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What Judges Need to Know About Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Custody Cases

I am a licensed professional counselor. My practice focus is in general counseling, depression, anxiety, couples, custody issues, and LGBTQ.

Catherine Tillinghast Urquizu, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, MA in Forensic Psychology , Texas Mood Clinic

How judges can recognize and deal with NPDs in custody cases

How judges can recognize and deal with NPDs in custody cases

Can a Judge See Through a Narcissist?

One would think that those highly experienced in family law (attorneys and judges) would have what it takes to easily recognize deception, or at least know how to ensure that a person is examined thoroughly enough to make reasonably sure that they are telling the truth. But those in law are just as vulnerable to the highly skilled narcissist as the average person is.

As a clinical counselor in the field for over 30 years, this author has had his fair share of run-ins with individuals who have narcissistic personality disorder and has been duped by them several times.

NPD individuals are especially pernicious in child custody cases. And there are a large number of children caught in the inevitable, torturous, and abusive trap that NPD parents place their kids in when the NPD parent continues to harass their ex via custody issues.

The general public has little knowledge and insight in general about NPD, and those who sit on the bench likely have only a bit more than the public. Though virtually all judges have dealt with NPDs, many judges may not know the difficult person before their bench in custody court is an NPD, and most judges do not understand the disorder well enough to make effective interventions to curtail the abuses that the NPD perpetrates on everyone in their life, including those involved in the court.

Because NPDs are naturally talented imposters, charmers, and deceivers, many judges get duped on a routine basis by NPD parents, who are simply using the court and the judge to continue to humiliate, exert control, and abuse their ex, and force their ex to react to them in some way.

Narcissists live to manipulate and control others' emotions, self-esteem, and behaviors. Many will describe the "high" they get from manipulating others successfully, and if they get the judge to believe them, they will begin to brag that the judge is their "personal friend."

All attorneys, and especially judges, need to first recognize, understand, and then learn effective means to deal with the mental health disorder classification of "personality disorders," and in particular, narcissistic personality disorder, as it is often completely missed by many professionals.

NPD is often overshadowed and missed by judges and lawyers due to the more obvious personality disorders such as anti-social personality disorder, which is ubiquitous to the criminal populations.

Why They Get Away With It

NPDs get away with what they get away with because they are so very talented at presenting themselves as innocent victims of their ex, their boss, their parents, etc. They have an uncanny talent for manipulating situations and people and twisting the obvious facts to fit their confabulated premise. They can eat your lunch when you turn around and when you turn back, convince you that you ate it! This author has witnessed many conscience-less narcissists in family court deftly "con" lawyers, child protection workers, counselors, and judges, right in the courtroom.

Part of the problem is that in the context of family court or custody court, a judge may not think of a parent as being so cold, calculating, and valueless as to be using their children as a means to harm their ex. Or, if the judge gets a hint of such tactics, they continue to believe that these often extremely harmful and emotionally abusive parents still have a right to continue to have "a relationship" with their child. This frees the NPD parent to continue to perpetrate their abuse on the child and the child's healthier parent.

NPDs are so grandiose that they will try to use their deceptive, manipulative tactics with virtually everyone and anyone, even the court. They have a special talent for "sizing up" situations and people involved to very quickly devise a plan to get their way.

Judges, that's why you will see the shocked look on the other parent's face and their weeping when you hand the kids back to the narcissist; that parent knows you have been conned, and they have yet again been abused by the narcissist with your stamp of approval.


The NPD parent coming to court repeatedly and contentiously over child custody can be recognized by several other characteristics:

The NPD will bring a plethora of legal actions that barely make sense or are fully nonsense. They will often burn through attorneys. They will have a history of multiple PFAs against them.

If they are male (and most are), they may have multiple custody issues with multiple women. They will have police complaints for harassment of the ex, the ex's new partner, the ex's family members, and often complaints from the children's school about the NPD parent harassing the school in some way.

They may also seek to interfere with their ex's employment, have vitriolic spewings on social media about their ex, may literally stalk their ex, harass them via phone and text, and have made at least one if not multiple reports to child protection about their ex that turned out to be unfounded. In their legal complaints, they make "mountains out of molehills" and may press the court to "legislate the relationship" between themselves and their children.

