Divorcing a Narcissist: Hate Mail and Child Support

Divorcing a Narcissist: Hate Mail and Child Support

I received a scathing email tonight from someone who had her panties in a bunch (technical terms) regarding child support.  She criticized me for “claiming to be a strong, self sufficient woman” and stated that I was playing both sides.  Basically, I was accused of pretending to be Ms. Independent while unable to stand on my own two feet without help.  She went on to say that I would set a better example for women by being completely independent from my X and she essentially equated child support to welfare.

Oh my goodness.

Sometimes, you have to laugh.  For starters, there is a good chance that it was my X or someone from his camp although the “anonymous” person actually complimented me a few times so unless pigs have started to fly to Florida for the winter, it was probably a random person.  I hope that one day I have enough time on my hands to sit and write long-winded emails to people that I don’t know to criticize them about everything under the sun.  No…wait…that’s not true.  I would actually take that spare time and do something productive or helpful in the world.  (Thanks for letting me vent…I feel better already).

As you know, I have a hearing coming up on the 19th for child support.  I am hoping that the Commissioner holds my X in Contempt of Court because nothing else seems to work.  With that said, I would like to make my stance on child support clear for anyone who wants to send me future hate mail about child support:

My X fathered two children.  He has proven over the past three years that he is not fit to have our daughters more than a handful of days throughout the month.  He has created this situation by his own actions.  We began this divorce with an agreement that allowed him to have a lot of time with our daughters.  His choices and decisions have brought us to the place we are today.  Not mine.

My X fights to be a part of our daughters’ lives.  I know that his motives revolve around control and winning but that is beside the point right now.  If he wants to participate in their lives then he has an obligation to assist with their financial needs.  If he chooses to walk away then I would gladly waive the entire balance and any future financial needs. For me, it’s about the principle of the matter.

PS To anyone who feels the urge to send me ‘not-so-nice’ emails in the future, save yourself some time and do something productive with that energy.  Smile at a stranger, buy someone lunch or give yourself a big ginormous hug!  You don’t have to agree with everything that I say (that would be boring!) but you aren’t allowed to be mean.  Thanks!  Tina 🙂

22 Responses

  1. Where did you start out? I’m holding out with my hopefully soon to be ex (filed 1 year ago) and he wants 50/50. Never was and his current choices & actions don’t demonstrate that he’s there. Every time I state my opinion, I receive a letter from his attorney stating I am being ‘erratic’ and they demand a psychological examination and custody battle.. but then they never execute! I’m sure his latest emails are not written by him. To top it off, I’m going in for a deposition with his attorney next week. I’m flabergasted! (sp) I’ve been a doting Mom, let him live his life on his own terms (traveled work, excessive personal schedule that he wouldn’t share with me) now my ‘behavior’ is an issue — I want a divorce. I’m holding out for a realistic schedule. Everyone tells me to give it to him because he won’t follow it. I’m worried he will (he changed his travel schedule drastically over the last year). He’s manipulating our 6 year old child. If I give in, and he continues to manipulate, will I have no recourse? I hope you understand where I am… walking on eggshells,.. not trusting.. trying to control the outcome, although impossible.

  2. I don’t understand people sometimes. I guess though that among women there is this need for competition that i have seen come up randomly in the single mom crowd, particularly the one upping each other with who gets paid child support and who doesnt. I’ve even had friends tell me to “count my blessings” that i get so much money in child support and alimony, while they have amicable and peaceful divorces with exes they simply fell out of love with. And then i think to myself, “Why yes years of abuse, constant harassment, his insistent desire to try to control and manipulate myself and the children and his emails daily filled with verbal abuse are ALL worth the money he pays me that is less than half of what we use to live off of. I signed up for this to divorce just to ‘live off my ex’ and have the easy life” insert rolling eyes smiley here.

    I TOO would sign off any rights to every single penny of child support and alimony if it meant my ex would sign off all rights of parentage and disappear from our lives so my children and I could live the rest of our days free of abuse, fear and dysfunction.

