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Marriage to the narcissist was bad, but divorcing him was worse

Spath TalesLovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call “Mary-Louise.”

I was married for 9 years to a man who is a malignant narcissist, very similar to a sociopath. I have 2 kids and we share legal custody. I thought being married to him was bad, but divorcing him is worse in a lot of ways.

He had a sex and gambling addiction. He works as a fitness coach for adults and loved the automatic authority that gave him. He took full advantage of the women clients and had affairs with many of them. This was unknown to me until we separated.

There were several women he had on-going affairs with over the course of 10 years. Regularly he would invite his fitness clients over to our house for dinner. I guess that was to throw me off and I wouldn’t suspect he was having an affair with someone who he had the balls to invite for dinner.

While we were dating, he moved into the house that I owned. All his money and effort went into his fitness business. He also started to trade stocks during the dot com boom.

It didn’t take much experience to make money and he jumped right in. He borrowed 100k to start trading. He spent all his time trading, making up to 7 figures at one point.

That money was just sitting in the market. He didn’t spend any of it and he got caught thinking that the stocks would continue to go up. He didn’t pay back the original loan so when the bubble burst and stocks went down, he lost what he had earned plus owed the original seed money.

He lost several hundred thousand dollars and we refinanced the house several times to avoid bankruptcy.

His fitness business did not pay well so he got back on his feet by going into the real estate business with one of his fitness clients, a woman who worked in high-end real estate. He had had an ongoing affair with her and she was trying to help him out since he needed work.

Although she worked on commission, he talked her into paying him a salary. Using his considerable skills of seduction and manipulation he convinced her that he could take her business to the next level. Over the two years, he instead drove her to the brink of suicide, which thankfully she did not follow through on, but it landed her in the hospital.

When we separated, he began a full court press, claiming poverty, lying about not having money despite the fact that he had over 100K in cash and making 200k in real estate.

He borrowed money from his clients, telling them that it was to help pay the mortgage, but he never paid them back nor used it to pay the mortgage. He even argued with the judge during one hearing telling the judge that the income *he* reported to the court wasn’t accurate.

He worked the same fitness job for over 15 years but had increasingly bad rapport with his boss. Rather than accept the status quo and keep his regular pay, which he could use to support his children, he quit his job.

That meant going to a new location and starting a client base from scratch. He tried to get child support reduced but the judge didn’t grant him any slack and imputed income.

He was over 15k behind in child support at the time of the official divorce and I couldn’t pay the mortgage every month without help paying for child care.

With the house going into foreclosure, I got the lender to agree to a loan assumption. All the ex had to do was sign the papers.

He wouldn’t agree to let me assume the mortgage, and asked the court to order the house sold. Of course he sold the house rather than sell to back to me.

It didn’t matter to him that that was where the kids had grown up or where all their school and friends were. It was all about his control.

After all that, I thought he had accomplished what he wanted. But he went in for the kill. He sued me for damages. The house had no equity because I was behind, so the court granted him damages.

This was devastating financial setback and I had to file for bankruptcy.

But he still wasn’t done.

He then tried unsuccessfully to get full custody of the kids. He didn’t have any evidence that I was a bad mother, so he made it up, using my struggle to pay bills as evidence. I had to hire a lawyer to defend myself, which I barely had the money to spend.

His strategy was to take everything away from me, the house I bought, the money I earned, breaking me and then finish me off by taking the kids.

This took him years to do and involves elaborate strategy. I underestimated the stamina he has.

It has never been about the kids and their best interests, what would be the best for them. His focus is still on me and he’s willing to spend his time and money to destroy me.

There’s so much I would have done differently had I known how relentless his campaign would be.

It was obvious that the kids weren’t his focus and he didn’t care about being a father to them. It also became obvious that he doesn’t value things that other people value such as security, value of work, planning for the future. Things always seem like a game with him.

I also know that the courts aren’t there to provide what people think of as justice.

And that dealing with a narcissist tests you to your limits.

 



13 Comments on "Marriage to the narcissist was bad, but divorcing him was worse"

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  1. bluejay says:

    Mary-Louise,

    What a nightmare! These men do not think and they do not function like the average person. I remember years and years ago saying to the spath’s brother, “he doesn’t take seriously the things that most people take seriously” (e.g., filing taxes, work ethic, etc.). To me, narcissists have a screw loose (they aggravate the heck out of me). May God bless you, causing you to prosper in all ways (e.g, emotionally, financially, physically, etc.).



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  2. Jan7 says:

    Mary-Louise, I equate my marriage to my ex as Hell & the divorce with him the bottom of Hell. They love the power & control over their spouses even in court and the courts buy right into their con game hook, line & sinker.

    Watching my ex in court & reading his words in court motions just reconfirmed that he is masterful at manipulating people. He too said he had zero money yet went out and bought a new home for his toys during the divorce.

