This is a book written by a mother of children, now divorced from her husband. The book begins with the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Version 5 (DSM-V). The author describes the book based on her experiences, but refers to the American Psychiatric Association and the professional writings she cites. The book is presented as a combination of memoirs and a manual for other parents in your situation. Talk about having achieved peace and emotional freedom. However, a few paragraphs later he refers to “my ex (the bastard)” Hmmm.
The author describes narcissists and their characteristics. She relates most of them to her experience and observations of her ex-husband’s behavior. It was not clear to me to what extent the narcissistic characteristics she refers to relate to professional writing or strictly to her own experience of her ex-husband.
The author describes narcissistic traits related to the DSM-V criteria related to professional writing and her own experience. She talks about her experiences and observations in a conversational way that I found easy to follow and understand.
She looks at the early family influences that set the stage for the development of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. She makes it clear that this condition is not a choice that people make for themselves. It is a condition that tends to run in families and can be at least partially genetic.
The book goes on to describe the difficulties of detaching from a narcissistic spouse who is not negotiating honestly. The author describes how these people try to manipulate the authorities, the courts and even his former spouse’s family for their benefit. Trying to negotiate with such a person is often a lost proposition.
Balancing and coordinating the time each spouse has with the children can also be difficult, and you may need the help of attorneys and courts to keep arrangements under control. The author presents a long list of potential co-parenting problems in detail and suggests specific approaches to managing each of them.
Issues indicating the appropriateness of therapy for children caught up in divorce and post-divorce struggles are also discussed. Therapy is considered “critical to the success of co-parenting,” among other supports, but it does not explain how therapy could be helpful to parents.
The author addresses a wide variety of problems that can arise when managing co-parenting with a narcissist. It also provides specific recommendations for handling each of these problems. She addresses complex difficulties involving relatives and how they can be manipulated by narcissistic ex-spouses.
She ends up emphasizing the need for self-care. It also emphasizes taking the time and making the effort to recover from the trauma of being married to a narcissistic spouse or being one’s former spouse, especially when children are involved. Although all of these topics might suggest the help of a therapist, the author does not specifically address how a therapist might help with this process. However, it does look at an extensive list of actions that an individual could take to recover from this series of difficult situations.
The author suggests that the best way to handle these difficulties is not to get involved in a relationship with a narcissist. I fully agree with this conclusion. However, narcissists can be very seductive and present a false facade for a time. If you find yourself in this situation, this book could provide you with a helpful roadmap through the narcissistic jungle.