  3. No one needs to justify the expectation that a parent, especially a well-paid one, be financially responsible for their own children even if the parents are not married. This is not a “feminist” issue, and does not set us back in the evolution of women’s rights. Dead beat dads have probably been around longer than any woman’s libber(?) They just want custody now, so they can avoid paying for their own children, maintain their controlling abusive ways and “look good” doing it with that look at me I have my kids I must be dad of the year and my X is not distorted perspective! Women like this who have the attitude that men should be allowed to continue to be in control by telling us to pay for everything and get over it and then think they are softening the blow with “well at least he wants to be a part of the children’s life”, or “when the kids are with him you have all that free time”, or whatever else they might say-THE NX IS A SOCIOPATH-get a clue!

  4. Tina, I was also wondering about where you started out with custody? Was it 50/50? And now what is it? A lot of fathers want 50/50 so they dont have to pay as much child support and it has nothing to do with seeing the children (as you already know)….but really curious where your agreement with X started out and what it is now.

  5. It was more than likely written by a second wife who can’t stand to see “their” money going to support the children of the first wife because it takes away from the children she now shares with him. I recently came across articles written by a woman who has this “golden uterus” theory, made me physically ill to read her advice to men and second wives claiming that child support is the new welfare. I go without so my child can have nice things yet his “father”, who lives very well, nice new clothes, new cars, huge house, etc and his contribution is rummage sale crap that usually doesn’t fit….so frustrating.

    I am also willing to waive any support if he would just sign away his rights, but like so many other he is also too invested in winning. He recently lost time with our son but I have to pay more of the expenses and he is bragging about his WIN, it is all about the money and not the child.

  6. I actually had one commenter on my blog say that the richer person should be awarded custody. I was apoplectic. I work full-time and get no child support. My ex is independently wealthy, hides his money so he doesn’t have to pay child support. He is now away for two months on some mystery project — I was not given a dime for the extra childcare costs incurred because I have my daughter full-time. And I don’t deserve custody because my full-time job doesn’t pay me more than his rich parents pay him so he can spend his time playing golf and jet-setting? Please. The whole no child support thing makes me sick.

  7. In my house we jokingly refer to the child support check that arrives every two weeks as “welfare.” Frankly, it is less than what I would get from the government. If someone wants to get REALLY technical, the child support that I receive goes right back out the door to pay legal fees to protect my son. I have to chase him down every couple of months to get caught up on daycare payments, outstanding medical bills, etc. Meanwhile, he lives his life like a rockstar and puts it my face every chance he gets.

    I would gladly give up the pittance of support to have my ex OUT of my son’s life.

  8. Some people don’t understand, they’ve never had to deal with it. They’ll never get it. Thank you for this space. People can be so cruel, I applaud your ability to share.

    I’ve just written maybe three other responses to this that I’m afraid to post. So, yeah, thanks for this space. It’s nice to have a space where I can find people who are dealing with the same type of person, and all that that implies.

  9. The point of child support is: You brought children into this world, you are obligated to support them. Period. The end. You can’t just walk away from them because you can’t afford them or don’t want to provide for them anymore or think your ex isn’t actually spending the money on the kids. Children are expensive. They are not disposable rags. You can’t even give up your parental rights unless someone is there to adopt them. You are financially responsible for your children and anyone who wants to dispute that is scum in my world. I would humor the gripe if you were getting spousal support or alimony for the rest of your life and were capable of supporting yourself, but sorry, marriage and children come with price tags. If you can’t afford it, don’t get in the game. Unfortunately many of us only find out the real cost once we divorce. We deal with it and cope as best we can. People like that should just shut their pie hole. Sorry, but I am pissed myself today about things having to do with the ex. He collects spousal support (fully capable of working) while I struggle to feed the kid he could care less to see. Its so easy for people to judge when they don’t know the full situation. Sorry you have to deal with people like that Tina, but you handled it as gracefully as ever. Certainly better than I would have!

  10. Child Support supports a child. Every child deserves to be supported by both parents. PERIOD!

    It is hard to admit that you/me, as an independent woman who works her butt off, needs that money to provide for her child, but sometimes we do. In my situation the reason I need it is because my X put me into debt divorcing him.

    I know our girls will look at us one day and be proud to see how hard we have fought with dignity and grace for their well being. That person has never been there. They are lucky.

  11. Ahhhh…thank you so much for reminding me about dignity an grace! After a tough co-parenting week I was about to take my gloves off and let him have it….hopefully my kids will see and appreciate it someday. I am glad I read this before hitting send on the ugly email to him. THANKS.

