20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic

20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic

You leave and you’ll never see the kids again

Narcissistic mother

Things started so well.  They seemed perfect and, even better, they made you feel perfect too.  They lavished praise and attention on you.  It felt wonderful.  It was everything you ever dreamed of.

Then they stopped being so affectionate.  They started talking about someone new at work.  Everything they once said they loved most about you suddenly seemed to irritate the crap out of them.

What changed?

They tell you it was you but you aren’t sure.  Nevertheless you try everything to win back their acceptance.

But it’s not enough and although you do anything and everything, nothing works.

It’s all your fault

Or is it?

 

Individuals with narcissistic personalities tend to be grandiose, entitled, and self-centered.  They are often impulsive and anxious, have ideas of grandiosity and “specialness“, become quickly dissatisfied with others and maintain superficial, exploitative interpersonal relationships.

It’s why they find it so easy to  move on to the next “supply” and so easily discard you.

They react to criticism with feels of rage, stress or humiliation (even though they will never express that).  They take advantage of others to achieve their own ends.  

Other personality disorder processes are high levels of over-dramatic emotional displays (silent treatment or rage), paranoia (jealousy and suspiciousness), antisocial behaviours (aggression, domestic abuse and verbal abuse) or obsessive compulsive behaviours (rigid moralistic rules).  These are often evident throughout the relationship, although not at the start as they usually have another person who is able to be their “regulatory other” (the person who regulates their emotions). 


Overt narcissist (sometimes called grandiose narcissist)

Overt narcissists are characterised by grandiosity, attention-seeking, entitlement, arrogance and little observable anxiety. They can be socially charming, despite being oblivious to the needs of others, and are interpersonally exploitative.  They engage in superficial relationships and seek out external feedback that supports their grandiose sense of self and protects them from their fragile self image

Covert narcissist (sometimes called vulnerable narcissist)

Coverst narcissists present as vulnerable, fragile and thin-skinned.  They are characterised as inhibited, distressed and hypersensitive to evaluations of theirs, while chronically envious and evaluation themselves in relation to others. Interpersonally they tend to be shy, outwardly self-effacing (modest) and hypersensitive to criticism, but are covertly grandiose and jealous.

Malignant narcissist

They are characterised by the typical symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well as prominent antisocial behaviour, paranoid features and sadism towards others.  they engage in chronic lying, intimidation and financial or interpersonal secondary gains which maintain their malignant pattern.

10 Signs Your Ex Wife/Girlfriend Is Narcissistic

I watched Gone Girl for the first time a few months ago and I thought Amy (pictured above, credit: thefincheranalyst.com) was one of the best depictions of a female covert narcissistic I have seen.  She played the part of victim so well at the start to lure in her husband (Amy’s mother was a overt narcissist) and then later in the film to restore her delusion as “loyal wife”.  Apologies if I have given too many spoilers away there, trust me that there is so much more to the film.

The female narcissists I have dealt with personally and professionally were covert and loved to act like the perfect partner and parent.  They go to extreme lengths outside the family home to project this image of perfection.  Obviously within the relationship things are very different.

Here are ten signs of a female narcissistic ex:

Continuous sense that she is disappointed

Take sides against you by default, assume the worst, distrust

Fantasies, several would involve another partner, not subtle

Your were paying for others mistakes against her

No true connection, emotionally distant, and callous

Ruined your special occasions by refusing to acknowledge them but wanted excessive displays of devotion on theirs

She prevented you from making friends, venting frustrations, or seeking support

Double standards in everything (they expect praise but gave you nothing but criticism, even if you did the same/similar thing)

You were made to feel guilty for wanting to be intimate

She regularly threatened to leave, threatening to pursue support in Family Court in order to destroy you financially (and may have followed through on this)

If you have children with a female narcissist, I recommend reading our blog 13 Strategies for Dealing With A Female Narcissist 

10 Signs Your Ex Husband/Boyfriend Is Narcissistic

I hate to admit this but I loved the first season of You.  Joe was a terrifyingly good narcissist.  So good that I think he lovebombed half the female audience! He displayed anti-social behaviour (malignant), vulnerability (covert) and was incredibly socially charming (overt). He was a full-house.

The male narcissists I have dealt with have also displayed all of the criteria.  I have had men ring me telling me that their ex is stopping them from seeing their children only to make false allegations against me online 24 hours later because HE didn’t answer the call HE arranged. I have spoken to men who have overtly spoken of their own grandiose sense of self by stating how they were capable of doing x,y and z even though they emailed me for advice. I have also had conversations with someone who claimed they were alienated only to later discover that they were in fact a registered sex offender.

Here are ten signs your ex was narcissistic:

Infidelity is common but they will also engage in sexual fantasies and try to get you involved

He wanted to control your appearance appearance

His and your emotional needs were not attended to

Triangulated the children into arguments and expects the children to take his side

Was only interested in doing things he wanted to do

He was extremely jealously of other men

He was envious of any of your successes (including your relationship with the children)

He never listened, but expected a lot of attention and perfect memory

Downplayed the contribution of raising children or taking care of the household

Sees you as his only being there to meet his needs

If you have children with a narcissistic ex I recommend reading out blog The Realities of Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

Narcissists dispaly a pattern of self-centeredness and grandiosity.  They have an exaggerated sense of their own abilities and achievements, require constant attention, affirmation and praise and believe they are unique and special and should only associate with others who are equally unique and special (you).  These are all brilliant reasons they are your ex.

