Why does my wife seem to always find fault with our children’s school and routinely insist on changing them? Why do my kids’ teachers look at me like I’m a serial killer when I attend parent teacher conferences? Maybe it’s all in my head, but why does it seem like my ex is deliberately trying to sabotage our children’s education? Why does my girlfriend insist on treating our pre-teen kids like they’re still babies?
Why does my wife feed our kids a steady diet of junk food? Does she want them to be obese? Why does my wife seem to take pleasure in telling me when our daughter misbehaves and gloat when I punish our daughter or become angry when she doesn’t think I’m being tough enough on our daughter? My ex allows our 12-year old daughter to sleep in the same bed with her. Is this healthy?
My husband’s ex-wife still hasn’t potty trained their son and puts him in pull-up diapers. He’s 14-years old. What the hell is going on? He doesn’t soil himself when he stays with us. My ex seems to get mad when I spend time with our kids and take them places or buy them little gifts or new school clothes. She acts as if she’s jealous of them. Is this possible?
Many men and women in my practice have made the above observations and asked the above questions. The subject of maternal sabotage is also one of the many common themes on the Shrink4Men Forum. It can be difficult to wrap one’s mind around this topic. What kind of a mother would deliberately try to sabotage her child’s intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical and moral development?
A bad one.
That’s a simplistic answer, but an accurate one. Sabotaging one’s own children is frequently a common trait of abusive personality disordered women and men specifically, borderline (BPD), narcissistic (NPD), histrionic (HPD), and dependent (DPD) personality disordered parents.
The cognitive dissonance this subject creates cannot be underestimated. Most parents want the best for their children. Good parents want to provide the best education possible for their kids and will move school districts, participate in lotteries and pay high tuition rates in order to obtain it. Good parents want their kids to thrive and grow up to be successful, independent adults. Most parents work hard to help their children become as or more successful than they are.
Then, there’s another kind of parent, oftentimes a borderline and/or narcissistic parent, who seems to deliberately sabotage their children’s education and development by regularly changing schools, not providing their kids with the stability and consistency that facilitates learning and good school performance, feeding their kids a poor diet, encouraging prolonged dependence on mommy, competing with their kids for attention and a host of other supremely unhealthy behaviors. Why do many BPDs/NPDs and other personality disordered parents do this?
Common reasons BPDs/NPDs and other personality disordered parents sabotage their children’s development:
1) Exposure. If and when the BPD/NPD parent has exposed her asshattery to a teacher(s), other parents, coaches and/or school administration, she may push to change the children’s school. One could argue that the BPD/NPD is embarrassed, but many of them appear to be quite shameless — and relentless. More likely, her mask of super mom, single martyr mom or victim of my POS ex-husband mom has slipped and she has revealed which parent is the actual problem.
After the BPD/NPD parent has exposed her difficult nature, she will often concoct some reason why the “children” need to change schools and get a “fresh start.” Once the teachers et al know the true source of the conflict, the BPD/NPD can no longer conduct smear campaigns and blame shifting nor can she control the narrative. Oftentimes, this is the real reason behind frequent and/or multiple school changes.
2) “Winning.” During and after a divorce or break-up, the BPD/NPD wants to “win,” which typically means inflicting maximum pain on you for “abandoning” her (even if she initiates the break up). Oftentimes, this individual weaponizes shared children and engages in parental alienation. She may also try to impoverish you by using the courts to extort as much child and spousal support as possible. She equates “winning” to hurting you and taking or destroying anything or anyone you care about or love and that includes the children.
For example, a former client’s ex is trying to block their eldest child from attending the best school in their area, which happens to be a free public school (grades are good enough and they won the lottery). Instead, the ex wants to keep the child in an expensive private school. Why? She manufactured some very lame reasons about it not being fair to their younger child if the older sibling is able to get a better education.
In reality, it’s about the ex gouging this guy for as much money as she can. Even if she doesn’t see a penny of it, she wants him to pay and keep paying. A BPD/NPD ex often equates the amount of money, child support and assets she can extort from you with her sense of worth. Additionally, this kind of individual does not seem to have any qualms about hurting the children in order to hurt you. As you probably already know, hurting the children is often the very best way to hurt you.
3) CONTROL. The BPD/NPD is the decider. She believes she is entitled to unilateral control over the children. She often sees the children as her property and you are expected to pay a Golden Uterus rental fee for the rest of your life. Even if the court awards joint decision making regarding schooling and medical issues, the BPD/NPD will typically do her best to withhold information and cut you out of all major and minor decision-making — that is until it’s time to pay the bills for her unilateral decisions. You are then expected to pony up. Immediately.
Ultimately, you may be at cross-purposes with a BPD/NPD ex. If you are advocating for the children’s best interests, she will be argue and push for the opposite. Why? To show you who is in control. And if the children get hurt as a result, she will blame you.
4) Children shouldn’t raise children. A BPD/NPD is often described as a child in an adult’s body. Emotionally and psychologically speaking, this is often true. These individuals can be incredibly immature and seem to be stuck at an early age of emotional development. Many of my clients who share a child with a BPD/NPD mother watch in amazement (and relief) as their children surpass their wives in emotional maturity, empathy and problem-solving skills.
There’s a reason our society frowns upon teenage pregnancy and teenage parents. Morality and religious beliefs about premarital sex aside, the simple fact of the matter is that children have not reached the optimal emotional maturity or intellectual capacity to be parents. The same is true of parents who are children in adult bodies. Personality disordered and/or emotionally immature parents frequently parentify their children (i.e., makes the child responsible for meeting the parent’s emotional and/or physical needs), which is a form of child abuse.
5) Sibling rivalry. A BPD/NPD mother is often jealous of her own children and sees them as competition for attention, love, admiration and resources. The possibility that her child may surpass her scholastically, in attractiveness, in popularity, in physical fitness, in athletic ability, etc., can be very threatening to a BPD/NPD mom. The opposite can also be true. For example, a mom who sees her child’s success as a reflection of her worth and pushes her child to succeed to the point of abuse (think Tiger Mom).
Sibling rivalry for one’s child can manifest in several ways. For example, your BPD/NPD wife “tattles” on the child and takes pleasure in watching you mete out punishment for misbehavior, a BPD/NPD sets up the child to get him/her into trouble, feeding the child a steady diet of fast food/junk food/processed foods to make the child fat so mom can seem skinnier and prettier in comparison (this is especially common with BPD/NPD mothers and daughters), having a scapegoat child and a “golden child” and pitting them against one another, becoming jealous when the child’s father (her ex) buys them new school clothes, takes them on vacation, to concerts and other special events and making anything that happens to child, good or bad, about her.
6) Bad role modeling. A BPD/NPD parent often lacks empathy, is entitled, rejects personal responsibility for her behaviors, engages in bullying and intimidation, is dishonest, has the relative morality of a small child, has chaotic and extremely dysfunctional relationships, has no sense of fair play and is completely self-obsessed. Enough said.
7) Fear of abandonment. A BPD’s/NPD’s fear of abandonment may take the form of infantilizing their children or one of their children. This is a particularly insidious form of abuse and, in some ways, is the opposite of child parentification. A parent who engages in infantilization is unable to tolerate her child’s developmental growth toward healthy independence. Whether it is the fear of abandonment or the need to be needed, an infantilizing parent is threatened by and acts to undermine the child’s age-appropriate emerging independence (Bogolub, 1984).
Benjamin D. Garber, PhD (2011) explains:
In the context of co-parental conflict, separation, or divorce, the infantilizing parent may experience the separation associated with the child’s time in the other parent’s care as a narcissistic injury (a loss of self) prompting depression, anger, and/or anxiety. These emotions are communicated to the child no matter the (court-ordered, therapist scripted) reassuring words that are spoken, fueling the child’s resistance or refusal to return to the other parent’s care. Like the parentified child, this child may feel responsible for the parent’s well-being in absentia, but not in a care giving capacity. Instead, the infantilized child is at least implicitly aware that his or her continuing dependency fulfills the enmeshed parent’s needs.
Oftentimes, children who are being infantilized may develop depression, anxiety, developmental delays and may even be misdiagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. In addition to meeting a BPD/NPD mom’s emotional needs, infantilizing a child to the point of debilitation can provide a BPD/NPD/HPD mom with attention (in the extreme form this could be Munchausen by Proxy), social status, money (e.g., state benefits or prolonged child support monies) and/or maintaining a connection to the father of the child post-divorce because the child has “special needs.”
I know of cases in which diagnosed and undiagnosed BPD/NPD moms allow children to regularly sleep in their beds well beyond an age that “co-sleeping” is appropriate; a mom who continues to allow her teen-aged child (who has no urological or bowel impairment) to wear pull-up diapers because it is “easier;” moms who use baby talk with their teenaged kids; moms who sabotage their children’s peer relationships, which results in the kids spending more time at home so mom isn’t alone; and a mom who has deliberately sabotaged her special needs adult child to the point where the adult child is in a near vegetative state in order to continue to collect state benefits for her care and is enabled by medical doctors in doing so.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other ways BPD/NPD and other personality disordered parents sabotage their children’s educational, psychological, physical and moral development. The information contained in this article is just one of the reasons I cringe when I hear a client or forum member claim, “Yes, she’s abusive to me, but she’s a good mom.” It is my opinion that individuals with these personality disorders are constitutionally incapable of truly being good parents and this article provides a sampling of just how destructive these kinds of parents can be.
What ways have you observed your wife, girlfriend, ex or husband’s ex sabotage her children?
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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Bogolub, E. (1984). Symbiotic mothers and infantilized only children: A subtype of single-parent family. Child and Adolescent
Social Work Journal, 1, 89–101.
Garber, B.D. (2011). Parental alienation and the dynamics of the enmeshed parent-child dyad: Adultification, parentification and infantilization. Family Court Review, Vol. 49, 2, 322-335.
ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!!!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Yikes. All of them?
So is my boyfriends 53 yr old mother. She is def. a borderline pd person (a severe bpd at that) and additionally at minimum has a lot of hpd, dpd and npd traits if not these pds full blown. She is also mentally stuck at somewhere between 7 and 13 in way she behaves, thinks, reacts, her beliefs, etc. 95% the time if not more. She is out of control too. I could write a novel length comment on this article about her but I wont.
The woman we have to deal with loves going into her MOTY (Mother Of The Year) act. Unfortunately she can only sustain it for a couple of months at a time. She will claim that she puts many hours into helping the child study. So, when the child fails a test? It’s because the child is special needs. It’s because the classes need to be made easier. It’s because there is too much information for the child to absorb. It’s certainly not because the mother is lying through her teeth. What she is doing is making the child and the teachers think that the child is incapable of learning. She will gladly destroy her child’s self esteem to keep her illusion of being MOTY.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Blame shifters rarely take responsibility. It’s not surprising that this woman is shifting the blame to her own child or the teacher or a deadbeat dad. Oh no, the fault couldn’t lie with the person who has physical custody the majority of the time. Is there a father or a father figure in the home, Shadowkitty?
Interesting you should ask about a father figure or father being in the home. The mother hasn’t come to terms with her own sexual identity yet. She was heterosexual for her 2 failed marriages. Then she decided that she was a lesbian and engaged in relationships with women for the last 10 years. These women of course lived with the mother. Mother has now swung back to being hetero and has introduced a male into her kids life. The kid is 12 years old.
Due to living 4 hours apart, father had kid 2 weekends a month. As well as 8 weeks in summer. A Family Court Judge recently decided that the 4 hour drive is not “fun” for the kid and father’s time has been reduced to 1 weekend a month.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m speechless, but not surprised. Wow.
This article made me want to cry…or puke…or maybe both. My husband and I sit by today and watch the effects of a crazy BPD mom has on her kids….she has destroyed all of them and is completing her job on the last one, as I type. The kids have been so conditioned over the years, they can’t even “see” it. Regardless of the direction their dad gives them, they go back to “mom’s ways” and continue to self-destruct. I’m amazed at the power “insanity” has over innocent victims.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
That’s tragic, APSmom.
I don’t know, but suspect that it seems “easier” to go through life blaming others rather than taking responsibility for oneself. The “kids” seem to be following in their mother’s footsteps, refusing to grow-up.
Dawn De Beer says
Dawn De Beer says
Sorry apsmom,,I’ll start again,I am in that same tragic boat.What you have said is right on the spot.All your feelings are the same as mine and it is just so sad that we are rendered so helpless.I have looked into that so called mother’s eyes..it is not insanity it is pure evil..what mother will force her 3 year old little girl to say that she is a liar.She told her daddy that the mother was hitting and spitting at the new boyfriend,the daddy then just asked the mother to refrain from fighting in front of his daughter.That is when she made the little one sit in front of a video cam and screamed at her to tell her daddy that she is a liar and that it wasn’t true.
not insanity but pure evil.
How did you know about “fresh start”?? My X CB falsely accused the owner of my DD’s Montessori of having a DUI. I asked the owner about that and they in turn almost sued the X CB for it. I encouraged them to do so, even telling them that I would gladly send them the email I had of the accusation.
After this happened, wouldn’t you know the X CB wants to take our DD out of one of the top schools in the city so she and our DD can have a “fresh start”. I kid you not those are the exact words and excuse she used.
How you get into the heads of these crazy people I’ll never know Dr. T, but you sure know your stuff! 🙂
Dr Tara Palmatier says
How did I know about fresh start (sounds like a laundry detergent)? Several of my clients, several friends and several online acquaintances have experienced this.
Individuals like this don’t just do this with school. After they expose their ugly sides, they flee the scene, shake their Etch-a-Sketch brains and presto! They left the school, etc., for some contrived reason and not because people were getting wise to them.
Swan Song says
“What ways have you observed your wife, girlfriend, ex or husband’s ex sabotage her children?”
All of the above!
Tomorrow, when I have the time, I’ll elaborate. This article couldn’t have come at a more propitious time for me, and it confirms to minute detail what I have already speculated to be the reason(s) for all of my CBx’s bizarre and horribly destructive treatment of our children.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Hi Swan Song,
I can only imagine what else your ex has done. If I recall, the ex has successfully alienated your adult daughter. How are things with your son?
Whoa, just a clarification. I am the dad and doing the nuturing. It’s the mom that keeps my daughter from soccer and other school activities.
Postedin the wrong place sorry Wrong reply
I fought two years for a separation agreement that included the right for me to pick my daughter up from school one day a week.
Clearly mom didn’t want me ‘interfering’ in our child’s education. Not only did she start our daughter in Catholic school against my wishes (the woman hasn’t set foot in a church for 25 years) mom has also definitely done her best to make sure I do not know about meet the teacher days, see report cards, or miss out on participating in other school goings on.
The weekly contact with teachers has been invaluable as I can explain/work with them to help them understand that not only is my daughter’s ‘behaviour’ issues directly related to not eating properly and staying up too late on school nights I can also impress upon them to demand/expect more from my daughter as she is capable of so much more.
Now In Grade 2 I am the only parent who goes to school – mom doesn’t even show up for meet the teacher night. It is a small school so the message is getting through loud and clear to all the staff about mom.
I would say to any father out there find the time and make the effort to be involved in your child’s education as much as possible – it will make a difference how your children do and most importantly how the teachers perceive your child.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Excellent advice, Lebrocq. The more involved you are with your kids’ educations the better. It takes real commitment and effort, which is something many of these perpetual children can only feign for so long.
Build your own relationships with teachers, coaches and other parents. First, this mitigates any gamesmanship the ex may try to engage in (withholding information about education) and second, it really is in the best interests of the kids.
Think about it. How many of you reading this have exes who have college degrees yet refuse to work, refuse to advance themselves and refuse to support themselves, and instead sit at home and/or act as a glorified taxi driver for the kids shuttling them from activity to activity (that they have over-enrolled them in) whilst pitching entitlement tantrums? These are not “adults” who should be stewarding the children’s education.
What are they going to teach them? How to grow up to be an entitled do nothing brat just like mommy who lives off the money she extorts from her exes? Why judges give this type of mother decision making power over their kids’ schooling is beyond me.
Great article Dr T and nice reply Lebrocq. I’ve gone back and read the 2009 articles on this subject especially this one: http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/is-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-fair-to-your-husband/
This blog post is very near and dear to my heart as I see the sabotaging behaviors emerging.
If the ex has NPD this article would give me the clearest indication she has, could identify with all of the above … My children because of age difference attend two different schools, both schools know to call me if they are sick, in five years she has never once picked them up, she tells the school admin to phone “him” … or if they are having difficulties with school programmes I get the call, for all with suspected disordered ex partners their veil of normality comes unhinged fairly quickly if you are persistent, so if needed, force your way into your childrens education, it has paid of for my four and myself.
It really is a cornerstone article Dr T thank you for taking care and your time to put it together for all who suffer …
She continues to deny me as having relevance in the childrens lives, she constantly tells the children that my parents should not be referred to as Grand ma and Grand dad, she never once celebrated my birthday with the children or fathers day during the marriage, but my persistence has paid off there also, I would always celebrate these dates and my children have lovely memories …
So please Ladies or Gents don’t give in to “the crazy” …
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thank you. You’re very kind. Good job re: insisting to be involved in your children’s education. It really is so very important. Studies show kids do better academically (and in just about every other life facet) when their fathers are involved.
“A BPD/NPD parent often lacks empathy, is entitled, rejects personal responsibility for her behaviors, engages in bullying and intimidation, is dishonest, has the relative morality of a small child, has chaotic and extremely dysfunctional relationships, has no sense of fair play and is completely self-obsessed. Enough said.”
