Ann Bradley

Involved with a narcissist or emotional abuser? Plan to control your emotions. Plan your exit. Malignant narcissism, narcissism, narcissists, verbal, emotional abuse, divorce, custody. Help, information, counseling and hope.

Ann Bradley, M.A.  Consultant, coach, speaker, and the author of

Let’s Talk About NARCISSISM

DIVORCE: The Real Truth and Hidden Dangers  



I am sick and tired of people being sick and tired and love to see them reclaim their life and laughter. Understanding the complexities of the situation, being able to grasp reality in a world where the geography seems to lead you nowhere, are foundational to moving out and through a tough time.

I write and you can find my books  on Amazon Kindle, iBookstore (Apple)  and The Nook.  I attended the University of Pennsylvania, Antioch College, Stanford University (Ph.D graduate studies).  I studied with Martin Seligman, PhD. from the University of Pennsylvania and am a certified Positive Psychology Coach.

I’ve had  extensive experience working with high conflict divorces and the men and women involved in them.  I am not a lawyer but I wrote my own winning brief in the 6th District Court of Appeals much to the dismay of opposing counsel, an appellate attorney.  About that experience I like to say:  “It changed me. It led  me to positive psychology and empowering people to move the mountains in their path.”

My posts are not always sweet. My book on divorce shocks some and invigorates others.  Read it and decide for yourself.  


In my not so spare time, I get involved in start ups, Tech and News of Silicon Valley.


  1. What if it doesnt matter whether you agree, disagree or ignore the abuser…he gets mad, whichever way you go and each and every way is wrong?

    • I am looking for someone in Montana or to come to Montana as an expert in Narcissistic abuse. My parents are something but I believe they are also gas lighters and abusers in other narcissistic ways. The worst problem is I didn’t know how to deal with it and after 30 years of the abuse I was ready to be done with it and didn’t want my children around it. They have now turned on me and keep trying to take my kids away. Please help me. To know more information you can look up my petition online at parents against grandparents rights.

      Thank you for your time and consideration,
      Benette Johnson

  2. Thank you for your website. I am searching for information and research based practices which lead to helping others, as you do, to move the mountains in their life. I believe a family member- a relative is a narcissist, selfish, manipulative, controlling woman toward the male family member and the family they have created! I would like to find ways to help the male in the situation dealing with legal separation, child custody and divorce without fearing they are going to lose everything to the narcissist mother!


    • Put the name of your state or city in google along with the words fathers rights attorney. That should find the help you ae looking for. Just be careful that you don’t find overly aggressive ones with an ax to grind. The courts will see right through that.And that harms the kids which is not the goal. Also, a good attorney of any stripe should be able to use the family code to help you find justice in the courts. Best, Ann

  3. HI! I am married to a narcissist. We have been married almost 37 years.(July will be 37) I did not learn he was this until about last February…It helped me to learn this and it hurt me to learn this. It helped because I realized it wasn’t all me! It hurt because I realized I will never have the marriage I wanted. He denies it…I tell him if it isn’t true then he should stop proving the material right!
    I thought many times about leaving, but I was ill and on valium for years. I have Meniere’s disease and it affects my driving. We used to live near an expressway. If I could have driven it I believe I would have left. I felt I was no good for him and ruining his life. He deserved better. Now our son is grown (still at home) I told him watching him with his dad is like watching myself…My son says I had a good teacher mom. Our son growing up with this is my biggest regret. I did get very good therapy about 1993. She helped me realize I had a voice and a right to use it. But she never told me about narcissism. My talking back and disagreeing with him was hard. I told the therapist it would be easier to go back like before. She helped me not to do that. Now it hurts to know he cannot empathize,care or probably even love me. He cannot believe he is this way… He says a man toward the end of his life wants to know he did some good but I am letting him know that he did not. I tell him it is not my fault he has this….I did not do this to him.

    • Maybe if you have to stay you might try a change of strategy and see if that works. He may have “aged” into some empathy. Is that a possibility?

