WhatWasIThinking's picture

Narcissistic Ex Wife has turned stepchildren against me, their father and into MONSTERS

I cannot believe I have been a stepparent - a miserable one = for ten years and have just now found this site...where have you all been???!!!! My husband's ex has controlled and manipulated our lives the entire time, just so I can find out too little too late that she has narcissistic personality disorder and has completely ruined their children. I cannot even begin to tell you the nightmare my life has been because of her and my ignorance to her condition. I always wondered why she was so vindictive, deceitful, hateful and then turn around and act like a saint two minutes later. If anyone has this problem, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO VENT TO ME - I completely understand. I found out in May that my father was dying from cancer - it was at that precise time she planned her most vicious attack - using the children - and turning them into pawns in an all out war that has left us a family divided. When my father passed away one month later, my three stepchildren that I had (I thought) lovingly helped raise for the past 10 years were not welcome at my father's funeral and are no longer welcome in my home - it is that bad. Anyone out there in my shoes?

jaded's picture

I feel for you...

Ive been married to my dh for 6 years now. The ex has done everything in her power during this time to make our lives a living hell. She has basically done her best to destroy my dh and our marriage in any way she could - financially, emotionally, spiritually ... its nuts and I dont get it. Its disgusting how she has used the girls and turned them against their father, us and the rest of the family. She has turned the once very sweet girls into angry, selfish, self entitled, spoiled rotten princess brats! Its disgusting.

Im sorry about your father and what you had to go through with the bm at such a time. I cant help but think (cause ours is the same) that bm must have felt her and the kids werent getting enough attention!!! These woman are so sick!!! Its all about the drama. When the eldest sd had her son, the BM must have felt she wasnt getting enough attention so she called my DH crying and made up a story that the baby was strangled at birth by the cord and the doctors had to rush him out of the room, were working on him as they spoke - and without missing a beat told my dh the height and weight of the baby!!! She then went on to say she would keep him posted on the grandsons situation. DH called me from work - he was so upset (of course) thinking his grandson is dieing and I said - wait a minute - if thats the case do you really think the doctors would stop resesitating the baby so they could weight and measure him?????? dh was pissed - called her back and she recanted her stupid story@!!! then goes into ass kissing mode!!! God I swear I dont know which is worse!! Her attacking or ass kissing!!! AARRRGGGGG Thus has been my life!!!

Welcome to this site. It has been a godsend for me!!! Im glad you found this site too!!! Vent away!!!!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Albert Einstein

skylarksms's picture

Wow, our BM did almost the

Wow, our BM did almost the exact same thing at my DH's grandbaby's birth! BM didn't call to tell him anything was wrong (SD was in emergency room at 2 in the morning) and then waited until after his first break at work (he works an hour out of town - BM is fully aware) and leaves a message - "Had to take SD into the emergency room. They are taking the baby!" DH calls me up FREAKING out - he had no idea what she meant. She left many other messages where she was panting so much you couldn't even understand what the heck she was saying.

By the time my DH got to the hospital, he was convinced that his daughter had a miscarriage!

"The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." --Winston Churchill
******************************************
"Facts are neither good nor bad, they are only facts." --Rags

Elizabeth's picture

I am so sorry for your situation

Stepparenting is the single hardest (and least rewarding) thing I have done in my life. Basically, my SD14 and I coexist (nothing more) in my house (she lives with us and sees BM most weekends). We had her for Thanksgiving, and when my husband picked her up I guess she went into a rant on my behavior. How I should treat her like my own child and how my husband has failed by not controlling my behavior. The words sounded like they were straight out of BM's mouth. For once, my husband was offended by it, instead of sympathizing with her. He kept her the minimum amount of time for Thanksgiving and then returned her to BM. Stepmoms are the easy target because they're not biologically related, so it's easy to make them scapegoats for everything bad. That doesn't make it any easier to take, but I think it explains why so many of us are in the same boat.

kysmom's picture

?

I believe we are getting ready to go thru this. I am not sure if you can give me any insight...
I have been with BF for 2 years now.
History: BF signed order 3/07. No problems until summer vacation came around then we were denied both weeks vacation by BM. We filed & go to court for that in January. Then Thanksgiving comes & we get a call that visitaiton is being denied because SD8 is scared to be around us. She claims BF & I are fighting all the time. (with knives!!) On the Tuesday b4 Thanksgiving SD8 admits she made up the story but still doesn't want to visit. So BM says SK's made their decision. We were denied visiation again. Now we're being denied visiation this weekend becasue SD8 still doesn't want to visit. UGH!!!
BF & I think SD will avoid facing us because of her lie as long as she is allowed to. The SK's only come over every other weekend Fri night to Sunday night. All day Saturday is all BF gets. This weekend we even had the SD8 bday party scheduled.
We don't know why SD8 lied. It would have been the 1st Thanksgiving away from BM. It doesn't help that BM has yet to date (in 2 years) anyone & have a normal relationship. She only "dates" everyother weekend & hides it from the SK's. But anyway.... BF & I believe that SD8 is telling BM what she wants to hear since the SK's are grilled after each weekend at our house.
I just don't know what to do anymore.. I'm not sure if I feel comfortable around SD8 right now anyway. But if BM was trying to alienate BF from his kids lives, its working. Things are just crazy now that the court date is getting closer.........
thank you for letting me vent
sometime i think the kids (and us) might be able to live happer lives if BF gives up physical custody. i don't see an end to these games

skylarksms's picture

The judge found our BM in

The judge found our BM in Contempt of Court for violating visitation order. BM's excuse was that the kids come when they want to. She doesn't make them if they don't want to come. (She neglected to mention all the fun things she planned for the weekends they were supposed to visit)

Judge asked BM if she lets the kids decide whether or not they go to school too? Judge said that the kids do not have a say and it is BM's responsibility to make sure they come for their court ordered visits.

Make sure to bring this up when you guys go to court.

"The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." --Winston Churchill
******************************************
"Facts are neither good nor bad, they are only facts." --Rags

oldhand's picture

exwife is narcassistic and makes life hell for evry1 and any1

crazy ex wife destroys any hope of a normal life for exhusband and new girl friend.... they say narcissism is to blame... mother effected and is now infecting the children... epidemic? No! stupidity? YES!

the only advice i can give you all is:

your partner HAS to support you 100%. this is not about vengence on the ex mad woman.... this is not about revenge! this is about YOU! your safety and the safety of your loved ones...

i cannot express the following loud enough...

Do NOT give this woman an inch!

Do not tolerate anything she does which may jeapodise your emotional/physical/mental stability.

do NOT acknowledge this woman if you see her! but do not stop living like i did! i almost paid the ultimate price.

Do not associate with any one who is actively in contact with her.

your partner MUST only contact her through a solicitor/lawyer! by no other means.. no excuses! EVER!

we are dealing with satans daughters! the only thing you can do is prepare for the worst, put all emergency strategies in place NOW! we are now on RED ALERT! memorise all fire exits and make it common knowledge that you all congregate at the same place and there are supposed to be so many of you. and dont tell her where this place is for gods sake!!

It's my seventh year now... i've chosen to step away and make my life the very best it can be..

she is still out there and she is still attempting to destroy me, my fiance, my son, my critically ill daughter and my healthy daughter.

It's not about wining.... it's about living the best life we can live.

no excuses!

Anonymous*'s picture

LIFE IS LIVING HELL!

Okay, so I agree with every one of you completely. I am in my early 20's. I have no children. I am dating a guy who is in his early 30's. We have been dating for almost a year now. He has two daughters, 12 & 13. Their mother is a kniving woman who tries in every way she can to make our lives hell. The 12 year old is such a sweetheart, she thinks I walk on water. The 13 year old treats me with no respect whatsoever. Believe me, she is getting to me emotionally, as I have many other things to worry about than her games she's playing with her mother. My BF gets the girls every other weekend from Friday night - Sunday night, and on Thursday evenings for a few hours. I usually stay with him on the other weekends that he does not have them. About a week ago, the girls' maternal aunt had a birthday. on Thursday, My BF texted one daughter and she said they were already eating dinner. (Which he usually does something fun with them on Thursdays). So he contacted their mother & she said he could have them on Friday night, and they could spend the night. I know it was my weekend to see him, but come to find out, their mother went to see their maternal aunt & wen tout partying with her & drinkin, & God knows what. But she does these things to mess with us because she is so psycho, she drives by his house & sees that I am there, so she can screw us over, yet again!

It is so hard to be so young, not having children and trying to deal with the older one. She hates me completely, but like you said, she is trying to make say/do her mother wants her to. I know if I stay with him, I have A LOT still to learn, but these games are getting to me. I'll be damned if my kids (when I have some of my own) are that disrespectful to ANYONE!! I don't care who they are, my kids better show some respect! I was taught respect, and I don't expect to be walked on when I am trying to give my love.

Anonymous1's picture

To the last poster

Oh my god, you have to get out NOW. Seriously. If it's this bad now I guarantee you it will only get worse. I know you must love this man and when love is new it's easy to think that you love him enough to make this hard situation work. I did the same thing. But if I had known what I know now... You can still save yourself from all of the awful emotional stress that you will be subjected to here. Life is hard enough, having your own children is hard enough you do NOT need another person's heavy heavy baggage. No matter how much you love him now, the resentment you will feel later for having to deal with all this crap will seep into your relationship. Please, do what I should have done and get out now. Meet somone without an ex or any kids and build a life with him - you can be happy!!!

imblessed_824's picture

I've just recently came upon

I've just recently came upon this site and I really, really hope that you did not make any rash
decisions yet... ! For starters, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I totally understand... But I do really feel sympathy for you that you just realized NOW, after all this time what is truly going on. It would've been so much easier for you if you realized her behavior sooner.

I'll tell you a little bit of my situation: I have recently married to a man who's ex wife
was caught in adultery which was the cause of their divorce. To this day she still feels no remorse, actually tries to justify her situation but yet it is so obvious that she is enraged that her ex husband remarried and went on with his life. Because of this, she has tried every manipulative tactic to discourage this, although she feels that she has well hidden it, but in reality, didn't do a good job. It has been very obvious not only to me but to everyone on the "outside" looking in what her intentions really were. However, she had manipulated, whether directly or indirectly her family, her children and EVEN her ex husband (my husband) in her quest for some type of twisted revenge, same as your situation. There IS a way that you can deal with it without destroying your own life. Or your marriage. And it requires patience and a great deal of maturity on your part. Faith in God will also help if you are a Christian. So again, hopefully I've reached you in time before you made any rash decisions. For starters, now that you know her problem, understand it for what it really is. Below I have supplied all the "criteria" on what a narcissist is. (My husband's ex wife fits all the criteria) Next, realize that her problem should NOT become your problem. It may sound easier said than done... but it IS quite "easy". What it takes is simple ignorance. Yes, ignorance. One thing that a narcissist can't stand is ignorance. They always need to be in the center of the spotlight, the center of attention so anything that devoids them of that they will avoid. If you ignore her, she will certainly ignore you. So that means NEVER "feed" her need for attention, even if she does something horrible. In reality, she is looking for "attention" in a response from you in any way she can. But, if you don't give her that "attention" she won't continue to try to look for it in you. Second, create personal boundaries so it assures your own well being and sanity. Since it has been 10 years for you, hopefully your step children are now older, even adult aged. That means there is little if no contact with her at all. Keep it that way. The less you talk with her, the less you will need to deal with her. If her children are still living within your home, arrange contact with their mother through their own personal cell phones so you don't have to play "operator". Only speak with her directly if there is an emergency and keep it cordially to that subject which arises. If she becomes belligerent or "rambles" on, simply say goodbye and hang up. If you don't want her in your home, it is your right that she doesn't need to be.. I have forewarned my husband on many occasions... that if his ex wife ever steps foot into my home again, I will throw her out myself, (and he knows I can do it too) that I wouldn't bat an eyelash and it wouldn't mean anything more to me that I am throwing out a piece of trash, literally!
Then I would slap a restraining order on her. So, unless it is not in accordance with any court orders regarding visitation with "minor" children, there is absolutely no reason why she should be in your home. And a suggestion to CHANGE any court ordinance concerning minor children regarding visitation of this type of woman in your own home should be brought up legally and changed to other arrangements. Be firm about this. A hostile, jealous, manipulative narcissistic woman is a danger and certainly should not be allowed into your own home, Regardless.