That sums it up very well for me although I might take issue with “has the relative morality of a small child”. I see few children (well, maybe my one cousin) Hell bent on scorched-earth revenge for perceived minor slights, consumed by hate, and taking action purely intended to hurt.
My ex does all of the above. My daughter starts her third season of soccer where she will not be attending games on the weekends when my ex has her. I once asked my daughter what he did over the weekend. She said, “Nothing. I got to wear my pajamas all day”. Well yippee!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Good point, playmisty. I’m sorry your daughter has a father who is not nurturing her abilities and talents. Keep offering her an alternative. She needs it.
I’ll add one more that I suspect for the Mom who doesn’t want to or won’t work.
One way to justify not working is that the kids have so many special needs that keeping up with all of them is a full-time job — making appointments, shuttling to appointments, arguing with insurance companies, making sure the schools are responding appropriately, etc. If mom is working, who will do all this? You mean, you, the slacker husband and dad who is a slacker because you didn’t unload the dishwasher exactly as I would have you do it?
Mine also has a bit of a hero complex that she likes seeing herself as the sole person who can recognize the depth of and severity of a problem in a world of people who would prefer to keep their heads in the sand and deny anything is wrong. So seeing every misbehavior as a sign of some deeper problem requiring vast professional attention feeds right into that.
Then, if something is found, she can tell the story of herself as the lone warrior mama willing to take on the system and people who thought she was crazy (including me) to get to the bottom of it. Never mind that it’s my job and insurance that enables her to get all these tests and appointments done…
It never ceases to amaze me how many of these posts seem like a page out of my own diary. Sometimes I think I should check for cameras in my house! 🙂
My wife does the same “Lone hero” routine. Battling to get our daughter help from all the teachers that don’t care. Never seems to occur to her that lack of sleep from letting an 8 year old stay up until 1:00AM on school nights might have something to do with it! This has been going on for years with me being the bad guy when I fight with her to fix the issue. She also does the same “can’t work because who will help our struggling daughter with her studies routine…
I could just go on and on with examples that would curl your hair…but I suspect you guys have probably heard it all before or worse….i am starting to get to the end of my rope.
Agree. Its a Munchausen-by-Proxy Syndrome on the emotional and psychological levels. I’ll post about what I’ve lived through in a moment, but you’re definitely right on with your comments AnonDad.
Mr. J says
My wife’s mother is the super-responsible “sufferer” who treated my wife’s father terribly…He drank the whole time and the children picked up on the habit which she encouraged every way she could so she could play the “victim” of children with “problems”….One of the “children” will probably never grow out of it.
I never IMAGINED anything like this before being witness to it.
Mr. J says
…and she also turned the adult children against each other every chance she got….making up lies, withholding information, or anything she could to do so.
All so none would get together and “catch on” I’m sure…Also a MOTY player.
I was trying to get motivated to do a blog on this general subject after reading the archives from 2009 on this subject! Dr. T did an oh so much better job than I would have.
Does being a homeschool-mom necessarily negate the PD? I ask because that seems like something a giving, dedicated woman would do, yet I know of a woman who has 90% of the NPD/BPD (varies) traits, yet homeschooled her children, something I don’t think I would be able to do, especially during high school.
On the other hand, could that be another sign that she just wants to have control over their every move?
Disclaimer: I have a lot of respect for anyone who can dedicate hours a day and years of homeschooling their children, and am making no assumptions about the quality of her schooling efforts.
PS- Both boys have married / had children with girls ‘just like dear old mom,’ a point I have made to their dad that seems to fly over his head. Augh.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Does being a homeschool-mom necessarily negate the PD?
No, it doesn’t. In fact, a good number of my clients’ wives/girlfriends/exes “homeschooled,” which basically meant plunking the kids in front of the TV and popping in an “educational” DVD while mom went off to Facebook, text, bitch about how hard being a SAHM is on mommy blogs/social sites and complain about what “deadbeats” their husbands/boyfriends are for going to work and leaving them at home all day with the kids. (I know, I know. Choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom implies that one will be staying at home right in the title, but [shrugging shoulders]. Also, going to a work to support his family because wife refuses to work is actually the opposite of being a “deadbeat,” but hey, reality is subjective or so post-modern, feminist social deconstructionists claim.)
I think for a certain kind of woman, “homeschooling” is really about not wanting to work at a job that pays a salary and bennies.
I think states should require kids who are being homeschooled to takes quarterly tests to ascertain if they are meeting the equivalent academic requirements that their public school counterparts are supposed to be achieving and if they’re not – no more homeschooling. One could argue that that’s too much state involvement. OTOH, uneducated individuals with poor social skills end up costing all of society in the not so long run.
My oldest started preschool this year and I found a lot of things that I can relate to. Teachers look at me like I’m some sort of monster and all but scold me when constantly reminding me that I need to be more involved with his schooling. As soon as I walked into the first meeting I knew from experience (and had already predicted) that she had sabotaged my reputation with the teachers before I had even met them.
Also, the food issues. She buys fast food for our two children more often than I’d like and when she does cook for them she’s particularly keen on what the kids like and don’t like. Even if they haven’t tried it before! I always provide the healthiest food that I can for them and serve them the food even if I think they won’t like it. That way they can at least be exposed to a variety of food and be able to decide for themselves what they like and don’t like instead of being told.
Now I’m dealing with visitation issues. I have court-ordered visitations that she’ supposed to pay half of, but she won’t pay and now I have to go back on a waiting list just to be able to see my kids without her present. Basically, I have to pay to see my children because she lied to CPS with false child abuse allegations (those were rightfully dismissed as having no grounds for abuse having occurred thank god!), but I still can’t see them because she 1. won’t pay her half of the visitation fees and 2. doesn’t want to leave the kids with anyone, let alone me. Basically, just what the article says, letting me see the children would be a sign of “defeat” for her.
Oh, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My children still sleep with her. I’ve tired to get he to get them out of the bed, but she won’t do it. And I long ago picked up on how everything my son does makes him so “smart” and how my daughter’s worth is completely wrapped up in how pretty she is. She already puts nail polish and ‘lipstick’ (it’s just lip gloss, but still it’s unnecessary and sends the wrong message) on her at TWO years old.
I just want the right to get my kids away from her horrible influence for just two or three days a week. Hopefully, this next court session will make the difference.
The seven factors above can also appear in military families, due to the nature of the military member’s duties and the expectations placed on the military member’s spouse and children. Growing up as a military brat poses some unique psychological challenges to parents and children both as the the family adapts to the unique requirements of military life. The seven factors above can be side-effect of military life, since (among many other factors) the spouse’s and children’s appearance and behaviors can adversely affect a career military member’s career advancement.
LT Greenwald says
As an Army officer/former enlisted Soldier, I have had a completely different experience in the military. First off, kids behavior reflects on their parents everywhere in society, not just the military. I would argue that a small town is worse than a military base, because military families move every few years. The points you make all sound like convenient excuses for an abusive, personality disordered parent. “It’s not my fault, it’s the military’s fault.” 9 times out of 10 it isn’t the military’s fault. Parents need to be responsible for thier own behavior.
Also, I was married to a BPD woman. She was physically abusive and threatened to make false accusations against me. My chain of command was 110% supportive of how I handled the situation through separation and divorce. My job evaluations have been all top block and “promote early.”
But I’ve been in since 2002, maybe things were different back in the old days.
LT Greenwald says
p.s. I am certain that if I had had children with my ex, she would have blamed all of her crazy behavior on the military. Of course nothing was ever her fault.
LT, see the following:
Finally this, from the military itself. They recognize the problems that exist with military families:
I can tell you personally, as a military dependent of a father who had 31 years in (retired as an O-6 in 1978), that it was indeed different in the “old days.” A career officer could be passed over for promotion (or worse) because of the behavior of his children and/or spouse. The demands of being successful at the higher ranks in the military lends itself to encouraging behaviors and traits similar to those who would be diagnosed, via the criteria in the DSM-IV-TR, with a cluster B personality disorder. Moving every two years, as many of us did growing up in families of military officers, very often did not provide the stability and consistency needed by growing children. Read the links I’ve posted above and I think you’ll see that it is not a criticism of the military or those who choose to pursue careers there (I am proud of my father’s service as well as those of my brothers who chose the Army and Marines Corps during the Vietnam Era). I stand by my assertion that, indeed, military families do have challenges to their mental and physical well-being that civilian families do not.
Life in the enlisted ranks is different.
LT Greenwald says
I agree 110% htat military families have challenges to their mental and physical well-being that civilian families do not. But I disagree wholeheartedly with excusing using the military as an excuse for out-of-control mothers and wives. These women need to learn accountability and personal responsibility, or be kicked to the curb.
LT Greenwald says
Sorry for the typos, and of course I mean “kicked to the curb” figuratively, not literally. 🙂
And Tom, this website is meant “for men who are recovering from relationships with abusive women and the non-abusive family and friends who love them.” Folks generally don’t make excuses for Cluster B behavior on here. My wife had a jillion excuses for her abusive behavior, one of which was “military life.”
I’m making zero excuses for ANYONE. I will, however, assert and try to describe why such behavior comes about in the first place and as well as all of the contributing factors. Knowing is half the battle. Recognize that some of those women are who are engaging in such behaviors are MEMBERS of the military:
FWIW, I am totally familiar with the purpose of this site and as a Men’s Rights Advocate, I believe in providing balance, understanding, and as complete as a perspective as possible from my own version of the truth (which is based on personal experience, evidence, and research).
Tom, I appreciate your efforts. Bringing ‘balance and perspective’ is truly noble and for normal people and normal situations, its a desirable dynamic.
We (mostly abused men/fathers/children of Cluster B women) are not living in a normal context. We are living in a hostile war zone, where being balanced and perspective will be turned against you at every corner, twisted, warped, and then wrapped up neatly as a Holiday Gift that you should accept and if you don’t, then you’re a bastard.
To put in a military context, this is nasty guerilla warfare. So what I feel is an appropriate analogy; what you are attempting to rationalize and reason the behaviors of, the Nazi SS, for example, or, the Sept 11th Terrorists. Modern propagandists would love to have us stop and wonder about the Taliban’s reasons for shooting an 11yr old girl in the head for going to school. While we ponder the ideologies and philosophies of it, we become impotent and the atrocious behavior continues.
I don’t mean to accuse or criticize you; I don’t believe you are trying to defend horrific behavior or undermine our cause. Nonetheless, the moment we try to rationalize and/or transfer responsibility onto other entities (military, family, etc) then its covertly validating the abusers behavior as not their responsibility.
Preaching to the choir! I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, the feminization of the military doesn’t make it easy to kick such women to the curb.
A final thought from Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets:
Good information from all.
As a former military brat I can say…
Either way (military or civilian)…I believe, as a parent and adult, you still need to be held accountable for your actions. I grew up in the military (father in the U.S. Army for 22 years) and I am now a father (civilian world). The military holds “certain” challenges but so does the civilian world.
We can’t walk around excusing one over the other. An adult has to be held accountable for their actions, period.
It’s the only way that children will learn…the right way.
Yes, moving around every 3 years had it’s positives and negatives (i.e. got to see the world was a plus…but moving was hard). But, I still learned from my parents to be responsible for my actions.
My thoughts..and thank you 😉
LT Greenwald, I was an Air Force brat when the services moved you every year. Not every other year, not every three or four years. Every year. My sister did each year of high school in a different school. I won’t begin to estimate all the effects this had on me, and they appear to have been different on my sister, but there were effects nonetheless.
In my observation, the days when children were considered reflections of the parents have pretty much passed for the military. This is mostly because military families don’t live on base anymore, even overseas. The fishbowl has been lifted. I spent the first ten years of my life on military bases.
Spouses, however, still have a huge affect. I can’t blame mine for not making my last promotion, there were a confluence of external factors. But once my command was aware of the trouble she was, I lost the opportunity to get choice postings. She had an effect, all negative.
The ultimate case study for this is Pat Conroy’s tormented history with his father, best known as The Great Santini. It’s worth reading the book, but also reading Conroy’s other articles on growing up as his son, including his eulogy when his father died. The difference in this case, though, is that the BPD was his father, the fighter-pilot colonel.
Going thru a custody matter currently, ex without my knowledge and during a forensic custody evaluation decided she was going to change our toddlers school at the end of the school year, placing our child in a program that is from the standpoints of Erickson or Piaget way below the prior school where our child thrived. The school also has parents stay with the children for as long as they want because the children who are younger than our child feel the separation anxiety. When she finally told me about the change in school it was only due to what I think was the evaluator asking whether she informed me when my ex presented it as a thought. The next day ex sent me an email announcing that our child was accepted in to this program and that an “application” was attached.
Ex sent not an application but a completed contract she had already made payment on. I told her I would visit school with an open mind, she then insisted on coming to my meeting. I said I was going alone and the day prior to my meeting she went to the school and told them how unreasonable I was and how they needed to be careful because I had a history of destroying opportunities for our child. Not one time did this happen. I walked into the meeting and was treated like a non parent. I talked about child’s school and was looking to compare/contrast and was told I was pushing my child twice. I was asked to collect school info and when I asked for application/calendar/newsletter sample I was told I could not have any access to child’s records and my participation would have to be okay’ed by the mother. I told the person, I asked for an application, I have no info about the school and need blank copies of everything because we were working on this and I wanted to catch up. The woman apologized and said mom was there the day before, caught herself, and said I apologize, let’s not get this in to personal matters. The conversation was pleasant from then on and I left. I informed ex on what happened, she went back to the school and responded the woman said I was lying, asked for child’s info and was refused, and that I tried to delve in to personal matters and I could not believe it.
Court suggested another school be picked, evaluation report pointed out serious issues from what I’m told as we cannot read them that include suggestions serious issues within her household where she resides with our child and the grandparents, I mean serious things. Ex is now claiming evaluator, who her attorney insisted on and picked the evaluator is lying and I am good at painting pictures and she has trouble verbalizing things and she was misunderstood. Everyone who has tried to help is lying, any offer of mediation/parent coordinator is declined by her. Instead of tending to issues ex has walked in to court and made false claims about me to create a smokescreen where I actually feel bad for the judge presiding because the judge has pushed for an understanding from the get go and told exes attorney to think about the evaluation because once its done and we cannot agree she relies on the report and one parent will not be happy. She then said I suggest the parents come to an agreement they can live with and exes attorney said no judge, were not working with him, he has psychopathological problems.
Every aspect of the court proceedings is all ex taking her actions and reflecting or presenting them as mine, classic projection and in the meantime there is a child that needs to be tended to and it’s so frustrating that parents can just keep creating false issues and nobody is thinking of the child thus far as we have yet to reach trial and the judges time to hear the issues is limited and chock full of exes attorney lying about me and flying her client under the radar. I hope when the judge reads the report and we go to trial changes can be implemented immediately. Ex has also alienated child’s doctor because of issue with child’s health that doctor questioned why she waited to being child in.
LT Greenwald says
This is a powerful subject for me. As a child, I was a big achiever (less so as an adult! :). I used to be confused when my mom would show up at my awards ceremonies and act like she was Mother of the Year. She did very little to encourage me to learn, more often she disrupted my learning. But she was ALWAYS there when I was collecting an award.
Of course when my grades dropped to straight C’s in high school, she didn’t even pretend to care.
The silver lining is that I learned very early on that I should learn for the sake of learning, not because I needed to make my mother happy.
My most traumatic incident with her was my law school graduation. I graduated from a top 20 law school on a full scholarship, with zero support from my mother. Nonetheless, she REFUSED to let me invite my father’s side of the family to my own graduation! My father died when I was 19 — he had inspired me to go to law school. Of course, I invited his family anyway, but the stress from the fight caused me to break out in Shingles. I have permanent scarring on my left cornea because of that fight. It’s a constant reminder of her self-centeredness.
In our case, I believe that the issues are control, immaturity, and fear of abandonment. My husband’s ex is overly enmeshed with her daughters and still cannot reconcile that he divorced her but wants to maintain a relationship with them – in her mind, he left them all the same. She considers herself the only one who can communicate with them (if they tell him something different, she says they’re scared and lie to him); only she can determine how important one of their activities is. If he misses a volleyball game she goes into what a bad parent he is (although she moved them 300 miles away from him), but if she misses one it’s for a greater good. The double standards I attribute to control.
The immaturity and fear of abandonment are, I think, behind some of the worst behaviors, like parentifying them or trying to be their friend. My husband recently had to ride in the car with them and described how his ex backed up without looking, nearly ran into someone and yelled at the pedestrian for it, drove too fast with the windows down, music blaring, 10-year-old in the front seat, all of them singing and screaming and dancing, with his ex even taking her hands off the wheel to wave them around with the music. When he took his 14yo daughter to the hairdresser before homecoming, he let her tell the stylist what she wanted, until her mother came in and stood next to the chair, micromanaging the entire thing. Both children seem to feel incapable of making decisions without their mother and her identity, her purpose in life, is tied to this dependency. As long as they remain insecure of themselves and needing her “guidance,” she will never be abandoned by them like she was by her husband. And as long as she continues to make it “fun,” like driving like a teenager, taking them out to dinner all the time or letting the 14yo drive the car, they will forgive her more challenging behavior and come back when they’re upset with her.
I don’t have to deal with her directly, so when I attempt to understand the roots of her behavior, I can pity her for it rather than get mad, and then just deal with how it affects the children, and model different behaviors in our home (explaining WHY we do what we do since it’s clear it’s not evident to them).