      • HI ANN I did not know until today that you responded…No aging has not helped him. It is barely a marriage. No closeness at all. Our grown son lives at home and he has become my husband’s next victim. ( I have alot of regret about him.)

        • What do you do when you want out but you are 63, driving limited, and he has the money….. I did something that I did now know people could do….I shutdown for years. I just stopped living and existed. I go out for appointments. I have no friends.

          • Please look up family code for your state. Go to attorney pages and read the info they have there. You have rights – more than you may know. Make some free 20 minute apps with attorneys and gather info. But do not say a word to anyone. Just do it on the sly – and learn and plan and it will give you hope and energy.Take your time, but plan an exit. Best, Ann

  4. Hi Ann – How is the best way to find an attorney that has some experience around working with narcissism. My sister is married to a narcissist and is in control of our family’s trust fund. I just recently discovered that they have stolen money from the trust. I am looking for an attorney that can help protect me and stop them from manipulating my 87 year old mother… it’s awful… Thanks for your help… Jackie

    • Try not to use the word narcissism at first. Actually you are reporting criminal behavior. Make the facts as stepping stones to the attorney: the family member in charge of monies is depleting the trust for his benefit, defrauding the family, easily cons our elderly mother, etc. Trusts have “badges of fraud” – criminal acts. Don’t use pop culture when you can use legal system as it was meant to be used. Narcissism is a word people tend to overuse now (didn’t use to be that way, but has become so in past 5 years.) Outline the actions, attorneys understand evidence needed to proceed. They have a harder time understanding or caring about a personality disorder. Language of the law is powerful – use it. The attorney will understand someone defrauding others for personal gain – especially misuse of a trust. Fiduciary responsibility – this is the key issue here and he is the key player. Go with this. Best, Ann

  5. I recently broke off a 20 year relationship with a narcissist, he did not marry me after many promises. I moved back to my old apartment and am trying to reach him to pick up my things. He is not responding. How can I get the help I need if we were not legally married? This is frustrating and unfair.

    • Go to the police and tell them your belongings are being held hostage and you need assistance. If they won’t help file a police report. Failure to return your objects is a form of theft. Make a list before you go. Don’t act like a drama queen but a responsible victim. Police don’t like “he said, she said” disputes but they will respond to normal. Best, Ann

      • He responded finally but he said that he got rid of everything because I never picked them up. He said he has moved on and that he never wants to see me again. He is denying that he had my passport and birth certificate as well.

        • Make a list of your property and file a claim. You can do so in small claims court or pro se if the amount is above the small claims threshold. Neither require hiring a lawyer.

  6. Don’t know where to begin. I just ended a relationship of 12 years when he told me I did not need to buy underware small thing but that put me over the edge. Every time I went to see my daughter and grandkids some major problem would come up. I walked out of life with him. I have nothing but me and that is more than what I had before. When I met him he had nothing, today he is living in my home with his new girl friend. Poor girl. If I called and told her what he is she would not understand, I’m sure she is full of his lies. You live and learn and every dog has their day

    • Yes, narcissists are not gender specific. I recently tweeted the sad case of a narcissistic mother who kept her son from his father for 10 years. In December, as the father lay dying, the now 21 year old son refused to see him. The father, having given 500K cash and a house to the family, remained a cash register after his death – less than 24 hours after he died and they were already after bank accounts and assets.

      Jerks, narcissists, sociopaths, etc come in all flavors…

  7. Hi Ann,, I am in need of a Good Lawyer in the area who will understand my situation dealing with a Narc for 23 years.. I am not sure whom to trust and everyone seems to know whats best for me.. However when you hear just walk away is EASY,,, you know they do not understand half of what I have been through.
    Any help would be of an asset –
    Damaged Goods

  8. Hi – What area are you referring to?
    In general, here’s one place to start: William Eddy is both an attorney and therapist and runs High Conflict Institute – this is a great jumping off place He specializes in dealing with personality disorders in the legal system.

