False Allegations in Divorce and Custody Battles: The Personality Types of False Accusers and the Falsely Accused

The following article is from the August 23, 2011 AVfM Radio program on the criminal practice of making false allegations of abuse in order to gain the upper hand in divorce and custody battles. The radio version was edited down due to time constraints. Here’s everything I wrote for the show in its entirety:

Too many men have become the targets of false allegations. False allegations of domestic violence. False allegations of sexual assault. And false allegations of sexual abuse.

False allegations are lies and people who make false allegations are liars. A false allegation of abuse isn’t just any lie; it’s one of the most contemptible lies that exists. Even one victim of such a despicable lie is one victim too many.

Oftentimes, when a man finds himself the target of false allegations, he initially becomes paralyzed by shock and disbelief that a woman he once loved or still loves could perpetrate such a horrible lie upon him. The nightmare of false allegations is always compounded whenever children are involved.

What precipitates these kinds of false allegations?

Domestic violence literature holds that ending an abusive relationship is often the most dangerous time for the target of abuse. The classic stereotype is that of the alcoholic Neanderthal who beats his wife to death as she attempts to walk out the door after years of abuse.

For men, ending a relationship with an abusive woman is also often the most dangerous time.

Just like his female counterpart, when a man makes the agonizing decision to divorce an abusive wife, it may end in violence. Stories abound in the news of women killing their ex-husbands and their own children during divorce and custody battles. But women have another weapon at their disposal, which is just as lethal as any firearm or poison.

That weapon is the false allegation.

Many men, despite having been subjected to years of abuse, come a cropper when their ex makes a false allegation. How could someone you once loved and who supposedly loved you tell such horrible lies?

The simplest answer is that women who perpetrate false allegations are malicious and disturbed. Men also make false allegations and those that do are equally malicious and disturbed, but let’s face it, there are clear tactical advantages for women who fabricate false allegations.

Over the last 25 years, as the domestic violence and divorce industries have grown, a perverse system has developed in response to female initiated allegations of abuse in which the accuser is rewarded.

How are women rewarded for making false allegations?

They get attention. The person they hate is punished. They receive social approval. We all hate abusers and pedophiles, right? Look at that courageous woman who’s fighting to protect her child! Female false accusers may also receive free legal representation, welfare payments, free counseling and other support services and support from family, friends and neighbors — in other words, even more attention (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).

Furthermore, there are very little, if any consequences for women who make false allegations in family court (Green & Schetky, 1988). Ultimately, the false accuser has far more to gain than she has to lose. However, I’m hopeful that we’ll soon be seeing more stories like that of Daryl Guinyard, the man who sued his ex-wife in civil court for making false sexual abuse allegations and was awarded $852,000 in punitive damages.

What happens to men when they’re falsely accused?

Many men experience a very rude awakening when they enter the justice system via false allegations. Perhaps the truth will prevail, but typically not without a considerable amount of collateral damage to themselves and their children.

When a man is accused of abusing a woman or child, any concept of due process and “innocent until proven guilty” flies out the window. Men are assumed guilty until proven innocent when a woman cries abuse or rape.

False allegations can turn a difficult divorce into full out nuclear war.

When a woman calls 911 and alleges violence, a man is often required to vacate the family home. If his wife follows up with an emergency protective order, he must then submit to prolonged alienation from his children. He becomes caught in both the criminal justice system and social service bureaucracies, which may result in jail time and/or court-ordered therapy while the real criminal, his lying wife, wins possession of both the children and the marital home.

Men who are falsely accused by their exes also face the threat of presumably well-intentioned, but zealous and biased mental health professionals and court evaluators who are quick to believe the accusations of the often highly emotional, female false accusers based on little to no evidence.

The falsely accused isn’t the only casualty of a court appointee’s or mental health evaluator’s rush to judgment. Both the accused and his children are hurt.

When the false allegations involve sexual abuse, children are subjected to a long process of interrogation, therapies and medical examinations, which can be invasive, confusing and traumatic. The falsely accused often suffers emotional and physical trauma, public humiliation, family breakdown and financial ruin. Furthermore, the relationship with his children may be irreparably damaged.

Fighting to prove his innocence can take years and become a financial expense many men simply can’t afford.

Just as false accusers rarely receive consequences for perverting and obstructing justice, court evaluators and mental health professionals who wrongly determine that abuse has occurred through their own incompetence and biases are rarely held accountable. The people who suffer the most negative consequences are the falsely accused and the children. This isn’t justice; it’s a mockery of justice.

What do we know about women who make false allegations?

Wakefield and Underwager (1990) determined that false accusers are much more likely to have a personality disorder such as histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive, or paranoid. False accusers appear to be highly defensive and rigid, to have poor insight and a tendency to deny personal shortcomings. They tend to be extremely concerned about and sensitive to how others perceive them. False accusers tend to confuse feelings with facts. A woman may “feel” abused or may “feel” the children are being abused, when, objectively speaking, no abuse has actually occurred (Zepezauer, 1994).

Wakefield and Underwager (1990) found that:

[False accusers] are likely to misperceive the behavior of others and to react to stressful situations in maladaptive ways. Depending upon the specific personality disorder, they are characterized by instability of mood, impulsivity, inappropriate emotional overreactions, a need for approval and attention, and difficulties handling anger and conflict.

False accusers also have an obsessive hatred of and anger toward their ex-partner, so much so that their hatred and anger become a driving force in their lives. False accusers are individuals who hate their exes more than they love their children. Their hatred and anger trumps the needs and much ballyhooed best interests of their children.

What do we know about men who become the targets of false allegations of abuse?

They tend to be your average nice guy who has a more nurturing and passive personality. These men are unlikely to be socially aggressive or competitive and tend to lack insight into their personal relationships, which may explain why so many of these men are thrown for a loop when their ex throws them under the bus — even when she’s made threats throughout their marriage to call 911 and have him arrested (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).

Additionally, these men, because of their sensitive and caring natures, may be more vulnerable to relationships with needy and manipulative women. Once in a relationship with a high-conflict (HCP) and/or abusive personality disordered woman (APDI), they may behave somewhat passively as they continue to naively hope that everything will magically work out in the end.

What are the identifiable characteristics of false allegation cases?

Ross and Blush (1987; 1990) have found certain patterns that characterize false allegation cases. For instance:

  1. The allegations start after separation and legal action commences.
  2. There’s a history of family dysfunction with high-conflict and other hidden underlying issues.
  3. Again, the female accuser is often a histrionic or borderline personality.
  4. The female accuser takes an angry, defensive and justifying stance.
  5. The accused male parent is generally nurturing, passive and lacks “macho” characteristics.
  6. In alleged sexual molestation cases, the child is typically a female under the age of 8.
  7. The allegations surface via the custodial parent who is typically the mother.
  8. The mother takes the child to an “expert” who corroborates the abuse and identifies the father as the culprit.
  9. The court reacts to the expert information by terminating or limiting visitation.

Ross and Blush also determined there are primarily three types of false accusers: the histrionic, the justified vindicator and the borderline.

The histrionic personality appears anxious and presents herself as the victim of her ex. She describes herself as physically and/or psychologically abused by her ex and worries that the children are also in danger of being victimized from him. She projects or superimposes her feelings, fears and distortions onto the children. She seems to have “unusual and inappropriate” sexual concerns about the children and may regularly examine the children’s genitals and take them for frequent medical examinations.

The justified vindicator initially presents as assertive and organized with a justifiable argument supported by “facts, figures and opinions supporting her evidence.” She comes across as outraged and worried about her ex’s behavior. However, as most high-conflict types do, she becomes resistant, hostile and passive-aggressive or overtly aggressive upon cross-examination of her claims. She’s likely to try to discredit any evaluator or law enforcement official that questions her assertions and may threaten to sue or file an ethics complaint.

The borderline personality has intense and chaotic interpersonal relationships and is prone to intense valuation and devaluation. They will attempt to punish others who they believe have abandoned or hurt them. False allegations are a highly effective way of doing this.

In my practice, I coach many men through the divorce process. Prior to pulling the pin and telling their abusive wives that the marriage is over, I help my clients create a safe exit strategy. I use the phrase “pulling the pin” deliberately, because divorcing an abusive, high-conflict and possibly personality disordered woman is often very much like handling a live grenade.

I warn every single male client who is about to divorce or break-up with an abusive partner that he may be at risk for becoming the target of false allegations.

Many men can’t comprehend how or why their partner or ex could fabricate such a lie. Even when their wives have threatened to call 911 during the relationship to intimidate and control them, they still have a difficult time believing that it could happen to them. Men whose wives or girlfriends have threatened to call the cops during their relationship to intimidate or control them are especially at risk should they decide to separate.

