Posted by: frogstale | December 21, 2013

Divorcing a Sociopath/Narcissist

I may not have an official ‘diagnosis’ but how many times do I have see my ex husband described down to the  exact same tactics and words to just ‘know’ that he is a psychopath/sociopath or narcissist?

Is there a point at which enough is enough and I can now definitely say – he has a personality disorder?

Does it matter?

No.  I read, I learn and now I pass on help where I can.  What is just is.

Take this exert from an article about divorcing a sociopath (italics are my comments)

  • Personality Disorders are experts at manipulation and hidden agendas. Despite their behavior on the surface, there is likely a self-serving goal underneath. In a divorce, when an Antisocial offers to pay your phone bill every month, he’s actually looking for a ticket into your finances, your calls, and a reason to call, visit, scream, and discuss each and every phone call you make for the next few years. Or will only give you access to the children’s private health cover by insisting you get the doctor to phone him every time you go to arrange payment over the phone – so he can berate you for being a bad mother or not treating their illnesses properly or some other controlling behaviour
  • Personality Disorders try to make their partners as miserable as possible during a divorce. Why? They hope you will agree to a better settlement to decrease their harassment. They threaten to fight for child custody — not because they want the children, but because the fear of losing the children to an Antisocial Personality is enough to make most good parents change their settlement offer. Exact tactic my ex used – the children would have cramped his lifestyle but he used the threat of taking them away to make me give in on the money.  It worked.
  •  An Antisocial Personality is not concerned with how you feel about anything, but they are concerned about their feelings and their situation. Don’t negotiate with him directly — only through an attorney or court representative. If you are being tormented, obtain a restraining/protection order. When he contacts you about divorce issues, allow your attorney to reply and don’t argue with him. In response to a request, reply “I’ll mention that to my attorney”. As long as he thinks you are making the decisions, the intimidation will continue, hoping to exhaust you emotionally to the point of a settlement in his favor. It’s hard to exhaust your attorney. I tried negotiating directly, it was mentally and physically exhausting, he agreed at the time and then never ever signed the documentation afterwards.  Never.  It was a complete waste of time.
  • Understand that Personality Disorders have a tremendous sense of entitlement. He feels entitled to torment you and the family due to the divorce process. You can expect to lose property, personal valuables, pictures, and even pets under some circumstances. Antisocials will often hold property hostage as they deal in the divorce. They will also make a variety of threats, the most common being “I’ll quit my job so you’ll not receive child support!” or “I’ll move away where the court can’t find me!”. Exactly – same words ‘I’m gonna leave my job so you get nothing’ and ‘I’m going to disappear and you and the children will never see me again’.
  • Be prepared for a variety of different manipulations, including 1) buying a new car during divorce negotiations, hoping the debt will lower his child support, 2) finding a new girlfriend and taking her to the restaurant you always wanted to go to, 3) undermining your authority with the children or blaming you for the divorce, 4) calling your family and friends with his side of the story, although everyone probably knows why you are getting a divorce, and/or 5) reporting a miracle religious conversion or developing an incurable medical condition. You can expect anything. If you pay no attention, however, that will quickly subside, and other manipulation will take its place. He will be looking for a manipulation that works. He bought an engine for his boat, hid and stole money, used his new girlfriend, picked up less than a month after I left, in the custody battle saying she could look after the children while he couldn’t – which could have been any time of the day or night as he was on a 24hour roster.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Personality Disorders rarely do anything that takes time or doesn’t benefit them. With that understanding, despite the torment you are experiencing at this time, once the divorce is final he is likely to fade out of your life, and of that of your family. Given monthly child visitation, if they can’t use the visitation times to torment the ex, they soon offer excuses for not appearing and eventually fade away. He hasn’t faded out because he does use the visits to continue to torment me and because, by seeming to love his children and spend time with them (only when it suits him), he can play dad of the year. 

If you are leaving someone like this – read and learn – knowledge is armour and get a support group around you.  You will need it.  Good luck.



  1. […] Divorcing a Sociopath ( […]

  2. “Holding property hostage”, is exactly what is happening here. I use to think I was alone- thank you for the great post!

  3. I can vouch for this. Just had a meeting with my attorney on Friday. We had received a letter from Ex’s lawyer in response to the one we sent them. Their response letter was FULL OF LIES. Of course, I don’t blame his lawyer…it’s likely he doesn’t know any better. Oh, and since he cannot currently stalk and harass me due to a protective order I have, he is know harassing me through the court system. I live in the county and all of our legal hearings are heard here. For every motion that Ex’s attorney files in the County, my Ex files the same ones in the City (on his own), just for added effect.

