Educating yourself on Narcissism or divorcing a narcissist is the single most important thing that you can do.  Knowledge is power and you need to stay two steps ahead at all times.  Predicting the patterns and attacks should be your first line of defense.  By predicting what is coming next, you are able to remove the “shock value” from the narcissistic attack.

With this said, an EQUALLY important reminder is to listen to your intuition. Feeling overwhelmed by the knowledge you are soaking up? This is your sign to slow down and pace yourself. Consider scheduling blocks of time to research — maybe your maximum is three hours per week? There is a fine line between consuming educational material and BEING consumed by educational material. Pace yourself.


Web Resources:

Helpful Articles:


Video Clips:



One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.

History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.

Tina Swithin: Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat.  Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.



  1. Tina, thank you for including my story on your list. I have a book to recommend related to NPD: “Dangerous liaisons: How to recognize and escape from psychopathic seductions” by Claudia Moscovici. It’s available on Amazon. I just started reading it after following her blog for a while.

  2. Dawn

    I am relieved to know that I am not alone and I truly appreciate your blog. Nobody knows what it feels like to go through and have to co-parent with someone who LOVES high conflict and is narcissistic. We have been divorced almost 2 years and I’m finding myself being pulled into court because he wants more time….all he wants is reduced child support. He lies about where he sleeps, she sleeps, let my daughter go out of state without informing me or going himself, his utilities were shut off without informing me, referred to his daughter as “white trash” and looking like a “down syndrome” child due to a hair cut she had….she got bangs! I will always fight for my daughter and she wants to be with me!!!!!

  3. Tina

    Dawn- I know the feeling. If you can believe it (I’m sure you can), my X actually did a PROFIT AND LOSS Statement on our daughters. He submitted this to court. If that wasn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is.

    Can you buy her a cell phone with GPS tracking? I got ours for $79 and it costs me $25 per month– unlimited tracking.

