Co-Parenting With a Narcissist (& the Agony of Defeat)

coparent-narcissistThe only thing harder than breaking up/going No Contact with a narcissist is breaking up/going No Contact with a narc who also happens to be your baby daddy/momma. Based on the countless emails and comments that I receive from victims (both male AND female) who struggle to co-parent with a narcissist ex, it’s clear to me that there are no easy solutions. In fact, up until I began to write this post, I was beginning to fear that perhaps there were no solutions but this answer simply wasn’t acceptable to me. How am I supposed to help if there are no solutions? So, I gave the subject a good deal of thought and decided tom put a slightly different spin on this very unique co-parenting scenario. Ultimately, what I decided was that co-parenting with a narcissistic ex AND having a peaceful life can happen because it must and that the Agony of Defeat was not insurmountable.

Can a Narcissist love his/her children?

Click Image to Order via Amazon

This is the big question, of course, and I believe that the answer to that is ‘no’ – at least not in the way normal people love their children. In fact, it’s not even close. The truth is that a narcissist can no more love his or her children than he or she can love a partner, friend, family member, or anyone else.  I’ve never seen it happen. I’ve never read about it happening. I’ve never heard about it happening. It’s just not possible.  An N is an N is an N. If history showed that even the slightest possibility existed  that narcissists could, in fact, love their own children, I’d be tempted to think that narcissism perhaps was fixable. But there is no history any where that does this…no history, that is, that is based in fact and not in wishful thinking. No, narcissists do not and can not ‘love’ their children.

Now, having said that, do not be misled into thinking that narcissists do not find their children useful under certain circumstances because…oh yeah…they most certainly do. In fact, the N who is a combination “ex-partner” and “co-parent” has the luxury of circulating, surviving, and thriving at levels of evil far beyond that of the typical narcissistic asshole. The narcissist co-parent is indeed a SuperPower in his own right! Yes, he/she who holds this coveted position is awarded the type of false entitlements that a single non-parent narcissist only dreams about. And for the victim partner who wants to get away, a break-up with this narcissist superpower appears too often to be a hopeless situation…a brand new narcissistic show of chaos that promises to be far more damaging than the first, second, and third. And, this time, it is the children who get bumped to the top of the N’s hit list.

Get the Book That Could Change Your Life!
Download When Love Is a Lie from Amazon
Today – Only $3.99!

Is it possible to go No Contact with a narcissist co-parent?

No, not in the way that No Contact was originally intended. Victims who want/need the torture to stop but still have to deal with co-parenting issues are left to their own devices without a single one of the privileges that many other victims may take for granted. As a victim who co-parents, how do you block a phone number, move away, refuse to answer the door, blow off the in-laws, and so forth when children are involved? You can’t. How do you flat out refuse to communicate with a parent that the children (bless their hearts) have been duped into loving? How do you deal with the fact that the narcissist talks shit about you to the kids and you can’t even defend yourself (because you choose to do the right thing and stay quiet)?

narcimpressBecause the N is not a normal human, he/she is going to use the children as a narcissistic tactic and weapon of choice to cut you to the very bone. Since the N has no conscience, dragging the children into the dirt is nothing but a thing and the easiest way to hurt you. The N will use every excuse in the book pertaining to the children to intrude upon your new life. At some point, the narcissist may even threaten you – either with CPS or by saying that he simply won’t be bringing them back. Granted, the latter scenario isn’t likely because a typical N honestly can’t be bothered (but the thought is nonetheless horrifying since you know the boundaries that this person will cross both in court and out).  Sadly, you will now have to watch the torture that was your relationship played out towards the children. Since the narcissist (again, male or female) can no longer Idolize, Devalue, & Discard you, he will turn his pathological relationship agenda upon the children. It’s likely he/she will make plans with the children and then not show up.  The N may promise to call and then conveniently forget – for days, weeks, or longer. He/she may even miss holidays altogether, choosing instead to be with a “new” ‘victim’ family and partner. He will relish the thought that even now, with the relationship being over, he can still continue to torture you by torturing the children. And since the children, at least while they’re young, tend to love a narcissist parent unconditionally no matter how neglectful and indifferent he/she may be, the N ultimately gets nearly a life time to make sure you are never happy again!

So, what is the answer?

The answer, first, is to know that the relationship between you and the N is over. At this point, despite how he appears to others, you already know the type of parent that he really is and must proceed to use this information to (for once) serve your own purpose. How much time did the N really spend with the children anyway? Narcissists are historically not doting fathers and mothers or even participating fathers and mothers. Over and over, I hear stories of narcissists walking out just weeks after a child is born. Silent treatments!! Can you imagine that?? Silent treatments when there’s an infant and new mother at home? I hear about narcissists who walk out just days before Christmas, leaving the children with not the slightest idea where daddy went. This may not be exactly the case with your ex-N but I bet its close. Use this knowledge to your advantage. You are a good person. He is not.

As a co-parent with an N, you, too, must strive to be a SuperPower! You must develop thicker skin than you ever thought possible so that every nasty comment he throws your way rolls off your back. You must be able to take an emotional beating without anyone being the wiser. You have to learn to detach, detach, detach and commit, commit, commit to setting boundaries and making rules of engagement. Communication, if possible, should be limited to text, email, and the sporadic phone call…and it must only concern sensible/reasonable issues about the children (and, really, how many of those can there be that have to involve the N?). Above all else, do your best to react to nothing (the point of the N’s game, after all, is to make YOU the psycho co-parent) unless it’s life threatening to the children and even then pay no attention to him/her specifically.

