When my narcopath ex was smearing me, he made a big deal of telling our mutual acquaintances that I refused to let him see his son. People hated me. They thought I was this evil ex wife who was bullying an innocent father by not letting him see his beloved child. The divorced men hated me because they swore I was like their evil ex wives. The other divorced women hated me because they couldn’t believe I could be so cruel as to deprive a child of his father. (Of course, THEY would never do that!)
In reality, the ex kept making excuses and refusing to visit. His social life–mostly traveling the nation to meet women he found online–was more important. We were separated when my son was born, and he didn’t bother to MEET my son for the first year. He had plenty of options. We had a mediator to facilitate visits, but he kept giving her the run around. I knew the truth, but of course all the people who heard his sob story lies thought I was a monster.
Finally, he did start to visit–he became more interested once my son was walking, potty-trained, and feeding himself. (No narcissist wants to actually have to take care of a young child!) But still, the visits are sporadic, (not that I mind.) He visits when he has a target in my area or a social event in the area, and he cancels when there is no reason to travel here. (Because of course my son is not his reason for coming. My son is just an afterthought when he shows up.)
When he takes my son to his social conventions, he plays up what a great dad he is and how cute his son is…then promptly ditches my son with any woman who loves kids so he can continue preying on women. I have just enough friends left from my old life, that people report to me when they see this. Recently, he left my then three year old to play with a ten year old girl he’d never met. One of my friends who was at the social event was disgusted and warned me that my son had been wandering around the hotel where the event was held and people just kept an eye out for him. This sickens me. And it terrifies me.
After all that time my ex smeared me and claimed I refused to let him visit, you would think that an onlooker would wonder why he deserted my son to be supervised by whomever happened to be looking. My friend certainly noticed. But the silly women who bullied me on the narcopath’s behalf never put two and two together.
A few weeks ago, the narcopath was in town but didn’t visit my son. Instead of using his weekend visit, he went on a date–to an event where some of my friends were. Again, this guy who repeatedly told people I was “alienating” him ignored his supposedly beloved son to have a one night stand. I actually didn’t mind, because it meant my son was safe home with me, but it annoyed me that the flying monkeys couldn’t see that his words didn’t match his actions.
But it’s normal for my ex to take my son on dates with him. My son reported last time he saw his dad, that his dad talked to “Karen” at a restaurant while he sat at a separate table with crayons. You would think that “Karen” might wonder why a loving dad would put his only child second to her on their date instead of paying attention to his young child, but apparently she didn’t notice that this seemed a bit odd. I guess she thought it was okay to seat the pre-schooler at the next table and neglect him? My son told me that Karen talked to him a couple times, but mostly ignored him. (Like his dad did.)
Can I just say that if you start dating a single father, you should be aware of these types of behaviors? Yes, kids are cute. Yes it is nice when men spend time with their children; however, PAY ATTENTION! Is the child being ignored while the date focuses on you? If so, then he’s not a good dad. He’s using the child as a pawn to make you think he’s a good dad. Is he telling you that his evil ex never lets him see his child, yet he’s not even paying attention to his child on one of the rare visits that he actually makes? That’s a red flag. If a loving parent is separated from a child, their only focus will be on seeing the child again. It won’t be on their latest conquest.
It is important to be alert and aware of these signs in a person. A narcissist’s behaviors will not match their words, but if you get too caught up in the words and ignore the actions, you can easily be fooled by their lies. It’s stunning how many people buy the lies when the truth is directly in front of them.