    The court system is a utter joke, I truly have no respect for judges, court personnel or lawyers now after experience the court system first had during my divorce. It’s was an eye opening experience but once you have been through a divorce in court you can see how people like OJ Simpson and others get away with murder & how judges love the lime light they are thrust into plus the power they have sitting on the bench. Nothing is fair or reasonable in the court system it’s all based on manipulation & lies by lawyers & their narcissistic clients like our spouses.

    Not sure how long you have been divorced but the site Onemomsbattle. com, her books & their Facebook page are excellent for court/divorce/child custody support for victims of narcissist & sociopaths.

    Hugs to you!



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    • lily says:

      I hear you, I have been in court so many times with my ex spath, I was fascinated at how the lies he told just flowed out of his mouth, he didn’t miss one beat. And obviously the judge listened and was convinced. His new victim (girlfriend) sat glaring at me and no doubt had her ears filled with “how he is the victim”. It has been five years since my divorce and he keeps coming back like a terminal cancer that cannot be cured. I want to know how long this damned depression lasts , because each time I feel I am climbing out of it he does something to bring it all back again. Last time he told the state attorney that I was crazy!!!!!



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      • ddroses1 says:

        lily
        You are not alone and you are not crazy. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been out of this relationship and it still hurts when I have to deal with this person. To bring me back to being ok is fighting for the inner truth of knowing who I am since all the boundaries of my soul were wrecked and I let that person have a heyday with my thoughts and feelings. One thing I’ll tell you is don’t speak to them unless you have to and don’t let them know anything about your current life. If you have to have someone speak for you that is your right. As a healing victim have someone with you for any confrontation with this person. My heart hurts for you but know God loves you. Hope this helps.



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  3. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    YYYYEEESSSSS. Some of the lessons I learned from my divorce:

    There is NO SUCH THING AS JUSTICE.

    Divorce court is just a money making machine.

    And YES… had I known that my husband was a sociopath and what that actually meant, I would have made different choices. I knew my husband did all these bizarre, unexplainable assaults and I knew I couldn’t figure out a motivation because many times, he sabotaged himself in order to “WIN” at harming me.

    Marriage is NOT about LOVE, or family, or commitment, or a vow in front of GOD and community. Marriage is a FINANCIAL contract, and if I had known that, I would have made different decisions. ALL people should be informed, when they apply for a marriage license, that it’s not just to make sure they aren’t marrying their parents/siblings/first cousins… it’s submitting to specific FINANCIAL contract law and social services control of your life.

    I will be held accountable for the rest of my life for my now ex husbands behaviors and financial dealings even though I didn’t know and when I did, I did not agree and refused to sign contracts and thought he didn’t perpetrate/close the deals when I refused to agree.

    It does not matter to the IRS or the courts that I didn’t sign, or that my signature was forged or that I was completely unaware of the contract. Being married to him is the standard used. A person can fight this, but it’s very expensive.

    For this reason, bankruptcy and poverty is my life and my future. If I work hard and try to achieve even a minimal level of comfort, it will be taken from me to pay for HIS fraud.

    And of course they have stamina. They have NO emotional investment, so it doesn’t sap their energy/drain their spirits. Since they don’t “feel”, the little energizer bunnies can last forever.

    So sorry for anyone who is caught in a financial nightmare of marriage to a sociopath… I tell EVERYONE… being Dumped/Abandoned and left alone by a sociopath is a BLESSING! You just don’t realize it at first, not until you realize what truly EVIL demons these type are.

    And YESSSSS. It is a game to them and THEY “WIN”.



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    • It’s true what you say about the fact that they have no emotional investment so fighting with us doesn’t drain their energy or spirit. That is so true. But for us, every step is dreadful. And they are like energizer bunnies, they never stop. I also agree that being far away from these people is a blessing even with the devastation they leave behind. I wish you stamina and strength in the years to come.



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  4. Linette says:

    I am so sorry for you for having gone through all of this. No one should have to. My Ex (of 3 years) is still trying to destroy my name. Just last week he wrote a letter to our pastor and to me and gave it to the pastor and told him to read mine to me. Of course he didn’t but just passed both along. They were both horrible letters with threats. He still thinks I have ruined his life and that I am still keeping him from keeping jobs, working in the church with the children etc. I am going to have to get another restraining order. I don’t know it he’ll ever stop. It’s a nightmare.



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    • I know it is exhausting, I am sorry that you are still having to deal with this. No contact is the best for you. When I was thinking of divorcing my ex, all I thought about was disappearing. I felt that that was the only way I could be free. I have a daughter with my ex so disappearing entirely wasn’t an option, which made me feel like I was stuck in a corner. I think we have to come to a realization that they will always continue until they don’t, which is opposite to what normal people believe about people. But we will play the game different if we know our opponent.