Counseling is not a consequence.

False allegations, even if they’re later disproved, rarely result in a completely happy ending for the accused and the children. Family court and law officials must begin implementing serious consequences — beyond the anemic “consequence” of outpatient counseling — for both women and men who make false allegations. Perhaps if women who are inclined to make false allegations knew there would be real life consequences such as jail time, fines and loss of custody, they wouldn’t be as likely to see making false allegations as a viable option.

Enough is enough.


Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.


Blush, G. L. & Ross, K. L. (1990). Investigation and case management issues and strategies. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations (2) 3.

Blush, G. L. & Ross, K. L. (1987). Sexual allegations in divorce: The SAID syndrome. Conciliation Courts Review, 25(1).

Green, A. H., & Schetky, D. H. (1988). Child Sexual Abuse. New York:Brunner/Mazel.

Wakefield, H., & Underwager, R. (1990). Personality Characteristics of Parents Making False Accusations of Sexual Abuse in Custody DisputesIssues In Child Abuse Accusations, 2(3)121-136.

Zepezauer, F. S. (1994). Believe her! The woman never lies myth.

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  1. says

    I have first-hand experience with false allegations, albeit in an employment context. I was a newly supervisor tasked with “fixing” a very unproductive and dysfunctional office. After several weeks in the position, I identified 2 obstructionists and they happened to be female.

    To make a long story short, the two made good on the threats that they had been alluding to for some time. They both accused me of being “threatening,” of “hating women” and several other things. Lucky for me I had several other honest and loyal employees who refuted everything.

    You are correct in describing an “initial shock.” There was a period of disbelief and inaction on my part where I engaged in the “Did I do anything wrong” reflection.

    The primary thing that saved me was my penchant to document, document and document the many provocations and incidents before the allegations began to fly. I kept my supervisors and Human Resources aware of the issues that gave me huge credibility when the allegations started.

    I don’t wish that experience on anyone and while I weathered that storm, it remains to be seen what impact that the “black cloud of suspicion” has on my future and professional reputation. To me, this is the real damage that is done especially in a workplace context.

    When I first noticed the bizarre behavior in that office, I learned a lot from internet research, your website especially. It was clear that these 2 individuals were HCP’s and that they were attempting to bully me as their new supervisor. Without that early knowledge, I may have caved in a departed early. Many thanks for that written insight that assisted me during that ordeal.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi ContrarianExpat,

      I’m delighted to read that you protected yourself and fought back. Good on you!

      Were the 2 HCPs let go? Did they receive any consequences from HR?

      The black cloud is awful and unfair, but it’s a reality.

      Dr T

      • says

        They both eventually received official reprimands and one later received a short suspension. However, given the pervasiveness and gravity of their misconduct, I and the other employees consider those actions to be lenient. Moreover, their misconduct intensified after the disciplinary actions, a la the malicious allegations.

        Both are still employed with my organization. One is under termination proceedings due to significant performance shortcomings coupled with the misconduct, and the other is being watched vary closely by management.

        I do anticipate vexatious lawsuits down the road, but I am prepared as witnesses and voluminous documentation greatly support my organization’s actions.

        • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

          I’ve had my own run-ins with HCP co-workers. Unfortunately, one was the director and the other was my supervisor. It was a nasty business. I filed many of my own grievances. Ultimately, because they were an established part of the power structure, I left.

          Not surprised both are still employed. For some reason, many organizations are at a loss re: how to handle these types, so the bullies are free to continue their reign of terror.

          • chem_geek says

            “Not surprised both are still employed. For some reason, many organizations are at a loss re: how to handle these types, so the bullies are free to continue their reign of terror.”

            IMHO, that’s because, in a penny-wise & pound-foolish short-term view, those sorts of types appear more productive. They’re “go-getters.” They “demand results.” Especially as managers, their people do the impossible (while, if they’re smart, quietly updating the resume).

            I wonder if there’s a correlation between high-functioning NPD, and corporate success..?

          • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

            “I wonder if there’s a correlation between high-functioning NPD, and corporate success..?”

            I’d bet the farm on it, chem_geek.

  2. Micksbabe says

    Another thing I would recommend is to record all verbal communications (phone or in-person) post-divorce/separation. I did this with my ASPD ex-husband and it squashed a lot of his threats.

    There really should be real consequences for making false allegations. Even for the Borderline who has, no doubt, convinced herself that her claims are real.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Great advice, MB. Audio and video recording have kept many of my clients’ bacon out of the fryer.

      Plus, hanging these types with their own ropes is very fitting.

  3. Free at Last says

    Agreed, enough is enough! And I find it serendipitous that your radio show aired the same day as the sexual-abuse charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dropped by the prosecutors. From what I’ve read in the internet news articles these last few weeks, the hotel maid’s testimony was extremely convincing, complete with tears and persuasive theatrics. However, her content was flawed; she ended up contradicting things that she had said earlier to the court (under oath) and/or the media. I should mention that she also took it upon herself to invent stories for the press and TV to get the general public to side with her (and they did!). And a recorded telephone conversation in which she told a friend “don’t worry, I know what I’m doing, and he’s got a lot of money” sure didn’t help her case.

    Fortunately, her pathological lying was exposed in less than three months… but we must never forget the eagerness of the prosecution, the court and the general public to blindly assume that the poor lowly woman was a victim of a wealthy evil man – enough is enough!

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      The DSK maid (don’t remember her name and can’t be bothered to Google it) is utterly uncredible, which is why the DA is dropping the charge. Considering the long-term consequences of false allegations, I think both identities (the accuser and the accuser) should be kept secret UNTIL the accused is proven guilty or until the accuser has been shown to be a liar.

  4. SW-AL says

    So, is there a way to get HCP mom out of the house during proceedings without resorting to false accusations yourself? The common wisdom is for dad to not leave the house if he’s going to fight for any kind of custody, but that makes it that much easier for the HCP to make the false allegations.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Some of my clients who’ve had to do this had a parent stay in the house as well to act as a witness. The goal is never to be alone and always have a witness. If you don’t have a witness, then audio or video. If this is illegal in your state, it becomes even more difficult.

  5. creek music says

    Hello, Dr. T,
    You probably don’t remember me, but I posted for a while on your blog back in the April/May of 2010, time frame. Can’t remember for sure, but I think we even spoke on the phone concerning a consultation, which, unfortunately I did not follow up on.
    This is a different username than back then, email is the same, but for some reason I could not login with old info.
    All day yesterday, 08/23, I kept reminding myself to listen to your radio program and to call in to relate my continuing story, in the hopes I could prevent other men from being as completely naive and foolish as I have turned out to be.

    Wife and I were married in 2003, my second marriage (30 years with three kids first go ’round), her FOURTH marriage (should have been a huge red flag right there) But of course, as it goes, she was so charming, so attractive, and well, extremely HOT sexually (at least I think so, been a long, long time since I saw any action in that regard)

    In hindsight, I should have picked up on some red flags in the 2 years we dated before marriage, most of which I wrote off as just a “bad temper” on her part. By year 3 or so of marriage, it started dawning on me that this was much more than a bad temper. The verbal abuse became astonishing to me. Degrade and humiliate, name calling, bad enough when it was just me that she steered her insults to, soon enough though, it was my grown kids, my mother, my sisters….we were all lumped into the same pile for her to crap on. I was a girly man pussy, cause my mother made me that way, my kids hated me, how did my first wife put up with me for 20 years? (When we got married she couldn’t stand my ex wife,in her new fantasies the ex became an ally). I had a poor upbringing, not “normal” like hers. Blah, blah, blah.
    Then she started in on what I came to call her “herding” behavior. Chase me through the house, hurling verbal abuse, trap me in a corner and try to provoke me to get physical with her to escape. Luckily I’m not the violent type.

    Sounds bad so far, eh? Well, it gets worse, much worse.

    Excuse me, I’m going to take a break here, I’ll be back to finish up later this evening or in the morning. Can only relive so much at one sitting!