As stated, if you have children with a narcissist do check out our resources on parental alienation and divorcing the narcissist.  Forewarned is forearmed.

The post 20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

 

The beauty of life, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change so that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger but in wisdom, understanding, and love.

Single parent or not, I don’t think there is a space that exists that guilt doesn’t somehow find its way into the psyche of your day. We never feel like we are enough on the best of days.

Single Parenting

But single parents have a unique extra shoulder that sits on them like the yoke on an Ox because they must be so many people at once. If you need to please your child, your job may suffer. If you need to please your work, your children may suffer. If you need to please yourself, well…that’s a rare occasion and one that usually doesn’t even register on the totem pole of the priorities of your life.

We check off the boxes of the laundry list of chores that need to be done each day. Chores that reflect everything from just waking up to getting breakfast in your children’s tummies, to getting dressed, to checking that their homework is in the backpacks tucked alongside their lunches.

You make sure you are out the door not a minute past 7:20 am or you will hit the swath of traffic on Western Avenue that will slow you down and get you last in line for the drop off to the first of the two schools your kids attend.

As you drive you pray, they get there on time and are not subject to being tardy.

After doing the proverbial school drop-offs, you swing by McDonald’s for your first cup of desperately needed coffee which is also part of the timing game. Get there too late and you sit-in line and then you are late for work.

As you drive to work traversing over the bridges, sipping your cup of Joe, you feel yourself getting reacquainted with a moment of control.

It is only you in the car as you say your positive affirmations to yourself …” I intend on having a calm and confident day!” … “I am successful beyond my wildest dreams!” And so, it is as the day progresses.

You literally feel like you have already lived 6 hours of your day before it has even begun.

What did my children learn from me?

Did they see the guilt I lived with every day?

Did they feel responsible for any of the guilt that I imposed on myself and yet, picked up by them?

As I look at them now at the ages of 24 and 20, I see that indeed some of it has rubbed off on them.

I had written an article earlier about the comments of my children after I had interviewed them about their experiences with divorce. I asked the following question which gave me insight. This was what my son’s answer was.

If you could have any wish now as an adult of a divorced family what would that wish be?

 “I wish I handled it better and didn’t manifest resentments or anxieties that should have been addressed earlier. I wish I could have also been more supportive. Even though I was young, there was always more I could have done.”

My son was 4 years old when our marriage ended. What was this little boy thinking he could do? He was a child. There was nothing that was his responsibility.

Yet, he is 24 now and has articulated this. And honestly, I think he still feels this way. So, the answer to my own question would be, yes, they learned that their mom did feel guilt so perhaps they should too. My absence of mind in this was not what my intention was. I just felt what I felt, and they absorbed it.

The job of two is done by one. The job of two is done by

“Mum”.

Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

So, what is this guilt that single moms in general feel?

Why do we feel so obliged to be everything to everyone?

In my case, I felt that because their father didn’t love me anymore and found someone new, it made me feel like I had failed not him… but them. I wasn’t lovable any longer and thus they felt unlovable by him too.

To this day they both will curtail their conversations with him to please him. They will avoid subjects and requests that they feel will displease him because they feel the conditions of that love.

After all, he left his two children and married another woman with two children. This action alone made them feel somewhat invalidated and thus the conditions began. I never went a day in my life that I didn’t feel loved by both my parents and most particularly my father. Because they didn’t get that everyday love that I had experienced, I have spent the greater part of the past 20 years feeling guilt that has at times undone me.

The guilt of feeling like you are a bad mom means that you are a good mom.

So, what have they learned?

What is the imprint this guilt has made on their lives now that they are young adults?

Was it good?

Or was it not so good?

Notice I didn’t say bad. I don’t want to think that anything I did as a single mother was bad for them. I don’t think anything was. I just think there are varying degrees of what a child absorbs simply because their single mom is navigating waters that are uncharted to her.

And in many cases, frightening. Perhaps the bigger question is what have I learned?

Was this guilt manufactured by my need to keep the pity party going? Or was it real and did I just feel profound sorrow? And was I just too overwhelmed? I think all the above.

What happens many times is that children of divorce see what is happening to the parent they are left to live with the most. And in almost all cases, this is with the mother.

I would frequently say out loud things like, “Good Lord, with this stress I will be surprised if I make it to my next birthday!” That was my way of letting off my steam. I never meant it for one day. But they both have commented on how my saying that had affected them. They literally worried that I was going to die. And the very thought of that was horrific to them.

They had already lost their father to another family. The next thought that raced into their young minds was what will happen to them if I die?

They only shared this with me a few months ago and I have never said it again. And if I could take it back all those years ago I would. It breaks my heart to think that I placed this kind of fear in them.

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

Winston Churchill

I do still feel guilty about a myriad of things. I feel guilty for not being able to give my children the kind of security I felt growing up. I also feel guilty for making them so much of a priority that I didn’t spend time looking for a possible stepdad for them. They never really saw a good relationship between a husband and wife. And for that I am sorry.

My son’s only example was perhaps in my Father with my Mother. My daughter has learned to take care of herself and be strong because as she said, love is never guaranteed. But as Winston Churchill said, it takes courage. Courage to step into the fear. Courage to find the wisdom. And courage to be your true authentic self.

