DivorcedMoms Top 10 Articles From 2019

DivorcedMoms Top 10 Divorce Articles From 2019

DivorcedMoms Top 10 Articles From 2019

 

We’ve rounded up DivorcedMoms top 10 divorce articles from the year, with expert advice on narcissism, psychological abuse, divorce and teens, the family court system and more.

What kind of divorce resources are you interested in? If we’ve not covered it here, leave a comment and let us know.

DivorcedMoms Top 10 Divorce Articles From 2019

1. What can you expect from a narcissist during a relationship?

A lot of heartache! In other words, if it ‘s respect, consideration for your feelings and needs you desire, it’s best to keep your expectations low.

“While you may not be physically hit or physically abused in a relationship with a narcissist, your heart will be broken 10,000 times. Even if you think you are a “strong” person and can handle it; your strength is not really strength, but rather, denial.

“The following list is not exhaustive, but it is informative. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist you’ll recognize them all. If you’re presently in a relationship with a narcissist, buckle up because you’ll eventually experience them all.”

Read the full article here and dive deeper into our resources on narcissism and personality disorders here.

2. Teens often refuse to visit a father during visitation, what should you do?

There are many teens who have difficult relationships with a father. There are also teens who have friends, an active social life and better things to do than hang with parents. If you’re faced with a teen who doesn’t want to spend time with their father, what you do would be based on the situation.

“Michael and Jennifer have been amicably divorced for six years. They have three children ages 6-14. As outlined in their final decree of divorce they split custody of the children on a 60/40 basis. The children are with Jennifer 60% of the time, with Michael, 40% of the time.

“Until recently this arrangement worked well for both the parents and children. Jennifer worked weekends as a Registered Nurse and felt secure knowing her children were with their father and well cared for.

“Michael traveled with his job during the week and worried less about his children knowing they were safe and sound with their mother. The children benefited from the quantity and quality of time with both parents.

“Problems started when their oldest child became a teenager. Craig turned 14 and became less and less interested in spending Friday through Sunday night with his father.”

Read the full article here and the rest of our resources on teens and divorce here.

3. Family courts are ill equipped to protect women during and after a high conflict divorce.

Not only women but women’s children. Women deal with lawyers, judges, therapists, and court-appointed experts who are less than knowledgeable when it comes to the damage an ex with a personality disorder can cause.

“My divorce was tame compared to some. There were no domestic abuse issues, no custody battle issues; we went our separate ways with no physical harm done. I can’t say the same about emotional harm but, as I learned the Family Court System is ill-equipped to handle the conflict created when a man has a personality disorder or is hell-bent on using the system to punish their ex.

“As a matter of fact, it is my opinion the Family Court System is ill-equipped to protect anyone whose divorce is high conflict. Judges, Attorneys, Psychologists, and other court-appointed personnel EXPECT divorce to be one size fits all and when it isn’t lack the skills to support civility. What you get are platitudes and an attitude that if you are engaged with an ex who creates conflict you must be playing a role in the conflict also.”

Read the full article here and check out our resources on high conflict divorce here.

4. If you’re divorcing a narcissist, you’ll want to get ready for the reality of co-parenting with a narcissist.

Narcissists don’t’ co-parent, they counter-parent. Even if it’s in the best interest of their children, they will thwart your desires every step of the way.

“Co-parenting with a narcissist is like being the tin man from the wizard of oz, having motion sickness, on the downward spiral of a roller coaster, with a loose harness, after eating ice cream and 5 corn dogs – doing the tango with a peg leg and an eye patch all the while sewing back together and re-stuffing down feathered pillows your dog chewed up and scattered throughout the back forty – it’s freaking difficult!!”

Read the full article here and other resources about children and co-parenting here.

5. Fathers have a right to equal parenting time. The problem is most don’t follow through with their desire for equal parenting time.

We all hear about how the courts are biased against fathers when it comes to child custody. Men, especially hear such nonsense from men’s rights groups. When you go into court believing the deck is stacked against you, you’re less likely to fight for what you want.

“Before and during the divorce process each parent has the same legal right to custody of a child. Mothers and fathers are on legal standing until one or the other gives up or is denied full custody rights.

“What does this mean? It is complicated! Even more complicated if you don’t know your state’s child custody laws. Bottom line, until you have signed a custody agreement or a judge has handed down a custody opinion, each parent has the same legal rights when it comes to where a child lives, who the child lives with and anything regarding the child.

“I’ve found that most fathers do not have a clear understanding of their legal divorce rights where the children are involved. “

Read the full article here and check out our resources on child custody here.

6. What does more damage to relationships than codependency? Not much. Here’s our tongue-in-cheek look at codependency.

I’m codependent no more! You’re codependent no more! Oh wait, I see some drama over there that requires my attention.

“According to Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No More, “As professionals began to understand codependency better, more groups of people seem to have it. Adult children of alcoholics, people in relationships with emotionally disturbed people, people in relationships with irresponsible people and people in relationships with abusive people.”

“Basically, a codependent is a person who gives more in a relationship than they get and holds onto the hope that their partner will change. Codependents enable, make excuses and make the relationship problems worse due to their inability to care more for themselves than they do their relationship partner or, the relationship.”

Read the full article here and take a look at our other resources on codependency here.

7. Defiance of court orders by men; it happens often but what’s done about it?

My ex defied every aspect of our final divorce decree. EVERY ASPECT. It’s common practice for some men to be defiant and not believe orders handed down by the court apply to them. So, what happens to them? In my case, nothing. He got away with it over and over again.

“Over the years, I’ve spoken to many women whose ex-husbands were defying divorce court orders to pay child support. What most of them have learned when they take their ex back to court for contempt is that judges rarely throw a deadbeat in jail. They threaten to do so, but in my opinion, it isn’t often that a judge will follow through on a threat.

“Not enforcing a court order undermines a woman’s ability to care for her children. For some reason though, a judge seems more concerned with how being jailed will negatively affect a deadbeat father. It isn’t only child support orders that aren’t enforced — in the Family Court System, it’s any order.”

Read the full article here and our resources on divorce and an irrational ex here.

8. Narcissists are emotional and psychologically abusive. If married and divorced one, you’ll spend time wondering why.

Why do they do the damaging things they do? That’s what I wondered and spent time researching when my ex and I went through a divorce. All we want is understanding but, does understanding help?

“If we’ve been hurt by someone we love it’s only natural to want to find understanding in what happened. We believe that if we can only understand our pain will lessen.

“So, whether you’re a therapist, researcher or victim, there is an interest in knowing why the narcissist emotionally and psychologically abuses.

“There are many theories. Probably as many theories about why the narcissist is narcissistic as there are people wondering why.”