The place for a judge to take a keen interest is the space between how the NPD presents themselves, the things they claim, and their genuine behaviors. There is often a dramatic and clear mismatch. They will ignore and not even see a child for months or years and then bring a harassing case to gain time with the child. They will promise the world to the child and consistently let them down; they will demand half custody and then leave the child during their turn with their grandparent and go to the bar.

They will manipulate their ex to give them more time with the child, will be late to arrive (if at all) to pick up the child, and very often be late returning the child. They will have non-relatives pick up the child or deliver them back to the other parent. They also often discipline with extraordinary harshness and say that they have to do this because the other parent is too lax.

They are often very cognizant of the legal rules of custody and will re-enter a child's life at the very last moment legally possible so that they can maintain their harassment. NPD parents will have a constant and well-rehearsed litany of complaints about their ex but will usually never admit to any fault of their own, even having plausible explanations of why they had no contact with the child for so long.

If fact-checked, these excuses are seen for what they are: very thin to totally false. In general, there will be a clear and persistent pattern of the NPD parent having a ready excuse or someone to blame for everything. They will, in public, appear to be the perfect parent, but in private, be making the child's life a living hell. (Think Mommy Dearest.)

The NPD's "ace in the hole" is making the accusation of "parental alienation" toward their ex. All lawyers and judges need to know that there is no such diagnosis in the Diagnostic Statistics Manual, the reference for diagnosis of mental health and behavioral health that professionals in the mental health field use.

This is not to say that the alienation dynamic is not real; on the contrary, it is fairly well accepted in the field that those who are in close relationship with an NPD can and do develop mental health disorders, including adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety, and especially, post-traumatic stress disorder. The latter can often be seen to be sourced in the behaviors and physical, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes sexual abuses that the NPD has perpetrated against the ex and the child.

Children can be seriously affected by parents with NPD and other personality disorders.

Children can be seriously affected by parents with NPD and other personality disorders.

Damages to the Child

In human development, the child-parent bond can be extremely strong. If a healthy relationship and bond have developed, there is not much that will keep a child from their parent. Not even one parent trying to "brainwash" a child against the other parent is very credible at all as a possibility involving a child declining to have contact with a parent.

Some in the field consistently underestimate children's ego strength and feel that they are always simply clayed in the hands of the NPD parent. A child's public behaviors may not reflect their private thoughts, understandings, and genuine loyalties. The truth is that NPD parents will often complain about "parental alienation" coming from the other parent and is the one who has done the most to alienate the child from themselves, not the other parent. So, when a child refuses to have contact with the NPD parent, and the other parent is taken to court to blame for this, it is a true "red herring." A close look at the child's complaints will reveal the truth.

Placing a child on the witness stand (in front of the NPD parent, of course) plays right into the hands of the delighted NPD. Most people not versed in this disorder have no clue of how clever, powerful, and abusive an NPD parent is; how absolutely terrified the child is; and how totally under the NPD's control they are. All the NPD has to do is look at the child, and the child will "fold" under any questions, agreeing with the NPD's version of things.

Essentially, in comparison to the power of the NPD parent, the child has no confidence at all that the court has their (the child's) interest or safety at heart or that the court even remotely has the ability to protect them from the NPD. In truth, to the child (and the ex), the NPD has the power of God. Really.

The level of psychological abuse, manipulation, true brainwashing, terrorizing, demoralizing, and self-esteem destruction that an NPD parent does to their child is hard to wrap your head around. NPDs seem to be born with the skills of the best torturer imaginable.

There is no polite way to put it: when a court insists that a resisting child have contact with the NPD, the court is participating in child abuse. Kids are not property to be divided, and they have brains. If a child is refusing to have contact with a parent, look very closely at that parent.

NPDs tend to hang themselves if given enough rope, but sometimes, the damage is already done.

NPDs tend to hang themselves if given enough rope, but sometimes, the damage is already done.

What Judges Could Be Doing

Once "caught on to," NPDs, if given enough rope, tend to hang themselves with their own errors. They make these errors under the pressure of being seen for what they are: pathological liars and egotists who really do not care at all about the child, only caring about "winning," including fooling the judge. Their arrogance, emotional liability, grandiosity, contempt for others, absurdity, and perjury will be readily apparent.

Order Counseling

The court can order both parents into counseling towards the goal of effective co-parenting. Once a custody order is made, the court can monitor the compliance of both parents. This is where the rubber hits the road and where the NPD parent will begin to mess up big time. They cannot comply with any authority other than their own self-inflated opinions and will.

