Morning friends,

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?

122 Comments

  1. Aleea on March 9, 2016 at 8:25 am

    “Friends: What have you done to protect and strengthen yourself while divorcing someone with NPD?”

    . . . . Thank you Leslie and all the others involved who make this blog possible. . . . . What have I done to protect and strengthen myself while divorcing someone with NPD? I haven’t . . . .but last night I was facing myself and thinking. . . . .I was thinking long and hard about the apostle Paul. I read his conversion over and over and over. . . . He was not saying mean things to people; he was killing them to the death. Not only did Christ transform him, but equally important, the Christian community fully took that multiple-murder in. . . . I think of my mother and all the abuse. I so want to kill her (I never felt that much hatred until Dr. Meier started dredging it all up. . . . actually that is scapegoating Dr. Meier. . . . until I started really confronting my pain.) . . . . but I have the problem because I want to scapegoat my mother. My life would be _______ and _______ if my mother just _______ and _______. Obviously, scapegoating is a dead-end because it leads to hatred when the problem –now- is not the monster under the bed but the monster inside of me. I have internalized her and she can abuse me any time she wants even if she were dead. . . . . Most communities are built on scapegoating but that is not what Christ told us to do. We are the περικαθάρματα (scum) of the earth with a crucified identity to our Savior who was thrown out with the trash of the world. I can’t keep thinking everything will be just great once I get rid of _______ and _______ and _______. That just keeps me from a confrontation with and a healing of, myself. I have murder in my own heart no matter what nuanced language game I play with words. Anything that keeps me from a confrontation with myself doesn’t help me heal.

  2. Laura Di on March 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I find it so incredible that God works in such mysterious ways. Though I would have benefited from this news post many years ago It wasn’t until now and nearly 7 years since my initial divorce proceedings that a real understanding of what I faced and managed to muddle through makes sense. It’s never to late to change and grasp a clear understanding od God’s guidance.

    “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.” I spent years, lingering in “emotional limbo-land hoping that he will come to his senses”, it’s been a long haul and now I have finally realized he will never, “beg for” my, “forgiveness”. The questioner reminds me of myself and how I went about thinking I could guide the narcissist to see the truth of the matters at hand. Even when caught red-handed they see nothing and turn the tables.

    All I can suggest is get close to God and Godly people to work the process and be careful as this post pointed out, “Handle yourself in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself. Don’t give him any ammunition to discredit you.”

    God Bless and work with His strength!

    Laurie

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Laurie

  3. Survivor on March 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Such sound advice, Leslie!!! I have not been through a divorce myself, but I am testifying in court for a friend who left her narcissistic fiancé and father of her child and now he is putting her through the wringer over custody of their daughter!! It gets so ugly and so scary!!!

    It’s so much easier for me to see things clearly when I am not immediately involved!!!! Living with a narcissist has a way of adding the brain and clouding my scope of vision…..but I very readily recognize it when it happens to somebody else!!!!

    A friend once said, and I wholeheartedly agree, that it’s easier when they are just mean all the time!!!! The roller coaster ride of nice-mean-nice-mean-nice is confusing, exhausting, and the epitome of crazy-making!!!!!

    Love, prayers, and blessings for the woman who sent in her question!!!!! Such a difficult situation, but one of those moments where I believe, like the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, JESUS will pick you up and carry you through this storm!!!!!!

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:57 am

      You’re right, the intermittent “niceness” or “caring” feels very confusing. It’s helpful for your friend for you to be there for her to remind her that although a tiger can be gentle, they will bite without hesitation.

      • Louise on March 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        I started carrying a frog on my keychain before I fled from my spouse. The frog was to remind me that, even if he was acting like a prince, he was really a frog. I didn’t mean that to be disrespectful, but to remind me to stop being so trusting.

        • CC on March 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

          Great suggestion!!! As I was reading and meditating on these truths, the Lord was revealing to me that I should keep visual “reminders” close by so I never get lulled back into emotional/spiritual sleep by temporary sweetness or confused in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) created by the narcissistic behavior of those we love and/or are in our lives.

        • Rose on May 10, 2016 at 8:45 am

          Thank you, I needed this today, everyday!
          So perfect…yes, helps not to think he’s changing, when it’s manipulating, they know how to ‘ pull your chain’ ..they are experts at it! Thank you so much for this idea~

  4. Leonie on March 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

    This is a very good article Leslie, thank you. Many of us need this kind of support.
    Yes, disconnect from the narcissist, you are not the one with the problem, he is. We just need to get out of the relationship and away from the craziness for our own sanity. Once I realized that the drama wasn’t going to stop and it wasn’t about me I stopped crying all the time. It became kind of a clinical thing – I just needed to separate and pick up the pieces & move on.
    Narcissists can be very clever and manipulative and will do or say anything – mostly to make themselves look good but his intent was to take advantage of and exploit. It makes it easier to deal with when you realize you are normal and there is nothing wrong with your mind. I discovered that my ex is very good at not letting it show – in spite of his explosive rages and scary anger he carefully avoided putting incriminating correspondence into text or email form.
    He put his court papers together in a way that made the judge say that she thought that I had a personality disorder. Leslie’s book review about character disturbances was very helpful in understanding what that is. I have a close friend who has a master’s in counselling from a Christian university in California and when I was telling her the things he was doing to me & had done in the relationship she told me she thought he had a disordered personality!
    I know the truth of who he is will come out when the issues get dealt with in court.
    He was arrested for assault and removed from the home but refused to plead guilty and is loudly declaring that I am the one who assaulted him. I could go on ad nauseum about the craziness I have experienced but know I have to be calm, collected, and rely on the Lord’s leading to demonstrate the truth. I am continually astounded at the amount of nerve and entitlement he displays. I feel like I have lived with and experienced true evil with this man – he knew what he was doing to me and my 3 kids from my first marriage and he did it deliberately. In the end I remember this from the 23rd psalm that “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” – and I pray the Lord’s prayer for God to deliver us from evil. We need to be bold in the strength of the Lord
    Romans 16:20 says “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
    I find that fascinating God uses his own to crush evil under our feet – as we stand for truth and righteousness and justice. Thank you Leslie for this wise and helpful advice.

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:56 am

      You’re welcome Leonie, Psalm 23, that particular section is so helpful to say out loud to yourself when you’re in the midst of this kind of battle.

    • AJ on March 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Leslie, I loved your post today. Very straight forward about the reality to be faced.

      Leonie,
      The truth that they are deliberate in their tactics is one of the very hardest realities to face. When we are brave enough to see that we can begin to make wise choices for ourselves and our children. I never ever received an apology from my x-narc but one of the best things he did for me was to finally say “I knew that what I was doing was hurting you, it’s just that I didn’t care.” This truthful statement was so astounding at the time but ultimately freed me from trying to work on, fix or maintain any contact/relationship with him. I could not hope for him to care when I really don’t believe he has that ability. You are right, once you can see it becomes sort of a surgical thing. When you can see the cancer then you cut it out of your life, but until you see it you just live with the terrible symptoms.
      Blessings

      • Leonie on March 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        Thanks Melissa for the info about the parenting coordinator.
        AJ, yes, when I finally saw and understood the truth then I could disconnect because it wasn’t my problem and I couldn’t fix it. The imperative thing then became to get away to limit & stop the harm he was able to do to me and our family’s be protect our child that we have together the best I can inspite of the courts not seeming to understand or getting it backwards.

      • Leslie Vernick on March 23, 2016 at 9:24 pm

        Thanks AJ

  5. susen on March 9, 2016 at 10:18 am

    After 20 years of brainwashing, I was as concerned about his image as he was! What would everyone think if I walked away from such a “picture perfect” pair?

    Laughably, I had so many ask me why I waited so long! He wasn’t fooling the world.

    And his “wild and crazy guy” behavior during the separation made him look even worse–more ridiculous than anything.

    And I was accused of having a lesbian affair. At first I was flabbergasted but accusation isn’t truth, and I just kept my head up and went on.

    One bargaining chip that I fell into–my lawyer sent him a set of questions to answer–don’t know what that was called. One of them was to list names and addresses of all the women he had had sexual relations with during our marriage. He flipped out over that one. It became one way to bargain with him because he so did not want to have to write that book.

    The hurt was over as soon as he left–a few surprises but no more hurt.

    The best “surprise” of all was the exhilaration at my emancipation–I could breathe, I could attend church without a fight, I could enjoy friendships, I could manage my income, I could turn off that stupid television set, and I could stand on my own two feet!

