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How do you actually divorce a Narcissist?

(244 Posts)
mynamechangemyrules Fri 23-Feb-18 10:30:14

I am a long time (5+yrs blush) lurker in these pages and the advice has helped me in many ways to survive and understand my situation.

I have name changed as some friends know my user name.

I need specific answers as to how to actually 'do the deed' and tell my husband that I want a divorce.

Summary if you want background:
A short summary is my husband is verbally and emotionally abusive to me and to my children. It even feels 'bad' writing that down. But the evidence is right before my eyes.

To me: are you stupid or lazy? I can't work it out? I'm not happy with my children's mother being a fat ugly woman who looks 20 years older than she is, it's disgusting. You disgust me. (FWIW I'm UK 12 and my besties would say I'm alright for 40 grin) And all day every day: why are you eating/ doing/ saying that? Questioning questioning and 'retaliating' to simple statements. Me:'I had a tough day at work' H:'Have you finished moaning because i was watching tv' etc etc etc. Honestly that's not even an hour's worth.

'I know you accept mediocrity but I don't. Imagine if our kids ended up like you, fucks sake'

To the DCs (7/5/1): What the fuck is wrong with you? You know you're weird right? All the kids at school will laugh and call you stinky kid (he hates to clean his teeth, he hears this every day) Get this kid away from me I can't fucking bear him. Why do you do that? Are you stupid? Well you must be stupid because you don't listen to what I say.

Pins DC1 up against walls/ floor. Locks DCs 1&2 our of the house.

This is awful. This much I know. For reference I work in education. I know this is bad but my normal has just shifted slightly every time it escalates.

So after the most recent 'major event' (I disagreed on a timing question. He dragged DC1 upstairs by one arm, he told me I disgusted him, he told me we were not allowed to leave the house. He told me if I did he would call the police. Obv I realise they would've told him to fuck off but in the moment my brain doesn't work like that.)
I have been to a lawyer. We live overseas and I have clarified that I am in a strong position:
I work, he doesn't, (he is NOT a SAHD- he is 'job hunting', (he has a lucrative career so doesn't need to work all year) he does nothing with them, we have full time childcarer who has known them all from birth. I come home from work and do dinner bath bed while he watches tv or reads the iPad)
His visa rests on my job
I have plenty of financial security of my own (although he 'manages' it all so I'd have to change passwords etc on accounts)

I have told more people in RL about the situation as if to 'prep' them... They were all like 'of course we'd noticed, he's a knob' which was somehow reassuring.

So... technically I am 'ready'.

But how do I even begin?

Despite all above I think he has very little understanding of where we are with this. As everything is brought back to him all the time- eg 'It ruins my night if I have to physically restrain DC1, I just get so upset' rather than how DC1 is feeling- that I think he would be blown away if I just come out and say I want a divorce.

Do I go straight for that?

Do I book counselling? (Such a thing here would be upwards of £200 a session and hard to find someone of a cultural 'match')

How do I say it?

Should I get the kids out for the day?

How do I time it with basic 'family' events coming up? (Holidays/ special days etc?)

Sorry for the ramble and multiple questions but the gist is HOW????

misscph1973 Fri 23-Feb-18 10:50:42

Hi mynamechangemyrules, that sounds really difficult, but you sound like you are being very rational about it, and you are trying to find a solution. Don't feel bad, things like you describe don't happen overnight, it happens slowly and creeps up on you. And you are now doing something to make it stop.

Yes, I think counselling would be a good start. I think you should find a counsellor in your home country (I guess you're English?) who does online counselling over the phone or Skype (my counsellor does. She charges £35 per 1 hour session and she's very qualified. I can give your her details, if you want?).

With the way he speaks to your and the DC I can understand why you are worried about telling him and what kind of reaction he might have. Perhaps you could phone him while he is not in your home and the DC are not present, or perhaps tell him in a public place?

helpconfused Fri 23-Feb-18 12:46:47

MY partner was like this. For 10 years.
I kept saying I was going...next time he shouted at me...next time he shouted at DS, tried to make secret plans. Tried to leave a few times but he wouldn't let me take DS.
It all came to a head this weekend when he assaulted my in front of our child. I called the police. Now it is out of my hands and I feel so relieved.
Just go. Don't have a showdown. Just take the kids and go. be safe.

ToEarlyForDecorations Fri 23-Feb-18 13:03:44

Be brave. Be strong.

Here's what I guess he will do (you already know this, you know the man, you know the problem, you know HIM)

He'll laugh in your face. He'll undermine your thinking. He'll announce to all your friends and family that you've gone nuts and want a divorce. He'll threaten to take the kids off you.

Don't go round and round in circles as he bamboozles you, stonewalls you, gets the kids on side etc.

His knee jerk response to you asking for a divorce will probably be, 'got yourself a man have you ?'

There's a strategy called, 'grey rock'. That basically means don't engage. Just give a neutral answer to his bitching. I use the phrase, 'I understand' in situations of my life when short statements are required. Or, simply, 'thank you for letting me know.'