Read the full article here and our resources on healing from narcissistic abuse here.

9. Psychologically abusive relationships rob you of your ability to trust in yourself to make proper choices and have faith in yourself.

Gaslighting, belittling, demeaning, undermining are just a few tactics used by a psychological abuser. When you’ve been on the receiving end of those tactics for years it only makes sense that you’ll lose faith in your ability to make choices that are in your best interest.

“Many assume it is simply the idea of breaking up a family that keeps us in the cycle of abuse. But I am here to say … no… that is not what made me stay.

“Forgive me as my ability to express myself in writing has never been my strong suit… but here goes.

“We stay because we have been controlled and manipulated to believe that we have no other viable options. There are often elements of financial control among a lot of other seemingly simple reasons that keep us in “it”. But they are not simple…not simple at all.

“I can only speak on my own behalf here, but I suspect that others will be able to relate on some level.”

Read the full article here and learn more from our resources on psychological and emotional abuse here.

10. Everyone’s story is different but when dealing with a narcissist, you can bet they all include damage done to children.

Narcissistic fathers discount the damage they do to their children during and after divorce. They view their children, not as an extension of themselves but as pawns to be used in their fight for control over a woman they feel stands in their way of having total control. If you’ve divorced a narcissist, you’re familiar with the damage they do to children.

“There is nothing more heart wrenching than having no recourse against someone who is doing grave emotional harm to your children. If a stranger had done what their father did, I would have had recourse. But, since it was their father, the family court system turned a blind eye to his behavior.

“It started from the beginning, the very beginning before I even knew there would be a divorce.

“I’m sharing this information in bullet points in order to keep my thoughts straight and not running together. We’ve been divorced for nearly 2 decades, there is no way I can share the entire story but, these are issues I remember as being the most damaging.”

Read the full article here and more about Maddie Grace here.

The post DivorcedMoms Top 10 Divorce Articles From 2019 appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

How Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

 

Many women who are married to narcissistic husbands become fed up with the situation and decide to get a divorce. While separating and filing for divorce might bring an immediate sense of relief from the challenges of living with a narcissist, the challenges might very well continue throughout the divorce process.

Divorce is difficult enough without the complications that a spouse with a narcissistic personality disorder can bring to the table. You might face unexpected and unnecessary conflict throughout the legal process, as your spouse might repeatedly attempt to make the divorce as trying as possible for you. Even if you have been dealing with their behavior for years, it can be challenging to stand your ground and ensure that you fight for your rights in the divorce.

How Narcissistic Traits Can Create Complications

In many divorces, both spouses will recognize that – despite their differences – compromise and cooperation will save them money, time, and stress.

However, narcissistic personality traits can make it nearly impossible for your spouse to agree to compromise. Some common personality traits of narcissistic people can include:

  • Unjustified sense of entitlement
  • Inflated superiority and self-importance
  • Putting down those they believe to be inferior to them
  • Expecting constant admiration or recognition
  • Expecting others to comply with their wishes without question
  • Being unable to realize the needs or feelings of others
  • Inability to calmly handle stressful situations
  • Difficulty adapting to change
  • Constantly changing their wants and desires
  • Reacting with angry outbursts or even vengeance if they believe they are not getting what they want at the moment

Because they believe they are superior and in the right, narcissists tend to think that everyone else is in the wrong. Even if your spouse caused most of your marital problems and conflict, expect to be blamed and for them to present themselves as the victim in the situation.

To make matters worse, once your spouse starts blaming you, they will likely be unwavering in this position. They will likely start to believe this narrative themselves.

Expecting Too Much

Because your spouse might believe they are the victim of the divorce, and they might already have an inflated sense of entitlement, they likely will feel entitled to much more than their share in the outcome of your case. They might refuse to agree to a reasonable division of property, custody arrangement, or financial support order.

This might also be the case if your spouse is feeling vengeful and trying to “get back” at you by trying to take everything away from you. This fight to “get everything” can cause serious complications in your legal case.

First, divorce is always simpler and faster when spouses can reach their own agreement. Whether you can agree on the major issues on your own or through mediation, presenting the court with an agreement upfront can save the time and expense of litigation. You should not have to give up more than necessary, however, just because your spouse demands it.

If your spouse is making unreasonable demands that deprive you of property or custody rights under the law, you should stand your ground, no matter how difficult that might seem.

How the Right Divorce Lawyer Can Help in this Situation

Narcissists know how to manipulate a situation to get what they want, so it is important that you have the right divorce attorney on your side from the start of the process. An attorney can look at the situation objectively and keep reminding you of your rights and what you deserve in the divorce outcome.

An experienced lawyer will not take your spouse’s actions and words personally and can help you stay the course until your divorce is final with a fair outcome for you.

In many cases, having an attorney act as an intermediary between your soon-to-be-ex and you can give you the time and space you need to see your situation clearly. In addition, not communicating with your husband directly can prevent you from falling into the unhealthy patterns of communication that likely played a role in the demise of your marriage.

This can often facilitate reaching an out-of-court agreement, which will almost certainly save you a significant amount of time and money.

In some cases, it may be a good idea to ask your spouse to agree to a psychiatric evaluation in order to establish evidence regarding his personality disorder. This is particularly true in cases where you believe your children may be put in danger of emotional or physical harm due to his issues. An official recent diagnosis could be used as evidence in your favor when it comes to the determination of child custody.

Just because your spouse has narcissistic personality traits does not mean you should give up your rights in your divorce case. When you meet with your lawyer initially, be honest about your spouse’s personality, so your lawyer knows what they will be dealing with right from the start. They can then plan a strategy to help you obtain a successful outcome as efficiently as possible.

The post How Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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why we can love someone abusive

Why We Can Love Someone Abusive And Why We Stay

why we can love someone abusive

 

Falling in love happens to us; usually, before we really know our partner; It happens to us because we’re at the mercy of unconscious forces, commonly referred to as “chemistry.”

Don’t judge yourself for loving someone who doesn’t treat you with care and respect, because by the time the relationship turns abusive, you’re attached and want to maintain your connection and love. There may have been hints of abuse at the beginning that were overlooked because abusers are good at seduction and wait until they know we’re hooked before showing their true colors.

By then, our love is cemented and doesn’t die easily. It’s possible and even probable to know we’re unsafe and still love an abuser. Research shows that even victims of violence on average experience seven incidents before permanently leaving their abusive partner.

It can feel humiliating to stay in an abusive relationship. Those who don’t understand ask why we love someone abusive and why we stay. We don’t have good answers. But there are valid reasons. Our motivations are outside our awareness and control because we’re wired to attach for survival. These instincts control our feelings and behavior.