I should add that my own mother was probably BPD/NPD and her motivations were entirely different. For her, it was the rivalry and bad modeling. She was born 20 years after her elder sister and by then her mother was done raising children and resented both the baby who took her away from her lifestyle and all the time my retired grandfather spent with my mother as a child. She got so little in life that she was torn between wanting to give me (her child) more, and resenting me for having more than she did. My childhood was a constant cycle of unpredictability, of bizarre insults couched in compliments (e.g., “for a smart kid I don’t know how you can be so stupid”) and changing expectations. My father backed off a lot, because it’s what fathers did in the 70’s, and because he didn’t want to get on my mom’s bad side himself. She certainly liked control, and would do things like not speak to me for a week if I hurt her feelings, but as I grew up I began to realize that her behaviors were less about me and more about her. It’s still taken a lot to untangle them from my self-narrative, though, since I’ve done a pretty good job of internalizing her words as truth. Fortunately, she passed away a few years ago so it’s a little easier without the constant criticism and blame for every bad thing that happened in my life (and her constant fear when good things happened that they weren’t really real or that I didn’t deserve them). She was an expert with the FOG, though, and it’s probably why I keep such a studied distance from my husband’s ex, because I’ve been trained to respond to it so viscerally.
Thank you Dr. T for another award-winning (IMO) article. I’m not brown nosing here, but I cannot emphasize enough how nice it is to have Dr T here, because she pulls absolutely no punches, makes no excuses for the Cluster Bs and their allies, and is unwavering in her support of those who have/are suffering from these awful people.
I guess after years of verbal abuse from my ex gf, and, being systematically disciminated against by teachers, psychologists, attorneys, judges and the like, that’s why its so refreshing and hope-instilling to see a female psychologist FINALLY be honest and address these issues.
Just wonder where the F— the rest of the mental health profession is? I mean this egregious behavior is so awful and I always go back to the WWII and Holocaust example, because, this is a national epidemic and such an obvious issue yet most people turn their heads and ignore it, even the ‘professionals’ who are supposed to protect society. Then these next generations of children who have been subjected to this will come to adulthood and the vicious cyle of insanity continues.
LT Greenwald says
Don’t worry, cuatezon, the cavalry is coming! I’m in the middle of a career chance from law to social work. You can damn well bet that I’m going to be fair and always take the husband/father’s perspective into consideration.
My ex-gf engaged in charachter assassination with teachers. I tried to go to teacher conferences, and my ex would become vile and hostile, it caused me and my daughter a lot of stress. Whenever I reached out to teachers to inquire about my daughter’s grades, school progress, etc., I would always encounter resistance, privacy law concerns, and lots of excuses. I had to get an attorney to threaten the school in order to get my daughter’s report card and school progress info.
My ex-gf has instilled massive amounts of fear, anxiety, depression, angst and anguish into my daughter. She has infantilized her, to the point my daughter, now 22yr old, cannot feed herself, can barely make a PB&J sandwich. Thereby reinforcing my daughter’s ‘need’ for my ex-gf.
Now that my daughter is drugged up on medications, severely overweight, and failing health, my ex-gf portrays herself as this crusading mother fighting the public welfare system, fighting the ‘dead beat’ dad (me), and struggling on her own to care for this disabled adult child now. My ex feeds her soda pop all day and a lot of junk food. She’s probably diabetic and facing an impending stroke.
Its really sad, I’m so upset about this, because its about 90% induced by my ex-gf. My daughter is emotionally and physically suffering, being dragged from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, new medication after new medication. I have no more money to hire an attorney anymore (all funds were spent in two separate battles over 5 years for just weekend visitation with my daughter).
So, my ex-gf Munchausen-by-Proxy is slowly killing our daughter and there’s really nothing I can do about it. I don’t know what to do, no one will help. I fear it may be too late already.
Good timing on this article. My ex-wife has been making my son miserable, ever since he has begun complaining about the lifestyle at his mother’s house and asking to live with me and my wife. I’m concerned that standard counseling, where they try to teach him “coping skills”, is not effective for this kind of thing.
She tries to force, threaten, and bribe him into pursuing her interests in sports and fitness (she’s a fitness nut now). She goes through one boyfriend after another, and makes him tag along on their social life, which he has grown to hate. When he complains or objects or disobeys, she punishes him by taking away ALL of his toys, not letting him play his instruments, not letting him read or watch TV, putting him outside until bedtime, threatening to put him out of the car and make him walk home, taking away his cell phone so he can’t call me, making him stand against the wall for hours, telling him she is going to sue me and put him in “military school”.
When I refused to agree to “support” her if she were to put him out of the car, and instead told her I would either come get him or call the police if she did, she accused me of refusing my responsibility to “co-parent”.
She blames all of his negative attitude in her home on him and on my remarriage. When I told her that we weren’t having any problems with him in our home (he’s with us half the time), and suggested that she just listen to him and moderate her behavior on her weeks with him, she secretly put him in counseling (violation of our joint custody). I contacted the counselor when I found out, and filled him in on some of the things that my son has been telling us about his mother’s home, and warned him that she would probably quit if he got close to the truth. Shortly after she fired the counselor.
Recently she ordered him to stay outside as punishment, and left to take his sister (who doesn’t complain for fear of the consequences) bowling, not telling him when she was coming home and forbidding him from going inside while she was gone. He called me distraught, I told him to go inside, and I called the cops who agreed that it would be worthwhile to check on him. They visited him and talked to her; she threatened to sue me.
In view of all of this, is standard counseling worth it, where the counselor tries to teach the child and the parent coping strategies? It seems a little weak in view of what he’s dealing with.
Any advice welcome!
So Cal Dad says
Alienation and sabotaging is excruciating. How much pain is caused by teen daughters who have learned to disdain their Dad, who won’t talk to him, who clearly favor their Mom, seek out their Mom, ask their Mom for help, for guidance, for advice, share their thoughts, talk about friends, about school, about interests. The Dad is there in the home too, impotent, ignored, disrespected. As if he adds nothing to the family, is not needed, is difficult to be around, has no opinions that matter, has no thoughts of any consequence, has no feelings, is only spoken to when something is wanted, money, a ride, use of the computer. Dad nearly always cheerfully obliges, hoping for a fleeting connection, but he is not thanked, he is not appreciated. His hurt feelings are unnoticed, ignored, not considered.
Do they think he doesn’t care about them? Though he always asks about their day, their friends, their activities, their conversations. His questions are treated as dumb, insincere, uninformed and a general nuisance. More hurt feelings. He is lost and doesn’t know what to do, or how to react without getting angry, or how to change it, or how to endure it, or if he should leave. The Wife makes rude remarks, acts like she is the sole parenting authority, undermines him, fosters disrespect, tolerates disrespect toward him. And it gets worse, seemingly with no way out. His parenting life is lost, over, and the years cannot be retrieved. This was his chance to be a different Dad. He feels like a failure. He feels selfish for speaking about this mistreatment. They have pain and feelings too no doubt.
Before I start my rant, I will offer a disclaimer: I am definitely not totally informed or nuanced with the multiple variations and complexities with family law….
Apart from Western Culture raising an ever increasing brood of narcissists, it really shouldn’t matter if your ex has got traits of the “cluster B” disorders or can be diagnosed fully with the disorders, both situations are harmful to all that come in contact with …
Having a man providing for their family and being away from the home for long hours and not being involved in parenting their children as much as the mother would be a good starting point for societal reform, this is a phenomenon that has steadily evolved since the onset of the industrial revolution … Whereas before, families worked and played together more as the rule than the exception.
My point here is enact laws that enshrine the rights of fatherhood, as marriage is a contract, make both parties liable to equally provide for the physical and emotional nurturing of their future/current children, along with the love honour and cherish clauses …
If either party does not petition the family court during their marriage within twelve months of any breaches of this contract, then, if in the advent of divorce they are only entitled to 50% of all the common property and custody of the children, ie, share care … If a breach is registered with the family court, then a further 12 months is given to rectify the situation, certain occupations (military etc) can be excluded from this process …
Get rid of lawyers/attorneys from the court process during divorce, because the most any partner can get is 50%, as a benchmark, ie they self represent during the divorce proceedings. Divorce is the BIGGEST industry in this country at the moment (Australia), the court proceeding is to hear any matters that may relate to the welfare of the children. If accusations are made then lawyers/attorneys get involved for one more hearing.
If a Judge’s rulings are found to be outside an agreed statistical variant above or below 50% favouring either gender, they are automatically stood down pending an investigation, if they continue to make rulings after reinstatement outside this statistical variant for a further 12 months, they are disbarred, (remembering in the U.S. twice as many females are incarcerated for child abuse than males, and currently in Australia it is three times as many …..)
Any partner found to make false allegations or statements about a child’s welfare or financial statements gets a mandatory three months imprisonment. If they become repeat offenders under family law, they are sanctioned with custody restrictions of their children.
Alimony/maintenance payments are a thing of the past for share care, a parent can apply under special rulings of the family court if they are awarded custody of the children or greater custody of the children, but these payments may not exceed the benchmark of 50% share care, ie they are reduced by 50% of the present system.
Naïve?? Yes I would agree, but the present system is so flawed and destructive it wouldn’t take much thought to improve it anyway, the key to all this is reform, if you want change for men it must start at the family court ….
John – good ideas; problem is you’re dealing with entire systems within systems that support & defend one another. Judges make bad decisions so lawyers can appeal (and make more money). Attorneys fight each other in court, Him vs. Her in the divorce, then sneak off to go have dinner and drinks together, enjoying their living off the misery of society. These powerful systems and interests have absolutely no interest or desire in changing the rules; it would be to their financial, social and emotional detriment. If divorces were smooth and easy, or better yet, fewer/no divorces, then guess how many attorneys and judges would be out of work?
Most legislators are attorneys by trade. They create the laws. So they create ambigous laws to create more animosity and problems in society, so they can practice law to interpret the laws for the common citizen and ‘protect’ the citizens from said laws or misapplication of laws by judges and other officials.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington isn’t going to work here anymore. Its really going to take a cultural and societal revolution to change things. I mean, we are in the modern Roman Empire. Did anything ever really change in the Roman Empire in the 600 years of rule? Not really. Rome decayed and was eventually overran by intruders. Alas, sadly I think some kind of major event is required for things to change our society. I look forward to change; but fear the event(s) that may have to occur to cause said change.
we see this in varying degrees with our children. The youngest two still sleep with their mother consistently, and although the oldest seems to at times be developing a healthy separation, a recent minor illness allowed her to be reigned back in. Mom chases them all with a thermometer at the first sign of a sniffle, and we receive constant electronic “fever” updates for otherwise healthy, vivacious children, and the temperatures reported are simply ridiculous for such minor ailments. Therefore we have children who are torn between the attention they receive from their mother for being so “sick” and the frustration they experience with us in trying to convince them that they are not on the verge of physical collapse or febrile seizures. We feel it is unnecessary to constantly check the temperature of an otherwise healthy adolescent, or even a preschooler who is a very accurate reporter. Of course, sometimes the fever updates come as they are on their way out the door to a social event, which lends even less credibility to the story. Mom simply will not allow them to attend school if they have not been fever free for 24 hours, but surely won’t let it affect their social schedule in the interim.
I’d like to point out that this is not limited to the mothers of little children. The Cluster B that we have to deal with has only adult children to work with but that doesn’t slow her down one bit. She infantilizes her grown son and parentifies him at the same time. It’s amazing to watch. She constantly insists that her son “can’t.” He can’t write his own checks to pay his bills, he can’t work, he can’t, he can’t, he can’t….until she has convinced him that he really can’t and he’s barely functional.
This is so she can barrage his father with continual demands that he do more for their son. Buy him a new car, pay his rent, pay his bills, pay, pay, pay. She shamelessly berates his father for tending to any of his own basic needs like housing, food or transportation. “What kind of man are you?” This despite the fact this father has provided very well for his son throughout his life and now only wants his son to become his own man.
She is crippling her son to satisfy her own needs. It’s incredibly sad.
Yet, in her very next breath, she will demand that her son do whatever work/chores she needs done. She tells him he needs to help his mother.
She contradicts herself endlessly and her sense of entitlement is repugnant.
Lassie, I am experiencing the exact same situation. The mother of my daughter has completely infantilized our child, repeatedly told her she ‘can’t’ and has instilled major fear/anxiety in our daughter, so she won’t even attempt to do anything for fear of something, and/or by having been completely brainwashed that she cannot do anything for herself. So my 22yr old daughter can barely make a PB&J sandwich or a can of soup – no exaggeration here. My ex then attacks me for not doing enough, for not being a good dad, and tries dragging me into this ‘salvation complex’ she’s living. Its quite sick.
In addition, there is a quasi-Munchausen by proxy syndrome situation here. My ex drags our daughter to doctor after doctor, trying to get more diagnosis and rare conditions, medications, blah blah blah. My poor daughter has endured so much – and she is pretty much disabled now. I feel quite helpless, the courts completely failed us. So now I try to do what I can, where I can. Its the saddest thing I’ve ever seen or felt.
It’s amazing the similarities of our stories.
What are the chances?
How many of us are there?
I’m spinning in ever decreasing circles with the mother of my son. She’s appears to be a very close match to the signs and symptoms of one or more of the PD’s described here ( and in fact her mother took her own life in a secure psychiatric facility with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenic).
Her sabotage tactic is breastfeeding, she has resolutely locked me out of the feeding process when were ‘together’ and now she is denying me contact with my 19mth old son by ensuring that he needs to be breast fed morning and night (he’s a champion eater with zero food hang ups!) and that therefore I can’t see him during these times (there are other excuses for every other time btw).
I read with interest your post-break up pregnancies, this 43 year old bank exec fell pregnant, the first time we had sex…should have paid more attention to the digital fertility meter under the bathroom sink!)
What can I do to protect my son from the hereditary risk factors for mental illness that appear to be stacking up here??
Tpod, as a father who has been through hell with the ex-gf screwing up our daughter, I would recommend you go for full custody right now. If what you say and suspect are true, there is plenty of time to save your son. What I would give to know what I know now, to have known way back then, and would have taken my daughter and ran. Regardless of consequences. Because my daughter is now being Munchausened by proxy to death here, its a really bad situation, and have to put up with the high stress of a Cluster B (Cluster Fuck) woman.
Document every single thing, record calls, take notes, get evaluations, and get a good attorney. It may seem daunting at first, but take my word for it you’ll be glad you did in a few years. Save you and your kid years of heartache or worse.
Thanks Cuatezon, this woman’s mother committed suicide (inside a secure mental facility called Broadmoor) after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia) and her problems started with the birth of her first child. My ex, her daughter, has never held down a relationship in her life and continues to behave in an emotionally bereft rage of fear through her life. I also wished I knew more before, she fell pregnant after our first time at age 43 (she had previously been turned down for adoption and by her male ‘friends’ for a sperm donation) and I’ve recently been acquainted with the term, ‘Sperm Stealer’.
This woman would say or do anything to get a child and has systematically gone about this mission with the utmost ruthlessness, displaying all of the traits of the damaged individuals described here. My only concern is for my 20mth old child, who is trapped with this woman being used by her to relive the tragic childhood that she experienced and in a futile attempt to redeem something in her past.
I’m at a loss…
A little off the article subject here. Wondering how many guys have used antidepressants to help get through very difficult/painful time? I don’t like taking an aspirin for headache or medicine for the flu, let alone antidepressant to help cope with a very bad situation…yet I find myself considering it at this point. Things have piled up so much and due to many factors, lack of family support, etc., I’m considering prescription for antidepressant.
Feel like its admitting defeat, at the same time feel like it may not be bad idea especially what I’ve read recently how stress & depression can really affect your health, heart disease, cognitive dysfunction, etc. Thanks in advance for your input.
LT Greenwald says
There’s no shame in trying an anti-depressant. I tried several, and they were good at raising my mood, but the side effects forced me off. Apparently, they effect different people in different ways.
I’m glad I gave it a try and I might try it again in the future. It’s embarrassing to say, but the big side effect of the SSRI’s was sexual dysfunction (that’s really depressing!!). Also, I tried a combination of Wellbutrin and Zoloft that didn’t cause sexual dysfunction but made me really jittery. Right now I’m working on cognitive behavioral therapy and doing things that I know make me feel better. 🙂
At the end of the day, your health is most important. You’ll make it through this, and an anti-depressant might make it less painful. Keep in mind, it takes a few weeks before they “kick in” so if you’re gonna do it, do it soon.
Best of luck!
I am a mother of a son who is married to a woman who is verbally abusive whom I believe that she is BPD, NPD and lord knows what elese. She is a victim of sexual abuse as a child, and I have read that many victims of this type of abuse become NPD just to name a few. Our son recently exposed the truth about his 6 year marriage, and left her, but after a week of being with us, she stayed in his head, maniupulating, etc (im sure you all know the story), and he returned home. My son indicated he thought he was crazy, and just totally freaked out thinking he could not live without her. She has now put him against us, we dont see him or our grandkids. I know my greatest concern is for my son’s sanity, this relationship has robbed him of his self-esteem, and he is more than likely alone in his pain. I burdern for him and my grandchildren, because this is all they have known, my son did admit that he has been living with this the whole time he has been living with this woman. She at one time had him move out of california, which was no suprise, they ended up moving here, only for her to want to leave again, and did, but came back because he would not, so she moved back, but of course states everywhere, that she hates it here. We have not contact, and its been in and out of our lives with the grandkids, if we dont go along with them, or shall I say her, because she is always making the decisions. This sounds horrible, but I’m praying the day that he wakes up and see what he is dealing with, and that he realizes that nothing he does is good enoug and he will never be able to make her happy! And he will have the courage to leave her for good, especially for the sake of my grandchildren. Its evident in the childrens lives that this has had an negative affect on them because the boy is constantly looking for attentoion and hates to leave grandmas and grandpas house to go home. The little girl is 4 and disrespectful to my son, and now hates to go home the last time we saw them.