  4. cindy

    Hi – I desperately need to find an attorney in Contra Costa – my husband decided on our then 8 yr old little girl’s BD party at a bowling alley that he wanted a divorce and tried to discuss it with me at the party! He got some stuff and the truck and went to his cousins home. By Friday I had a letter on my kitchen counter from his “collaborative divorce attorney” introducing himself. The letter had already been opened. My husband had been in the house and opened it. The term “collaborative” means you have to have a discussion and there was no discussion. My husband said “it was a done deal.” The following week, I filed papers for a legal separation, hoping to buy time to figure things out. I actually had to put the papers and a check in the drop box because I was late for the day. The next day, I thought I made a mistake and went to get the papers to correct them – they had already been filed. The clerk told me my husband had not filed yet! He lied (big surprise). When he was served the papers, he jumped up and down like a little kid and had a fit because he wanted to keep it out of court and said I “ruined it”. Then I spoke with his “collaboarative divorce attorney” who referred me to another “collaboarative divorce attorney.” He had lied to his divorce attorney. Did not tell the attorney about our oldest childs problems with Add or the youngest child’s developmental delays and special needs. He did not tell his attorney about my struggles to work full time since I had 2 head injuries and chronic fatigue syndrome. My husband would tell me that he was paying for the youngest child’s day care because I wouldn’t get up in the morning. (I work 10 – 6:30 and sometimes 7:30). SO I got my own attorney. We paid for child therapists (Which I had already paid for iver the years already) We paid for a neuropsych report for me because of my head injuries to determine what sort of help and support I would need. We paid for collaborative divorce therapists. They did virtually nothing to help me. Just ran me into debt. They did not help enforce the stipulations that were submitted to the courts for temporary support. They did not enforce anything upon my husband to move his stuff out of the house, pay for yard help. Pay for extra tutoring for the kids or extra OT for the youngest. I had to pay it and ran up 40,000 in credit card bills. He did a bunch of scary stuff with refinancing and taking cash out on our homes and buying himself a “foreclosure” condo. Then I had no choice but to request that he move back in, rent out his condo so that I could pay off these debts. He did not want my bankruptcy or a foreclosure on his pretty picture. SO he moved back in and when my debts were paid off, instead of moving back into the condo he rented out, HE BOUGHT ANOTHER FORECLOSURE CONDO ( he keeps racking up more mortgages and thinking he is going to be some sort of real estate magnate) He has mostly denied the oldest child’s ADD and did not make sure she took her meds or saw her therapist. He convinced her I was trying to poison her. She was living with him because he said he was better at getting her to comply than I was and that I “abused her”. This year – due to lack of social skills training and inability to concentrate and organize, she went into depression and was hospitalized with suicidal thoughts. Right after she got out of the hospital, he lets his GF move into the townhouse with them. The GF has no job and 5 DUI’s. They sit around and drink etc. and she has lower life forms for friends. My husband is a well educated person but all his friends are lesser educated than he is and think he is really smart. I am better educated than he is and when I wouldn’t feed his ego any more. that was when things went bad. When we had the second child with developmental delays and she was always sick and needed so much help. he didn’t get his narcicistic “fix” off me anymore and started spending every night out drinking with lowlive’s. Came home several nights and I found him peeing in the kitchen sink. Of course he denies this.
    He makes deals with my live in child care person who was an au pair but who is now here on a foreign student VISA. She does things like takes the younger one to his house without my knowing about it ( but I find out). As soon as the older daughter can get a driver’s license I will fire her. -Older daughter is 16 1/2 but dad won’t pay for driver’s training (another control issue) So I am going to pay for it and try to get her the 50 hours with me or someone else so in 6 months she can get a license. Once I fire the foreign student I have better child care for the younger child. But the older child has no way to get around without driving. Then she can also move back with me if she wants to.
    Oh yes – the house that I and the youngest child were living in and the student were living in caught on fire in February. The house is in both myself and my husband’s name, but the mortgage is in his name because he was able to refinance it under his name alone. He has not helped me at all with doing the inventory, dealing with the insurance company, hiring an architect or and engineer and has not paid one dime out of pocket or taken one day off work to help in the recovery process. Yet when the insurance company released a 10,000 advance on our personal property insurance, he took it all. At first he said to bring him my receipts and he would reimburse me. But that didn’t happen. I had to ask the insurance company for anither advance for myself. I did not see a penney of the initial advance, even though my husband did not live in the house, had his townhouse where he was living and had very few possession at the house that was burned. The insurance company knows this because when the house was inventoried there were very few items of men’s clothing anywhere in the house. And he always told me he didn’t want any of “that stuff”. “DOn’t give it to him and don’t bring it to the townhouse.” I even tried to bring my daughter a desk but he wouldn’t let me.
    Then, he submitted receipts for out of pocket living expenses to the insurance to be reimbursed for expenses he had for loss of housing after the fire. BUT HE DIDN’t live there. He denies having lied. He tried to get me to take a contractor that would fix the house cheap and put “money back in his pocket”. I keep a log of all of this. Luckily I have a friend who is an honest contractor to do the work. I am now trying to get a special needs trust written for the youngest daughter. I am afraid he won’t comply. I need an attorney who will take over the “collaborative divorce procees and be prepared to litigate.
    Oh yes, he had a key to my home and would come and go as he pleased. The day of the fire, he went and took the keys off the desk in my house and took my truck saying “he needed to borrow it.” He did not ask to borrow it. He just took it. He was the last person at my desk. The fire supposedly started somewhere in the vicinity.
    My older daughter left her key to his townhouse somewhere in my car after I took her to a therapist appointment. She was freaked out about losing her key and not being able to get back into the townhouse. Husband calls me and asks to meet me where I live to get the key. I said NO – I didn’t know what time I would get off work – I would bring the key to him. When I get off work and go home – he is sitting in his car in front of my house. So I drive away. I had to get a key copied for the architect anyway, so I decided to get daughter another copy of her key in case she really does lose it. I drive to hme dpt. I am in the process of paying for the keys when he comes up behind me and takes A key off the counter and says “that’s my key” Then he says to the employeess – did you see what she did? she copied my Key!!” (Note – my name is also on the tittle to that townhouse. I do not go in and out as I please) He demanded the original key back. I said No – I will keep it for the daughter. He follows me to my car. Blocks me from getting into the car. Goes around the other side. I get into my car and he opens the passenger side of the car and pries my fingers open and takes the key. Then I go to the emergency room and report it. I tell him he seriously hurt my fingers . He says HE didn’t hurt my fingers – that I hurt my own fingers!!!He lies about going to the daughter’s therapist appointments. He lies about where he brings them. He brags about paying to bring them to family camp but complains if I want him to pay for better childcare for the younger child with special needs. This man is seriously ill.
    Please – if anyone can reccomend a good attorney in CC county. Please let me know. My own atty retired in June.

