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Unchosen Relationships / Re: Was there a "final straw" for you?
« Last post by DaisyGirl77 on Today at 04:51:39 PM »
Mine was a series of things that culminated in me calling the police on my ex-grandma after she assaulted me, & when she threatened (through Elder Affairs) to take out a temporary restraining order on me for things I did.  (It was really things SHE'd done, but heaven forbid she tell the truth.  I had more than enough grounds to take a TRO on her though.)  I've been permanent NC with her since June 1, 2013, & since April 2013 for equally crazy ex-uncle.

I'm VLC with my father who, after finding out about the threat & that I needed to call the police, said, "You two need to work out your problems.  I need to stay out of it." & "I hope things work out so you two can get along."  (Like a relationship can be saved when things come to this end!)  He prefers to keep his head buried in the sand as to how insane his mom & brother are, unfortunately. 
Separating & Divorcing / Re: Is it me? Need a reality check
« Last post by A_newlife2014 on Today at 04:50:59 PM »
It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

It is NOT you.

This is what PDs do. You need to get him out of your head. As little contact as humanly possible. THIS IS HOW THEY OPERATE. You will be able to think more clearly when you have less contact with him. I don't recommend trusting your attorney blindly, but in general, I can say she certainly has your interests more in mind than your husband does, that's for damn sure. 

It is NOT you.
Separating & Divorcing / Re: Is it me? Need a reality check
« Last post by hhaw on Today at 04:43:21 PM »

I'm so sorry you're afraid, and struggling, and on your own.

Protecting children, while living in fear, while dealing with a bossy attorney who doesn't "get it" is so tiring.  I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep during my divorce.  I just wanted to escape, and drive and drive and drive.... and never look back.

You're being proactive, working on feeling safe, you have the TPO, and you're about to feel SO much better once the pd is no longer whispering in your ear, and filling your ears with his poison.

It gets better once you're no contact. 

Hold the pdstbx feet to the fire.  Report every little infraction if he contacts you.  Don't let him get away with anything, and you should file police reports to properly document the infractions.

You're going to protect yourself, your kids, and come out the other end of this.  You'll have a life, and you'll be happy to be alive again.'

It's going to be OK.

Thanks! I was wondering if the folks on this website can share some ideas of what actually worked for them in court.

The main issue I have is that BPD wife is so passionate and convincing about her lies that sometime I even catch myself wondering maybe she is really right, then I shake of the illusion and can't believe I the one suffering her lies contemplating false and absurd allegations.. not sure if you had these experiences. Sooo if that's her affect on me, the victim, how can I combat her lies to other people.. does this make any sense..

Hi Udihamudi,
I am glad you are here, but I am sorry for your situation. I don't have anything substantial to add here, as I think hhaw and atticus covered it pretty well, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents to say that I STILL feel this way about my NPDxh, after separating a year ago, so you're not alone.

I will say, get the lay of the land in terms of your attorney and court. You can't convince anyone of your wife's behavior, as hhaw said, but, that said, there are people whose opinions count more than others. Family, friends, etc. - these people are not as important in the long run as your judge, and your child custody evaluator, or GAL, if you have one. Put your energy there, if it goes anywhere, and don't waste it on other people. ... And as far as the judge, GAL, or court officers go, you don't want to put your energy into them, so much as you want to put it into your attorney, and make sure your attorney understands your interests, understands what is going on, and make sure you understand and are on board with whatever legal strategy he/she wants to do on your behalf.

My attorney had the highest retainer of any lawyer I met with. That doesn't necessarily mean squat, but in my case, the reason I paid it, is because I felt he had an incredibly perceptive grasp on the psychological nuances of my NPDxh -- he understood when my ex was bullying, where others did not; he was incredibly knowledgeable about the law; he had many, many years of experience.

BUT, what made my attorney priceless was that he was a longtime lawyer in the jurisdiction where my divorce would play out. He was well-known, well-respected, and well-liked. The court system is like any workplace -- people know each other, people socialize outside of work, people know and respond to workplace gossip. Egos are involved, politics, both grownup and playground, are involved.

So I counted on him to be my PR, knowing that I was in an uphill battle with the NPD's charisma and lies, and the fact that he was so good at appearing to be such a loving, involved father. The court can be about impressions and personality as much as any place. My husband appears handsome, charming, confident. He is personable. I am a confident, assertive no-nonsense, woman. This can play well, or not so well, depending on my audience. So, think of court like the longest job interview of your life. You want to make a good impression at all times.

One thing that I found invaluable in my lawyer and that actually went a long way toward combatting the problem you mentioned above, of how the PD sounds so BELIEVABLE, is that my lawyer was the perfect foil for that. ... Where I saw bullying, intimidation and threats, others saw a browbeaten husband and father just trying to do right by his kids, poor guy. My lawyer saw through that RIGHT AWAY, with no prompting, without me even needing to "decode" anything for him and explain it. If you can get those people in your life, whether it's your lawyer, or friends or family, they are worth gold.

