**UPDATE** 2/10/13 - Co-Parenting with a sociopathic ex. At my wits end! Need advice/support! Long post but worth the read. May be an eye opener!!
Hi ladies. I'm fairly new to the group but not to being a single mom. My husband and I divorced back in 2008 after 9 years of marriage and 4 children. I always knew he was a jerk but didn't come to realize that he had an actual condition until after I finally left him and was in counseling and my mother and I did some research on some of his personality traits. Come to find out, he is known as a sociopath. If you're not familiar with what this is, here is a rundown:
Thanks for all the support ladies! Things have settled down quite a bit and he lost in court!! All of his allegations were proven false and my daughter came home, on her own accord actually, before everything in court was even settled! She went back to her law guardian and CPS and admitted that she lied about everything and that her father and his new wife pretty much forced her to say all the things she said. Now, you would think that would raise a red flag with CPS and the courts as to what kind of person my ex is and maybe get them thinking he should have less involvement in the kids's lives but no. He didn't even get a slap on the wrist. But whatever! Atleast I have all my babies safe and sound with me. Now it's just a matter of getting my kids the counseling they need to understand why their father is like this. And I agree with what some of the ladies on here have said about not sugar coating everything for the kids. I don't think it's right to try to keep convincing the kids that their father is wonderful man, despite what the courts have urged. They need to know what they are up against and be protected from him because he is very evil and damaging, and his wife is not better!!
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
- Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
- Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
- Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
- Conventional appearance
- Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
- Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
- Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
- Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
- Incapable of real human attachment to another
- Unable to feel remorse or guilt
- Extreme narcissism and grandiose
- May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)
And below are a few stories of other women who have experiened the same things I have:
Carla complained that her ex won’t discuss the children with her and won’t offer any assistance as a father. He doesn’t call them during the week and only wants to play with them on his weekends. I’d recommend that Carla use this to her advantage.
Here is the bottom line: Sociopaths are terrible parents. At best, they view children as prized possession. At worst, they actively try to corrupt the children. Therefore, the less interaction a sociopath has with his or her children, the better.
Carla should actually be grateful that her ex is staying out of their children’s lives as much as he is. She should use her time with the children to shower them with love, nurture them and provide them with healthy guidance. None of that will happen when the boys are with their father. The kids will eventually sense that there is no real bond with the father. As time goes on, they may also witness him moving from girlfriend to girlfriend, and eventually start rolling their eyes at yet another one.
Carla needs to be their rock of stability. She also needs to stop badmouthing the father—even if he deserves it. This is important for two reasons. First is the emotional health of the children—they should not feel in the middle of her issues with the ex. Second, she does not want to give her ex the ammunition to come after her with a parental alienation lawsuit, in which she could lose custody of the boys.
Her best plan of action is the stay neutral about the father. One mother’s standard response whenever her children brought home news of the ex was a noncommittal, “That’s nice.”
Kids are smart. Sooner or later, they will realize that the sociopath cares only about himself.
And below is a story that is exactly what I'm going through right now with my kids and especially my oldest daugther:
What do I do with all this??? Everyday is a struggle and a fight. I have resigned to the fact that I will more than likely have to just raise and support my children all on my own and have already pretty much been doing that but now my daughter absolutely hates me. She is not the girl I raised thus far. She is distant and mean. Cold. I know teenagers get this way but it is a little more involved than that. I see a lot of her father coming out in her and I'm really worried!!