  4. I was always looking for the reasons as to why my husband would not be with me mentally, physically and emotionally. He was happy to let me do all the work and spend all my money while he just paid the bills. Now that I have finally started to value myself and have asked for a divorce, now he cooks his tea early, has a shower earlier (5.30 pm) whereas my son and I often had to await him to either return from work without knowing what time or where he had gone. And when asked to cook dinner he would moan, or cook it really late, 6.30 pm. Now I am divorcing him and I thought living as his wife was bad but now this has got worse. Through all the reading and studying him I know what he is after, and this does keep me going but I am becoming despondent and do not know how to carry on positively rather than negatively. The thought of him being gone eventually is not helping as i am afraid after all my effort, money and time, he will still come out top, laughing at me as always. I am running out of energy and need my motivation and presence of mind in order to keep fighting him, I do not know where to get this from especially as a teacher in secondary school is also depleting me. There are times when I am confused, hurt angry and long to stick a knife in him. I feel as no-one really understands when explaining about his behavior and after 10 years even his family have now abandon my son and I because they believe he is good man, whilst I am bad for having hurt him, they do not realize the pain or the suffering he has caused and how often i have tried to make my marriage work. This means absolutely nothing to him he is very good at forgetting! He treats me as if I am some weak, feeble, incapable women who needs to be dictated to and will give in like all his other lady friends – it has now dawned on my why he has had 12 relationships before me and why they were never very long. I have no idea how to keep the faith and I am scared that my emotions along with my solicitor for a quick divorce will make me give in. I do not wish to do this as I do not wish he to get the better of me through my emotions. It is very isolating, lonely and sad.

    • It is tough – and you are on a long hard road – and you can’t do it by yourself. There is help and support out there if you go looking for it. Others who have been through this before you understand and can offer advice. You don’t need to feel isolated and alone.

  5. In the midst of this. Last year he hired computer hacker so he could first stalk and then put me out of business [I caught him, legally, which only angered him more]. Advice: set up separate email on someone else’s computer for communicating with attorney or ANYTHING you deem private. Then the usual stuff, hiding assets in foreign accounts even though he is not so wealthy; filing frivolous motions then getting adjournments [he is the one who decided to litigate the divorce, of course]; sent fake tax documents with fake address to my building owner of my rent stabilized apt in NYC to try to get me evicted on non-primary residence; and on and on. His goal is to leave me homeless and penniless, while garnering pity support on veiled Facebook smear campaign. But no one would believe me if I didn’t have hard evidence of his craziness, like the hacking investigation reports, as he is EXTREMELY convincing as this affable laid back very successful information industry exec. He put up a profile, deluxe subscription, the day we separated and told me “I want a quick divorce because I don’t think it looks good to have separated on my dating profile.” I told him he should just lie then. By the time I left, he couldn’t even get a raised eyebrow out of me, though there was a time when he used to get so far under my skin. I don’t know why he thought he could gaslight me in divorce after I had gotten to the point of giggling at him when he would try that while together. The computer hacking was his big gaslighting plan — he would know everything in advance in divorce and then I would look paranoid. First court conference his big argument was that I was crazy — you should’ve seen his face when the hacking docs came out and my attorney just stayed on task with the financial dissolution. We have no kids so it’s just a business break up as far as divorce court cares. Remarkably, no matter how many times he is “caught” – and I have caught him on every front – (fake tax returns, security reports, bribed an appraiser) he just continues the battle. We are entering year 2 of this absurd divorce. At some point, I will just move and change my name. I will go broke from legal fees — cannot get maintenance as he under reports his income so it looks like we make the same. So I just keep my catcher’s mitt out for now.

    • They are such – what is the word I am looking for – nasty pieces of shit – oh yes, that is what I called my ex and still do sometimes.

      Be thankful though that you didn’t have children with him because one day you can truly be free of him – the divorce will be over and you can cut him out of your life. That day will eventually come.

      Good luck with it.

  6. I read this with my mouth agape.
    My husband no longer has his 195k a year job, has depleted all funds from our company and personal accounts, has had me arrested for malicious communication after I called his girlfriend a gold digging c**t, he has changed court dates, texted friends, does not pay child support, has cut off my access to any and all joint funds, has stopped paying the rent and I am being evicted, he stopped everything even the pet insurance for the dog….and all the while claims he has NO money, but his g/f’s facebook gives it away, since September they have been to Bath, Edinburgh, Berlin, Iceland, Brussels, Paris, Israel just to name a few. He has purchased her gifts including a handbag that he got her with MY credit card (since cancelled)……it’s a NIGHTMARE. I thought I was going crazy, then yesterday I went to see a psychiatrist to discuss my depression….she said it is HIM who has the mental illness and it is that he is a psychopath. She said he will stop at NOTHING to destroy me so long as I stand in his way of him getting on with his life with his new girlfriend. Of course, I would give him a divorce in a heartbeat if I could just get some of my money back….but as he’s not giving any back….I’m not giving him a divorce. Let’s see who can hold out the longest. He wants to marry this bint and have a baby with her….so if he wants a divorce….he’s going to have to buy it from me.

    • Hi Ms Ollie. I feel your pain and anger. It is hard to learn that the man we married and loved was a mask hiding this sick person underneath. There is a long long path ahead of you to find peace and understanding. There is a lot of advice on the internet to help you deal with your situation. And in the end that is all you can do, learn to deal with it because he will never give you the satisfaction of an apology or closure. Best wishes on your journey.