Do not worry about and/or feed into the enormous amount of trash-talking going on behind your back. In fact, say nothing and simply observe, allowing the N to talk trash about mommy (or daddy) all day long if he/she wants to. Sit quietly on the sidelines while the pathetic narcissist digs his own parental grave – and he will dig it because he just won’t be able to help himself. Take comfort in the fact that children are strong, resilient, and smart. They will grow up one day and see the narcissist parent for what he/she is and you will come out the winner. The mask always slips and that’s a fact.

From co-parenting with a narcissist, nothing good ever comes… this we already know so where else can we really go but up?  You must believe in your heart that no matter how hurtful the narcissist is or how evil his intention, you are still free! The relationship is over. You may now look upon the Narcissist as nothing more than an annoying sperm donor and treat him accordingly. He deserves nothing less, nothing more. For years, the narcissist has been methodically managing down your expectations...preparing for this very day….setting the stage for this break-up because he knew it would come…it had to come. The narcissist co-parent counts on the fact that his passive-aggressive conditioning of your responses to his words and behaviors has stuck and that you still fear what he could do, might do, will do.  He counts on his control in this situation and your emotional fragility. The fact that he gets to use the kids against you is just an added bonus!

For a Limited Time, Get 2-4-1:
When Love Is a Lie  & Stop Spinning, Start Breathing
for Only $5.99!

Turn it around by having no more fear. It’s time to up the ante.

First, if the narcissist has a girlfriend, tell him you want to be communicative with her about the children. Now, the N will hate this but that’s too bad. Normal couples in normal break-ups speak to “the others” all the time. In fact, you should simply refuse to send the kids unless you at least get to speak to her on the phone for five detached minutes about Suzie’s sort throat. If you show that you’re willing and actually prefer to communicate with the OW, the N is likely to begin behaving immediately to ensure this never happens – and that’s fine too (it’s what we want). I’d be willing to bet that, within a short amount of time, the narcissist will begin to back out completely since the fun of making you suffer will have been taken out of the equation. Using this particular communication twist clearly sends a message to the N that says: I don’t care about you anymore.

Do not allow fear to keep you from being free. You have to let it all go (narcissist included). Do not let your emotions rule your actions. You can still initiate and implement your own version of No Contact with the narcissist co-parent. You can still move on with your life. Chances are high that if you show indifference, detachment, and a refusal to play the game on his terms in any way, the narcissist will do what he has always done and vanish anyway. The children will still grow up to be wonderful people. In the end, you – as the co-parenting ex victim – will be stronger than any of us who have embarked on this journey.  Your decision to end it with the N despite the fact that you have children together will always be the right decision.

I tip my hat to you, sisters and brothers. It’s going to be a challenge but I know you can do it. Change your perspective and change your life. Do not let the N twist the rules of the game to serve his/her own purpose. Allow no more manipulation because that part of your life is over!! Don’t allow the co-parenting dilemma to become an excuse to stay connected with the N.  Instead, beat the co-parent narcissist at his/her own game by playing by the rules. You can win. I know you can!

(Visited 73,142 times, 3 visits today)


  • mary appling

    March 11, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply

    I watched my son go through hell with a wife like this for 20 years until he finally got a divorce. She continued to torture our family especially my grandsons until they became teenage and refused to tolerate her evilness. We are now completely free of her forever. I am also watching my husband going through the same hell with his ex-wife and young daughter. Although I was never mother of the year the things I have seen these women do to their children is unbelievable. My poor little stepdaughter who s 8 lives with her mother. She already is experimenting with drugs and alcohol and is very sexually curious. She lies and steals among other undesirable acts. We have her in therapy but it is difficult because we just have standard visitation so she only goes every other Saturday. We have bank ruptured ourselves with a three long child custody case. I do not understand why the courts want to pretend all parents are normal people. Especially, when presented to the courts file cabinets full of police reports, probation reports, CPS reports, etc. regarding a bad parent and her string of revolving boyfriends that are in and out of the house.
    Children are precious little gifts and should be protected at all cost.

    • Zari Ballard

      March 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm Reply

      Hi Mary,

      I am hoping that in your post you made a TYPO when you stated that your granddaughter was EIGHT YEARS OLD and sexually curious and experimenting with DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. Even if the courts – by virtue of their own idiocy – think that her mother is normal, they can’t possibly view an eight year old drinking and drugging and being sexually curious as being normal, can they? This world is indeed fucked up but that would just be over the top!

      Look, if the above is indeed true, I don’t think you have a choice about continuing the push for custody. If not that, then at least for better visitation that you have. What is standard visitation?? Every other weekend? I would think that, if your son is paying child support as required, he can absolutely ask for 50/50 or at least every weekend. This little girl needs more than therapy every other Saturday. Something is horribly wrong and it’s only going to get worse. Did you mean to say she was 18??? That would still be bad but it would be better but then there would be no point to custody dispute. Please write back and explain all this to me. It is shocking. Where the heck do you live?



