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Coping with the uncertainty during a divorce from a narcissistic A


Coping with the uncertainty during a divorce from a narcissistic A

Old 05-28-2015, 01:50 PM
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Coping with the uncertainty during a divorce from a narcissistic A

I'm looking for some coping techniques dealing with my STBXAH during our separation. We are just starting our collaborative sessions where we meet together with our lawyers and work out the agreement. So after years of walking on eggshells every day with him, the eggshells are now HUGE and breaking them won't just make the day or week miserable but could have a huge impact on my life for many years.

I know he is up to all kinds of stuff behind my back, as he is working on trying to take full financial advantage of me in the settlement. I have pretty much paid for the entire house from my own money but as it is the family home he has a right to half (I intend to keep the house). So he is trying to have it valued at more than I know it is worth, and will try to resist my getting the pension division to reduce what I pay him out. I am pretty sure from a message I was privy to that he has just bought a house as well and is planning to not tell me until he moves in. In other words, more lies and deceits and sneakiness and horribleness - just like always except now the stakes are much higher.

Our last session he said all kinds of crap like I am so unhygienic I am a danger to our son (so not true, and he is the slob, OMG ).

I find I feel stressed and afraid all the time - I don't know what he will throw at me next and how this will affect my life - I can't even plan when I have no idea yet what this will all work out to - how much will I owe? how broke will I be? what other lies will he use to harm me in this process?

How do you deal with the constant unknown? You know it will be bad but don't know what is coming - it's terrifying.

I can't wait for this to be over, but I dread each interaction - I'm torn between wanting to put it off because I don't want to deal with it and wanting it over as soon as possible - it's like pulling off a bandaid - fast or slow - it will hurt either way.
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:58 PM
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Divorce is difficult, no two ways about it.

I know that staying in the moment works best for me in all things. "What iffing" is a great place for fear to get a stronghold.

Try not to future trip. He may lie, he may get more than you feel he is owed, but the key for you is to maintain your dignity, integrity, and serenity regardless of his crazy.

Can you switch to interacting only through the attorneys?
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:14 PM
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Hiding assets (e.g., buying a house without telling you) is a big no-no. He can't keep it secret forever, and if he's found to be doing that he will be in big trouble.

Is the mediation mandatory where you live? Are you sure it's financially worth it to go through this ordeal?
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:16 PM
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not sure if you are ever going to GET collaboration with him? not sure this method is really serving you well......your position is still too passive and that lets him just run rough shod. i could be way off base but just draw up what YOU want, your best offer, without giving away the farm, and then let him counter.

a lot of the things you mentioend sound like hunches and predictions. stick with the FACTS. i don't think bargaining with a thief usually goes well for anyone but the thief.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:15 PM
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One of the nice things about having an attorney is that you shouldn't be as fearful.

I am curious why you chose a collaborative divorce? That is usually best for two people that are in agreement to mitigate. Nonetheless, you do have your own attorney within the arrangement correct? You aren't using just one attorney between the both of you?

It sounds like you would rather not ruffle feathers and will subject yourself to an unfair settlement because of that. I might be wrong. I too am questioning his house purchase - if that wasn't agreed upon he may have gotten himself in some trouble.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:53 PM
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lucy......of this I am certain. (I divorced the narcissistic father of my three children....and, he wasn't even a drinker lol!

With a narcissist---you play hard ball---always! You don't ever let them see you sweat (they smell fear and thrive on it), and you never....NEVER....make the mistake of playing "nice guy" because you have some altruistic idea that it will be rewarded in some way. It will work against you, with a narcissist. You will get no extra stars in heaven, let me tell you.....lol!

My best advice---get a tough, straight talking lawyer.....and let him/her do all the talking.
If you are dealing with a narcissist....whatever you pay your lawyer will be more than worth it.

My advice for the future---you need to start growing a very thick rhino skin.........


P.S. If you doubt me and would like to see some of my battle scars---I will be happy to supply photos uon request....
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:25 PM
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PM me.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:02 PM
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Omg what dandelion said BIG time.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:43 PM
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Hi lucy.