  12. For those asking about where I started out, in terms of custody:

    In February of 2009, we agreed to the following: I would stay in our home and he would be home on the weekends- Friday at 10pm until Sunday morning. I would come and go during the weekends but I stayed in our bedroom and he stayed on the couch. I liked this arrangement because I knew the children were safe and we were amicable.

    June of 2009- he discovered that I was dating (the man who is now my fiance) and things began to change. He emailed me and wanted to work things out. I didn’t. Things started to get bad so I would leave on Friday nights when he arrived and come home Sunday. We had a tenant living in our granny unit (connected to the house) and she was our nanny. I still felt safe leaving him with the kids until we suspected he was sneaking out to go to bars and leaving the girls home (at 2 and 4!!!) sleeping.

    By September, things got so bad that we were in a Women’s Shelter and quickly found an apartment.

    It started out that he would see them every weekend. He has tried to fight for FULL custody several times– offering me every other weekend. For him, it’s about what percentage of time he has them– he would rather hire and pay a nanny than pay me child support. If you calculate my child support into an hourly rate, it’s less than $2 per hour. I think he needs to do a bit of research on the going rate for nannies.

  13. My own mother once told me that it was wrong of me to “belittle and humiliate” my ex when I filed to have the state collect child support from him after he had stopped paying. I’m pretty sure her rationale for that was, nobody helped her so why should anyone help me?

    Except it isn’t help, it’s a legal and moral obligation. It is for the CHILD.

    Best of luck to you. I have a contempt citation too. It hasn’t gotten me too much in terms of dollars but it’s actually kept him away from the courts so it was useful in that regard.

  14. Tina-

    Your situation sounds like it started out very similar to mine. Ex and I had an agreement that he would watch the kids on his days off from work and I would leave the house during that time. It was usually 2 overnights in a row beginning around 2PM and ending at 8PM after the second overnight. I would leave and would come back a horrid situation of the house being completely trashed, food all over the table, floor, everything… ants everywhere, asthma inhalers laying on the floor with 20 puffs out of them (when the dosage was like 3 puffs per day, only while sick). I happened to be dating my now DH at the time so of course ex alternated between pouty and begging for another chance to raging and violent. I was close to going to a DV shelter, but wound up being able to get a protection order instead. The situation was complicated because the judge and lawyers were blowing everything he did off because I was just a “bitch with a boyfriend.” After ex was removed from the home, he failed to pay child support for several months, and manipulated the loose custody schedule to prevent me from being able to work. When I did work, he would forget to pick up the kids from school, etc, and I wound up losing my job dealing with him dropping the ball.

    We are now a few months post divorce and he is still picking fights over property. I have gotten continual harassment about child support, especially now that I am married. He has been told that it is still his responsibility to support the kids he helped to make. He claims that we should have enough income coming in now that I’m married, yet doesn’t want my now husband to have any rights… basically he wants him to be financially responsible for me and the kids but try to keep the kids away from him at the same time. I would love it if he would just sign away his rights and be done with child support and everything, but I know he would never do it because of pressure from his family, and trying to uphold an image. Also I think he gets his self worth from the kids and if he lost “possession” of them, he would have nothing to live for.

  15. I have another gripe, again, sorry. I read the other story, it was full of hope, I love those testimonies. Thanks Tina for posting them. I am going a bit off topic here. After reading your recent post from another courageous mom, I was wondering does anyone know the reasoning behind Ns going totally psychotic during and after pregnancy. My N says I tricked him-did not even want babies, I am not even going to go into the crazy-making on the day our 2nd child was born. Of course things changed when he found someone gullible enough to charm. I filed for divorce and you all know the rest. I did recognize problems after the first and went ahead and had another child with him, and you do want to believe after the baby things will be different even though they were so, so wrong from the beginning. Why is that? My NX has had a new girlfriend a couple times, maybe this one, since 2008 I think, will stick. I know that is aweful to say, she has no idea he is NPD, he has got her convinced I am the problem. She does not even realize she is a cultivated witness and glorified babysitter, pawning her own children, or maybe she does. Either way she can’t see the Narcissistic forest through his beautiful blue eyes, Scandinavian accent(she loves all things Swedish) and all the trees at Disneyland, Ikea, skyhighjump, Magic Mountain and playing “Barbie” with him in the only bed our daughters sleep in during visits!!AAAAH! That’s what they tell the children they are doing when they lock themselves in the bedroom during visitation. That has been bugging me for 3 years-it completely grosses me out! My attorneys did not care too much to here any of that stuff nor do they understand the ramifications of it. I am glad I finally got that off my chest.