In most cases, if they comply at all with the counseling (many do not even make it to one session), it only takes a short time before they will discredit the counselor, petition the court for some other counselor, and just stop showing up. What they really want is a counselor that cannot "see through them" and find one that they can manipulate for their own purposes, meaning supporting their position that their ex is persecuting them.

Order Psychological Evaluations

Judges also could order both parents to go through a psychological evaluation. If the judge does this, they should insist that a special psychological test, called an MMPI, be done on both parents. This highly valid and reliable test will pick up the truth about NPD in an individual if it is present. Once a judge understands the mental health disorder present and functional in the custody issues, they can make far wiser decisions regarding custody for the child's best interest.

Speak With Children in Chambers

It is my understanding that under some circumstances, a judge can speak with children in chambers and out of the line of sight of the parent(s). The judge should consider doing this, and if the judge is a parent themselves and approaches the kids that way, the judge will get a nuanced understanding of why the child does not want contact with the NPD parent.

Order a Statement From Child's Counselor

Or, a judge could request a "course of treatment" statement from the child's counselor to clarify why the child does not want contact with the NPD parent. Calling the counselor into court to testify is never advisable, as this compromises the therapeutic alliance between the child and their counselor in ongoing treatment.

Those in the legal system will do well to learn more about NPD parents in custody situations, as not only are the child and non-NPD parent harmed, but dockets get clogged with cases by NPDs that are frivolous, time-consuming, and costly.


Educated on March 22, 2020:

What are your credentials? Sick of seeing sickos posing as experts?

Bharati frm state Maharashtra . pune . on January 01, 2020:

Dear sir my X hub is NPD my grown up children and my X father in law is suffering a lot lot due to him he is an advocate by profession

How can i help these vulnerables?

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on December 23, 2019:

Based on my reading the western view is about 75/25 regarding men and women, respectively. However, the statistics outside the United States, such as Christine Louie de Canonville of the Roadshow for Therapists and The Three Faces of Evil, states that statistics are actually about 50/50 between men and women.

I think these people are definitely manipulative and deceitful, but it also appears to be a cult-like organized effort often times as well. I have been disgusted over the years that every single time One Mom's Battle tried to create a list of attorneys who understand NPD, there is an embarrassingly small list, then the page gets hacked. I have actually been intending to attempt to address this issue with the bar association, because there really should be informed, effective representation available by at least a few attorneys in every state.

The other issue on this front seems to be police corruption coupled with avoidance of any real effective solutions and enforcement. We have a huge problem on our hands in this arena, and it is my prayer that some of the fine legal minds of this country will rise up to begin effectively addressing it for the victims.

Robert on December 22, 2019:

"If they are male (and most are), they may have multiple custody issues with multiple women."

BS! Since when did fathers have multiple custody issues with multiple women? This author clearly didn't proofread and delete their biases. More BS written with a bias against men in general.

Kyza on November 23, 2019:

My partner and I are trying to save my stepdaught aged 5 from her narcisstic mother who is phyically ,emotionally amd pschologically abusing her

But the courts ,police and child welfare believe the abusive mother and she has threatened the child so much that she has completely shut down and is to afraid to disclose anything her mother does to her

I could write pages about what this beautiful little girl suffers at her evil mothers hands

Its so frustrating all we want to do is save this child and give her a wonderful childhood but the court keep giviing the narcisstic other primary custody

It is heartbreaking to have to give the child back after visitation knowing she is going to be questioned and threatened etc

Its like police child welfare and the courts support the narcisstic parents

What can we do


Ej on October 30, 2019:

This article is spot on and the judges are too stupid and the child suffers from the horrible mental abuse. It is never in the best interest of the child

John Wuethrich on September 25, 2019:

"They are male " bs some parts of 2nd and most of 3rd wave feminism is highly tainted with traits of npd. It's also widely broadcast. A lot of behaviors that will get a man labeled that are "empowerment" when u forget that u become the snake eating its ta.. In claiming the majority r men. I'd be my last cent both my parents are aspd or nod. My mom often abuses through my dad. Aka sets up situations to triangular and or brow beats him till he takes part in every other of her cherades but denies any of them ever happened. Even if he wasn't there. He's got his own sick games and they also share quite a few. Most fall under gaslight ING or it's more complex forms like if u need me to know the sky is blue for the next point I'll waste 20min in circles claiming its plad. Good job to your web master BTW. The anner add literaly floats over the comment box and comes back even if u hit x. Blind typing is fun.

