Thanks so much for your continued prayers. I’ve been feeling better and finally am starting to get some energy back.
There are a lot of new things coming up that I wanted you to know about.
Our two-session introduction to understanding CORE strength starts in a few weeks. The class is conducted entirely over the phone. If you are interested in more information click here.
Our three month Walking in CORE Strength coaching group starts next month. This group is offered only twice a year. This group is geared to help you practice the four CORE strengths I talk about in my book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. The class is small so that you get the benefit of some personal coaching with a much more affordable price point. If you’d like more information click here.
I am in the process of putting together a live Women’s Conference October 14 -15, 2016 in Allentown, PA. This is going to be an amazing gathering of women from all over the country. The theme of the conference is Becoming the Best Possible You: Both Inside and Out. I would love to meet all of you. Save the date if you think you might be interested. More details will be coming soon in future blogs.
My friend and colleague, Pastor Chris Moles, who is a batterer intervention specialist working with abusive men, will be my guest blogger for the next two weeks. You will not want to miss what he has to share.
Today’s Question: My husband walked out of our marriage the day our last son graduated high school. In the course of this separation, God revealed to me that there was another woman. I found them together in their favorite restaurant and even recorded them and confronted them at their table.
This is an affair of four years that he has yet admitted or said I'm sorry… how can I manage a narcissist through this divorce? He's ruthless has already tried to start a rumor that I had an affair with another woman! Help?
Answer: I mean no disrespect here but I laughed when you asked, “How can I manage a narcissist?” It’s impossible. It’s like asking, “How do I manage a grizzly bear robbed of her cubs”? Catching your husband at the restaurant with another woman and confronting him publically sent him roaring. Now, instead of taking responsibility for his wrong, his goal is to manage his “image” and he will do everything he can to cast the light on you to make you look bad or crazy. That is a narcissist’s MO and it’s very important that you realize this sooner rather than later.
It’s crucial for you that you give up your “need” for an apology because it’s not going to happen. Please don’t let yourself linger in emotional limbo-land hoping that he will come to his senses and beg for your forgiveness. He’s moved on. He’s with a new narcissistic supply and you have been thrown away. That reality hurts terribly but the sooner you reckon with that truth, the less damage he will be able to inflict on your heart. Accepting this may involve you getting some professional help for yourself to deal with the emotional fallout and grief of what you are now experiencing.
The legal system in divorce deals with facts, and not feelings or sins. If you live in a no-fault divorce state, the fact that your husband had an affair does not matter in terms of dividing the assets. You have no minor children at home so he won’t be required to pay child support. I strongly suggest you get the best legal counsel you can afford and someone who knows how to deal with narcissists because your attorney will need to fight for you.
Since you do not have children to parent together, you do not have to have contact with him. I would also encourage you to cut off contact. Continued communication will only result in more pain. If you must discuss things, do it via e-mail so you have documented evidence of all communication. Do not engage. Do not argue. If you must respond, a simple yes or no – with no additional commentary is sufficient. Do not defend yourself when he accuses and attacks. Again, here is a simple statement you can use that came from the book Divorcing a Narcissist by Tina Swithin. “Your attempt to portray me in a negative light is noted.”
Educate yourself on narcissism so that you are not lulled to sleep with charm or beautiful words. Narcissists want to be right and to win – at all costs. Those are their highest values. Pick your battles. If you can let him “win” on minor points or things that are not that important to you that may be better for you in the long run.
Gather as much factual information as you can because narcissists lie without hesitation. Gather all your financial records, past income tax forms, income statements and assets. Make sure everything is in order and written down when you present things in court. Courts don't care how you feel, how you’ve been hurt, or what he’s done wrong. Many women hope they will get sympathy or care from the judge or magistrate but wind up very disappointed.
You need to stay calm when dealing with judges or magistrates. If you don’t, you will look like the unreasonable person. State your facts with documentation to prove what you say is true. For example, if he says he doesn't get a bonus, show copies of past bonus checks from your bank or tax records. If you have texts, recordings, or e-mail documentation of things he’s said such as, “You won't get a dime” make sure you bring them with you.
Lastly, in your own anger and pain, you will need to be very careful here. You may not ever live with him again but you always will have to live with yourself.
Handle yourself in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself. Don’t give him any ammunition to discredit you (tweet that).
Walking in CORE strength is going to be critical to your own wellbeing and future healing.
Another book, Splitting: Protecting yourself while Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger is helpful. Bill is an attorney and gives some very good advice.
Friends: What have you done to protect and strengthen yourself while divorcing someone with NPD?