  • Robbyn

    February 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm Reply

    I am also struggling with a similar type person. Long story short, he swooped me off my feet while he was married to his ex wife, who he had a 2 year old son with at the time. For the past, going on 5 years, we’ve been off and on. He’s left me and my children (3 not with him) 10 times. Always the idealize, devalue and discard phase. Dead on, every time. He’s also an alcoholic. About a year ago, a week after we had a miscarriage, he was drinking and started to totally antagonize me. Saying things like “I’m going to go find someone that can ACTUALLY have a baby” … I began to cry. He called me pyscho, crazy, anything at all trying to provoke a reaction from me. The only child that was home that night was his then, 5 year old son. I began to go upstairs to cry alone when he said “I’m going to make sure you don’t get to see my son again too!” and I remember seeing red. I just said back “How dare you threaten me with that little boy” … and I went upstairs… where he followed me. Was trying to chest pump me, trying to provoke me and then finally went towards his sleeping sons room. That’s when I panicked. He went in there, abruptly hovered over his sons bed and yelled to him that “I will protect you from her! We’re going to call your mom and tell her she’s crazy!” To an innocent child! He was belligerent, and as I tried to guide him out of that room and begged him to do this downstairs, he threw me against the wall in front of his son. I ran downstairs, grabbed my phone and tried to call 911 so that he couldn’t drive anywhere with his son. Before I could call he came downstairs, grabbed me by my arms and chest and threw me into the cement ground in our garage, and once I was down, threw a glass at my head. He then went upstairs to his sons room to “protect” him from me and I called 911. He was arrested, but ultimately not charged. The DA did not have enough evidence. We broke up and he moved out that next day, for about 3 months… when he came back. Again. At first he wanted to talk, and I wanted sooo badly to feel justified, but months into it and a few talks ( we rarely communicated effectively, everything was my fault and or not talked about) I somehow felt like I did something to deserve the way he treated me. This is, of course, following years of similar, but non violent abandonments on his behalf. Me being devastated and side swiped, and him always coming back. But… as much as I know this isn’t my fault and as much as I know he’s going to do it again, I’d always appease him. .Anyways… 5- 6 more months go by and we’re back together. This time I’m not allowed to see his son, because its court ordered now that I can’t to avoid that type of confrontation… so he would ALWAYS take it out on me, how he had no where to take his son since I CAUSED SO MUCH DRAMA. Mind you, I paid all our bills, all the money that he brought into our house, he more than spent on alcohol and tobacco chew. His drinking progressively got worse and worse. So, along with that so did his emotional and verbal abuse. To the point where on more than one occasion I had been called to help his friends get him out of his running car because he passed out drunk, or he would drive home and then would pass out in his car before getting out. He’d pass out almost every single night downstairs on our couches and urinate on himself. Then he’d blame me for his drinking. He’d often say… “I don’t have a drinking problem, I have a problem with YOU. YOU stress me out and force me to drink!” So I found myself trying harder and harder to be better and better. Although I had gotten upset and cried more times than I can count, I very rarely replied with names or hurtful things towards him. Fast forward to October of this past year. I could tell he was getting to that part in his phase where he was about to discard me, and his drinking was so severe at this point that I was just ready for him to leave. He would get belligerent and then pick fights, literally with himself. He’d scream at me from downstairs that I’m a “whore, a cunt, a terrible mother… ect… ” The next day, after one of his rants, he called me at work because he decided to drop our dog off at the vet and sign him up for all these services (that cost over $1500) without telling me and expected me to be available to take care of the dog afterwards because he made plans. When I explained that I had to work and wasn’t available he said “that’s it! I’m leaving you!” He literally moved all his stuff out that day while I was at work, and when I got home that night, to my half empty house, not feeling too well.. I took a pregnancy test and sure enough. I am pregnant.
    I am now 6 months along. I did not hear a word from him for the first 3 or so. In fact, I finally decided to reach out to his ex wife and articulate my experience, not only with his abuse, but with his addiction and the dangers in which he could place his child, a child that was no longer in my household or control. His ex wife and I are now the best of friends. We’ve bonded on a level I can’t explain. She’s the only other person in the world that knows my pain. That understands why I kept trying. It doesn’t make sense to anyone looking in. My testimony solidified his custody removal. He has 0% custody of his child and is guaranteed to have the same with our unborn daughter (once she’s born). I know I did the right thing. So, as he came back around in the past few months, I said he could be apart of my pregnancy and her birth as long as we went to counseling as I was terrified of dealing with his abuse. He reluctantly agreed. We have gone to a few sessions now, and have made strides in communicating. He was kind, considerate, would try to articulate how he felt wronged by me, and we’d have somewhat productive conversations about it. We would see each other in between, and were tying to “rebuild our relationship”. He had asked for a money a few times and I’ve given it to him. He literally has nothing. No car, no credit, half a job, no custody of his kids, nothing. I am to blame for all of it. Then last week out of no where he called just angry that his ex wife and I are friends (which he’s known about, I have nothing to hide and its in the best interest of both his children) and then went off on me for “taking his son away”, calling me names, hanging up on me. Same old stuff. So all week long he’s been short, non existent and rude. I am at risk for preterm labor and have to stay away from stress emotionally and physically. He knows this. He called me last night to say that he was busy and that he didn’t have time to talk about my “stupid feelings”.. mocked me as I began to cry and then called me a “f**cking C*nt” and hung up on me. I ended up in the hospital all night to stop contractions.
    The doctors very plainly told me, this stress is going to harm my baby. So I know I have to break this cycle. Not even for me anymore. Of course, he texted me this morning to tell me how I am in the wrong, how I lost it, and to reiterate that he doesn’t want anything to do with me again, all of a sudden. I am sooo hurt. Although I expect this, he’s done it a million times, its almost like I saw some sort of light from him, some chance that he’d be a good father to be to me and his daughter. I think I’m at the point where I am going to have to have no contact with him, at least until I am ordered to at court this summer, once she’s born. I don’t know what else to do.

