Divorcing a Narcissist: Birthday Parties and Narcissism

I have connected with a few women locally due to my blog.  On occasion I catch myself using the tough-love approach:  “Yes.  I CAN believe that he did that.  He is a Narcissist so let’s move on from that.  How are YOU going to respond?”  I find myself apologizing for coming across too harsh on occasion but in my heart, I am trying to bring forth their inner warrior.  There is nothing left that would shock me– I have heard it all.  On the same note, I’m not perfect either and slip up once in a while.

Last weekend I had a major “vent session” with my best friend and found myself doing the same thing that I stop other women from doing– the “can you believe he did this?”  As much as I have come to learn about Narcissism, their is still a part of me that can’t grasp it.  Here is an example: Summer Birthday Parties.

Birthday parties…you are probably wondering what a birthday party has to do with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  A lot.  At the end of the school year (June), each of my daughters received one invitation to their friend’s summer birthday parties.  At the ages of 5 and 7 years old, birthday parties are a big deal and in fact, I’ve been hearing about these two particular parties since school got out.  The parties happen to fall on his visitation time which is 11am to 5pm on Saturdays/Sundays for the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend of every month.  Since unsupervised visits were recently reinstated, this obviously poses a problem.

The first party has come and gone– and the girls missed the party.  I sent an email a week before to his multiple email addresses and also tried to communicate directly the X and with his mother.  She approved the change that I proposed: I would take them to the party and then we could move his visit to 2:30pm to 8:30pm.  Same number of hours– slightly different time.  In the final hours, he pulled his normal moves and refused to allow the change.  He cited the court order and insisted that I follow it.  He claimed that he had already planned a fun day of play dates for the girls at his house.  I later learned that it was a lie– their younger cousin (a 2 year old) had a play date and they did not.  Frustrating.

The second party is on July 21st.  I communicated with him at the last exchange about the party and he did his normal shoulder-shrug, non-committal (AKA I am in charge and don’t need to respond to you) gesture.  I emailed him three days ago to get it worked out so that I can RSVP- no response.  I emailed his mother- no response.  We sit in limbo– waiting for him as he gets his Narcissistic fill-up by controlling the situation at the expense of two little girls who want nothing more than to eat cake, play with balloons and enjoy summertime with their friends.

I find myself in the same boat as so many women that I speak to.  In a boat on the rapids– with a Narcissist trying to steer the vessel. He may be trying to steer the boat but I won’t allow him to do that at our expense.

I ask the same question, “Who would purposely cause little girls to miss a birthday party“.

The answer: A Narcissist would.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.



Join Our E-Newsletter!


  1. Stacey

    That exact same thing happened to me. My son wanted to spend time with dad, and go to a concert. It wasn’t scheduled visitation, so I request and email from dad – I need to know how our son will be getting home after the concert. No response. Three more attempts in 2 days to get a response – still nothing. Text, IM, email, phone call….Nothing.
    And of course my son is now getting mad at me, because I’m not allowing him to see his dad.
    I finally get a phone call from the ex, swearing, screaming, name calling at me about how I need to have all the control.
    Exhausting. Frustrating.

  2. Lynn Marie

    It’s amazing how “controlling” we can be and yet have NOTHING go our way. Amazing how that works. *eyeroll* Add another mom to the mix. My ex is 13 years my senior, and the entire thing is maddening. He also has his mother (also a narcissist) in with him.

  3. M.

    Hi Tina,
    It is frustrating that Narcissists are so frustrating and demanding, especially hard when you know their manipulative, controlling anger costs the children so much. I hope I do not offend anyone, but his mother was his mother before she was a grandmother, that’s all I am going to say about that. We have to be the level-headed ones for our children’s sake. We can not afford to be desensitized by wrongdoing. Narcissists count on that. We can not afford resentment to build in ourselves or our children, they count on that too. Weak moments do not define you, they happen to everyone. I know you are not down, just venting-it is not good to keep it bottled up, it’s right to do what you need to in a healthy way to let go of it. In the process of doing so, what you have to say can and does help others. All things work for the good of those who love God, may He bless you and your loved ones today.

