Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice From the Battlefield book review

Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield by Tina Swithin
Click here to purchase Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield

This book is the follow-up to a book I reviewed earlier called Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle. In the first book, the author briefly told her story of getting involved with and being married to a narcissist, then detailed her attempts to protect her daughters from his abusive and reckless behavior. In this book, she includes a short review of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and gives an overview of her story, then addresses a variety of topics that are related to custody and visitation battles with a narcissist. In each section, she asks a question or offers a situation, then describes how the narcissist will probably act. She tells her story of what happened in her case, then lists answers that came from other moms in similar positions. The replies often describe how their respective narcissists behaved or they answer questions. This format actually confused me at first, because if there was an explanation in the preface, I didn’t see it. I did not initially understand why there was a list of answers after each question or where they came from! So if you read this book, be aware that not all of the answers are from the author. That part really threw me off.

Once I got past that and figured out what was going on with the format, I was relieved and discouraged to read many stories of narcissists who behave the same way my narcissistic ex-spouse behaved. I was relieved to read reminders that I am not alone in what I experienced and that eventually, the truth usually wins, but I was also discouraged because I read what terrible things narcissists are capable of. I already know from experience, but just when I think a narcissist can’t get worse…they do. So, read this book knowing that it might scare you, but also recognize the reality that it is possible to survive a battle with a narcissist!

Here are the chapter/section titles:
Dating a Narcissist
Married to a Narcissist
Divorcing a Narcissist:

Leaving with Children
Finding an Attorney
Going Pro Se
Tactical Moves
Courtroom Anxiety
Mere Exposure Effect
Muddy Water
Discovery Process
Witness Declarations
Custody Evaluations
Child Welfare Services
Psychological Evaluations
Minor’s Counsel
Appealing Decisions
Child Support

Narc Decoder

Sheltering the Children
Breaking the Cycle

Life Beyond NPD:

Finding (Real) Love
The Narcissist’s New Love
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Personal Growth and Healing
Going Public

Family Court Reform
OMB Stories of Hope

Lasting Lessons:

Narcissists do not care about their children. They care about controlling their ex-spouses and avoiding child-support.
Narcissists will charm the officials who are supposed to protect your children the same way they charmed you. Be armed with the facts and know that you may be in for a hurricane of the narcissist’s lies.

One comment

  • Claudia,I completely agree with you. Nesting is an awful sanreio and should never be considered in high conflict divorces, divorces with custody disagreements, and without some type of financial agreement which is enforceable by the courts. My divorce was final on March 6. I was in a marriage with an alcoholic spouse. As is in most cases with alcoholics, they are selfish, disrespectful, immature, and refuse to take responsibility and accountability for their actions. The Guardian forced me into a nesting situation. I was not given a choice. I had already been paying the mortgage and utilities without assistance from my former spouse. He refused to move out of the house, regardless of making financial contributions to the mortgage, utilities, maintenance and upkeep of the marital residence. Nesting accomplished the following for us: 1) More conflict and stress in an already strained environment for our children. -conflict over household responsibilities -conflict over food and clothing left in the home -conflict on how to raise the children. -conflict over the 2) Removal of myself as their primary care giver from the home. (extremely traumatic for the children) 3) More financial burden on me due to paying for a rental facility for 5 months as well as two sets of utilities and the mortgage by myself. *While my ex spouse lived free of rent and utilities with his mother. 4) Less consistancy for the children due to two extremely different parenting styles. 5) A breakdown in consistant enforcement of discipline, boundries and schedule. 6) Physical and emotional stress in that i was forced to take care of two homes not only financially but physically. 7) Caused my 6 yr old daughter to develop seperation anxiety. 8) Caused my 12 yr old to have no respect for myself, his sister and women in general.It is my honest opinion that a court should not be able to force you into a nesting agreement without consideration of the following: a) some type enforceable financial agreement between both parties. – I went from November to June without an any financial agreement in place. All the while knowing that I would be the primary custodial parent leaving me without the ability to save money for a new home, neccessities for my children, and support for childcare, healthcare, extra curricular activities for the children and school fees. b) never considered as an option in a high-conflict divorce or c) when it is evident that there is such a serious discrepancy in parenting stylesb) when it is evident that co-parenting is not working and so clearing not an optione) when alcohol and/or drugs is involved with one of the parentsf) when the children are clearly more dependant on one parent as a caregiver than the other. g) when children suffer from difficulties with transition, learning disabilities, and change. My son has ADHD and has always have difficulty with change. I used to have to prepare him when he would have a substitute teacher in grade school. The end result was that I became financially devestated; Endured so much stress from moving twice a week that I lost my job; and became depressed being seperated from my children every Sunday. I got myself and my children the help that we needed to overcome the trauma of the divorce and the nesting. Taught myself how to maintain a home and home repairs myself. I overcame such adversity with only the support of strangers. I lost all my friends, had no family near by, and an attorney and court system that forced me to spend my time defending my every expense and every action. It was random acts of kindness that kept me going and continues to keep me going. It renewed my faith in others. It is amazing how much support or care you can get from a stranger. It always would happen at the most devastating times and the times that I was most in need. A woman picking me up while I walked to the gas station because I could not put gas in my car until payday. A woman at Target letting me take $30 worth of groceries even though all my credit cards were declined. A woman pediatrician, not charging me for a doctor visit with my daughter and giving me $20 in cash to take her to lunch. A woman giving me $180 cash that she always kept with her as what she would call sisterhood money. No quetions asked and pay it forward and not back , she said. I am now still in debt due to the irresponsible decisions made by the court. It will be years before I am able to fully recover financially. Somehow I have made it every step of the way. I am proud of what I have accomplished. Empowered by the fact that I have overcome every obstacle and continue to do so. My children and I have a home that we now rent in one of the best communities and school districts in IL. We have all sacraficed to get here. We no longer can join an activity without considering the financial impact. We buy our clothes at Goodwill instead of brand name stores. We make sacrafices everyday and there has been a significant change in our quality of life. The amazing thing is that I was the one that made the money in the family. I am the one that ended up with primary residential custody and all of the expenses. The child support although needed and welcomed only covers groceries and maybe a few incidentals. So there you have it the impact short and long term of nesting agreements.Amy

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