    Creek Music

  6. creek music says

    OK, I’m back with the rest of the story. Jump to year 5 of marriage, June,2008. On June 22, 2008, after a particularly bad stretch (weeks of either stone cold silence or intense verbal abuse) of behavior on wife’s part, the phone rings, it’s wife’s 30 year old daughter calling from a hospital 1500 miles away to tell us she’s giving birth to a baby girl, 6-7 weeks prematurely. We had not been informed previously that daughter was even pregnant! Daughter tells wife that she’s going to give the baby up for adoption, in actuality, if she didn’t agree to adoption, the baby was going to be taken from her due to methamphetamine in her system when she was admitted. It’s one of the few times I recall wife ever being at a loss for something to say, holding the phone in one hand, dumbstruck with her jaw wide open.
    The instant she gets off the phone, I blurt out “you can’t let your granddaughter be adopted by a stranger, we can adopt her!” I had not even thought about it, but it seemed the right thing to do. In hindsight,maybe I thought it would help our marriage. 55 years old, married to a crazy woman and an infant on the way.
    Don’t get me wrong, I have zero regrets about that decision, taking that sweet little girl into my home and being her primary caregiver for the first two years of her life is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, something I missed out on when my children were young and I was too busy working and well, partying.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself here, L, (the baby girl as I’ll call her) spent 6 weeks in neonatal intensive care, during which time we began the legal adoption process, paperwork, background checks and attorneys etc. in two different states. It wasn’t cheap, I paid many tens of thousands of $$ in expenses, which, of course I never received the first thank you for from the wife. The money is not important because the joy that girl has brought me is invaluable.

    Anyway, I had owned my own business for 25 years. I was able to put it on autopilot with the help of employees and when L came home from NICU in September 2008, I stayed home, took care of business from home office and played Mr. Mom. Bottles, baby diapers, the whole deal,I bonded with that little girl like I would have never thought possible. Wife was working as a teacher at the high school at the time. Special Ed teacher, for profoundly handicapped kids, she’s a nurse as well. Fits her image of being a real compassionate “angel” to be a caregiver in the public eye. “Look at me, I adopted my granddaughter,I’m a nurse, I’m taking care of severely challenged kids!! I’m the greatest!!”

    So, things were just a bit better between us for a few months, . then the nasty returned (you always knew it was coming, the not knowing when was the agonizing part). She took to coming home from work, taking L away from me and locking herself in the downstairs bedroom. At times, she’d stay in there for days, calling in sick to work, with the air conditioning turned down to 55, buried under the covers and L crying her little head off.

    Yikes! I’m rambling and likely boring you all to tears, if you frequent this website , I’m sure you’re familiar with this type of crazy!

    I’ll be back to finish up in a bit, tell me if you’ve heard enough . If I finish though, you’ll see what a truly naive, shoulda known better man like me can get himself into.

  7. Beesley says

    Suggestion: Before “pulling the pin”, have your attorney contact the police to be on alert. This could lend more credibility and underscore the serious concerns the man may have. The attorney can tell law enforcement exactly when the HCP will be informed of the divorce so they can be on alert. The attorney can also inform the police of any history the HCP has of threatening or making false allegations. I also agree with having a witness present when she is informed. CYA, there’s too much at stake! Feedback?

  8. xxyyzz says

    My horrible ex told me straight to my face that she would stop at nothing to eliminate me from my kids lives. She told me that I would lose my kids, lose my home, lose my job, lose my money, lose my possession, and go to jail. She told me that I had no idea what she was capable of. She was right. She played the “expert confidential” childrens counselor and the court system, and all of the above came to pass, except when the final step of levelling false allegations came, I left town before I went to jail due to false allegations. That was 14 years ago. The court system was horrible. I was guilty until proven innocent, and then still guilty. And her rat bastard lawyer knew what was going on.

  9. LiliM says

    My husband’s ex would cry abuse when there was nothing to back up what it was she was after in court, usually something monetarily focused. When that was shot down, she would tell everyone she could about how “abusive” he was. No proof, no admissions from my husband about how he “showed his wife”, no police reports, nothing.

    When social networking became popular, she regularly used it to denigrate him as such an abuser. This has resulted in some of his old friends who kowtow to the ex to see the kid believing all sorts of things about him. He took the high road, and didn’t respond to her crap, and didn’t let others know anything about their marriage, good or bad. All he ever said was that he no longer wanted to be married to her, and felt it best they divorce.

    Now, I wish he had fought every single claim she made.

    So with that, record all verbal interactions with your abusive ex. Check the state laws so that you don’t end up in a Linda Tripp type situation.

    If you cannot record, send an email the same day as the verbal interaction stating what was said face to face. If it’s abusive, ask that it please not be repeated.

    If you must meet to drop off or pick up kids, go to the lobby of the local police station, and leave one at a time.

    If it’s the mom making the abuse allegations, it’s really hard. Moms can do no wrong. They can make all sorts of claims about their ex, they can abuse their kids – and they are excused. So protect yourself from the get go.

  10. Tom says

    “The accused male parent is generally nurturing, passive and lacks “macho” characteristics.”

    So, to put it another way, the accused male is often a CARETAKER type. They could, more often than not, be in a helping profession: ambulance driver, police officer, firefighter, massage therapist, physical therapist, nurse, doctor, lawyer, psychologist, psychiatrist, personal trainer, et cetera?

    Do you think the above statement is true, Dr. T? And if so, do you agree with (or could you add to) what is said in the following article about caretaker types? http://gettinbetter.com/needlove.html It would be interesting to know your “take” on caretakers.

  11. Dr. F says

    If you lived in London during the second world war and you heard sirens you’d run to the local bunker. You’d know where to go even in the dark because you’d done the drill time and time again.

    Well it’s no different with the exit strategy, and there’s no doubt about it Dr. T, you’re kicking footy goals with this idea I tell you.

    How many of us here read about the exit strategy and now look back with wonder about how better it all might have been if we had known about it when it was needed ?

    For that matter, how many of us ever sat down with ourselves and really looked at how we could better have managed our “entry strategy”?
    Now that sounds pretty silly now I read that bit back and I tell you it was not meant as humour.

    If we accept the idea of the benefits of a way out, or pulling the pin slowly, then can it make sense to look at how we got there in the first place ? Funny as it looks I reckon yes. A great big flaming neon-lit spinning “yes”.

    Of course I am talking about the “relationship interview” or “relationship examination” for the first months or so. ( months )

    * Check out her family,
    * See her with a few drinks in her,
    * See her in a frustrating environment,
    * See her with her friends,
    * See her at work if you can,
    * See how she is when you are delayed for an evening,
    * See her give a speech at a party,
    * See how she talks to a child,

    It’s just so easy with the hormone blinkers on to waddle into the arms of a masked loonie.
    I know because I have and there is no way I am suggesting for a moment that my experience here is unique.

    The prevalence of dabbling in the swirly world of the masked loonie is astounding and nobody really wins, not really.

    So if you take seriously the strategy that pulls you out, you may better well just learn to the point of a times-table chant a stout plan that steers you in.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi Dr F,

      Having an entry strategy is just as important as an exit strategy because you don’t need an exit strategy if you can avoid getting involved with an abusive predator in the first place.

      Great relationship interview list. However, some of these types are natural born actresses and actors. Sometimes the mask doesn’t slip until later in the relationship.

      If this is the case, try not to romanticize the early part of the relationship when her mask was in place. When the mask comes off and she establishes that this is how she is, don’t make excuses. Don’t get tricked into a pregnancy. Get out.

      You will love again and hopefully, the next woman you fall for will truly be a kind, loving and decent woman and not just play-acting to gain control over you.

      • Harry says

        Dr.Palmatier, thanks for this article and research, I feel I am not alone who is going thru this.
        Can you share if this article was published in a “professional Journal” i.e. one that is published in a medical or psychiatric journal.
        Or is there any similar research published in professional journals, that could be sighted to a practicing psychiatrist
        Any suggestions, guidance will be greatly appreciated.

    • cha2meli02 says

      Hey Dr T,
      that was incredible advise and would work both ways with an abusive hubby or wife. I think the key is to not rush the relationship too, if you truly get to know your partner before you make the commitment to have children and make a life together it can save a life.

  12. sallyp says

    I have been separated from husband for over a year. He was and is a “high functioning” alcoholic and I thought that was the main cause of his demeaning, disrespectful, deceitful, manipulative and psychologically abusive behavior. I recognize now that there is a lot more at play and am working hard at trying to figure out why I was attracted to and committed to this for so long (22 year marriage!).

    Faced with the choice of seeking treatment or divorce (we have 4 children, so I thought he might think about it), he chose the third option – blaming me for it all and accusing me of all kinds of wrong-doing. While I am comfortable holding my head high, he has chosen to zero in on character and my parenting and with some success. Most of his drinking buddies “hate” me and his parents and brother, with whom I have tried to be frank about his drinking, will barely spit a word out to me.