  7. I would like to submit that after much counseling and a subsequent and very delayed divorce, I am still experiencing the wrath of a narcissistic/sociopathic ex. If you have children, the battle will never be over, as I am a living breathing example, no matter what I do for the benefit of my child…I will always be wrong, I will always feel at the mercy of his irrational and awful, gut-wrenching texts, phone calls and I will never, ever know just what to do about it. I will always be the most terrible mother that ever lived. I live in constant fear of him; however, with some unconscious simultaneous knowledge that his threats might just be idle. My 12 yr old son is held hostage and I cannot protect him or save him from the manipulations of his father. To ensure we get equal time, I commute 200 miles a day to ensure I share equal time but the ex and his gf are now stating/documenting that my son is suffering sleep deprivation due to the commute. I need an advocate. I have journals filled with abusive history suffered by me and my children; my older children have their own experiences and disorders as a result and I feel helpless to protect my youngest son. In order to escape him, I wrote up our divorce myself, gave him joint custody and did not ask for child support or help in any way…CPS was summoned but did not investigate until 2 yrs later (finding no fault) and now, due to the delayed CPS investigation (being blamed for the call to them, though it was from my son’s school) and a new school year, my ex is in full narcissistic bloom…the accusations are awful. I have to pick my son up from his house M T and every other F…I want to throw up just pulling up to his drive. Where does one go to seek help? I am not a weak woman; I owned homes, managed businesses and households, I escaped abuse and chaos for God’s sake…I am so tired of feeling like I am still voiceless and incapable of helping my children.

    • Did you have a court ordered social study

      • I’m not in America. I did have one but I am not sure how relevant it would be

  8. For you women out there who divorced a sociopath yet we’re screwed by the legal system, I am looking to assemble a large group of women who had social studies that were incomplete and erroneous and resulted in your ex receiving custody.

    Please contact me at

  9. So at my first mediation with my soon to be ex husband and the first time my lawyer met him when we were in a private conversation she called him a Sociopath. At first I wasn’t really sure if he was or not but the more I read about them the more he resembles one. He was constantly lying to me including signing up for dating websites for at least 3 years of our marriage and then tried denying it after I confronted him. He always finds a way to turn things back into my fault (including him sending dirty emails to these women). I have a sneaking suspicion that he broke into our house and stole money from my parents, our daughter, and our safe (nothing else was missing- tv’s, computers, jewelry etc).- it happened over a period of a week and surprisingly stopped once I filed a police report (and changed the locks. He told our mediator he wanted to reconcile and go to marriage counseling yet he had a girlfriend (who he has already introduced our daughter too (I kicked him out in September and he introduced them in October). He has agreed on parenting plans etc when him and I talk but then complains he doesn’t get enough time with our daughter yet he leaves her at his parents while he goes back home. He is like Jekyll and Hyde I swear and I am not sure if he really is one or not. He has promised he would pay 50% of our daughters expenses and got mad when I wanted to file for child support and “conveniently” lost his job in the meantime. He tells our three year old not to tell me things so when I ask what she had for dinner with daddy she cries and says “I don’t want to tell you anything”. I guess I just need some advice on how you all managed to get yourselves and your kids through this. Thanks!

  10. Does anybody else get angry at the “(insert city name) says no more” commercials? It seems the more that my ex proves his constant abuse – he flat out admits to stealing my things, submits pictures of my underwear with his pants off and in the background (so guess what he was doing), shows that he is hiding funds for me, and even admits to trying to isolate me from my family – the more the courts side with him. They just hand my daughter off to him and let him abuse her. Her guardian is a joke – he’s never even met her and at this point I don’t even think that my own lawyers are on my side. Now, the court is insisting on him having more time with my daughter – something that he only asked for after he found out that he’d have to pay child support and in order to get those payments reduced. He pretty much admitted in court the last time that he isn’t even the one watching her, yet I get the party line that “he IS her father” every time I point any of this out. Why do we even pretend that we care about emotional/psychological/mental abuse in this country? Our laws are built to allow these abusers to use the system to LEGALLY do it. After all, I can’t see my family because my husband is worried about her safety because flying is so dangerous. He HAS to hide funds because he is worried that I won’t use money to feed her. He HAD to steal my clothes because otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to work out a custody arrangement (which, huh? How are those related). But the courts let him do it. It’s actually gotten so bad during the divorce that I broke my hand and couldn’t get treatment for it because he has had all my mail rerouted to his mom’s house and uses my EOBs to show that I am too “clumsy” or that since I started going to therapy to deal with all this, that I am mentally unstable. But despite all this, he gets my daughter whenever he wants. She is now going to have to deal with the same abuse because our laws are built around protecting men. I wish this was the 50s. I mean, he’d still be allowed to abuse me and hide funds, but at least I would get my daughter. Instead, I’m reduced to venting frustration in an email with no hope of my life or my daughter’s getting better any time soon.

  11. I’m really struggling. Me and my Stbx have no kids and no finances together, yet he still refuses to give me a divorce. Papers have been sent and he told me he received them but he won’t let the divorce progress.
    I’m unsure how to deal with the situation. Contemplating emailing his boss and colleagues to get some help with this as don’t feel I have any other option left. Anyone have any suggestions? We live in different countries.

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