    Whether children are at home or not, (mine were), there is always someone who is watching and learning from our examples. I’m not saying I didn’t make some big mistakes-but they were my mistakes that I accepted responsibility for, learned from, and went on to a strong spiritual life and, 15 years later, the blessing of a wonderful marriage to an honorable man who is beloved by my children and grandchildren.

    I agree that a strong counselor is vital. So is a good lawyer! And lots of prayers. susen

    • Leonie on March 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Wise advice, Susen, it is always nice to hear your words & perspective.

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Susan. Glad you are on the other side now.

  6. Amy on March 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    When my abusive ex walked out in ’09 the first thing I did to go as ‘no contact’ as possible since we still had two children under 18, was to insist on all communication be done through email only.
    In the beginning after he left, my ex would call me to discuss things or ask what I was thinking about getting back together, etc. I got to where I could NOT stand to hear his voice. It literally had me shaking and sent me into this state of panic. So it took all my strength to set the boundary of emails only for communication, but I did it and I’m so glad I did!

    Of course, he then starting sending nasty emails, telling me how worthless I’d been in our whole marriage. He closed out bank accounts and had our tax refund that year rerouted to a bank account he had opened in his own name, then when I asked for half of the money he sent an email which was 6 pages when printed off and it basically told me how I’d only contributed 2% to the family in all those years so therefore I should only receive so much of the money.

    But I stood strong through it all, even as I heard the rumors about me cheating on him, kicking him out of the house, only wanting to divorce, etc, etc.
    And the only reason I believe I was able to stand strong was going ‘no contact’ with him, only allowing emails because every single time I heard that man’s voice or ran into him in town I took a huge step back in my healing.
    I would cry for days, I felt so weak and stupid, I felt like I took 5 steps back instead of continuing to move forward in my healing.

    So, please…if you are separated from an abusive spouse, as much as you can you need to go ‘no contact’ or very little.
    At the time we didn’t have texts, but I’m not even sure I’d allowing texts only because it would be a daily barrage of communication so easily accessed. At least with email, although yes, you can check email on your phone, it is not right there all the time for you to see.

    In order to heal, to grow stronger, you have to get rid of toxins in your life. And an abusive spouse is highly toxic!

    • Melissa on March 9, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      My XNarc also berated me through email, text and phone. It was a barrage. First, I decided I would not take calls – all communication needed to be via text or email. However, that, too, was robbing my peace, as I was often getting 5-10 texts or emails a day, throughout the day. We are now on a tool called “Our Family Wizard” where all communication, except for urgent communication, goes through this website. I check it only once a day. And I do not respond to any communications that do not deal with the logistics of the children. That has been a huge source of relief for me. Hopefully other readers here can also find/share ways to protect their peace and have as little contact as possible with the narcissist.

      • Sunshine. on March 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        That tool sounds helpful and cool. Just curious, does the ex know his communication goes through the Family Wizard? I wonder if he realizes that sending numerous messages is no longer a means of interrupting you and side tracking you…so does he continue to send several texts or can he manage to be concise?

        • Melissa on March 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

          Yes, with Our Family Wizard (OFW) we both sign up on a website and pay a reasonable fee. You can see when the other person checked his emails and vice versa. So he can see that I only check once a day.

          Because this was mandated by our Parenting Coordinator, he doesn’t send texts anymore except for urgent texts, as that was the PC’s guidance.

          It has really helped me ‘reclaim’ my day and better manage when I deal with his emails.

          • Leonie on March 12, 2016 at 9:35 pm

            Tell me more about the parenting coordinator if you can, thanks.



          • Melissa on March 12, 2016 at 10:39 pm

            Hi Leonie,
            I don’t see where I can reply to your question, so I’m replying here:
            A parenting coordinator, or parenting facilitator in some states, is appointed by the courts. They have very specific duties as outlined by the Family Code of your state. In my state, if appointed, the PC meets with the parents in high-conflict cases (most divorces with a narcissist are going to be high-conflict!) and helps interpret the custody orders, try to reduce conflict, help with any negotiating or trading of time, etc. In my state they file a report with the court every 90 days. That is their stick. They can also testify if I go back to court over an issue.

            You can google “parenting coordinator” or “facilitator” and get more info. Some people have had negative experiences. I have a good PC who is bold., been doing this for years and can handle a strong personality. My PC helps me set good boundaries, understand the custody order, and helps me word emails to my XNarc with a boldness and firmness that I would not normally do on my own. When my XNarc responds in a negative way to the emails, the PC intervenes and lets him know that she told me to say that. I think eventually my Xnarc will tone it down b/c he won’t know what I’m saying and what the PC is telling me to say. And the PC monitors our emails that go back and forth over Our Family Wizard.

            I realize it may not be the solution to everyone, but in my case it has been helpful to manage the barrage of difficult and contentious emails I was receiving.
            Good luck to you!



  7. Julie on March 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Dear Leslie,

    God’s timing always amazes me! I am going through a bitter divorce and have recently thought and prayed to God how to handle this evil before me? I was thinking of posting this very question of How to fight this evil in a divorce? And by God’s grace, here is this article! I will use the resources provided to educate myself moving forward! I am seven months into my divorce and it has been excruciating!
    Thank you Leslie for the encouragement you give to so many! Yes, my hope is in Christ and I know how the end works out and nothing escapes Him! I have a loving church family who’s support has been a blessing to me! Man’s court is different I I could feel my frustration and knew I needed to go about this differently!
    Thank you and thank you Pastor Chris for sharing your knowledge with us!

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:52 am

      You’re so welcome Julie.

    • Robin on March 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Julie, one very solid step for me in my divorce to limit evil was taking someone into your lawyers office with you. My adult daughter who was a live witness to my abuse, was able to give strength of witness to my lawyer, so he didn’t write me off as ‘overly emotional’. I can’t say enough how helpful she was to my divorce process. It got to the point the few times she didn’t go with me- my lawyer asked why she wasn’t there. He knew I was beaten down and weak– and she was able to speak boldly on my behalf. Even if you don’t have a grown daughter, consider who would stand with you both in the lawyers office, and in the courtroom.

      • Remedy on March 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        Great advice Robin!! I had to get to that place in dual pastoral counseling of having another woman present for all meetings. I have been so traumatized by all of it, I wouldn’t dream of going into any meeting of that type without a witness/support person, as navigating these murky waters can overwhelm the tattered and weary soul.

  8. Melissa on March 9, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Such a great article Leslie! Thank you for this wise and helpful advice! I also found it so helpful to build up a care team to support me on this difficult and excruciating journey of dealing with a narcissist. My care team includes a few close friends who I can get “sanity checks” from, my church elder, an excellent Christian counselor, my small group Bible Study, my wellness doctor (to keep my body healthy in the face of the added stress), and my lawyer. Your care team may look a little different, but pull people around you to help you on this journey.

    Reposting this on http://www.divorcinganarcissist.net.

    Love and Blessings,
    Melissa

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:52 am

      So true Melissa – support and validation is crucial for your sanity and healing.

  9. Paula on March 9, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Thank you so much, Leslie-Every word is true here. He has an image as a “Pastor” and is continuing this image to his followers. I am moving on as you say, but still need to communicate as we work through the divorce. He has divorced me and I should have known years ago he was using me and didn’t love me since he found his girl friend in the assembly he was teaching. The advise to not respond only with a yes or no is so applicable too. Many thanks-You are my hero. .

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Thanks Paula, sorry for what you’ve had to go through.

    • Ruth on March 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Paula, my heart goes out to you. You’ve been through so much. I will pray for you.

  10. […] For the full blog go to:  https://leslievernick.com/4513-2/#comment-54346 […]

  11. Carolee on March 9, 2016 at 10:56 am

    The comment about it being easier if he was just mean all the time is so true. My h is such a roller coaster ride. Since he’s so much more bearable to be around when he’s in the “nice” mode I take what I can get. I am realizing tho that this is enabling him. I am still so afraid of his mean moods and rages that I am playing his game. My counselor is working with me but it’s such slow going. Leslie, your blog helps me so much with my narcissistic h. I pray for you and the ladies here who have gone through so much. God bless.

    • Leonie on March 10, 2016 at 1:08 am

      The nice phase is a hook to keep you from leaving and from seeing the truth so he can keep abusing you.
      I realized in the past few days that when I am receiving text messages via a 3rd party from my ex that they are written to make him appear civil or like a normal person that is someone rational that I can work with but they are meant entirely for show and do not reflect reality and he will not follow through with “promises” – I realized I had been duped again – via a 3rd party – for appearances sake.