Oh and wait for suicide threats to start too. As well as, 'look what mummy is making me do' to the kids.

He will probably start on with telling you the kids will grow up without a Dad. As well as expecting the kids to take sides.

I don't know how many professionals or 'barrack room' lawyers he will recruit to dance to his tune regarding you being an unfit mother or nutcase/drug addict/alcoholic/prostitute etc etc and oh the etc.

Good luck.

MickHucknallspinkpancakes Fri 23-Feb-18 13:27:52

@ToEarlyForDecorations great post.

I think I'd suggest counselling to give you strength to get through this. And RL support. Don't be ashamed to confide in a friend it'll give you a sounding board for your sanity. Then speak to a lawyer about all the implications...forewarned is forearmed.

Prepare for the fact that everything will be your fault. You are to blame for everything.

Prepare for the children to be used in arguments and to take sides.

Prepare for accusations of all kinds, and character assassination.

Grey rock is without doubt the best way through this. Reacting to his behaviour in any way will provide an oxygen supply.

MyFavouriteChameleon Fri 23-Feb-18 13:39:02

I think before you say anything you need to take back control of all your financial information etc. If you have access to the accounts online currently, change passwords just before you tell him.

If not, go see your bank(s) and figure out what you must do, to stop him taking your money when you tell him - you don't want to end up penniless, with him possible spending everything you've earned. I suspect you'll need to open new accounts and transfer all the things like pay, direct debits and the current balance to them.

If anything is his, financially, leave him that of course, be completely fair, but protect yourself and your children financially.

fwiw, you're doing the right thing - the way he speaks to you is bad, but the way he speaks to your DCs really must not be allowed to continue, its appalling and must be really damaging for them :-(.

Good luck OP.

FeedtheTree Fri 23-Feb-18 13:45:13

You sound clued up. Can you organise leaving him before you tell him? Do you own the house or rent it? Can you give notice on the rent if you are paying it and take out rental on another place. Start 'clearing out' loads of stuff, but put some in storage, and then just make a break and tell him why in a legal letter, itemising in particular the physical abuse of your DC. Once you're gone to an unknown address, ask for a divorce and then use that grey rock technique in all your dealings with him.

RatherBeRiding Fri 23-Feb-18 13:46:04

In your shoes, I'd get the kids out for the day. And just tell him it's over and refuse, REFUSE to engage in discussion about why (because it will be impossible to have anything approaching a rational conversation).

Keep repeating that you are filing for divorce. Have the paperwork prepped by your lawyer. Get all your finances in order. Change the passwords. Make sure he cannot access the children's passports or birth certificates. Have an emergency bolthole ready if you need to get yourself and the children to safety. Don't be afraid to call the police if he gets nasty and threatening.

Good luck

eggncress Fri 23-Feb-18 13:47:39

If you are in a strong position financially you would be better not telling him your plans. Just take the kids and go. Report him to the police so you are one step ahead of him and go from there.?
If he needs to he can contact you via a lawyer.

mynamechangemyrules Sat 24-Feb-18 14:25:54

Thank you for the replies. When I posted I was feeling calm and brave by posting and today I am not. Before significant events he is worse and we are hosting something tomorrow so it has been an extremely hard day. He was less physical with the children than normal but still the words are hard to hear.

I go to a counsellor, infrequently due to the expense but I still go. It was for postnatal depression after DC2 and it was she who said 'this isn't postnatal depression, it's emotional abuse making you depressed'

I was wondering whether I should offer counselling with or for him as a lead in to telling him it's over, whether that would be more 'fair' than the sudden leave approach?

I am the holder of the rental agreement as well and the lawyer has said this means the police can remove him if he refuses to go. It would be easier to remove him rather than us. Rental prices are ridiculous here so any bolthole other than friends houses is out of the question.

I can't live like this and yet I can't see how to get the strength to change anything. I barely have enough to get through a 'normal' day.

looondonn Sat 24-Feb-18 14:37:53

You can do this

Please do not accept this harsh treatment for you and your little innocent DC

FeedtheTree Sat 24-Feb-18 17:25:25

Will he turn up and be threatening if you throw him out?

If you do ask him to go, can you make sure someone, or several people are with you, capable adults who can diffuse any attack. Someone he thinks of as a friend who is prepared to be his sympathy vote would be a good strategy as they can help get him out of the door.

eggncress Sat 24-Feb-18 19:43:09

Unfortunately theses types don’t go for the ‘ fair ‘ approach. He doesn’t feel sorry for you or DC as he is verbally/ physically abusing you. It’s probably due to your fair nature that he latched onto you. Do what you feel is best though and stay safe. Don’t ask him to leave if it’s just you and the DCs in the house. Make sure you have someone else on your side and present at the time. Good luck.

JaneEyre70 Sat 24-Feb-18 19:52:24

I'd say your best bet is getting him out of the way for a day (can you get friends to help with that), get the locks changed and have his bags waiting outside with a letter. And call the Police if he kicks off? See if someone will keep the kids away from it all? You're in a good financial position, don't get this lowlife in your life a day more than you have to.

misscph1973 Sat 24-Feb-18 21:42:51

I was wondering whether I should offer counselling with or for him as a lead in to telling him it's over, whether that would be more 'fair' than the sudden leave approach?

