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Divorce/Separation :
Once a narcissist, always a narcissist

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 Tripletrouble (original poster member #39169) posted at 1:21 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I was SI class of 2013 and it’s been awhile since I’ve been on SI. More than two years ago my XH remarried and was caught cheating by his new wife almost immediately. She reached out to find out why we divorced and I was honest to the letter. He told her it was lies. Lol. I cut all contact I was so mad.
Fast forward to a week ago. I needed to put my kiddo first and talk to him about some things going on. He is as or more obnoxious as ever. Hearing his voice I was physically sickened. It all came back. The emotional abuse, the lying, the gaslighting, the manipulation. All those years of cruelty. I could only feel pity for his new wife who took him back. Mostly I felt so sad that my daughter is stuck with him as her father. He is a miserable human in every way.
For all of you pondering divorce from an NPD, let me tell you they are not going to change. Get out of the abuse. It is not about you. It is about what a deeply damaged and self absorbed person they are. You can get to peace.

40 somethings - me BW after 20 years
D Day April 2013
Divorced November 2013
Happily remarried 2018
Time is a great healer but a terrible beautician.

posts: 1169   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2013
id 8739253
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keptmyword ( member #35526) posted at 3:00 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

For all of you pondering divorce from an NPD, let me tell you they are not going to change.

Indeed.

They do not change.

I have been divorced for nine years and still have to deal with my XWW, at times, regarding our kids.

She is still the same narcissistic sociopath and will die that way.

The only thing to do is to extract yourself from their world.

It has nothing to do with you.

Filed for and proceeded with divorce.

posts: 1221   ·   registered: May. 4th, 2012
id 8739260
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 11:01 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I left my narc 2 years ago and was the best decision I have made in my entire life. The peace of mind, no drama, no bickering, no wondering WTF he is doing, not having to hear his criticisms anymore, it's like heaven. He really was the most miserable person and at the end of the M he succeeded in making me as miserable as he is. I am free now!!!

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8739431
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 1:44 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

My NPD got remarried yezterday. The new wifey knows we D because he cheated but not with who.

He is so deep in gaslighting her that it is sad. My SIL doesn't understand how he can lie like that, and I share what I've learned. She hasn't put the pieces together to realize that's what he did to me for so long.

He grew up on a small farm. Had to help move pipes for sprinklers, and is allergic to all kinds of hay and grass. Now, he's letting his new family think he's up for doing all kinds of stuff like helping with cows, rodeos. His whole life is based on an alternative reality for his new wife.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1255   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8739839
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 6:06 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

You're preaching to the choir here, but go ahead and preach. It's all true. I've learned not to even consult my narc ex for issues about our son. Even though technically I'm supposed to based on the legal agreement, he is so uninvolved that there is no point. Our son has a chronic serious illness and I manage his care 100%- his father has never even come to one doctor appointment, never been there when he underwent a surgical procedure, etc. He quit his job after marrying his new wife so that she could support him and he wouldn't have to pay real child support. In the beginning I used to try to authentically co-parent with him, and that just got me lots of verbal abuse, the same I endured while with him. So I'm done with that. Imo he shouldn't have any say at all since he pays so little and hardly ever sees our son, and when I was pregnant he had strongly tried to pressure me to abort our son, talking behind my back about that with the OW as he was doing it, I later found in an email. It doesn't get much lower than that. Good riddance.

Narcs are abusive users.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739873
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wildbananas ( member #10552) posted at 8:49 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

For all of you pondering divorce from an NPD, let me tell you they are not going to change.

100%. It was less than two years ago when ex-asshat and his wife (not OW) were on the rocks and talking divorce. I think they were married around 10 years at that point. He first asked me for advice (like, why), and then basically asked if I'd be interested in getting back together with him (oh, that's why). At that point, we'd been apart for about 13 years. I think if I did lose my mind and take him back, my kids would have hung me like a pinata and beaten me, lol.

