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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I was married to a man (I left him over 2yrs ago), who fits

Customer Question

I was married to a man (I left him over 2yrs ago), who fits every description of the Antisocial and most of the Borderline descriptions. We have two small daughters, now 3 and 6. I fear for their safety and am disturbed by things that I know are going on at his house. My ex is able to "hold it together" at times, but other times his true colors come out. His behavior is getting worse, more disturbing acts and I wonder if this disease ever plateaus or does it keep escalating. I have tried two times through the courts to have a Psych eval performed, but keep getting shot down. We are court ordered to attend Co-Parenting and he is court ordered to attend counseling with our oldest daughter w/her Play Therapist (he refuses both). I am exhausted and not really sure how to handle his behavior, other than ignore it. I fear though, by ignoring it- he's not getting the reaction he wants, he will just turn up the volume. Any words of advise?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties you are having with your ex-husband. Aside from the mental health aspects, I would encourage you to get an attorney and keep pushing for the psych eval. You may only be successful if you refuse to let him see the kids. If you engage in a custody battle, you may be able to enforce the evaluation, which would definitely be to your advantage. Also, if he is refusing to do what he is court ordered to do, you should be able to push your agenda. He can't just keep disregarding court orders without consequences. If you are truly concerned about what is going on at this house and for your daughter's safety, then you need to get an attorney (or a different attorney) and fight this.

In terms of dealing with him, I think you are on the right track by learning to ignore most of his behavior. Personality disordered people are very encouraged by the reactions they get from others. So the more you can not react, the better off you will be. He may indeed turn up the volume for awhile, but if you don't react, he will likely get tired of the game with you. I'm going to recommend a couple of books for you to read. Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder by Donald W. Black and C. Lindon Larson and The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Both of these will give you more information on the disorder and give you some ideas on how to best handle it.

Don't give up. You're being a good mother by taking care of this. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes others some time to see a sociopath for who he is.

Bet wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara