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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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After I researched what is a sciopath, I realized my

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After I researched what is a sciopath, I realized my daughter-in-law is one. Its been constant lying about anything and everythings, taking all the money out of their savings account, affairs, online affair, lost their house because she stopped paying the mortgage and doesnt know what she spent the money on, smokes pot in the house when the kids are in bed, has never shown any remorse when she gets caught and just on & on. They have two children 7 & 8 years old. My son will leave for a night or two and then goes back, he says because of the kids. Would the kids be better off if they divorce and have 50-50 custody (she will fight for them) or if my sons just stays until they are grown. What affect will she have on the kids.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I think a major consideration is whether the kids are being adequately cared for and mothered, when she is 'on task' with those responsibilities i.e., whether she pays or the mortgage or smokes pot may or may not bear on the quality of this care. If the kids are presently functioning well and doing fine in school, there is likely little "damage" being done by the mom; if however, they are showing quite serious emotional and behavior problems at home or in school, or modeling mom's behavior (cheating, incessantly lying, etc.) than the father may want to consider whether only periodic visits with mom is in their best interests and a divorce, though traumatic, may be best for them, given the fact they will live at home for the next 10 years +.

If your son decides to stay, he needs to: 1) spend a bit of money and do a complete background check on his wife to uncover any bank accounts, credit cards, any court issues she might have accrued over the past few years; there are on line services that do such 'background checks' and one pays according to how much detail and information they seek, the kinds of information they want to find out, ,etc.; 2) discontinue all joint accounts until her spending behavior changes and she is willing to be fully transparent about all of her spending e.g., on line funding of on line "dating" services, etc. 3) he needs to figure out how he wants to respond to his wife if she is caught in a serious, major lie that affects the family or jeopardizes their relationship once again and he should forwarn her of what his actions will be; 4) insist that she join him in marital therapy and make it clear to the therapist that he has a goal of improving the level of honesty and communication between them (note: she will probably refuse, because her personality traits are such that she externalizes blame for everything; nothing is her problem, of course, in her mind). If she refuses this, he should then try to insist that she seek individual therapy with a clinical or counseling psychologist or social worker who has experience working with people who have personality disoders.

Personality disorder characteristics tend to be very chronic and pervasive; they tend to not get better with the mere passage of time, until one approaches their senior years; If he decides on divorce it may be best if he tries to fight for full custody with visitation rights for the mother; then settle for 50/50 if necessary. Your son needs to be squeaky clean so to speak in term of any antisocial or illegal behavior he is engaged in i.e., no pot smoking himself, no running up credit card debts; and he should slowly work to separate their joint financial acccounts and joint ownerships of property, creating sole ownerships if he can. he can gain leverage for custody if he obtains very clear, unequivocal evidence that she engages in various forms of illegal behavior, or is neglectful of the children. This requires hard physical evidence and/or corroboration by witnesses. So he should be carefully protecting himself going forward by planfully collecting this 'evidence' in case he needs it at some future time. His motto should be to try to trust her, but verify everything she says or does until she starts to change and fulfill new promises she makes.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I have overlooked anything in providing this response.

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