It would be nice to find another mother who is struggling with the same issue. Many of the horrible stories i have read on here we have had those types of experiences with the crazy woman, and I would not care if she disappeared, because would feel like my son is finally free of her. I recently deleted her from my friends on facebook, because I got sick and tired of her trying to display the MOTY, Mother of the Year, and the WOTY Wife of the Year! And worst is people buying into it. Just straight sick, that they dont know who she really is.
Any other mothers out there?
Dawn De Beer says
What you have written here,I could not have done a better job at explaining about this woman(I hesitate to call her a mother)I have excatly the same problem and it is killing both me and my husband.I am terrified for my grandaughter and the stress she has to live under when she is with the woman who gave birth to her.The little one is 3 years old and screams every time she has to go back to that woman.When she is with my son she never has potty accidents,as soon as the woman puts her in her car the child has an accident.This little girl has an imaginary friend who appears as soon as she knows the woman is coming to collect her.What do the judges do after they are appointed to the bench.Do they not update themselves with what is going on in the world and do they not read statistics or read each case carefully or do they just sleep at the bench and not give a damn about the future of the child who is going to struggle the rest of her life with problems?
This woman also has a facebook thing which is set up just so she can display what a wonderful mother she is.Photo after photo with her grinning and my little grandaughter just looking sad and never smiling.She is a very bright little girl.She even told the doctor in front of the mother that she wants to go home with her daddy and not her mother.I have story after story of the damage she is doing to this little one.She does not stop.She remarried and on her honeymoon she was still texting my son and giving him hell about what an awfull father he is and she once told him that the little one is an outright liar,when she told her dad that her mother was hitting her new husband and spitting at him.She put the child on skype and forced the little girl to tell her daddy she she was a liar.Tell me that that is not evil!!
I have had bad feelings about this girl since my son married her. THey have a son who is 6 years old not and a daughter who is 4, and I have witnessed the abuse, because she doesn’t even care if his family is around. I unfortunately, never speak up because my son doesn’t and it makes me look like the trouble maker because he won’t stand up for himself. My greatest concern is for those babies because they do not have a choice in making their own decisions. THey just know that they want to be with their grandma and grandpa but cannot. THe boy seems to have a cold look since they have kept them away for from us for so long. Most recently, she has now pressured my son to find another job in another state and they are now moving again, to a state where they know no one. The minute I heard this I knew this was her wanting to isolate my son and the kids away from his family. She is so evil, she started telling the kids that they will never see their grandma and grandpa again, the 4 year old ran in the house telling me that she is never going to see us forever. I confronted the mother and she got offensive which is what told me she was lying. Is there a change that it does not mess with the kids head as they get older? I do see some different behavior in my grandson, he has become very unaffectionate with me, where before he was so friendly and loved when grandma kisses and cuddles him, now he just seems so distant. I sometimes find that I am agree with my son for wanting to be happy with someone who pretty much despises him and makes his life a living hell, then his desire to want to protect his children from this woman. I can relate when you say it is killing you and your husband, and even more so now because she is isolating him even more and he doesnt get it. Its nice to know that there are other parents (mother) who understands my pain. Im trying to convince myself to move on, but its so difficult because after i told my grandson that I will see him again, he grabbed my face and asked me to promise him. I have no idea how I am going to make this happen, so I have to become a prayer warrior on those babies behalf. It would be nice to have someone else to chat with. How are you coping?
Wow, it’s actually amazing to know I’m not alone in this…. I have been despairing over what my ex is doing to my daughter and stepson for many years now and I can’t get anyone to classify it as abuse. My son wakes her and my daughter up in the mornings so she can get ready for work, and all hell brakes loose if he gets her up late (usually because she goes back to sleep after he wakes her up.) My daughter is definately the favorite between the two of them and while not quite infantalized my ex still scolds her like a 3 year old “you not going to be my princess pie any more if you don’t stop it.” But thats only on the rare occasions that my daughter is actually wrong, usually it’s my boy who is wrong and can’t do anything right. A couple days ago she actually called me to come and get my stepson because she couldn’t “do it”anymore. So I picked him up after school and he was at my place for 2 days, I then went to meet with her to coordinate me putting him in school and getting him on my insurance and I say there and watch her deliberately provoke her son by belittling him for wanting to go with me. When he got angry she then used that as an excuse for him not to go, told me I was twisting the kids against her and then called the cops on him for yelling at her. I freaking called cps after this and they would not classify it as abuse because my son didn’t say he wanted to kill himself!!! Seriously, wtf!?!
Dawn De Beer says
It is so rewarding to read of so many people that have the same problems with bpd mothers.We are all learning so much …but as I read, it seems to me, we are just hearing about more and more terrible mothers who are destroying their childrens lives.Do all of us actually realize the misery,sadness and battle these children will have for the rest of their lives.We are discussing all these people but is it not time for us to somehow get to a point where we can do something positive to change this? I know that the courts still do not see it and continue to award custody to these mothers?. Why is this? What is their reasoning.?
In normal cases of divorce and when the mother is normal,all the rulings makes sense but not when the mother is destroying the childrens lives.Surely the judge must listen carefully to each case and not just make a blanket ruling for everyone.
Are they lazy? Stupid? Deaf? or do they have some agenda of their own.
Why can’t judges be interviewed after making a ridiculous ruling?Do they think that they are God,that no one can question.Maybe someone should ask that infamous lady judge if she fell asleep during the case.
Is there someone out there that has an idea of how to put a stop to bad mothers bringing up children…short of tying them up and throwing away the key.
Hi All – found an incredible description of Narcissists on the internet. Accurate and realistic. Sad, yet true. So tired of these f—–g Hitlers, be rid of them all!
1. THEY REFUSE RESPONSIBILITY.
It’s not their fault. Not EVER. It’s always your fault. His fault. Her fault. To a narcissist, it’s not their fault they hurt you, it’s your fault for being hurt-able. If your feelings are hurt, it’s not their fault; it’s your fault – for having feelings.(You may be told that you’re “choosing” to feel bad about the hurtful things they’ve done, and that it’s the wrong “choice”.) If caught doing something insensitive or selfish, they will tell you they “had to” do it because of someone or something else. If you imply that anything is their responsibility, they give you excuses and lies, and often, if those fail to work, they will finally make it clear that the bottom line is they simply don’t care because they don’t have to, and the fact that you care is just unnecessary or wrong. From their perspective, you shouldn’t care — you should get it right like they do, and be more like they are. Uncaring.
2. THEY LIE.
Narcissists lie to make themselves look good. They lie to get out of emotional responsibility. They lie to manipulate. They lie to gain influence. They lie out of habit. Life is a game to narcissists – a game they have to think they’re winning – and truth is one casualty in their game plan. The only time a narcissist has any interest in telling the truth is when it will serve them or cost them nothing to do so. The rest of the time, they don’t consider it necessary or important to be all that honest. Honesty can impede their self-gratification and compromise their powerful persona, and they don’t like that. To narcissists the truth is frequently “flexible” and optional. There’s no such thing as an honest narcissist.
3. THEY LOOK DOWN ON YOU.
Narcissists have to make themselves feel bigger by convincing themselves others are smaller by comparison. They’re no strangers to being condescending, snobby, clique-ish, elitist and superior; however, they may be very good at hiding their disdain to prevent a loss of popularity, which narcissists know brings them power. Narcissists with money look down on the working class. Narcissists in the working class look down on those with more money. Educated narcissists dismiss the opinions of those who have no degree. Narcissists with no degree claim educated people don’t actually know anything. Whatever narcissists HAVE (or think they have) is what they use to look down on others WITH. No-one else’s background, appearance, values, political persuasion, school, preferences, religion, way of life, profession or opinions are ever any good or worthy of their respect unless they themselves value and/or possess the same. If you think or choose differently from a narcissist, you’re “wrong”, and they’re “right”.
4. THEY’RE TWO-FACED.
Narcissists literally have two faces — their real face and their stage face. And neither is anything like the other. Which one you see will depend on how long you’ve known them. Narcissists can be very charming and know how to gain favor. Anyone who doesn’t know a narcissist well will tell you the narcissist is one of the greatest people they’ve ever met! They believe this is one of the most intelligent, kindest, most interesting, funny, agreeable, most attractive, talented or accomplished people ever. They may wish they themselves had it so “together” or were so popular. However, anyone who knows that same narcissist better (family members, longtime coworkers, etc) will tell you the narcissist is one of the most horribly frustrating and toxic people they know, and the mere mention of their name makes them feel uneasy, angry, frustrated or otherwise unhappy. Being the only one who is experiencing a narcissist’s real face, while all other family members or coworkers can still only see the narcissist’s stage face is a very lonely, painful and frustrating place to be. Thankfully, the number of people who can see through the facade tends to increase with time.
5. THEY’RE VINDICTIVE.
If you dare to question a narcissist or request things like healthy boundaries and honesty, you’re going to become public enemy number one. The “Mr. or Ms. Wonderful” mask immediately comes off, and there is no level they will not stoop to in order to “punish” you. They have myriad ways of attempting this; some are covert, and some are open and obvious. The narcissist has a seemingly inexhaustible obsession for making people who cross them “pay”. Once they set their sights on you, you’re a permanent enemy, and their seething spite will feel as intense years down the road as it did when it first began. The length of time they can keep up the full intensity of their hatred for you and their campaign to exact revenge is absolutely dumbfounding to non-narcissistic people.
6.THEY PROJECT PSYCHOLOGICALLY.
Many mentally disordered individuals project frequently. Narcissists, however, are some of the most actively and severely projecting people encountered. Ever full of accusations and criticisms, the most crazy-making thing about most of the narcissist’s claims is that YOU are doing exactly what THEY are doing. (Projection.) Have they just lied to you? Well, you’re about to be called dishonest. Are they cheating you out of an opportunity? You’re going to get the finger pointed at you for being sneaky. And you can’t say a word to them about something hurtful they have done, because that makes you an abuser – of them. You can’t give them anything but glowing feedback without their raging at you, but you’ll be the one constantly criticized severely and then called freakishly oversensitive if you show any feelings about it. And if they say so, it’s law — you don’t know what you’re talking about.
7. THEY SMEAR PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THEM.
Narcissists are allergic to healthy boundaries and fairness. If you question the insensitive things they do or put any limits whatsoever on their bad behavior, you will be targeted for social, professional, or personal obliteration. Whatever narcissists perceive to be your psychological or situational “weak spots” will be their prime targets. For instance, if the narcissist knows that your greatest fear is social ridicule, that will be the main focus of the smear campaign. If he or she knows that recently, you made a mistake for which you feel guilty, that will be used against you. Narcissists know that the more effectively they can pinpoint your insecurities or flaws, the more successful they will be in eroding your confidence and your influence. And if they manage to do that, they stand a good chance of getting back the power they planned to do whatever they pleased with before you “got in their way”.
Agreed with all of that 100%. As a child of an NPD mother, ex wife of a male NPD, friend of a man with asuspected NPD wife, and former(thank God!) employee of a controlling, narcissistic supervisor (also female), I can tell you that you speak the truth.
1. THEY REFUSE RESPONSIBILITY – check. During a counseling session, a very good psych described this type of person as having a ‘criminal’ mindset. In other words, they are VICTIMS of (fill in blank)…and live in a world of “If Only…(dad had loved mom more / mom had worked / my parents had more money / that teacher hadn’t said a hurtful thing to me….) THEN I’d be normal and happy. But then, a co-worker is thoughtless or the gas station cashier seemed tired,so now I haave an excuse to unload on my ‘loved ones’ at home.
2. THEY LIE – and they are damn good at it. A full-blown NPD / Antisoial can convince you that the Sun comes up in the West (or maybe you just finally agree to get them to shutup–even if only for a few minutes of peace).
It’s really hard to swallow and accept that a parent or life partner lies to you on a regular basis. They’re good at coming up with plausible excuses (which means, they practice doing so…a lot).
They will lie to your face, even in front of witnesses, even if you have absolute video-taped, signed and notarized proof….if it doesn’t jibe with today’s reality, they deny it no matter what.
3. THEY LOOK DOWN ON YOU – unless you are in a position to potentially supply their need for money, fame, etc. then they will kiss your ass so hard, it will leave marks.
One thing I learned with my former (thank GOD!) supervisor is that she neve seemed to see anyone as an ‘equal.’ People were either above her and she would kiss their a** and even flirt with men in management or beneath her–like her employees–on whom she would stomp and treat like dirt; talk down to, condescend, downright insult (“don’t be such a baby” “You’re being uptight,” etc.)
4. THEY’RE TWO-FACED – absolutely. Going back to the kiss-ass vs. kick into the dirt view they have of EVERYBODY else, this is why it was so incredibly difficult to convince management that my supervisor was so slick…they saw a totally different person than we did.
The good part of ths is, they cannot keep up the act forever, and will slip up eventually.
5. THEY’RE VINDICTIVE- I think they must think every day, “Don’t you dare!” and “or else!” They will destroy your reputation, besmirch your name and convince people who have known you for years that you are some type of lowlife (they playing the victim, of course), before you can even begin to wrap your mind around the depth of how low they are willing to go to defeat you…just to make themselves feel temporarily high –think addiction.
6. THEY PROJECT PSYCHOLOGICALLY – ooh boy! Do they ever. They will chew you out for an hour straight, then say with a straight face, “Why are you so cranky?”
7. THEY SMEAR PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THEM – This is why it is a MAJOR RED FLAG when you meet someone who has just had the worst luck imaginable, and has been royally scr*wed over by everyone, from the boss to the court clerk, to the meter maid…life is SO UNFAIR!” Dude, get off the white horse and lay aside the sword and shield. True adults save themselves. You CANNOT SAVE PEOPLE.
8. I add: They are victims, so melded to that belief, so as to create a situation in which they are victimized, even when logic dictates. Dr. Tara pointed this out in an earlier article. It’s like they MUST be a victim, and in order to be a victim, there must also be a PERPETRATOR (guess who gets to play that role). So, let’s say you plan a lovely night out as a surprise. She goes ballistic, cries and hollers that you ruined her night, because you KNOW she was planning on (fill in blank) or can’t go out tonight of all nights, or feels horrible or wasn’t treated like royalty at the grocery store, so HOW DARE YOU plan a lovely evening, you limey B*st*rd, you!
Unbelieveable how they can get us to apologize for (1) trying to do something nice / out of the goodness of our hearts (they never would, so why would anyone else? They figure we ALL have ulterior motives), and (2) for them treating us abusively / feeling sad / mad / hurt about being abused (I mean, IF ONLY you had come home 5 minutes earlier, or IF ONLY that jerk hadn’t cut them off in traffic today), THEN they could be happy, but “NOBODY LETS ME BE HAPPY!!! WAAHHHHHH!”
There is no win-win scenario with these people. Because, you are on a teeter-totter. If you win, that means (in their minds) they lose. Therefore, they must bring you ‘down’ in order to believe themselves to be ‘up.’
One of the reasons I believe that Narcissism, and Borderline to a lesser degree are on the same spectrum as antisocial / sociopaths – there is no real deep emotional connection to people, people are seen as things to be used and manipulated into giving NPDs, and are disposable should they start to ‘get in the way.’
The only way is out.
In a semi-related subject, among other things, leading up to our divorce, my then wife spread extremely vicious rumors about my sexual life and history. There was a grain of truth in some of this, but even then, it was something confidential between me and her.
Our daughter is now going through a bitter divorce which is all to familiar. My son-in-law has become emotionally abusive, scarily like my ex-wife. Recently, he threatened to take sole custody of my granddaughter and has threatened to use my then wife’s vicious lies against me. Since the lies are sexual in nature, I’m afraid the courts will simply accept them without question the same way everyone else did, including some members of my own family.
On top of all this, after leaving me alone, except for dealing with medical and school issues with our teen and college aged children, my ex just try to hoover me in. This is compounded by the fact that for logistical reasons my oldest daughter is temporarily living with her mother. Because of this, our granddaughter and my son struggling at college, I’ve seen my ex more in the past month than in the previous 18 months combined.
Dawn De Beer says
Dr T.How do you survive all this barrage of all the good people that have given you their views.I know this a venting site,but surely the time must come when all the venting in the world will not change the laws unless someone can stand up and say..enough is enough,there have been changes in legislation for all sorts of reasons. Is it not time, that this too, should change.How can we keep on allowing the devastation of the future generation of children (which we know full well will happen)if we do not now take the bull by the horns and see that this changes.I do think the time has come for these little people to have a voice and not just a website to vent one frustrations on and on…….with no conclusion.It is all very well posting our opinion, but this just relieves the pressure on us but nothing else
happens…so we go on and on speaking but with no result.Was this your original quest to help men,,,that was good but how long do you think this will be of help to all the poor children out there who would love to know that instead of venting we will now try to do something to help them.Am I out of line and is there no solution….if so what is the use of just hearing of everyones sad situation on and on.What the h//l is the going to help?
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I handle it just fine, thank you for asking. This is not a “venting site.” Calling it that makes it seem like the men and women here are just bitching about their petty little complaints. They’re not.
They have been targets of abuse by people who, in many cases, are full-on sociopaths/professional victims. Furthermore, there are very few resources for men and women who have been abused by women. They are either ridiculed, not believed and/or ignored. S4M is one of the first places that many of these people find some clarity and sanity in the FOG. I am proud to provide a place for them to come and actually be heard.
I disagree that the content and stories here cannot change the corrupt system. This website, father’s rights sites and groups, AVFM, SAVE, NCFM et al help to raise awareness of these issues and are actually making a dent in the system.