And at the end of the day …yes, I still have guilt. But I also have perspective. My fears of the past created reactions that made me feel hopeless. My courage for the future is how I will navigate this next chapter of my life. And I know they will both be watching me from afar.

The post Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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How Co-Parenting Might Look This Summer Given Current Circumstances

Originally published by Bryce Hopson.

Summer season is fast approaching, and that would typically mean co-parents across the metroplex are gearing up for some significant changes to their daily schedules with kids staying home. In the current environment created by Covid-19 and social distancing, the summer of 2020 might look very different than those of the recent past. Nevertheless, with most counties slowly phasing back to a normal—or maybe “new normal” is more accurate—pace of life and business, the summer schedule remains.

There are numerous ways in which the possession schedule for summer months has been crafted into custody orders across the state. Some are standard and adopt the one-size-fits-all approach, while others are intricately unique and carefully tailored to fit the specific needs of a particular family.

What does the standard, one-size schedule look like?

The Standard Possession Order, crafted by our legislature and incorporated into the Texas Family Code, is a defined schedule delineating which parent is legally entitled to possession of a child, and it is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. Under the Standard Possession Order, one parent is designated with specific periods of possession, and the other parent is entitled to possession “at all other times not specifically designated” to the first parent.

The parent with designated periods during the school year is entitled to 30 days of possession time in the summer, which can be exercised consecutively or broken up into no more than two smaller periods of at least 7 days each if notice is provided to the other parent by April 15th (if not, the 30 days runs from July 1-31). The parent with designated periods will still get the regular 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend periods that they normally have during the school year, but the Thursday periods go away in the summer.

If a 30-day block of time in the middle of the summer is impractical because of a parent’s work schedule, or a child’s summer activities, what options are available for a more customized approach to the summer schedule? Here are a few options that some parents have utilized when the circumstances called for more of a customized fit:

  • Week-on / Week-off: Alternating seven-day periods of possession has some advantages over the standard block schedule. It shares the load of additional childcare needs that comes when both parents are working and school lets out, and limits the span of time that the child goes without seeing the other parent. 30 days without seeing a 16 year old might not sound that bad (and in some cases, might serve as a needed relief), but it is typically more difficult to say goodbye to a 5 or 6 year old for such an extended period of time.

  • The “Quadrant” Schedule: This approach takes June and July and breaks them up into four quadrants. One parent gets the first half of each month, the other parent gets the second half of each month, and they rotate every-other year. Although the summer vacation schedule will generally run into the first couple weeks of August, this schedule has some clear advantages to a standard structure. It provides each parent with two opportunities to take extended trips and travel with the child—if you have the privilege of lasting memories of road trips to the Grand Canyon, summer nights on the beach, or sleeping under the stars next to a campfire, those are typically trips that take more than 7 days, and this schedule can make creating those memories much more available. It also has the benefit of avoiding the need for designating—and potentially arguing—over which weeks one parent wants to exercise. This schedule is set as soon as the order is signed, meaning you can start planning your summer vacation three years in advance if you feel like it!

  • Alternating Weeks with Extended Election: This schedule has the same general structure as the week-on / week-off, but it includes a carve out for each parent to extend one of their seven-day periods into a ten-day period. This gives added flexibility for those longer trips to visit Aunt Betty up in Brunswick or hop across the pond for a European Vacation.

At the end of the day, the schedule that has the best chance of working is the one that both parents agree upon and work together to come up with. And most importantly, crafting your summer schedule to be conducive with the child’s activities is crucial to ensuring a smooth, successful summer vacation.

 

The post How Co-Parenting Might Look This Summer Given Current Circumstances appeared first on Hance Law Group | Dallas Divorce & Family Lawyers.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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children of divorce

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

children of divorce

Question:

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

Answer:

I practice law in the state of South Carolina. Unless you live there, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can give you some general observations on family law issues and how they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

The answer is yes, and it highly is encouraged that parents be reasonable in attaining such an agreement. It is inevitable that both parties will experience some roadblock that renders their rights short of what is court ordered. Both parents should expect to make concessions for the other to abide by the spirit of the agreement as much as possible. A family court judge undoubtedly will respect the parties and their decisions considering the circumstances.

If you are the parent being asked to make a change in the parenting plan, then you should consider these requests. Keep in mind that your conduct can be scrutinized by a judge if the facts show that you were not being reasonable under the circumstances. It also is important that you make clear to the other parent that the change strictly is intended until such times as things get back to normal. You should be careful in not allowing the other party to misconstrue the change as a new agreement, but rather a temporary agreement.

If you are the parent requesting for a change in the parenting plan, then you should memorialize these communications whether the changes are consented to or not. Memorialized communications can be recorded through text message, email, or any other form of written communication wherein you can justify the other party’s intent. If the changes are not consented to by the other party, then these communications will come in handy when illustrating to a family court judge the conduct of the other parent should you need to go to court in the future. Similarly, these memorialized communications will protect the requesting parent should the other party claim some violation of the Agreement in the future. The bottom line is that written communication is key when communicating with the other parent.

Due to the fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction to see how your state’s laws specifically can help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter. Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including South Carolina divorce attorney Chris Jacobcontact Cordell & Cordell.