Also, this is an incredibly trying, stressful and emotional process, both being in a relationship with a PD, and getting out of it, especially with kids and legal issues involved. Do the things outlined here -- document, educate yourself, record if you can, keep your relationship with your kids paramount -- but setbacks WILL occur. When they do, try not to let it get you down, look at the big picture, and keep plowing forward, and try to be at peace knowing you are doing the best you can, and that's all you can do.

Another helpful thing to have is a "narrative" -- a consistent story that you stick to that demonstrates your calm, consistent and reasonable parenting, and your stbx's history of harmful behavior. Don't be all over the map with accusations left and right -- have an overall outline of your story -- "We met, she started to exhibit x, y, z behavior, I got more and more concerned, and here we are ..." Something like that. The more together, calm, and reasonable you sound, the more your wife's behavior will show in contrast to yours.

You may hear that it's an uphill battle for dads in court. Don't get discouraged. My NPDxh almost won custody of our son, largely because his appearance and charisma were so convincing, not because any facts backed him up. I had video and audio of threatening/intimidating behavior, I had facts and receipts backing up my almost exclusive parenting of DS, and I had witnesses willing to come forward.

The GAL and I had a personality clash and she took my husband's side of things almost right away. This wasn't based on facts or evidence, it was based on pure likability. No one checked my facts and receipts -- and no one checked the ex's either, to see that he was lying about all of them. And my witnesses dropped out, like hhaw said people do.

Courts care about evidence and facts, not emotions and opinions.

Good luck and hang in there.
Wow, you guys all stay engaged waaaay longer into the crazy conversation than I do. At the point my BPD Mom starts aggravating me in any way, I am on to my exit. Even if it's something relatively unconfrontational but it's working me up, because I just don't want to stay that emotionally involved. That's when it's, "I have to get off the phone now/something's come up/my food is ready."

Today was an odd trigger, and I'm not sure why it got to me, but it did, so I picked up my purse and looked at the clock. "You're leaving?" and I said, "yeah, a few things I need to do..."

(The thing that bugged me, she wrote a long letter to the people who moved into the old family house, telling them how it was haunted, and what to do... I asked why she did that, and she said, 'I felt like they were scared.' I do get tired of her psychic stuff, and how she uses it as a manipulative tactic. I actually do agree the house is haunted, I just don't know why she can't let it go and why she's butting into the lives of perfect strangers. But it's not my business...)

At the point anyone starts saying, "You're lying," or gets manipulative, as far as I'm concerned? MC is a lost cause. That's when you don't encourage the behavior. You have an appointment, or a visitor, or if you're in person, you have to go to the store, or check into the hotel, or catch the stomach flu and stay home for Christmas.... MC only goes so far before it has to become LC/NC, even if only temporarily. They will eventually get the message that you're not into being bullied (or into gossip, or into supporting delusions of grandeur...).

If they become bullies to your MC, seriously, I'd recommend making it LC or NC. They've lost the privilage of MC at that point.
Separating & Divorcing / Re: Is it me? Need a reality check
« Last post by arianna on Today at 04:37:07 PM »
I can relate.   You learn to do what you can in an impossible situation.  I don't know if you're illogical or if you're just trying one thing, then another, then second guessing yourself about that etc etc because there is no actual right answer.  This is why lawyers tell you not to talk to the spouse and let the law handle it; because there is no right way to do it, just the lawyer way which is result oriented.  If you wanted to handle it yourself you wouldn't have a lawyer.  Does that make sense?  The legal route isn't based on logic because the situation can't be solved logically even though you're trying. 

This reminds me of my two divorces.  The first time I tried to talk to him; the second time I absolutely did not talk to him or text or email once the divorce papers were filed.  Both divorces were difficult and messy and painful.  The first time I had my parents to help out and the second time I had a therapist who had extensive experience with the legal system and child custody.  In both cases, I got screwed, because I married men who were mean. The first one was selfish and had the backing of my parents and also sent money abroad, and the second one got the most expensive lawyer money could buy and he controlled all the assets and he had a job.  Neither one put the kids first and in both cases I was trying to protect the kids as well as do something for my own sanity and it just wasn't possible.

And no matter who I talked to about what I was doing, I sounded like a lunatic.  Then when I would ask what do you think I should do instead, they had no answers.  No one, not even my therapist, had better answers for me.  And this guy knew his stuff.  Basically he would try and be supportive but it almost sounded like he was saying, let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.  In fact, he said that he got so disgusted with the system that he left legal practice and went into psychoanalysis because he felt that helping the parents psychologically was the only way he could hope to help children in this context. 

Co-parenting and Secondary Relationships / Re: "You crossed a line"
« Last post by atticusfinch on Today at 04:36:51 PM »
New Life,

That is so upsetting.  That is a hard thing for me, my ex sort of sees himself as invincible in some ways and our kids too.  He never seemed to care much about safety issues when we were married.  It is so hard handing over the kids to someone like that, and trusting your son will come home okay.