      • Carolee on March 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

        Thanks ladies, I know how important his image is to outsiders. He wants to be the “good guy”. He once told me some old friends were surprised at how nice he really is after his first wife bashed him. It just affirmed to him he isn’t in the wrong. The “problem”is me. He tells me this all the time and he is never gonna stop trying to “fix” me.
        I don’t have any close girlfriends. My older adult daughter knows how he is but he is so “caring ” towards her. She gets sucked into the game as well. I am so thankful for the support here. I know my Savior has a plan and I have choices to make. It’s taken years but my eyes are open to so much now. Ps 27 has been so precious to me especially vs 13-14. As I wait I have to believe I will see God’s goodness “in the land of the living”. I used to pray for God to just take me home to be done with this. Now I realize I have so much to learn. Bless you dear sisters. I pray for you. Please pray for me.

    • Survivor on March 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Carolee, this is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult aspects of figuring out how to address things with these guys!!! My best line of defense has been having good friends by my side who have opportunity to observe what is going on (because even the ‘nice’ is self-serving and there are usually clues….) and be more objective than I am able to be. I am able to see it clearly when it happens to others around me, but have a much harder time sorting it out when it is happening to me…….having someone help me take in the big picture is invaluable…..

  12. Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    That’s why being close to God and building CORE strength is an important part of healing, especially when you’ve been infected with “evil’s poison darts” Then the evil starts to course through your own heart in bitterness, rage, and hatred. When we are told to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21) Paul doesn’t expect we will overcome the other person but we must work hard ourselves to overcome the effects of their evil on us, and they way we do that is with good, not more evil of our own.

    • Aleea on March 9, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      . . . Thank you so much Leslie. . . . . “bless them which persecute you”, “recompense to no one evil for evil”, “avenge not yourselves”, “overcome evil with good” . . . I do those things but my motivations are horrific. If the “O” (Holy Spirit) wants the motivations to match the compliance behavior, I so pray He will overwhelm my mind to do it. I’m willing, but too worn out. All Dr. Meier can do is ask me questions I just can’t answer. I don’t know the “why”? I would not hold back the “C”, the “why” if I knew why. It is just a total blank space inside. . . . .To me, the hardest part of healing is just realizing there is no one to hate or scapegoat. . . . .We are ALL totally broken and we are alone and we desperately keep thinking something will eventually make this all better (new understanding/ realization, new relationships, new program, new counselor, something/ someone NEW.). . .We should think again. . . . . From “Lord I Just Want to Be Happy by Leslie Vernick.” . . .page 37: Which core lie do you struggle with?
      1) l ought to be more than I am (―no struggle) ―I can’t be more than what Christ makes me.
      2) I deserve to have more than God gave me (―no struggle) ―I am so blessed already.
      3) Life should be fair (―no struggle) ―If life were fair, I would already be gone.
      I don’t know what is going on. Maybe I don’t have the Holy Spirit (―God forbid) because in that CORE strength model, I would suspect that the “O” ―I will be OPEN to the Holy Spirit to teach me new ways of thinking, feeling and responding is everything. I would assume that if the Holy Spirit is really got ahold of you, the “C”; the “R”; and the “E” would happen, period. How could they not? . . . . I keep thinking the moment I become conscious of what is unconscious I can be transformed.

  13. Sharon Warren on March 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you for this article. It is so healing. I went through a divorce with a Narcissist. Many 27 years when he abandoned me for another woman. I then filed for divorce. I literally had to find for years to get it over with. He drug it out in the courts for that long & our sons were grown men. I could write a book about this situation. I have volumes of court documents of the dirty deeds he did to me. By Gods grace I survived.

    • Sharon Warren on March 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      I meant to say Married for 27 years. Also meant to say had to fight for years to get it over with. I didn’t know how to correct my typos in my comment section so here are my corrections.

  14. Elise on March 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    As I approached the inevitable contest over division of assets I moaned, “I’m just not a fighter,” to a friend. He replied bluntly, “Of course you aren’t – that’s what you are paying your attorney for – to do the fighting for you.”
    All communication from that point was through my attorney. It was the buffer I needed to remain calm, reasonable and to not give in to my abuser’s attempts to keep every penny. Great advice.

    • Robin on March 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Excellent!! I agree Elise- use lawyers every chance you can. But sometimes it’s helpful to educate them about narcissism. Boy did my lawyer get an education!!!

  15. Maria on March 9, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I am not divorced. I have chosen not to because of minor children. Narcissists want to win and sometimes will use kids in the process. A lot of times the courts don’t see this. when my husband behaves badly, I have set boundaries to protect us (telling him I will talk to him when he is respectful. etc). I have distanced myself emotionally from him. By staying for now, I am able to be there for the kids. I have some friends who have divorced/ are in the process of divorcing narcissists and they have made the lives of the kids miserable.

    • Robin on March 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Sounds like you have thought this thru and are working to have a strong core. I am not in favor of staying in a narcissistic marriage-but I do believe there is reason to stay and reason to leave. It’s hard to know in each indicidual family, how to protect your children the best. A narcissist will cause damage either way!! I will pray for your family!!

      • Maria on March 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        Thanks Robin. Yes, so affects the innocent a lot of times.

        • Maria on March 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm

          *sin

      • Maria on March 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

        Something else I wanted to share in case others are staying- I have seen a lawyer and gathered information on divorce in our county/ state. I have also reached a point where I don’t have to depend on my husband financially. I have found out that depending on him for anything opens the door for him to have power. I have reached out to other women/ couples.

      • Jean on March 15, 2016 at 8:39 am

        True Robin. If the narcissist is a traveler, that can be helpful. I pray that yours gets lots of overseas assignments!

    • Remedy on March 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      How do you handle the intimacy part Maria? After I set the emotional boundary 6yrs ago with no result, but rather further dug in stubbornness, I set the physical part….and that is where it got terrifying. I could no longer manage the intimacy part. I’m always curious how others here manage this safely.

      • Maria on March 9, 2016 at 6:40 pm

        Remedy, I am not intimate with my husband. When he made no attempt to reconcile, I began to feel used and decided not to be intimate with him. When I was intimate with him, my emotions were all over the place. Now I’m able to interact with him on a more rational level. I have never had a problem confronting him or standing up to him.

        • Robin on March 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm

          Maria, if you’re keeping physical intimacy from your husband, isn’t his rage growing out of control?? I moved out of my narcissistic husbands bedroom, made my own money, became independent from him- and it all collected together to create a madman. How are you avoiding that??

          • Maria on March 10, 2016 at 3:31 pm

            Robin, He doesn’t ask for what I don’t give freely, I think because of pride. We have very limited interactions.



    • Ruth on March 10, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Maria, you sound like a strong and wise woman. I wish I could say I was ‘staying well’ like you are, but I am making some slow improvements.
      I’m sorry you and your children are in the situation you’re in, and it in no way makes it ‘worth it’ but just know that your Godly, wise approach to living out this type of marriage is an encouragement to me and others here who can’t pursue a separation or divorce.
      I am very thankful for Leslie’s materials and this forum! It’s been such a source of grace and wisdom to me.

      • Robin on March 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        Maria, you’re fortunate. I tried to have limited interactions but he wouldn’t give me grocery money or other things so I gave in for long time. Until I saw Leslies video and I immediately quit asking for anything. But with such limited interactions, the marriage died and there was nothing to hold us together.

        • Robin on March 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

          Can u believe he tried to bribe me with a trip to France?? He never once took us on a real vacation and now he thought he’d buy sex.
          I filed immediately after that.

          • Maria on March 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

            Robin, I’m glad you were strong enough to realize he was just trying to get you back and not trying to work on the marriage. I am happy that you are now able to live an abuse free life. Because your kids are grown, he can’t use them to get to you. I am sorry that you went through so much suffering with your husband.
            In abusive situations, when a wife is dependent on her husband, he can really misuse that power. For anyone here in an abusive situation who is dependent on their spouse financially, it’s important to try and get financially independent, in my opinion. I know a few women whose husbands encouraged them to quit their jobs, and then started financially abusing them.
            I have accepted that outside a huge, huge miracle, my husband will not change. He has absolutely no desire to change. That means there is little to no hope for a healthy marriage. That’s just reality. My goal is to raise my kids and do what’s best for them. I am fortunate that he leaves us alone most of the time.