  4. Tina

    Yes- I am just venting. I have a headache and I am tired — I’ve purged it into the cyberworld and feel better already 🙂

  5. Tina

    Lynn– Welcome to the group. yes, it is maddening. 🙁

    In regards to blogging about this topic– mine has entered the courtroom several times and I have been fortunate. I have heard that it severely impacted other women in the same situation. I think that, like everything, it depends on your Judge and courtroom. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I do not use the girls’ names and I use my maiden name. I did slip once and I wrote his name while I was typing fast (instead of calling him, “the X”) and received two or three messages quickly to point out the error.

  6. Tina

    Ugh! It was even more maddening because he emailed the girls’ attorney and tried to turn it on me. He said that I used an old email address to send the original request and that I knew he didn’t use that address any longer. I went back into my gmail to verify and I had sent it to ALL of his email addresses– because he changes identities weekly and therefore needs many email addresses. Toxic people, I swear.

  7. Heather

    I do have one suggestion for you in that regard:

    Give him a time limit in which to respond, i.e., “If I do not hear from you by Wed the 11th, I will take that to mean you have no problem with the changes proposed.”

    Give him ample time to respond; just don’t let his non-response control your life.

  8. Tina

    That is a great idea. Do you know how that holds up in court? I just sent him an email stating that same thing– and cc’d the attorney’s office to show how crazy this is. Thank you, Heather! -Tina

  9. Natalia

    Good golly… Maybe this should be added to the list of “how to recognize a narcissistic parent” 😉 Of course, it basically just falls under the heading of “so focused on their own needs that they can’t recognize the needs of their child”.
    I go through this same thing with any birthday party invite. This past year, my daughter wasn’t allowed to go to her best friend’s party (since the age of 3 mos), because the ex felt that it was more important for her to attend her weekly CCD class (Catholic Christian Development). How ironic! I even pleaded that we could teach her the lesson at home. No dice.
    We actually have our kids birthday parties written into the court order because of ex. Every year, he plans one of our children’s parties. Each year, the kid who has a ‘dad party’ lives in utter disappointment. The first year he did it, he took all of our daughter’s gifts –unwrapped- home to his house as she went home with me, there to wait two weeks for her to open them. He cited it was because HE hadn’t received in gift in 9 years.
    My kids have learned to not get excited about parties that fall on his time, and to expect not to be able to attend. It’s sad, but seems to work as a coping mechanism.
    Re: the time limit idea for response – that works, but I haven’t had it tested in court. Also, for birthday parties, I’ve also just copied in the parent who’s inviting and taken myself out of the mix entirely – then when he’s a jerk, they get to be witness. But then, if your ex can’t drive – he can’t take them there during his time anyway. Good luck… and no worries on venting – you’re human and you need to release the emotion to be healthy.

  10. Tina

    Thank you! Originally I was going to propose that he takes them to the party (his mom could drive) but I have since discovered that several people may be there who are not fans of his at all.

  11. Heather

    I don’t know how it will hold up in court. But I do know in mediation, if you keep the proof of his non-response to all your past attempts to co-ordinate logistics, a mediator would have no problems seeing it for what it is: an attempt to stop letting him control your life.

  12. Eva

    How frustrating. I am going through this now. NPD’s always wants to make sure that YOU follow agreements, but they never do? UGH! Such a joke!

  13. Eva

    Yes, on the time restriction idea! I have started doing that a few months ago. “If I do not get a response by…. I will take that to mean that you are in agreement.” I haven’t used it in court yet, but it sets a standard that #1 – you are ONLY looking for a response that relates to the question you asked & #2 it shows that we are actually working with them.

  14. Terryann

    My ex is not permitted to take our son for more than three nights in a row (per parenting plan). He has our son for his birthday this year and it happens to land on a Tuesday. Well, the “donor” conveniently requested that he have Bubs three nights AND his birthday which equate to four overnights. He has managed to manipulate our parenting coodinator into agreeing with this idiotic way of thinking. I know the real reason… he has made plans with his family the weekend prior and Godforbid he break those plans with his mom. Oh, I could go on and on….