Third, be prepared for threats. A narcissist LOVES to boast their "authority", it gives them a false sense of "power". Don't be intimidated by her threats. Most cases they are "empty" or will incur on her own mis-benefit if she carries through with them. My husband's ex wife threatened my husbands' job but realized that she would receive no alimony if she was to get him fired.

Fourth, manipulation of her children (your stepchildren). This is probably the most DESTRUCTIVE
and the most harm that a narcissistic woman who is a mother can incur. They should be what REALLY should be the concern uppermost above all. They underwent her total disregard of the harm she is causing them, her own children in her quest for revenge. The ONLY thing I can suggest in this is for you to be the adult, the "parent" in her place, the nurturer, the "true" mother maybe not in name but in persona especially if they are minors. If they are now adult aged, sometimes the only thing you can do is just sit back and let them make their own judgment. They may "hate" you because of what their mother has said about you or the way their circumstance has been manipulated by her... but believe me, when they have matured beyond this in time, they WILL see what she has done to them to cause their reaction towards you. Please promise though, when that time comes, promise that you will not stoop down to the same level.. and be the adult. It will be very hard for them to realize that their own mother used them in that way. Have compassion towards that when they realize it.

Fifth and probably the most hardest for you to deal with right now... Your husband being manipulated by his ex wife... I have to admit, both my husband and I have had fights about this subject... but since I KNOW what she is and the type of person she is... that has given me the
perseverance and the determination that no matter what she may do, no matter what she may instigate, no matter what situations that may incur from her own behavior... SHE WILL N E V E R succeed in breaking our marriage apart, EVER. Hopefully now that you know the "truth", you will feel the same way. Also, any type of counseling for both you and your husband will greatly benefit in this. My husband has been married to this type of woman for over 20 years which can explain his reactions towards her. But now he is married to someone who is the total opposite of her and is not used to it. We are now BOTH going through counseling to correct this... Like I said, there is NOTHING she can do to break us up... So, in your situation, be sure your marriage doesn't fail because of her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
To familiarize yourself again on what is a narcissist:

Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion.

Firmly convinced that she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations
Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.

Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

(My ex's wife fits all of the above, not just some, but ALL of it... A true narcissist)

imblessed_824's picture

my previous post

Correction: "(My HUSBANDS' ex wife fits all of the above, not just some, but all of it, (etc)...)

thurstonlodge's picture

You are so so right - I was

You are so so right - I was married to an abusive narcissist for nearly 10 years prior to my currently marriage, and KICK myself that I have only just realised TODAY after all this time together (nearly 9 years) that SHE (the EW) is a narcissist. We thought she was 'controlling' but now I see it goes far far deeper. Man, I am scared for my step-sons. We barely see them now and my husband has all but given up, but I think we need to go legal. She will hate that - I believe he has a right to see them - we live about 40 mins drive from them, and he never sees them, barely hears from the, they never ring, never write (odd email now and then). She is scared scared scared that they will leave her and live with us and she will lose control and $$ ... I am scared for my stepsons now.

She has tried to break us financially, emotionally and physically even though she is remarried. Amazingly though, she was so lonely after he left (yes, the ultimate F**K Y*U) so she found God. But strangely that same God, who is supposed to tell her to be loving, kind, generous, nice to old ladies and animals, doesn't tell her to help her kids honour their father, not be greedy and destructive ... hmmm I wonder if her Vicar knows what a pillar of society she really is!

I am so glad I have finally found a vent-forum as a step-mom. Honestly, it feels good to just get this out in an understanding environment!

Phew - so, how has everyone else gone about it? We pay child support as ordered by the Government - it is $17,000 (NZD) per annum for three kids. We can't really afford to see them, but it would be nice all the same. Do we have to go legal? And what if she doesn't adhere to that? More $$ in lawyers? Or would that work? The threat of court action just makes her even more evil.

sad stepmom's picture

advice

I have been reading the above posts. It has helped me to know there are people going through the same thing. My only advice to people that are dating someone with children is to RUN!!! I love my husband but marrying someone with a child was a mistake. His ex is a narcissist and so is my SD. She is out of the house but still causing problems. I do not know how it will ever be okay. My SD was physically and emotionally abusive to my children when she lived in our house. A month after she moved in my oldest told me he wanted to kill himself. We started counseling in church and with a psychologist. I had no idea what was happening. My SD is a compulsive liar and was promising us she was not hurting him or saying mean things to him. He did not feel safe enough to tell me what was going on until she had been out of our house almost a year. A pyschologist who knows her told my husband and I that she should NEVER have access to the children unsupervised and that all contact should be minimal. My husband agreed to this but is extremely resentful. She is such a master manipulator that he no longer believes our children but her. Even though the abuse that my child suffered by my SD is the same abuse my SD suffered from her Mom. My child had no idea what happened to my SD so how could he make it all up? It is a no win situation for me. I either hold my ground and make my husband resent me. OR I give in and put my children at risk. Which of course I will not do....but I do not want to be around her ever. She is now trying to turn my husband and in-laws against me. It is very hard to be around her and act happy. I have sacrificed so much for her. I have been very good to her in so many ways....financially and with my time. I also helped my husband to be a better father to her throughout the years. AND now I am the bad one. People think when the step-kids grow up it will get better...but it is FOREVER. Birthdays, holidays, weddings, baby showers ETC... It will never end. SO if you are dating someone with kids and you already have issues with the children or the ex....RUN...RUN...RUN! You deserve better.

imblessed_824's picture

To sad stepmom (I commented

To sad stepmom
(I commented right before your post to the original topic starter)
I so much understand where you are coming from... and I have absolutely complete empathy for you..
and both my husband and myself are undergoing therapy to solve
this problem before it becomes catastrophic, here are some pointers that may help you before
you make any rash decisions... this comes directly from our own therapeutic experience that we are both now undergoing... Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that your therapist or pastor's advice is "wrong", but any "extra" help may also help your situation.