It seems I read something about Bill Eddy, I don't know if I'm getting this right.  But if you sent your ex an email, keep it friendly, firm, and short, and relay your concerns about your ex MIL driving.  Then sort of casually ask what he'd like to do about it, give him some time to think it over, and suggest that you'd rather work something out between the two of you than have to let a judge decide (sounds like a judge would find in your favor by your attorney's response).  I think if it doesn't feel like a threat, and the PD feels a sense of control, then maybe he will be more likely to work with you on this?  Because I agree with you, even if you did get an order forbidding MIL from driving, it may be difficult to enforce and your ex may not care.  Though that is child endangerment and I do think a court would care.  That way you have on record that you tried to address and solve the problem in a civil way.  If he responds then you have it in writing.   Just a thought.

Sorry about this.  I would be upset too.
Separating & Divorcing / Re: I Find This Disturbing
« Last post by atticusfinch on Today at 04:26:00 PM »

Ironically one of the days he stayed the longest my dad was here!  (though we have had a problem with him on phone calls with the children...he gives them emotional guilt trips about hanging up and so his calls with the kids go way longer than they're supposed to.  With the calls I've noticed he doesn't do this if we are at someone else's house)  The only thing I could think is that he always seemed so threatened by my dad-- he interfered more with my relationship with my dad than anyone else during the marriage.  That's been one nice thing post- separation is I've gotten a lot closer to my dad.  But my ex can be really passive aggressive and on that day it seemed almost like a passive aggressive response to punish me for having my dad over.  But maybe yes I need more of a neutral witness.

You are both right on the money about the enabling. 
Separating & Divorcing / Re: Is it me? Need a reality check
« Last post by atticusfinch on Today at 04:16:59 PM »

I am so sorry for all you are going through but I'm glad you found this site.  Keep posting on here as needed and we'll help how we can!

Divorcing a narcissist is an incredibly stressful process.  I read somewhere that divorcing a narcissist is the only thing worse than being married to one!  (though of course after it's over hopefully life will be much, much better!)  Now is an especially important time to take good care of yourself and get rest, get some time away, time with friends who support you, whatever re-charges you.  Don't let the stress turn you into a basket case as that will only hurt your parenting now and your case down the road.  Do whatever you have to in order to pace yourself so this doesn't happen.

Have you read the book Splitting?  It has excellent advice for divorcing a narcissist.  It is very difficult to settle with a narcissist due to their sense of entitlement.  It sounds like you have an excellent attorney who has your back (though if you feel she is too inflammatory, you can ask her to scale back the rhetoric-- I tamed down the rhetoric a little in one of my attorney's filings, but left the core message intact).  Remember that your sense of yourself and your ex has been warped by years of his psychological abuse.  (I personally have been working hard on my self esteem and looking at my perceptions, since they were attacked so much during the marriage)  Do you have a therapist?  I sometimes talk with my therapist about whether or not I'm being reasonable, rational, etc.  It is very helpful to get his opinion.   Remember that PDs are pathological liars-- they even use their actions to lie, and not only their words.  Just because your ex  acts so sure that he is right does NOT mean that he is.  He is trying to get what he wants, and doesn't care about the fall-out for you.  He will do anything to get what he wants, and to punish you.  You have to focus on getting yourself strong so these attacks will fall off more easily.  I agree with whoever said to communicate with him via text/email only about the kids welfare only.  Otherwise he will continue to abuse and manipulate you.  I have a protective order and it forces me not to communicate with him (except about kids on a limited basis) and it has been very healing to my psyche to have that space.   I also have tried to follow the advice of my sister and surround myself with people who support me right now.  I find myself being thrown off mentally by being around someone who is not supportive.

My T recommended when I first left to get out of his head.  This is hard and something I still struggle with off and on, bit it helps a lot.  Try not to think about what is hard for him, what will anger him, what will soothe him, if he thinks your attorney is ruining your family, etc.  Any time we do this we give them power because it is a psychological enmeshment wherein we are still trying to act as an extension of the PD.  Just remember that he is responsible for his own anger, etc.  His anger is NOT your fault.  He wants you to take responsibility for his feelings because he doesn't want to.

I have tried to adopt the long view on the divorce stuff... since it is so hard for a narcissist to settle, I have my sights set on a trial date, and if by some magical means my ex gave me a reasonable settlement offer, then I'd take it.  I'm just not counting on that happening and pacing myself accordingly.  Only you know if the trade-offs an N requires are worth the long term cost.  If he wanted one or two things in his favor, it would be worth the emotional cost to be finished with the divorce.  I know that for me my ex wanted things so badly skewed in his direction on practically every issue that I just couldn't swallow the pill, as I need a fair financial settlement in order to give my kids the care they need, for example.

Hang in there and come back for support, if nothing else!  You are doing the right thing!  You are very brave and are giving your kids a chance at a better life!

Unchosen Relationships / Re: Was there a "final straw" for you?
« Last post by farfromthetree on Today at 04:04:47 PM »
I had another last straw. It was my uPDm spewing expletives to my nicest-guy-in-the-world hubby.

As Scotty said in the Star Trek prequel sequel Into Darkness: "There are plenty of straws."
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