    He uses scraps of evidence to build devastating cases against me – that I do not love my children, that I am controlling and abusive, that I “force” the kids to go along with me against their wishes, that I fabricate “drama” to make myself feel better. One of my four children, a teenage son, went to live with dad last year and has 100% bought into the lies. Last week he let me know I “ruined his life’ and he wants me “out of his”.

    I fear that my other children will be similarly affected by his attitude even though they spend so little time with him (4-6 hours per week) and even though he is very careful about not blatantly bad-mouthing me in front of them (more back-handed. see below.)

    Back to the abusive reactions – I find that each time I make a decision he does not like, the abuse sets in full force. He had been visiting the children at our home for almost a year (how stupid was I for letting that happen??) before I finally said “no more”. I told him I needed to move on, needed space of my own and that he would need to have his parenting time somewhere else – it was normal and healthy for both of us to move on like this.

    He said he was fine with it. That was in June. He now hangs around outside the fence to talk with the kids and neighbors, playing the innocent victim of a woman who will not “let him in the house”. He has stopped communicating to me about our teenage son and his plans with the other children – he makes arrangements with them directly without my knowledge.

    My dilemma? Thinking it was a more peaceful way to go, we are in divorce mediation and the case has not yet gone to court. I do not want to play into his argument about fabricating drama by pursuing court orders. I also want to avoid the contentiousness for the sake of the kids. God, give me patience and peace!!!

  13. DataMonSTAR says

    She already started doing this. First she began by accusing her brother of accusing our son. I didn’t believe it and told her that if she couldn’t come up with some more evidence besides her “feelings.” She is over attached to our children, first of all, and never lets them out of her sight, so there wasn’t even an opportunity for abuse to occur unless she allowed it to, and second our children love their uncle and showed absolutely none of the normal signs of abuse. I had a feeling myself, however, and that was that soon she would turn the same allegations against ME. And of course, she did.

    She told her family, my family, our friends and just about everybody else who would listen that I was abusing our son. Lucky for me, we had access to some really good counselors who didn’t just take her word for it and send me to the chopping block. Also, our pediatrician is WONDERFUL. She had my wife’s number from the first visit and she still to this day (Yes, I am still married to this psycho) tells her how she needs to get help. Them and my family and friends not believing her lies have kept me sane. Still, I worry. The divorce lawyer I sought told me that if she ever gets someone to believe her it will spell trouble for me and I believe her. Right now she’s dead set on getting the kids to come with her to Mexico and I am dead set on them NOT going for a number of reasons (I have hidden their passports away and taken the birth certificates so she can’t forge my signature on a new application), so she’s trying to be the nice pretty princess, but soon I know the ugly face will rear up again.

    *sigh* reading this it LOOKS like a nightmare on the page but in reality I’m still trying to see my rosey-eyed way through it hoping it’ll change. Maybe one day my own words will impact me enough to do something about it.

  14. marie says

    I know all of the men on this site have been or are being hurt – BUT, put your emotions aside and listen to this advice – PLEASE….I would not wish a false accusation on ANYONE…

    If you are, or think you might be, in a conflict with a woman like this, you HAVE TO RECORD every conversation you have with her – PERIOD. If you don’t believe she will falsely accuse you of the most heinous acts a human can commit, your WRONG. My husband spent $150,000.00 in legal fees and the BEST advice he received was to purchase a $40.00 recorder and record EVERY INTERACTION. His criminal attorney said it best – when its a HE SAID/SHE SAID – SHE WILL WIN. YOU ARE GUILTY UNTIL YOU PROVE OTHERWISE. Don’t be naive and think that justice will prevail – only in your naive dreams. I am COMPLETELY CONVINCED that without the recordings, my husband would be in prison. I am the mother of 2 sons and the thought that a female can simply speak a few sentences and ruin their lives is scary – but its true. If your in a relationship with a personality disordered person (male or female) – GET OUT AND PURCHASE A RECORDER. Dr. T, What are the EARLY warnings signs that we can teach our children to look out for….I know you say they are good actors but is there any tell-tale signs?

  15. FlyinDad says

    Like looking into a crystal ball, the 9 identifiable characteristics of a false accuser listed in the article could not have been more true: my foreign-born, non-native English-speaking ex-wife who suddenly became the lower-income victim of “abuse” by me, even though in her own court documentation admitted to being abused by her family (WAY before I met her), now claiming that she is in danger, and that our son is in danger only after her hiring of a well-known pit-bull of a female family law lawyer (principal of her own all-female law firm). She brought a “family counselor” to her side, used translators in court even though she had been in the US for 12 years and was a doctor in her home country, and even took our son away for two nights, laughing into the phone as I demanded to know where he was. Not to go to far into this vein, but there is a large movement of fathers who are fighting to get their children back from countries who don’t, and some that do, adhere to international laws regarding “home country status” of their children. In the end, I was financially ruined, her play of poverty an Oscar-worthy performance, and re-married a well-off engineer type 13 years older within 10 months of the spousal support drying up. I have to sleep with one eye open if our son’s head is not on a pillow under my roof, wondering if she falsified documentation and whisked him off to her parents living overseas in Asia. Together for 10 years, I now understand clearly that the person you divorce is not the one you married. Thank you for the radio commentary and article form of this subject – I thought I was the only one going insane at the insanity of it all.

  16. wyattitsme says

    I am really starting to not like her at all, some days i wonder if it could work, but then I’m around her at my eldest son has, and she tells me i cant talk to one of the boys that is already alienated and not talking to me. There is no way i will ever go back to her. She is the most miserable person i know. But maybe i should sue her. after the custody battle, anybody want to buy my solstice i need the money for court, I’ll walk or ride the bus. I am going to beat her some day.

  17. KM Smith says

    This is a wonderful article. It is so true. I have a younger brother going through a custody battle right now. This article totally describes what has happened to him. He is a wonderful, passive man who married a woman when he was in his early 20’s because she got pregnant. She already had two children from two other men- a boy and a girl. He stepped in as their father, and now has two of his own biological children with her. 7 years later they have divorced, originally agreeing on joint custody and other things. Once the divorce was final, about 8 months ago, things started to get crazy. The accusations started out mild, progressing to worse and worse each time she didn’t get what she wanted- full custody and CHILD SUPPORT. Now she and her mother have accused him of sexual abuse, going to different counties in our area and claiming it has happened in many different places, and alleging awful and sick things in those reports. They have done their best to try and alienate my brother and his family from the children. Doing things constantly that have caused emotional harm to the kids. Its so sad. Of course now, my brother is being investigated and we are all fighting like mad to clear his name. I can’t understand how a person could do these things. Make up horible lies and try to ruin someone’s life. This one definitely has apersonality disorder. Possible multiple. She has always been a pathological liar and a very negative, unhappy person. I am almost convinced she could be a sociopath as well. Very scary for my brother and the children. I am just hoping it ends well for my brother and the children.

  18. Erlangen says

    I have been through over a year of prolific false allegations from my wife during our divorce and custody battle and I think I can contribute with a few points I have learnt. There is little point in recounting the specific alleagations or my personal situation in detail but rather comment on the whole system generally.

    0) Women make false allegations for reasons and you must understand the reasons. In my case there were two primary reasons. First, she wanted total and absolute control over our child to secure another relationship, thus I had to be removed from the equation. It sounds clinical but be it. Second, false allegations are used to make the other persons life difficult simply as a tactic to punish someone you now dislike or hate intensely.

    1) Some of my wife`s alleagations were not simply malicious. I suspect she actually believed some of them. They did of course lack any objective logic but women whomake false allegations sometimes actually believe them and convince themselves they are true. These are the most dangerous allegations as she could be very convincing as she honestly believed them.

    2) Nonetheless, most false allegations are simply driven by anger and rage and women win hands down in the false allegation department as the entire system is set up to protect women. There are obviously many woman who do need protection but this creates a situation where the whole system can mitigate against men who are innocent. My wife was very clever and she skillfully used the entire spectrum of the social services and the criminal justice system to make life difficult for me. I would be curious to know how the social services benchmark their sucess or productivity.

    3) The only way for the state to control these allegations are to make consequences dependent on actions. If a woman makes false allegations she should be punished in some way and should know this before hand. My wife simply had nothing to lose as the social services showered her in attention and the police facilitated her attempts to file criminal charges against me. Again, I understand why this is done i.e. to protect vunerable women but it leaves the system open to abuse. I ended up having to spend time and money to refute them and even when my wife was found to have knowingly and/or recklessly made false written statements to the police she was not prosecuted as anyone else would. I attempted to initiate a private prosecution to recover costs which failed because the state prosecutor simply said under the stress she had become confused. Thus it is a no lose situation for those who make these allegations. There appears to be engrained attitude in the social services and police that this is just par for the course and everyone lies in these situations. The judge in our custody trial appears to assume that people lie in these situations and thought nothing much about it when found out.