Keep in mind that many of the men and women who are here are still actively being attacked and abused. It’s hard to drain the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators. However, I know several individuals that began their journey out of hell here who have now gone on to become active in the fight to change the system.
Just yesterday, a corrupt ADA in Maine was suspended for her gross and criminal misconduct in persecuting men who are the victim of false allegations (among many other miscarriages of justice). Lt Col Joel Kirk was able to have the corrupt judge recuse herself from his custody case because of the exposure of her malfeasance here, AVFM and NCFM. Now he is front of a new judge who will hopefully be sane, competent and actually look at and give credence to the evidence.
If you want to help the poor children, I encourage you to get involved with any one of the many activist groups who are fighting hard to protect children, men and woman from these monsters and the money hungry Family Court machine.
Don’t be defeatist. Get involved. You may not set your own situation to rights, but you can pave the way for others.
Well said Dr. T. I’ll admit I do vent here, b/c as Dr. T accurately states, there is nothing out there to support men (or the children) who are abused by women. There are no sounding boards, no groups, therapists, and as men are usually discouraged from telling other men about the experiences…because society doesn’t welcome ‘weak’ men who are taken advantage of by women. Men who are taken advantage of by women are emasculated even further by other men, women and society in general. This ‘weakness’ is exacerbated by a legal system and mental health system and divorce industry all exclusively pitted against men.
It’s akin to the racil segregation & discrimination of our society back in the day. It was known, it was recognized, it was accepeted & condonded by many in society, including the legal system. Just as there were no legal, social or emotional recourses/outlets then, just as there are none for abused men today.
This really sounds like my ex wife. She had been to my house the night before for dinner with the kids and all was well. My 12 yo son was saying “Mom is getting better”. Anyway the following day, she was telling me that I had problems with women. I told her I disagreed. She exclaimed it is just true, and you need to respect that I am a mom and teacher. When I said, our kids were one grade behind in various subjects when they started public school (she had home-schooled them until our divorce), she went into a rage and tried to hit me, chased me down her driveway, and shouted the “f-word” at me, while the 3 kids tried to load in my car. Slammed my door, went inside slammed her house door, came out, and tried to get in my van. Shouted obscenities at me. I left and she texted me about how I was abusive and would never change! I thought, well I just ducked your punches, and left.
She will get very angry with our 12 yo son, and yet the 10 yo daughter is the golden child. In her latest only 10 days after the incident above she apparently backed our son up into a door and pushed him. He eventually pushed her hand away from his face after asking her to stop, and later called her a bitch for yelling at him. He felt she was trying to provoke him. Our kids see a child psychologist, I hoped through her that my ex would not get away with the manipulative crap anymore. Over and over I have advised them to report the ex-wifes behavior (yelling at them, throwing books, questioning why they like my family more than her own, and telling the kids that I am abusive, yet nothing happens to her. I spoke with the kid psychologist, and let her know the account I am hearing when I have the kids.
It seems she is hearing that my son is unruly and a little shit. the ex took all of his possessions including his door to his room during the same incident, and ten days later he had not “earned” his door back. I sent another email to the kid psych, and then asked her, “When do these behaviors become abusive?” How long do we leave our son in this pressure cooker? Is this reportable? She said it was not because I had reported him being pushed, and his Mom getting up in his face and waving her hands. She had not heard it from the kids, so it was not reportable. Kid psych basically told me, that my son learned his behavior somewhere probably that I had modeled it. Even if I had (which I didn’t think I did), we are trying to move forward and mature. Regardless I was not present in the exes house that night or so many others when she blew up at him. So I came away from the meeting feeling once again that my ex, had gotten into the counselor first with her version. I have been hoping that through my kids accounts that truth would surface.
Final story, my son had just made the honor role, and was given an award in math at the school assembly. At my house he is helping with chores and is easy to be around. All of his teachers complimented us at the parent-teacher conferences. We were walking back to the cars (hers and mine) with the kids following the awards ceremony, and she started to get into it with me. I had asked her to quit texting during the assembly, since I felt it was rude, and it was our son’s time. She began telling me, I couldn’t tell her what to do, or tell her about her. Then my son said, “Guys, I just got an award in math (top student), and last year I had an F, barely made a D”. I congratulated him, to have done so well one year after divorce. She could not seem to let his shining moment be his.
Anyway, I am distraught everything seems to bounce of her, and be my responsibility. It seems she has people so fooled, and she tells her story of being the victim so loud and often. A police officer friend said, I should make a police report, but it has been three weeks already.
I pray for peace and God’s mercy, and enough truth to wake her up. I pray for wisdom for me.
Can someone suggest how one might present this to a custody evaluator?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the HCP I’m dealing with is the creme de la creme of liars/manipulators – 99 percentile. She’ll come up with an excuse that sounds very reasonable for every one of these behaviors, or flat out lie or cry and say it was a one time mistake and she knows she is not perfect, she is just a struggling, disabled (but can’t get disability or an actual diagnosis) mother, an abuse survivor trying to find her way, blah, blah, blah.
Not sure this will work, but ask for records / proof of her diagnones and recovery plan / bills for appointments kept with therapists / medications.
If she is truly ‘struggling to find her way,’ she will be seeking treatment, in some manner or another.
I was married to a woman with an eight year-old daughter. The father did not see the daughter at all. Ex explained she left him one year after the child’s birth, he wanted nothing to do with the daughter and he is a psychopath. Shortly after we met she pulled out a stack of folders with court records and various documents, saying “if anything ever happens to me, you’re welcome to take these and ensure they are entered as evidence.”
Before I moved in with ex and daughter, the ex would refuse to drive two hours to visit me where I lived, claiming the daughter would be bored. The daughter was always permitted to decide what she wanted to do and we would have to accomodate her. Mom never wanted to do much at all, staying home most weekends unless the daughter herself had plans with friends or a babysitter, which was rare. The ex would resent me if I decided not to sit at home and did my thing, but she would not “force” the child to do anything with us unless the child REALLY wanted to. Daughter would protest and refuse to do things with us, and the ex would quickly abandon attempts at mutual activities. The daughter would be extremely obstinate and uncooperative when we told her we were going to do something together she did not want to do. She would refuse to get out of the car when we arrived.
When things got crazy at home, I would go for a drive to get space. The ex would have the daughter call me, pleading mom is upset, please come home. I’d find the ex slumped on the sofa. She would not talk about the incident or appear pleased I had returned. One time I came home and the daughter said “mom, you have to tell him.” The ex had gone through my wallet, found the number of a business associate whom she had called, leaving a nasty message on her voice mail. She was certain I was cheating. She confided this in her nine year-old daughter, before confronting me.
The ex sat on the board of the school, claiming often she was tired of being the only one to take initiative, doing all the work and eventually quit. She recently claimed the school was not good for the daughter and pulled her out. She now says the new school is fantastic. The ex has an alcohol problem and the daughter now is diagnosed with OCD. When I recently attempting to visit while the daughter was home, she refused to talk to me, and on the next visit she refused to be there when I came by. The ex says it’s due to all the daughter witnessed when we were together, but I wonder what the ex has said to the daughter after the divorce. I have never hurt that child, at least not intentionally or directly.
I’ve talked to the wife’s ex a couple times, which infuriated the ex. I could no longer belive HE was the one who is ill. He mentioned he believed she has Munchausen by Proxy, says he left her when she cheated on him. I don’t know who to believe, but the ex’s behavior was enough to make me question. He says the school was fed up with her and the complaints she made about him, while she tells a different story.
How can we get help for all this? In beating my head against the wall, have spent tens of thousands I dollars I don’t have. I’m a disabled vet who was injured in the line of duty and only make 2552 a month and pay 850 to her because her new husband wants her to continue to be a stay at home mom. She has taken the kids away from me 3 times now. Her parents are well off and pay for her legal bills, and house. She knows that if she drives me into the ground financially, she wins. She is an alienator if there ever was one. My question is, with all the emails and past history will the court see it or will they side with her because she has a uterus?
“”I know of cases in which diagnosed and undiagnosed BPD/NPD moms allow children to regularly sleep in their beds well beyond an age that “co-sleeping” is appropriate””
What IS the inappropriate age? My GFs son is 8 and has no friends. She sleeps with him every night she has him. I think its heinous how she robs him of his self confidence.
Is this common with BPD NPD? The kid is a MESS and needs serious help of his own. For numerous reasons (physival and emotional abuse among them)I wondered about family services but she would probably con them.
In response to the question in the Forum, Dr T said:
“At the age of 6, it is emotional incest.
At 2, your daughter should be in her own bed/crib. Period. ”
( http://www.shrink4menforum.com/showthread.php?4080-Did-I-over-react-Co-sleeping )
I thought what happened to me was outlandish until I read the stories of others, like the ones posted here. I decided to write about my own experience at: parentalalienationisreal.info
I think it is a compelling story. There is also a video link on the website to a video that captures some of the emotions involved in parental alienation.
It can go for mothers and fathers… I’ve observed a couple doing this to their children in their twenties BOTH PARENTS. the 24 year old daughter freaks out if even the smallest fixable problem occurs. My husband tries to fix it (we are friends with the son) and she goes “no no no.. wait till daddy gets home.”…. and the son… doesn’t even know how to do anything on his own really and he is 22. I have observed that the father and mother treat them as though they were 4 years old… and then tried to do it to me!
Deaf Father says
I am so glad I found this website. I did not know so many others were dealing with ex-wives that were completely psychotic. I don’t have much to add other than my ex tried to poison me three weeks before we separated, but I can prove nothing. She was a doctor and I was a stay-at-home father. My survival angered her intensely and led to us separating on the first day I had fully recovered.
I fought in court for two years, even after my ex and her entire family fled the state in a van with my sons crying in the back seat. A sight I will never forget. That was over ten years ago, and now my sons treat me as if I do not exist. They were such good boys, but they have changed — and not for better.
I have a question for anyone here. I just received an email from my ex (all communication between us was by email). She has finally found a way to terminate my right to have my sons with me on Father’s Day (I see them only three times a year because of the ten hour drive to their home). She planned it years in advance, like she does everything. My son is in a special high school that goes on year round. I was never told this by my ex or my own son, who must have known that he would not see me in June anymore. She has arbitrarily rendered the entire property settlement agreement “null and void” except for one paragraph. I will now see my sons in April and July and then at Christmas (until she takes that too).
If I go to court, I know that her family will pay the necessary bribes to the judge and I will be viewed as an “obstructionist” for filing a motion to defend the divorce decree and visitation provisions. (I live in Kentucky. Donations to the judge are legal even during the actual hearings.) My wife thinks I should go to court just to cause her to lose money on attorney fees. I represent myself pro se.
However, after reading the comments and articles at this site, I am wondering if it is even worth the effort. After ten years and dictatorial control of my sons, she still hates me and tries to hurt me any way she can. She uses her husband and other family members to deal with me. She hides in the background, and they all obey her orders no matter how evil they are or destructive to my sons. I have not replied to her announcement and I am thinking of just saying nothing.
You see, her attorney is a notorious neo-nazi who got my entire citizenship rights terminated by a black judge on March 29, 2002: “Kentucky law does not apply to your client.” My attorney was left in shock for several minutes before the judge ordered us out and never to return until I could prove a deaf person could raise children. Her attorney needs money, and my ex seems to need a fight and possibly one more way to humiliate me. I also fear she wants an excuse to destroy my wife and daughter by withholding the social security money I receive to feed my daughter. She lied to SS early on to take control of that and never gave it back in accordance with the court’s orders.
Anyway, what if I just don’t fight? What if I do nothing? Is that a viable strategy for dealing with an evil psychopath who wants to project her unhappiness on me? I don’t want to expose myself to a corrupt court system again even though I work at a law firm and could easily represent myself. The subhuman treatment I received in the courtroom was humiliating, and although I won my motions, the judge simply refused to enforce any of them. My ex makes the law in the end.
I don’t want to abandon my sons, but they just do not seem to care anymore, and I am not sure how to deal with that. I am thinking of confronting them in April by showing them the videos of me fighting for their rights in court so that they can at least see the truth before I die. Since they only listen to their mother, they can listen to their mother again as she tells one lie after another in court. My ex prides herself on being a “super good person”, until she is exposed, and then her entire family flee to another state. I already told my sons that I was too tired to fight anymore because of my illness. I don’t think they care, but I could be wrong. They never learned sign language, so we cannot communicate, and they will not write or call me or answer my letters.
They act like I am supposed to entertain them while they are here, but I am getting tired of that. Their lack of empathy or feelings for others disturbs me deeply, and I feel it is time for them to grow up. My mother was a sociopath, but I spent my entire life saying “no” to her and protecting my little brother from her tirades. Why can’t my sons grow up and be good men? Where is their courage?
Anyone have any advice? Should I fight or just walk away?
Thanks in advance and sorry for all the nightmares your ex-wives caused you.
If I had come across this site before the tragedy, then maybe my boyfriend and myself would have prevented it.
His ex wife was diagnosed with narcissistic, histrionic and paranoid personality disorders.
After a long fight to try and get the children into school and for him to get access on his own without her present, it was obvious that he had no choice other thn to go for full custody.
Her solution to this was to murder all 3 children, brutally stabbed to death.
If you see any of this behaviour, at all, don’t wait around. Act now before its too late.
This is an excellent site that’s absolutely bang on with articles and information.
Please everyone never underestimate what these absolute monsters are capable of.
Sugarcube – just saw your post, for some reason had missed it the first time around. I’m sorry for your boyfriend and your loss with the children, thats awful. Its a well needed reminder about how serious this is.
I tend to be sarcastic and even ‘joke’ about these people, and my situation, because its the best, or maybe the only, coping strategy I can come up with so that I don’t crumble before all the wreckage and carnage in my life b/c of sociopaths I’ve gotten involved with.
I’ve fought, and am fighting, tooth and nail for my kids. The legal system, the culture, the attitudes of most men & women are not in favor of non-custodial fathers, and usually in full support of the custodial mothers. Despite again and again the emotional & physical abuse, the trauma, the drama…and even the deaths of children and the ex-husbands/ex-bfs, the status quo is maintained.
So many people sit around scratching their heads wondering why kids are getting high, sleeping around, depressed, suicidal, etc. Probably a good portion are from broken homes with an unstable, abusive parent – and quite often its the mother who is unstable and its the father being marginalized and alienated from the family.
I think its really going to take a spiritual, cultural, and legal revolution of sorts before people wake up to this epidemic. Hopefully sooner than later.
Ten years later I still “do the right thing” but find it more and more difficult to charge this “battle”.
Three weeks ago my ten year old handed me suicide notes. “Mom” does not consider the consequences as much as I do.
Background: Never married, lived together for a few years, dated on and off for six years – had a child. Mom brought up in an alcoholic physically and mentally abusive home. Me, watched mom date abusive alcoholic men who not only hit her, but us three as well. I am the middle of three and Mom is oldest of two.
Mom has always been physcially abusive to me and when our daughter came into the world, her too.
I haven’t lived a nightmare by any stretch of the imagination, matter-of-fact it may appear disgusting to me at times but I know personally of worse situations of abusive, neglect and well … there are bad situations everywhere.
I am however the father of an abused daughter who FIGHTS with DCF, Police and the School. My daughter has ended up in a cast on her leg, stitches in her head, bti by a dog, car accidents due to moms drinking… and still each time it is reported the state agency says to “my daughters Therapist and the local Police” “It’s the dad, he’s trying to set up mom”. An event three months back was reported by my daughter to the school therapist. They told the Principal who told the Vice Principal who decied that since two other reports were dropped at DCF that the school wouldn’t report the incidentS.
I have gone through six years of therapy myself, to try and settle my own self worth and existance.
Need help to protect my daughter….. today and until she can handle it on her own.
Unbelievable. This is the text book story of my life with Mommie dearest. I got temporary relief when she was married to my step dad, who she stayed “in character” for the duration of their 20 plus year marriage, which ended this past January. I’m devastated. Losing the man who was kind, tolerant, patient, and was a solid source for my mother’s softened attitude and way of treating me. He was the reason she was able to quit sabotaging me ( she loved him in a different way.) To this day, she is still in obsessive love with my father, who was temporarily sympathetic during my stepdad’s horrific battle with pancreatic cancer. Now that it’s all done, it’s like an instant rewind to the Hellified years of severe mental abuse, emotional beatings with control, smothering insane control, combined with cold, absent, abandonment. Both my parents. I thought my life was on the right track, and I realized it’s THEM, not me. I’m just too plugged into their sickness and they know exactly how to derail me, and seem to get a kick out of it. No empathy at all, and when they try to fake it, it only creeps me out. I have been ok, and now I’m back to that helpless, isolating, depressed teenager in a 45 year old’s physical body. I thought I was finally going to own my life myself and be free, but it’s worse, and I can’t believe they have the power to wreck me so easily. I need a way to really set myself free. Neither one of them can handle that thought, whether they’re aware of that fact or not.
When they feel the vibe, and they do, that I am strong and doing well, it’s like a radar hovers above waiting to destroy me, and when they drop the bomb, it does just that, no matter how prepared I am for it, they completely derail me no matter how I try to unplug myself from their outlets. I wonder if I’ll live through it and survive their attacks. They do, they really do feel an ownership of an object, not a normal loving parental feeling, and they think lying and all other trespasses against ME, doesn’t count. All bets are off, all’s fair in dealing with their daughter, I’m their receptacle for all that they’re purging. It’s projected and purged onto me. I would give up, but they aren’t going to get off the hook that easy. I remember thinking I was a total POS, and my mom was such a good mom, so caring and worried and in actuality, just weak, needy clingy and pure nasty when I wanted to be me. This is sick. It’s REAL and I know others who are clueless about the dynamic with their mom. I don’t know what’s better, so called ‘ignorant bliss” or all out devastating acceptance of it, which is really forgiveness, but resentment pops up when exposure is at a higher level. Alot to think about. WOW, thanks
This is so prevalent in modern society, and the cause of many of our ills. I have never seen it presented so clearly. It’s hiding in plain sight, probably due to the success of blame shifting CB mom in projecting onto their kids and spouses.