I don't usually post on this side because I don't really have overly difficult F&F stuff in my life, but wanted to respond to this. I never had a serious intimate relationship with a person who had these narcissistic traits in "pathological" measures (and am very unlikely to ever be in that situation I think), but I have worked with many at different points of the spectrum. I usually manage these situations very well and also get along with the people we are talking about pretty good, most likely because I am either very averse or unresponsive to manipulation. I just felt compelled to respond to this, because once again, I have to work directly with someone who seems pretty seriously on the difficult end of the spectrum, in my new job... I repeatedly find myself in work situations where I somehow attract these people at first, and then typically discover lots of people suffering from their behaviors in the environment, and then I make steps to set it straight. Sometimes it works well, not always.

I second what dandylion said about letting the lawyer do the talking -- someone who can communicate in a more unbiased way, see through the whole situation, and not be affected by it emotionally. I agree with the views that it's not good to try to negotiate or appear uncertain / visibly vulnerable / too accepting because those are exactly the points he will grasp on and use in the situation. Keeping it factual, business-like, and as direct as possible is best... and for this, it may be much easier to let the professional deal with as much as realistic.

I hope you will be through all this soon and the uncertainty and anxiety dissolves! I've seen such things around me so many times I know how difficult and complicated it can be. All the best
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:47 PM
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I am using collaboration to try to stay out of court (really can't afford the $50k + it would cost and may be counterproductive). I prefer this to mediation as we both have our lawyers with us during the meetings. I'm meeting with my lawyer tomorrow so may get a better sense of things, but I don't find she is tough. Thing is, collaboration is supposed to be about working things out and getting an agreement so I am trying to stay calm and not be antagonistic. He has the law on his side - he is entitled legally to half, even though it is ethically unfair. If we went to court, the likely outcome would be they would say sell the house and split the money in half. I am hoping to argue for fairness but I feel like he has the power here as the law is on his side. As for the house he bought, it was after the separation, and my issues are - where did he get the deposit as his account shows very little in it and I think he has been hiding money, and also the deceitfulness of wanting to keep it secret.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:11 PM
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I'm sorry, Lucy.

Going after what is right with the intent to win is not being antagonistic.

I understand your fears of rocking the already unstable boat. This just isn't the time to try and calm the waters I don't think. I agree on upping your lawyer to someone with more, umm, determination (nards).

My brother picked a lawyer because he thought he was a helluva nice dude (much like my bro.) My brother also got SCREWED in the the divorce. As far as the big eggshells, you've been walking on them long enough. Dance an Irish jig on them til they break down into dust and blow away with the wind.

Good luck, keep a level head, keep gathering info, keep being honest, and don't future trip too much. Sending you peace!
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:32 PM
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What Dandylion said. What you lose in money, you will save in your sanity. How much money is your mental health worth?

I found out the hard way what "collaborating" with a narcissist would look like, after ten years of getting jerked around with money, time, and broken promises and custody issues. It ended when I started playing hardball and stopped collaborating. If you MUST collaborate, the agreement is that everyone gets half and walks away clean. If he's hiding stuff, decide whether or not it's worth pursuing. You're going to pay one way or another -- for me acceptance of this was worthwhile.

Divorce is expensive because it's worth it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:05 PM
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Yup, be careful that you aren't fixated on making sure he isn't "getting away with" something. For me, walking away from the insanity and FUTURE financial drain was well worth walking away from some of what I was "entitled" to. It plain wasn't worth it to me. As long as I had enough to get along with (and yeah, that included taking responsibility for some debts that were his and not mine but I knew they wouldn't be paid and I'd wind up responsible for them somehow or other anyway), then anything I "lost" in the deal was simply the cost of freedom (which is priceless).

So for ME, going through the agony of some drawn-out process was absolutely NOT worth it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:30 PM
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I would sit down with my attorney and tell her what you just told us. You are paying her, let her do her job. Judges don't take lightly to hiding money at all, so if you suspect that, you need to get that straight. And if he closes on the house before you divorce, guess what, half of that equity is yours. Stay calm, cool, and collected and let your attorney do the talking.