The post Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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your teen cope with divorce: sad teen girl on couch with dog

7 Tips to Help Your Teen Cope with Divorce

your teen cope with divorce: sad teen girl on couch with dog

 

The teenage years can be challenging for both a teenager and his or her parents after a divorce. Helping your teenager to make a smooth transition to becoming a more independent person can be complex in a divorced family.

Some of the challenges that teens face in divorced families include: going back and forth between two homes, different rules in each house, loyalty conflicts with their parents, moving, dealing with parents dating just as they’re exploring intimate relationships; and possibly adjusting to one or both parents’ remarriage and stepsiblings.

Experts advise us that adolescence is a time of transition from being a child to establishing an identity different from your parents. This normal process can become more complicated as teens experience the breakup up their parents’ marriage. Although it may take them about a year to adjust to your divorce, feelings of sadness or anger may reappear during stressful times such as taking exams or a parents’ remarriage – even if they’re coping fairly well overall.

Some warning signs that your teen is having difficulty coping with your divorce include displaying intense mood swings that range from extreme elation to extreme hostility toward others that last more than a few days. Also, they might rage towards others and overreact to triggers in their environment. This could be anything from temper tantrums (especially in public) to becoming exceedingly angry or irritable over small things.

Other warning signs of depression or psychological problems include radical changes in behavior such as fighting at school, cheating, stealing, lying, or intense arguments with others (teachers, friends; or you or their other parent), declining school performance for over a period of a few weeks, developing physical ailments or chronic complaints (such as stomach or headaches), sleep problems, eating disorders (or gaining or losing more than ten pounds when not trying to), changes in peer relationships such as losing friends or isolating themselves from social activities, and sadness that lasts more than a few days.

During and after divorce, it’s crucial that both parents promote a healthy bond with their teenager in order to nurture high self-esteem and resiliency. Showing your teen compassion and understanding won’t guarantee success every day but they’ll feel less stressed as a result. Be sure to establish an open dialogue with your teen so they can discuss the stresses in their life and brainstorm solutions with you.

7 tips to help your teen cope with divorce:

  • Be an active listener when your teen wants to talk. When kids feel valued by their parents, they will value them in return. Teenagers are under a lot of stress at school and in peer relationships so need you to be available to listen. Turn off your cell phone when you’re with him or her. If you must take a call, keep it short and apologize if it interfered with your time together.
  • Don’t bad mouth or argue with your ex in front of your teen. Model self-control and being polite with your former spouse. Negative comments about his/her other parent are likely to cause teens to experience loyalty conflicts – which can lead to emotional pain and turmoil.
  • Avoid putting your teen in the middle between you and your ex. Be careful not to share too many details about your divorce with your teenager. Don’t grill them with questions about the other parent!
  • Promote a healthy bond between your teen and both parents. It’s important to be flexible with your expectations about scheduling “Parenting Time” at both houses (if this is possible). Keep in mind that a teen needs some control over his or her schedule.
  • Be a positive role-model by taking care of your own mental and physical health. Go to the gym or take a power walk and invite your teen to join you. Seek out supportive friendships and counseling if needed so you can stay optimistic about your future.
  • Set limits with love. Many parents complain that their teens are rarely home once they begin to drive or work. Remember you are the parent and need to set a positive tone for your household, including having expectations for behavior, curfew, etc..
  • Be aware of warning signs of depression and seek professional help if needed. Adolescence is often a time of turmoil which is exaggerated by the multitude of changes that go along with parental divorce. If any of the warning signs detailed above persist for more than a few weeks, you are wise to seek professional help.

Ways to promote your teenager’s resiliency include expressing empathy, understanding, and support when they’re going through a challenging time. For instance, Haley noticed changes in her daughter Alana’s behavior when she was fourteen, after her remarriage.  Alana showed signs of depression such as sleep problems, complaints of chronic physical symptoms, and avoiding contact with her friends. She also began protesting spending overnights at her dad’s house.

Fortunately, Alana’s parents agreed that it was in her best interests to revise her custody schedule temporarily and to seek counseling for her. As a result, Alana attended counseling for six months and was able to come to terms with the losses she experienced when her parents divorced – eventually restoring a better sleep routine, improving her social life, and spending overnights at her dad’s home.

Experts agree that friends, school, extracurricular activities, and jobs are all crucial to a teen’s well-being. Being flexible in your parenting schedule allows your teenager to enjoy the things that are essential for his or her life. Operating from a mind-set that your teen needs balance in their life will serve as a protective factor during the whirlwind of adolescence. Your teen might end up feeling disappointed or resentful if you try to get them to adhere to your expectations or you’re rigid.

Why is it that some teenagers seem to make it through their parents’ divorce relatively easily, while others struggle and are more likely to have a negative reaction?  The reasons for these differences include the child’s personality and temperament, gender, parenting styles, and a families’ post-divorce adjustment. Keep in mind that some teens, especially girls, don’t show outward signs of trouble until years later. Many experts refer to this tendency as the “Sleeper Effect.”

The good news is that if you’ve built a healthy foundation with your teen prior to your divorce, it’s likely that they’ll be resilient and adjust to your divorce. When you take time to truly listen to your teenager, they’ll be more likely to ask your advice when they have a problem. Divorce expert Rosalind Sedacca CCT writes: “How you handle this now will affect your long-term relationship with her. So don’t stand on your soap-box. Show her your empathy, compassion, and the ability to turn the other cheek.”