    • Carmen on March 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Maria, thank you for openly sharing your journey. What I am going to share is not to oppose your decision, as you seem to have thought things very thoroughly and in the Lord. Still, I want to give another perspective that might help other people who also worry about their kids. I am the child of an emotionally-abusive marriage that was never ended. As a child, I witnessed firsthand what a loveless relation is, what it is to never see your mom and dad kiss, or be courteous, or loving with each other. I witnessed many verbal fights, indifference, and hurtful or sarcastic language used frequently. Since I was a little girl, I wished my parents would have divorced, since it was so obvious they did not love each other, but were quite unhappy in their relationship. Both of them, always told my sister and me that they loved us and that their fights had nothing to do with us. However, as a child, I was NEVER satisfied with that answer. As an adult, given the particular situation I went through, I now think it was more than unfair for two kids to have to witness and endure living in a house so devoid of true love and affection. I think we would have been much better off living physically separately, as it would have been more coherent with the true reality of our daily lives. Unfortunately, years later, I ended up in an emotionally-abusive marriage myself. And after a long journey of 16 years, I decided to get divorced. One of the reasons that helped me decide for the divorce, was so that my two daughters would not grow up believing that an emotionally-abusive marriage, void of love and affection is what marriage is all about. I believe divorcing or separating is a very, very delicate and personal matter, only the Holy Spirit can guide us to know what to do when we end up in such circumstances. I just wanted to share my experience. I hope it helps others.

      • Robin on March 23, 2016 at 10:38 am

        Carmen thank u for sharing. I love your strength . I also left as I realized it was not good what my children had to observe in a love less marriage.it broke my heart to keep living a lie in front of them. It is not an easy move to separate as we find that equally painful, but when young children are being taught what a healthy or unhealthy relationship look like- it’s important we take these matters seriously. I agree only the HS can reveal these things to us. Thank you again. It’s so beneficial to hear from a child that endured their parents destructive relationship.

  16. Shan on March 9, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I divorced my narcissistic husband about 9 years ago. Now I can look back at some of the things he did and laugh. At the time it was bad. But really once you get things settled it mostly calms down. Your life will be so much better when you don’t have to deal with that craziness every day, and the women he is dating you just feel sad for them, there is no longer any jealousy or feeling of loss.

    I remember when we were passing a spreadsheet back and forth to say who would get what and what value it had. My lawyer asked me why does he keep decreasing the value of the things you are keeping, that’s not in his best interest. I said he’s trying to tell me I don’t know the value of things but he’s not good at math so he doesn’t realize that if he takes a table that’s worth $100 and I take a rug that’s worth $100 and he changes my rug to $75 I can now take $25 more worth of items. 🙂 Another time he told the judge he should not have to pay both child support and make my car payment for me and my lawyer replied that I am not asking that you pay both, that I would like to pay for my car payment myself. The judge was just like why is he wasting my time!!! I think my ex-husband was just so used to charming his way out of everything and being in control, and just did not realize that he was going to have to submit to the law. There was a while there where nothing he said made any sense and everyone around him knew it. He is a lot easier to deal with now, many years later.

    • Carrie on March 10, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      So familiar! I remember at the beginning when mine was telling me he didn’t care what the law said, if I did X, I was initiating a divorce. And if I did Y, I was stealing from him. Now he’s become entirely enamored of the law and what it can gain him from the assets amassed mostly from my much larger income over almost 20 years of marriage.

  17. Karen on March 10, 2016 at 1:54 am

    I am going through divorce proceedings, I have prayed and asked others to pray for God’s will in my life and in my son’s life also.

    This past Friday, we had a hearing for soul occupancy, my husband told the judge he couldn’t afford a lawyer, you guessed it……he cross examine me, as painful as it was, God used it. The truth came out, everyone in that court room saw how controlling, manipulative and “crazy” he was.

    Not only did I get soul occupancy and temporary custody of my son, God gave me an order of protection, so there is no direct contact.

    I have cried for several days and have been emotional but oh the peace I feel now…..incredible.

    I have to admit if I hadn’t read your book, I would have “fought back” and ended up sinning right along with him. So thankful you wrote the emotionally abusive marriage because without it, my behavior would not be a testimony.

    Please keep my son and I in prayer as this is not over for us. Please pray for God’s will, whatever that maybe, he knows the beginning from the end.

    • Cara on March 18, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Excellent that he showed his true colours in court!

  18. Dawn on March 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I also found no-contact to be a helpful thing. After I left, he pressed for contact (because honoring boundaries was not something a narcissist is particularly skilled at). His most frequent argument was that he had changed and that I wasn’t going to be able to see it because I refused to talk to him. So, after a couple of months of texts and letters…and after I found a charge for a strip club on our bank account…I told him that I would talk to him when, and only when, two men out of a very short list I provided vouched that he had changed. That put the burden on him to take responsibility to build enough relationship with men I trusted to prove that he had changed. He never did, and then said that they weren’t open to listening to him. But because I had already set that ground rule, and it was in writing and my friends knew about it, I could stand my ground. My lawyer played a similar role as we got into the legal proceedings.

    I also learned to only take responsibility for my own stuff, and let him feel the weight of his own decisions. That was hard because I’d buffered him from a lot of it when we were married. But by doing that, I was able to focus on what was important to me and what I needed to take care of myself. And that was exceptionally important.

    My friends who have kids use similar strategies, although it’s harder because they have more interaction. For instance, one of my friends told her ex that they could only communicate via email. Then she set a rule that forwarded all email from him to a trusted friend. That person summarized the email and sent back what she needed to respond. Then my friend didn’t need to battle the crazy by herself.

    • Aleea on March 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Dawn,
      That is a great idea with the e-mail. I am going to ask my counselor if she will do that for me with my mother! “Dr. Meier just keep track of your time and bill me for that too. I don’t even want to know what you put in the return e-mail. Just answer it any way you feel is appropriate, you have enough background at this point.” That way she even gets even more insight into the abuse. Let her read firsthand about “. . . the daughter not worth having.” —I love that idea, it is amazing how when you hear of someone else doing it, it is like instant permission to apply it to yourself. My mother never, ever separates ideas, facts and beliefs from me as a person, never. It is always totally personal. Criticize the arguments, the ideas, the beliefs not the person making them. She always withdraws emotionally the second I disagree and shows no ability to remain rational in an e-discussion. . . .Lots of you are stronger than I am, but I can’t even read mothers e-mails without them living in my memory. . . . Anyways, one thing I like about the truth is that it will attend to itself, it is unstoppable, whether we respect it or not. The truth does not care what she believes, truth operates on facts. . . .Anyways, thank you for sharing that, really good stuff.

    • Elizabeth on March 11, 2016 at 12:42 am

      I am currently staying (sometimes I manage the “well” part, sometimes not), and it sounds like in my situation too, the key is to stop being a buffer for the husband. Previously, my husband managed to keep on good terms with our group of friends and acquaintances by channeling inconsiderate or unreasonable requests of people (such as tenants in our rental house, our son’s kindergarten teacher, contractors, parishoners at our church, etc) through me, so that I was the one who looked bad. He also actively discouraged me from asking people for help with things that he knew he should be doing (such as splitting firewood, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn [I usually will just do these things, but I’ve been pregnant a lot during our marriage thus far]). He especially discouraged me from asking people to watch the children occasionally so that I could get out of the house to take a class, volunteer at a church event, or participate in some recreational activity. I’m sure he did this not because he did not want to impose on others, but because he did not want it known that he was unwilling to care for his own children on an occasional basis.
      I eventually had to go ahead and plain disobey him. When he wants me to make an awkward request to someone, I say something like, “why don’t you call so-and-so and tell her yourself? You’ll be able to explain it better than me, because I won’t know exactly what you want.” And when I need help with a man-type task, I ask for it. I am blessed to live in a very close-knit small town with a wonderful support network, and I make use of it when necessary. When I want or need to participate in some activity, I say to my husband, “I am going to such-and-such an event at such-and-such a time. Do you want to watch the children, or should I get a sitter?” without any reference to whether I might not go if he doesn’t want me to.

      It’s been a real re-learning process, trying to walk the line between being disobedient to my husband and being the enabler. I’ve had to actually formulate rules to myself about our interactions; I hated the idea initially of having tactics instead of just plain talking to my husband as came naturally. I was also reluctant to allow my husband’s reputation to be damaged. But during the first several years of our marriage, he took that reluctance and ran with it to such an extent that I worked like a dog and was plain housebound. Now, I try to allow him to be exposed to the natural consequences of his lack of care of me and our children.