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Old 05-29-2015, 01:38 PM
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From my experience, you can't negotiate with a narcissist.

Just present the facts, and don't go forward until he clarifies stuff like where he got the down payment for the house. Like bank statements for the past 3 years, pre and post separation. Like a complete credit report that reveals all his business transactions. There is always a trail when money is moved.

Get a tougher lawyer. Yes, really. Look for a junk yard dog who knows how to bark/bite at his kneecaps. Nice comes later when he's agreed to reasonable stuff.

Get tougher. You can't make him happy, so make it all real. If he gets upset, that is probably what he intended to do anyway, and at least you get your points made.

Like many of us were with narcissistic spouses, you sound intimidated. Get over it. He is on the way out of your life, like a passing wave that has brought up all the debris from the ocean bottom.

Say what you want, and just don't budge. "No." is a complete sentence. To be followed by a very very long pause that eventually he won't be able to resist filling. Then "No." again. Then after the tantrum, walk out. No sense wasting lawyer fees when he is just spewing nonsense.

This man is now not your husband, your lover, your protector. He is not planning to help you. He is an adversary. No more, no less. Leave the emotions behind, and sort out what you really need to be free, and then go. Our hearts can mourn on our own time; negotiation time is purely that.

There is life on the other side of narcissism. Very good life, and it is waiting for you.

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Old 06-09-2015, 08:01 PM
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Update - so last week I asked him when his fishing trip is as we need to plan DS's birthday. He says he had to cancel as he doesn't have the money - that everything cost so much and he spent so much on the house. And so he got trapped - I said 'what, our house?'. And he was silent and then had to fess up as he had stepped into it and admitted he bought a house. He said he didn't plan to tell me as he didn't want me to be nervous (hahaha...why would I be nervous, not my problem if he doesn't get my pay out for the house before the closing date of July 30).

Then he said he told his lawyer and she told him since he was doing it all on his own he didn't have to tell me. I told my lawyer this. Today she emailed me that she called his lawyer in preparation for our next collaborative session together tomorrow and she knew nothing of him buying a house and would never have given him that advice.

I was feeling nervous about tomorrow, but am feeling much better now. Both lawyers now see his deceitfulness and lies, plus he just made his own lawyer look bad by saying she gave him that advice - I don't think she will be very happy with him. Tomorrow should be interesting.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:26 PM
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I'd just like to second what everyone here said. I divorced an N, and it got ugly. He will pull out all the stops, he will lie and look good doing it, and he will manipulate and coerce if he can. I say...take your time and fight hard. Too many people have regrets later with things they agreed to because they were exhausted. It's worth the battle and it's worth the money. You're buying your complete freedom.

It's also fun to say "no" to a narcissist once you practice a little and get past the initial fear. They don't really know what to do if you don't buy into their crap, and they will rant and rave. For me, it helped me see even clearer who he was.

In some cases, if he's being unreasonable, he can be charged to pay court costs in the end.

For me, I decided it was worth losing everything we had and held my ground to fight--when my ex saw that, I think that's when the game got boring so he agreed.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:50 PM
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My first husband, and father of my three children not an A but a narcissist, we did collaborative law for our divorce. This was 8 years ago. The trouble with collaborative law is the lawyers that practice collaboratively won't go to court on your behalf after this process if something happens. In my case I did this to "save money" My XH has not done one thing he was supposed to do in the divorce agreement. And he has had the audacity to continually take me back to court over visitation issues for the past 8 years. It has costs me much more money than it would have if I had just hired a regular attorney in the first place. I went through all of my life savings trying to protect my children. I have court orders left and right that he is supposed to do the things the divorce agreement says, but I cannot afford to initiate taking him back to court to have it enforced. And even when it has been taken to court he never does what the judge orders him to do. Collaborative law was one of the biggest mistakes I made and ended up costing me and my children every bit of our financial security.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:27 AM
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Sending you peace and strength today!
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:13 AM
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D*ckhead sure doesn't sound very smart. I hope you take him to the cleaners and he can't close on "his secret house", either.
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