Finally, finding time in your busy schedule to listen to their concerns and engage in mutually enjoyable activities can help ease their adjustment to your divorce. Making an attempt to stay connected with your teen is worth the effort!

Terry Gaspard on FacebookTwitter, and movingpastdivorce.com

More from Terry

6 Ways to Mend Trust After Divorce

Building Resiliency in Children After Divorce

This blog appeared previously on movingpastdivorce.com

The post 7 Tips to Help Your Teen Cope with Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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Parental Alienation and Accountability

DISORDERED PARENTING AND PARENTAL ALIENATION

 

Disordered parenting and parental alienation affects hundreds of thousands of children every year in the UK alone.  And yet cases are often misrepresented and misinterpreted leading children to being left in the care of abusive parents, all  under the supervision of agencies whose sole responsibility is to protect vulnerable children.

 

Child protection issue

 

Parental alienation and disordered parenting is child abuse.  It is emotional, physical, psychological and sometimes sexual abuse.  The main categories are:

 

  • Rejecting (spurning) 
  • Terrorizing 
  • Corrupting  
  • Denying essential stimulation, emotional responsiveness, or availability  
  • Unreliable and inconsistent parenting  
  • Mental health, medical, or educational neglect  
  • Degrading/devaluing (spurning)  
  • Isolating  
  • Exploiting

 

Adapted from Joan T. Kloth-Zanard, 2012, FOR THOSE THAT REFUSE TO USE THE WORD PARENTAL ALIENATION 9 CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFYING AGGRESSIVE PARENTING BEHAVIORS AS PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Legal issue

 

  • Family courts are often adversarial, unaffordable, slow, and even intimidating – characteristics which are profoundly incompatible with “the best interests” of children; 
  • Family courts and lawyers are neither qualified to assess children, nor to assess the competence of other professionals, and insufficient professionals have the highly specialized skills necessary for assessing children and families involved in separation, dispute or litigation, where the incidence of family violence & abusive parental behaviour, including extreme psychological manipulation of children, is very high; 
  • By exposing children to unqualified “professionals”, by taking years to make decisions, and by greatly exacerbating parental conflict & stress, our courts contribute directly to the occurrence of psychological child abuse and family violence; 
  • Our courts restrict public scrutiny and fail to obtain feedback on the outcomes of the thousands of life-changing decisions they make each year; theirs is not the open, evidence-based approach our children need and deserve; 
  • Through the actions of our family courts, which typically result in a dramatic reduction, or loss, of loving, important relationships between children and parents (or a failure to restore such relationships), the UK is failing in its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: we are denying some of the most fundamental rights, and needs, to tens of thousands of children and to their families; 
  • The annual cost of our family court system in government funding, consequent welfare dependency and lost income: billions of pounds. The cost in human loss and suffering: incalculable.

 

Adapted from Family Law Reform Coalition (AUS), 2015, Children in Crisis Executive Summary Urgent actions required to protect children in divided families 

 

Health issue

 

Parental mental health impacts the child’s outcomes.  Therefore a disordered parent is going to have a huge impact on a child’s health and well-being.  

 

Children of disordered parents and those who experience parental alienation often experience the following in adulthood:

 

  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Substance misuse
  • Reduced ability to self direct
  • Reduced willingness to co-operate
    • (Amy J. L. Baker & Maria Christina Verrocchio 2013)
  • Anger and aggression
  • Self harm and suicide
  • Splitting
  • Long term mental health issues such as narcissism

Education issue

Hostile or neglectful parenting can result in anxiety and stress related disordered in children.  This can make school a very difficult environment for children.  They will be hypersensitive to sensory input and struggle with peer relationships.  This can lead them to be disruptive, withdrawn and eventually non-attenders (through expulsion or truancy).

Social Issue

When a child has chaos, neglect, threat, violence and other adversity, their potential is stunted, distorted and fragmented and when development is delayed, disrupted or impaired, the risk for more self-absorbed, impulsive, aggressive, violent and anti-social behaviour increases.  

Adapted from Bruce D Perry, 1996, Reflections on Childhood, Trauma and Society

Isn’t it time we worked together to address this problem?

The post Parental Alienation and Accountability appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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ex

How to Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents

ex's parents grandmother's hand reaching for grandchild's hand

 

Gone are the days of staying together for the children. Divorce is rough on everyone, but kids are not a reason why you should stay in an unhealthy or unhappy relationship. We’ve developed our co-parenting skills until we’ve got it down to a science, but one that can be difficult is helping our kids form a relationship with their grandparents — especially our ex’s parents. How can you help nourish your children’s relationship with them?

Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents

Maintain Regular Contact

How often do your kids talk to your parents? Calling grandma and grandpa can be a fun way to stay in contact, but it shouldn’t be limited to one set of grandparents. If they call your parents once a week, or video chat since visiting is currently discouraged, they should be doing the same thing with your ex-in-laws.

It might sound like an easy step, but if you’re only talking to your ex’s parents on holidays or during major events, you’re leaving them out of a large part of their grandchildren’s lives. That makes it hard to build a relationship. If you’re not sure what they could talk about during their weekly calls, maybe schedule them for later in the evening. That way, grandma and grandpa can read them a bedtime story over the phone or video chat.

