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Narcissist partner, kids and all that drama

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
I married my first wife when she was only 19, me 29. I had no idea she'd turn or expose her narcissistic traits some years later. Silence was her most effective weapon, in fact it led to my only attempt on my life...one week later I left the family home. That meant leaving my children with her and having fortnightly weekend access.

As my kids were then 7 and 4yo I had to endure my ex every time we conversed about our kids. The body language, the minimal words, the refusal to allow things like my kids coming with me for parent and teacher night's...all these things were a constant battle for a further 14 years till my youngest reached 18.

What kept me going was my dreams. A life without my ex, my own home, my kids visits. So when the child support stopped, so did my contact with her, a short letter "please never contact me again."

That was 10 years ago. My girls now 27 and 31. My youngest sympathized with her mother and I have zero contact. My eldest is close to me.

You can survive a narcissist. Be strong and wait for that moment when you are at peace. That came a few years ago when my eldest married.

Are you doing ok in separation?
10 Replies 10

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tony WK

You give people hope and guidance on so many levels. I'm really grateful for your threads and posts. Thankyou Tony WK.

That was a long time you had to keep dealing with your Narc ex for the children. Do you have any tips for ppl still dealing?

I left my previous ex because of his addictions & behaviours. He was a lovely man but for those, we had children together. THEN he remarried and in came the cruel narc. When our youngest was 13yo they begged me to go to Court so they didn't have to see their dad any more. Tbh this broke my heart for him.
But to keep my children safe, I did. My exH actually understood!
I had around 10y of that narc in my face and in my life.

When I tried to leave my last exH it was hell on wheels.
We spent many years in Courts. He seemed to thrive on the drama. He was labelled a psychopath by Police. He still hasn't left us alone.

I learnt about the 180 and Gray Rock strategies and used them to the max.
There are great clips online about how to deal with a narc when you have children.

The best thing I learnt in all of this was about "boundaries". Set them, then you have to maintain them!

The analogy I use about putting up boundaries with a toxic person, is that it's like a "red flag to a bull"... they simply won't / can't / choose defiantly NOT to respect boundaries.

I understand it's all about "supply". They've lost their supply of whatever it was; attention, money, reputation, "status" in the family etc etc. Hence the drama through Courts and on any Social Media etc.

They also get set on attempting to destroy our reputation. I didn't care about "reputation" so that didn't work either.

It's all about "control". When they've lost their control over you, it can be very nasty and dangerous indeed.

I'm so happy you've had peace since your eldest married Tony WK.
I wish that same peace for us all!


Community Member

Hi Tony

Yes, we can survive a narcissist, but the long term damage has been done. I refer to your relationship between you and your youngest daughter. This is a good example of the indirect, ongoing damage caused by a narcissist.

As an analogy, we can adapt and accept the loss of a limb, but in reality, life after the loss is not the same. All we can do is alleviate the symptoms, the cure is generally out of reach.

Broken minds are hard to mend!

Good relevant reply Ecomama

"Control", a form of bullying and I can't stand it.

Had that at my local surgery when an attendant refused a man entry as he'd visited Melbourne recently (covid) and he abused her. Couldn't help myself and stepped in to stop his verbal nastiness.

Anyway, yes, it's drama ongoing. I only lasted 11 years for the sake of my kids but my ex was too toxic.

I watched a one minute video from a psych in New York about dealing with a narc. "Leave them".


Mr Paul

Yes, you never get over losing a child.

Years ago I could tolerate my youngest daughter nastiness, discounting it as part of her mother's demonizing of me. But as time went on she displayed narcissistic tendencies herself, as bad as if not worse than her mother.

She'd toy with me. After years of no contact she'd swarm around me with hope from both of us that we'd forget the past and support each other. Three weeks later she'd go no contact. I'd be shattered.

I have come up with a strategy purely to protect myself. When she knocks on my door I'll invite her in, talk, drink, biscuits and firm answers. She will no longer get my vulnerable open heart. If I rejected her my guilt will hurt me.

I'll be civil, mature and answer her questions. Nothing more.