  5. Thomas

    Mother’s are not the only ones being done wrong by the family court system. My ex was clinically diagnosed with Narcissistic personality and controlling personality. The friend of the court in Huron County, Michigan favored with m ex. The FOC nevered interviewed my references, not only that the investigator’s wife worked with my ex mother. The report the court used was onesided, and not in my favor. I was a stay at home dad, and worked part time as an instructor at a college. Her occupation is a clinical therapist. The sad thing is the guy she cheated with has more access to my son then me as a father. I have never hurt my son or her. I was a great father and husband, but because of her personality disorders, my son has been through enough in his short life to go thru this. My son spent his first 40 days of his life fighting for his life.

  6. Nicki

    I have been divorced for about a year although we were separated for 3 years prior. My ex filed claims of physical abuse that had no basis, he put me through absolute in total hell…accusing me of drug abuse so I was getting drug tested for a year and it was never an issue and come to find out that during that time I should have asked he be tested but it never occurred to me. I endured supervised visits and instances where my older son called me crying and saying his father shoved him down on the couch after getting right up in his face and that his grandmother and father told him to be quiet or the Social Worker would hear because he was coming by. My son called me and I told him to go upstairs and talk to the man and he was scared. I took him to the office like he reqeuested the next day and he had a private meeting with the worker. THe worker called me in privately and said if he reported what his father had done they would take the kids into foster care. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid he was right and so I just kept riding it out and I refused to attack him like he was me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to fight. It just …I’m not that person who is going to go for someone’s throat to retaliate. I didn’t know what to do. My parents died a long time ago, everyone I know kept telling me to accept that I can’t change him or what he does when he has them. Ok. But I know this isn’t right. He went after me in the divorce like I had actually done something horrible and not asked him to move out when he threw a beer bottle at my head withe the kids standing there. He’s a bully who accused me of trying to keep the kids from him and then did everything from blocking my cell so they couldn’t call me to violating the court order when I requested a daily phone call. The courts didn’t do anything about that. There was no consequence or when he took them out of state last summmer without my written permission and then did it again this year during my time with the kids but its hard to prove because I get a 4 week block and he takes advantage of anything that isn’t pinned down with dates. Our older son is having some very complicated issues that he is dealing with that I just can’t explain in a public forum. I requeseted the court room closed at the last hearing and the judge granted it given the circumstances and after hearing everything he ordered 3 counselling sessions which again weren’t pinned down to when they had to occur and aren’t. The judge even cautioned him not to take this all lightly and to be very careful because 14 year olds are killing themselves over less than this. He says he’s tired of trying with his father. My younger son told his father that he doesn’t like the new gf who became the wife a few weeks ago. I was unrepresented for most of the proceedings and then underrepresented for the rest and she had a history with my ex’s attorney and didn’t really handle anything well. He got everything of value in the divorce, financially, custody, everything. I have read about Hostile Aggressive Parenting and Narcissism and he is the picture of HAP not the extreme cases but its chilling how dead on it is. The Narcissism explains so very many things. I don’t know what to do. His wife’s parents bought them the house they live in and financially are far far far better off than mine. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I have to accept is he will never be the father I thought he was and that it’s possible that if the kids can’t be with me it would be better for them not to be there regardless. My baby, my 11 yr old is depressed. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s told me his friends have asked when he’s so glum. He’s 11. This isn’t right. I would appreciate any referral for anything that might help in the Southern CA, Torrance/San Pedro area. Right now I am looking for another single mother or some situation that I could share expenses with and have the kids at least half the time..right now the custody order is like 60/40 but its so complicated its ridiculous. Its like every other weekend and then every thursday and then every other tuesday on the tuesday following the weekends that weren’t mine. Theres more but its so complex the kids have a difficult time with it. Anyway, I would appreciate any referrals for any of that. Thanks.

  7. Jenny

    I am going through a nightmare right now. My X N can’t drive to get kids because of legal problems. So he sent his 23 year old girlfriend (he is 38). Perfect prey for an N!!!
    He has her so brainwashed already. She drove over 7 hours to get my kids and I have never met her. My X gave her my cell phone and she had sent me over 20 texts telling me what a miserable person and horrible mom for punishing “the man she loves”…..he has found her weak spot and attached! I can’t get her to stop saying mean things about me despite me asking her nicely. The court order and my attorney say dad is to be present at exchanges and he wasn’t and now they are attacking me. This is horrible, I feel so sorry for this young girl. What do I do, change my number, try to help her or file a restraining order?!?! This is completely insane!!!

  8. Jenny

    HELP: the PC wants to meet with me my ex and his new 15 year younger girlfriend …..and my kid. I am fearful that the x and his GF are going to make this a bash session on me. Should I take my mom as witness since she had seen all and known situation since beginning. I just don’t see how this is fair to have this girl present who by the way has sent me 26 text messages in less than 10 hours. He has used his powers to attach to her weakness and draw her in! Suggestions for a scared mom?!?!

  9. Jenny

    I am so glad to have stumbled on this support group. I think about the battles we face at the hands of these Ns each day!! I pray for all of us! I want to let you know Tina that I would be glad to speak to you via phone or email about my situation. As many of my close friends have said to me “you just can’t make this stuff up”. I want to make my situation know and how tragic some if the first court hearings were. It was completely unreal. I have kept a journal for over four years and at least five boxes if court documents. I will help in anyway I can to get the word out about this devastating disorder! Let me know if I can help you in anyway! You are an amazing woman……we all are for staying strong!

  10. Winnie

    I do not know of any attorneys in CC county, but I have heard of an attorney in Santa Clara County. Her name is Robin Yeamans. Contact her and hopefully she can provide you with the help you need or refer you to an skilled attorney in your attorney. Robin’s number is 408-867-8137. Good luck!

  11. J

    In court the X submitted a 15 page document that showed how he thought he was paying $2 too much per week in child support that is $104 per year. When my attorney said that he doesn’t even meet the 20% rule (??). My ex responded that “I just want to set the precedent that I am willing to pay more for my children”. Really, you want credit for $1 per kid per week?!?!

    This is just one small example of the things he does on a daily basis. JEEZ

  12. Jenny

    Tina I just saw that you nicknamed your ex a Greek name. My X calls himself Adonis! What a joke! Ladies I did what you suggested about getting my kids a phone that can travel with them. My ex took it and turned it off. He won’t answer three phones or let me talk to my kids unless he monitors the call. As soon as he doesn’t like something I have said he hangs up! I feel like I am losing my kids. I just want this over!!!

  13. Car

    Thanks, Tina, Your blog is very helpful. Do you have any tips for me? My divorce was finalized last year, but the judge awarded primary physical custody to my X (in spite of his DUI arrest/conviction; domestic abuse and blatant financial exploitation). She is not well cared for and I have real concerns about her mental/physical welfare. I am afraid of my X, too, so have to be so careful about how I proceed with trying to overturn the judge’s ruling. I appreciate you maintaining the blog and look forward to reading your book.

  14. Tina

    Keep documenting everything– everything! How often do you have her?

  15. Car

    I have her during the summer and partial holidays. We talk/Skype every other day and e-mail, too. I had been a SAHM and a school/community volunteer for 8 years, until the divorce proceedings. In spite of this, the judge’s initial ruling had 4-5 month lapses between visits. I had to appeal that, and now get a few long weekends throughout the year. If 60 days go by without a visit, I am able to travel, rent a hotel and a car, to see her. All while paying child support and trying to revive my fledgling career. We live 400 miles apart. While still married, we relocated to a small town when my X accepted a job. I was willing to do this because he had not worked, or contributed to the bills, for 6 years (in spite of his far superior education). Thanks. I appreciate the blog very much!