    4) False allegations can become a vicious circle for the accuser. My wife lost most of our friends as she attempted to drag them into the dispute . The more friends she lost the more isolated she became and the more allegations she made out of anger as she was convinced that somehow I was engineering all of this. Thus a reinforcing circle can occur where less and less people begin to believe an accuser and so more and more serious allegations are made.

    5) The social services are mostly staffed, I hate to be critical but it is my experience, by women who lack the professional ability to act of their decisions or instinct. If a woman alledges that her husband is an axe-murderer and has made threats agains her then they feel sympathy towards them and are also worried that the husband might be an axe murderer and they arent going to risk their jobs in case the husband does kill the wife with an axe. This leads them to reverse the normal standards of proof and effectively require the husband to prove he isnt an axe murderer. And disproving something conclusively is next to impossible to do. This is why the social services are used by those who make false allegations. It is free and versatile weapon for women to vent their rage and it only requires one phone call.

    My experience suggests the following solutions for dealing with women who are making false allegations against you. (I keep saying women as I know men do it as well but my experience is with my wife and that is all I can commen on)

    1) You have to deal with false allegations calmly which I realise is nearly impossible to do. A person who is falsely accused, especially by their spouse, reacts instinctively and is usually upset and say and do things which they later regret. It is terribly traumatising to hear the person you spent a long part of your life with you to claim outrageous things against you but you have to remain calm.

    2) Dont repeat the allegations! I cannot stress this enough, it is absolutely vital that this rule is obeyed. What normally happens is that my wife would make a new false allegations and I would ring up my friends in frustration to talketo them and say something like “you wont believe what she said now….” However, all you are doing is spreading the allegation. Your best friend will tell his wife and his wife will tell her friend and so on and it will ripple outwards into your social group. And whilst your best friend will know you what is said is false those further out wont know and your reputation will be damaged. “there cant be any smoke without fire” etc.. often people cannot simply believe that a woman would make up stories. So never repeat them leave your wife to repeat them for you. You see if you say “I am not a thief” to my friends it is fundamentally different (I studied law) to your wife saying “he is is a thief” to a third party. She is likely commiting defamation whereas your denial simply spreads the story. Dont do your wife’s dirty work for her. Keep repeating to yourself that it is next to impossible to disprove allegations conclusively so dont try!

    3) Deal as little as possible with any social services agency of any kind, see the above comment, as you are likely just to enter a Kafaesque McCartyite world where you cannot win. My experience is that the police and public prosecutors are better simply because they require proof and by their nature false allegations have no proof. Demand that your wife goes to the police – I know it can be risky and messy – with all her allegations. This can (a) make her pause and think about it and (b) can force her to make significant errors. In my situation my wife submitted false evidence and lied on her statements to the police and this led to great difficulties for her. Whilst she was not prosecuted for these the police obviously viewed everything she said from there on skeptically and I got a letter from the public prosecutor clearing me of her allegations and refusing to prosecute me. This is quite powerful as the social services have someone to pass the buck to and they will begin to then doubt other allegations.

    4) The most critical weapon to counter false allegations is credibility. You have to undermine the credibility of the person making them. The is vital to do as you are likely never able to counter the allegations as most cannot be disproved. Thus never respond to alleagations ask for proof. If your wife claims you were violent towards her, never ever say “I never touched you, I was never violent towards you” What you say is “can you please provide proof, any witnesses, any hospital visits, any allegations made at the time before the divorce/child custody battle began. IN mediation or the social services keep repeating and emphasising calmly that there is no proof. Under pressure the wife will likely bluster and falter. By using this technique you push the burden of proof back to her.

    5) When there is “proof” it can get difficult. Those who make false allegations frequently distort normal every day occurences. So if little Johnny falls off his bike and skins his knee or bangs his head then this can become the basis for claims or neglect or abuse. So claims can be made that “why didnt Johnny have his helment or, where you surpervising him property etc..etc.” And this is the most fertile ground and dangerous ground as you can start to look guilty. A normal event that would be dealt with by the parents jointly now becomes a major problem for one of them. My wife used this tactic frequently and to great effect as I rationally tried to explain what happened to her and or the social services and this was a very bad mistake as most childrens incidents and accidents occur because of minor faults of the parents. If a child falls down a stairs it is because there may have been no rail, if a kid gets cold or wet when out playing ball it is because someone forgot to bring a jacket etc..etc.. The point is normally both parents are raising a child together and know these things happen. However, if one parent – the father in this case – has his child for a weekend or holidays or whatever then the game changes completely. My wife would frequently question our child when she picked him up and poor child would innocently recount ordinary events and these would be the basis for new false allegations. Innocently my responses would be along the line of look things happen, kids fall or yes this one time I forgot to put his helmet on. The fact you put his helmet on 999 previously does not matter. My wife would go running off to social services or the doctor, she actually had a excel sheet of her allegations which she submitted monthly. After a while I realised it was pointless to even respond to her so I ignored her completely. This of course only made her angrier but it left her in the diffiuclt position of having to use our child’s version of events as evidence if she wanted to and of course his version was much more innocent. Eventually most people realised what she was doing and whilst she has not stopped she has lost much of her credibility.

    And that is the final piece of advice – a false accuser will, if given enough rope, hang themselves if you avoid reacting to the allegations and ignore them as much as possible. The anger they feel will make them either make more and more bizzare allegations or simply trip up and be caught telling blantant lies and lose credibility.

  19. theoxherd.com says

    ” I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
    -Martin Luther King

  20. equitydealer says

    I’ve just come across this article after suffering at the hands of my ex-wife who made false allegations of domestic violence against me. Here’s my story…

    I married my wife abroad in a free arranged marriage, i.e. I was not forced to marry her, it was my choice. I met her for a couple of days then decided to get married (big mistake!) Following cultural traditions, my parents first checked her out and her family, which had been going on for a few months before I married her. When is saw her, I was immediately attracted as she was beautiful, and came across as very sweet and innocent. We talked for a few hours over those two days and she was really shy and I thought perfectly safe….

    While her settlement visa was being sorted out, we chatted regularly online and that’s where the first warning signs popped up, which I didn’t recognise at the time. She would sometimes, without any reason just lose her temper. After a few weeks she admitted that she had a really bad temper problem and that she gets jealous really easily. A few months later when her visa came, she joined me and we started living together. The problems started almost immediately. She complained that I did not buy her enough new clothes, despite the fact that I took her shopping to get her a new wardrobe the same weekend when she arrived….jeans, tops, shoes, handbags etc, must have spent well over $750 that Saturday. She would phone her parents back home that she wasn’t happy. Her mood swings would be massive, it would go from making love to having a temper tantrum within hours, it was really starting to upset me. I tried to calm her down, but I think I was being too soft as I’m a passive man. I took her on holiday to a national park, which was really the perfect trip……apart from her anger fits. On one day we went into a grocery store to buy some essentials and I bought some chocolate and as a joke (I like teasing people) I told her not to eat all the candy bars in one go. Her face turned into thunder and she refused to speak to me for hours!

    Things went on like this for a few months until one day she did something that broke my heart into a million pieces. She dialled called the police and claimed that I had slapped her and pushed her down the stairs. People who know me were shocked when they found out, I can’t even hurt a fly. The police came, took her away and I was paraded outside of my home infront of the neighbours, arrested and taken to the cop shop. I had never been so humiliated in my life, so many things were running through my mind. Who had I married? Did she really ever love me? Was she pregnant (thank God she wasn’t….I found out later). The police bailed me and did their investigations and didn’t find any evidence to charge me. They told me the police doctor had examined her at the station and there were no marks on her body…obviously as I had not done anything!

    My mind was a mess, my first true love had betrayed me in the worst possible way, I kept thinking of whether I should take her back, but my family convinced me that she could do this again, and it would have been a lot worse if we had kids. She almost cost me my freedom and my job, thankfully I managed to keep both and have now moved on with my life. Ive divorced her, during which she pleaded for me to take her back, but there was no chance of me risking my life with her again. I’m going to be very careful about who my future partner will be, but I think getting married is a bit of a lottery, hopefully I won’t pick a woman with a mental problem next time.

  21. says

    Using the children to file false accusations to retaliate against the father is just wrong. It is a form of child abuse.
    One woman kidnapped four children after losing custody in a divorce, in order to hurt the father, when her false accusations campaign failed. She is now hiding them in Russia.

