Solving a Mystery

This morning I was getting ready to put the finishing touches on a  post about boundaries.  I’d been convinced that things were going well with Mark because we had put some boundaries in place that protected us from hurts, while allowing for a modicum of a relationship with Mark.

He has been quite pleasant.

In the back of my mind, I’d been wondering if it’s really about boundaries.

Everything I’ve read about narcissists would indicate that a narcissist doesn’t respect boundaries.  A narcissist goes through life looking for a source.  Boundaries be damned.  A narcissist doesn’t respect the needs of others, therefore, it would stand to reason that a narcissist would completely ignore any boundaries that a source might set.

I wanted to be able to explain this turn of events.

Could it be that we persevered long enough, and got to a point where we could actually speak the same language?

Did I get through to him on that morning of the three-hour conversation?

Was I able to find a tiny spot in his heart that was reserved for his kids?  Was I able to plead to any decency that he might have?  Was it possible to make him understand that restricting visits was good for the health of his kids?

He completely backed off.

We hardly heard the mopey voice.

He didn’t make demands to see Will and Jenny.

He showered them with way too many gifts at Christmas.

And he has been pleasant with me, as well.  He acknowledges me when he comes to see the kids.  He asks if I’m still fighting a cold.  Hell, he didn’t do that when we were married?

The other day, I went out on a limb and teased him, and he laughed.

Was this a Christmas miracle?

Do I have some insight on how to deal with a narcissist?

Is there a rosy future ahead for all of us?


Not two minutes ago, Will told me that they had to rush back from skiing yesterday.  He’d gone for the day with Mark.

Will had asked his dad, “Who are you sending all the texts to?”   Mark answered with a woman’s name.

“Dad, whose mittens are those, in the back of your car?”

Mark answered with the same woman’s name.


Mystery solved.



I have been saying – from the moment I discovered NPD – that if Mark had another source, we’d be off the hook.


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  1. Fabulous!!!

  2. Annie!

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Shout it from the rooftops!!!

    p.s. I considered typing more exclamation points, but I think you get my drift.

  3. This is wonderful news! This may be a real turning point for everybody (fingers crossed). My ex has been acting nice ever since we separated 8 months ago. I thought things would change when I told him, last week, that I recently started seeing somebody. But things didn’t change. He is still acting nice. All I have to do is treat him like a friend, and keep conversation on a superficial level when he drops in to see the kids. And when I told him I was seeing somebody, I did it in such a way so that it appeared my first concern was maintaining a friendly relationship with him.

    He has had his mother as a source of narcissistic supply since we separated so maybe his contact with her has kept him civil.

    Whatever the cause, I am thankful every day that I was able to get out of a marriage with a text book narcissist and somehow escape his wrath at the same time! I don’t take it for granted and I am always cognisant of how to avoid any narcissistic injury that could trigger his contempt.

  4. Reese,

    Yes, fingers and toes are crossed.

    I marvel at how you’ve managed to basically out-smart your ex.

    I bow to you, Reese.

    And I’m so glad things are going well for you, with your new friend, and for your kiddos.

  5. Wonderful news! Have you figured out who his new victim is? On the one hand, someone should warn her. On the other hand, just like there are battered women who stay in an abusive relationship thinking they deserve no better, maybe there’s a woman out there who’s longed for a narcissist to worship and adore and give her soul to only to find it’s never enough. Mark’s always been cordial to me with all his narcissistic charm. For a long time I’ve walked away from him thinking: It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. What a blessing the mystery woman is to you and the kids.

  6. Mom,

    It’s not my place to warn anyone. If asked, I would have to be honest, but I’m not going to go out and stir up trouble.

    Mark deserves a shot at happiness, too.

    I’ve noticed that he’s (people, in general are) a lot nicer when they are happier.

    Yes, I’m a rocket scientist, I know.

  7. You may have misunderstood. I wasn’t suggesting you warn her and suggested he may be just what she’s been looking for. He’s always been nice to me, but I still wouldn’t want to live there and can’t blame you for not wanting to either. Celebrate!

  8. Mom,

    Yes, this is something to celebrate.

  9. See, 2011 is already taking a turn for the better. You and the kids deserve this and here’s to even better things as the year progresses.

  10. Debbie,

    Thank you.

    I believe you are right! We do deserve this.

    I happen to know that you deserve a lot of wonderful things in this new year, too.

    Love you.

  11. Woot woot, fist pump and whatever else people do…I myself am doing the happy dance for you & the kids.

    Maybe we could all get together now that S and J are back on US soil. Not sure when, but I know we’re finishing Christmas sometime soon, I think.

    Love you all so much! xxxooo

  12. Jo,

    Yep, we’d love to happy dance with you!

  13. Now that is wonderful news! So so happy for you and the kids!

  14. Kate,

    We are enjoying this good trend. : )

    p.s. I reread my response to your comment and thought it sounded a little stilted. Then I realized that I’m afraid I’ll jinx something by commenting. eek!

  15. Is it wrong to advertise that I NEED such a distraction? Those few months were so peaceful and quiet,but she must have been a smart one, darnnit! ;)

  16. Zaira,

    My ex went for quite a bit younger. Perhaps the younger ones take longer to wise up. ;)

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