Make It a Co-parenting Rule

Even if you and your ex aren’t on the best of terms, you should create a set of co-parenting rules that help define your behavior around each other and the kids. If nourishing a relationship between your children and your ex’s parents is important to you, make sure it’s defined in your expectations.

Rules help outline your behavior so you don’t have to spend a lot of time conversing with one another outside of the context of your children. This is helpful if you’re not on good terms. They can also ensure neither one of you is going to interfere with the relationship your children are building with their respective grandparents.

Be Prepared for Anything

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for everything. The spread of the coronavirus has made visiting friends and family members — especially those that are elderly or have underlying health conditions — anathema because we could be putting them at risk.

Make sure you’re prepared for the unpredictable. That might sound impossible, because how can you get ready for something you can’t predict? However, if you take the right steps, nothing will surprise you.

Keep Things Civil

This should be one of your most important co-parenting rules, whether grandparents are involved or not. Everyone should be required to keep things civil. Don’t talk crap about your ex or their parents around your kids. Don’t let your ex or your former in-laws disparage you and your parenting methods.

This can be a deal-breaker, so if you want to foster a relationship between your children and your ex-in-laws, make sure everyone is on the same page. If anyone breaks that rule, you may need to limit contact with them until they understand the consequences of their actions. It sounds harsh, but even if you’re not in a relationship anymore, co-parenting is still a partnership. Everyone has to be on the same page, or it all falls apart.

Keep Them Involved in Holidays

This step might require a bit of creative scheduling, especially if the two halves of your family aren’t on the best of terms. However, holidays are an important part of relationship-building, especially for grandparents. You’ve got a lot of options here. You can have one big joint holiday gathering if everyone is on speaking terms with one another and can remain civil for a few hours for the sake of their grandchildren.

If that isn’t possible, consider multiple holiday celebrations held on different days. Visit your parents one day and your ex’s parents next. The following year, visit the ex’s parents first, and then yours so everything is balanced. Whatever you do, make sure you’re keeping everyone involved in the holidays they celebrate.

Remember — They’re Still Family

Even if things fell apart between you and your ex, once you have kids together, your in-laws are still family. They deserve to have a relationship with their grandchildren. While there may be situations where this kind of relationship isn’t possible or wanted, you need to do everything in your power to keep communications open.

You don’t have to compromise your parenting style to help your children build a relationship with your ex’s parents, but you owe it to them to help them connect with their grandparents on both sides of the family. Your kids will be happier for it, and you can show them the value of strong family connections.

The post How to Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

Question:

As a nurse amid COVID-19, how can I protect my parental rights?

Answer:

Michigan attorney
Jeffrey Worosz

I am only licensed in Michigan, so my answer may vary from the particular state that you reside in.

Until recently, being a nurse would not have much of an effect on custody and did not put a parent at risk for losing custody. The only issue with such a career, would have been the unconventional work hours nurses can have. However, the COVID-19 situation has certainly changed that since some parents will use whatever they can to their advantage in a custody battle. They also may be overly concerned about the safety of their children.

Making matters worse is a recent national news story, where judge in Florida stripped an emergency room doctor of her parenting time due to concerns over COVID-19, which undoubtedly emboldened some parents to seek to do the same. 

The best way to protect yourself and reduce the chance that a judge can do this is with strong evidence to show that your career has not created a danger for your children. Displaying evidence that you are not infected is necessary. It is hard for the court to say you are a danger if you do not have the virus.

Beyond that, it also is helpful to show the court what the realistic risks of contracting the virus are. Obviously, working as a nurse the risks would be higher than a parent that is working from home and not leaving their house, but that does not mean you have a 100 percent chance of contracting COVID-19.

A nurse can show that they are not at risk by noting what kind of safety precautions they use at work, how often they are tested at work, the extent of their possible exposure to COVID-19 at work, and any other measures that are taken to reduce risk. Showing the court that you are more aware than the average parent about exposure and protection will help show them that you are cognizant of the risks and are working to minimize them.

Another issue results from the misinformation and constantly evolving facts about the virus. Nurses and other medical professionals also come into contact with all sorts of illnesses by virtue of their job. Only recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, has one’s profession become an excuse for parties to try and restrict their parenting time.

Working in the medical field, having access to more accurate information can be beneficial. If your hospital provides updates and information regularly to its employees, you can use that information to your advantage. Most judges and attorneys do not have backgrounds in the medical field and need to be educated as well from solid sources that can be trusted, such as hospitals and medical professionals. That information can allow the court to make a more informed decision regarding parenting time.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michigan divorce lawyer Jeffrey Worosz, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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parental alienation

How do I deal with my child rejecting me?

It doesn’t make any sense, we used to be so close, what happened?

Children rejecting their parents goes against everything we know about attachment and parenting.  We are biologically programmed to NEED our parents for survival so when a child turns away from that, it’s a sign of deep emotional and psychological trauma.  

Having worked within Child Protection for many years, I have seen children who have been severely neglected by their parents (through substance misuse or mental health) cling to them like a lifeboat. That’s how parents feel to children.  In a scary world, their parents are (on a biological level) their protectors.

Sadly for many children the reality is that it is their parents who they cling to, who they see as their protector, who are really the ones who are putting them at risk.