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  5. odettej says:

    Here is my trauma. I met a man online who appeared innocent & kind, almost clumsy with emotions. To begin with no spark as we didn’t share a sense of humour. He was ok to look at but not handsom just seemed cute and unworldly . ( later found out he slept with a prostitute and many women from a sex site Yuk Yuk Yuk )

    He was patronising, when tackled he took it well. About a year later, he’d kept in touch with slightly contrived emails, I decided to go out with him and see what happened. We had fun.

    We seemed to be getting along well, he dumped me out of the blue one day by phone obviously ( they lack courage) He’d played me the life story of being a victim, being in care etc. so I kind of excused his behaviour as vulnerability.

    We got together again at his request of course. It very quickly deteriorated into full scale abuse, emotional abuse. Ordering me what to wear, withdrawal of affection, silences etc. soon followed up with projections and venom.

    it was very very frightening as there was no logical explanation for such psychotic rage, his rage periods lasted for weeks at a time. He was like a child, he talked like a child too which was odd because he was an adult male of 50.

    I could not defend against these onslaughts, slanderous allegations etc. never an apology, just his mitigation for the behaviour which was always something I said, did or didn’t do correctly. It was so odd as he has a very decent job for his lack of insight or emotional intelligence. It is in sales though.m

    I escaped by slipping away from his house without arousing suspicion or saying anything which might indicate I’m not coming back. That is how frightened I was, I’ve never felt my skin crawl before I was in a state of shock and paralysed by fear of what else he might be capable of. I have explained this to my friends but they fail to understand why closure is so hard, you have to question your perceptions, your previous understanding of people and emotions why you got sucked into this fire. Did you deserve these burns ?

    The key ploy he used in the manipulation of me was playing the victim, extending my sympathies with excuses, and comparing me to previous females in his life. I did feel sorry for his lack of emotional intelligence, I did feel sorry for his rage, the real eye opener was his deliberate hurting of me.
    For about 7 hours he had total power to abuse me which was engineered,mate planned for a situation I could not escape from and in full view. This because I had made a comment 2 weeks prior to my burning .he explained this in a toxic email why he had ‘done it’ then scapegoated me as the cause for splitting into this monster.n

    I’m lucky to be with a delightful humorous gentle person who is caring and authentic.. What I still struggle with is trust I do really love this persob but could there be a shock in the pipeline ? I doubt it very much, but I’m still not 100% right just yet.
    my ex was a vulnerable dark triad, this is his make up, the mask is clever enough although I found out afterwards that a lot of his friends don’t like him he told me he had bipolar on an occasion after a discard to pull me back into the drama I guess.
    I’ve dated a sadist who hated me deep down, thinks I’m stupid and scapegoated me for his behaviour. I can’t make sense of myself.



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  6. slimone says:

    OdetteJ….make sense of him first. You make sense to me. You are compassionate and helpful. You got suckered, manipulated, lied to, and abused. THAT isn’t about you. It is ONLY about him. He thinks EVERYONE is stupid. Not just you.

    Repeat after me: It isn’t about ME, it is about HIM. It feels unnatural, because we are taught to be responsible for our part in any situation. But, believe me, in these situations it is a different story. You do not have to take responsibility for someone else’s misrepresenting themselves and targeting you for abuse.

    At some point all of us can take a look at ourselves (like we have our whole lives) and make some adjustments to help avoid further abuse, and to recognize abusers.

    If it is any consolation I had a history of multiple abusive and disordered partners (and friends). Only learning about personality disorders really cleared up my confusion and continued engagement in abusive partnerships.

    Take care, Slim



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  7. Linette says:

    Is anyone afraid of their ex narcissist, spath whatever? I keep thinking mine has stopped trying to “get to me” and just last week he “struck again”. I am afraid this is NEVER going to stop. He blames me for everything, for tainting his “good” name, spreading “evil” everywhere and pretty much every other problem in his life. He basicially warned me that if he got a “whiff” of anything else that my life would change forever and it would make “front page news”. He did leave our church but I am afraid of him “snapping”. Sorry if this is a bit off the subject but didn’t know where else to post this.



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    • NoMoreWool says:

      They can definitely come back, over and over. Grey rock can help with that, but it won’t necessarily stop them from sniffing around to see if there is still some “fun” to be had from you.

      Oftentimes they are just blowing a bunch of hot air, but it is true that you never know when they will snap and do something with terrible consequences. If he has done something documentable – like a written threat – you can report it to law enforcement. It won’t stop anything but at least there will be a paper trail if bad things start to happen.

      Take care and be aware!



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    • ddroses1 says:

      I had the same experience. You are blamed for everything. You can’t be nice or give this person an inch. I moved to another state and don’t speak to this person. If they try to text me I give it to my husband to deal with. If you can make a major life change to totally cut off this person do it. They have the ability to make all these people believe their lies and you are the black sheep. I’m sorry if you are tied by children and can’t get away, definitely try to build a support group and never catch yourself alone with them or have someone with you when they call. You can’t do it alone because they have a perverse sense to single you out and crush you to pieces. Hope this helps, I love this group of survivors.



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