You probably feel some guilt for wanting to divorce him? While you are also worried about his reaction? You want to minimise the damage?

You don't owe him ANYTHING. I realise this is hard to understand whilst you are in the middle of this, but once you are on the other side, you will know this.

Any person has the right to leave their partner/husband for whatever reason. People leave for much less than you.

It's only natural that you feel strong one day, and then unable the next. You are also in a foreign country, you are not at home, that adds to the stress.

RandomMess Sat 24-Feb-18 22:13:09

Honestly I'd bring the DC to visit someone in the UK and disappear to a refuge...

What are the laws like around domestic violence where you live?

Caselgarcia Sat 24-Feb-18 22:31:11

I would sit him down and say you and the children are obviously making him unhappy and angry all the tim so something has to change as you can't go on like this. Try to agree it would be best all round for him to have a break from you all. Get him out of the house then disengage. If you make out you are separating because you are worried about him not being happy in the marriage, he is less likely to throw accusations at you.

mynamechangemyrules Sun 25-Feb-18 12:40:20

Thanks for the replies again, very heartening to know some people have walked the path ahead of me.
I am seeing the counsellor and lawyer (if I can get the cash without alerting him- equivalent of £2k just to start divorce proceedings 😳) this week.

The laws here still allow corporal punishment so although I haven't looked, I imagine DV to be low on their radar 😪

RandomMess Sun 25-Feb-18 12:45:58

Eek can you come back to the UK? You are his meal ticket I don't think he'll let you go without you forcing it through the courts. As a wife will the law there let you do this?

FeedtheTree Sun 25-Feb-18 13:57:44

The laws here still allow corporal punishment

Don't live there. You have a choice. And your kids deserve to move to a sane country where his behaviour wouldn't be downplayed.

serena5610 Sat 03-Mar-18 03:34:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mynamechangemyrules Tue 20-Mar-18 14:06:00

Hi,
I missed the deleted post, but anyway, I'm back hoping for a few last answers if anyone can help.
Am sorted, ducks in a row with kids at a friends all day Sat, finance changes going through and worked out the laws here (EA is recognised as DV and is a current 'hot topic' so I underestimated the lawmakers here)
Logical brain knows what to do. Emotional brain wants rid of him and to experience peace in my own home.
But I just don't know if I can do it.
I've been avoiding conflict for 10 years. How am I going to walk into/ start the biggest conflict I could ever have?
I have a little script prepared. But I know he will immediately tell me to fuck off and how fucking dare I etc etc and I can't see where I take it after that.
Sorry I realise I sound like a wet lettuce.

Thamesis Tue 20-Mar-18 16:13:57

Totally understandable OP, don't beat yourself up about it. Took me 15 years of marriage to get to where you are. Can you have someone with you or very nearby? Have you had support from a dv advisor? They could help you choose best way to do it.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Tue 20-Mar-18 16:21:38

You sound very prepared and sorted. Agree that having someone with you on Saturday might help - at least for moral support. Is that possible? What are the police like where you are? Could you phone them in advance to alert them that he might kick off? Good luck. You can do this. You can your children deserve some peace! flowers

mynamechangemyrules Sat 24-Mar-18 12:54:49

I did it!

I feel very proud that I said it all. The outcome isn't as I'd hoped.

I told him I wanted a divorce and wanted him to leave the house by 6pm. He was spookily calm, weird comments as if he thought a lawyer was waiting behind the door. Referred to my 'mental instability' being why I would think this was possible.

He said I was selfish. Hadn't put enough effort in, he wanted to start a dialogue. He sounded like he was coaching me to get to the right answer, not reacting to being told his wife wanted a divorce.

So he said he wanted counselling/ mediation. I said 'ok then I will book that up' got up and told him I was going to see the kids. I knew I would get no further with this discussion.

So then I was sitting on the floor of my friends house, children downstairs, feeling guilty that 'I' was 'doing this to our family'- and ping ping- through come all my notifications for the joint accounts all being cleared out... deposited into his own account.

So I think he has laid his cards on the table.

His brother and wife sent a joint email saying they think 'this must be so difficult for you and we will support you in any way possible'.

So those two things restored my sanity a bit:
1. He's a grade A arsehole, taking money from what we have always used as 'children's education and extra curricular activities money' plus the saving account plus the holiday money.
2. Even his own family have got my back.

Have to put this all here as I'm being so bloody PC about it all, have utterly kept my cool. Have put all 3 kids to sleep in my friends house and he's texting 'confirm my children are well' amd 'explain why they are not at home in their own beds' and now I want to scream/ laugh/ punch the wall/ cry.

But fucking motherfuck I will have to deal with this all over again and again won't I??

Have to get him out of the house tomorrow with his brother/ police assistance.

Mixture of woohoo I bloody said it and aaaarrrggghhh he's going to be a fucking dick for the next ??? years....

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