I may not have an official ‘diagnosis’ but how many times do I have see my ex husband described down to the exact same tactics and words to just ‘know’ that he is a psychopath/sociopath or narcissist?
Is there a point at which enough is enough and I can now definitely say – he has a personality disorder?
Does it matter?
No. I read, I learn and now I pass on help where I can. What is just is.
Take this exert from an article about divorcing a sociopath (italics are my comments)
- Personality Disorders are experts at manipulation and hidden agendas. Despite their behavior on the surface, there is likely a self-serving goal underneath. In a divorce, when an Antisocial offers to pay your phone bill every month, he’s actually looking for a ticket into your finances, your calls, and a reason to call, visit, scream, and discuss each and every phone call you make for the next few years. Or will only give you access to the children’s private health cover by insisting you get the doctor to phone him every time you go to arrange payment over the phone – so he can berate you for being a bad mother or not treating their illnesses properly or some other controlling behaviour
- Personality Disorders try to make their partners as miserable as possible during a divorce. Why? They hope you will agree to a better settlement to decrease their harassment. They threaten to fight for child custody — not because they want the children, but because the fear of losing the children to an Antisocial Personality is enough to make most good parents change their settlement offer. Exact tactic my ex used – the children would have cramped his lifestyle but he used the threat of taking them away to make me give in on the money. It worked.
- An Antisocial Personality is not concerned with how you feel about anything, but they are concerned about their feelings and their situation. Don’t negotiate with him directly — only through an attorney or court representative. If you are being tormented, obtain a restraining/protection order. When he contacts you about divorce issues, allow your attorney to reply and don’t argue with him. In response to a request, reply “I’ll mention that to my attorney”. As long as he thinks you are making the decisions, the intimidation will continue, hoping to exhaust you emotionally to the point of a settlement in his favor. It’s hard to exhaust your attorney. I tried negotiating directly, it was mentally and physically exhausting, he agreed at the time and then never ever signed the documentation afterwards. Never. It was a complete waste of time.
- Understand that Personality Disorders have a tremendous sense of entitlement. He feels entitled to torment you and the family due to the divorce process. You can expect to lose property, personal valuables, pictures, and even pets under some circumstances. Antisocials will often hold property hostage as they deal in the divorce. They will also make a variety of threats, the most common being “I’ll quit my job so you’ll not receive child support!” or “I’ll move away where the court can’t find me!”. Exactly – same words ‘I’m gonna leave my job so you get nothing’ and ‘I’m going to disappear and you and the children will never see me again’.
- Be prepared for a variety of different manipulations, including 1) buying a new car during divorce negotiations, hoping the debt will lower his child support, 2) finding a new girlfriend and taking her to the restaurant you always wanted to go to, 3) undermining your authority with the children or blaming you for the divorce, 4) calling your family and friends with his side of the story, although everyone probably knows why you are getting a divorce, and/or 5) reporting a miracle religious conversion or developing an incurable medical condition. You can expect anything. If you pay no attention, however, that will quickly subside, and other manipulation will take its place. He will be looking for a manipulation that works. He bought an engine for his boat, hid and stole money, used his new girlfriend, picked up less than a month after I left, in the custody battle saying she could look after the children while he couldn’t – which could have been any time of the day or night as he was on a 24hour roster. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Personality Disorders rarely do anything that takes time or doesn’t benefit them. With that understanding, despite the torment you are experiencing at this time, once the divorce is final he is likely to fade out of your life, and of that of your family. Given monthly child visitation, if they can’t use the visitation times to torment the ex, they soon offer excuses for not appearing and eventually fade away. He hasn’t faded out because he does use the visits to continue to torment me and because, by seeming to love his children and spend time with them (only when it suits him), he can play dad of the year.
If you are leaving someone like this – read and learn – knowledge is armour and get a support group around you. You will need it. Good luck.
- Divorcing a Sociopath
- 10 Tactics for child custody battles with sociopaths
- Manipulators – another description of personality disorders? (frogstale.wordpress.com)