    • Zari Ballard

      February 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm Reply

      Hi Robbyn,

      Girl, of course you need to go “no contact” and you CAN do it. If it’s at all possible, consider a consultation with me so that we can devise a strategy for being pregnant and keeping your sanity AND for eliminating the stress of this bullshit. This guy is NOTHING NICE and he never will be. YOU have done nothing wrong and you can’t let him bully you into submission. These types of people never ever change…nor do they want to. He just doesn’t care about anybody or anything.

      It’s all about changing your perspective of what he is. This is a futile situation and, sure, it is sad and you have a right to be hurt but he can not be allowed to torment you and the children for the rest of your lives. You have to start somewhere and a new baby is as good a place – and as good a REASON – as any to do the right thing for all of you.

      I’d be happy to talk with you and see you through it. Don’t risk your pregnancy on this loser. I believe this is what he ultimately wants. Stay strong. sister. I’m here to support you.

      Thank you for sharing….

      Zari xo

  • Jay Jay

    February 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm Reply

    Hi Zari,

    Thank you for this post. I am at a point where a judge has ordered “co-parenting counseling” for both the N and I. Even though he is the one failing to follow court orders and communication (co-parent) we both have to do co-parenting counseling. As of right now he has not done his part in setting up the appointments as he was given that responsibility. Also, at our most recent mediation appointment he requested changes to the parenting schedule which I agreed to as he said they were necessary due to his work schedule changing (he is a cop that works nights). I found out that his work schedule has not changed and his leaving our son with his parents instead.

    • Zari Ballard

      February 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm Reply

      Hi Jay Jay,

      Doesn’t surprise me that he’s a cop! Law enforcement is filled to the brim with these creatures…I hear it all the time. Document everything…every lie you discover…every missed visitation…every change in the schedule (lie) and what is really going on. When in court or in counseling, stay calm at all costs. Do not allow him to bully you and just keep a notebook. Staying aware is key and also keeping boundaries. Thank God you’re at least personally free. The truth is that they are no better parents than they are partners – they just don’t have it in them.

      Stay strong!!

      Zari xo

  • Mace

    February 2, 2017 at 7:43 pm Reply

    Really glad I found this page. I am a mother to a beautiful 1 month old little girl. I had her with my ex who is unfortunately an N. We were together for about 2 years. Last year in April I found out I was pregnant with our little girl and since that point our relationship has had many ups and downs. I have left him too many times to count, only to be back because of his promises to change. He has drug me through the mud emotionally. Drained me is the best way I can describe it. He has said things to me that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. Mocked me, made me feel like I was some kind of idiot who couldn’t do anything right. Constantly telling me that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t survive (this makes no sense whatsoever, I am intelligent and up until that point had a fulfilling life, no problem surviving) Last weekend was the final straw, I was sick with the stomach flu, he sort of took care of me Friday night (had to constantly remind me how wonderful he was for doing so) and then saturday and sunday I was on my own to care for our little one. I asked him on Sunday to watch her for an hour so I could take a little nap and regain some form of energy. He watched her for about 15 minutes, grew bored, pawned her off on me and proceeded to then take a nap himself. At that point I cried to him asking him to please help me, he looked me dead in the eyes and said “WOMAN THE FUCK UP”. That was it for me. All I needed was a little help, needless to say he hasn’t been much help since her arrival. I realised at that point that I could do this by myself and live a much more positive life. So I left. I am now living with my dad and step mom. They are been an immense amount of help. Now I have to start down the long road of “co parenting” with this man. It was very uplifting to find an article about this. Thank you so much!!!

    • Zari Ballard

      February 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm Reply

      Hi Mace,

      OMG…’WOMAN THE FUCK UP”???? Wow! Just when I think that they can’t get any worse or say anything more hurtful, four new words!! So, so, so glad you are OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP and thank you for sharing. Stay focused and strong…you have done the absolute right thing for you and baby and the ending of your story is INSPIRATIONAL:) Bless you!!!

      Zari xo

    • jarwithaheavylid

      February 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm Reply

      I’m glad you’re out too. I found out at 6 months pregnant the guy was a narc. I’ve done it on my own and he’s now 21 months – we’re blessed this guy is out of our lives.. With a little bit of blackmail. x