This sabotage in the extreme could explain the Sandy Hook killings. Nancy Lanza sure looks like an emotional vampire who sabotaged her family and her son Adam, while blame shifting and garnering sympathy from those around her whom she conned. Quite disturbing.
This article highlights so many behaviors carried out by my soon to be step son’s mother. She is so tangled in her own web of lies that she can’t keep them straight. Her son calls her out about lying about school work, babysitters, cosleeping patterns at her house (nightly at her house and at ours he sleeps sound in his own room), being broke when he watches how she spends money and what it is spent on, and negative things she says about my fiancee in front of him to other people. She immediately flies off the handle about it and says everyone is out to get her, blames it on blood sugars, and being stressed out. He consistently has to parent her. He tells us he has to calm her down and tell her it will be ok. She drinks excessively and says that she needs a social life which to her consists of going out to bars on an every weekend basis if she had it her way. She has forgotten him at school in subzero weather and acted with no remorse when we finally got a hold of her because the school couldn’t. My fiancee pays for all tuition, school lunches, supplies, and uniform costs for extracurricular activities even though he is only ordered to pay half on top of throwing her bones every once in a while when she says she is broke. He also pays half of their health insurance. She has been involved in chaotic relationships and interpersonal happenings that her son has had to witness. She has told him if she didn’t have him in her life there would be no point in her living. She has said she was going to kill herself on the phone in front of her son while on the phone with my fiancee.
We got engaged about a year ago and now we are expecting. All of this has fueled her crazy fire. She refuses to talk about the baby. Her son says he doesn’t dare talk about it at her house because she doesn’t like it. She told him she wished she could give him a sibling instead of me and then told him it wasn’t even a real sibling it was just a half sibling, even though everyone of her siblings is a half sibling.
She initiated abuse in their relationship which led to marital counseling which lead to the counselor telling my fiancee to leave before something terrible happened, all while she was becoming involved with a coworker who she later became engaged to and then after a tumultuous relationship parted ways and he is now married to someone else. After that relationship ended, all efforts to try to win him back obviously failed and hostility grew even more.
We are at wits end and don’t know what to do. My fiancee is an amazing father and very patient but at times grows extremely frustrated with the person he is supposed to be coparenting with. Who could blame him for that?
People say take custody, but he worries about her twisting it someday and saying to their son he was taken away from her or worse her killing herself for ultimate revenge.
We have a happy life at our house, all 3 of us (soon to be 4). Weekends seem to take forever when he is at her house and it is obvious when extra damage has been done over a weekend. It takes him a day or two before he feels comfortable talking about any of it.
We want the best for him. Every child deserves a fit mother and father. What do you do when the mother isn’t? Any guidance/help would be amazing….
All I can say is this article way like reading my husband and step children’s life story. Nearly every behavior mentioned has plagued our lives for years, and some even more terrible behaviors. Sadly in our case, the oldest child is mom’s little mini me now, for lack of a better way to say it. Posting rants about her father on Fbook, rants about me(step mom) on fbook. We’ve dealt with false accusations of abuse, false accusations aimed towards my son when the other accusations failed, we’ve been married 12 years. Most of those years with husband fighting to see children, fighting over withheld visitation, Therapist after therapist, guardian ad lidem after guardian ad lidem. Ever changing therapists because they caught on to mom’s game then poof – complaint filed against therapist, new therapist. Over and over again. It has come to the point where we are so emotionally drained by the never ending cycle that we barely speak to each other. I have children from a previous marriage and they are well adjusted adults now early 20’s who thank me and their father for not doing the things to them that they see have been done to the step children. His children are now 17 and 15 and there is no end in sight now that his daughter has joined suit with the mother. We exhausted every resource throughout the years to attempt to survive the continuous attacks, sabotage, etc.
At one point when the children were 9 and 7 ish, they showed up with huge bruises, told dad they were from a wooden spoon, bruises on their back, arms etc. Dad called abuse hotline, they sent someone to the school to see the children, but they called ahead to the nurses office to see the children. The school nurse called the mother, and she got to the school (only blocks away from her home) before the child protection people. She went to the principle, sang some poor me song, was able to speak to the children before they went to the nurses office, and scared the crap out of them. They went in and told the child protection people their dad made them say that, that the bruises were from falling off a bike. The following visit, the children cried to dad that mom threatened them and said they would be taken away forever. Court let her switch therapists for the kids (that we paid for) and that was that. Therapist couldn’t file a report because children changed their story etc… Just a mess. That’s just one example.
The worst part of the consequences of mom’s actions is the horrible horrible life the children will have now that they are step in toe to mom’s behavior. Such destruction, such a nightmare for anyone who dares to not do what they want when they want.
Father’s need more rights, more resources, and for this society to wake up to the reality that this is more common than not.
My soon to be ex wife had a child with a doctor back in the 90’s to try to bait him to marry her (I spoke to him). After a fierce battle in court, they have joint custody and she only receives $436 a month for child support. Her daughter is being home schooled. One day, CB told me her daughter was 80 lessons behind in her school work. Er… how does a kid get 80 lessons behind in her school work when she’s at home and CB works out of the house?!
Did I fail to mention that CB got a doctor to diagnose her daughter with ADD? Now she has a legit excuse that covers CB’s ass.
I just want to say, thanks for this article. It’s kind of old, but this is my mom to a T. i am 32 and just a week ago, i caught my mother in hundreds of lies over my lifetime to the very issues you are talking about, sabotage, hurting the other spouse, et cetera. It is incredible how much of my life was affected by it. I am reeling from all the lies. And when confronted, she did what she always does, which is twist, deny, twist, deny, blame someone else, justify actions. It was the most disgusting thing i have ever experienced in my life. i have had so many life problems because of her doing this and she refused to face up to it! She didn’t care one bit. She has outright told me that if she had a choice back when me and my brother were born, she wouldn’t have had either of us. We are both more successful than her financially, emotionally, in terms of marriage, relationships, life in general. But you wouldn’t know that coming from her! Thanks for the article. This is my mom to a T! The half-truths are the worst part because, YOU KNOW, THOSE AREN’T LIES ACTUALLY! “Everybody leaves things out. That’s my truth and if you can’t accept that, that’s too bad”! She said that to me with a straight face, after faced with literally hundreds of lies to me after i was the only one in the family who stuck up for her, among being the oldest of the kids and being the dutiful firstborn, among many other things. These people need help and need to be far away from kids! The damage they do spans generations, i promise you. If it wasn’t for my faithful and trusty husband staying by my side and helping me with it, I would have lived my whole life in that dysfunction and possibly passed it on. Thankfully i have figured it out, but i KNOW it is scary to think that i could have lived my whole life not figuring that out and/or passed it onto my kids without even realizing it. Again, the willingness to lie to protect your own faults was just — i was blown away. After all the crap she gave me all my life about taking responsibility for my own actions, she didn’t take responsibility for any of hers! Good luck to anyone who deals with these people. Work on paper and do not trust them as far as you can throw them!
This is my first post. I have read your blog off and on for about the last 6 months. My wife had an affair three years ago. I have been working hard to have successful counseling and reconciliation. We have two wonderful children. Her affair was with a man that is nearly 30 years older than my wife and he was a manager in her department. My wife has never met her biological father. I am very confident that her mother is BPD, her mother has children with two different men, my wife’s biological father has never been involved. Her mother has been married 3 times and this last time has just disappeared, with no details on where she is. I am not sure if my wife is BPD, or if she just has some of those traits. It feels like my wife expects me or others that are close to her to be treating her, as her BPD mother treated her. It has been very difficult, it feels like she has little empathy about my pain and little or no ownership (responsibility) for her affair. I feel like I have simply enabled her to continue to treat me badly, since we are still married. When we have disagreements or when she is simply in a bad mood, I try to express how it is very hard for me to now be treated that way, I end up getting very angry because she doesn’t hear what I am saying or feel any empathy for me. It seems that getting very angry is the only thing that snaps her into seeing what I am talking about. But, I question if she is simply becoming compliant to make it stop, or if she really sees the big picture? I don’t know how she has no empathy for me with all that has happened. At times, I regret not divorcing her immediately, back when the affair was revealed. It took her over a month and a half to even fully come clean with me about it, even though I had evidence of everything. I feel this man was a predator, I know he had several affairs in the past. She wasn’t able to just end it with him, she ended up quitting her job to get away from him, he was fired after it came out. I have suspicions that an older man in her family may have abused her when she was younger, maybe her mother was abused as well? Our financial situation changed dramatically because of this affair, she is no longer working. I have no trust that she won’t do it again and she remains at home. She seems to only react in with defensive statements and reiterations of what she said or was trying to say, with little or no empathy from where I am coming from after all of this happening and the work to reconcile.
My question is revolved around the ability of someone like her, who likely grew up with a BPD mother. Could she have some traits of BPD because of growing up with a BPD mother? Could it be that she has been so trained to deal with a BPD mother that she doesn’t know how to deal with someone so close to her that is not BPD? My wife recognizes that she is unable to “turn off” her immediate reactions when she is under stress, anxiety or PMS. She has also stated that she has a hard time reacting to emotions from other people, when she is in this “state”. It really feels like she has a physiological change, her eyes dilate, she reiterates her words and almost has a cadence in her tone. Is there hope for someone like her? Our couples counselor has only focused on “communication skills”, “I statements”, “slowing conversations down”, etc. This counselor has also said that she thinks my wife may have ADD, but no action has been taken to evaluate this or help us deal with it. We are considering changing this counselor to a counselor that I visited for 2 years after this happened. I have not seen him for about a year. He specializes in BPD and Dialectic and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. My wife has said to me that she knows she is “automatically” being this way, when it happens, but she really wants to seek a plan of action. She wants to know what is making her be this way. I also agree and think that she needs to be held accountable to a plan and be very clear about the possible consequences (divorce) if this does not improve. Your thoughts are appreciated. Maybe I could schedule a phone discussion with you, I would have to make the payment very discrete. Do you see any hope and would these therapies possibly help? Thank you.
Is there room here for a comment from a child of an NPD/HPD/BPD mother?
I am 38 years old. I was the “golden child” until I became old enough, or displayed enough character to stand up to her. My father died when I was 11. Our grandmother lived with us until her death 9 weeks before my Dad’s. We were left alone with her, and thus began 7 years of pure hell.
She died 10 years ago, now. Perhaps I have found a place where I can share my experiences, get some insight from those who understand, and provide the perspective of a grown woman who was a child in such a situation that many who’ve posted here are trying to save their children from.
If there is anything I can say in sharing my experiences and my internal conflict about her that continues to this day that will help someone reading this, then my experiences will not have been in vain.
All I can say is that if you can get your children out from under their abusive and personality disordered mothers, please fight tooth and nail to do it.
After creating a login, I noticed that these comments are over a year old. So perhaps my words may not be read by most, however, the way things are, just letting it out might help. A release of some sort. Let me apologize now if I run on a bit, it has been a long 3 years and it has gotten progressively worse, an emotional roll-a-coaster that is nonstop and is affecting the children, myself and my husband a great deal for so long that is has manifested in physical ways at this point. We have tried so many avenues for help and have gotten no real relief or change. In two years, we have spent thousands of dollars and endless time, and we continue to be harassed by his ex-wife who has been made to feel she is untouchable by the courts and is obviously correct!
Most people don’t even believe out situation, the results we have gotten and even more just say that we need to ignore it and not let her upset us.
It’s all true and beyond ignoring, it is abusive to the children and she is damaging them for ever and if we continue to allow it, we are no better than her, for one. Moreover, you cannot ignore someone that makes it impossible to schedule your life! I am a completely different person than I was a year ago, I know it and I said it first, that is when my mother and cousin told me that they agreed and didn’t want to say it because of my fragile state.
(See how long already!! Didn’t even start her antics!)
Let me also start off by saying that my husband is not perfect in this situation, especially in the beginning, he has had a very hard time learning to deal with his emotions and control his reactions. I understand why!! Especially now after going through the torture and harassment for over 3 years I know how much it can eat you up inside, but I want us to be better than her, I don’t want her to get the reaction she wants and feed into her sick rush and I will never give her a reason to tell a judge that I cannot be around the children. So my husband has made great efforts and improvement with my help and anger management, he now doesn’t play into her “button pressing” games.
Well, I really hope that after all this typing that everyone won’t just pass it over as rambling and take the time to read on and I hope it is postable…LOL…
Anyway, my husband started off just trying to do the right thing. Had a younger girlfriend (think 6-7 years) that got pregnant. He really always just wanted what we were brought up on…marriage, kids and the white picket fence. He married her, bought a house and worked his ass off to support her, even paid for school. From Day one his mother had told him to stay far away from this girl (his ex) that she was not right, latched on right away, “Sarah the Stalker” is what they called her….But, like I said, he wanted to do the right thing….Eventually, he was in a good union in NYC and working a lot of hours and nothing was good enough….then eventually she cheated after two kids, marriage and him buying and supporting a nice house and all of them.
Being distraught and betrayed, he allowed a default against him on the initial divorce judgment. From day one she was able to lie about having zero income and she conveniently divorced the year he made over $100K. Never made it before or since then. She is so twisted, she even admitted that she only married him because she thought that he came from a “good family” and since then that has been all she is about…..self-entitlement and trying to live this lifestyle that they never had married! (Guess I need to start summing up – it’s hard – I just don’t understand how she can give any logic to her actions – how we have been unable to stop her from playing the martyr while harassing us and using children)
He has always been in the children’s lives, except when she throws a tantrum and will just stop any contact for up to 6 months at a time. She is 32 and has never held a job for more than a year just two years ago as an RN. Every single item in this article is her to a T! I have known my husband (her ex) since grade school, he has been friends with myself and my brother since high school. Her and I were never friends, I tried, she was unapproachable when we would visit the house.
When I first re-connected with my husband, I was taking him to pick up his children or drop them off, and she would walk them to the car and strap them in and I would say Hello….basic civil interaction….then one day a few months later she asks if we are a couple….my husband answers, not that it is your business, but yes.
Well, that was the first time I witnessed it! She went crazy from minute one! I was white trash and my car was a piece of shit and sending face book messages saying I was ugly “Look at her face!” It was ridiculous and childish and I was not going to even acknowledge such behavior. My husband didn’t see his kids for 4 months.
Then one day, he gets a message that reads “I could care less if you ever see your kids again, but today your son was in car and said “I miss my Daddy”. (he was 6 at this time). That broke my heart so when do you want to see your kids?
Ever since then, it has been a constant struggle. Constant cancelled visits, constant texted demands, agendas that she would approve, insults about me and my family and threats that she would have him locked up any time because all she had to do was say he threatened her! Also, always a demand to give up his rights, statements that the kids were uncomfortable around me, statements that she cannot wait till the children will say they want nothing to do with him and she has his son half way there….just disgusting outright lies and attempts to control everything.
She had one degree at the time of their divorce for graphic design and was a babysitter when they divorced, but was given a zero income status? Why not what a “graphic designer should be making” (just like any man would get and years later my husband did get). He has always provided health insurance at no cost to her but has never been given credit for it in the court. She has always and continues to put his name on paperwork at hospital, doctor and anything possible so that he gets bills and not her for co-pays and deductibles. How is that even legal? She is the one signing for services to be performed? (BTW, never ordered alimony, only child support, but claims she never used the kids money to pay for herself, but has worked about 2 years in 32 years. This is the first year 2012 that she could even file taxes!) I continue to write letters to these providers and she continues to do it and some wont remove his name. She thinks she is entitled to everything! Has no responsibility for herself, never mind her children!
So a few years back, my husband breaks his leg and requires surgery. His is out of work for over a year, then by the time he can go back the economy is crap. So, I told him to go to court for a reduction because he was paying $400 a week for support plus required to maintain health insurance and provide all transport for visits. Needless to say she flips the script! Your a scumbag, you haven’t made full payment in over a year (yeah on unemployment for surgery), he lost health insurance (which we tried to get through NJ and couldn’t because they didn’t live with us as residence and it didn’t matter court order said we had to) so he didn’t care if his kids died….just anything and everything.
Also we were going back because she was working as an RN for the first time in her life had a full time job and had gotten away with zero income for years while he was being charged $100K and hadn’t made that in just as long….all of a sudden these papers come out accusing him of being an abuser to her and unfit for kids, that he threw out all kids clothes to make room for me (meanwhile she had cried she had nothing for school so he gave her two huge bags of clothes he used to keep at house for them), he was drug addict…I mean just pulling crap out of her A$$. She even sent text begging us to drop the case and she would start doing half the driving for his visits.
He was treated like a piece of scum in court! Called a liar, not allowed to talk, her actions of last minute cancelled visits and 3 months away from him meant nothing to judge! She played a martyr and lied compulsively! He had no income for 2 years, unemployment, half of which went to her. He was charged with income He should be making under guidelines for construction! (she wasn’t in initial divorce decree when she had a college degree!)
This court has made her think she is untouchable! She says in text “I am the judge”! He has legal custody and she has kept him from everything for years! Then throws it in his face.
