In recent weeks, both within my practice and through emails from site visitors (all women), I’ve heard about several men who have tried to destroy the reputation of their ex-wives with a ruthless and quite thorough assault on their public characters. These men have told lies to friends and family members, attempted to blackmail their former spouses by threatening to spread vicious lies about them, stolen money from them, tried to turn children against their mothers, become explosively angry, even physically violent when challenged, and have uniformly laid blame for the failure of the marriage at the feet of the ex-wife. I’ve also heard from a couple of men confronting vengeful and narcissistic women in their lives, but with nowhere near the level of vindictiveness displayed by these narcissistic ex-husbands.
The viciousness can be quite subtle and sometimes invisible to those who don’t know the man well. For instance, the ex-husband of one of my clients sent a very reasonable sounding email to selected members of their church, including the pastoral counselors who’d tried to help them salvage their marriage, portraying himself as a man of God abandoned by his wife, and then directly impugning her mental sanity while planting doubts about her fitness as a mother. She is, in fact, a quite devoted and capable mother while he consistently manipulates their children with gifts to enlist sympathy on his side (but will also dump them on their mother during his custodial days whenever he happens to have a date).