      • Aleea on March 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

        “. . . splitting firewood, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn” . . . “. . .I eventually had to go ahead and plain disobey him. When he wants me to make an awkward request to someone, I say something like, “why don’t you call so-and-so and tell her yourself?” . . . .Good, because the only person you should worry about “disobeying” is God. Elizabeth I am so praying for you. Re: “. . . .allow him to be exposed to the natural consequences of his lack of care of me and our children.” . . . .How in the name of all that is Holy does life get this destructive? . . . .How are our beliefs functioning? What are they keeping us from confronting? Beliefs are so often used to cover over our serious anxieties and prevent a head-on encounter with this disturbing fact: lots and lots of women are abused. . . . Maybe we should either do exactly what the Bible says and leave the consequences to God, even if we die doing it and get promoted to heaven. Re: First Peter Two & Three: Slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. . . . . Likewise, wives, be in all subjection to your own husbands. —or— Use sophisticated text deconstruction and prevent the Bible from being structurally used as a defense mechanism that provides psychological cover for all forms of abuse, even and maybe even especially, spiritual abuse. . . . .The Bible does not bracket off neuropsychological measures outside of the norm: —interpersonally exploitative, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, etc. . . . .But beyond ALL that, the thing that always, totally floors me is how a man could not comprehend what marvelous responders women are when they get an environment of sincere, ongoing affection, caring, protection, nurture, thoughtfulness. . . just blossoms —out responding any man. . . . .Some days I just stare. . . .maybe we did evolve from monkeys? It sure makes one wonder.

      • Maria on March 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        Elizabeth, I know there are some denominations that believe that wives should obey their husbands. I encourage you to study this and find out if this is really what tha Bible says. Beliefs have consequences. Thinking about it logically, do you think God would approve of your husband telling you to do all the chores so that he can relax, or tell you not to get medical help when you need it? It doesn’t sound like the God in the Bible. In an abusive marriage, where the husband does not have the wife’s good in mind, he can really do a lot of damage. Expecting you to do the physical things you’ve described is so inconsiderate and unloving (sinful). It hurls both you and him. You mentioned you have children- your children will think this is ok.

        • Elizabeth on March 11, 2016 at 7:17 pm

          Maria, you are so right, but, as usual, there are complications. It has taken me this long to come to terms with how manipulative he is. For instance, he is very solicitous of his own health, to the point of ignoring mine. And I would think “If a grown man is making such a fuss about this, he must really feel bad.” And so I gritted my teeth and did the chore. Cause I loved him. Other times, he has (grudgingly) agreed to watch the children at a certain time, only to suddenly decide to work late, when it is too late to find a sitter.
          I’ve told him recently that the real problem with our marriage is that from the beginning I always put him first, with the assumption that he would do the same for me. It’s this implicit understanding that makes a good marriage, but it goes awry when only one of the partners has heard of it.

      • Ruth on March 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Elizabeth, I am so sorry for how your H has treated you. Reading of your situation, makes me think of Abigail married to the fool Nabath. I notice that she never had to ask for forgiveness for not ‘obeying/honoring her evil H’s wishes’. Instead, she is held up as wise and was rewarded for her courage!

      • Jean on March 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

        > Do you want to watch the children, or should I get a sitter?<

        Glad this works for you. NOw that I am divorced, I have come to learn that whenever I left the house, he would go on the computer to "play" and ASK THE CHILDREN to let him know when Mommy pulls back into the driveway. What he taught our children during those times was dreadful. As much as it hurt, I do believe that teaching my children consequences to sin (divorce) is better than teaching how to be sneaky (staying). In my case…

        This all came out in front of the Guardian Ad Litem. Thank you Jesus.

      • Cara on March 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

        Yes buffering for him just isolates you and wears you down. Let him grow up and take the consequences of being an adult.

  19. Caroline Abbott on March 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    This is one of the best blog’s I’ve ever read about how to divorce a narcissist! I laughed out loud when I read the quote: “Your attempt to portray me in a negative light is noted.” Wish I had had that one 10 years ago when I divorced mine! I will definitely suggest that to the women I help!! And I will be sharing this blog. Thanks so much Leslie!

  20. Ann L on March 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m struggling to come to terms with the idea. Fact. That my husband has engaged in on-going patterns of behavior that he covered with lies, and when caught, responded by shifting blame to me, minimizing the behavior, re-directing the conversation, denying, etc..

    With the help of a counselor I’m gradually accepting that his behaviors reflect an addictive personality and I’m realizing that he’s still not taking responsibility for the behaviors.

    I wouldn’t call him a narcissist, but many of the behaviors sound the same. He’ll do whatever it takes to maintain his self-image of the all-round good guy.

    • Content on March 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Ann, I could have written your comment. God has done a lot of work in me over the past few years of coming to grips with the reality of our situation. He has used it in my life to get me to a place of finding my security, self-worth and the perfect love I need totally in Christ. He has shown me ways I was being manipulated and how to stand strong on certain issues in our marriage. I’ve also learned, simultaneously, about the idea of shame in men and about respecting my husband. God has faithfully and gently reminded me through this process that I am not perfect, either, and had things I needed to work on, too…which enabled me to work on forgiveness and guarding myself from becoming bitter.

      All of these things have combined and it seems our marriage is shifting towards healthier interactions and ways of communicating. My husband has been much more willing to listen to my needs and hurts and, even though he hasn’t communicated any kind of beautiful apologies, I am seeing actions that line up with someone who has a desire to work on his issues (this is HUGE!). When I say I’ve learned to stand strong, I think that was pivotal in my husband understanding that I was no longer going to be manipulated by the same phrases I’d heard for years that would cause me to retreat from trying to bring an issue up that needed to be addressed in our marriage. Because God showed me that I was operating and speaking in ways that were coming across as disrespectful to my husband, I was able to take those firm stands in a new respectful way that seems, so far, to have made a difference. (I read a lot on peacefulwife.com and God has used that website hugely in my life. The author of that blog, April Cassidy, also has a newly released book called The Peaceful Wife).

      God really had to take me to a place of realizing that if I lost the love of my husband, I would be o.k. and would not just survive, but even thrive….because I have all I need in Christ. Once I got there and had worked on my own issues, I was no longer in fear of losing the relationship and I was able to state with boldness and confidence what I needed in our relationship to be able to be the wife he wanted (open, vulnerable and caring).

      I just wanted to comment and say that I do feel encouraged with these changes and the things God has revealed and I trust that God will do the same for you.

      • Ann L on March 15, 2016 at 3:26 am

        Thank you, Content. I am glad that you are finding a way. Yes, I have plenty of my own stuff to work on, and am doing so.

  21. Robin on March 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Maria, I have so many stories….. You mentioned an abuser might try to get his wife to quit her job. My husband was newly retired and altho we have a large home- he wanted the home all to himself. I’m a Piano Teacher and have been for 30 years that worked out of our home. He took me for a ride one day and said- you have 3 options:
    You can quit your job and I’ll give you an allowance. Or you can work one day a week and I’ll give you an allowance. Or you can move your business out of our home and rent a studio. I was flabbergasted that he thought I would accept one of his options. My counselor helped me write a letter stating I would not be accepting any of the options, and would continue the work in my home is been doing for many years.
    He thought he was so entitled and could demand whatever he desired.
    I still shake my head, when I think about it. He never honored my work or encouraged me in anyway in my business but complained all the time because he wanted me to hand over my income to him. Yes, I am living a life of freedom and peacefulness, and wouldn’t go back to that slave he expected me to be.

    • Maria on March 11, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Robin, Unfortunately the church encourages this entitlement behavior, by not confronting bad behavior, and pushing submission as the answer to such conflict.

      • Robin on March 11, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        Yes, I agree . We get brainwashed and then have no way to figure out how to get in brainwashed until we’ve been thru enough pain. FYI- my children are not safe from my narcissistic husband. They knew the truth about him and still were sorely manipulated and wounded. It’s mostly why I speak a hard line about staying- I believe if we don’t leave early before the narcissist digs his heels in and creates trouble we’re not even aware of at the time– they will die trying to win . It’s very sad, I hate what they get away with. But I myself was rescued from so much pain and chaos, I know God hears my prayers for my children.