Finally, we went on our own and have been communicating with teachers behind her back, they haven’t even told her because they know problems would arise. Kids say let’s not tell Mom that …. His Son said that they weren’t going to come on a visit about 6 months ago because Mommy wants more money from you! I told her I love you and I wanted to go!
It is to the point where we cannot schedule anything! RSVP to anything! She stands over them when he calls (which he does every night at 7 pm to say good night, but of course he doesn’t get answer every night). They will actually ask her what they did to answer him! She screams answers in background. Makes everything we do wrong or insufficient. She always has to twist things so they think everything with Dad is wrong, bad or not worth as much. Every Sunday night when they go home we get 20 texts about all the shit she didn’t like about weekend. Constant insults to me (and my family who have embraced these children as their own – these kids are so excited to have new family and cousins and she tells them we are nothing)…..
So, needless to say, she hasn’t worked in over a year and now all of a sudden she can get legal aid again and we are going back to court because we are unfit and she wants more money and your wife is nothing to them and never will be and stop saying we because she has no say! But “We” is fine when she is demanding I drive the kids!!! She is delusional and has no sense of what it takes to live in the real world. The kids get physically upset when they talk to us because they don’t know what their answers are supposed to be – she isn’t there yelling in background like on phone.
Now she is saying that they don’t want to see us anymore and she is making them say so in court!
It’s all never ending and too much! We have gone to police about harassment and they won’t do anything, paid lawyers, advocate groups, etc. How can one person be allowed to destroy the lives of her children and us! How can court keep encouraging her behavior. She should have been supporting herself 100% and contributing as much to kids as him…..she thinks she can live her whole life without any responsibility….says she is single Mom doing it on her own….that he has been absent from their lives since divorce! Ridiculous!! I just don’t know what to do anymore! But we cannot live like this and the children will never make it to normal functioning adults!!!!
Any thoughts? I hope you read it all! Sorry so long…..just so hard….
I have read your story and I’m headed down the same path. My son is going to grow up resenting me because my sons father and his mother brainwashes him. He’s only 4, I left him 2 years ago. I just want to live my life happily and be civil but that is almost impossible! I pay support, and I’m paying on a 2 bedroom apartment staring at an empty room every night bc his father has partial custody. He thinks hrs on top of the world. He will rub it in my face that my c.s. money payed for his lawyer that helped him gain custody. My son is dirty everytime I pick him up. I’m no mother of the year but I csnt live life like this. I go to his daycare and he isn’t there, I text him snd he tells me not to worry about it I’m not a real mother. I’m no victim bc it’s making me stronger but I’m almost at my breaking point. I’m trying to do it on my own, but I get knocked down every time I find ny way back up. I do something right, he’s pointing out things I did months ago when I made a mistake. I drop my son off, god forbid anything is wrong, he’s leaving me nasty voicemails or text messages. I tell myself karma will get him bc I cant be so spiteful, I’d rather try and ignore it. All i want is the relationship with my son that I once had and all I can keep is faith. It’s like hes the spiteful woman in this, one day hes trying to talk to me snd telling me hes so proud then the next day I’m the worst mother around. I don’t get it. Just gotta let them dig thier own hole. The truth will show eventually.
I am married to an Asian woman 20 years younger than me, having met on a dating website. Being a retired family physician was not enough to help me recognize what kind of an individual she was. Looking back at some of her early behavior should have raised red flags but didn’t. And then my further investments in the relationship probably blurred my view of the situation. The multiple photos of herself throughout her apartment was one sign, but then Asian women, I understand, like photos. Entitlement features were slightly evident looking back in hindsight. But once marriage and pregnancy occurred (almost simultaneously), the full blown NPD became clear. I also now see adult ADHD, HPD, bipolar d/o and BPD features.
Not to make excuses, but she covered up the features pretty well. A beautiful 38 y/o never married, childless woman should have been a red flag in itself. But a woman who is never at fault, feels entitled to any and everything, shows no empathy toward anyone and who flies into a manic rage if challenged on any issue has become almost a daily spectacle. A simple solution is to leave and go back to the US and she would probably not pursue me. But my dilemma is my boy, knowing that I would be leaving him to fend for himself and this is something I just can’t do. Friends here in the Asian city we live now tell me to divorce with some sort of child custody. Still see problems continuing for him and me.
The US embassy website states that if a parent abducts a child from this Asian country to the US or vice versa, there is no international crime for authorities to pursue since this Asian country never officially agreed to the 1980 Hague Convention Rules of international child abduction. This type of action is not in my nature to perform under normal standards of divorce but because of the severity of the mental disorders he and I are being subjected to, it is at the top of my priority list as a solution to my son’s predicament. He is a dual citizen of both the US and Asian country. He has a US passport. She does not have a US passport. Some friends that I have confided in seem to think that this is a quite drastic measure, but they don’t understand the situation like people who have experienced these relationships or health care providers who have tried to deal with patients of the like. I can say I have viewed it from both perspectives. During my residency I cared for a BPD patient and she was the sole reason I decided to start my practice in another community distant to my training site. Powerful stuff.
I have come to this site a few times in the past 15 months, searching for some way to understand what I’m going through and rationalize with myself that I’m not the totally insane half of my broken marriage. I have seen articles in the past that have resonated with me and I’ve seen countless comments from other people on this blog who a) make me understand I’m not alone and b) scare the living hell out of me for where I have been, where I am today and where I could be going.
THIS article, however, nails it to the wall. My ex (I don’t even know where to start classifying her in terms of which one(s) of the disorders that may apply… I fear it is several of them) has changed my daughter’s school 4 times in a 2-year period from the time she was in pre-k (3 year old) through Kindergarten. Each and every time it was the school’s fault for her leaving: the teachers weren’t nice; the teachers didn’t care for our daughter enough; the school administrators were insensitive to our daughter’s needs; there are too many bullies in the classroom and the school doesn’t know how to handle these situations. In every case I didn’t understand what it was that she was so paranoid about. But, it was very predictable. And, in time, half-way through my daughter’s K year, my DAUGHTER was mimicking what the mom was saying: “There are too many bullies at my school… I don’t like it there.” She has successfully started turning my innocent daughter into her own clone.
In the midst of our first few months of separation, my ex went as far as to levy sexual abuse claims against my son’s 2-year old pre-k school… the first time that had ever happened in the school’s 25+ year history! She claimed the children told her this happened yet, now it all fits into the pattern that Dr. Tara speaks of. He is 3 and has already been in 3 different pre-schools.
As for “winning,” I don’ even know where to begin. I’ve been physically and legally alienated from my children for more than a year now based on false allegations that I have been cleared of by 4 independent professionals (police, DCF, polygraph, etc) (I won’t even get into the abortion of justice we have in the legal system today). Despite us both knowing there’s nothing there to be had (in terms of monetary award), she is hell-bent on trying to use every legal tool to threaten me and try to rack up more bills for me to be responsible for. Rather than move on, just as recent as last night I was hit with a barrage of 10+ texts, 500+ characters each in length, digging up things from 5,-9 years ago that she is still sour over. On one, brief, finger, she’s “protecting her ‘damaged’ children,” but on the rest of the fingers she’s bringing up all of her personal vendetta reasons for trying to inflict more damage on me. All the while, she’s happy to play victim to anyone who will give her a few minutes of her time: she’s a martyr, she’s a survivor of a horribly “abusive” relationship (she, of course, will never see herself as the abusive half of the marriage), she’s all alone in trying to help keep her children safe, etc, etc, etc. And, despite all of this and her claims she wants to end this legal process as soon as possible (claiming she has no money to spend anymore), she goes off about how “money is no object” and she will take me to “trial” to show me for who I really am. Again, who is this really about?? Who is she trying to “win” for?
Control: it’s all about her and her decisions being best. When one professional (licensed therapist, doctor, attorney) does not agree with her, she runs to seek out the next one who will agree with her (for a fee, of course), and she won’t stop until she finds it. Despite knowing medical, education, religion decisions all must be mutually agreed-upon, she claims ignorance, pulls the “protecting our children” card again, and changes up to whatever it is that suits her crazy mindset. New therapist, new school, totally new church/religion (that, mind you, during our marriage she swore was “evil” and would have never tried out)… all on her call and she thinks I should have no say in. Doctors, teachers, therapists… they’ve all experienced HER being right and being told (directly or indirectly) that they are wrong. As long as she’s in control, things level out some for her. The second I try to contact the schools or doctors, she gets irrational again and starts her few-day barrage of trying to inflict pain on me again.
Jealousy, Sibling Rivalry, BAD Role-Modeling… this “comment” could go on forever. .. But I digress… I feel beyond lost. At times (more often now than before) I fear for my own safety and for the safety of my children. With the legal system as defunct, slow and lacking in common sense as it is, I can’t rely on any timely solution to this and I have little faith, if they ever DO get it right, that she will ever come to terms with her insanity. I believe it would take her being locked in a cell and force-fed audio tracks of proof that she’s the insane one to have her ever understand reality.
I have a tremendous partner with me now and she supports me 250%… she sees me for who I am and I’m so lucky to have her. But, as I’ve seen in other posts from new spouses, this isn’t likely to end. It is likely to hurt her as well. I find small solace in the readers’ comments and the fact that I’m not alone. Dr. Tara’s writings help me understand more of WHO she is and WHY she does what she does. But I truly fear for my children, for my safety, for my current relationship’s sustainability (in the face of this forced adversity), for my relationship with my children… for everything. I’m just about out of any means to pay for my legal rights to fight. I know I will go to the ends of the earth to fight for what is right… but I know personal will does not go very far when the legal world demands $$.
Thank you for your ears/eyes in listening and for the work you do, Dr. Tara.
I am the partner of sh848. I love him with all of my heart. I trust him implicitly. I know, just as the police, DCF, polygraph, etc do, that the things the mother of his children has accused him of doing are a fabrication of her sick mind. What I don’t know, is if she did this out of anger and spite as well as her obvious mental illness. Let me clarify by saying that I met him AFTER he moved out of the marital home and had absolutely nothing to do with their separation. I would also like to state that this is just the tip of the iceberg of things I could discuss about this situation, but I don’t want to ramble on and on.
I have two children of my own and I can’t imagine using them as pawns in my previous divorces (yes two). Thankfully, for the most part, their fathers are of the same mind as me, although we had issues with each other, the ultimate goal for us is to raise happy, healthy children who feel nothing but love from the both of us. My children are respectful, empathetic, smart boys who have adjusted to divorced life better than I could have ever imagined.
His ex wife is a toxin to his children. This article could have been written specifically with her in mind. She believes, or so it would seem, that she is above reproach and if heaven forbid you don’t agree with her…the impending tornado is enough to blow you away. She, at one time or another, has exhibited traits of ALL of the disorders mentioned in the article. I have not just taken his word for it; I have witnessed her behavior first hand. The fact that our court system has let this situation progress this far is an absolute disgrace. Yes, the last year without the children has been, at best, heartbreaking. I try to remain optimistic and remind him every day that, any day now, this nightmare will end and the children will be coming home. At every turn, the “system,” in theory designed to protect the innocent, has failed miserably for sh848 and his children.
Over the last year, they have been exposed to her venom, her mental illness, her hate and all of the peripheral issues that come hand-in-hand with it all. They have been separated from a father who loves them, cared for them (like I have never seen from a dad) before they were stolen from him, and who has spent every penny he has and then some to get them back. It will take years of valid therapy, he and I showing them what a loving, protective home is really like and having the mother removed from this scenario until she can get mental health help, just to get them back to some normalcy.
He and I are a team. Together with our children, we are a family. It gets harder and harder to have faith in a system that has let us down at every turn. We fear what she is capable of if the current avenue (everyone seeing a court ordered forensic psychologist, including me) finally gives the court what it needs to bring the children home to him. Ultimately, I will continue to believe that they will be home soon and we can all begin the long healing process.
Ddoll, thats wonderful how you support your husband/bf unconditionally and passionately. Thank you for your honesty too. I’d say by what you’ve written, you probably have more integrity than 90% of the women I know.
I wholeheartedly agree with you on how bad the system is. I’m living a nightmare involving my ex-Hitler and our children, and the courts, therapists, lawyers et al have done nothing to stop her outrageous behavior. I was $8,000 (eight thousand dollars) ahead in child support, but my ex fought monthly visitation and cost me about $10,000 in legal bills just so I could get visitation rights. I’m flat broke, cannot pay the attorney, and the unpaid legal bill is accruing at 10% interest per year. She’s alienated the children and ruined the relationship. I could go on & on too, but not enough time or room here to do so.
If you want to help your husband/bf, and other men in similar situations, please become an advocate for men/fathers being ALLOWED to be involved with their children and PREVENTING more abuse by the ex’s, the courts, therapists etc. As a woman, PLEASE write letters to senators, congressman, anyone…and become vocal, it speaks volumes when women vie for men/fathers. Thats what we need right now are vocal women supporters b/c we’re really in the midst of an epidemic and need help.
sh848, I hear what you’re saying and sorry to see you’re going through this. I’ve been there (still am).
Its like being raped twice; first by the ex, then again by the legal system/divorce industry. The deck is stacked against men. I recommend checking out the brother site A Voice For Men, and, Angie Media(links are on the Home Page of this site). At the very least you won’t feel so alone and more support, resources etc. There is also the NCFM (National Coalition for Men) who are fighting hard for mens’ legal rights, custody rights etc.
I empathize with everyone going through a nightmarish relationship with a personality disordered spouse. We as adults can feel victimized but once we understand what we have gotten ourselves into, we have to realize that we have the free will to do something about it. If our spouse is cognitively able to look at themselves as possibly part of, if not the whole problem and is amenable to seeking professional help, I say go for it if you have the desire to help them. Otherwise, get far away from them in whatever way you can.
But if there are children involved, especially very young ones, then I feel the most pressing challenge is to try to save them. Children, for the most part, don’t have the ability to exercise their free will in custody matters and are more inclined to be affected negatively by brainwashing tactics. The parents and the legal institutions control their fate. This is where the most help in my opinion is needed. The child’s emotional development is being molded as we ourselves experience the predatory/prey phenomena wreaking havoc all around us. But hopefully we as adults have been raised well enough and have the tools to know how to survive and rehabilitate ourselves. We can maybe heal from our wounds. It will be more difficult for an injured child to move through life in an emotionally balanced manner having experienced living with a dysfunctional parent as a role model.
A caring mother and her children have a better chance at escaping the clutches of a personality disordered spouse than if the mother is the predator and the father is the prey . Full custody in favor of the father, I bet, is probably very rare. How do we make our society realize how frequently common and destructive these situations are? Maybe having Child Protective Services and clinical psychologists integrated more into our public/private schools from elementary school and up would help as well as implementing questionnaires to the children, their parents, siblings, and even grandparents in an attempt to discover and identify distressed families. We need to stop this abusive cycle.
Sorry, might have gotten too carried away.
Newpapa – appreciate your comments & hopeful outlook. Dare I say that, from the gentle tone of your words, you’ve never been intimately involved with a sociopath(?). Many here have been. These sociopaths take pleasure in hurting people. Even their own children – if it means ‘winning’ and inflicting pain on their spouse/partner. A few of these are capable of murder, e.g., Jodi Arias (officially diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder) or Casey Anthony.
A female friend of mine once said, “It takes two to make a relationship work, but only one to fuck it up.” Beautiful. True. We all have defects and imperfections. But if your partner is Personality Disordered, this is awhole other ball game. Its not about leaving the toilet seat up, not making the bed, or who should change the diaper today. Those are ‘normal’ problems. PDs ARE the problem. There is no dancing around it. I tried to though. I took on a lot of blame & guilt for my ex’s behavior. I thought it was okay to get locked out of the house for taking a picture of a spider. I thought I deserved to get hit or kicked if I disagreed with her or disobeyed her commands. It took me a long time to realize it had nothing to do with what I was doing or not doing. It was all her.
Sociopaths cannot be cured. When they seek ‘professonial help’ they can often manipulate the psychologist/psychiatrist, or, the mental health professional already has a strong bias in favor of women & against men (men are bad; women are good). Quite common in fact.
Things like Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) have been well documented since the 1970s when divorces began skyrocketing. PAS being where the custodial parent alienates the child(ren) against the non-custodial parent, false allegations, brainwashing, and complete destruction of the relationship. Probably 90% of PAS is caused by the mother, who usually gets custody. The PAS parent almost always recruits family members, teachers, lawyers, doctors, mental health professionals in their quest to destroy the other, non-custodial parent. Its not one-on-one, its usually ten-on-one.
Yet, the judges, courts, mental health professionals et al have rejected that PAS exists and ignore obvious & subtle evidence that psychological abuse is occurring. Some of this is due to fear of the feminist movement, and some due to entrenched bias against men, that men are the cause of strife in the family and men are not competent parents. As is the overarching theme in many institutions, including the legal one, fear & ignorance rule the day.
It would be wonderful if CPS and psychologists would help protect our children against these sociopathic women. PAS was recently recognized in the mental health manual DSM V (?) (I believe)?, finally, after nearly 30 years of well documented evidence…and of course the obvious common sense we can see these things happening every day, but unfortunately the system thats supposed to protect people often enables these sociopathic women, until its too late.
For this problem we need a couple of things.
1. The mother role should not be placed on a pedestal while the father role is denigrated to irrelevant. That’s a real feminist talking btw.
2. We need better definitions of abuse. Limiting a child’s development in any way is abuse. This is not about giving kids what they stampt their feet for, giving a kid candy everyday harms their ohysical health. The same is true for letting them watch t.v. until 1 am. Abuse has many forms.
