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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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My daughter-in-law is a sociopath. The only way the rest of

Customer Question

My daughter-in-law is a sociopath. The only way the rest of the family can see my son and my grandson is to pretend that everything is fine. Otherwise if we raise questions about her behavior, we are cut off from my son and grandson. Are we doing things that enable her to continue her outrageous behavior and if so, what things should we do? She constantly cons people out of their money, she's selling/using drugs, and sometimes sells herself. My son is trying to stay with her for his son. I think he should leave. But she is a pathological liar, and when she gets to court, she is liable to say her husband is a pervert or some other thing so she can get custody. Anything we do is not going to change her correct?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

Hi there. I'm sorry to hear that your are having these problems with your daughter-in-law. It sounds like you really don't have many options for action if she retaliates by cutting you off from your grandchild. I'm sure it's possible that you are responding in a way that is allowing her to continue, but without more specific examples and more information it's hard to say for sure. But given how manipulative people like this can be, I wouldn't be surprised if that were happening.

I agree that it would be best for your son to leave with the son. Yes, it will be messy, and she may accuse him of things that aren't true - but fear shouldn't get in the way of doing what is right. She can't just accuse your son of being a pervert and have people believe it. She needs proof. And there isn't any. So there is nothing to be afraid of.

Do your best to document her behavior and the kinds of things she does. Your son ideally needs to be the one doing this. And he is in the best position to not let her manipulate people with her behavior. I wouldn't at all say you need to accept her behavior - but if you choose not to do something proactive, then accepting it is your only other option. You can't change her. That is correct. But you can act in ways to minimize the effects of her behavior.

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