  16. Happy

    I am so glad my mom found your blog which lead me to your new book. It is so freeing and a relief to know that someone else understands exactly what we deal with when dealing with a narcisstic spouse. I always felt no one would believe me of who my ex-husband really was because they are so good at what they do with the lies and manipulation. Now that I understand his personality disorder, it all makes sense! I’m not crazy. Also now that I am aware, I didn’t realize there were so many narcisstics out there.
    I read your book and found that it was amazing to have the same issues with emails, texts, etc and just how much they are all alike. It was like my ex wrote parts of those emails! I am thankful that my kids are older & I have full custody. My oldest has an eating disorder & if you understand those mental illnesses, eating disorders are a reaction to the families dysfunction & other trauma in their life. Those women or men who are in a relationship or marriage with a narcisstic, it is not better for the kids to stay! Get out! No reaction and no emotion is perfect advice. Never lash back- it just fuels their fire & makes them happy. I pray for all those out there trying to decide to divorce a narcisstic or in the midst of doing so. Be strong. You are worthy of a peaceful, loving & blessed life.

  17. karen

    I cannot put into words the relief I felt when i stumbled across this website. I was actually about to start a blog divorcing the devil, because while I knew he was a narcissist, I had no idea I wasnt alone. reading the article The Narcissistic family portrait sent shivers down my spine, My life for 15 years!!!!Reading all your stories both frightens me and inspires me. I can rise above the drama and come out the other end and I can get my kids to safe and healthy place, although his daily efforts to destroy and win at all costs are overwhelming. Wow thank you so much for putting your stories out here to help others. Thank you thank you thank you

  18. Tina

    Welcome! There are a lot of us here! 🙂

  19. Rebecca

    Thank you so much for your book Tina….I just discovered it recently attached to a divorce website. I’m almost finished it and it’s so nice to know there are others out there facing the same hurdles. Eventually whenever our ‘divorce dust’ settles I want to write you my story. For now, I will mention that like you I decided to leave my marriage because it was a pretend marriage….there was no love and Dad was not an active parent. I was naive enough to think that if we were apart we would be able to parent more cooperatively.
    Our decision to divorce was made December 2008. I finally moved out of our matrimonial home about 1 year later (I had been trying to secure a rental property for myself and our two kids – it was difficult – he had destroyed my credit). Up until that point I had endured numerous put downs and insults in front of the kids. I attempted suicide to escape his ‘rants’. Once I moved out, the emails began, the texting….all long and full of lies.
    He has delayed all legal negotiations and we are still no closer to having a parenting agreement let alone a divorce. We recently completed custody mediation. So far he has broken most of our resolutions. The worst is my children have been turned against me.
    I could go on and on. We had both agreed to a peaceful amicable separation and I have since discovered the real person I married.
    Thank you for listening.

  20. Monique

    My daughter is 6 years old and I am going through the same thing with her biological father (who wanted nothing to do with me when I fell pregnant and asked me to get an abortion). He has meanwhile claimed his rights (in South Africa unwed fathers have the same rights as married fathers). He pays a minimal amount of child support. He criticises, attacks, undermines, projects and is making my life hell. He even went as far as accusing my fiance (who has been raising my daughter since she was 1) of physical abuse because our little one gets bruised so easily. He also switched off the phone I gave her when they went away over the Easter weekend. He told our little girl that she is overweight, and that we should stop lying to her by telling her she is perfect. The list of nastiness goes on and on. His charm and education are a perfect mask so no one believes me.

  21. becca

    Please add this book to your list of resources. After 22 years I am divorcing my narcissist. Both my lawyer and I are reading and using the book “Splitting: protecting yourself while divorcing someone with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder” It makes for scary reading, but you will be better prepared for all the craziness you are bound to encounter.
    The emails I receive from the narcissist read so much like the ones you decoded, I had to laugh out loud.
    So many of our stories have the same plot twists it is mind boggling. I have also found great help on Melanie Tonia Evans blog.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

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