First of all I know, because of my own experience that it is so difficult to handle this crisis, especially for us women.. It can feel as though we don't "fit in" anywhere... It can make a "second" wife feel uncomfortable, insecure and unstable in her own home, as if they don't even belong there. My ex husband's children (now adults) didn't make me feel very welcome either due to their mother's recent manipulations. So we look to our husbands to make us feel secure at a time when they also have been sort of "damaged" due to a form of brain washing by their previous life with the ex. A lot of it has to do with either the husband's fear of his ex, insecurity or their ex's placing guilt trips on them. And because of this, the after effect may make us feel as though our own "security" is threatened. And we feel "secondary". But remember, in a Christian life NO ONE can make us feel 100% secure.. no husband, no wife, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no mother, father, sister or brother... Only the LORD can do that.

Also Never forget that a narcissist
is very, very clever in dealing with their "victim's" emotional state and knows what buttons to push in their former spouses. Their manipulations are very subtle, but they are powerful.
But remember, even though you are married, you are still your own individual person. Aside from your husband and the way he feels about this situation. Try to understand that his previous marriage he became "brain washed" into a certain way of thinking with her... but YOU are not and that YOU don't need to fall into that same trap as well. I know this can be a very frustrating situation... but it may be important to try to put your
emotions aside and look at the situation logically by asking yourself questions, for YOURSELF alone:

The first question is "Is your husband trustworthy and faithful"? Do you ever worry that he may founder and cheat on you?" I am not talking about emotions he felt during the marriage with HER, I am strictly sticking with your relationship now. Before my marriage to Rich, we drew up a Prenuptial agreement, that if either one of us commits adultery, the "victim" gets everything, the house, the money, everything... it was legalized by a lawyer and copies were made. I do trust my husband but this document adds an extra incentive that our relationship stays on the up and up, so matter what tactics that his ex wife may try... seduction of her ex husband won't be one of them...

"Are you so upset about the situation that you are obsessing about it"? If you are, that can be dangerous territory for you. Constantly thinking about what his ex is up to will only
add to your anxiety about the whole matter. The little you think about it, the better you will
be able to cope day by day. Keep your distance far away from her. If she does something horrible towards you, IGNORE it... yourself, personally. You don't even have to mention it to your husband... As a matter of fact it may help to even tell your
husband that you don't care if HE talks to her... but when it comes to you.. you want absolutely
NO part of her whatsoever.. You won't take her phone calls, etc. And if you are a Christian woman, you'll understand the term.. "Treat her like a tax-collector". And as far as your husband is concerned... hopefully he will understand in time and realize that you are in no way associated with her and will look at the situation differently when it comes to you.

As far as your children are concerned: I TOTALLY agree with your psychologist and like I stated in my own post... absolutely under no condition or situation should your children be allowed any unsupervised visitation with this kind of mentally disturbed person, regardless of what your husband may say or resentfully think. (remember, he is "brain washed") A narcissist can be extremely dangerous both psychologically and even physically (look up "Betty Broderick's story").
Take your stand and be firm about this. This is YOUR life as well as his.

Love,
imblessed_824

one day at a time's picture

narcissistic ex-wife

I agree - if you are dating a man with a narcissistic ex-wife and kids, do yourself a favor and RUN, RUN, RUN!!!
I dated and married a wonderful man. He has 4 children, ages 28, 26, 24 and 12 (the last one an assurance that mommy dearest would always have control of her ex-husband's emotions and money!). I knew there were "issues" when we dated, but I thought things would get better. Boy, was I wrong. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and it only gets worse. The narcissistic ex has 3 of the 4 children living with or near her, 1500 miles from us. The other child, a daughter, is married, with 2 kids, and lives in the same town as us. She's just as narcissistic as her mother, and they talk constantly! It has become an all-out effort to try to push me out - so they can all have my husband back with "the family". It's horrible!! I've started counseling just to try to deal with it. These narcissistic women are so evil!!
If you can help yourself RUN, RUN, RUN!!!!

thurstonlodge's picture

God yes. My sister (who has

God yes. My sister (who has done every form of male-female relationship under the sun lol) has said that no matter HOW much she loves a man now, if he has kids, she will run in opposite direction as fast as possible. It is too painful. I feel like a martyr myself - sacrificing my life until 55 for his kids and to be with him. I hate it as I don't want to be poor going into retirement years but that is what our love has cost us.

distressed SM's picture

Legal advice needed....

I am so glad I'm not the only one. Although I am sorry that it ever happened to any of us. My husband's ex fits all of the signs of being A true narcissist as well. When he was married to her she pulled this victim mentality on him all the time. He says she wouldn't have anything to do with the children when they were babies. He had to work 50 hours a week, clean the house, cook, and take care of the children while she popped sleeping pills. Oneday she took a vacation 3 hours a way with the children and did not come back. With the help of her parents she hired an expensive lawyer and won custody of the children. I still can't figure out how a frequent patient of a mental hospital with arrest records for violence can win custody. Well that was 3 years ago and we do see the children two weekends a month but it tears my husband apart. His ex has a new husband and she allows the kids to call him daddy! Tonight my 6 year old sd was crying uncontrollably beacuse her mom was sick ( she had a hysterectomy 3 weeks ago and is apparently an invalid) and she wasn't there to take care of her. A SIX YEAR OLD does not need the sressof taking care of an adult! Needless to say there is guilt in that little girl's heart because she wants to see her daddy even though her mom is sick. I really wish we could get full custody but I tell you I am just sick of the court system after this. There's obviously a lot more going on here but you get the point, I hope. Is there anyone with advice on the legal side?

Stama's picture

Legal Advice..... I know it

Legal Advice.....

I know it has been three years since this post, but I thought I would offer a comment. First of all, I am not a lawyer, but I have graduated law school and am studying for the bar exam. I am also married to a wonderful man who has three wonderful kids and an ex-wife who truly has mental problems that I wish science was able to help, but science has not evolved to treat these "special" beings at this point in time.