        • Aleea on March 12, 2016 at 8:24 am

          Hello Robin,
          “wins” . . . .nobody wins anything. It is all lose-lose. I know you know that. . . . You can get to those conclusions very fast with logic, reason, evidence and facts. In fact, look how folks just bypass the scriptures and go right to the logic, reason, evidence and facts. They do that because the answers come very quickly using logic, reason, evidence and facts. The almost impossible part is being willing to know what we already know (re: your children’s view of their father). It took me years and years and years to admit: “my mother totally abused me and my father just let it happen because that made it easy on him” but I knew that from the start. I just didn’t want to know what I already knew. . . . . .How do we make it safe enough for people to admit what they already know? That is what slows the healing to a dead stop. . . . When all his resources were exhausted and Moses was brought to the barren, wind-swept, sun-scorched, horizons of emptiness ―then God came and told him what to do. . . .There is only one thing worse than not getting what you want and that is getting what you want. . . . . God always makes things as hard as possible (I am sorry Lord but it sure looks that way.), so I bet until we(I) stop scapegoating and blaming others (like I do with my mother) we can never, ever heal. Not really heal. When can only deeply heal when we directly confront ourselves and and God always totally humbles us so I am certain the site of any healing is the very abuser themselves. It is the reverse logic that God always uses: The way right is left; the way up is down; the way to save your life is to lose it completely. I know you know all that. . . . And I totally recoil from that. I know I don’t want to even consider my mothers oil branches. . . . i.e. you will be dead, so long as you refuse to die (—that is be really crucified in Christ). Christ wants us to crucify our selfish, me-first identities and die with Him outside the city walls, —nasty, nasty stuff (rejected by the religious, the culture, et. al.) On the Cross, Jesus lost it all. It is beyond my comfort-laden, abundance-filled, self-improvement-addicted mind and the culture I live in to understand that, and we (I) am immersed inside that culture —big time. I want to hate my mother so I can externalize all my issues. . . .but that brings no real healing because it slows down a confrontation with the real issue, me. Dr. Meier said to me last week “Aleea, when are you going to stop abusing yourself?” . . . . .Look how the early church completely understood that and received that total multiple-murder (the Apostle Paul) into the church. God is constantly asking us to do the hardest thing, if we want to heal vs. hate. Lord God it is disgusting, and violates all logic, I will tell you that.

        • Cara on March 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm

          I stayed and all it accomplished is that he turned my children against me once they got a bit older. I wish I had left earlier. Staying only muddied the waters, especially after he cheated. I should not have tried again. First he estranged me from my family, then he later cheated. Kids know when the parents don’t love one another, it’s a very sad example for them.

          • Robin on March 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm

            Cara- I experienced the same for you and you could say this is my mantra to women who think it’s safe to say. I so regret staying thinking I needed to protect my children by keeping them ‘in a family’. Narcissists will be successful in turning children away from their moms- because they make it their life goal to do so. It is so painful. Stop the abuse early and quit pretending everything will be all right. I’m so sorry Cara this happened to you.



  22. Remedy on March 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Aleea…..I share in your sitting and staring moments. Thanks for the laugh at the end 🙂

    • Aleea on March 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Remedy
      . . .It is so easy to be unaware, I know I so often am. I don’t even know what I don’t know. . . .but honestly, seriously and as kindly as possible, what is the matter with people? I would be afraid someone would be splitting more than “firewood”. Don’t husbands want a relationship that is full of what the New Testament calls zōē ζωὴ (bursting with life, a total zoo!) or do they want a godless, degrading master-slave relationship?. . . . You know what? If you are treating your spouse like a mere object, depersonalizing, etc. are you not also doing that to yourself? . . . .I guess it is really hard to be self-aware. That is why God puts us together so we can help each other see. —And what about our questions that we ask/ act on with each other on the honeymoon and again every single month until the Lord comes back to the earth!!!

      1) Can you really, truly, safely express an opinion that is different from mine?
      2) What am I NOT really hearing? . . . .What do I need to apologize to you for?
      3) What am I NOT doing that you need? . . . . What needs am I not meeting?
      4) What do I do that makes you feel really loved/respected? . . . . What can I pray with you for?
      5) Do you feel loved and cared for in our relationship?
      6) Do I show enough interest in you and your needs?
      7) Are you able to express your honest thoughts and feelings with me, really?

      . . . .I guess as humans, we really have lots of self-destructive, self-harm tenancies. . . . .You can really see that in books like “Hidden Self-harm: Narratives from Psychotherapy” by Dr. Maggie Turp. . . . I just don’t understand people who don’t want to love and be loved. . . . . Anyways, I always beg God to help me, to help us all, be able to grasp the might, transformative, faithful, safe and pure love of God –or- simply to let us know if we have gotten the entire fundamental structure somehow completely wrong because it really seems to contain complete headscratchers.

  23. Robin on March 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Aleea, thank you for your thoughts. I want to ask you something that I’ve wondered for a long long time. Are you facing your abuse by your mother?? It doesn’t seem helpful from where I am, for you to use so many words to tell stories of people in Scripture, and spend minimal time facing your own battle. I don’t want my words to hurt you; but to challenge you. This last week in counseling I had a huge crisis because I had revealed to me how long my own mother abused me, and it devastated me to see it and have to deal with it. I know I could hide behind it and use words to cover my feelings- but it was time to look at it head on and say, this IS what happened and express whatever anger, powerlessness, etc I was feeling. I’ve been praying for you too that God will bring you to a revelation of truth and you will choose to face it. You are a beautiful woman with much knowledge and love for others- I hope you can love yourself as well????

  24. Aleea on March 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Hello Robin,

    “Are you facing your abuse by your mother??” . . . . .Yes, not only when I see her in person which I try to totally minimize but especially, and this is the bigger issue, when I encounter her internally. I have so internalized her that I can’t shut her off. Dr. Meier has all these techniques I use but when stressed, I revert and I can just hear/see all the shaming, blaming, condemning, damning. Dr. Meier claims it is because the abuse was always both psychical and emotional that it is so vivid.

    “I don’t want my words to hurt you; but to challenge you.”. . . . . Robin, everything hurts me but I so appreciate your words. . . . .Everything makes me afraid. I know that sounds just crazy but I will just say it: I am afraid of Leslie Vernick and her words. I’m terrified of my counselor Dr. Cheryl Meier. I am afraid of you, Maria, et.al. My mother so abused me that I guess my only hope was to act as if I wasn’t terrified but it is just that, acting. I am so afraid . . . . .and my father just let it all happen. He did nothing to stop it. Anyway, imagine being afraid of nice people posting verbiage on a blog or sending e-mails? This is crazy but I think it is because you are so nice and don’t really, seriously attack me like my mother always did. When people seriously attack me, I know exactly what to do and it feels like my dysfunctional home. It structures and sharpens my thinking and I build better arguments but when people love on me, I just fall apart. Dr. Meier says for me it is the “—Oh, NO, not the love moments” that totally disorient me. She tells me that over and over: “―Oh, NO. . . .NOT the love, anything but the love.”

    “It doesn’t seem helpful from where I am, for you to use so many words to tell stories of people in Scripture, and spend minimal time facing your own battle.” . . . . .I agree it is a numbing device but at the same time Scripture is one of my battles. Dr. Meier says that these stories are numbing devices and distancing mechanisms. She claims I have a love problem not a theological questions problem. I don’t know if I agree with that. But the Bible does remind me of my mother. I don’t know why because she is an atheist. Nevertheless, the Bible triggers me and when it does I want to deconstruct, demythologize and de-weaponize it. I don’t really know why. Maybe because I feel like the Bible is so often used to remotely control people. When I feel pastors, elders, et.al. are using the Bible to control people remotely, even if I am not being addressed, I feel controlled. I feel really afraid.

    “This last week in counseling I had a huge crisis because I had revealed to me how long my own mother abused me, and it devastated me to see it and have to deal with it. I know I could hide behind it and use words to cover my feelings- but it was time to look at it head on and say, this IS what happened and express whatever anger, powerlessness, etc I was feeling.” . . . .Horrible, just horrible. But it sounds like you are dealing with this in a healthy way expressing your feelings.

    “I’ve been praying for you too that God will bring you to a revelation of truth and you will choose to face it. You are a beautiful woman with much knowledge and love for others- I hope you can love yourself as well.” . . . . .I don’t love myself, at all but we sure work on learning how in counseling. I would so love to be able to do that. . . .I so appreciate your prayers, more than you can know. After each counseling session each week I get the mp3 of the session so I listen to them many times. . . . “Aleea, when you tell me you don’t know who you are, you are not kidding one bit, ―you don’t.” ―Dr. Meier. . . . Thank you so much Robin and I trust that God has heard my tears and prayers for you too. . . . .One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.

  25. Robin on March 12, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Aleea, your story sounds very familiar except it sounds like I’ve been able to make more headway in my weekly therapy sessions. Have you considered taking one of Leslies class’s that focus on building up your core???