Why We Love Someone Abusive

Denial of Abuse to Survive

If we weren’t treated with respect in our family and have low self-esteem, we will tend to deny the abuse. We won’t expect to be treated better than how were controlled, demeaned, or punished by a parent. Denial doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s happening. Instead, we minimize or rationalize it and/or its impact.

We may not realize it’s actually abuse. Research shows we deny for survival to stay attached and procreate for survival of the species. Facts and feelings that would normally undermine love are minimized or twisted so that we overlook them or blame ourselves in order to keep loving. By appeasing our partner and connecting to love, we stop hurting. Love is rekindled and we feel safe again.

Projection, Idealization, and Repetition Compulsion

When we fall in love, if we haven’t worked through trauma from our childhood, we’re more susceptible to idealizing our partner when dating. It’s likely that we will seek out someone who reminds us of a parent with whom we have unfinished business, not necessary of our opposite-sex parent.

We might be attracted to someone who has aspects of both parents. Our unconscious is trying to mend our past by reliving it in the hopes that we’ll master the situation and receive the love we didn’t get as a child. This helps us overlook signs that would be predictive of trouble.

The Cycle of Abuse

After an abusive episode, often there’s a honeymoon period. This is part of the Cycle of Abuse. The abuser may seek connection and act romantic, apologetic, or remorseful. Regardless, we’re relieved that there’s peace for now. We believe promises that it will never happen again, because we want to and because we’re wired to attach. The breach of the emotional bond feels worse than the abuse. We yearn to feel connected again.

Often the abuser professes to love us. We want to believe it and feel reassured about the relationship, hopeful, and lovable. Our denial provides an illusion of safety. This is called the “Merry-Go-Round” of denial that happens in alcoholic relationships after a bout of drinking followed by promises of sobriety.

Low Self-Esteem

Due to low self-esteem, we believe the abuser’s belittling, blame, and criticisms, which further lessen our self-esteem and confidence in our own perceptions. They intentionally do this for power and control. We’re brainwashed into thinking we have to change in order to make the relationship work.

We blame ourselves and try harder to meet the abuser’s demands. We may interpret sexual overtures, crumbs of kindness, or just absence of abuse as signs of love or hope that the relationship will improve. Thus, as trust in ourselves declines, our idealization and love for an abuser remain intact. We may even doubt that we could find anything better.

Empathy for the Abuser

Many of us have empathy for the abuser, but not for ourselves. We are unaware of our needs and would feel ashamed asking for them. This makes us susceptible to manipulation if an abuser plays the victim, exaggerates guilt, shows remorse, blames us, or talks about a troubled past (they usually have one). Our empathy feeds our denial system by supplying justification, rationalization, and minimization of the pain we endure.

Most victims hide the abuse from friends and relatives to protect the abuser, both out of empathy and shame about being abused. Secrecy is a mistake and gives the abuser more power.

Positive Aspects

Undoubtedly the abuser and the relationship have positive aspects that we enjoy or miss, especially the early romance and good times. We recall or look forward to their recurrence if we stay. We imagine if only he or she would control his or her anger, or agree to get help, or just change one thing, everything would be better. This is our denial.

Often abusers are also good providers, offer a social life, or have special talents. Narcissists can be exceedingly interesting and charming.  Many spouses claim that they enjoy the narcissist’s company and lifestyle despite the abuse. People with a borderline personality can light up your life with excitement . . . when they’re in a good mood. Sociopaths can pretend to be whatever you want . . . for their own purposes. You won’t realize what they’re up to for some time.

Intermittent Reinforcement and Trauma Bonding

When we receive occasional and unpredictable positive and negative intermittent reinforcement, we keep looking for the positive. It keeps us addictively hooked. Partners may be emotionally unavailable or have an avoidant attachment style. They may periodically want closeness. After a wonderful, intimate evening, they pull away, shut down, or are abusive. When we don’t hear from the person, we become anxious and keep seeking closeness. We mislabel our pain and longing as love.

Especially people with a personality disorder might intentionally do this to manipulate and control us with rejection or withholding. Then they randomly fulfill our needs. We become addicted to seeking a positive response.

Over time, periods of withdrawal are longer, but we’re trained to stay, walk on eggshells, and wait and hope for connection. This is called “trauma bonding” due to repeated cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates emotional bonds that resist change.

It explains why abusive relationships are the most difficult to leave, and we become codependent on the abuser. We may completely lose ourselves trying to please and not displease the abuser. Bits of kindness or closeness feel all the more poignant (like make-up sex) because we’re been starved and are relieved to feel loved. This feeds the Cycle of Abuse.

Abusers will turn on the charm if you threaten to leave, but it’s just another temporary ploy to reassert control. Expect to go through withdrawal after you leave. You may still miss and love the abuser.

When we feel completely under the control of the abuser and can’t escape from physical injury, we can develop “Stockholm Syndrome,” a term applied to captives. Any act of kindness or even absence of violence feels like a sign of friendship and being cared for. The abuser seems less threatening. We imagine we’re friends and can love the abuser, believing we’re in this together.

This occurs in intimate relationships that are less perilous due to the power of chemistry, physical attraction, and sexual bonding. We’re loyal to a fault. We want to protect the abuser whom we’re attached to rather than ourselves. We feel guilty talking to outsiders, leaving the relationship, or calling the police. Outsiders who try to help feel threatening.

For example, counselors and Twelve-Step Programs may be viewed as interlopers who “want to brainwash and separate us.” This reinforces the toxic bond and isolates us from help . . . what the abuser wants!

Steps You Can Take

If you feel trapped in a relationship or can’t get over your ex:

  • Seek support and professional help. Attend CoDA meetings.
  • Get information and challenge your denial.
  • Report violence and take steps to protect yourself from violence and emotional abuse.
  • When you miss the abuser or are longing for attention, in your mind substitute the parent whom you’re projecting on your partner. Write about and grieve that relationship.
  • Be more loving to yourself. Meet your needs.
  • Learn to set boundaries.

©Darlene Lancer 2019

The post Why We Can Love Someone Abusive And Why We Stay appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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the narcissistic parent

The 10 Commandments Of The Narcissistic Parent

the narcissistic parent

 

My son walked into the room and handed me the phone. “Dad can’t talk right now; he just poured a bowl of cereal and doesn’t want it to get soggy.” My ex, who hadn’t talked to his son in twelve days, was more concerned about his cereal becoming soggy than a few moments of communication with his child. That is what it is like to co-parent with a narcissist.

In fact, there is very little co-parenting that occurs, most of your time is spent attempting to undo the damage a narcissist can do to his children. The narcissistic parent isn’t capable of “normal” paternal instincts. They view their children as objects meant to fulfill the narcissist’s needs, instead of the other way around.

A couple of years ago I found the list below on a blog that is no longer online. I’ve not read a more appropriate description of how the narcissistic parents. If you are divorced from a narcissist, I suggest you print out The 10 Commandments of the Narcissistic Parent and tape it to your frig. You will be referencing it often!

The Ten Commandments of the Narcissistic Parent:

  • I am who I tell you I am.
  • You will tell me things I want to hear or you will not be heard.
  • You will feel the way I want you to feel or you will be forsaken.
  • Love is conditional upon the aforementioned.
  • Intimacy is vulnerability, and thus, death.
  • There is only one road in and out of here.
  • Children are like toys that become useless when they break, which is why they must be replaced with better toys.
  • Parents are really one person in two bodies. When they individuate, they die.
  • Conversely, siblings are really one person in several bodies. When one individuates, that person shall be hunted down and slaughtered for the greater good.
  • Narcissism is a myth.

Let’s go over each briefly. Allow me to add my own two cents to what Jay wrote based on real-life experience.

I am who I tell you I am:

Our children learned this about their father the hard way. I don’t suppose there is an easy way! Their father would say one thing, do another and when they questioned his behavior, he would become highly offended. He thinks of himself as a loving, involved father even though he goes years without contact with his children.

In his mind, he is loving and involved but doesn’t see or talk to his children because they have the audacity to point out to him that “loving and involved” fathers behave in a loving and involved manner. Since his children are people who know he is not who he tells them he is, he chooses to surround himself with people who will believe he is who he tells them he is.

Confusing huh? Imagine being a child and attempting to intellectualize and rationalize such behavior from a parent.

You will tell me things I want to hear, or you will not be heard:

Refer to the example above. Our children didn’t tell their father he was a loving and involved parent, so he know refuses to hear anything they have to say. He ignores text messages, doesn’t respond to emails. He is completely out of touch because they failed to tell him what he wanted to hear.

You will feel the way I want you to feel or you will be forsaken:

This is the one that does the most damage. The narcissistic parent places no value on his children’s feelings. When we don’t value other people’s feelings our actions can do irreparable damage to those people. Our son was upset over something his father wrote him in an email. He responded and told his father, “Dad, when you say things like that, it hurts my feelings.”

His father responded and told our son, “I am not responsible for your feelings.” And then he went on to explain to the child just how unreasonable it was for his son to expect him to care about his feelings. You can’t tell a child in one voice, “I love you” and then tell them “If your feelings got hurt it is your fault” in the next and expect that child to not be emotionally damaged.

Love is conditional upon the aforementioned:

Yes, if a child refuses to feel the way the narcissistic parent needs them to feel, love, attention, caring, concern, all will be withheld. The bad news for the narcissist, children eventually adjust and move on.

That old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” works against the narcissist. I can, thankfully say that as adults our children rarely think about or mention their father. When you withdraw your love from someone they will eventually “let go” of their love for you.

Intimacy is vulnerability, and thus, death:

The narcissist alludes to intimacy without becoming fully engaged in intimacyTrue intimacy with another person means allowing yourself to become vulnerable, emotionally dependent.

Vulnerability and dependency are the kiss of death to the narcissist. Your child will love the narcissistic parent; the narcissistic parent is only able to love what the child can do for him.

There is only one road in and out of here:

And, it is a bumpy road! The road out is far more difficult to navigate.

Children are like toys that become useless when they break, which is why they must be replaced with better toys:

My ex replaced our children with a step-daughter. She reveres him, she extols his wonderfulness. She is much like his children were before the divorce. She will forever be the recipient of his goodness, until she questions a behavior or, disagrees with a belief. When that happens, she will learn how bumpy that road out can get.

Parents are really one person in two bodies. When they individuate, they die:

When my ex and I divorced in his mind I was dead. I was no longer an object that was of any use to him so any needs, feelings or desires I had become of no consequence to him. Since I was no longer important to him, he felt our children should view me through his eyes…I was someone who didn’t matter.

He could not co-parent with me; doing so would mean acknowledging me as an individual outside himself. To him I am not an autonomous human being, I’m something he tired of and discarded. The fact that our children love me and refused to also abandon their relationship with me plays an important role in his inability to continue to have a relationship with them.

Conversely, siblings are really one person in several bodies. When one individuates, that person shall be hunted down and slaughtered for the greater good:

When we divorced our children were 14 and 7 years old. The older child was quick to call his father out for hurtful behavior. The younger child made excuses and did whatever he could to keep his father happy. All the younger child cared about was spending time with his Dad. Due to that he detached himself from the emotional pain and focused on pleasing his father.

Our older child individuated, became separate from his brother and had to be done away with emotionally. Our older son is now 33 years old. His father has rarely acknowledged him since the divorce. He came to his high school graduation after 4 years of never attending a parent/teacher meeting, extracurricular activity, regular visitation and refusing to enter into counseling. That is the only time since our divorce that he has shown interest in our older child.

His child was “hunted down” and “slaughtered” emotionally.

Narcissism is a myth:

I believe that a narcissist knows they are different. They realize they are unable to form normal emotional attachments with others. Admitting to that difference would mean becoming vulnerable to the opinions of others. It is for that reason that most narcissists will deny their disorder.

The narcissist is awesome, just ask him. Awesome people don’t have personality disorders dontcha know? For the narcissist, any relationship problems are about YOU, certainly not about them and their awesome selves.

I tell clients who are co-parenting with a narcissist to keep their expectations low. Don’t expect the narcissist to tackle parenting with the same parental instincts they have.

And, never believe that you can “get through” to the narcissist and hold them accountable. Focus on your parental duties, be diligent in cleaning up the emotional messes the narcissist leaves behind and get your children into therapy. They are going to need it!

The post The 10 Commandments Of The Narcissistic Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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What’s Behind the Narcissist’s Mask?

What’s Behind the Narcissist’s Mask?

A new study reinforces what many of us who deal with narcissists already know:

1) Narcissists tend to be less trustworthy, less loyal, less accountable and less remorseful than others

2) Narcissists tend to be more deceptive, more manipulative, more antagonistic and more vindictive than others

In some cases the gap is huge. Drawn from a study of 14,000 people, an analysis of 403 participants with distinct traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder found that narcissists are six times more likely to be deceptive, four times more likely to lie, and three times more likely to be antagonistic and vindictive than non-narcissistic people.

The study is a portrait of the many ways narcissists tend to posture and shape themselves — while at the same time using others — to shore up a fragile sense of self.