    Petition to Secretary Hillary Clinton to intervene:

    Four American children living in Florence, Italy with their custodial father were abducted by their non-custodial mother, who had lost custody one year before when she was found to be psychologically unfit to be a parent.

    In Italy, mothers lose custody in less than 2% of all divorces. Only in extreme cases do they take children away from mothers.

    The children’s physical and psychological health is at risk. They are being isolated from their family and friends. Their mother does not allow them any communication with the outside world. They do not attend school regularly.

    The children were abandoned into Russian Institutions/Orphanages when their mother was unable to care for them.

  22. lmarr says

    I am the girlfriend of a man who has been emotionally harrassed by his wife (no officially ex-wife) for years. He’d like very much to move on with his life, but oppressive alimony laws in our state make it impossible. This woman has a management degree and at one time managed 70 employees. But she’s happy to continue working as a secretary because there is $7,000 in alimony payments arriving at her door each month. And did I mention my boyfriend has been unemployed for the past 3 years and despite that we’ve never been late with a payment? He’s gone through all of his savings, now is going through all his retirement savings to satisfy this demand. Now we’re in court arguing because she’s convinced we’re somehow hiding money from her. numbers showing where all of his money went (to her) was completely unconvincing. So the legal fees mount and her wild accusations, misguided witch-hunts and fixation on me and my boyfriend are never-ending. So I’ve started a petition to bring awareness to unfair alimony laws. please follow this link you’ll be shocked at what you learn: http://www.change.org/petitions/nj-ct-and-ny-please-stop-driving-away-divorced-dads

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      lmarr, I am very sorry to read what your boyfriend’s spiteful, malicious and greedy ex is doing to both of you with the assistance of family court. It is disgusting. Sadly, it’s just business as usual in that sociopathic, broken system.

  23. metilda says

    My ex accused me of all of the above– he used the fact
    That my father abused me against me saying that I was repeating
    what my father did. He is pro se because no lawyer would work for him
    that’s how nuts he is. He calls child protective services making
    false allegations all the time. Every case is closed.
    He claims that I hit him and abused him but never made mention
    of that in any counseling sessions during our relationship. He only
    started accusing me after I divorced him. He was verbally abusive and
    still is 3 years after divorce. The judge is going to order that he be evaluated
    because he makes all these accusations against me with no proof.
    He also accuses the court, the doctors, myself, my lawyer of all
    being out to get him or criminal. He’s totally out there. It’s a fact that the
    majority of false allegations are made by abusive people
    Male female is no difference!!

  24. renner8592 says

    I’m sorry but in my opinion this has very little to do with gender.

    This in my opinion is about greed in a system designed, supported and promulgated by it’s practitioners.

    These allegations start in the lawyers office. If they did their job and discouraged what 9 times out of 10 they have to know are false allegations than we would not have this problem. Amoral practitioners in this profession are becoming rich by turning a simple he said she said no fault divorce into billings that can be counted to go up astronomically. Those fees are going to go over 100k guaranteed, no doubt about it. Now who in an already morally suspect profession would be able to turn that down….. I’ve never known a lawyer who could, have you.

    This is about money pure and simple where there is no more justice in our so called justice system. I’d love to hear from any NON-LAWYER who disagrees…. I’d bet my life there won’t be a single one.


  25. kevin30 says

    Dr.Palmatier thank you very much for the article. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read it last night and item after item describing the identifiable characteristics of a false accuser fit my spouse with whom I filed for a divorce from over a year ago. I also appreciate others who commented providing support and insight into what has been very difficult for me to understand and describe to others as to what was happening since I filed.

    My question is do you (or anyone reading this) have information and/or know of resources that I can provide to my attorney to aide him in my defense to the false accusations?

  26. af1358 says

    I am in Australia and going through this whole thing. Does anyone know how I can get temproray visitation right to my baby. My ex is adding charges every step I get closer to see my baby. I am suffering from extreme depression now.

  27. filmguy says

    i just came across this site and article. it’s been a year now since i’ve seen my daughter and it’s taken $23,000 in legal fees and 3 family law hearings for the judge to finally order psychiatric evals for my daughter and ex-wife. that’s after 2 police interviews, 3 therapist interviews and an interview with child protective services. as everyone else before me, i have discovered that playing the molestation card is a no-lose proposition for the accuser and an always-lose result for the accused. thank you for the site. it’s been validating, albeit not empowering, to read everyone’s stories. something has to be done to change this scenario.

  28. alabama9608 says

    First off, thank you for your site. This makes me feel a little bit better about what I am currently facing. It definitely answers some questions.

    I just got served with papers on Tuesday about by my ex girlfriend trying to get a restraining order against me, apparently I have been stalking her cause I confronted her about bringing our child around a 57 year old guy she is screwing who has multiple porn businesses.

    Last Friday I brought over papers for her to sign that put our time sharing agreement on paper that would be court approved. For some reason I waited this long, but I have felt recently that she has gone off the deep end.

    She finally agreed to sign them on Sat, but instead of signing them, she went to the courthouse and tried to get a restraining order against me and also asked in the order that I not be able to see my child until the court date. Both were denied, but I have court on Thursday.

    So today is Friday, I have had my daughter every Friday night since we split, for about a year and a half, I just get a text saying that I dont need to pick her up because she isn’t working and she picked her up early and is keeping her.

    I tried to tell her it is my day, but she said it is her weekend. My lawyer just told me this will make her look very bad on Thursday, especially since I have a text from last week that she sent saying we didn’t need any arrangement in writing since it has verbally worked out for over a year and half.

    This one is crazier than anyone can imagine. I wish I could go into detail, cause I am sure it would even shock some of you here. I plan to eventually write a book on my experience. It will either be called “I found a mexican hiding in my closet” or “dating the devil”

    Anyway, wish me luck.

  29. Jax says

    I am a university professor who was arrested for domestic battery because my ex-wife lied to the police. The case was dismissed. Never-the-less, it has cost me so much. I had to hire both a criminal and divorce attorney. She stole every possession I had while she lived in my house for free for six months. I was not allowed to go near my house due to a restraining order which obtained by making up lies about me being abusive. I lost a 4 year old stepson who I love and raised for 3 years. The contract for my job is not going to be renewed due to my mugshot appearing in the newspaper following my arrest and my reputation being ruined. It doesn’t matter that the case was dismissed. I am going to have to sell my house which vandalized after she found out that she would not be getting it because I bought it a month before we were married. We were only married for six months. She put holes in all of the interior doors, poured black paint on the garage floor, vandalized my clothes, and so on. My mugshot on the internet for my arrest is ruining my reputation and will likely make it difficult for me to get a new job.

    I married a woman I met from work at a university in Florida. We began dating in 2009. I traveled to Tuscan, AZ with her during Christmas break to pick up her one year old son who was living with her mother. We brought her son back to Florida. I began helping her take care of son. She would drop her son off with me at my apartment on the days she attended classes while we were dating. Her son was in diapers at the time and just beginning to talk. The woman I married seemed to have many of the same interests as me and I became very attached to her and her son. I took on the role of her son’s dad.

    She was in a bad spot financially and I supported her while she was a university student and while she completed a full-time internship at a hospital. I then moved into her house in undesirable area of the city so that we could “combine our resources”. I paid for her son’s daycare bills and for most of the rent. She was hired as a Manager at a hospital after completing her internship. She was in this position for a year. During this time she traveled to various hospitals owned throughout the state of Florida during the week. She was home only on the weekends. I gave her an engagement ring to get married. I raised her son Monday through Friday all by myself during this time so that my future wife could advance her career.

    Her house went into foreclosure while were preparing to get married. She told me her house went into foreclosure because she was too far behind in payments as a result of her son’s biological father not sending any child support or alimony payments. I prepared her house for a short sale and began looking for a new house. I now realize that she was not putting the checks which I gave her for the mortgage towards the house. During this time, she got her sacraments and we went through pre-Cana so we could get married in the Catholic Church. Chris was baptized. I purchased a house in a good school district about a month before we were married in 2012.

    Shortly after we married, she was promoted and no longer traveling during the week. Strangely, my wife suddenly became jealous and resentful of the positive relationship I had with her son. It is odd to describe. I met with attorney to discuss adopting her son. It was our plan that I would adopt her son after we were married. I discussed what I learned from this meeting with my wife and she responded by telling me that I need to prove myself before she would allow me to adopt her son. I started wondering why she married me.

    She began making strange rules such as her son was not allowed to call me dad, I could not pick him up anymore, he could not sit on my lap, etc. She had no problem with any of these things before we married. We were husband and wife and I raised her son since before he could talk. I was the one who would get him up in the morning, get him ready for daycare and preschool, drive him to daycare, pick him up afterwards, take him to the park, cook his meals, read him bedtime stories, etc. I changed his diapers and potty trained him.

    After my ex-wife was promoted to a manager, she began working late during the weekdays and on Saturdays so she could get another promotion as director. I told her that I had to catch up on my work myself and needed extra time for my job. She did not believe me when I told her this. I began staying late at work on the evenings and going in to my office on the weekend. This made her angry. She felt as though I was not giving her enough attention and began accusing me of having affairs. She had no absolutely no basis for this. I had no time, energy, money, or desire for an affair. I do not believe that she believed that I was having affairs. She was trying to be controlling.

    She posted on Facebook that I was having an affair and said other nasty things about me online for everyone to see. I heard that she did this from mutual friends and my brothers. She deleted these postings and denied writing them when I asked her about it. She would often go through my personal and work emails, my Facebook account, and my messages on my phone. I began receiving emails on my AOL account prior to my divorce from dating websites. I believe that my wife was entering my name into these websites to make it look as though I was having an affair in preparation for divorce.

    My wife would make things up which did not happened, accuse me of doing things which I did not do, and deny doing things which she did. It sounds crazy and it was. She was consistent in always portraying herself as a victim and blaming me for her problems. She would start arguments and demand that I apologize for starting the argument. She would then resent me for not apologizing for starting an argument which she started. If I would respond she would escalate the argument. If I didn’t respond she would escalate the argument. She would sabotage or destroying things that she perceived as being valuable to me.

    One of her favorite things to do when she got angry was to change the password on my office computer at home so that I could not be able to log on and access my work for my job. She did this because she knew that I cared about my career. One time she took my truck and sped off with her son. When she returned, the paint job on truck was scratched in four places along the driver and passenger side doors by the keys. She also threw my Verizon smart phone and my parking pass for work out the window in a ditch somewhere alongside the road during this incident. These items were never recovered. After she did this, she profusely apologized. After time past, however, she was not sorry for doing this and blamed it on me.

    She would do vindictive things like throw my clothes, hat, and sunglasses in the trash when I was not around and would then deny doing it. She threw my Ipad in the bushes overnight. She threw some clothes I bought for her son in the trash because she was mad at me. She hid my office key for work so that I had to get a new one. She hid mail that I received from my family. She would take pictures down in our house with me in them and hide them. There were also times when she would destroy my things right in front of my face. She smashed by a glass picture frame with my PhD. Diploma and poured water on my computer, for instance.

    One of the things we would argue about was paying the bills. We agreed that we would both contribute to the paying our bills before we got married. She makes almost as much money as I do with her promotion and I did not foresee this as a problem with our combined incomes. After we were married, however, she would not contribute to any of the bills. When I showed her our bills and asked her to contribute she would start an argument. She would tell me that she is not going to pay anything because I don’t respect her.

    We had kept separate banking and checking accounts because she has bad credit and she hid her money during our marriage. I know that she did this because she did not produce a financial affidavit for our divorce even though she, supposedly, was required to do so. This did not affect her during the divorce proceedings because the divorce did not go to trial.

    My ex-wife’s car was repossessed about three or four weeks before we were separated. Apparently, she had been ignoring the payments for some time. Veronica needed a new vehicle. Foolishly, I took out a loan for 2007 Jeep Liberty for her because I was able to get a better deal on the loan than her because of her bad credit. I believed that I was doing the right thing as a husband and a father. She promised me that she would make the monthly payments on the loan. She is still in possession of this vehicle after the divorce and the loan is still in my name. I have to make payments till January, 2014 and she has to make a valid attempt to refinance the vehicle into her own name.

    My ex-wife turned very cold towards me after an argument we had during Thanksgiving weekend about me removing boxes from the Jeep Liberty into the garage. I believe this is when she decided that she was going to divorce me and take my house by having me arrested for domestic battery like she did to her previous husband. There were two big boxes in the Jeep which contained Veronica’s belongs which were recovered from her car which was repossessed. These boxes were loaded with random stuff including papers, clothes, her son’s toys, and I don’t know what else. She kept a lot of junk in that car and these boxes were heavy.

    She had been driving around with these boxes for weeks. I took the Jeep to get some eggs so that she could make some banana bread. I put the boxes that were in the Jeep in the garage when I returned back to the house. The next morning my wife noticed that I removed these boxes from the jeep and put them in the garage. She blew up because I did this. In words I cannot recall, she starting telling me how she thought things were getting better between us but they have not, that I am not her father, that I violated her, etc. I was shocked at this. I thought I was doing her a favor. These boxes were big and heavy and they were a hazard. I don’t know how to describe it, but after this argument I felt a real dark resentment towards me that did not lift. I believe this is when she decided that she was going to get me arrested.

    The worst day of my life was about a week later on Nov. 30th, 2012. I got up at about 6:00 to get ready for work. My toothbrush and toiletries were missing. My wife threw them out in the yard. This made me angry. I was wondering why she would do that. I went into the master bedroom where she was sleeping with her son. I was sleeping in her son’s room as it became my wife’s routine to sleep with her son, a perfectly healthy 4 ½ year old boy. This is another issue we had. Anyways, I asked her, in a very irritated tone, why she threw my toiletries out in the yard. She became very angry because I woke her up. We argued.

    I took a shower and put on my work clothes. I had a lot to accomplish that day. It was the last day of classes for the semester. I was sitting on the bed putting on my shoes and my wife came in bedroom and poured olive oil all over me. Why would she do that to me? I took a second shower. We argued again. I put on a second outfit of clothes on for work. She was still angry and dumped olive oil on me a second a time. I went into the bathroom to take a third shower. This time I made comment that she was ruining our marriage and took my wedding ring off and put it on the counter in the bathroom. While I was in the shower, she threw my truck keys and my office key out in the yard somewhere. She then came into the bathroom and took my wedding ring. She was furious that I took off my wedding ring. I got dressed and was telling my wife to give me my wedding ring back and to get my keys. I wanted to get out of there. She then dialed 911 and hung up. I step outside and she locked the door. She called the police again while I was outside. I went to the back patio of the house. Two police officers quickly show up. I don’t know exactly what she was telling the police when I was outside behind the house but I could hear that she was going off. I was literally in shock that this was happening.

    She told the police that I pushed her against the wall, that I said “your pain means nothing to me”, and that I was trying to get her wedding ring. She also said that I threw her (our) television. She said she poured olive on me so that she could slip away from me and did. These are lies. I don’t talk like that, I did not push her, and I did not throw the television.

    Her previous husband was convicted of domestic battery and I was suspicious of what she was doing. I was very cautious not to touch her. It didn’t matter. She lied to the police and I was arrested. My ex-wife is very physically attractive and the young police officer who showed up was all too gun-ho to place me under arrest.

    I was hand-cuffed, put in the back of the police cruiser, and taken to jail. Jail is an awful experience. I didn’t sleep for two and half days. I had a painful headache the whole time. Luckily, my dad figured out I was in jail and posted bail for me. Otherwise, I would have been in jail for much longer. The worst part of the whole experience was when I was given a copy of a restraining order my wife obtained against me on my second day. I was flabbergasted when I read her sworn affidavit. Lies! She wrote it up to get me in as much trouble as possible. Among other things she said that I killed a family pet. We never had any family pets! She made it seem as though I have weapons all over the house. This restraining order resulted in me being kicked out onto the street with nowhere to go. I made front page news in the paper because I am a professor. The worst is that the mug shot is online with a newspaper article about my arrest. It is the first thing that pops up when my name is typed in for an internet search. I contacted the newspaper explaining that my case was dismissed, but they will not take it down. It is very damaging to my reputation and ability to seek employment.

    M ex-wife used me and had me arrested for domestic battery to justify getting a divorce and to gain leverage for the divorce proceedings. Her ultimate goal was to get my house and she was willing to ruin me to do so. She obtained her previous house from having her previous husband convicted of domestic battery. I have a taped phone message that involves her calling me a bunch of names, that I should not bother coming home, that she is going to change the locks, and that all my stuff will be out in the yard. She, indeed, followed through on this threat by having me arrested and thrown out of my house.

    I found out after this happened that this is her fourth divorce. She has four previous aliases. The marriage she had before mine was dissolved as a result of her husband being convicted of domestic battery. Her marriage to me was dissolved as a result of false allegations of domestic battery which have been dismissed.