I'm ok with it all. I told her many times "we all have choices". She has made many, now I respond accordingly.


Exactly Tony WK...

There's a huge difference between a person being influenced by a narc and those who are toxic.
MY adult children were influenced by toxic ex for quite a long while and the fallout was huge through Courts and definitely in our interpersonal relantionships BUT (and it's an important BUT) they AREN'T toxic people in their essence.
So as the fog cleared for them, their own thoughts and behaviours returned.

Only then were we able to begin healing our dynamic - it's ongoing.

narcissistic abuse is real.

Then there's the quote "past behaviours are the best predictor of future behaviours"...
we must come to a point in our lives where we detach, safely distance ourselves and protect ourselves from them.

I've used the following quote recently in regards to toxic ppl my children have met "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me".

When someone shows you their true colours by their actions, believe them the FIRST time.

Difficult paths to navigate until we learn "enough".

Love EM

Hi Tony

"But as time went on she displayed narcissistic tendencies herself, as bad as if not worse than her mother."

From my observation (experience), narcissism seems to spread from parent to child. I don't know if it is a genetic trait or something that is learnt from the narcissist parent early in life. Either way, the disorder seems to readily pass between the generation.



Mr Paul,

Re: " I don't know if it is a genetic trait or something that is learnt from the narcissist parent early in life"

I can safely suggest it's inherited. My eldest displays much of my personality and indeed became her mothers victim as she reached 10yo onwards. Yet my youngest a spitting image of her mother in all ways developed the narcissistic tendencies from around 8yo onwards.

In fact I was unaware for some time when my eldest was say 11yo that mother and our youngest was ganging up on my eldest. It's why my eldest came to live with me at 12yo and never returned. She is estranged from both of them. Unlike me she is more resolute- has no intention of having them in her life and now she's 31yo. She used to warn me of the evil in my youngest and I used to remind her that severing ties with ones child is not so easy. Eventually when I'd had enough of being a toy to be played and stopped all contact with my youngest, my eldest was very relieved. She could not understand how I allowed to be hurt so often and in such cruel ways.


Re: "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me".

I love quotes like this, it clarifies. As said previously my ex went silent for up to 6 weeks at a time, not one word, as if I did not exist. Such treatment was usually sparked by me raising my voice in frustration. I worked 3 jobs to survive the "wolf from the door" and so she could fulfill her dream of being a stay at home mum in the country. But, due to her laziness I was also changing nappies more than her, putting washing on and cooking all meals when home. I was trapped. Only an attempt on my life made me realise I'd been pushed over the edge. My father always said "better a part time dad than no dad at all".

This thread highlights (for other readers) that you can live a life narcissist free. That it is unacceptable to tolerate such behaviour and out experiences show damage it can do. But our lives is in our own hands, we can choose to rid our lives from toxic and narcissistic behaviour. Toxic people if family can be tolerated somewhat, in short doses for the sake of the family (as you said there is a difference) but narcissism is not tolerable and it is also often masked. Outsiders, including distant family dont see it, they only see the nice side. As I said to my ex's best friend when she interfered many years ago "I wont discuss this issue as it is none of your business, furthermore you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors".



This is a poem I wrote for myself after my last dealing with my youngest around 2 years ago.

To Dulcie but put on my timeline after she blocked me.


You played me like a banjo
As you ran from my advice
Youngest daughter of darkness
Part of my sacrifice

And as you gather satisfaction
Of silence your chosen sword
Games of the mind your ambitiion
No bond could ever be forged

This banjo has no strings for you
It hangs on a wall above
My family is at the back of the shed
Dancing to the beat of love

I wrote this even though you blocked
You'd think it be for you
But its for me, the dad you mock
The banjo you never knew...



As I said to my ex's best friend when she interfered many years ago "I wont discuss this issue as it is none of your business, furthermore you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors".

I said something similar to my ex's best friend when she started to interfere. She was someone I considered a personal friend at the time, someone I confided in. I was bewildered and shocked by her savage unprovoked response. I later learnt that she was the quintessential, "flying monkey".

Yes, you can survive a narcissist, but the price is high.