Any good parent wants to do right by their kids. I am a firm believer that, as adults; we can do whatever we want with our life and if you want to stay and be abused, have at ‘er. But if you brought kids into this world, you owe it to them to provide the safest and healthiest life and BE the best, happiest and healthiest parent you can be. They didn’t ask to be here and they have no choice about the upbringing they receive.
The narcissist can appear to be the epitomy of a loving parent, which can be very confusing for the victim. Maybe it is just her, after all she is the only one he treats badly and how can she leave him when it would break the kids heart and the kids would hate her.
The narcissist also uses every tactic under the sun to turn the children against the other parent and “win” the children’s loyalty and love.
Often times while the children are small and easily impressed and idolize their father everything will go fairly well. It is when the children get old enough to have their own opinions that the real problems start. Or if the child does not fit the picture of what the narcissist expected in a child. As with all areas of a narcissists life, he must be getting some payoff.
With my ex he had told me about the girlfriend who had gotten pregnant, screwed around on him, and then left him while he was away working. He came home to a totally empty apartment and never saw the baby, only heard that she had a boy. She had disappeared and seeing as he was adopted himself, it tore him apart to not see his son. He found the mother and his son on Facebook when the boy was 15. Long story short, he bullshitted the mother into believing he had changed and met his son.
He had envisioned his son being a “mini-me” and at first the boy was adequately impressed with his dad. My ex was the coolest dad ever. He had a motorcycle, semi, played guitar, had been in a band (lies)and he let the kid drive the semi, smoke, swear and stay up all night. It didn’t take long before the boy came to live with us and my ex was his best buddy, the kid could sleep all day, didn’t have to go to school and my ex made me out to be the enemy. It was his son and him against his mom and me. But after awhile the boy grew to like me. Not what my ex had planned. I told my ex he couldn’t be the boy’s buddy, he had to enroll the boy in school and set a bedtime etc. We butted heads on many issues, for one thing I had said that his son was not to drive my work truck. Next thing I know I see his son driving my truck! I was furious! Of course my ex rolled his eyes and made me out to be the bitch and his son had a huge attitude with me. I have no problem explaining why I do something so I discussed it with his son. I told him I had very good reasons for not allowing him to drive my truck and I would not allow my own son to drive it.
That caught his attention, I went on to explain my insurance for the truck cost me $270/month and that was because I had no accidents, if I had an accident my rates would go up. In order to get the “cheaper” rate I was not allowed to have anyone with less than 10 years driving experience drive the truck and he was not even legal age to drive in BC. I also explained that I was the family’s only source of income at that time and I was making $300-$500 a day, sometimes more; so if the truck needed repairs and I could not work for awhile, not only would I lose the money to repair the truck I would also lose hundreds of dollars a day. When given the facts his son totally understood why I was so adamant he not drive my truck. When his son was not in school I put him to work with me on the truck and he loved it, loved having some money, loved learning about scrap and we had a lot of fun together. This no doubt pissed my ex off to no end. It was cold out and his son didn’t want to be outside with his dad until all hours fixing things, he got tired at night like a normal person. My ex started finding fault with everything the kid did, he stacked wood for his dad, it wasn’t stacked right, my ex started not coming home at night, started showing aggression to me and his son and eventually ended up with his dad disabling my truck so his son and I were stuck at home all day. His son tried his hand at cooking supper for us, then my ex refused to buy groceries and would either eat before he came home after work or he would bring home precooked meals for himself. His son and I had been eating rice and oatmeal for a week and had promised to take me shopping on Sunday. It was 3 pm Sunday and my ex ate a meal he had brought home for himself. I had $6 left and gave it to his son so he could ride his bike to Tim Hortons and buy us donuts. He bought 6 donuts, two for each of us and made sure he got 2 double chocolate for his dad but my ex didn’t want his donuts and told his son to eat them; (I would never have eaten them) which he did. No sooner had he swallowed the last bite, my ex came out of the bedroom and went to get a donut. When it was gone he punched his son and called him a pig. I stepped between them and his son ran out of the house with my ex screaming out the door behind him to never come back. His son went to the neighbors and called the police.
The police interviewed each of us seperately and his son and I had the same version of events and I eavesdropped and heard his dad telling the cop a bunch of lies about how the kid is totally out of control. He refused to press charges against his dad and told the cop the same thing most kids living in a home where there is domestic abuse. “I don’t want him to go to jail, can’t you just talk to him? I just want him to stop hitting Carrie and me”. No matter what age kids are, they just want the abuse to stop.
Later that day his son came home and my ex came running out of the bedroom and punched him in the head and told him, “I told you to not come back.” Again I had to step between them. I packed up his son, called a friend to pick him up, called his mom and flew him home. My ex has done nothing but lie about him to anyone who would listen ever since.
The narcissist will usually have a favorite and/or a child they pick on. They will also pit one child against the other and will use the children to hurt the mother. The narcissist quite often will push the woman to have children knowing once she does he has more control and she is less likely to leave.
It quite often will end with the marriage breaking up and the N gaining custody of the children.
The N will go for custody for several reasons, if the N is the father (which is usually the case) he will go for custodgy because there is no better way to inflict pain than to turn a mother’s children against her. (Often times you will hear in the news of some father killing his children. That is the most cruel punishment he can inflict on the victim if she finds the stenth to leave him.)
Another reason is because he doesn’t want to have to pay child support. Child support is a loss to him, not a responsibility and it is basically unseen. If he is putting out money for the kids he wants recognition for it. Even better if he can get the mother to pay him child support.
Being a single dad gets him a lot of attention. Single mom’s are a dime a dozen but single dad’s are praised, invited for dinner and attract single women. It is easy for him to play the “woe is me” card as a single dad. (Eventually he will find a woman willing to take on the heavy lifting of parenting. He always finds someone to clean up his messes and do the dirty work.)
But, the number 1 reason to leave a narcissist is this:
As long as you live with the narcissist you are not healthy mentally or emotionally, possibly physically. So your child is being raised in a totally dysfunctional environment, the narc is extremely unhealthy and your kids WILL be scarred. As much as you may think they don’t see the fighting or you can hide your pain from them, kids are alot more perceptive than most people give them credit for. Kids can sense you are walking on egg shells, they hear how he talks to you, and if nothing else they will learn from him that this is how a marriage is and how you treat people. Do you want your son’s treating women this way, your daughters thinking that this is men treat women and love means they must sacrifice their needs?
You can doom your children to a life of dysfunction that more than likely will span generations or you can leave and get healthy. Teach your child how a strong woman demands respect, be the healthiest version of yourself. You can teach your children how to be caring members of society yet not be doormats, how to communicate their feelings in a productive way.
Just because you made a poor choice does not mean you and your children have to pay the price for that decision for the rest of eternity, like a curse placed on the family to be carried from generation to generation.
It can stop with you. In fact you are the only one who CAN stop it.