    • Aleea on March 13, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Hello Robin,
      . . . .well, I most certainly have prayed about taking the CORE building class. I love that CORE model, especially the “O”. I think that whole model is about the “O”. In fact, I think the “C”; the “R” and the “E” flow only from the “O”. . . . .Anyways, I only have 18 hours in a day and I totally have my hands full with counseling homework, home responsibilities, work, travel. . . . Maybe. . . .maybe that is just excuse making, I don’t know. I also don’t know what is the Holy Spirit vs. my selfish spirit. Anyways, I will re-consider. . . . I am always examining myself, letting the Holy Spirit lead me. I work a lot on that. Allowing Him to take and give things and people into/ out of my life according to His timing and wisdom. . . . The counseling progress seems as slow as molasses going uphill in January, at least it feels that way. . . . . I really am such a believer in prayer. The Bible sets me back nearly every single time I touch it, but prayer, well, prayer is totally other. Prayer demonstrates my serious need for God, it is clean and freeing. . . . .See Elizabeth’s comments above about disobeying her husband. I bet that comes from reading the Bible, not prayer or the “O” (The big Other, the Holy Spirit). . . . . . I just see the self-serving, fingerprints of misogynist men with no “O” all over the manuscripts of the N.T., especially the history of textual alterations involving passages about women. As long as she thinks like a man, no church objects to a woman thinking. To me, the history of institutional Christianity’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more sad than the story of that emancipation itself. It is like we have stockholm syndrome, ourselves. —Thank you, Robin.

  26. Robin on March 13, 2016 at 9:51 am

    My mom had Stockholm Syndrome and I am in intense therapy .When I heard you say, everything hurts you a red flag went up. Don’t you think your job and responsibilities could go on hold, if you need extra help to heal??
    I went thru denial I understand the comfort of it well. But there comes a time when one has to say, enough! It’s time to take care of me and find out what I need to do to get well. I did that Aleea and now my healing is my number one priority. I hope you can do the same!!!!

    • Aleea on March 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Robin,
      That is something I will seriously consider. . . Dr. Meier, at least, claims that moving any faster would interfere i.e. we only move forward when I am vulnerable and can process through the resistance. . . . That said, I find the concept that I am more important than my job really appealing, but it sure goes against everything I was taught. . . . My family discouraged individual expression. Everyone had to conform to the thoughts and actions of toxic mother. Personal boundaries, none.

  27. Penny on March 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Dear Aleea,
    Your posts here have helped me a lot. The deep pain of early betrayal by either parent is a lifelong wound. I am in my mid fifties…any ‘scratch’ on the surface of my life may lead to profuse bleeding at the moment or later on. Two siblings of my have ended their life by suicide. My Mom is a psych patient that has lived with us these last five years. There are so many elements of life that seem beyond repair. Any relationship pain is difficult to crawl through. God has saved me and given me a beautiful family. I have been in and out of counseling, group therapy. I cling to Christ for Hope. I trust that it might be easier for our children. I know the only way out is through…and there are ‘land mines’!!! It helps me to know God knows the depth of pain that is so real for me that often leads me feeling isolated. Anyway…I just wanted to say again I am grateful for this site and transparency of fellow pilgrims.

    • Maria on March 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Aleea,Robin,Penny
      I am so sorry that your mothers who were supposed to love and protect you, instead were cruel to you. I have been praying for you today.

      • Robin on March 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        Thank you, Maria.

      • Aleea on March 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm

        Maria,
        Thank you so, so much for the prayer. Prayer, to me, is the greatest gift ever. I really appreciate it. . . .Praying, caring, loving, sharing. . . .That is the power of the cross of Christ.

    • Aleea on March 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Penny,
      “Two siblings of mine have ended their life by suicide”. . . . Oh Penny, I am so, so sorry.

      “I know the only way out is through…and there are ‘land mines’!!!” . . .You know it. There exists such a false distinction between the idea that there are those who are whole and those who have a lack. The distinction is between those who hide their lack under a fiction of wholeness and those who are able to fully embrace their brokenness. . . .We all need overwhelming encouragers, exceptionally patient, incredibly tolerant, true, safe, judgment-free zones. . . . .That is how we get a new revelation of the King of Kings. . . . Just by having someone reflect the love of Christ (Truth & Grace).

      “I cling to Christ for Hope.”. . . .Exactly, and that is beautiful but it is so hard. . . .I need Christ just to get across the street many mornings. My spirit so weak and weary —too many hills to climb, —too many battles to fight.

  28. Penny on March 14, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for prayers! What is golden to me on this site is that I am learning how I can cooperate in the ill treatment by others. Seeing that pattern in myself is SO FREEING. I am not a hapless victim to be walked on. Again, so grateful for the honest sharing and Christ focused help of others and your calling and gifts Leslie Vernick.

  29. Maureen on March 15, 2016 at 9:18 am

    My narcissist husband filed for divorce over a year ago, and the journey has been a nightmare. I found Bill Eddy’s books to be incredibly helpful. I especially liked “High Conflict People in Legal Disputes,” “BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People” and “Splitting”. I had to learn to be factual, not emotional, when responding to my husband’s sometimes bizarre behavior. I recognized typical narcissist tactics (like “projecting”) which helped me calibrate my own response when it happened. I learned to expect the unexpected, to expect delays and stonewalling, to expect an almost Jeckyl and Hyde situation when others told me “I saw your husband the other day and he’s just broken over this divorce.” He was trying to manage his image with others, making me the bad egg in the recipe, because when we were in mediation sessions, he was angry, contentious and argumentative, and completely the opposite of what he was showing to others. I had to learn to NOT bad-mouth him to our kids (older teens who are starting to ‘get’ him…). I had to learn to take a very calculated and strategic approach, and not a sympathetic wimpy one in order to stand up for what I deserved. We have a very high net worth and he is still trying to keep from me what is legally and legitimately mine. The level of resistance he’s demonstrating has everyone shaking their heads, from lawyers and appraisers and financial planners and court officials all the way to the judge. It’s been a long ugly road. Sometimes I feel like the Israelites in the desert, but I know my journey will bring God glory, somehow! 🙂

    • Melissa on March 18, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      I agree with Maureen, the Bill Eddy books are very helpful navigating the day to day journey of divorcing a narcissist. I think his book “Splitting” is a must-read before you actually file the divorce papers. It contains practical, well-researched and strategic information that will help you avoid common mistakes when dealing with such a ruthless personality disorder.

      Blessings,
      Melissa

  30. Trish on March 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Aleena,
    This is my first time commenting here, but I have been reading this blog since I discovered it 2 years ago.
    Your comments have really touched me. I was abused by my parents and then by my husband. I am now divorced.
    We do suffer from a type of Stockholm Syndrome. We suffer from Complex PTSD. It was from many years of manipulation and brainwashing. I want to encourage you like my therapist did. He told me it took many years of abuse and it is not going to heal over night. Give yourself grace and allow your self to heal at your pace. Keep moving forward in your healing.
    Sending you a cyber hug from one sister to another.

  31. TB on March 15, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Aleesa:

    I understand exactly what you mean by “the moment I become conscious of what is unconscious I can be transformed.” I am at this same place in my journey toward healing. I know there must be something hidden from me that is keeping me from forward progress. Is it hate? Is it rebellion? What is it?

    I continue to press in to God and ask Him. He is faithfully uncovering many things slowly but regularly. I wonder if it would be too much for us to handle if He showed us our full depravity all at once? So maybe we just journey with Him and trust Him to reveal, dredge up, and uncover what we need to know at the right time.

    In the meantime, I continue to seek His face, His will, and His mercy every single day. I am becoming more thankful and aware of His presence moment by moment. So instead of searching, searching, searching for what “IT” is that is hidden from me for now, I walk in the ever increasing transformation of my mind and my life on a day by day basis.

    The transforming is a process, I am coming to see. Even as I write this, I am taking in what I am saying/thinking. He told me one day, “The peace is in the process.” Meaning, you can have peace even as you wrestle with God for all the answers. He wants us to exercise our faith in knowing we are righteous in Christ. Our sanctification, being made new and transforming our minds, is the process. He is the one who does the transforming. I am learning in a very infantile way that He even directs that, not me. I am just to follow His lead.

    His Spirit is in me, even though at times I don’t “feel” it. I have to engage my mind and thinking to believe it, and accept that He is there and He is at work, and that transformation takes time.

    I feel your frustration. I want to be FIXED NOW. LOL Sounds like a little kid, huh? But even in being transformed, none of us will ever arrive fully until He comes to get us and makes us perfect.

    I hope this makes sense. I am right there with you, girl. I am working through just what you said, and this is where I am at so far. Maybe what I have said will encourage you. I will have to read it all again, myself. It is taking root, even if I don’t quite get it all perfectly just yet.

    Blessings to you on your journey with our shared Father!

    • Rose on May 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Thank you, I needed this today, everyday!