As far as the legal system regarding child custody goes, it is somewhat of a circus. As my Family law professor quoted, "Divorces usually involve good people at their worst" meaning that the family court knows that no divorce or custody proceeding is going to be drama free and makes many judgments on the trial level based on what they see and observe. The problem with this is, the real criminals (such as your husband's ex) slip through the cracks and sadly, its the children who suffer. I started dating my now-husband when his oldest daughter was 7 years old and I am leaving this advice based on my personal experience.

1. Go Through the Court System With Every Real Issue. You are Responsible to Provide Your Lawyer the Proof So Keep Very Good Documentation

In my case, this responsibility fell to me because my husband is not the best at keeping good documentation. So whoever is better at doing this in your relationship, needs to do it and be very thorough (i.e. saving all emails, texts, pictures of kids if injured etc etc). You may not use the majority of the information, but you want to have it if you need to. It will take the court system approximately 3-5 years to "understand" the situation, but it's the only permanent remedy you have. What you and your husband know is true has to be proven and mother's like these are the queen of their own lies and deceiving people of their true nature. But even with a lawyer, you have to provide your lawyer the proof. This requires very good documentation. Your lawyer can file motions, but the judge is going to want to see the evidence supporting what you ask. For a change of custody, you have to establish, in most states, that it is in the best interest of the child and that the situation know is materially different than it was at the time of the initial custody agreement. Beating a game is being smarter than the other players and that means that you must produce evidence if you want the abuse to stop.

2. Narcissistic Mothers Love Only Themselves - No one else- this Includes Her Own Children

This is the hardest part. When the narcissistic mother wants something, she will use whatever means she has to get it, including her own children. This ruins the children (who are not old enough to understand they are being used) and checkmates the parent that does care. It is truly a lose-lose. The only thing you can do in this situation is evaluate whether to "attack" by deciding if it's a battle worth fighting or a situation where you turn the other cheek (but you still document everything). In my husband and I's case, when his ex stole the identity of our daughter's social and opened credit cards in her name at the age of 10, it was time to attack. We knew we were in for a war, but once custody is established, it is hard to change. Courts don't like it. But as a father, he is entitled to his parenting time dictated in the divorce decree/custody arrangement/ or by state statute.

If your ex violates an agreement about visitation, you must take her to court for criminal contempt not civil. Now, I want to be clear that this is understood: this kind of action only relates to situations where a reasonable person would look at the situation and say, "Wow, this is ridiculous." Mother's who act with malice and ill-will fit into this category frequently. In a perfect world, if a mother misses visitation because she forgot or its a legitimate mistake, being an asshole and taking the mother to court makes you look more like the asshole. However, if this is a repetitious pattern, where all sincere efforts and accommodations have been exhausted, you must use the court system.

There is so much more that I could write, and if it is helpful to you, I will write more but I believe in karma and the best thing you can do is what is good for the children - with all the variable's, it's hard to tell on a case per case basis. The truth always sets one free and for a Narcissist, there is no truth so they are never free. Just do not get trapped and play their games with them. Document everything.

future stepmom's picture

Thank God I found this

Thank God I found this website!
I have been dating and am now engaged to a wonderful man, with 2 children, SS13, & SD11. I also have 4 childen of my own, S20, D15, D13 & S5.
I have been dealing with X's tantrums ever since she snooped thru BF's house and found my bags in his bedroom. The day she found out she cried to him in the drive way that she was their mother, she was tired of hearing how I was always smiling and happy. When her whoa is me speech didn't stop us from dating she took another path. SS13, lives with BF, she worked in him til he was finally a ball of nerves and threatened to move back with mom. It took months but we worked through all that. We've dealt with the X's tirades and have survived 2 years.
We became engaged 2 weeks ago. My children are ok with this, as they like him very much. SS13 was ok with it Also, that was until he went to his moms over Christmas break.

Both SK's called their dad on Christmas eve and basically berated him, have him ultimatums, all at the coaching of the X. She has these kids convinced that their dad is wrong, in everything, that I am only with him for his money, that I will take him away from them. She of course does not see the damage that she has caused on these children.

Just a brief history, the X remarried 6 months after she and BF divorced, soon after came the accusations if child molestation, which had both the X and the new hubby coaching the kids on what to say. These accusations were completely false, and after dragging BF through hell for 2 years, the truth finally came out, because the X cannot keep the spotlight off herself and sent and email to a friend who turned that email over, and it all came to light. Those charges were dropped, but not a damn thing was done to her for all that she put BF and the kids through.

And now we have this, I have been nothing but loving to his kids, and their dad has been nothing but good to them. Giving them what they want, taking them on vacations, only to have them stab him in the back to make the X happy and proud. Its like the only way they can gain her approval.
The problem now is BF is standing up to them. They don't like it. SS13 says he will move out, but not to his moms, to his grandparents. Because he doesn't want to leave the school. BF told him no way, if he didn't live with him, he was going to live with his mom. SS13 won't like that at all. SD11 says she won't see BF again, BF has made it clear that there are consequences for their actions.

Its a very sad time, I worry about the stress that BF is under. I will not leave him, he does not deserve the treatment he given by his children. But they are well coached and well trained by a mother who must have chaos in her life to exist. She doesn't see the damage she has caused, she only sees herself as the good parent who puts her childrens happiness above all. She has told them she will never date, all she needs is them. But has herself listed on match.com as looking for a true gentleman.

We can't reverse the damage already done, but we can show them what a true honest loving relationship is. The one thing those kids cannot do, is state any negativity they have seen from either of us.

I want to thank all you, I see our situation in many of your posts, any advice is welcome.

God bless

future stepmom's picture

Thank God I found this

Thank God I found this website!
I have been dating and am now engaged to a wonderful man, with 2 children, SS13, & SD11. I also have 4 childen of my own, S20, D15, D13 & S5.
I have been dealing with X's tantrums ever since she snooped thru BF's house and found my bags in his bedroom. The day she found out she cried to him in the drive way that she was their mother, she was tired of hearing how I was always smiling and happy. When her whoa is me speech didn't stop us from dating she took another path. SS13, lives with BF, she worked in him til he was finally a ball of nerves and threatened to move back with mom. It took months but we worked through all that. We've dealt with the X's tirades and have survived 2 years.
We became engaged 2 weeks ago. My children are ok with this, as they like him very much. SS13 was ok with it Also, that was until he went to his moms over Christmas break.

