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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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My son in law has many narcissistic symptoms. My daughter is

Customer Question

My son in law has many narcissistic symptoms. My daughter is planning to divorce but there are three small children. Her attorney has told her that the most she can expect is 50-50 custody because of "split parenting". What will the implications of his behaviors have on the children?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your grand children's situation.
Could you explain your son in law's symptoms a little more?
Is there a specific question I can assist you with?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He lies a Lot. We sometimes question if he even knows how to tell the truth.

He has been married to our daughter for nine years, over and over she has made the comment, "It is always all about Dan".

She has been giving him money from her earnings in good faith that he was using it to pay bills. He pays some of the bills but often not the full amount. Recently she discovered one that he had not made payments on and it was turned over to a collection agency. The interesting thing is that the bill is in her name because it was a medical bill and she carries the health insurance on the children.

After finding that she has been putting her earnings into an account that he can not get into. She is writing the checks for many of the bills herself. When he learned about what she had done he became very angry and she said she felt physically threatened. Shortly after that he asked her for money and she said if he gave her bills she would pay a company but she would not give him money anymore. Since that has happened he has started not showing up at home often until after she and the children are in bed. When he has a day off he leaves without telling her when he will return.

He is very detached from the children unless he is in public and wants to make an impression - then he becomes a model dad. Has little regard for getting the children to bed on time or helping them with homework. My daughter has commented through the years that he seldom if ever showed affection to them

We have recently become concerned about the safety of the children left in his care. He seems to fall asleep and sleep for long periods of time. At one point this summer he left the 3 yr old and 5 yr old at home alone in the house. My daughter was uncomfortable because he planned to let the 3 & 5 yr old run around the stands at the baseball field unsupervised. She asked us to go check on the children when we arrived at the field the two youngest were nowhere around and the 8 yr old told us they were home alone. We went to the house and took care of them until their dad returned over an hour later.

The 8 yr old and 5 yr old are in counselling now. Last night I was in contact with their therapist regarding an incident I observed between the two regarding their dad sleeping while he was left in charge of them. THe oldest said he wasn't sleeping and the youngest said he was (very emphatically). THe therapist said that one of the first things she observed about Trenton was his belief that he needed to protect and look out for Dad.

He has for the nine years he has been married to our daughter put her down. If she tries to disagree with something he always has the last word. For nine years he would put her down in our presence. This summer I noticed that the children were beginning to blame mommy for things(ex. clothes not put in drawers after laundry). At that point I decided I would no longer tolerate his put downs where our daughter was concerned. I began expressing disagreement and he kept arguing to prove the point why he was right. Now I simply make a statement of disagreement and do not engage in arguing with him.

He also has a problem with pornography. Two years ago he said he was addicted. Today he claims he is cured in spite of the fact that he has not had professional counselling - only spiritual counselling with the pastor. I don't discount the counselling with the pastor but do not believe it is getting to the root of the problem. The other thing that makes us really question that he is "cured" of this problem is that for a period of time my daughter would check the history on his computer and it was always completely cleaned out.

Hope this has been helpful.

The 50/50 custody has us very concerned. We see him as a very unhealthy person and really fear for the children, even now when they are left in his care. A specific question would be, can you advise us on anything we can bring before the attorney and possibly eventually the court to limit his contact with the children. In our minds we believe that supervised visitation would be appropriate. When I speak of our I am referring to my daughter, my husband and myself.

Just want to make an addition. Yesterday morning the little girl 5 yr. was slow in getting out of bed. Her dad went up to get her up. He seemed to be upstairs with her for an unusually long time and my daughter went to check on what was going on. Dad was sitting on the edge of the bed. The little girl was in bed with the blankets pulled over her head. Mom walked around the other side of the bed and said,"Good morning princess, time to get up." When Jozie heard her mom she threw the blankets back and jumped out of bed. My daughter said that on one occasion her husband came into her bedroom and just stood and stared at her. This seems kind of bizarre behavior and is just one more reason to question the safety of the children and their mother.

A couple weeks ago my daughter went through some assessments at a Family Crises Center and they told her she was definitely in an emotionally abusive relationship and should get her husband out of the house. He has never physically harmed her and has stated that he would not leave the house until the divorce is final.

Another thing that is a problem with him is that he starts many projects and doesn't finish them. A few week ago he tore the shingles off one side of the house. Redid most of the shingles - up to the peak and stopped. He told his wife it was not winter ready. She asked what his plan was and he said he had talked to people to finish the shingling but so far there has been no activity. There are many things he has big plans to do - starts them and never finishes them.

For some reason I feel very uneasy that the children may be in danger of being sexually abused by their father. I am not sure why I feel this way. Can you tell me if there is cause to be concerned about this?

Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your response.
I got it now.
I will be back with my answer tomorrow.
Is that okay?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am eager for your reply.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
I will be back with my answer soon.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for waiting. I had to be away from my computer all day.
I understand your concerns for your grand children's safety.
It sounds like your son in law may have mental health problems based on your report.
His behavior has been irresponsible and inappropriate.
His lying, dishonesty, and immaturity may be indicative of his emotional and impulse control problems, neuropsychiatric condition such as ADD/ADHD, and/or personality disorder such as Narcissistic PD.
His avoidant behavior after his wife stopped giving money for bills may indicate that he is dishonest and irresponsible.
He doesn't seem to be good and reliable father to his children as he has been somewhat detached from them and he left his children at home alone once.
Leaving his children at home alone for more than one hour is completely inappropriate, illegal and unethical.
If he has done it once, he may do it again. Yes, his children may be in danger of neglect.
I wonder how he explained to his wife about his abusive behavior towards his 3 & 5 year-olds.
He also seemed to have a history of pornography addiction.
He may have ADD/ADHD, OCD, or other neuropsychiatric condition.
I would advise your son in-law to see a psychologist for assessment and testing to detect and rule out any mental health or neuropsychiatric conditions.
Yes, his past behavior is very worrisome for his children.
Your daughter may bring up his leaving 3 & 5 year-olds at home alone when she talks to her attorney on custody issues.
Ideally, your daughter should be a main custodian for her children.
I hope you all get well.
Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,
P.S. Please remember to click the green ACCEPT button. You do not get charged twice; I will continue to answer your question whenever I am back online; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Olsen" in the front of your new question. All the best, ***** *****
Dr. Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
For Dr. Olsen - I highly doubt that we will be able to get out son-in-law to see a psychologist or any other mental health professional. However, should he agree to go for such help I have one concern. He is such an accomplished liar - do these professionals have methods to detect when he is telling the truth and when he is lying?
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your response.
Yes, if he agrees to go through psychological assessment for custody evaluation or his psychiatric problem, he may be asked to take a number of tests administered by a psychologist or a forensic psychologist.
He may not be able to manipulate his test results. Yes, they may detect his lying and psychopathology.