  • giftedboycrazymumma

    January 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm Reply

    I’m absolutely devastated that I can’t explain to people how I feel…I hope you don’t mind that I am going to comment here…mainly to get everything off my chest ? I have been in an emotionally abusive, manipulative and completely draining relationship with my partner for over 5 years.
    Initially he was so outgoing and flirtatious and I was flattered as I had been a single mum for 7 years by this point and never dated…he has a son who was 5 when we got together and my son was 7. He was lovely, claimed to be a Christian, made out that he had the same morals as me etc etc…his son is special needs, although if you listen to him, he is perfect and my son is the issue with everything.
    When we first lived together we only lasted 5 months, he was psycho when he had his son, so for 4 days a fortnight, everything was nuts, he insisted that this child was the golden child and was deserving of so much more that my son etc etc. he was allowed longer bed times, allowed to sleep in our bed (kicking me out) etc etc. There were many red flags, he would antagonise me whenever his friends were around and when I went off he’d sit back and laugh at me with them…he would behave like a child and when my son would respond in kind (a smarty pants way) he would start yelling, smashing my sons toys etc. He has never apologised for any of this, he is also an alcoholic. I don’t drink, so fortunately for me, I have clear memories of all this!
    The second time we lived together we lasted 6 months…yes I kept running back to him after he would convince me of how much I missed him and loved him and how all of this was my fault. His drinking was again out of control and saw me sleeping on the floor in my sons room while him and his son would lap it up in my bed. He never had anything. No furniture, no car, no money nothing! He would pay for nothing, kept saying that he wouldn’t pay for me and my son, but demanded when his son came he use my things…I paid all the bills, rent, food etc. He gave me $100 per week for interest and his share of rent. Toward the end of this stint I fell pregnant (I tried to escape his advances whenever possible, but sometimes just gave in to keep the peace).
    My daughter is 19mo old. He had never lived with us since the early stages of my pregnancy and she knows that. She is still breastfed and she is a beautiful, amazing child with a very beautiful sweet personality…I operate a daycare from home to support my family and she is with me 24/7, working and after hours. I have been trying to play happy families with this man now for 19mo. He will come over 3-4 times at least a week. Just dropping over after work to see her and I feed him. He tells everyone we are in a relationship, but has been taking great pleasure in telling me over the past months how everyone hates me, how I treat him?? I don’t know any of these so called people (I’ve met them briefly, but never socialised) and so I can only assume he is creating some amazing smear campaign against me. When I call him on it, he says he can’t control what others think of me…sadly this really hurts as I get along with everyone, I’m never rude, I will always be nice, even knowing these thins they say about me. He attacks me verbally every few weeks me about the fact that our daughter is so attached to me and he’s only spent 9 hours total alone with her since she’s been born – he wants to sleep next to her?? He tells me constantly how ‘mean’ I am to him and whinges about lack of sex every time I see him, he talks badly about me to my son (12 now) and I get the blame for absolutely everything that goes wrong! Not once has he said hey you’re doing a great job, supporting 2 kids on your own…no, I just get bitched at that he hasn’t had time alone with our daughter!
    Yesterday he asked to sleep over (he sleeps on the lounge due to snoring and my daughter feeding every 2-3 hours still), I had been unwell all week, sick tummy, working huge hours and the heat is making me very tired. I also am due for my period. I told him when he called, that I was feeling quite emotional and tired and that I didn’t really like talking on the phone, questioned him in why he was finished work at 2:30pm in the afternoon and that I was doing housework and, I would talk to him later (I am not rude, but I was busy). He didn’t like that and when he came over started accusing me of yelling at him and accusing him of being lazy!!! Very untrue, not something I would ever say even if I thought it ? So I said no, I haven’t yelled at all, I’m tired, not well and I’m having a bad day (he has a bad day where he bitches about people every second day)….so he starts ranting at me, I yell back and then he storms off saying he won’t be treated this way….and left…I’m crying and as confused as all hell by now! He was yelling at me in front of the kids and I told him to stop as my son and daughter were there and he went nuts at me! Anyway, he calls this morning, says he was dropping off my sons computer and aroundhe comes and then when I tried to speak to him about what had happened he said “I’ve done nothing wrong, you were being a bitch and trying to blame me”…I just laughed, replying that there are always two sides to an argument, but if you’ve done nothing, than neither have I”. He lost his poop again, told me to shut up arguing with him (I was not yelling, I was just explaining) and now we are here, with him storming off again and me actually HATING him. I don’t hate people, but my god I do him ?
    So, while I’ve been playing happy families with him for almost 2 years, I’ve lost me! I’m a short tempered mum, I’m so unhappy with being stuck with this person and I don’t know what I should offer him in terms of getting him away from me! He needs time with his daughter (despite me wanting to protect her) but I don’t know what is ok, I guess a couple of 3 hour blocks each week? Help! I feel like I’m completely lost and I want to be a better parent for these precious kids! I am so freaking blessed with these kids and I feel as though I’m doing them a disservice right now!!

    • Zari Ballard

      January 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm Reply

      Hi giftedboycrazymumma,

      Thank you for sharing your story and I’ll tell ya what, girl: the only disservice you are doing to the children is allowing that man to even come into the house! He really sounds like an awful and controlling person – ridiculous! Is this YOUR house? If so, tell him to leave and I would MAYBE give him ONE 3-hour block on a Sunday to visit the daughter and that is it. No leaving the house though with her and when the 3-hours is up, off he goes. If he doesn’t like that, tell him he can go to court and fight it. It doesn’t sound as if you are getting any official child support (if any at all) and FOR THIS REASON ALONE he shouldn’t be able to pop in 3-4 times/week just to intimidate you into silence. YOU have the control here believe it or not!

      You sound like a wonderful mother who appreciates and loves her children and he is simply NOT this type of parent. Moreover, I think it is weird about his son (disability or not) sleeping with him in YOUR bed and NOW he wants a chance to sleep next to the daughter as well? WTF? No way. Something “off” about that and kinda creepy. He doesn’t “need” NOR DOES he deserve time with his daughter at all. The only reason he continues to come by is to have the opportunity to control you and the entire household with his behaviors. And what you will allow will continue. End it. The clouds will lift and the sun will come out for you and the children as soon as you do this, I promise.

      If you’d ever like to talk about it, I do provide phone consultations and would be happy to talk with you. Think about it…speaking with someone who “gets it” can be very empowering:) In the meantime, be sure to look for the other co-parenting articles that I have on this website because they will help as well. I wish you the best, sister, and please write again or consider having a chat!

