How much are a thousand pictures worth?

Excerpt from Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle:

Dating Seth: As we started driving, Seth pulled out a photo album of his two dogs. He knew that I owned a pet sitting business and wanted to show me how much his dogs meant to him. His photo album showed every stage of his dogs’ lives, and I could feel his excitement as he talked about his pets.

These were not just any dogs, based on Seth’s descriptions. Seth and his father had driven almost one thousand miles to personally select one of the dogs, and Seth bragged about her lineage being the best that money could buy. The other dog had been Seth’s dog in college, and he talked about how much attention he received while walking the dog around the college. Seth told me that he owned another vehicle, a Jeep, solely to transport his dogs. I found it sweet to see how much he loved his animals.

  • Red Flag Reflection: While it was touching that Seth loved his dogs, it was odd behavior for a grown man. It also made for a socially awkward situation because there were only so many times I could comment about how great his dogs were. Seth was trying to prove how much he loved his dogs by bombarding me with photos.

Hindsight is 20-20. It is my belief that because Seth is incapable of regular feelings and emotions, pictures are his way of “capturing love.”  I was recently reminded that during the beginning stages of our divorce, Seth would show up at my daughters’ preschool and insist that the teachers view the photos that he had taken of the girls having fun. In his hands, he held solid proof of love. One teacher at the preschool told me that he didn’t even listen to her speak at a parent-teacher conference because he was so preoccupied with searching for photos on his laptop computer.

Throughout our custody battle, Seth has bombarded everyone with photos. Anyone who will listen to him is “shown” that he loves his daughters. Several people who are on Seth’s Facebook account messaged me yesterday to say that he had uploaded lots of new photos showing himself to be the doting father. My response: “Of course he is. We have a custody evaluation on the horizon. He is snapping pictures as fast as possible” I am hoping that our evaluator sees through this game. While I am guilty of being camera happy, I have yet to have to prove my love to the courts through photos. I am confident in my relationship with our daughters and don’t feel the need to capture that love to show everyone who will give me five minutes of their time.

Since I strongly believe that they all use the same manual in life, I am curious: does the narcissist in your life “capture” love by photo?

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To purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle”, click here. You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive while divorcing a narcissist or co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to de-code the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and to begin healing. 



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