We’ve rounded up DivorcedMoms top 10 divorce articles from the year, with expert advice on narcissism, psychological abuse, divorce and teens, the family court system and more.
What kind of divorce resources are you interested in? If we’ve not covered it here, leave a comment and let us know.
DivorcedMoms Top 10 Divorce Articles From 2019
1. What can you expect from a narcissist during a relationship?
“While you may not be physically hit or physically abused in a relationship with a narcissist, your heart will be broken 10,000 times. Even if you think you are a “strong” person and can handle it; your strength is not really strength, but rather, denial.
“The following list is not exhaustive, but it is informative. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist you’ll recognize them all. If you’re presently in a relationship with a narcissist, buckle up because you’ll eventually experience them all.”
2. Teens often refuse to visit a father during visitation, what should you do?
There are many teens who have difficult relationships with a father. There are also teens who have friends, an active social life and better things to do than hang with parents. If you’re faced with a teen who doesn’t want to spend time with their father, what you do would be based on the situation.
“Michael and Jennifer have been amicably divorced for six years. They have three children ages 6-14. As outlined in their final decree of divorce they split custody of the children on a 60/40 basis. The children are with Jennifer 60% of the time, with Michael, 40% of the time.
“Until recently this arrangement worked well for both the parents and children. Jennifer worked weekends as a Registered Nurse and felt secure knowing her children were with their father and well cared for.
“Michael traveled with his job during the week and worried less about his children knowing they were safe and sound with their mother. The children benefited from the quantity and quality of time with both parents.
“Problems started when their oldest child became a teenager. Craig turned 14 and became less and less interested in spending Friday through Sunday night with his father.”
3. Family courts are ill equipped to protect women during and after a high conflict divorce.
Not only women but women’s children. Women deal with lawyers, judges, therapists, and court-appointed experts who are less than knowledgeable when it comes to the damage an ex with a personality disorder can cause.
“My divorce was tame compared to some. There were no domestic abuse issues, no custody battle issues; we went our separate ways with no physical harm done. I can’t say the same about emotional harm but, as I learned the Family Court System is ill-equipped to handle the conflict created when a man has a personality disorder or is hell-bent on using the system to punish their ex.
“As a matter of fact, it is my opinion the Family Court System is ill-equipped to protect anyone whose divorce is high conflict. Judges, Attorneys, Psychologists, and other court-appointed personnel EXPECT divorce to be one size fits all and when it isn’t lack the skills to support civility. What you get are platitudes and an attitude that if you are engaged with an ex who creates conflict you must be playing a role in the conflict also.”
4. If you’re divorcing a narcissist, you’ll want to get ready for the reality of co-parenting with a narcissist.
“Co-parenting with a narcissist is like being the tin man from the wizard of oz, having motion sickness, on the downward spiral of a roller coaster, with a loose harness, after eating ice cream and 5 corn dogs – doing the tango with a peg leg and an eye patch all the while sewing back together and re-stuffing down feathered pillows your dog chewed up and scattered throughout the back forty – it’s freaking difficult!!”
5. Fathers have a right to equal parenting time. The problem is most don’t follow through with their desire for equal parenting time.
We all hear about how the courts are biased against fathers when it comes to child custody. Men, especially hear such nonsense from men’s rights groups. When you go into court believing the deck is stacked against you, you’re less likely to fight for what you want.
“Before and during the divorce process each parent has the same legal right to custody of a child. Mothers and fathers are on legal standing until one or the other gives up or is denied full custody rights.
“What does this mean? It is complicated! Even more complicated if you don’t know your state’s child custody laws. Bottom line, until you have signed a custody agreement or a judge has handed down a custody opinion, each parent has the same legal rights when it comes to where a child lives, who the child lives with and anything regarding the child.
“I’ve found that most fathers do not have a clear understanding of their legal divorce rights where the children are involved. “
6. What does more damage to relationships than codependency? Not much. Here’s our tongue-in-cheek look at codependency.
“According to Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No More, “As professionals began to understand codependency better, more groups of people seem to have it. Adult children of alcoholics, people in relationships with emotionally disturbed people, people in relationships with irresponsible people and people in relationships with abusive people.”
“Basically, a codependent is a person who gives more in a relationship than they get and holds onto the hope that their partner will change. Codependents enable, make excuses and make the relationship problems worse due to their inability to care more for themselves than they do their relationship partner or, the relationship.”
7. Defiance of court orders by men; it happens often but what’s done about it?
My ex defied every aspect of our final divorce decree. EVERY ASPECT. It’s common practice for some men to be defiant and not believe orders handed down by the court apply to them. So, what happens to them? In my case, nothing. He got away with it over and over again.
“Over the years, I’ve spoken to many women whose ex-husbands were defying divorce court orders to pay child support. What most of them have learned when they take their ex back to court for contempt is that judges rarely throw a deadbeat in jail. They threaten to do so, but in my opinion, it isn’t often that a judge will follow through on a threat.
“Not enforcing a court order undermines a woman’s ability to care for her children. For some reason though, a judge seems more concerned with how being jailed will negatively affect a deadbeat father. It isn’t only child support orders that aren’t enforced — in the Family Court System, it’s any order.”
8. Narcissists are emotional and psychologically abusive. If married and divorced one, you’ll spend time wondering why.
“If we’ve been hurt by someone we love it’s only natural to want to find understanding in what happened. We believe that if we can only understand our pain will lessen.
“So, whether you’re a therapist, researcher or victim, there is an interest in knowing why the narcissist emotionally and psychologically abuses.
“There are many theories. Probably as many theories about why the narcissist is narcissistic as there are people wondering why.”
9. Psychologically abusive relationships rob you of your ability to trust in yourself to make proper choices and have faith in yourself.
Gaslighting, belittling, demeaning, undermining are just a few tactics used by a psychological abuser. When you’ve been on the receiving end of those tactics for years it only makes sense that you’ll lose faith in your ability to make choices that are in your best interest.
“Many assume it is simply the idea of breaking up a family that keeps us in the cycle of abuse. But I am here to say … no… that is not what made me stay.
“Forgive me as my ability to express myself in writing has never been my strong suit… but here goes.
“We stay because we have been controlled and manipulated to believe that we have no other viable options. There are often elements of financial control among a lot of other seemingly simple reasons that keep us in “it”. But they are not simple…not simple at all.
“I can only speak on my own behalf here, but I suspect that others will be able to relate on some level.”
10. Everyone’s story is different but when dealing with a narcissist, you can bet they all include damage done to children.
Narcissistic fathers discount the damage they do to their children during and after divorce. They view their children, not as an extension of themselves but as pawns to be used in their fight for control over a woman they feel stands in their way of having total control. If you’ve divorced a narcissist, you’re familiar with the damage they do to children.
“There is nothing more heart wrenching than having no recourse against someone who is doing grave emotional harm to your children. If a stranger had done what their father did, I would have had recourse. But, since it was their father, the family court system turned a blind eye to his behavior.
“It started from the beginning, the very beginning before I even knew there would be a divorce.
“I’m sharing this information in bullet points in order to keep my thoughts straight and not running together. We’ve been divorced for nearly 2 decades, there is no way I can share the entire story but, these are issues I remember as being the most damaging.”