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Question
Posted by: Vanessa | 2011/08/16

How to deal with my Narcissist ex and our children

A year ago, after over a decade of emotional abuse, I finally left my husband. I realised that, it wasn''t me, HE has narcissistic personality disorder. Oh the relief!! We have two young children (4 and 6) and, while he keeps up the perfect " super dad"  show for outsiders, I am concerned for the wellbeing of the children. His total lack of empathy and inability/refusal to recognise distress in others, means the children are emotionally and physically neglected. In addition, he refuses to speak to me at all, thus the kids arrive home with cuts and bruises and bites and scars and I have no idea why. They were involved in a car accident (airbags deployed, car written off), my daughter was bitten by a dog and my son had two serious falls, one of which was into rusty barbed wire resulting in a facial injury requiring stitches, and the other off a double bunk bed, but my ex did not inform me about any of these incidents (I found out via third parties, the physical scars and what the children told me), and he failed to get the children ANY medical attention. He didn''t even enquire about tetanus. My son now has a large scar on his face (the wound should have been stiched) and possibly a fractured nose, which the GP says we can''t do anything about. My ex then berated me for seeking medical attention for the children (which, incidentally, I pay for)! He says I am not allowed to phone or sms him. I must use email and then only during office hours. He says he will undertake to reply once a week, if it suits him. (I ignore this - as I WILL phone my children when they are with him.) I am told none of this is enough to get sole custody of the children, so I need to figure out how to deal with him in a way that is constructive. Is that even possible with a narcissist? How do I ensure that my children are safe when they are with their father? They stay with him every second week from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning. Does something appalling have to happen before social workers and the family advocate will stop seeing the " wonderful gentleman/how could you leave such an awesome man"  and " perfect dad" ? He joined the kids'' school governing body and ingratiated himself with the principal abnd teachers, but FINALLY they are starting to see the state that the children come back in, and how obstructive he is. (Of course some figured him out a whole lot quicker than others.) Is there any advice you have with dealing with a narcissist when children are involved? There is lots of advice on the internet regarding narcissists (which I WISH I had seen years ago), but precious little about what to do when children are involved. He simply will not communicate despite this being detrimental to the children''s wellbeing.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Narcissists aren't typically abusive, so he may have had a bit more, too. Your description sounds far more antisocial. For him to spitefully refuse to talk to you about the children where this is obviously necessary for their welfare, as in the examples you quote, that sounds neglectful if not abusive. Failure to have the seen appropriately by a doctor is abusive and neglectful.
I'm not sure who is telling you his misbehaviours are not enough to get you granted sole custody in a court - it may at least encourage a court to impose more conditions on how he may behave when caring for them.
Neither welfare authorities nor the family advocate should be so naive as to be bamboozled by such a person, and their sole duty is to assess the welbeing of the children, not to admire him. And they should encourage the children to communicate freelly with you and with them while they are with him, of they are at all concerned about their own well-being, and the 6-year-old at least should be able to do so responsibly.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/16

Narcissists aren't typically abusive, so he may have had a bit more, too. Your description sounds far more antisocial. For him to spitefully refuse to talk to you about the children where this is obviously necessary for their welfare, as in the examples you quote, that sounds neglectful if not abusive. Failure to have the seen appropriately by a doctor is abusive and neglectful.
I'm not sure who is telling you his misbehaviours are not enough to get you granted sole custody in a court - it may at least encourage a court to impose more conditions on how he may behave when caring for them.
Neither welfare authorities nor the family advocate should be so naive as to be bamboozled by such a person, and their sole duty is to assess the welbeing of the children, not to admire him. And they should encourage the children to communicate freelly with you and with them while they are with him, of they are at all concerned about their own well-being, and the 6-year-old at least should be able to do so responsibly.

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