    After being released from jail I was then kicked out of my house with nowhere to go. The only thing I had was my wallet, my phone, my truck, and the clothes that I was arrested in. I had to get a criminal defense attorney to deal with the criminal charges against me and a divorce attorney and come up with some way to pay their retainer fees. I had an arraignment hearing, a preliminary hearing, and three pretrial hearings for my criminal case. I had to attend two hearings in civil court for the injunction (the restraining order) and three divorce mediation hearings. Preparing, paying, and going to these hearings was very financially and emotionally difficult.

    The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the criminal charges against me as long as complete six months of probation after my third pretrial hearing, which was five months after my arrest. I do not have to attend the batter’s intervention program which is very rare in cases of domestic violence. I suspect this is because the prosecutor believes that I did not batter my ex-wife, and I didn’t. I would have liked it to have gone to trial so that she would have been cross-examined. It is rare for a misdemeanor case to go to trial. Less than .01% of misdemeanor cases go trial in the County I live in.

    The civil restraining order against me is very frustrating The courts always grant them, just in case. They do not require any evidence. The only requirement is that the person seeking a restraining order has to say that they are afraid of the person they are seeking to obtain the restraining order against and it will be granted. My ex-wife knew exactly what to do to have me kicked out of my house. She was through this process before. The restraining order resulted in me being kicked out of my house for six months while I got the divorce finalized and mediated. The divorce took longer than the marriage lasted. I was not able to challenge the restraining order against me because my attorney’s wanted me to remain silent for my criminal case.

    I was at a disadvantage during this mediation due to the restraining order which was in place against me and she knew it. I was not allowed to come with 500 feet of my house during the divorce and the mediation process even though I was the one who was making the mortgage payments on the house. I was able to survive during this time by sleeping in the computer room of a colleague on air mattress.

    I had to agree to some things during the divorce mediation like making payments on the Jeep for nine months which I would not have had to do if the divorce would have gone to trial. I would have liked our divorce to go to trial, but this would have taken another seven to ten months to occur. I could not afford paying the additional lawyer fees to go trial and the mortgage on my house for another seven to ten months and sleeping on an air mattress in my colleague’s computer room while I waited for the case to go trial.

    I was finally able to return to my house after about six months after I was arrested. The inside of the house was trashed and the grass in the yard was two feet high. The house was dirty, vandalized, and left in disarray. All of the interior doors in the house have holes in them from either being kicked or hit with a hammer. The walls have holes in them from the doorknobs going through the wall. The compressor for the air conditioner was burned out and had to be replaced. The garbage disposal has to be replaced. Black paint has been dumped on the garage floor. A big vase in the garage was smashed with an axe. All the sheets were stripped off my bed mattresses and they were laying in the garage in a filthy mess. There were dead bugs all over in the house.

    She stole my possessions. She stole my kayak, life jacket, paddle, my computer, laser printer, music devices and speakers, bed sheets, bed spread, weed eater, dishes, two sets of silverware, bread maker, pots and pans, crock pot, toaster, the kitchen table and chairs, the shelving out of the garage, the side tables, the mop and mop bucket, the vacuum cleaner, the brooms, the knobs off the bathroom sinks and tub, the knobs off my dresser, the shower curtain and rod, the rugs, blankets, the scope for my rifle, my football jersey and sweatshirt, my running shoes, all of my tools and tool boxes, the glass plate out of the microwave, my wedding ring, etc. The computer she stole had my work information on it, some of my research on it, software which I bought, my tax information, and many of my photographs on it.

    All my photo albums and pictures were taken or destroyed. I am missing pictures from my childhood, my parents when they were younger, and from when I was in high school. They are all gone and may never be recovered. The only pictures she left were the ones with her and me in them to irritate me. She threw out my PhD diploma and Master’s diploma. My checkbooks are gone. The top button of a bunch of my dress shirts have been torn off. She went through all my files and took things, like the receipt for the engagement ring, etc.

    My ex-wife committed a systematic thievery over a period of six of months and I had no way to protect myself due to the restraining order. This is on top of items which she was allowed to keep, like the Jeep, the washer and dryer, her television, her furniture, the engagement and wedding ring, all of Chris’s stuff, etc. She left some things to irritate me like her wedding dress which is all dirty, smashed wedding glasses, a calendar on the wall stating things like “Going out XXXX”, “Party with XXXX”, “Going to Ireland with XXXX.

    My divorce lawyer has filed a motion for contempt of court and enforcement in response to this.

    I used to think that her previous husband was a jerk who abandoned his son. I have contacted him since this happened and have spoken to him by telephone and by email. My opinion of him has changed. He had a lot of similar stories to tell me about my ex-wife as I experienced. She keyed my truck and she keyed his car. She would become very angry with him when he had travel for his job. She poured paint on his company car. She destroyed his motorcycle and chopped up his clothes. I now know why there were no interior doors in her house. He has not been able to get a decent job because of his criminal record of domestic battery. As a consequence, he has not been able to pay his child support payments. Since he hasn’t been paying his child support payments he has had his driver’s license suspended.

    My contract as a university professor is not renewed, which I believe is because of my arrest. I now have get a new job which will be difficult with my mug shot on the internet. I will also have to sell my house. This allegation of false domestic violence has cost me a lot of money which I do not have, has resulted in me losing a relationship with a son I was raising, has ruined my reputation, and has damaged my career…and I can’t understand what it is that I did to my ex-wife for her to try to ruin me.

    • cuatezon says

      Jax – sorry you had this horrible experience. My ex used to steal my mail & hide it too, play little games like that, and many other similar things your ex did. I call it D&C (Dazed & Confused). Gaslighting, FOG, Hoovering, other tactics. They do this to keep you off balance, doubting yourself & others, and often in a constant ‘WTF’ state of mind. They enjoy seing you confused; similar to that of a cat toying with the mouse.

      You were played. Your ex played an emotional, spiritual, and financial fraud on you. My ex did too. You’re not alone. They didn’t marry us for love, but rather some other ulterior motives/utilitarian reasons. Its a crappy feeling.

      Give yourself a pat on the back for GTFO – Getting The Fuck Out. We deserve award/reward for doing so, regardless of the cost.

      “Did you forget something…weren’t you going to play Misty for me?”

      Yes watching the classic movie on cable tv as I type this reply…

  30. Heart Broken Geek says

    I agree with the article, but my situation is somewhat different. My son, that I adopted at age 12 (I have been his dad since he was 11 months old) is now stating I have abused him verbally, emotionally and physically his whole life. It’s of course, an absolute fabrication that i am sure my CB can’t wait to get on the stand. I was just wondering if there are any numbers about teenager led false violations?

  31. rocky1980 says

    oh my god I am in a 4 year battle right now and I am $70,000 in attorneys fees debt because my soon to be ex wife has made so many false allegations denied me visitation she hired a private investigator and she made false allegations that I was drinking around my son I make around $80,000 a year and I can’t even afford to buy my son presents for Christmas and his birthday because I’m so far into debt because of my ex soon to be ex has made all these false allegations and I have paid so much money to try to prove my innocence she is called CPS several times her parents have called CPS several times I have been assaulted by her father in front of my son on one of my days I was supposed to have visitations and I didn’t even get to see my son for 10 minutes. this kind of behavior needs to stop I can not financially live in a decent place I’m trying to get attorneys fees awarded to me but from everything I’ve read I’m basically out of luck.I don’t know what they expect a father to do when he’s been ambushed by his ex and by her parents I’ve done everything that I could possibly do l recorded every time that I tried to go pick up my son I’ve gone to court and the only thing the judge is done was tell me that I can make up my weekends but I work shift work and I only get two weekends off a month and he won’t budge on that so I have to take vacation to be able to make up those weekends and if I don’t I don’t get to make up those weekends my son is only 5 years old and we’ve been going through this divorce since he was2 years old.

  32. promiseoftomorrow says

    Dear Jax

    I was saddened to read about your story, which bears similar hallmarks to something I am going through just now.

    Would it be possible to speak to you directly or email you for some advice and/or support?

    Thanks in advance

  33. steve1350 says

    My name is Steve clark. I’ve been a victim for over 6 years. I’ve been accused of sexual abuse 4 times, robbing a bank, had my identity stolen, accused of abuse. I actually moved to the Middle East to work with the military for 2 years to try giving time. Since then has been overkill. She got an expartie agreement based on sexual abuse just to go on a vacation I would probably have allowed. She’s now in my custody after an amber alert was issued and I’m left with nothing. Government won’t help. Tried contacting new stations, tried everything in my power and I’m now a lifeless soul who’s only vision of an end is without doubt the last move on a chess board. I need help.

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