For example, the study found the following percentages of narcissists who do the following behaviors, compared to non-narcissists:

Narcissists Non-narcissists
Point out others’ mistakes, no matter how minor 73% 7%
Strongly believe they are superior to most people 84% 3%
Prefer to associate with people who are successful or popular 84% 7%
Cast aside anyone who doesn’t live up to what they want 69% 5%
Change their appearance, personality and opinions to be accepted 62% 18%
Seek to be the center of attention 80% 10%
Endlessly seek reassurance they are liked 60% 16%
Become defensive when given negative feedback 61% 32%
Refuse to acknowledge or admit when they are wrong 67% 16%

“Being a narcissist is likely to be a tiring and draining endeavor, emotionally and psychologically. It’s like wearing a mask all the time,” said the study’s author, Ilona Jerabek.

Here are three ways to cope with the manipulation and pretenses used by narcissists:

1)  Don’t expect them to change. They may change behavior from time to time, but someone with narcissistic personality disorder is unlikely to change their personality. What you see is what you get.

2) Don’t take their blaming and lack of accountability personally. Their actions are designed to gratify themselves and keep others from seeing their flaws. It’s all about them, not you, so how can it be personal?

3) Do ask yourself: “At what cost? There is nearly always some cost when dealing with narcissists. Only you can decide whether the cost in any given situation is worth it.

 

Photo by Mike Focus



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family court fails to protect women

4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During a High Conflict Divorce

family court fails to protect women

 

My divorce was tame compared to some. There were no domestic abuse issues, no custody battle issues; we went our separate ways with no physical harm done. I can’t say the same about emotional harm but, as I learned the Family Court System is ill-equipped to handle the conflict created when a man has a personality disorder or is hell-bent on using the system to punish their ex.

As a matter of fact, it is my opinion the Family Court System is ill-equipped to protect anyone whose divorce is high conflict. Judges, Attorneys, Psychologists, and other court-appointed personnel EXPECT divorce to be one size fits all and when it isn’t lack the skills to support civility. What you get are platitudes and an attitude that if you are engaged with an ex who creates conflict you must be playing a role in the conflict also.

If I had a dollar for every person I’ve heard from and worked with who felt let down by the Family Court System, I’d be sporting a new pair of Manolo Blahniks.

How the family court fails to protect women.

1. Contempt of Court: If a man fails to pay child support or defies a portion of the court-ordered divorce decree, there is the ability to “petition the court for contempt.” The only problem, it will cost you attorney fees to do so, and rarely is a defendant held responsible when found “in contempt.”

In my years working in the divorce industry, I’ve not heard one story in which a defiant, in contempt man, was held responsible by a Judge. If you are a mother dependent on child support you will find very little protection from the Family Court System.

2. Crushing Financial Expense: If you are engaged in a custody battle or high conflict divorce you will find little or no legal support from the Family Court System. Especially if you are in a “he said, she said” situation that increases the time involved in the divorce process. Judges have little patience for those who stall their docket and divorce attorneys who thrive on prolonging the conflict to enrich their practice do nothing but encourage the conflict.

3. The Best Interest of the Children: The Family Court is set up to protect the rights of both parents, which in turn will supposedly protect the rights of the child. This concept is meant to be in the best interest of the child since the focus is on equitable rights for both parents. But, how do you “equitably” divide a child?

Custody battles take place when one parent feels they are better equipped the care for children than the other parent. Personality disordered individuals will use the Family Court System to abuse an ex-spouse which leaves the children as collateral victims.

Judges are busy, skeptical individuals who have packed dockets and little tolerance for quarreling parents or the personality disordered father. They are more concerned with getting a case “solved” and clearing up their docket than taking the time needed to distinguish between fact or fiction and in the end, doing what is actually in the “best interest of the children.”

4. Domestic Abuse Cases: Abusers use the court system to exert control over an ex-spouse. They manipulate attorneys and judges who end up playing a role in further harm being done to the ex-wife and children born to the couples. The very people who the courts are sworn to protect!

When a mother, the parent most likely to make accusations of abuse of herself or her children enters the Family Court System she and her accusations of domestic abuse are met with suspicion and it has been my experience that judges don’t want to hear it.

Many mothers are tuned out and turned out into the cold with few resources because the Family Court System would rather hear a story of cooperation…the “happy divorce” gets much more attention than the high conflict divorce. After all, happy divorces, those with little or no conflict are quick and easy for a judge to run through his/her docket.

Final Thoughts:

Here is an example from personal history with the Family Court System of how women are viewed if you attempt to use the system to protect yourself and your children. I have a friend who is a divorce attorney. She has been privy to the issues in my divorce that kept my ex-husband and me in and out of court for seven years. She knows how many times he defied our divorce agreement and what that defiance me for the children and I.

I recently posted a comment on a Facebook discussion she was having about something that had occurred in the local Family Court. It is has been years since I’ve been involved in that particular court system but, due to my profession, I remain curious about changes.

When I questioned her about the issue, asking about names and the particulars she replied to me by saying, “Please Cathy, don’t stir the pot.” Stir the pot? Her belief that I am a pot stirrer is based on the fact that my ex defied every aspect of our final divorce decree and I filed petitions for contempt to have him held responsible. I’m the bad guy for holding him accountable!!

In my friend’s eyes, I’m someone who stirs the pot or makes waves because I expected a system that is set up to protect my children and me, to actually protect us. I had the audacity to use the system in the way it was set up to be used. And due to that, I am viewed in a more negative light than the person who defied orders from the judge, emotionally abused his children and caused those he left behind extreme financial and emotional distress.

Bottom line, the Family Court System fails us by not protecting those who use the system as the system was designed to be used. If you are a mother trying to protect your children, your assets or your legal rights via the Family Court System, the cards are stacked against you.

The post 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During a High Conflict Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Deal With Post-Divorce Conflict

6 Tips To Help Deal With Post-Divorce Conflict

Deal With Post-Divorce Conflict

 

If you are leaving a marriage that is full of conflict, that conflict will follow you into your post-divorce life. Divorce does not put an end to the crazy that went on during the marriage. You may no longer live in the same home but you can bet, if you were married to someone with anger management issues, you will continue to be the recipient of their anger after the divorce is final.

In some cases divorce can exacerbate the anger so for your sake it pays to have a plan for dealing with the conflict to come.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a civil relationship with your ex, there will be times when you don’t see eye to eye on issues such as child visitation, holiday schedules and such. Arming yourself with coping skills to use during periods of conflict is essential for those of you who have children and will be attempting to co-parent with your ex.

The following 6 tips can help you deal with post-divorce conflict that may arise

1. Try and respect your ex-spouse and his/her household. Find ways of being respectful rather than resentful. Do not personally criticize them, but don’t make excuses for their behavior either.

2. Live by the divorce agreement reached between the two of you or, handed down by a Judge that addressed financial arrangements such as child support, spousal support or division of property. Do not let your attitude towards it, after the fact; taint your relationship with your ex or your children. If you came to an agreement with your ex, live up to that agreement. If you have a court order, follow that order. No amount of anger over financial issues is worth contaminating your relationship with your ex or your children.

3. Hurt feelings from the past are the number one reason you and your ex engage in conflict with one another. Do your part by in keeping down conflict by letting go of the past and living in the present.

4. The two of you can make your children’s best interest common ground. If you are both focused on doing what is best for the children, there is less room for conflict. The bottom line, your children and their needs are more important than any anger either of you has toward the other.

5. Try seeing stressful situations from your ex’s perspective. Every situation will require some give and take and it is easier to give a little if you can view the situation from the other person’s point of view.

6. Always put your children’s needs before your own. You may not like your ex, may not want to be around him/her BUT your children love both parents and it fills their hearts to see each parent get along with the other. Parents who manage to put their children’s needs first during and after divorce help minimize the negative effects of their divorce on the children.

Effort on your part to build a new and productive relationship with your ex will help all involved in the healing process and move forward with their lives. If your effort is thwarted you should accept the reality of the situation…you do not have an ex that is interested in anything other than being angry.

Move on, cut ties, do not engage when your buttons are pushed and send him/her a clear and loud message…if you can’t behave reasonably, I will have nothing to do with you.

For your sake and the sake of your children though, you must put forth the effort to “get along.”

The post 6 Tips To Help Deal With Post-Divorce Conflict appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Learned From The Pain Of My a broken heart

2 Things I Learned From The Pain Of a Broken Heart

Learned From The Pain Of My a broken heart

 

I’ve never been divorced. I’ve never even been married. But I have been heartbroken to the extent that I felt a physical void in my chest coupled with endless tears. I know why they call it heartbreak. I felt a pain in my chest so severe and so crippling I was gasping for air. It is a pain so intense and so debilitating; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It is this same pain—this depressingly lonely pain—that inspires me every day.

There are two things that I learned to carry with me through all of the heartache and rejection:

I deserve someone who knows my worth and everything happens for a reason.

2 Things I Learned From The Pain Of a Broken Heart

1: I deserve someone who knows my worth.

I struggled with self-confidence for years of my life. I had constantly to convince myself that I had value, that I was smart and pretty and funny and worth something on this earth. I was doing better for a while, and then I met Phil. We had fun together and for a while things were great. But then I started to realize that I was constantly making excuses for him. “He’s emotionally unstable, I know he cares about me, he doesn’t have to tell me,” and “He didn’t mean to say that, it’s just his humor.”

I forced myself to glorify the rare nice things he did because at least he was doing something and I was lucky he cared!

When it didn’t work out I blamed myself. I thought that I had done something wrong, that it was okay if he didn’t want more, I could adjust my expectations. I finally realized that it wasn’t my fault. I shouldn’t have to justify his actions for the sake of feeling worth. He should know how amazing I am and appreciate me for it. He should be glorifying me. I will no longer settle because I am better than that.

2: Everything happens for a reason.

While I am not very religious, I do believe in fate and the overwhelming idea that everything that happens, happens for a reason. This is hard to remember sometimes. Why would we be put through so much misery? What’s the point of suffering? We are told that the point of falling is to get back up. But the more important thing is to learn from every experience we have and take value from each situation we face.

When we are crumpled up on the floor, being kicked in the face by life and made to feel worthless by men who don’t love us back, that is the time to hold on to the idea that we are strong, and we will prosper. If we can hold on to that fact, then we have the ability to learn from the experience. Maybe next time we won’t be fooled by a pretty face, or realize that we don’t need to settle for less than we deserve.

If we remember to listen to these moments of incredible pain, then we can change the course of our future and stop falling into patterns of despair. The reason things happen is so we can learn. Eventually, we will learn to be bigger people and to stand up for what we believe in, and then we will take pride in the satisfaction of knowing we made it.

First, we have to accept the cards we are dealt and remember that though everything happens for a reason, it is up to us to take advantage of these situations and grow through them. If it’s meant to be, it will be. If it’s not, move on and be stronger for it.

The post 2 Things I Learned From The Pain Of a Broken Heart appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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relationship with a narcissist

Relationship With a Narcissist: Here Are 50 Things to Expect

relationship with a narcissist

 

While you may not be physically hit or physically abused in a relationship with a narcissist, your heart will be broken 10,000 times. Even if you think you are a “strong” person and can handle it; your strength is not really strength, but rather, denial.

The following list is not exhaustive, but it is informative. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist you’ll recognize them all. If you’re presently in a relationship with a narcissist, buckle up because you’ll eventually experience them all.

Here are 50 Things to Expect When in a Relationship With a Narcissist:

1. He will always define the terms.

2. You will live by a set of double standards.

3. You will not be truly listened to.

4. He will never resolve conflict, as a result, they will continue to repeat.

5. He will rarely consider your feelings; and will only do so if it serves him somehow.

6. He will never apologize in an authentic way that acknowledges his behavior or your suffering.

7. What will matter most to him is how he appears to others.

8. He will ruin all of your birthdays and holidays (unless he can somehow make it about him, i.e., HIS favorite band will play at your birthday party, a trip planned “with/for” you will be to a location that HE wants/needs to visit, etc….).

9. He will be sullen during events that are important to you because they are not about him.

10. He will NOT show up for you at times when you need a partner the most and will be rageful if you are upset about it.

11. He will demand forgiveness for his bad behavior yet do nothing to earn back your trust or change his behavior.

12. Your expectations will be managed down to mere crumbs; to the point where you will be happy just because he isn’t giving you the silent treatment, yelling at you, or cheating on you.

13. You will never win.

14. He will be dismissive and, at times, cruel to your pets.

15. Beyond the initial stages of dating, he will make NO effort to befriend your friends or family unless knowing them benefits him in some way.

16. Your value will be diminished to the point of nothingness in his eyes. In fact, mere strangers will hold more weight in his eyes than you will.

17. He will tend to make you his scapegoat.

18. He will dump his shame and rage on to you.

19. Simple conversations will become crazy-making endeavors.

20. You will find yourself walking on eggshells.

21. You will lose yourself because you will be trained to focus only on his feelings and reactions; never mind yours.

22. You will experience the silent treatment.

23. You will experience cognitive dissonance, confabulation, and gas lighting.

24. You will find yourself telling a grown adult (Him) how to have normal interactions with others.

25. Your relationship will revolve on a cycle: waiting — hoping — hurting — being angry — being punished — forgiving — forgetting — again.