Both SK's called their dad on Christmas eve and basically berated him, have him ultimatums, all at the coaching of the X. She has these kids convinced that their dad is wrong, in everything, that I am only with him for his money, that I will take him away from them. She of course does not see the damage that she has caused on these children.

Just a brief history, the X remarried 6 months after she and BF divorced, soon after came the accusations if child molestation, which had both the X and the new hubby coaching the kids on what to say. These accusations were completely false, and after dragging BF through hell for 2 years, the truth finally came out, because the X cannot keep the spotlight off herself and sent and email to a friend who turned that email over, and it all came to light. Those charges were dropped, but not a damn thing was done to her for all that she put BF and the kids through.

And now we have this, I have been nothing but loving to his kids, and their dad has been nothing but good to them. Giving them what they want, taking them on vacations, only to have them stab him in the back to make the X happy and proud. Its like the only way they can gain her approval.
The problem now is BF is standing up to them. They don't like it. SS13 says he will move out, but not to his moms, to his grandparents. Because he doesn't want to leave the school. BF told him no way, if he didn't live with him, he was going to live with his mom. SS13 won't like that at all. SD11 says she won't see BF again, BF has made it clear that there are consequences for their actions.

Its a very sad time, I worry about the stress that BF is under. I will not leave him, he does not deserve the treatment he given by his children. But they are well coached and well trained by a mother who must have chaos in her life to exist. She doesn't see the damage she has caused, she only sees herself as the good parent who puts her childrens happiness above all. She has told them she will never date, all she needs is them. But has herself listed on match.com as looking for a true gentleman.

We can't reverse the damage already done, but we can show them what a true honest loving relationship is. The one thing those kids cannot do, is state any negativity they have seen from either of us.

I want to thank all you, I see our situation in many of your posts, any advice is welcome.

God bless

Clairecpa's picture

WOW!!! Imblessed_824, THANK

WOW!!! Imblessed_824, THANK YOU!!!!! The situation you addressed is so close to mine and I really appreciate your info and advice. You nailed my DH's ex-wife. The woman is a narcissist supreme who, in her button-pushing best form, will not let up on my husband. Anything she can think to use is major drama for him to 'help' her with. Mostly financial problems because she ran through the settlement in short order and won't quit running up credit card expense. (I truly don't know how she is managing to get credit anywhere at this point, but she is). Her Babies (ages 23 & 26) also add to the button-push mix -i.e. what she tells him he needs to provide for them (she doesn't give them a dime). You are soooo right -she is powerful. She manages to make me feel like an outsider and secondary to her. You're so right on point too about the husband being brain-washed... It's true! They've been divorced for 6 yrs and we've been married 4, but she's still calling the shots.

I AM guilty of obsessing about it. Thanks for the advice about that too. It has gone on for so long and my frustration level was reached long ago. Physical infidelity has not been my major concern, but my husband's mental and financial infidelity are. I have heard him say 'I love you too' (phone conversations) and he gives her money with no discussion with me (including additional borrowed funds and withdrawals from what's left of his retirement funds because he has nothing left from his paycheck). I've finally worked out he doesn't consider his wages as our 'household' funds -his paycheck is his (theirs?) and I pay my own bills (I don't make much and he talked me into taking early retirement SS for extra). What has hurt most about the financial is that he tells me 'We don't need anything, haven't missed any meals', but we have no money for things we DO need (he needs a vehicle & there are many home repairs needed) and yet I find he's given her money he doesn't even have to help her pay credit card debt due to her compulsive spending habit. He has a large mortgage (funds for divorce settlement) and education loans (kids-and he wants to incur more so they won't be saddled with it), no savings left and we are in our 60's. Yep, I've gotten a bit stressed.

I have thought of counseling but have not done anything about it yet. It's scary for me. Frankly there are a few other issues too, but the ex and his money handling are the most difficult (his spending on his kids is a difficulty too -he allows much more than he can afford). After the most recent go-round (amounting to several thousand a few months ago I'd just found he supplied to the ex -more borrowed money from his 401-k) I'd told him I was fed up to the gills. He assured me it was the last time and he'd told her he would not give her anymore. He's said that before and I am wondering if I am being completely stupid to believe him once more. It hurts so much that he has not set boundaries for the ex that he has kept so far.

His youngest is getting married soon (the other already married, but not independent). In my mind this should mark a turning point in dealing with the ex, but who knows. After writing this I think I really need to seek counseling because this is truly more than I can deal with when my husband's loyalty to me feels questionable at best. He gives me the words 'love and committment', but I'm not feeling them.

Sassy1's picture

It has taken me over 6 years

It has taken me over 6 years to find this haven, for which I am grateful! I am reading and absorbing your posts, and I am so relieved to know that I am not alone. It is sometimes very lonely, this job as the "evil step-parent", I feel that I have become a warrior against hatred, which I have spewed upon me whenever the step-kids come to visit.

I have told them that I will never give into hatred, that it is against my religion. But what I do not let them know is that it is absolutely exhausting to be treated like that and to watch my husband be treated that way. He doesn't want to talk about the effect of it, unless it gets too bad, and then he wants to be the only one with something to say. Oftentimes,when the ex- is in one of her tizzies and the flying monkeys are whirling, and she and the children are expressing their hatred for me and their father,she and the children end up becoming quite ill with one autoimmune viral infection or another. I often wonder about Munchhausen's-by-proxy.

I have been married for 6 years to a wonderful man who has a Narcissistic ex-wife and two children(11 and 15) whom she has programmed to treat my husband horribly. They blame me for the divorce (which I had nothing to do with) and call me the "whore" and a couple of less palpable terms. They have to have cell phones so that they and their biological mother can text and call one another all through the day. We have the children for the weekend every other weekend, and when they do start to have fun, it is invariably ruined when the older girl calls Mom to tell on the younger boy for having fun, and Mom calls or texts and has a talk with the younger son.

