Separations involving children are never a natural process and arrangements need to be made for their well-being. Needless to say, there are many different cases and it would be hard to discuss them all. However, there are two different situations, one involving men, the other one involving women, that are widespread and have given rise to two specific categories with personalities, behaviours and aims that are almost superimposable. Virtually every day someone comes to me with a story involving either men or women that fall into one of the two categories.
I have called the first category Narcissistic Bluff Men. The second category, to which I will dedicate another post, I have called Lying Victim Women. Bluff men are men who believe themselves to be powerful, worshipped and winners, and who think that they alone can have control over their family; that no family member – especially the ex wife – can enjoy a new freedom, and that, if the Separation were to become inevitable, the children should absorb their one powerful origin – the paternal one. According to them, a mother who is deprived even only in part of her child’s affection would die in spirit and would no longer be able to enjoy her new life. In this way, the revenge of men whose image one has dared to taint is accomplished. But what makes them bluff men is that their golden facade conceals meanness and mediocrity. These men who feel adored in society do not realize that by using the same methods, the same words and the same means, they homologate themselves in a disconcerting way, so much so that they can no longer be distinguished one from the other. There is really nothing special about them at all.
Women that were married to men who are narcissistic bluffs tell me the story of their Separation and of how it rapidly led to persecution and revenge on the part of the husband/father. One might be struck at once by the resentment and rage unleashed by the man against the woman; or, listening to many stories, what may instead leap out is the man’s type of personality, the abusive words he has spoken against the woman, and the process he followed to take his revenge with determination, which all form part of a virtually identical script.
Personality: From the many testimonies gathered, the image emerges of a man who has no empathic skills, has an upfront job, is highly considered at work, is often a member of important clubs, and is loved and respected by everyone.
Behaviour displayed in his private life: This man who is highly esteemed in public proves to be petty and mean in private. The revenge he premeditates involves very specific actions. The woman starts receiving a landslide of SMSs or Whattsapp messages saying things like “You make me sick”, “You’re crazy”, “You’ve ruined our family”, “Your children suffer because of you”, “Your partner is a bastard” and, dulcis in fundo, the two standard threats, “I will destroy you” and “You will never see your children again”. At the same time, the woman is discredited in the eyes of friends and acquaintances, to the point that people begin to doubt her integrity. The man in this case very cleverly does not go so far as to Stalk her but rather alternates periods of calm and harmony – so that the woman regains confidence and peace of mind – with periods of aggressiveness and threats, in which anxiety undermines the woman’s equilibrium.
The man’s ultimate goal and the means he employs:
The man’s final goal is to prevent the woman from feeling free, starting a new life, finding a new love, and especially becoming autonomous.
Usually the man in question thinks he is clever and the first thing he does is punish the woman by trying to deprive her of her children’s affection or to take them away from her. Following what appears to be a sort of written script, he begins by destabilizing the rhythm with which he sees the children: he does not see them for days and then suddenly shows up, raising doubts as to the mother’s good faith and preventing her from having a private life with time for herself. He constantly criticizes her in front of the children. He then turns to the Court where they are starting the Separation procedure, writing briefs in which he accuses the woman of being crazy, of hindering his relationship with the children, and of criticizing him as a father and as a man with everyone. Meanwhile, he continues obsessively to send her offensive messages aimed at undermining even further her inner self-confidence, threatening messages to plunge her into a state of exhausting anxiety, and displaying such contradictory behaviours with the children as to induce the mother to be afraid of their meetings with their father, sometimes even trying to limit them in order to protect the kids. In this way, the man is able to prove to the judges that he is right when he says that she stands in his way as a parent. In most cases, when the Judge hears these stories he or she orders a court-appointed expert’s report.
What happens later varies from case to case, but what matters is that women who suffer these situations must bear in mind that a child cannot be taken away from its mother who is anything but crazy, that they must not react to the provocations of these men, and that they must withstand in every way they can the attacks of men who love only one thing, their self Image.