    My suggestion is to do research online, strategize, learn your rights, learn family code, relevant case law, and be prepared to be calm in the midst of a storm. Lawyers do not like emotional women. The cooler and calmer you can present your issues the more they will help you. Dramatically describing your case doesn’t help. And the more abuse, the more this is true as counterintuitive as it may seem.

    Best, Ann

  9. Hi,
    I am in a bad situation and need a divorce, but after years of trying still can’t afford to retain an attorney. We make too much money to qualify for legal aid. He makes three times as much as I do. He has sabotaged me financially, even manipulating me into bankruptcy. Sometimes there is not enough food in the house. He does this, I think, to try and force me to buy it. when I do, though, it eats away my savings towards getting an attorney. Because of the bankruptcy I cannot borrow money to get one. I’m at the point now where I am almost out of money. I’ve had single consults with at least a half dozen attorneys in my area. It seems that I cannot file for support because he pays for the household bills, even when he refuses to buy food. He will threaten not to buy food for small infractions, such as one of the kids borrowing his charger head. I believe that he may be hiding money, but I don’t know for sure. Some attorneys will take a case without a retainer if the husband is affluent, but we are middle class. I’m scared to represent myself, because his father is affluent. I overheard a conversation where his dad said, “If she(meaning me) wants a war, let’s give it to her.” I don’t want a war. I just want to be done. Like you’ve said elsewhere, divorce is big business. These lawyers don’t care about helping someone like me. Where would I find someone who knows how to deal with narcissism and financial abuse who is willing to work pro bono? I’ve tried two different DV centers to find free legal help, in the counties where I work and live without success. The best I can get are free consults, which I’ve already done. I would appreciate any help or ideas.



    • Hi. Sorry you are going through this. Marriage is an economic unit. You have rights to the income he brings in and to use it for an equitable attorney situation. There is case law for this in California as the state does not want one party unable to obtain counsel. Your state case law most probably has something similar. Many attorneys will not tell you about this because it means extra work on their part to assist you and shows which party is difficult and has the cash (the other party!). I was lucky to meet an atty who gave me the case law in a free meeting at the local (Palo Alto) Bar Association.

      Do a Google search and see what you can find out. You have rights. More than you are aware of. Learn them. Use them and use wisely the info you got about how much they want to harm you. You may want to read my page about this:

      Best, Ann

  10. Hi Ann,
    I am being persecuted by a narcissistic mother who has been sabotaging and gaslighting me for years. More recently she has falsely charged me with elder abuse as a tactic to have me thrown out of my home. She has persuaded a psychotherapist of the truth of her lies. I live in the Bronx, New York City. What competent therapists and attorneys who deal with narcissists do you recommend in my area? How do I begin to protect myself from her latest assault?

    • Hi – sorry you are going through this. I don’t have any names for you but all attorneys understand criminal, sociopathic, or violations of civil codes. If you can reframe this to take out your emotion and report that you have a drama mama on your hands with hidden agendas and who appears to be heading to dementia, you might get some real help. Try not to use the word narcissist. It is over used. You can just as well explain the behaviors with more commonly used umbrella terms. Instead of opening with “I am being persecuted”, find another way that shines light on her, not you. Perhaps, “I need some legal advice in dealing with an increasingly problematic mother. She’s always been difficult but now her behavior has escalated…” and take it from there. Be calm, in control of your emotions and you can prevail. Best to you, Ann

  11. Hi Ann,
    Do you know of any attorneys that are experienced with litigating against narcissists in North Carolina?

    • No, but don’t identify the problem that way – attorneys respond better to ” a difficult spouse who wants to fight about everything and is hiding income.” Or whatever your issues are. If you label him a narcissist you may be called on for labeling someone with mental disorder (NPD) – of course if he has been diagnosed this with NPD, all systems go! Even saying, my spouse is a jerk is easier understood. You may however find the help you need here; She’s a Florida attorney, great resource on this site. Lots of info and maybe someone who knows someone in NC. Best, Ann

Leave a Reply to Ann Bradley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *