Divorcing a Narcissist: The Mask of the Doting Father

It’s somewhat ironic that masks scare me given the fact that I spent almost ten years with a Narcissist who chose a new mask each day.  It is also no wonder that it took me so long to figure out what I was dealing with.  As soon as I thought I understood him, he would put on a new mask.  Being married to or divorcing a Narcissist is like being stuck in a horrible, dark theatrical performance that no one can understand despite how hard you try to explain it to them.

I’ve been home all week with a sick little girl.  My youngest daughter contracted a virus called ‘Hand Foot Mouth’ virus and we’ve had a rough time over the past five days.  I notified my X about the virus as this was his visitation weekend.  There is a small child who lives in his family’s house so he opted to cancel visitation yesterday and I was thankful for that.

He immediately put on the “doting dad” mask.  He needed to pretend to play the loving, caring father because he was cc’ing our daughters’ attorney on each email.  He needed an audience for his grand performance.  Being that he thinks he is a doctor (Reality check #1: he sells medical supplies.  He is a salesman), he began sending pages of information about the virus from the Mayo Clinic. I responded to him by stating that I am in communication with her doctor and have things under control to which he replied, “Please let me know how (Daughter) is doing? Hand, foot and mouth can be very, very serious for infants. Best regards, The X”

Reality Check #2: Our daughter is five years old.  She isn’t an infant.  Maybe he missed a few years? This confusion may explain why he recently bragged in court about signing up for a series of parenting classes.  One class was called, “Raising your spirited 2-year old”.  Very interesting and admirable but our daughters are 5 and 7 years old.  Maybe he is trying to catch up and start from the beginning?  Who knows –it does look good on paper and that is what matters, right?

This is the same man who hasn’t bothered to visit our daughter in the hospital after any of her seizures since 2009 despite being notified each time.  On one occasion he pretended to be working and was unable to leave his sales appointment.  His Facebook account showed that he was watching a sporting event near his home.

Anyone else want a refund to the theatrical play called, “The Narcissistic Doting Father“?

“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. Kerri

    Please! May I have that refund?

    My ex is one who finds any female he can on dating sites and moves them in within weeks of meeting them. Each has told me the same story, just different starring actresses. Inside the house, these “new mommies” take care of our child, dressing, feeding, bathing, giving breathing treatments and meds or playing and keeping him out of ex’s way so he can play video games or answer “volunteer” fire calls so he can post pictures of how “he saved a perfect strangers life” No one has been in a home since I’ve known him needing to be saved.::eye roll::
    But while in public he’s the all powerful doting daddy and if our child reaches for his “new mommy” and starts fussing or crying because he can’t get to her, the ex finds something to blame her for.
    The pictures he posts of him and our child on these dating sites are sickening, because those of us closest knows its all for show and he could care less.
    So please may I have my refund I don’t even understand the play 80% of the time! HA!

  2. I would love that refund.

    My BPD ex just stole $600+ from my Emergency Savings account. He is taking our daughter to Mall of America this weekend.

    Been all over the friends – vine. He’s eager to make sure everyone knows.

    Of course, the fact he is using stolen money intended to pay housing & groceries for his little girl? Not so eager to share that detail with all the friends.

    After the innocence, time, and sanity he has stolen from me, I wouldn’t even care about the money if it didn’t represent 100% of what I had between me & the wolves at the door.

    And he’s the one who set the ‘wolves’ on me in the first place.

    But naturally, f*cktard is just more interested in how it looks than anything resembling reality.

    And we all know they are soo charasmatic he can spin just enough gray to make most people say, “I don’t want to pass judgement.”

    Sometimes, I just wanna yell at people, “Why the fuck not?” (‘Scuse the language.)

    There’s a difference between walking a mile before judging someone, and using it as a cop out to stay out of it when someone is doing really crappy shit to other human beings.

  3. M.

    I am sorry to her about your daughter. I will be praying. I am going to have to flip a coin on the refund. On the one hand the show stinks, on the other hand I get to see how I am not INSANE or PSYCHOTIC. By that I do not mean that I set my sanity meter by the Ns standard, what I mean is that it is always very refreshing to me that their behavior reminds me of how fairly normal I am! So in that regard, maybe a partial refund:).

  4. Tina

    I have mixed feelings on the dating thing as I haven’t had to experience it yet. I know that he dates but so far no one has stayed around long enough to meet my daughters. This gives me hope that there are women who aren’t falling for his act.

  5. Tina

    Oh Heather- the stealing is bad enough. The aftermath (the facade, the trip to Mall, etc)…that is pouring salt into a wound. I am so sorry 🙁

  6. Tina

    Love it! You made me laugh 🙂 So true!

  7. M, you also gave me a badly needed laugh.

    I had actually been starting to question if it was really as bad as I remembered, when he stole the money.

    So in that sense at least, it gave me yet another reminder that I am not crazy.

    A friend recently had to explain to me that sex is not supposed to leave bruises on a regular basis.

    So I guess that means he crossed into physical abuse even before we married.

    I can’t remember a time–even before our daughter was born–that I wasn’t sporting at least one fairly ugly black & blue somewhere that would not be noticable unless I was not wearing clothes suitable to be out in public.

    The revelations just keep coming.

    They really are psychotic in laymen’s terms, and in BPD’s case, also in mental health terms.

    Its really disturbing.

  8. Mom2Mom

    Tina, this is one of those times when I read something that I could have written myself. But instead of your daughter’s attorney, I’d write parenting coordinator. And oh, I am sure he BCC’s his attorney, who he runs to for the minutest thing. And you are absolutely right, “it does look good on paper and that is what matters” is the only explanation for this over-the-top show of concern and involvement.Because that’s what he used it for, and I am sure he continues to do….an EVIDENCE in court.
    He received a standing ovation from the Judge and his attorneys for his grand performance, which has him wanting to go back to court for every single lie he continues to web.

    I don’t just want a refund. I want compensation as well.

  9. D.

    Interesting….my ex still acts as though our twins are three years old. After the protection order he was only allowed to see them for two hours with supervised visitation which was later stopped all together. During one of his visits he brought the girls gifts that were fit for a toddler or pre schooler. At the time they were 10 and a half. The girls brought them home, asked me if he thought they were two, and threw all the items in a yard sale pile as we were having one the next month.

    In all the court documents my ex is demanding who is going to babysit the girls when I am not home. Well, that’s kind of hard to answer since one is wanting to take the Red Cross babysitting class so she can babysit next summer. They are now almost 12. Hello? Is he totally nuts???

    I have a theory that since the narcissist sides of them do not see others as human beings, that they cannot imagine them growing up. They were just a toy to him when they were born and toys don’t grow up. They are nothing more than an object.

    And yes, I would love a refund and compensation as well for all the acts. Last summer after we split when the twins were about to start school, he gave them each a target gift card for their school supplies and clothes in front of the visitation supervisor without mentioning how much was on them. Guess how much was on the two cards for each of them? Ten dollars each! Wow, that got their crayons and a couple of notebooks. It didn’t hardly cover the clothes and other things needed. They do love to put on a show.

  10. Kerri

    Hopefully you won’t have to. Mine is consistent with bringing them in, they get wise and leave. I believe the longest one has lasted is 4 months. 4 in the last year, that I know of. And each has been called mommy by the ex and each has said no causing the mask to come off, because he wants me to disappear. 1 was a cops ex wife another a social worker, another a teacher and another a Private Investigator. I see the pattern here, others call me paranoid.

  11. rasp

    last nite i watched x on a podcast with his girlfriend ( 12 years his minor) singing drinking and smoking on stage. a dagger to my heart . he took her to key west never once in twelve years together did he ever take me or our children anywhere and she is recieving gifts and fancy trips . it is heartbreaking. the kids were supposed to go with him but he refused to give me info so i did not let them go . he will certainly file suit against me .
    but i feel pathetic , missing him while he has found someone better.
    i never went to his shows and she is friends with all his friends ( she works at a local club where he plays ) everyone in our city just thinks i am a crazy jealous witch and i am starting to believe they are right?

  12. sue ds

    Hi Tina,
    I lol’d when you said ‘he thinks he’s a doctor’, my x is a chiropractor so he thinks he’s smarter than a neurologist (every other doctor also) who treats our son for a chronic tic disorder. Earlier this year before R had an MRI the x “had a dr to dr talk” with the neurologist. (He wants R off the medicine which has totally turned his behavior around.) ANYWAYS, when I called and talked to the real dr’s aide and told her what he said she laughed really long and said “Not really a doctor to doctor talk…more like parent to doctor!” It’s amazing how NPD’s portray themselves to us and others as such great people, yet inside they cannot stand themselves. Crazy, huh? (no pun intended)

  13. Tina

    That is funny. My X had a local chiropractor write a statement for him and cited several times that he regularly interacts with a doctor who will attest to his mental healthy and stability. Reality check- he can attest to whether or not his spine is aligned– not his BRAIN. 😉

  14. Tina

    I am so sorry. I have different feelings because I was never (ever) physically attracted to my X — I want to rush out and warn these poor women but stop myself at the thought that someone would think that I am jealous. I do know the frustration that comes from seeing him spend money on women during the times I am struggling to buy school clothing for my daughters. Be strong. Remember the bad times whenever you have those feelings. Remember that the women will see through him just like you did. (((HUGS)))

  15. Tina

    I agree- mine isn’t very good in the long-term facade because he is so socially awkward. He also drinks heavily so it only takes once or twice of drunk behavior before people run screaming.

  16. A

    My STBX narc puts on a show for the kid’s therapists – my two kids each see a therapist in the same practice, let’s call them L and S. L has called the STBX a narc on several occasions when talking to me, but S seems completely under his spell. I look like the crazy one to her, I believe by the reactions she gives me to things. I spent time explaining to her that the STBX had allowed our 10 year old child to make a Facebook page, which both knew was against my wishes and the min age rules set by Facebook. So, aside from setting him up on social media at an age with anything could happen because he is too young to understand, the STBX also showed him how to lie about his age to make the page. A perfect version of “The rules don’t apply to me or you.” Therapist S was very ambivalent, pointing out that it is the first of many battles, such as curfew times, etc. I am not quite sure that she even believed my story. Anyway, my point is that the mask fools even qualified mental health professionals. It’s very frustrating for me because my shame kept me from speaking up about my marriage to a narc. I am finding my voice again only to not be believed. The stories are just too sensational for the average person to grasp as truth.

  17. A

    I forgot to say the the STBX comes to all the therapy appointments and has private time with the therapists, mostly to annoy me. He also calls them at separate times and has one on one conversations. Basically, he is trying to work his magic should we ever need their files in court.

  18. A good therapist will see through that.

    My daughter’s therapist has told me that when my BPD Ex contacts her with questions or sits down with her with concerns, all of his questions are really focused on himself, not on our daughter.

    He makes a great show, but it’s all “look at what a great father I am”. It’s pretty transparent.

    Just keep focusing on now, and what you can do, and let go of what you cannot do.

    I know that’s a lot easier to say than it is to do, but that is also something that will makes its way into the therapists’ files.

    My big goal through all of this is to raise our daughter up to be an average, happy healthy kid–occassionally talks back, sometimes forgets the rules, has the random (age appropriate) temper tantrum. As long as she also has a good heart, and age appropriate manners, I’m fine with her not sticking out in a crowd of peers every single time.

    It means I’ve done my job of helping her to be her, rather than his grandiose, live-out-my-dreams through my child, mind wack.

  19. Wow. I have so been tempted to write a post on this and then I find yours! My ex is absolutely a narcissist, right down to the “doting,caring” emails he sends on a regular basis – of course BCC’d to his lawyer. On paper he looks like a saint and as he is very charming in real life, it is VERY difficult for anyone to see through him, professional or not.
    Regularly I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle due to this.

  20. My son had mono for FIVE MONTHS. He missed over 50 days of school. Every week, the ex would call, not to check on our ailing child, but to say, “Is he going to play baseball this week?” Um, no. He can’t raise his head off of the pillow. He can’t go to school. I have no intention of putting him in a uniform and sending him onto the field for you to cheer and look like Super Dad. But, hey, thanks for asking.

  21. rasp

    AMEN that is all i can say to that ….. my ex loved masks and collected them … should have been a clue huh ? my son had pnuemonia and his dad didnt check on him but then calle from a bar and didnt like how the kids talked to him so i heard an earful about how i need to make them speak with him properly

Comments are closed.