But a child does not usually comprehend that.  In many cases they actually profess MORE love for the high risk parent because they need it more.  They have learnt that they need to work extra hard to get their needs met by that parent and so they do exactly that.  They become so eager to please that parent that they can be controlled and will surrender their own wants, needs, thoughts and feelings just so that they can get what they believe they need (attachment) from this parent.

Signs of an insecure ambivalent attachment:

A child’s anxiety and uncertainty are evident as when the incident becomes very upset at separation from the caregiver and both resists and seeks contact at reunion

parental alienation

So what happens when a child completely rejects a parent?

 

At the core of the rejection is the complete suppression of the child’s attachment bonding motivations towards you, a healthy and available parent. This occurs when the child is put in a loyalty conflict position where they have to align with the higher risk parent in order to retain a relationship with them. This is induced with subtle and covert behavioural manipulations.  The essence of which is a clear message to the child – “it is not safe to love this parent, I am the only parent who can love and protect you, if you show any affection for that parent you will not receive love from me”.

 

It’s important for you to understand this process as it will help you with dealing with the rejection.  It shows that you have done nothing wrong.  That your child is under enormous pressure and has no choice but to reject you.  

 

At this point many parents will realise the abusive nature of the behaviour of the other parent and go to Family Court to ensure they remain an active part in their child’s life.  Whilst I appreciate there is little option but to do this, I do feel it is important that you face the rejection and the emotions that brings up first so that you can present the as the healthy, available parent your child needs and remembers.

5 Stages of



  • Shattering – you are in shock, panic and bereft of life’s worth and meaning. Suicidal feelings are normal. You may also begin to feel old feelings of helplessness and dependency


  • Withdrawal – this is an addiction response where you crave the child, feel physical symptoms of withdrawal (unable to sleep, weight loss, anxiety and fatigue (physical and emotional)


  • Internalising – your self esteem suffers real damage, you begin to supress your anger and turn it on yourself or others (The Spring Effect). You may be pre-occupied with feelings of regret and play over in your mind what you might have done differently


  • Rage – as the anger begins to surface it can be used either positively or negatively (positive – regain self esteem and find a way forward/negatively – develop agitated depression and take your anger out on others who you feel responsible for making this better)


  • Lifting – the range has brought your emotions out and that can begin the process of feeling “normal” again. You are able to feel more positive about the sitation and feel stronger and hopeful

Whereever you are at in the process now, know that your feelings are normal and that you will move onto the next stage when you are ready.  



  • Do be kind to yourself


  • Do surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally


  • Do get professional support if you get stuck at any stage



  • Don’t blame yourself


  • Don’t underestimate the emotional toll this is taking


  • Don’t feel ashamed of what has happened (shame keeps you stuck)

Dealing With Anxiety

Part of our series of Free Webinars on Surviving Parental Alienation

The post How do I deal with my child rejecting me? appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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cohabitation during covid-19 Shellshocked couple looking straight ahead

6 Strategies For Survival: Cohabitation In The Time Of COVID-19

cohabitation during covid-19 Shellshocked couple looking straight ahead

 

As a nation, America is facing one of its most uncertain times in recent decades. Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is sweeping across our nation at an alarming rate and shelter-in-place orders are bringing daily life as we know it to a halt. Americans are struggling with this uncertainty in many areas of their lives, including the potential impacts on their physical health, emotional health, mental health, and financial wellbeing. This level of uncertainty often breeds insecurity and vulnerability, which often leads to conflict.

Most Americans are now several weeks into social distancing and are staying at home full-time with their families. But, what happens to the couple who was on the brink of filing for a divorce and now are stuck living together? While ending the marriage, these couples are now in a tough predicament: they must cohabitate and possibly co-parent during a pandemic without harming each other or their children. The person they want to divorce, and all the marital baggage, now sit in the house like a familiar friend, and the home becomes a pressure cooker for conflict.

The mandate to stay at home due to COVID-19 is an impractical scenario for divorcing couples, who are now forced to shelter-in-place together, just as they were planning on separating permanently. While it is important to remember that this health crisis is not permanent, it is equally as important to learn how to effectively cope with this “new normal”.

Surviving Cohabitation During COVID-19

In collaboration with Dr. Marian Camden, an expert in the field of psychology and family therapy, we have developed a few strategies that you can implement to make cohabitation with a soon-to-be-ex-spouse more manageable:

Expect a Longer Divorce Process.

The backlog for the courts is still unknown and each county in Colorado is handling the timeline differently. Most counties are not setting evidentiary hearings unless they involve a threat to welfare and safety. This means that it will take longer to resolve temporary issues such as who will reside in the home, temporary maintenance, and temporary parenting time. However, the bright side is that many cases are settled in mediation without the need for a hearing. At this time, mediations are still moving forward by way of video conferences.

Please note: Courts are still holding emergency hearings for protection orders and parenting time restrictions. If you feel strongly that you or your children are not safe, then Court intervention is still possible and you should speak with an attorney.

Focus on Your Children.

If you have children with your spouse, make a decision that you are going to put your focus on your children first. Many children will not remember the details of this pandemic, but rather they will remember how their home felt during this time. They will remember if there were heated arguments, fighting, or physical confrontation between their parents. Children will remember more about how their parents reacted to the crisis and the atmosphere that their parents created than they will about the pandemic itself. Children are constantly observing and learning coping mechanisms from their parents, so focus on creating a positive impression, even during the darkest times.