      Zari xo

  • n

    November 25, 2016 at 6:53 am Reply

    I met someone a couple years ago, got pregnant pretty quickly, he moved me into his house, he seemed to be really into me, very supportive. I over looked a lot of red flags because I really wanted the domestic dream and I excused his behavior. Excused him randomly snapping at me as he was having a bad day or something, excused overhearing him tell a friend I was like Jekyll and Hyde, puzzled over not being allowed to lock the doors when I was home alone ‘cuz the locks might wear out’ but not really questioning that. Lots of ‘little’ things which were actually ‘big’ things. I didn’t make the connection til too late that he started telling me I was stupid, dumb, an idiot, after I confided to him that the thing I hated the most was feeling dumb. I overlooked him leaving me alone overnight in the hospital in premature labor when I was barely eight months pregnant.
    I had our daughter a month early and he had me take a year off from work, he sold my car and gave me use of one of his trucks. He wouldn’t let me decorate the house, wouldn’t even let me get a new fish drainer ‘cuz he had the same one since he moved in’. It was six yrs old and a visible biohazard. He got more and more abusive. Stopped being intimate with me, laughed at me or degraded me if I initiated. Whatever I said I liked him doing, he stopped. Whatever I said I wished he’d do more of, he did less. Whatever I asked, the answer was no. He’d take my food/ candy and shove it inside his underwear and rub it all over his genitals while looking at me like he wished I’d drop dead. if I asked for a hug or a kiss he’d sigh and roll his eyes or fart and say he had diarrhea running down his leg. He’d tell me to tell him if we needed groceries and if I did, he’d literally throw money at me so I’d have to crawl around picking it up. He’d grab my crotch and restrain me (when I was on my period) and shove my sanitary pad up in me roughly. He shoved me onto the floor and then cried that he never hit a girl before and the next day changed it to I had tripped. He shoved me into a wall in anger but then said he was joking when I called him out on it. He drank heavily the whole time we were together and would get upset if I didn’t drink. He’d bring me home (3times) ‘surprise’ six-packs of beer. He’d tell me to invite friends over but then have excuses as to why they couldn’t come but then later tell me I should invite lol over. If he’d say it was a nice day out and I’d agree he’d tell at me for repeating him. I couldn’t get him to do anything as a family with me and our daughter. We did a couple times but only when it was his idea. He’d go weeks without showering. We tried counseling but just once. He got mad at me for bringing up the physical abuse. The counselor suggested individual counseling, he only went twice. He wouldn’t do ‘date nights’ with me. He said we watched TV together and that was enough. He went out with his friends drinking as often as possible, worked late (at least that’s what he said he was doing), would stay outside as long as possible in the garage. Spent hardly any time with our daughter. Would get mad at her for not being attached to him and say he hated how attached she was to me.
    I got more and more depressed, stopped eating, stopped being able to enjoy every day activities. He took our daughter to his friends house/brewery and I was home alone and drank two shots of vodka, went out to my car to get something, and passed out. He came home with her, found me, and called an ambulance, made a scene by collapsing in the driveway in ‘grief’ so the neighbors had to carry him inside- the neighbors not knowing that he hadn’t asked me how I was or about my day in a year. I was taken to the hospital and he showed up yelling at me for posting ‘questionable’ things on Facebook, threatening to call the cops if I went home, he took my tablet away. The next day I went home and he asked me what the hospital said I have (anxiety, hypoglycemia, too much alcohol) and the next day I got served with ‘ex parte’ papers with that exact wording on it plus accusations of being an alcoholic, supervised visitation with my daughter and no driving with her. It made me out to be a crazy person and said my daughter was in danger of harm from me. DVR showed up a couple days later and I found out he told them our daughter was in the car with me. They said neither of us could drink around our daughter and the next day he was out with her, he drank with his frisnd, and then drove her home!! I told DVR but had no proof.
    Things stayed awful for a month, got worse really. And I was out doing stuff and got upset over how he shut me out of everything with our daughter, his parents shut me out too. I wasn’t handling it well and had stopped and got a couple drinks and was just sitting in my car, not driving, and I fell asleep. I got a DUI. Back to the hospital via ambulance. He showed up but I refused to see him. He called the hospital impersonating my brother. After I got out I went to a friend’s house I was in the process of moving in with and he served me with ‘ex parte’ papers again but this time evicted me from his house, continued the supervised visits, cut out most of the ‘supervisirs’, took my phone away, took all my electronic devices, took away the car his parents bought for me (it was in both our names). He lied to his family and our mutual friends and said I was driving drunk with our daughter. He accused me of uncontrolled psychological problems, said I had been missing for 24hrs- even though he showed up at the hospital. He accused me of using drugs. The court papers are full of lies.
    I can’t find legal help. I lost everything. To a psychopath. He’s still threatening me, such as he’s trying to cancel the state ins I have for our daughter, etc. I did everything, everyday, for my baby. She was never in harm’s way. Not from me. She was still nursing and now I’m lucky if I see her once a week. He’s posting tons of ‘daddy daughter’s pics on Facebook and doing all the stuff with her that I used to beg him to do. He rarely posted pics of her before except posed with cans of beer, mainly. He’s suddenly Father Of The Year and I’m so angry. Idk what to do. I’m devastated. I was with her 24/7. Did all her daily care. He was the one drinking around her all the time. He was the one who’d drink and then drive with her (and me). He was never around except occasionally.
    Legal Services’ lawyers are all ‘busy’ and I have no money, no resources. How do I fight this? How do I get my baby back?
    I feel like I’m dying :'(