3. We need to recognize that women often ‘win’ because women are taught how to speak with others about parenting. Most women are very proficient in this area. Men on the other hand often need to learn the vocabulary AFTER they become parents. Society should teach both genders the art of parental language. It would balance the playing field in these godawful cases.
4. We need to learn to spot the liar. TedTalks has various videos on this. I would like to see divorce and custody judges get training on how to spot the liar.
5. We need to work together. Men and women. If you are facing an abusive spouse hating the gender only serves to alienate you from some powerful allies. Hate the abuse. Disconnect from the abuser of course. Just know that all men are not brutes and all women are not these witches. Some of humanity really cares for others.
Cuatezon-Discovered this website about 6 weeks ago and am thoroughly grateful to Dr. T, yourself, Mellaril, and others who post frequently. Appreciate your honest, politically incorrect descriptions of your experiences and knowledge on the subjects. I have read maybe half of Dr. T’s articles and the associated comments and have found them to be quite enlightening as well as close to home.
You probably didn’t read my first comment on this article dated 5-5-2013. That’s OK. I knew that I was married to a NPD woman before I started visiting websites on the subject. She meets all 9 of the diagnostic criteria. She is attempting to infantilize our 2 y/o “golden” child. Severe rage behavior ensues after minimal provocation, giving the appearance of a demonic possession. She is classic NPD with HPD and BPD qualities intermixed. She frequently visits her facebook “friends” for narcissistic supply. I can go on and on, and like others have commented on this website, so many people have experienced the same scenarios. A PD is almost like an organic brain syndrome and less variable from a behavioral point of view than what you would expect. Almost as intriguing as it is horrific. But the intrigue soon goes to the wayside if you are the preyed upon. And the innocent child is the easiest to prey upon, which is sad and tragic.
Our situation(my son and I) is a fortunate one because of our unique circumstance of being in a foreign country we might be able to cleanly escape. I cringe at the thought of living in the US and married to an American citizen with the same attributes as my wife. Divorce with the custodial realities seems quite futile and depressing.
We need to have this issue presented to the public in a good old fashion Hollywood movie. Some talented director who has had the unfortunate experience of living with a personality disordered person could adapt the Robert Kennedy Jr story to the screen and with an Oscar performance thrown in to boot, the general public might become more aware of this social tragedy. Tom Hanks and Glenn Close could co-star. I can smell the popcorn a poppin’.
Newpapa – just saw your comment sorry didn’t see it sooner. I’m sorry if I came off cavalier or condescending, didn’t mean to be. I actually did read your first post from 5/5…but had forgot about it. I completely understand everything you’re going through, believe me, my situation is similar. You’re right we need major publicity to get the message out…but seems movies like ‘Mommy Dearest’ didn’t do enough to help the cause.
I have for a while been searching about the topic “mothers with Borderline disorder” in the net
My husband’s ex wife is non-diagnose borderline. She is now beginning to have a hard time with my husband’s 15 year old daughter. They used to have a wonderful time together but in the last year conflicts seems to be there all the time, to a point that the daughter wrote a message to her father telling him that she cannot life with her mum anymore. She has also express that she is afraid of her mother’s micro psychotic episodes in which she feels that her mother is about to explode in anger. She does not know how to behave or what to say to her mother since her mood changes every other second without following any rational. The issue is that I don’t know what to do about it. I feel very sorry about my step daughter but also afraid of intervene in anyways that could mean an ex-wife meltdown. I would like to comfort my step daughter and tell her that her mother is sick and that there is nothing wrong with her, she is not guilty of her mother’s condition, but I don’t dare. My husband has for many years been able to put a lid in his ex- wife burst’s directed against him, never before against the children. Worse thing is that she intercalates periods of hard time with very loving moments, making her daughter to feel completely confused, and guilty to wanting to leave her mother when she has been so hard with her. The mother is a classical borderline who will not remember the rage episodes against her daughter. Last week she showed up and told my husband that she was sad because she thought that their daughter was unhappy living with her without saying that she overreacted so badly on her daughter and scared the hell out of the child.
Children are amazing at forgiving and being loving and loyal to their parents, even when they are abused.
I have been in this kind of relationship for 19 years, just recently my wife could not find a job. This behavior became very apparent at this time, everything that I have been reading tells me that this was planned from day one. I am now sleeping alone and have lost my sexual desire for her because I am positive that a conflict will happen shortly after sex and I am tired of the roller coaster. She has threaten to leave me more then once. I have a child a little girl which I feel is emotionally damaged she is 16 and is very akward socially and has a lot of anxiety. I had to walk away from my home because everything became so unstable, I worked about 70 miles away from our home and at this point I was concerned about my daughter I feel in my heart that the relationship will be over and I will be the one my daughter will depend on she does not want to go with her mother and from reading this I understand. This way I will be close to her in case she needs me in an emergency. In my heart I noticed my wife was emotinally damaged when we got together for the first two years she had nightmares I tried to get help but she avoided the problem, evrything as a man tells me I must try to get her help again but this time it can not be avoided. I was thinking about going to a psycologist and ask for the family to be treated for abuse and if he/she is good they can figure out who and what the problem is because she is not going to go on her own. I want to be loved and in a healthy relationship with a woman I miss it so much. I thought about dating but I must close or repair this chapter first.
I found out just a year before my Mother’s death from a LCSW that my mother had Narcissistic personality traits. All she cared about was maintaining her image as a good wife, good mother, and good grandmother. She did everything she could to break my spirit so I would forget about having a life of my own design free of her control. According to her everything about me and what I thought was wrong. She nit-picked, gossiped, lied, orchestrated conflicts to get others to take her side against me.Interfered with my marraiges,interfered with my relationships with my children that I refused to abort at her suggestion, interfered with my friendships, tried to stop me from getting any college degree, and kept trying to get me to live with her so she could use her bills as the excuse to keep me broke. When she died she left an insurance policy, and money in the bank for one of my children, and my grandson, so they would have no reason for a relationship with me ever again. Although I lost relationships that mattered to me I still have my sanity and a chance for the rest of my life to be good. The best advice I can give to you is if you suspect your parent has a mental disorder seek professional counseling immediately so you will learn what to do to protect your sanity, your life, your relationships, and your finances from your parent’s manipulations.
This just makes me sick to my stomach. I am so sad for the children involved in this as they are the true victims.
I’m newly married and just really had my first TRUE dose of my husband’s ex-wife. When talking to my therapist about the experience she said she would be surprised if his ex was NOT a BPD. In trying to research and educate myself I came across this article and I have to say… the little bit I’ve heard of her antics and the little bit I have seen in how she handles things….. this is just the beginning of a very long road for us. Their son is only 5 🙁 And I could see CLEAR AS DAY, early on that she was using the child to manipulate my husband for her own sick needs.
This really makes my heart sink, especially the part that says “A Child should not raise a child.” I totally agree and she is borderline abusive to their son. But we wouldn’t have a prayer in getting custody of him. I really wish the legal system wasn’t all about money 🙁
CreativeKim, so sorry this is happening to you & your stepson. I’ve lived this nightmare. My suggestion is talk regularly w/ your therapist about this to vent out frustrations (you WILL have a lot). Also, if you have to ever communicate w/ his ex-wife, do it in writing, and, be very business-like. Pure business. Avoid any emotional words, or even words like ‘very’, ‘a lot’, ‘so much’ etc. Just keep it extremely bland and simple. NPD/BPD thrive on drama & emotionality. Taking all that out as much as possible, is like draining their gas tank. Some will view it as not being able to get you riled up, find you boring and mundane, and hopefully leave you be. At least some react that way. Don’t get trapped into arguments. When you see argument brewing, walk away…don’t reply. Pure neutrality bores these sociopaths and they often MUST move on to some other stimulating thing (or find another victim).
Also, get the kid into some therapy asap. You’re lucky he’s young and you can address the future conflict and problems, starting now. Find a good therapist or psych0ologist for him who understands these situations.
Keep coming back here, read the stories, let us know how it goes.
Sweet D says
My heart was beating so quick while reading this! Nearly all of these have applied with my boyfriend’s ex-wife. They have fraternal twin 8 year old girls and have 50/50 custody. One is placed on a pedestal and favored with pictures on the mom’s FB profile and the other is nowhere to be found on the mother’s FB profile and is constantly getting in trouble and punished. The ex tells the girls how much she hates their father and I then tells them that it’s a secret and not to tell us. She has refused holiday time or extra time with their father because she wanted a material possession that she abandoned in the divorce 4 years ago, she has withheld the winter coat of the “scapegoat” daughter in exchange for material things, she makes the girls call the dad and ask for things she wants – the girls are crying and you can hear her coaxing them in the background. She subjects the girls to all sorts of emotional and psychological torture (IMO) and turns around and says the father is the bad parent! To the public she seems like the successful single mother but behind closed doors she is a terror! It’s twisted and disgusting and I’m relieved to know that there are others out there who have to endure this. What can be done to help the kids and get the ex to take meds to become somewhat normal??!
Idk if I have the right to comment on this because this is about mothers but I know how you guys feel. My sons father is turning my child against me. My son comes back talking about court to me and how he hates my moms house. I work 3rd shift so the judge decided he gets more custody cause he will be with him more, I’m paying him child support and he still holds my child against me. He has openly admitted to using the child support on cigarettes and alcohol but no matter what I do he’s always a step ahead. They enrolled him in daycare which is also a preschool and I’m looked at like I’m crazy everytime I pick him up. I was late picking him up a few times, nobody is perfect but I am trying! I don’t understand how I leave a man because he is abusive and we just never got along. I getfull time job, my own place and hes still at his mother’s house, not even working and the judge sides with him. I make a lot of mistakes but I try to teach my son what’s best, I don’t talk about his father unless its good as much as I want to cringe saying that. But my issues with his father, he shouldn’t know about. He will tell me I left him snd his dad and “my days are numbered”. Sometimes he will slip up and say daddy beats me… But what can I do? I’m the “side parent”. Honestly it’s usually the men who deal with this but theres a fair share of spiteful men out there too. I’m pos because I work so much and hes constantly threatening me that he will induce the child support if I don’t go with what he says. My son recently got hurt at my sisters house bc he ran into my neice now hes threatening a police report. I’m not worried, I just want it to end. I’m going crazy. I pick my son up from school and drop him off 3 hours later everyday. it’s more running around than anything. Telling me I shouldn’t take him with me to run errands bc I’m not bonding enough and we can adjust the arrangement so I have less time if I don’t agree. I csnt even count how many times I have went to the daycare and my son wasn’t there. he plans on going in the army next year and still expects me to pay child support, even tried to have me sign a paper stating his mother would be caretaker while he is away. Which I didn’t. It’s like nothing is good enough. Anyone in the same spot? Idk how to deal with this.
I have a neice , like this …..OMG she has been diagnosed borderline already , reading in between the porkies she tells , we are trying to figure out why a psychiatrist would say they are trying to figure out whether she has a primary or a secondary diagnosis. All of a sudden she has found the strength to deal with this , now her son is living with the father! Excuse my negativity , but she never wanted her little boy as soon as she realised she couldnt walk away, and use her looks and falsness to get what she wants and always has.
We are wondering now will the court let her have access supervised or unsupervised?
she is unpredictable and a compulsive liar will con people out of money , i mean a real nasty piece! Any answers would be appreciated. I am an auntie and this behaviour has been going on since 14 she is now 27 and i would say there were signs of this orrid personality when she was a kid, she is even jealous of her own boy , very scary!
Holy crap, this article hits home. I am about to divorce my wife, and she is grasping at straws. She is using everything she can throw at me. My wife told me that I said to my oldest daughter that “I was not proud of her.” My wife said that my oldest daughter has already “forgiven me” for saying that, and I was a horrible dad and husband for saying that.
First off, what sick parent would even say that, let alone think that? Either it is a huge misunderstanding of which I am not aware of what was said, or that my wife is making things up. Either way, it is a huge lie. I have never said that. She has my daughter afraid and confused in some respect regarding this. I asked my daughter if I told her that. She said that I never said that.
So, the shit is coming. I know it and I am prepared for it. More to come.
Thank you! My ex is all of the above BPD / NPD. We’ve been divorced 5 years and our children are now 12 and 14. Two years ago I was the first time I learned of BPD / NPD. It all makes more sense now. Last year I won primary custody of the kiddos after a lengthy and costly court battle.
A couple of questions for you: 1) what tools should I employ to help my children cope and help developing healthy relationships? and 2) what tools / techniques can I employ to better manage the situations and lessen the negative impacts to me?
Just breathe and love them. You will be amazed how an authentic caring act will bring the truth to their hearts.
Thank you the post and to everyone who has recounted their story. My mother is just like the description. My father was an alcoholic. He was an easy target as a result and it took years for me to understand why i felt safer with his alcoholic rages than my mother’s cooied words. To all you guys with this as your wife or ex … sorry. Some women actually really do like men. For all you fathers take heart. If my father could communicate his genuine love for me through an alcoholic and drug addicted haze then sober and working fellows should be able to in a snap. Be warned though. As soon as those kids turn 18 they need you more. Not because we want to be dependent but because we need to unlearn the crap of the last 18 years. Expect your children to find success and happiness…. just a little later. Thanks guys.
My BPD ex has a 10 year old son (not mine.) Who has never had a sleepover at a friends house. He only within the last year has learned to ride a bike with no training wheels. Mom calls him bubba for a nickname. Lets him kiss mom on the lips. When mom is in the bath or using the bathroom, mom would let him come in and talk while she was naked. The poor kid has no friends. Does not know how to interact with peers his own age in a healthy manner. Yet mom thinks she is a great mom. Sure.
Thank you so much for this article. I wish I’d found it three years ago when it was posted. Like others, I’ve read all of the comments as well and have certainly found similarities to some of what I’ve been through.
When my two girls were 1 1/2 and 9 months old, my ex wife had an affair. Shortly after that, she filed for divorce. As part of the divorce proceedings, we had to take a “co-parenting” class illustrating all of the ways in which we should work together for the bettermentt of the kids. Needless to say, my ex didn’t abide by those guidelines at all.
In our state, you essentially need tos show serious physical abuse of the kids for the court not to grant “joint custody”. I was awarded “primary physical custody”. After 6 -7 years of the girls having incredibly little interaction with their mother (12-15 days / year), she decided to come back into their lives.
Being a single dad with their best interests at heart, I welcomed this. Little did I realize how her BPD / NPD would haunt me in the future. She was the quintessential Disney Mom literally only seeing them when there were events where she could show them off, trips paid for by my ex’s Mother’s newest husband (yes, it clearly runs in her family), or other planned activities. Over the past 10 months, their mother has decided that she wants custody of the girls (now 16 and 13).
To my ex, it has always simply been about money. She was quite handsomely rewarded financially from our divorce and has now blown through all of the money and is looking for another way to hurt me. With income differentials, she may stand to get $3500/month from me ifs she wins custody.
To ensure victory for herself, she has completely turned the girls against me. They are now “afraid” of our house, “afraid” of me, hate everyone in school, blame everyone else for any issue or mistake, etc. my kids will no longer hug me, tell me they love me, nor even do a single thing with me (despite me asking daily) that they used to love to do. They were both extremely good competitive athletes … No more … Comments such as “that’s Dad’s sport”. They both were quite artistic (music and writing) … No more … If it’s with me that is. They are both fantastic academic students in the best school district in the state. That doesn’t matter either as she wants them to switch schools.
Your article hit the nail on the head with the “can’t be better than her” type of issues.
Just recently, she even decided to kidnap my kids from my house. Police involvement and all now. All with a custody hearing in the near future. Anything she can do to cause me pain and garner attention for herself.
Todd Henneberry says
Amazing article, the one question I have is:
What can one do about it, and how can this be proven?
It is obvious, this is a huge issues facing many fathers, there must be something that can be done about it?
william reese says
My ex seems determined to get my 11 year old daughter pregnant, promoting a relationship with an older boy that I’ve tried to squash, as well as running off my son’s special needs teacher with threats and accusations of having an untoward relationship with me,, going so far as to to harass her elderly parents. I’ve been banging my head into crazy for 10 years, trying to exercise parental rights. I’m ready to bolt, so fed up. And she is like Teflon, etch-a-sketch mind, bragging that my 9 year old son only writes short sentences about the kitten she got him, because she is supermom. while the school authorities are about to deem him autistic. I’m also got my kids into the best local charter school, and she got them kicked out…now my daughter is in the most ghetto middle school on the area, wearing tight clothes and too much makeup. I try to propose a better school, massive resistance. I’m so fucking over this.
I really appreciate your webpage and all the help you offer us men. I grew up with a very controlling and abusive mother. She ‘gaslighted’ (a term I learned from you) all of the time making very insecure. When my sister ran away my mother told my other sister that it was her fault; that she wasn’t a good enough sister and didn’t love her enough. When I wouldn’t do when my mother wanted or I didn’t agree with her she would tell me how terrible I was and how I never could get married because no woman would ever love me because I didn’t love her enough. I am 50 years old and really want to get over these feelings of worthlessness. My father wasn’t any better and mentally beat me down by telling me I was worthless and everything and I knew and felt, even if I could prove that it was right, he told me that it was wrong but that’s another issue.
I am currently receiving help but I find it hard to build up my self confidence and feel better about myself. Any tips?
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. Number 7 hit the nail on the head. My daughter is 14, still sleeps with her mom, still obsessed with baby dolls. She’s been to every doctor on the planet, who all come back with no results. It’s gotten bad enough that my daughter is a mess about wanting to go home while she’s with me. All the while, mom and her mother (exactly the same) buy her all kinds of stuff while she’s with me. Now she doesn’t want to come see me at all. I’m at a loss…..