26. He will isolate you from your friends, family or financial support and then blame you for depending on him.

27. He will say cruel and judgemental things about the friends closest to him while being nice to their faces.

28. He will blame you for all of the problems in the relationship.

29. You will blame yourself.

30. He will use your weaknesses, traumas and intimate secrets against you.

31. You will experience many dramatic exits, followed by a reappearance of the N acting as if nothing unusual had ever happened.

32. He will act like Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

33. He will not do his fair share of household responsibilities and will criticize your efforts.

34. He will come and go as he pleases.

35. When you try to hold him accountable he will fly into a rage.

36. He will not answer questions directly.

37. He will never ask you about your day and wish you to “have a good day.” He will never show genuine concern for things that you care about.

38. You will feel stuck and unable to leave him.

39. You will miss him and wait for him all the time.

40. He will project his bad behaviors onto you and you will project your good intentions onto him, neither is accurate.

41. When you finally break up because of his crazy-making behaviors and the insanity of the relationship, he will call you a lunatic, others will think you are a lunatic, and you, yourself, will believe that you are just as bad as him (realize, there is no moral equivalence between expressing frustration and intentional abuse.)

42. No one else will see it. This will cause you to question your reality.

43. The entire experience will result in trauma for you because it is interpersonal violence.

44. He will compare you unfavorably to other women, especially his ex.

45. You will begin to feel crazy; then, over time, you will begin to feel numb.

46. If you go to couples counseling it will not work, and will most likely backfire on you. Please realize you do not have a marriage problem, your partner has a mental illness.

47. He will triangulate you with the other women in his life, causing tension and drama between them and you, while he remains unscathed.

48. Once you start to wise up and pull away he will begin to smear your character behind your back in an attempt to turn people against you. In fact, he was probably doing this throughout your entire relationship.

49. The negativity and cruelty with which he speaks about his former relationships will befall you as well should you find the strength to leave him. Brace yourself.

50. Most people will never fully believe your account of the relationship and the psychological trauma can take years to understand and recover from.

The narcissist has no concept of the model of love and relationships that you do. They don’t understand the concept of “give and take.” For them, it’s all about taking. His values, needs and the neural pathways in his brain are as different from yours as night and day.

The post Relationship With a Narcissist: Here Are 50 Things to Expect appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Parent-child relationship problems: Treatment tools for rectification counseling

Resources: Parent Alienation

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Task Force on Parenting Coordination. (2006). Guidelines for parenting coordination. Family Court Review,44, 164–181.

Austin, Jr., R. B. (2006). PAS as a child against self. In R. A. Gardner, S. R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), The international handbook of parental alienation syndrome, conceptual, clinical and legal considerations (pp. 56–64). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Baker, A. J. L. (2005). The long-term effects of parental alienation on adult children: A qualitative research study. American Journal of Family Therapy, 33(4), 289–302.

Baker, A. J. L. (2005). The cult of parenthood: A qualitative study of parental alienation. Cultic Studies Review, 4(1),

Baker, A. J. L. (2005). Parent alienation strategies: A qualitative study of adults who experienced parental alienation as a child. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 23(4), 41–63.

Baker, A. J. L. (2006). The power of stories/stories about power: Why therapists and clients should read stories about the parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 34(3), 191–203.

Baker, A. J. L. (2006). Patterns of parental alienation syndrome: A qualitative study of adults who were alienated from a parent as a child. American Journal of Family Therapy, 34(1), 63–78.

Baker, A. J. L. (2007). Knowledge and attitudes about the parental alienation syndrome: A survey of custody evaluators. American Journal of Family Therapy, 35(1), 1–19.

Baker, A. J. L. (2007). Adult children of parental alienation syndrome: Breaking the ties that bind. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Baker, A. J. L. (2010). Adult recall of parental alienation in a community sample: Prevalence and associations with psychological maltreatment. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 51(1), 16–35.

Baker, A. J. L., & Andre, K. (2008). Working with alienated children and their targeted parents. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 11(2), 10–17.

Baker, A. J. L., & Darnall, D. (2006). Behaviors and strategies employed in parental alienation: A survey of parental experiences. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 45(1–2), 97–124.

Baker, A. J. L., & Darnall, D. (2007). A construct study of the eight symptoms of severe parental alienation syndrome: A survey of parental experiences. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 47(1–2), 55–75.

Baldwin, A., & Tabb, M. (2008). A promise to ourselves: A journey through fatherhoodand divorce. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67(6), 3296–3319.

Benedek, E. P., & Schetky, D. H. (1985). Allegations of sexual abuse in child custody and visitation disputes. In E. P. Benedek and D. H. Schetky (Eds.), Emerging issues in child psychiatry and the law (pp. 145–156). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Benedek, E. P., & Schetky, D. H. (1987). Problems in validating allegations of sexual abuse: Part 1, Factors affecting perception and recall of events. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 26(6), 912– 915.

Bernet, W. (1993). False statements and the differential diagnosis of abuse allegations. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32(5), 903–910.

Bernet, W. (1995). Children of divorce: A practical guide for parents, attorneys, & therapists. New York: Vantage.

Bernet, W. (1997). Case study, allegations of abuse created in a single interview.Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(7), 966– 970.

Bernet, W. (1998). The child and adolescent psychiatrist and the law. In J. D. Noshpitz (Ed.), Handbook of child and adolescent psychiatry, Vol. 7 (pp. 438–467). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Bernet, W. (2002). Child custody evaluations. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 11(4), 781–804.

Bernet, W. (2008). Parental alienation disorder and DSM–V. American Journal of Family Therapy, 36(5), 349–366.

Blackstone-Ford, J., & Jupe, S. (2004). Ex-etiquette for parents, good behavior after a divorce or separation. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.

Bond, R. (2007). The lingering debate over the parental alienation syndrome phenomenon. Journal of Child Custody, 4(1–2), 37–54.

Bone, J. M. (2003). The parental alienation syndrome, examining the validity amid controversy. Family Law, Section Commentator, 20(1), 24–27.

Bone, J. M., & Walsh, M. R. (1999). Parental alienation syndrome: How to detect it and what to do about it. Florida Bar Journal, 73(3), 44–47.

Bow, J. N., Gould, J. W., & Flens, J. R. (2009). Examining parental alienation in child custody cases: A survey of mental health and legal professionals. American Journal of Family Therapy, 37(2), 127–145.

Bowen, M. (1966). The use of family theory in clinical practice. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 7, 345–374.

