How did you survive the smear campaign

(35 Posts)
batteredsoul Thu 22-Jul-21 18:16:53

I'm leaving my narcissistic partner. 2 kids, I'm leaving the family home. We have agreed on the finances & childcare and I was hoping for an amicable split so as not to distress the children too much but it looks like I'm in for a rocky ride.
He is a pathological liar, but he genuine believes his own lies so it makes trying to reason with him impossible. He lies about me to me so I know he does it, but I'm mortified by what he could be saying about me to others.
Everything he accuses me of are things he is guilty of himself which I understand is classic narcissistic projection. The injustice of it all is tearing me apart. I'm remaining silent and not defending myself/ shouting my truth as I know it only makes things worse. Was hoping others that have left similar types of people can tell me they fall flat on their face in the end?
BTW I've changed my username, long time poster.

OP’s posts: |
Cahu58 Thu 22-Jul-21 18:21:53

I was in your position 13 years ago, hell isn't it. Just carry on staying strong, all I had to get me through was my strength of character (wasn't on Mumsnet then) and his life since has been a slight car crash whilst mine has been providing stability to my kids who are now adults and can see right through him. Don't worry about what he is saying at all.

Cahu58 Thu 22-Jul-21 18:25:47

Also he called me 6 months after the divorce and said he had made a terrible mistake with the OW .... could we meet for a chat! And he did that for many years afterwards

batteredsoul Thu 22-Jul-21 18:26:11

@Cahu58 thank you for your reply and so happy to hear your life is stable! Can I ask how long did it take before you started just not caring what others thought? I know it absolutely doesn't matter and if people choose to believe bad things about me then they aren't worth having in my life anyway. But I'm a sensitive soul and a people pleaser so really struggle with people not liking me.

OP’s posts: |
MadMadMadamMim Thu 22-Jul-21 18:27:01

Just laugh and say matter of factly Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? He's aware that's not really the case and then change the subject if people mention anything he has said.

If they don't say anything just ignore.

Cahu58 Thu 22-Jul-21 18:43:22

If he is badmouthing you it says more about him than it says about you! I'd been a stay at home mother for 12 years so I was a gold digger, dangerous, my kids were in danger etc etc. Cut to my eldests 21st birthday party a few years ago when he cried and said it was his biggest regret etc etc....! I got a job and just lived my own life as they say happiness is the biggest revenge. You will get there and use this wonderful forum for support

Cahu58 Thu 22-Jul-21 18:45:32

Also what Madmadmadammin said! Best response ever


WhoIsPepeSilva Thu 22-Jul-21 20:29:44

You'll find it hurts and the inability to stop it hurts as much if not more. You just have to keep your chin up and trust that those who matter know you well enough to know he's talking out of his bum flowers

Steelesauce Thu 22-Jul-21 20:32:05

I internally broke down, but stood in my truth outwardly. It didn't take long for people to see who he really was. Keep strong, it will be ok x

Steelesauce Thu 22-Jul-21 20:33:31

This. 100% this.

Fireflygal Thu 22-Jul-21 20:56:17

Smear campaign is very typical of a narcissist and probadly started even when you were together.

You really have to let it go over you and know in the future the truth will come out.
Remember they smear you because they are so afraid that you might speak the truth about them. The more they smear the greater they fear your strength.

batteredsoul Thu 22-Jul-21 21:20:15

Thank you all. I feel like I know I just have to suck it up, and I do keep telling myself that even if everyone in the world turns against me it will still be better than staying with an utterly toxic bully.
I think my cognitive dissonance is ramped up still as I keep thinking if I just play nice and be more than reasonable ( which is ridiculous considering how he's treated me ) he will let me go quietly. It infact makes him worse!
Gah! I just can't see anyone ever believing me over him as he's a very well liked guy. So hard.

OP’s posts: |
RockinTheLockdown Thu 22-Jul-21 21:37:47


Thank you all. I feel like I know I just have to suck it up, and I do keep telling myself that even if everyone in the world turns against me it will still be better than staying with an utterly toxic bully.
I think my cognitive dissonance is ramped up still as I keep thinking if I just play nice and be more than reasonable ( which is ridiculous considering how he's treated me ) he will let me go quietly. It infact makes him worse!
Gah! I just can't see anyone ever believing me over him as he's a very well liked guy. So hard.

I feel you. I could have written your words myself. Stay strong. Ignore him if you can. Dignified silence or laughter worked for me.

changeyourname11111 Thu 22-Jul-21 21:45:28

I don’t know what he was saying about me but I have no doubt it was horrible. Also judging by what one of his nephews said to my dd after the settlement.

But since he is completely cut out of my life and we have no contact, I was/am none the wiser and don’t care.

In one way my life is ruined because I doubt that I will be able to meet anyone else. In another way, the wonder of being divorced and away from the awful toxicity never quite leaves me. The relief.

changeyourname11111 Thu 22-Jul-21 21:45:49

And he moved out three years ago.

batteredsoul Thu 22-Jul-21 22:05:42

@changeyourname11111 do you really believe you won't ever meet anyone? Has he caused you that much damage? Good to hear you no longer care. It's the not knowing what the hell he's saying that's getting to me as he makes up utter bullshit! He is very clever though and makes sure to throw in a grain of truth when he's telling one of his stories so it's very believable.
I have to say I fantasise about the relief/freedom I will feel when I get out. I cannot wait for the peace and to be on my own. But hoping it might not be forever and I know enough about narcissistic abuse now to never get caught in that web again.

OP’s posts: |
OliveToboogie Thu 22-Jul-21 22:08:19

You won't win with a narc. Just walk away with your dignity. What others think or say about us is none of our business in we have no Control over it. Don't engage with him. That really gets to a narc as you are not giving them the attention they crave.

bowchicawowwow Thu 22-Jul-21 22:15:49

I think the only thing you can do is to not engage in it even though it's horrible and you want to defend yourself. I'm 20yrs down the line and I still hear things he's said about me. I ended up phasing out mutual friends and moving away.

cheninblanc Thu 22-Jul-21 22:52:20

I went silent, those that were my friends still are, those that believed his lies disappeared out of my life. I held my head high, I had really down days but now life is great and even though he still writes rubbish about me on our dds Facebook I shrug it off.

happytohavefoundyou Sat 24-Jul-21 01:49:35

@batteredsoul I saw a message from my ex's mother calling me savage.
And a heap of him lying about me taking his money.
Even when I had to report him to the police the lies he told while he was still trying to send me messages to get back with me confused

I learnt to block it all out. I knew the truth, my family & friends knew.
And people like that will always lie.

Work on you. Work on cut out the rubbish, remember that what ever you say is never getting through, you are talking to a wall. The only time it does seem like they understand is when they can use it.
Pretending to understand what your saying to get you to forgive etc.

Also for me two months later the song I am Savage it the chats so that made me laugh.

You will be fine but please get some help, managing to block out the noise from his issues

MollyBloomYes Sat 24-Jul-21 03:17:43

@batteredsoul I wouldn't necessarily be so sure about him being well liked. My horrible and (I suspect) narc ex was, I thought, very charming, jovial and very well liked. But after the split our friends pretty much migrated towards me. Including his friends from secondary school who I'd obviously known for a far shorter time.

I just decided from the moment he left me that I needed to be faultless and handle things with grace. This wasn't particularly because I was feeling noble (he left me in horrific circumstances) but because I was scared that anything I said or did he would take as an opportunity to act out revenge times 100 on me.

It is hard. So so hard. But the people who matter will know the truth about you and the rest don't matter. Concentrate on making a good life for yourself and gradually you will care less and less whatever nonsense he's spewing.

Recently my ex has really ramped things up after splitting with his girlfriend (presumably he decided I could take her place in his firing line). He has told people that he's taking me to court for years of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour and getting full custody, told me that the kids' school were reporting concerns about me to social services (the school confirmed they've never had any contact with him and certainly don't have any concerns about my parenting), hes going to have me arrested for breaking covid rules at Christmas (his logic being that as I had covid over Christmas the only way I could have caught it was if I'd been breaking the rules. I mean....I work for the NHS for a start).....I could go on! A few years ago all this would have sent me into a tailspin. Now I find it quite amusing and laugh at him with my best friend. You'll get there too, honestly.

If you're really struggling though then some counselling could be helpful. Perhaps look at the Freedom Programme, it's still helpful even if your abusive relationship is over. Best of luck blushthanks

Sally2791 Sat 24-Jul-21 07:37:53

Dignified silence is the best way to go, you cannot stop him lying about you, maddening though it is.
Also absolutely do not engage with him in any way. Will preserve your sanity and drive him nuts. Enjoy your freedom!

Marmitemarinaded Sat 24-Jul-21 07:43:01

Who is he talking to?

Presumably anyone who believes him… you’re not close to?

Iwastheparanoidex Sat 24-Jul-21 07:45:01

Honestly that’s so typical. Ignore ignore.

Williesfillies Sat 24-Jul-21 07:56:07

Similar ex.
We are currently (bitterly) divorcing.

He assaulted me and was arrested a couple of years ago. Bloody CPS were woeful and didn’t charge.

This has become (over the years) how I attacked him and a whole different story (which of course paints him as the victim) it did not happen in any way like this but he’s repeated this to family, Solicitors and the mediator. He has repeatedly told me and everyone how no charges mean he is innocent of it, despite my visible injuries o had.

He’s a bully, always has been, but will tell everyone how “aggressive” I am.

He’s a woeful dad and is very sporadic seeing them, this has become (after periods of not seeing them for weeks/months) “she’s stopped me seeing my children”

I’m accused of being money orientated (I am not in actual fact he is one of the most selfish, greedy people I’ve ever encountered)

I sat on my backside for years. I ran a small company, had 3 children for whom I did all night feeds and raising and since leaving I’ve pulled it together and improved my job.

I need to try affording parenting. He has paid virtually nothing for several years, and has done all he can to avoid any CSA. I make up all the financial shortfall, but apparently he’s paying a small fortune and I take the piss (he’s paying £140 pm and hasn’t paid anything in 3 months)

I’m a liar. Basically anything i say is a lie.
He is the biggest liar I’ve met, to the point it’s scary because I’m starting to think he actually believes what he’s saying.

Many more things, it’s weird that since leaving him I’ve discovered people actually really like me generally and that I’m really personable. I spent years with his family (parents and step kids) hating me, to the point I thought I would have a breakdown, there were times I started to believe I was what they said I was (they also have his lying traits and at one point I saw some awful things written about me and my children) but I spent years being told how awful I was, how this was why no one liked me etc, etc.

Now starting to realise it wasn’t me in actual fact.

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