not so obvious:

    – The breakdown of your marriage – The daily separation from your children, not being with them 24/7, wondering what’s happening to them when you’re not there.

    – The loss of your identity, who are you now, what’s your purpose, which direction do you go in now. Even though the marriage may have not been fulfilling in the end; you were a husband and a father role 24/7; who are you now?

    – You’re already grieving for your Mum, the thought of the effects of the dementia are in your thoughts. Worrying how bad will it get? Maybe you already know someone who had dementia.

    I would suggest not to dwell on the issues in your marriage and keep replaying the video to analyse what happened. Life has no guarantees Jason, you fall down you get back up again. No one just sits in the road and doesn’t get up when they fall over. Children are adaptable, if you already have a strong bond with them focus on that when you see them and establish a regular pattern of visitation with your ex if you can, something that suits both of you.

    Try not to see the condition Dementia with your Mum, see her first, your Mum and the condition second. Write down an action plan of what help you think you’ll need in terms of care assistance and at what stage. Whatever she’s able to do right now let her do it.

    Don’t give up loving yourself or thinking you’re a failure. This is probably why you’re throwing yourself into different things to validate your self worth, to put a plaster over the loss. You don’t need to, if you want to cry, scream, etc do it, if it helps you to heal.

    Wish you well going forward.

    Best wishes,


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