I Lost my Kids to Their Covert Narcissist Father.

4 min readMay 18, 2019

I never saw it coming.

Actually I unconsciously knew not to stand up to him for the twelve years of being his ex but I unleashed a passive aggressive pathology.

I questioned him on paying for his portion of our teenage children’s post-secondary education.

Note, until this point, I had never received a dollar from him in child or spousal support. He did not believe he had to pay it. I did not have money to legally fight it. Also, I knew in my inner recesses that somehow pushing this would negatively impact my sons.

I was so terribly accurate and it would later cost me my children and the relationship I worked so hard on building while co-parenting.

Until this point I didn’t know this subliminal fear of rocking the boat had an actual name: Covert Narcissism. As defined in this article:

Covert narcissism is a more discrete form of narcissism displayed by a person with a more shy and reserved personality. It’s characterized by grandiose fantasies and thoughts, a perception of entitlement, and a general sentiment of being better than others. Covert narcissism is typically expressed in a more passive and indirect manner than overt narcissism. It’s conveyed with a condescending attitude, defensiveness, hostility, insincerity, and passive aggressiveness.

The definition exemplifies the above noted catalyst experience which went something like this:

Me: (in good spirits during a regular casual conversation) ‘Hey J’s in Grade 11, we’ve gotta figure out the savings situation for his college’.

Him: (a complete 180 degree turn on demeanour) ‘You can go fuck yourself’.

My incredulity was witnessed by my spouse who was pulled out of his hockey watching by the statement.


Female startup founder. MBTI enthusiast. INTJ. Passion for research and making sense of the world, optimization and supporting others journeys.