My husband put up with his ex' abuse for years while they were married, working nights and overtime to get away from her and to pay the bills that she accrued. I wish he would go to counseling, because I do not think he realizes how the abuse set itself into his psyche. I kept thinking that as time went on, he would realize that her opinion of him did not define his worth, but I see at time that he still has low self-esteem despite having held a well-respected job for many years. I keep hoping that the emotional support that he receives from my daughters and I, especially in front of his children (my 16 year-old admonishes them for lack of pleases, thank you's, and acknowledgment that they have been asked a question or spoken to (they tend to answer with "hmph" or just roll their eyes, or to not respond at all).

I am sorry to have run on, and I thank you for listening and wish everyone here well.

We attended a parenting class together 4 years ago when the ex attempted to take the custody away from him and claimed that he had anger management issues. The judge did not find that he had anger issues, but told him to take a class in Parenting. I took the class with him so that i would already have it in case the ex- tried to say that I was unfit and needed the class as well. The Psychologist running the class asked us why we were there after the first three classes (she already knew it was court appointed because we told her that, but she said that neither she nor her assistant could understand why we were taking a class that we obviously did not need).

We told her what went on with the kids and the ex-, and the next class she supplied us with stacks of articles on Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). My husband did not lose joint legal custody, and in the end the lawsuit was a very good thing, because the judge was angered by her lies (both about my husband and about her financial claims), and we finally were able to receive more than $150/year of his salary.

Persephone's picture

Welcome Sassy1. I am sure you

Welcome Sassy1. I am sure you will find this site very helpful!!!

I hope one day your SKIDS wake up from their BM's spell. Although many of us on this site are still waiting... some have had successes.

Sassy1's picture

Thank you, Persephone! I

Thank you, Persephone! I won'r hold my breathe, but I won't give up - there is always hope, isn't there. I just have to remember to stop digging when I've reached the bottom of the well and find a ladder.

Persephone's picture

I like that saying...

I like that saying...

motherof2's picture

I AM GETTING MARRIED ON

I AM GETTING MARRIED ON 10/30/10 AND I AM MISERABLE... Barf!

I am marrying the most wonderful man in the world, in a month and we are both sick. Just a little history...I was not looking for a relationship when this man entered my life. I was newly seperated and did everything I could not to have a new relationship. However, there was no way I was going to give him up. He helped me during the most difficult time of my life and I don't know what I would have done without him. He is wonderful with my kids and they love him. Here is the problem...

He and his ex divorced 5 years ago, she is remarried with 2 more kids. She is bipolar and his life with her was miserable. He lost his business due to her illness of trying to kill herself and had thoughts of killing the kids too. She spent time in a facility to help her, it may have stopped the suicidal thoughts but she just became miserable to be around.

She told him he would be living in a cardboard box when she is done with him. When they went for their mediation, she did not get what she wanted and felt bad about what she did to him. So they agreed to work with each other with the kids. Their relationship was good. He lent her 7ooo.00 for a deposit on her house,in return, she said he could give her half the child support, and then she remarried. Things were still good with all of them, and my df lived like he had nothing. He put everything he had into the kids. Now I come into the picture. She met me once and was very friendly, I was very excited. The next time I saw her she ignored me.I couldn't understand what I did. As time went by , I heard that she bashed me and my kids to the sk. The son looks scared of me and is a nervous rec. She went to numerous doctors because she diagnosed him with ADD. She finally found one that agreed and now he is on meds agaist the bf wishes. She posted something on facebook on a mutual friends page. The kids have come over upset with her behavior, she ignores them for days when they do something wrong.

Now we go on vacation with the kids, We come home to a letter from her lawyer. She wants to update the child support and rearrange visitation. She also wants to split braces (6000 for 20months)she want told by our lawyer to get second opinions. She did not. With our small enough wedding, we asked that she just wait to do the braces a month, she said no. Now he goes for coffee with her to see if they could work it out. Well, 3 hours later, he comes in devistated and crying, I couldnt imagine what happened, his ex hands him a photocopies letter his 12 year old daughter wrote for him. It explains that she wants to stay with her mom during the week because it is difficult going back and forth everyother day. She also said it would be best for her 10year old brother too. she also wants to know if me and my kids could go somewhere sometimes because she misses the times it was just the 3 of them. she clearly stated that they are her words and not the mothers.

So now I over react and yell at her and tell her she is 2 faced like the mom. Which makes things worse because now she does not want the kids near me. So in total desperation to make things right. DB tells her he ended it with me and I will no longer see the kids. Now she is his best friend. The next day, he tells her he still loves me, and she doesn't want to hear it. So the 2and 1/2 years I have been a great person to these kids, doesn't matter. Our child support went up 400 and now the braces are costing 150 and the lawyer expense. We are behind in our bills and don't know to dig out.

It very difficult to now see the daughter, who started this whole thing, smile with a mouth full of silver, and new clothes and everything is rosey with her again. But inside I feel like she and her mom just put us into a finacial and emotional hole.

Do I get married or not. How do I handle a situation where I watch him kiss her but in order not to have her go for back child support or ask for more money.

it is hard's picture

Did you get married? I hope

Did you get married? I hope not. It is hard. I have been married not for 4 Years. There are other men that will do things to show you they care and will be there for you. Be very careful of what you are getting into. I wish I could stop you. You are in of many years of this and worse.

dpech66's picture

OMG after doing some research

OMG after doing some research I just figured out that my BF's ex has NPD!! I wish I'd known this months ago, it would have saved me alot of grief. I just need to find out some info on how best to keep her from doing even more damage in my life. Her behavior now makes alot more sense, Knowing is half the battle and I will now know to stop expected her to wake up, grow up, and start acting like an adult. At this point we have cut her completely out of our lives as much as we can (two teen daughters live with her 600 miles away and she takes every opportunity to sabotage any progress BF has made towards having a good relationship with them. Just so happy they are old enough to where their dad can deal with them without engaging her). During Christmas the 15 yr old complained that her mom made every conversation about herself (you should read her Facebook stuff...Facebook used to be a fun way to stay in touch but is now turning into a total nightmare).