    • Zari Ballard

      November 29, 2016 at 6:02 am Reply

      Dear n,

      I am so, so sorry that you have fallen prey to this monster and I am devastated for you about what he has done about the baby. How can this happen while the baby is still nursing! I believe everything about your story and I can see how he has twisted it and the courts have believed his bullshit. Where do you live? Are you in the states? Can’t you file an “ex parte” back….this is a tragedy! Please don’t give up….You must fight for your baby!! Is he on the birth certificate? Why is he in charge of all of this? I have never heard of DVR taking away a baby who is being breast fed. Have you called women’s shelters and asked if they know about legal aid for those who can’t afford it? Perhaps find a lawyer and plead your case…maybe someone will help for free. There has got to be a way. Get that baby back…you are the mother! And, as much as you might feel like it, never drink again…I can’t believe this happened to you and I am so sorry.

      Please tell me where you are so I can research it for you... I will see if I can at least get you some information! Please write back…

      Zari xo

      • Lmommy

        January 10, 2017 at 5:55 am Reply

        Dear Zari: I have been divorced from the N for five years. While I have no interest in him whatsoever, I have a child with him (as you said, I had to throw him out just two weeks after the baby was born). He is a deadbeat dad. He shows up every other saturday; the rest of the time it´s just me. When he is called by my kid´s teachers he refuses to attend or to participate, and has claimed that “he will get involved when he sees it apropiate”. Regarding child support, what he pays is not what he should (he makes a lot more money). The fact of the case is that his current GF gives him work at her office and keep no record for the IRS of this, thus seeming as he makes far less than he actually does. Whenever my child goes to their home, he comes with this stories about the awesome place they have and so on, and it trully makes me upset. I honestly have no idea what to do, I have sued him (only to find that his corrupt attorney brived the judge) and at this point everyone (including my own attorney) is terrified to strart another thing in court because we fear that he might challenge custody of forbid leaving the country. What do you think is the best approach? Before, I used to e-mail him to remind him to comply timely and correctly about child support (I did send many angry e-mails) but now I just fgured out that by not paying while showing off that he lives beautifully trhough my child he is probably trying to get to me. So I chose not to question him anymore on anything. However, I feel like the big looser here, and I feel that I have to relinquish to every right me and my child have in order to avoid conflict. What do you recomend??

        • Zari Ballard

          January 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm Reply

          Hi Lmommy,

          If your lawyer is “terrified” about ANYTHING, you need to get another one. And how do you know that your ex bribed the judge? What did he bribe the judge about? I’d love to hear more about THAT. OR, since you have a court order, you could forget the attorney and deal directly with child support. This is what I did and I ended up getting every penny. I gave them all the information that I knew all the time directly through their website…where he was working and when I knew that he was working under the table, etc. So, this guy makes a lot of money working for his girlfriend? What does he do? You also need to start documenting everything…the days he comes for visitation and the days that he doesn’t, what he says and brags about. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RELINQUISH ANYTHING. You just have to be prepared.

          Zari xo

      • Kimberly

        January 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm Reply

        Hi, thank you. I’m in New England. Dcf (dvr) did not take my baby away, the courts did through his crazy allegations. I’ve contacted Legal Aid, they have no one available to help, I’ve called around everywhere for a pro bono or reduced fee lawyer and there’s no one. I am in counseling with the domestic violence coalition, which is also a shelter. I do have a place to live and have a room set up for my baby if I get her back.
        My ex is in charge because he immediately filed ex parte after each of my two incidents and has his own lawyer. He is on the birth certificate :/ .
        I don’t drink at all, I don’t even really care for drinking. My drinking was entirely situational, a reaction to my being abused.
        He’s currently smearing me to anyone who will listen and I’ve lost mutual friends.
        He makes over 60k a year income and I make less than 6k and I just received papers for child support yesterday :'( . How can I rebuild my life?? I don’t even have a car and only have a part-time job. I need a car to get a better job because there’s nothing around here.
        He’s currently flooding facebook with with memes about how I hurt HIM and how great a dad he is, and literally taking her to all the places I asked him to take us but had refused because it wasn’t what ‘he wanted to do’. If he so much as takes her to the store, he makes sure the world knows. He blocked me from Facebook on Christmas day so I have to log in to my mom’s account to see his page.
        He’s been erasing every sign of me and discouraging our daughter’s interests in anything me and her used to do together. To the point where he killed all Her goldfish I bought her.
        I don’t understand why the intense hatred towards me??? As far as I know I didn’t do anything wrong to him, I tried my best to please him and appease him. I even used to put his meals on a plate and bring it to him.
        I do get visitation with my daughter, supervised, at my home. She screams and cries for me if I so much as leave the room :'( . If she can’t see me she’s instantly hysterical.
        Sorry it took me so long to write back and thank you so much for your response <3

        • Zari Ballard

          January 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm Reply

          Hi Kimberly,

          I totally remember your story and it just breaks my heart. It almost seems like it would have been easier is DCF took the baby…at least you’d have a chance to get her back!! This is awful. And NOW you’re getting hit for child support!! This guy is a monster. I would still be trying to do something even though I know it is so hard to do without a lawyer. Are you at a shelter and is this where you have supervised visits? Who supervises? And where is this place that you can live if you get the baby back and does the court know about any of it? Can you write a letter to the judge…anyone who can re-petition the courts to reconsider? That the drinking was situational and that you have NEVER had a problem with alcohol or anything else for that matter? How often do you get visitation and for how long? It sounds like you’ve tried every avenue but there has to be someone somewhere who can help. Have you looked online for women’s websites for moms whose ex’s have been awarded the baby wrongfully? Please do a search…there has to be somebody who will listen to your story and offer advice within the legal system. What a bunch of bullshit this is and I am so, so sorry!