And yes, they ended up staying together... big surprise since his plan B obviously didn't work out. rolleyes

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. ~ Yogi Bhajan

posts: 16556   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2006   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8739896
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 9:35 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

My ex shows traits of narcissism but I am not 100% sure or convinced that he is a narcissist. I think it would help me to detach if I knew for sure he was one. He doesn’t have to be diagnosed with NPD. I just want to know that he has narcissistic personality style. I know that it shouldn’t matter because cheating and leaving is abusive enough but I think I would have better closure of my heart if I knew he could never change. Please don’t judge but I am still on hopium.
I don’t mean to hijack OP but how did you all come to the conclusion that your cheater was a narcissist?

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 310   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8739899
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ZenMumWalking ( member #25341) posted at 9:50 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

hey triple, long time no 'see'!!

What a fucker, no matter how much it hurt at the time you were ABSOLUTELY right to get rid of his NPD ass.

They. NEVER. change.

((((triple))))

Me (BS), Him (WH): late-50's
3 DS: 26, 25, 22
M: 30+ (19 1/2 at Dday)
Dday: Dec 2008
Wanted R, not gonna happen
Used to be DeadMumWalking, doing better now

posts: 8445   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2009   ·   location: EU
id 8739901
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 11:58 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

I don’t mean to hijack OP but how did you all come to the conclusion that your cheater was a narcissist?


Narcissist traits:

*Self-centered
*Sense of entitlement or superiority
*Lack of empathy
*Manipulative or controlling
*Strong need for admiration
*Difficulty accepting criticism
*Easily wounded

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739908
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 12:40 AM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

My XWH was diagnosed by a psychologist a long time ago. Back then, he called it NPD with passive-aggressive traits - what is now called a covert narc.

Cheaters will have some narcissism, and may not qualify for a personality disorder. In YouTube, Dr. Ramani has a bunch of great videos that talk about NPD. She has a series on definitions of terms that is really helpful. She goes into gaslighting, mirroring, and even grey rock.

ETA: XWH started therapy so we'd do some sessions together, then he'd stop going and I could continue...because all the problems in our M were my fault.

Usually, narcs don't stay in therapy long enough to get the NPD diagnosis. They aren't the problem and everybody else is.

[This message edited by leafields at 12:43 AM, Monday, June 13th]

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1255   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8739911
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mommabear1010 ( member #79915) posted at 9:55 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Nope, never change!! Just when I think there may have been a corner turned, he goes right back to devaluing, gaslighting, discarding. Once you notice the cycle it's hard for me not to chuckle a bit now that I identify it, and he thinks he's actually accomplishing something. Nope! grin My move out date is T minus 25 days (not that I'm counting).

My first WH I'm not sure if he had NPD or was just the run of the mill serial cheater, but his fiance after we broke up also reached out to me because GUESS WHAT...he was cheating on her and she wanted to know if that's what he did to me (Craigslist Escorts barf )

Hoping to have the sense of freedom like you have!!

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 84   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
id 8740029
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hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 10:24 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I have often wondered if it's hereditary. I always suspected FIL was, Ex's brother was physician diagnosed and committed suicide and EX fits the covert model to a T.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 717   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8740035
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:55 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Hereditary or not, if you grow up with a narc parent, it's in the air you breathe. Ask me how I know...

Maybe like alcoholism, there's vulnerability in their nature to become narcissistic. Then... if you couple that with training in narc tactics from an early age...

I don't think its either nature or nurture. More a combination of the two. Both and.

Either way, once trained up as a narc, it is extremely hard to break the behavior cycle. Intense therapy, constant vigilance and even a big dose of humility (knowing you suck at being a human and have to relearn how to do life). Without that, narcissistic people won't really change. I've had to go through a lot to make progress on my own narc traits and learned behaviors.

I'm sorry you have to continue dealing with someone this high up the scale.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8740124
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 7:43 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

My xWS got the diagnosis when I made him see a therapist after D-Day with MOW. His therapist got his permission to talk to me and basically told me he was high on the NPD spectrum and she couldn't help him shocked

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8740194
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 7:51 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Dr. Phil said he tried to work with NPD patients, but it was above his pay grade. laugh

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1255   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8740195
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 8:20 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

For all of you pondering divorce from an NPD, let me tell you they are not going to change.

