I am a new member here. I'm about to start the divorce process and seeking primary custody of my two young boys. My troubles are for the most part over, but I worry greatly about her effects on our children. My soon to be ex-wife exhibits almost every sign of narcissism. I understand, even under normal circumstances, I would have trouble getting custody and I'm trying to prepare myself for any outcome. Luckily, she's so self involved, she has all but ignored our children for the past three years and documented all her outside activities through social media (2300+ facebook friends after purging the list)... My lawyer thinks I have a decent case considering I was home taking care of the children as she was travelling (consultant) and out an about at night and weekends with concerts, wine country trips, pub crawls, etc.
For the 14 years of our relationship, I never could pinpoint what felt so strange (odd)... her excessive need for control without taking responsibility, no emotion, no empathy or consideration for others and an overall if she was happy then everyone is happy attitude. Now that it's over and after a lot of research, I believe she is a narcissist and I unfortunately was/am the typical person they attract. As embarrassing as it is to admit how pathetic and dependent I had become, it's a relief to know the relationship was not normal and that I was not just a horrible husband responsible for every problem in the marriage. In preparation for mediation/court, I've tested some of the triggers I had read about to gauge her reaction. As an example, while discussing available vacation time this upcoming summer, she began to compare her successful career to mine. I simply responded, that her accomplishments did not seem all that impressive considering all the support she required both professionally and at home in order to achieve her current status. Needless to say, she went on a texting rampage about her high level of education, focus, determination, self reliance and so on and so forth. She ended by saying "I was NOTHING!.. A minion to those smart enough and strong enough to actually accomplish something in life ". I'd heard her use that type of language in regard to many people in the past, but it was the first time she directed it at me. I think this was probably because it was the first time I challenged her. I forwarded the text to my lawyer and he believes the information will be helpful when it comes time to address her, but I don't think he fully grasps what he is up against.
With that said, I'm an emotional person and admittedly weak around her. It's going to take a lot of effort on my part to stay focused and to the point when she tries to push me, and she will try. Any helpful hints on how to go about facing her and staying in control? My reaction in mediation and court could likely be a deciding factor and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.