Shift Your Mindset.

To survive in a crisis, you must shift your mindset. Living in the same home as someone you are either divorcing or planning to divorce is not an ideal situation for most.  To survive in this scenario, it may be helpful to shift your perspective of your relationship with your spouse from an “intimate relationship” to a “business relationship.” Often the first step is to remove your most impassioned emotions from the picture. Rather, behave toward your co-parenting partner in a detached, professional manner, in a manner in which you would not be embarrassed for your co-workers or friends to see. Basic manners go a long way toward making the cohabitation and co-parenting process tolerable. Try going back to the basics mantras we learned as children: (1) say please and thank you and (2) if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

Implement Structure.

The more conflict that you have with your soon-to-be-ex, the more you need to create a routine that provides you the best chance at peaceful cohabitation. This routine should provide as much “separation” as possible, even when you are sheltering in place. Try to create a rotation of when each of you is primarily responsible for caring for the children. If needed, you can create a routine that allows for separate mealtimes and physical separation in different areas of the home. Creating some physical space from your spouse will allow for more emotional space in your home. If you can’t get your partner to co-structure with you, then structure your day so that you don’t overlap very much. This may require sacrifice, but it will create a more peaceful home for you and your children.

Plan for Behavior Spikes

In difficult times, spikes in irritation and anger are often unavoidable. Having awareness around this concept will help you to create a response strategy for potential fallout, rather than simply reacting. When you feel the anger (or years of pent up rage) rising, have a calm response, such as: “I need to take a break”; “I’m going to walk the dog”; or (my personal favorite) “I need to think this over and get back to you.”

Focus on Self-Awareness.

The more you can be self-aware and have that moment to catch yourself, the more freedom and choice you have with your situation. What does that mean? Basically, NOW is the time to incorporate a daily mindfulness practice into your life or recommit to the one you used previously. According to Dr. Camden, “anything you can do to raise your self-awareness will result in more self-control and greater freedom over your choices. Self-awareness allows you the ability to respond, rather than react. If you start by taking care of yourself in a kind, gentle, and reasonably self-disciplined manner, you will enhance your ability to cope, co-exist, and co-parent during these challenging times.”

  • Begin writing in a journal. This is an opportunity to channel your internal conflict over old grievances and the things you can’t stand about your partner. There is a vast amount of research that supports the benefits of journaling, such as reducing symptoms of depression, boosting mood, and enhancing your sense of well-being.
  • Learn how to meditate. Meditation is not just for the “enlightened.” The reason it is so mainstream and popular right now is that it actually works. Whatever your living situation may be, try sitting quietly for a few minutes at a time and reflecting on your thoughts. You do not need a “meditation space”, in fact, if you are in a pinch, this can be done from the privacy of your bathroom. There is significant research indicating that mediation can have a positive effect on depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, and more.
  • Move your body and get outside every day for at least ten minutes. Try something you enjoy, such as going on a walk or run, doing yoga, riding a bike, or playing games with your children.
  • Reduce unhealthy vices. Remember to eat well and reduce the consumption of sugar, alcohol, and recreational drugs. These vices stand in the way of healthier coping strategies and will not provide you with adequate energy to cope in this crisis.
  • Create a consistent and healthy bedtime routine. A healthy bedtime routine, also known as “positive sleep hygiene” is a behavioral practice that includes establishing a regular sleep schedule and limiting exposure to stimulants (light, electronics, food, and alcohol) before bed.  Having positive sleep hygiene will help ensure you are providing your body and mind with restful sleep. Sleep provides the body and mind time to relax and reset, which is especially crucial in times of stress.

Dr. Camden’s #1 Strategy for Successful Cohabitation

If there is one basic skill that’s going to keep everybody safe in their homes, it’s remembering to take a time out when you need it and then actually taking the time out. There’s no shame in it, just say, ‘I need a break.’ If there is a question that needs answering, then do the classy thing and say, ‘I’ll get back to you’ and then actually get back to them once you’ve had time to respond, instead of just reacting. Often, there isn’t even a decision to be made. Couples tend to quickly fall back into hard-wired ways of thinking about each other, talking to one another, and fighting battles that no one will win. This is where increased mindfulness will be helpful.

Remember, this uncertain time is temporary and the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 will not last forever. For this reason, it is crucial that divorcing couples do not take destructive actions that WILL permanently impact their lives. Domestic violence charges can impact individuals for years to come, not to mention the lasting emotional impact it has on children in the home. In remembering to be kind to others in your home during this time, remember to also be kind and patient with yourself. These are trying times and everyone is working to survive peacefully as possible.

No one should feel unsafe in their own home.  Those suffering from domestic abuse are free to leave their homes and seek help if they feel unsafe. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7:  Call: 1-800-799-7233; Text: LOVEIS to 22522, or visit: thehotline.org.

 

Written in collaboration with:

Dr. Marian Camden is a licensed psychologist offering counseling, therapy, coaching, and consultation in Denver. For nearly two decades, Dr. Camden has helped adults, children, and teens work through difficult divorce situations, become better parents, heal from depression and anxiety, recover from trauma and emotional abuse, feel happier, more confident, and better about themselves: as parents, as partners, and as professionals.

Website: camdencounseling.com/

The post 6 Strategies For Survival: Cohabitation In The Time Of COVID-19 appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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