I feel bad for my BF that he spent 18 yrs with this woman trying to make her happy but it's made him quite a catch because he is better than you could ever ask for!! I just hope we make it through this intact and she doesn't pass on any of this crap to the kids. They really deserve better. Four years until the youngest one turns 18 and hopefully moves out of her house so we don't have to deal with her anymore at all.

kabers4244's picture

I am a mother of two girls

I am a mother of two girls and step mom to two boys and his ex is everything described above.. she started off fake.. calling my husband to tell him "she is cute, and I am happy for you" and their boys absolutely loved me.. We all hit it off very well, me and my girls and he and his boys, we were extremely happy, the kids all had a blast together and absolutely loved us, and thats when she began.
She has spent every waking moment of the last five years trying to ruin our lives... She has moved from me as the target, to their father, to my children, to the school dstrict, back to me, my children, back to their father etc etc.. Now we they have jt custody and in the beginning we had placement, they slept here and went to school here.. and once she started her brainwashing and deceit she just kept going and going until eventually they children were coming home blaming dad for divorce and saying its not fair they dont get to live with mom(obvioulsy this was scripted by BM)So things would be bad(arguments, fights, guilt games for awhile then things would be fine. So last year my husband and I got engaged... we received a text from her stating that she was happy for us(right) and that she couldnt have asked for a better stepmother for the children. So not even a month later Ssons come home and older sson(who has had behavior problems in school) states that mom says it wouldnt be that hard to switch schools and that I could go live with her if I didnt like this school. Really.. like really.. does she not realize how obvious this is.. weeks after our engagement to sit there and try to convince sson to move in with her.. then again came you dont want us to see mom, and why cant we live with mom, we had half our lives so far with you she gets a turn too.. this was obvioulsy things she had been saying to them. They had told us that she cried alot and that I was trying to replace her and that BD just didnt want them to see her at all.. She promised them rainbowns and sunshine and about two months after we married they were claiming they hated the schools here and wanted to go live with her.. her reason for them coming to live with her was just BD, he works to much, he doesnt let friends come over.. you know all lies.. when the boys met with their lawyer they said they didnt like the school here but that they were really going to miss dad, and especially me and my girls and their lawyer emphasized that.. and said that means a lot.. but haha after we decide not to fight it in court.. after we decide to let them try it out with her do you think she is done.... nooooo way!! Things are going alright with the exception of oldest stepson failing classes in school. what does she do.. calls up BD and starts screaming at him that it is his fault, he is not doing his part, yadayada.. stated that sson said that bd didnt have time to do any homework with him, now this obviously was not the case but instead of her holding sson accountable and responsible for handing in his work she calls and blames BD. so that blew over, over time, then ssons started coming to the house constantly talking about aruguments they are having with BM. One day it is overheard in the bedroom one sson telling older sd about once of these arguments and he was immediatley stopped because we do not tolerate or condone any secret trash talking in the home.. If the children are feeling angry about another parent they are to address it with that parent or us. my two d's know they are not talk trash talk their father, and if they ever have a problem they are to talk to him or me if they feel they cant talk to him. so this was addressed with the boys that we prefer if they are having a lot of arguments at BMs that they talk to her about it and maybe tell her how they feel but not to bring it home and talk to their ss's about it because it wasnt really their business. so they went home and told mom this and she reacted with fury stated the boys were interoggated and we were screaming at them and then proceeded to tell boys that if at any time they did not want to be here they could call her and go home.. ( now keep in mind BM does not have rules, the majority of day is spent playing video games etc, she has no rules, punishments, accountability etc) so naturally the next weekend ssons are here we tell them again, we were not trying to fight with you last weekend we just prefer if you have feelings about your fights with mom that you talk to her, or us if you have to but not your ss's. and they were fine after this, so next day we have to go about 40 min away to mall, the children asked to bring their video games and were told no, older sson developed attitude but seemed fine.. as getting ready to return home sson says "we want to go home" and BD says yes we are right now and older sson says no we wnat to go back to BMS, and after the normal questions of why we gathered that they were told that anytime they are uncomfortable they can leave.. BD was obviously very upset..so when dropping them off BM says what happened, and BD stated you told them they could come home whenever so here they are. Now they told her nothing happened and everything was fine and they were fine all day what it came down to was video games.. but did she leave it at that nooooo... because she is such a narcissistic crazy person she decided since she felt guilty for exploting the children out of time with their father by giving them the impression that if we blink at them wrong they can go back to her house(they even threatened to call their lawyer)so since she felt so guilty, she decided to blame it all on my and my girls.. im fake, the girls get whatever they want, i dont really love them, the girls get away with everything and the boys get in trouble for everything. etc etc and stated that the girls and I needed to move out in order to fix anything. then she turned around and said that is not what they wanted.. we know they dont want that because when they are here they are loving and we have fun but they are not allowed to show that to her. so BD decided that we should move, a few towns away.. just to lessen the back and forth and give the ssons more room to breathe and feel allowed to love us. so that they wont have to endure her questions and interogattion of everything that was said and done in our home while they were here for three hours.. he feels the every other day has proven to be too much. she has done to much damage to the boys and he feels that if he had the time with them on the weekends it would be of better quality and they would feel more free to love us(without worrying that their mom will cry or be mad) right now they come from after school 4pm till 730 pm, they do not get here till 430 pm and they leave about 715 pm to return to BM. so in that 3 hrs and 45 minutes ssons must complete homework and eat which leaves very little time for play.. husband and I both feel moving and giving them a little more stability in that aspect will help them deal with her.I feel in my heart that they will see that she has done this.. that she should not have portrayed their family in a negative light ever.. but we will not stoop to her level and talk about her to ssons.. so her latest RANT is that BD cant move, he is not allowed to, (he needs to be there for his children) she says. When last week she said he was a horrible father and they deserve better.. its never been about the well being of the ssons to her.. its always been about some sort of control freak power trip and she has done extensive damage to those children. I disagreed and declined my husband talk of moving but as time went on I could see that he wasnt giving up on his children but stepping back to allow them to breathe.. but she proclaims that he will never move that he is stuck in this house forever... ug!! im glad to see im not the only one going thru this.. hugs to you.. my husbANd and I love our family and the ssons know that they are loved and we know they love us they are just not allowed to feel that right now. but we will continue to do what we always have done and be the best parents we can and show them we love them and show them we arent leaving to ruin their lives but that things will be better..