Brody, B. (2006a). The misdiagnosis of PAS. In R. A. Gardner, S. R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), The international handbook of parental alienation syndrome, conceptual, clinical and legal considerations (pp. 209–227). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Campbell, T. W. (1992a). Psychotherapy with children of divorce: The pitfalls of triangulated relationships. Psychotherapy, Theory, Research, Practice, & Training, 29, 646–652.

Campbell, T. W. (1992b). False allegations of sexual abuse and their apparent credibility. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 10(4), 21.

Campbell, T. W. (1993). Parental conflicts between divorced spouses: Strategies for intervention. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 12(4), 27.

Campbell, T. W. (2005). Why doesn’t parental alienation occur more frequently? The significance of role discrimination. American Journal of Family Therapy, 33(5), 365–377.

Cartwright, G. F. (1993). Expanding the parameters of parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 21(3), 205–215.

Cartwright, G. F. (2006). Beyond parental alienation syndrome: Reconciling the alienated child and the lost parent. In R. A. Gardner, S. R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), The international handbook of parental alienation syndrome, conceptual, clinical and legal considerations (pp. 286–291). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Clawar, S. S., & Rivlin, B. V. (1991). Children held hostage: Dealing with programmedand brainwashed children. Chicago, IL: American Bar Association.

Cooke, L. (1995). Parental alienation syndrome: A hidden facet of custody disputes. First Place, Lieff Award, Canadian Bar Association, Ottawa, Ontario.

Darnall, D. (1999). Parental alienation, not in the best interest of the children. North Dakota Law Review, 75, 323.

Darnall, Douglas. (2008). Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation (2nd ed). Lanham, MD: National Book Network.

Drozd, L. M. (2009). Rejection in cases of abuse or alienation in divorcing families. In R. M. Galatzer-Levy, L. Kraus, & J. Galatzer-Levy (Eds.), The scientific basis for child custody decisions. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Drozd, L. M., & Olesen, N.W. (2004). Is it abuse, alienation, &/or estrangement? A decision tree. Journal of Child Custody, 1(3), 65–106.

Dunne, J., & Hedrick, M. (1994). The parental alienation syndrome: An analysis of sixteen selected cases. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 21(3–4), 21–38.

Eastman, A. M., & Moran T. J. (1991). Multiple perspectives: Factors related to differential diagnosis of sex abuse and divorce trauma in children under six. Child & Youth Services, 15(2), 159–176.

Ellis, E. M. (2000). Divorce wars: Interventions with families in conflict. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Ellis, E. M. (2005). Help for the alienated parent. American Journal of Family Therapy,33(5), 415–426.

Ellis, E. M. (2007). A stepwise approach to evaluating children for parental alienation syndrome. Journal of Child Custody, 4(1–2), 55–78.

Ellis, E. M., & Boyan, S. (in press). Intervention strategies for parent coordinators in parental alienation cases. American Journal of Family Therapy.

Fidler, B. J., Bala, N., Birnbaum, R., & Kavassalis, K. (2008a). Understanding child alienation and its impact on families. In B. J. Fidler et al., Challenging issues in child custody assessments, A guide for legal and mental health professionals (pp. 203–229). Toronto, Canada: Thomson Carswell.

Fidler, B. J., Bala, N., Birnbaum, R., & Kavassalis, K. (2008b). Challenging issues in child custody assessments: A guide for legal and mental health professionals. Toronto, Canada: Thomson Carswell.

Garber, B. D. (1996). Alternatives to parental alienation syndrome: Acknowledging the broader scope of children’s emotional difficulties during parental separation and divorce. New Hampshire Bar Journal, 37(1), 51–54.

Garber, B. D. (2004a). Therapist alienation: Foreseeing and forestalling third-party dynamics undermining psychotherapy with children of conflicted caregivers. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 35(4), 357–363.

Garber, B. D. (2004b). Parental alienation in light of attachment theory, consideration of the broader implications for child development, clinical practice, & forensic process. Journal of Child Custody, 1(4), 49–76.

Gardner, R. A. (1982). Family evaluation in child custody litigation. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1985). Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. Academy Forum, 29(2), 3–7.

Gardner, R. A. (1986). Child custody litigation: A guide for parents and mental health professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1987a). The parental alienation syndrome and the differentiation between fabricated and genuine child sex abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1987b). Child custody. In J. D. Noshpitz (Ed.), Handbook of child and adolescent psychiatry, Vol. 5 (pp. 637–646). New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, R. A. (1989b). Differentiating between bona fide and fabricated allegations of sexual abuse of children. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 5, 1–25.

Gardner, R. A. (1991a). Legal and psychotherapeutic approaches to the three types of parental alienation syndrome families: When psychiatry and law join forces. Court Review, 28(1), 14–21.

Gardner, R. A. (1991b). Sex abuse hysteria: Salem witch trials revisited. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1992a). The parental alienation syndrome, A guide for mental health and legal professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1992b). True and false allegations of child sex abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1994). The detrimental effects on women of the misguided gender egalitarianism of the child-custody resolution guidelines. Academy Forum, 38(1/2), 10–13.

Gardner, R. A. (1998a). Recommendations for dealing with parents who induce a parental alienation syndrome in their children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 28(3–4), 1–23.

Gardner, R. A. (1998b). The parental alienation syndrome: A guide for mental health and legal professionals, 2nd ed. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (1998c). The Burgess decision and the Wallerstein brief. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 26(3), 425–432.

Gardner, R. A. (1999a). Family therapy of the moderate type of parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(3), 195–212.

Gardner, R. A. (1999b). Guidelines for assessing parental preference in child-custody disputes. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 30(1), 1–9.

Gardner, R. A. (1999c). Differentiating between parental alienation syndrome and bona fide abuse-neglect. American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(2), 97–107.

Gardner, R. A. (2001a). Should courts order PAS children to visit/reside with the alienated parent? A follow-up study. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 19(3), 61–106.

Gardner, R. A. (2001b). Therapeutic interventions for children with parental alienation syndrome. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. A. (2001c). Parental alienation syndrome (PAS): Sixteen years later. Academy Forum, 45(1), 10–12.

Gardner, R. A. (2002a). Denial of the parental alienation syndrome also harms women. American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(3), 191–202.

Gardner, R. A. (2002b). Parental alienation syndrome vs. parental alienation: Which diagnosis should evaluators use in child-custody disputes? American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(2), 93–115.

Gardner, R. A. (2002d). Misinformation versus facts about the contributions of Richard A. Gardner, M.D. American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(5), 395– 416.

Gardner, R. A. (2003a). Does DSM-IV have equivalents for the parental alienation syndrome (PAS) diagnosis? American Journal of Family Therapy, 31(1), 1–21.

Gardner, R. A. (2003b). The judiciary’s role in the etiology, symptom development,& treatment of the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 21(1), 39–64.

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