  32. Jess on March 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Leslie, your advice was spot on. Thank you so much. I stood for the truth about the DV in my marriage, was a voice for all victims of DV, but none of it mattered to the court. I still do not regret being that voice, but it cost a fortune from him spending days rewriting history and lying to the court to project his abuse onto me. Thankfully the facts that I was able to gather in the serial adultery did matter. Having multiple young children, I still have to endure endless and mostly covert aggressive abuse from this person in every area that involves our children. Communication, kept to email only, is challenging and filled with veiled threats, put downs, false accusations, etc. He likes repeat litigation. He is fooling so many people about what has gone on, and is going on. I know his deeds will be brought to light eventually; God will not be mocked . I am thankful for your book recommendation here about life and for the resources becoming available to women like me. Thank you.

    • Jess on March 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      That is… About life after divorcing a narcissist.

  33. Grace on March 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Leslie, this article is so encouraging to me. I am 29 years old and had been married to a narcissist and now am divorced. My husband divorced me when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child. It is so encouraging to know that I am not alone in what I went through. And even though he did all he could to make me look like the crazy person in the relationship, I know now that narcissists will stop at nothing to maintain their image. Through reading other articles of yours, it has made my whole situation easier to accept as I now realize that the person I was married to wasn’t even a real person. It was all a facade. I am so thankful to hear of others who have been through the same thing. Thank you Leslie, and thank you to all who share their stories and comments on here. God is so good!

    • Leslie Vernick on March 17, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Grace, you are welcome. It is comforting to know that you are not alone and there are words and names that describe what you’ve been through.

  34. Cara on March 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I left my N-ex over two years ago. I took my daughter who was 14 at the time, he won her over with a series of tactics. She refused to speak to me for a year. Our son, who is 24 also lives with him. The courts could not help because she was old enough to decide where she lived.

    I have some contact with my children now, but their father does their best to thwart that. I invited my children to dinner at my place two weeks ago. My daughter texted me an hour before they were to come saying that her father had invited her to go shopping at the mall, so she was going to do that instead. People can’t understand why things like this upset me still. They think I should be ‘used to it’. Maybe I should be.

    We are still in the separation phase, he has fought it every step of the way. He shows our son all the court documents and my financial statements. He asks our son to ask me for money all the time. I had to block his emails because of his constant bragging about how close he is to the kids, how much they love him, and how he was going to expose every legal thing I do to them. Then he will end the email by asking me to return home. It’s very crazy.

    I do not bad mouth my ex to my kids when I do see them. But it is very hard to ‘act happy’ with them. He has tried to convince them that I am greedy and unstable.

    • Honey on March 21, 2016 at 5:18 am

      Yet,Cara, you are not greedy or unstable. He is. The truth is the truth, is the truth. Now, unfortunately, he is abusing your adult children. You can move on now. Stick with counseling and spread your wings to embrace the life you were denied for so long. Don’t let him trap you any further. What would you like to do this week that is part of the thriving vision you have for your wonderful life?

  35. Cara on March 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I would like to attend church this week. And sign up to take a teaching course. Thank you. Holidays are very tough with Easter coming.

    I feel so much guilt and shame that my daughter lives with her father and not me. He was never even particularly nice to her until we split.

    • Robin on March 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Cara, you and I have a lot in common. My ex was a sociopath/narcissist and he manipulated my older children from me. It hurt so bad at first. But since then I have moved on into a new life and I still mourn for my children, I understand when children grow up in the same house as an abuser, they don’t know what ‘healthy’ looks like. Someday they will come into the Truth. I’m praying for your first steps of finding out who you are and what you need.

  36. Cara on March 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I am glad to hear that you have moved on to a new life. Did it take a long time to feel stable?

    • Robin on March 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      It came in phases. My divorce is complete now- it took 2 years of his constant trying to cause trouble. I have worked hard at it tho. I’ve been in weekly counseling for 3 years and I’ve completely left my old life. I attend s church 50 minutes away to get away from him. I spend my free time in a town 90 min away. I want a brand new life without his constant attacks. I read Lundy Bancrofts books that helped me immensely. He has a chapter in his first book devoted to learning how to take care of you – now that he’s not in the way. Yes my life is stable now and everyday I thank the Lord for all the pleasant changes!!!!

      • Cara on March 23, 2016 at 10:57 am

        Do you see your children Robin? I find that the hardest part. Missing being part of a family is very, very difficult. But the loss of contact with my children is something I can’t seem to cope with. I know that all children leave the nest eventually anyway, but this doesn’t seem to compare.
        I agree, spending time in the area we lived in before doesn’t help.

  37. Cara on March 23, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Sales pitch

  38. Robin on March 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Cara, these things are very difficult.
    There are no pat answers, we just put one foot in front of another and ask the Lord to give us strength to endure this difficult time. 3 of my 4 children have not spoken to me since I filed, 2 years ago. The oldest daughter was in counseling herself and understood what the other 3 didn’t yet. Things are starting to ripple now- and some communication is starting to happen. If we give an abuser time- he will show his true colors and the children will see it. I was very focused on getting myself healthy. I have continued to walk that path of greater health, knowing I can do everything possible to improve myself, so I am ready to meet my children’s needs, when they are ready to come towards me again. I encourage you to focus on you, and do what you can to be healthier and happier with your new life. Yes it takes time. I still have up days and down days but none are as bad as the ones living with a destructive marriage that wasn’t getting better.
    Do you read? Have you read Leslies books, how about Lundy Bancrofts- I highly recommend both!

  39. Cara on March 23, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Thanks, I have read Splitting. I will look into the others as well. Nice to know that others are in the same ‘boat’, not that we want to be there, but it reassuring to know that other women are surviving and even thriving after abuse and alienation.

    • Robin on March 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I agree Cara, it’s nice to know of ‘sisters’ who are fighting alongside with us, in the battle to be set free from abuse. This blog definitely supports us. I am thriving, but again there have been many hard days I felt pretty down. Divorce and Abuse aren’t what I had in mind. Some days I feel divorce is so unpleasant . Other days I see that divorce is freeing and God is pleased. It’s hard to stand alone, esp when your children don’t come with you. One thing I learned that has really helped me to be strong- is when one person desires to break the cycle of abuse in her family- there is a cost. And that one person will have to march out front with courage and wait …… till the others are ready to follow. It’s hard to lead the family by yourself but if you keep in mind, you are leading them away from destructive relationships andvworking towards standing for Righteousness and healthy behaviors, it will get easier.

  40. Cara on March 23, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    That is a good way to see it, as breaking the cycle. And someone has to pay a price.

    • Robin on March 23, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      When I use to suffer over my children, my counselor would say, I was suffering for Righteousness. That helped me to understand it wouldn’t always be like this. This is temporary until more Truth is revealed.

      • Leslie Vernick on March 23, 2016 at 9:41 pm

        It’s like entering into the sufferings of God. He is good, but Satan is constantly lying to us and trying to get us to mistrust God. That’s what an abuser does to alienate children and as we suffer that heartache, we understand the heartache of God a little bit.

  41. Tex on March 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Unfortunately, in some states like Maryland, recording someone without their consent is illegal. So, it is difficult to gather such evidence. Consult with your lawyer to determine your state’s stance on this.

    • Leslie Vernick on March 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Yes it’s important to know the laws of your land regarding recording. But in some states, if you are in the conversation with someone, as long as one person gives consent, it’s okay. But you cannot record a conversation between two people that you are not a part of.

  42. Sarah on March 27, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Thank you so much for your for your blog, books, and videos. I am almost 10 months into my separation from my NPD spouse and was, initially, very confused about how to handle this situation in a godly manner. We have three children together, which added to the trauma. Your input has provided so much guidance and has validated my feelings and experiences. The dynamics of living with a personality disordered individual is largely unknown to most of the population, and the church for sure. But God is awesome and will lead you down the path of truth! He will lead and guide you and cast light on the things in the dark. I have spent so much time filled with anxiety and fear over this situation, to find out in the end that He already had everything taken care of. If you are living with or connected to someone who you suspect has this disorder, press in to God. He WILL give you the wisdom and guidance to make it through victoriously! He is faithful and will not leave you! This has been the most difficult year of my life, but I would not change it for anything. I have learned more about my Savior and have drawn closer to Him. Now I understand James 1:2… My heart swells with joy to be a witness of what He can do. Don’t give up despite what you see, hear, or feel. I understand that everyone’s situation is different and some longer but, He will walk you to the other side victoriously!

    • Leslie Vernick on March 27, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      Thank you Sarah, I’m so glad you’ve found some answers in this community.

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