          My heart breaks! She’s just a baby!

          Zari xo

          • Kimberly

            January 30, 2017 at 5:48 am

            Hi, I share a house with a friend of mine, I don’t live at a shelter thankfully. Supervised visits are at my house and its my friends and family that are the supervisors. The visit hrs are 9am to 6pm, three days a week but if I have to work then it’s less time with her. My ex is misrepresenting himself to my supervisors and its mind-twisting. He’s adjusting himself for each person to look in as good a light as he can to each individually. It feels like no one believes me.
            The only bright spot is the court decided to do a limited case management on me since my ex and his lawyer keep protesting me having any time with the baby (she just turned 2yrs old). The court is going to talk to my regular counselor, my domestic violence counselor, and the primary therapist at the outpatient program I did because of the dui. I’m hoping that turns things around.
            About ten yrs ago I did briefly, very briefly, use drugs for a little while so I can’t tell the court I never abused a substance. But I never went back to it! Nor did I become dependent on alcohol as my ex is claiming…
            I have done free consultations with a couple lawyers so I could get advice but due to the dui they didn’t have anything encouraging to say, just to do the outpatient program which I did. I guess it doesn’t matter that I didn’t have my baby in the car.
            I’ll have to look up the wrongful custody websites

    • Kimberly

      January 29, 2017 at 7:29 am Reply

      Hi Zari, I messaged you yesterday but I just realized my original post was under the name ‘n’ and my reply to you is under my real name, ‘Kimberly’.Just in case there’s any confusion :/

      • Zari Ballard

        January 29, 2017 at 3:47 pm Reply

        I’ll check on that, girl…no worries!

        • thereishopeinthineend

          May 31, 2017 at 4:09 pm Reply

          Hi, I just wanted to let you know I DID get my daughter back! I’m still in a court battle with my ex, but not over custody at the moment. What happened in court is on my site under ‘the tv lawyer moment’. It’s too much to post here, but I wanted to let you know how things went 🙂

          • Zari Ballard

            June 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm

            Thank you for the update! Good for you!!! I will go there to read your story……:)

  • Sarah

    October 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm Reply

    Please help. I’m still in a relationship with a narc. He’s driven me to insanity. I actually pushed him the other day. I’ve never been physical to anyone in my life ever! I have two kids. One with him. One from previous (who calls him daddy) her dad died. I want to leave but I’m scared. Scared how I’ll cope. Scared for what he’ll say about me to our daughters. Scared that my daughter will no longer have contact with the only dad she’s ever known but will have to watch his daughter going off to spend time with him. I’ve tried to leave and when I do he twists it to make me sound crazy. Tells the kids “mummy wants to take you away from me” they’re only 1 and 4 and I can’t stand the thought of them being hurt. How do I escape? I know he’ll use the push against me and I’d rather stay and be miserable forever than have my kids taken away from me.

    • Zari Ballard

      October 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      When you say, I know he’ll use the push against me and I’d rather stay and be miserable forever than have my kids taken away from me., what do you mean exactly? You don’t say anything in the post about him taking away the kids. Why and how could he do that? Because of a push? Did the cops come and were you charged??? I don’t get that, sister. So, first of all, if you’re worried about the kids being hurt, LEAVE NOW why they are still young. Who cares what he says to them NOW…they’re 1 and 4!! Or to anyone else, for that matter. They don’t even KNOW what he’s saying. And if the four-year old feels sad when the other child goes off to see daddy, then you plan in advance for the two of you to do something else. Forget the fact that, if he was any kind of decent man, he would take BOTH kids at the same time…but we both know he ISN’T OBVIOUSLY a decent man so you simply have to think outside the box: go do something else! believe me, she’ll get over it. If you hurry and get this over with, they’ll grow up already used to him not being there and as long as you are just the best mom that you can be, you don’t have to even care what he says. You can only control what you can control.

      Now, again, I’m not understanding about him taking the kids away…you’d need to explain that. As for not being able to cope, in what way? Money-wise? Well, he’ll need to have to pay child support, of course, which means you’ll have to go to court…but so what? We’ve all done it. Millions do it every day. It sucks, yes, but it easily doable. Be thankful that you don’t have to get a divorce because then he can demand things. Right now he can demand NOTHING. And if you don’t have a job, you’ll have to get one. Lots of women here – myself included – got rid of the bad bullying dad and raised our kids as a single mom. Put one foot in front of the other, stop being scared, and do what will ULTIMATELY be BEST for both you AND the children. You can do it.

      Zari xo

Share your thoughts & get advice! Only first post is moderated. Zari does her best to reply to all so please be patient:)

Get Zari's Book
Read more:
Trauma Bonding & the Narcissist – Nobody Does it Better!

Feeling attached to a narcissist or sociopath even though he treats us badly is a constant source of angst for those in recovery from toxic relationships. Victims want to know...