Tina's Story

Dating a Narcissist: The Ups and Downs

ConfusionExcerpt taken from my book, “Divorcing a Narcissist” – and focuses on our dating life prior to marriage:

Seth: Greek form of Egyptian Set, possibly meaning “one who dazzles.” In mythology, this is the name of the ancient evil god of chaos, storms, and the desert.

Some days I felt like royalty, and other days I felt so beneath him. Talks which focused on my lack of a college education seemed to become more frequent as time went on. Seth introduced me to his work colleagues as his fiancé, which made me feel special and gave me a sense of stability in our relationship however, we weren’t engaged.

At one particular event, I overheard Seth telling his boss that I was going to be attending a local State college in the fall which left me confused and upset. I pressed him on the way home, and he admitted that in professional settings, it was embarrassing when conversations about college came up. I was crushed. No one had ever told me that I embarrassed them. Almost instantaneously, I could feel the self esteem that I worked so hard to regain slipping from my fingers.

The next day I woke up and put on a smile. The last thing that I wanted was to be accused of being a Debbie Downer and an embarrassment. I walked into the kitchen to make coffee and found flowers waiting for me on the kitchen table. The card expressed how sorry he was for hurting me. Seth claimed that I was the furthest thing in the world from an embarrassment. I accepted his apology.

  • Red Flag Reflection: The ups and downs were leaving my head spinning. Almost as quickly as Seth could crush me, he could build me back up with amazing, heartfelt letters and cards. Not only could I not make sense of the new world I was living in, I found it difficult to articulate what was happening to my friends or family.


One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.

History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.

Tina Swithin: Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat.  Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.



2 thoughts on “Dating a Narcissist: The Ups and Downs

  1. This sounds so much like my ex. He was a paramedic when we met. He had no college degree, just a certificate. I am an X-Ray tech. I have a college degree. He thought he was god, still does actually. Anyway, I was always, “just an x-ray tech”. He now tells people he has a degree in “Paramedicine” There is no such thing. He has even groomed my children to tell me I am, “just an x-ray tech” and know nothing. He doesn’t even have his paramedic certifications anymore. He works in sales. What is really sad is his new wife is the same way. She told everyone she was a social worker. He married her and moved her here from England but she has yet to get a job as a social worker. She has no degree in social work at all, it was all a sham. But she is telling everyone her degree doesn’t transfer over here. It is only a matter of time before they destroy each other I am afraid. I am very afraid my sons will be caught in the crossfire as well. That is my biggest fear.

  2. Ahh yes…the subtle (and not so subtle) signs we either don’t see or refuse to see. There were so many with my husband (who I’m trying to work up the courage to divorce). But, I had low self-esteem my whole life and figured people being down on me was just normal, I guess. Now that I have healed from all that, I see the signs clearly in hindsight. Anyone reading this who’s dating a narcissist (or suspected one) – heed what we say and watch closely.

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