  16. I’ve heard that pregnancy threatens them in several ways. For starters, we (the pregnant ones) get attention from friends, family and acquaintances. Then, the baby cuts into their Narcissistic supply. We (the new mothers) no longer have the time to feed their ego– and their sickness.

  17. YOU are independent . your girls are not . you stated it simply , if he wishes for them to be independent from him he can waive his rights . but he is responsible for them until he sets them free. i hate that we have already been so gaslighted that we end up justifying child support .with all you kids go thru they should at the least have some financial foundation and any real parent would be happy to provide it .

  18. I am a parent (father), paying support (gladly), family law attorney and Guardian Ad Litem: my view is this: (a) call it “family support” and not “child support” because, though living apart due to divorce, the child still has a family and the child has two parents, both of whom need to be financially secure and provide the child with homes, (b) “family support” should be awarded and paid based on the relative financial situations of the two parents and NOT based on the designation of “custodial” or “non-custodial” parent. By changing the laws in all 50 states (as I am advocating), we would end (1) custody fights motivated by money, (2) one parent trying to get “extra visitation” as a prelude to a downward modification of support and the other parent resisting extra time for fear of such modification, (3) modification avoidance or efforts because even if the child goes to live with the other parent (most often the father), support continues because it is not based on where the child primarily lives but on the financial disparity, if any, between the parents. To be clear, if the father makes a lot more than the mother, he pays support even if the children live with him as the custodial parent. However, if the mother earns $80k each year and the father earns $90k each year, then neither gets support from the other (they have adequate incomes) unless one fails to share in the responsibilities of parenting putting a disproportionate financial burden on the other parent. There are other nuances to the change in our laws I hope to see enacted, but this is its main thrust: do NOT put dollar signs on the backs of our children and then see if parents “fight” over them. This and other changes to benefit parents and children are part of the National Association of Parents, a non-profit started to guard the parent-child relationship: Our Child, Not Yours! Parents, Not Government!

  19. I just want to point out one thing, child support does not equal visitation. They are two separate issues. He isn’t paying, yet you still have to provide access, and even if he never wants to see them again, he still is obligated to pay. My non-N X owes 16K down from 25K and has seen his child rarely in her 16yrs.

    Ok… Onto the email. It could easily have been a woman. Especially if she is married to or dating someone who pays child support. For reasons I cannot fathom, women become infuriated over child support their partner pays for a child that isn’t theirs. It’s like they think it’s THEIR money, and you’re taking it. I’m sure this has to do with the NCP complaining, but really? Both parents have an obligation to support the child. Period.

    In my case, I constantly kick myself in the ass for not saying. “You’re right, he isn’t your child.” He would have left me alone. He would have believed it, felt vindicated by it, and walked away. I raised one child without child support, I can raise another. I find myself praying he’ll knock his new paragon of womanhood up, and then he’ll leave us alone as he gets what he wants: someone to control or own.

  20. My state bases child support solely on the NCP’s income, unless it’s a rare 50/50 split. My state does not favor 50/50 splits unless the parents are BFFs and can get along great, minimizing conflict the child is exposed to, as well as live in the same neighborhood for school purposes.

    In the case of a 50/50 split, it’s like this 20% of net income is the standard for one child. Parent A makes 5000/month that’s 1000 in child support. Parent B make 2500/month. That’s 500. 1000-500=500. Parent A would be required to pay parent B 500/month to maintain standard of living. This is ONLY in a 50/50 split. Anything else is 20% of the NCP’s income. The court almost always, 90% of the time, assigns one parent as the Primary parent.

  21. I have had enough,I took the bulls by it’s horns.Today the 3rd day of april no child support,Why is it every narc thinks they can run it by their rules and not the rules of teh divorce decree?
    My narc ex was doing good getting the payment in by the 1st of each month as by the divorce decree,well this morning still no support.I called the child support people who imformed me “he was sending it on his own and they hadn’t recoved it yet”,so i contacte dteh corut, went through some steps and now his job will have to garrnish his pay{thatw ill not go over well}.However I see it this way”if you had followed teh rules and not your own rules your job, boss ,payroll would of never known you cna nto be trusted to even send in child support on time.