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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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I co-parent with an ex narcissist partner. Our children are

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I co-parent with an ex narcissist partner. Our children are 4 and 6. I worry that he will psychologically damage them. He has them over night every other saturday. He wants them a lot more. When he lived with us he didn't bother with them or me much. Should I fight to keep his contact to a minimum and how honest should I be to the children about his behavior when they aks. He has a criminal record for assault on me which they witnessed. He now has a new girlfriend and her 2 year old boy and has been with her for 3 months. Do you think he may abuse her too? I contacted his last 2 girlfriends before me and he was physically violent with them.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 6 years ago.
Keep him away from your kids as much as law will allow. Fight like hell. Be honest at a level they can understand. They won't understand narcissism, but they will understand dad has anger problems and I want to keep you safe. Sometimes he cannot stop it, so mom is afraid you might get hurt.
Of course he will abuse current girlfriend, just a matter of time.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do you think it's likely that he will now move on with new girlfriend and give up on our children at some point when he's lured her in enough. He says he wants more children, do think this is true or something he's just saying to lure her. Do you think he will be physically violent with her too even though he has a criminal record and risks going to jail. He's extremely intelligent
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 6 years ago.
Ya, Narcissists are usually a lot like intelligent sociopaths. Predicting violence is difficult. He might restrain, but just out of self interest. Likely more verbally abuse or keeps right on the border to keep himself out of jail. On other hand, they have a sense of righteousness and invulnerability that leads to poor judgment. The best predictor of future violence is past violence. I would assume everything he does is purely self interest and likely a manipulation. You can't worry about his present girlfriend. She has to learn for herself. The risk here is that when she wises up and leaves, then he might come back to you and kids to meet his needs. You may have legally opportunity to limit custody while he has a new admirer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I've been to court 5 times over the children and he's threatening to take me again for more contact as he didn't get any more those times. Does he do this to get at me or does he really want to spend more time with the children, he doesn't do much with them when he has them and never on his own with them, always sees them with new girlfriend and shallow friends, I'd like to ask for a psychic evaluation. Do you think he could do well in the valuation and not be discovered by the therapist as he's such a pathological liar?
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I think he is just screwing with you, but that makes no difference in what he does. I would definitely ask for a psychological (not psychic) evaluation. Any psychologist in a custody issue that is acting ethically should have access to his history and evaluate both of you. Make sure a psychologist does it. Testing is more likely to show it than just talking to him. Personally, I have done a bunch of these and if he slid by me I would be a crappy psychologist. They should spend at least an hour each of you, review records and conduct testing. I see my colleague Anna, agrees. If we can tell from what is written, should be no problem with real evaluation.
The criteria vary by location regarding custody. Some states care only about welfare of kids and are not intellectually able to understand why he a risk. (Kids will likely also be evaluated - don't worry, most kids I see like it). I am in California, where reunification with parents is the primary consideration. So depending on your laws, it may be difficult. A very close friend of mine is in similar situation and after years of divorce and custody appears, despite his harmful behavior, she is still fighting, and like you, he doesn't give a damned about the kids.
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