A couple of comments.

I have heard elsewhere... and from my therapist... that narcissists are not treatable because they literally think that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong. This is a subtle but important distinction between someone who is a narcissist versus someone who has a borderline personality disorder, for example. (my therapist specializes in DBT... which is effective for people with borderline personality disorders, apparently).

During my custody evaluation, I was asking if I thought my ex-WW had mental health problems, what those mental health problems were, and how long they had existed. I told her that I thought that my ex-WW had a personality disorder and that she had had it for as long as I had known her.

I am not sure if my ex-WW is borderline or narcissistic or what... but there is definitely something wrong about her.

Get out of the abuse.

THIS. THIS. THIS. THIS!!

I was so miserable with my ex-WW that I didn't even know it. I can only see this now that I am away from her.

It is not about you.

Also, true but with a HUGE caveat.

So many people in this thread have mentioned that their ex-partner has continued the same pattern with their new partner. This is true of me too. I know my ex-WW was seeing at least 4 different guys in April-June 2019 whereas her boyfriend says that he has been in a relationship since October 2018.

The part that is about you? Why are you susceptible to narcissists? You need to ask that question because that question is about YOU.

Do you just not understand how narcissists tend to love bomb and hoover? If so, then you can be taught to recognize the pattern and establish your boundaries accordingly.

In contrast, my mother is a narcissist. And even though I do not like my mother, her personality is comfortable for me and I seek out people with her personality. I have literally ended relationships with people because they were not mean to me the way that my mother was mean to me. I struggled a lot with this during my current relationship... but I have gotten past it to a certain degree. In my case, I didn't feel like I am someone worth of love, affection, and kindness. It was my job to serve, to be kind, to love, but I didn't require it in return.

It's a different world when you have someone looking out for you and your behalf, rather than someone trying to shove you down so that they can feel better about themselves.

I left my narc 2 years ago and was the best decision I have made in my entire life.

I was so stupid that I didn't leave my narc. She decided to end our marriage... which was the nicest thing that she ever did for me. Ironically, she's exceptionally angry at me because I rather quickly capitulated to her wish to get divorced.

And, finally, here is a recommendation for all of you who want to seek revenge on your narc ex. The best revenge is to live well. And I don't mean that figuratively. My ex-WW is so angry that I have moved on. It's obvious and it's puzzling, but that's a narcissist for you.

Me: BH, age 48Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5297   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8740203
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hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 12:24 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

I agree MIgander. I sometimes wondered if he didnt even know he was manipulating me or not showing empathy. These werent purposeful thoughts or actions. It's all he ever knew, it was ingrained, it was how he was brought up and it is just who he is. I think that's why they can never be "fixed" because it is just who they are.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 717   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8740245
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:11 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

My ex-WW is so angry that I have moved on. It's obvious and it's puzzling, but that's a narcissist for you.

Yes why are they like this laugh my ex can't stand it. He always says the only person who is happy now is me. The kids will be too when they are out on their own away from him. Right now he still has them in his clutches.

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8741071
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 Tripletrouble (original poster member #39169) posted at 4:33 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Yes I am preaching to the choir here but also to the scared BSs just dipping their toe in the D pool by reading here. In the months before I decided on D I would read here to get a feel for what the issues would look like. I thought the folks going through D were so brave! Now I know it was harder to stay, in the long run, and stay in the abuse.
An interesting question, Barcher. I was groomed as I imagine many of us were by a dysfunctional FOO to tolerate abuse and value my own thought and needs very little. At 24 I didn’t know what I was looking at. But I sure do now and when I was dating after divorce anyone who showed any hubris was dropped like a hot rock. In the workplace I have ZERO tolerance for NPD bullshit.
Good to see you Zen Mum! I hope you are well! ❤️

40 somethings - me BW after 20 years
D Day April 2013
Divorced November 2013
Happily remarried 2018
Time is a great healer but a terrible beautician.

posts: 1169   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2013
id 8741165
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