  15. Heather

    I think I will vent this here: it seems somewhat applicable.

    I have not been to a dentist or had any sort of dental care since before our daughter was born 6 years ago. I went through a fairly hellacious pregnancy–morning sickness lasted about 10 weeks and I threw up 15 / 18 times a day, all day long. I am not even exaggerating. We kept track. I lost close to forty pounts. (Side note: Best diet ever!!)

    Part of our divorce (thank you no fault state) — I got the credit card debt for his root canal–$2500. Meanwhile, every time I tried to save up some money to get my cavities drilled (first cavities of my life), just as I was getting to the point of being able to go in and get a couple done, he would blow the rent money, etc. It never failed.

    I saw the dentist on Wed for the first time since the divorce. I have 4 cavities getting drilled next week, which will take care of my insurance for this year. And this is not even to save these teeth. This is so in Jan we can drill the teeth he can save–which will blow my dental insurance for 2013.

    Then in Jan 2014 I can go and get one of these 4 root canals done.

    Thank you no fault divorce. Now I am still paying on his root canal from 2 years ago–at credit card interest rate, and I have $6000 min worth of dental work for myself. All because every time I managed to scrape together $600; he went out and spent $1800.

    I could just scream–and no wonder–I have about 20 cavities in my head, 4 of which require complete re-builds just to buy time until I can afford the root canals.

    Meanwhile, every time I see my ex, he’s sporting new $200 tattoos and buying our daughter new toys every time I turn around.


    I think I am more bitter about the no fault portion than the divorce itself. At minimum he could have manned up and announced he’s spent the money and he would pay for it–instead I took an additional $1800 in debt that he racked up on his AFFAIR PARTNER.

    And the state refers to all the debt as marital asset.

    Asset my ass. Excuse my language, but no fault divorce punishes the responsible party and rewards irresponsible behavior. There is nothing in no fault divorce that resembles justice or mercy.

  16. Tina

    All I can say is that I am sending you huge hugs– I am so sorry. 🙁 That is horrible.

  17. Lovely Laura

    A strategy that works well for me is, if one of the children receives an invitation for an event during his parenting time, I simply forward the invitation to him and the parent doing the inviting and let them hash it out. This usually works, because he really likes to look like the good Dad, bringing his child to a birthday party. He also enjoys a few moments of socializing and sharing his wonderful self with others. And, my children get to attend the birthday parties. However, this does NOT work when the party is for a child, parent, and/or family whom my Narc Ex does not “like” or need. In that case, sadly, my children and those doing the inviting are out of luck. It’s a crazy world we live in.

  18. Tina

    I agree- that is what I used to do. It isn’t an option at this particular party however. In addition, he doesn’t have a driver’s license and can’t drive….due to a DUI/wet n reckless last October.

  19. Jennifer

    My ex uses the summer to control me using our daughter, from phone calls to parties to family events. This summer he wanted the first half of the summer and it was so ordered. I had the fourth of July however. Six days during the week of a holiday I am supposed to have. She was with him from June 8 to June 30 then from July 6 to July 22. 38 days. I had June 30 to July 6 and July 22 to August 19. 33 days. I do not get what part of one half of the summer break he does not understand. And to top it off, he has filed a denial of parenting time motion against me. WHILE HE HAD HER!!!! In fact he forced her to sit with him at the courthouse for two hours while he filed the paperwork.

    And our child has only attended one birthday party and for that digression I was taken to court and found in contempt and told by the judge that children do not run the show, adults do. This all because my daughter does not want him taking her to these parties and she wanted to go. I offered several alternatives and he refused all of them. Our child who was weeks away from 10 decided she did not care and that she was going to the birthday party whether he liked it or not. I have been to court over 10 times in the last 8 months. Three contempt, four RO hearings, and numerous DCF hearings from his lack of parenting skills (he lost our marital home which he got in the divorce – it was a mobile home, so he wrapped the porch in tin and tarps, and our child had to stay there). But even that managed to get twisted onto me.

    And I am almost a decade into this, our daughter is almost 11.

Comments are closed.