More recently the game is "I've done nothing to hurt u ever. While they still have and continue to destroy almost everything I've ever earned, been given or acquired. I say alright, I'm coming to empty ur house. I'm just gonna hold onto your things for 2 years claiming that in no way hurts u and occasionally mention I gave them away. "cops will be called if you show up" please stop hurting me then "I'm not doing anything to you. To which I respond, I just described same shoe on other foot and it's a threat of harm worth of police done to u... And now uve wasted 10min not discussing how I get my things back and cleaned from ur mold issue. Silence... Click... Blocked number for days till they call me and then ask "what do you want" like I called them. The overarch is try to inspire behavior or threats that they can use to bring police action... U try empty apt with moldy car for 11 mo and 30 years of your possessions held in state of decay. When our cat (childhood friend to me) died I magaed to spread it to apt.. They denied it, apt manager was sleezy and it wasn't a good time for 8 months then I end up back at their house bleeding and feeling like death.. 2mo in it was confirmed by pro mold guy. They gaslit 2 on one for 9 months. My mom is an np. They rigged a mental hold. Idk if doc was friend of a friend or empathetic burn out. Despite having extermination records from apt and pics of the mold found, mold pro email for their house... The psychologist decides he won't look at them. Sir I have hard evidence (described above) these are not delusions. There was also a derm who thought I had fungle scalp condition and an urgent care I was blowing black from my sinuses. He ignores all that and responds to I can show u I just need my phone... With "patients arnt allowed phones on the ward. I think u are sick and taking it out on your elderly parents. Paranoid skitzo with delusions of bugs and mold". Further insult to injury was not a mark on me.. I had been at a hotel and the first week symptoms/pinprick wounds and bleeding from eye corners... Gone. So when I got out of psych ward... 4hrs later I get txts of their 9month late gutted basement... Wanna talk vindictive? Socieopathic, npd to a T with the I capped instead of dotted... Then underlined and repeated (I I me me how dare u be right about our house). Worse than that, 7 years before I told them I was pretty sure their basement had a huge problem. I lived there 6mo between 2 cities(while moving) the mold guy said the problem was 16 years old (original source being wrong carpet pad when they finished basement... I was in 8th grade) this is the most devistwtint crap I couldn't imagine. Nor can most others. People prefer to belive it has to be lies because "parents wouldn't do that".. Well bub maybe not yours

ANONYMOUS on September 23, 2019:

Interesting truthful factual article, nice work indeed!

I am a man and 'mother' of my daughter is the NPD/Psychopath, and my daughter lives with her, a 2yr old as well as her other 3 children.

Im disappointed in myself everyday for crossing paths with her and getting so 'unauthentically' close and overlooking 'red flags' but the interesting thing is...

Because she is a 'female', she is less detectable as a psychopathic NPD, and as you said, quite easily comes accross as an 'ordinary human', and mother.

Was with her for 3 years completely sleep walking through the fraudulent connection, being 'gaslit' and 'manipulated' and many of the other signature games of the 'covert NPD'.

While i was in the connection, i wasnt my true authentic self, so in reality she never experienced 'Me', and only since leaving the connection with her, my eyes are wide and true about 'life on earth', and my authentic self seems to have been born out from the experience itself, with 'pain' and all accompanying the process.

One thing that is really perculiar about it is that when the NPD makes braisen allegations about how you were the one who 'played' them psychologically etc, but their actions during their daily life after such 'horrific allegations' reflect 'no effect' whatsoever on their behaviour and they get on as normal, just fine, happy go lucky, party time as normal, new relationship 'next week' (And everybody around the NPD seems to miss this behaviour totally), 'or so it appears'

No paranoia, No anxiety, No solitude, No guilt, shame, emotional discomfort 'whatsoever'.... (Just a normal psychopathic day on planet earth living the good life with the 'pack of flying monkeys'...

While all the things just mentioned, 'solitude, retreat' etc are being experienced by you... That alone fascinates me about how human perception and cognition on this earth...

And by the way, you mentioned the DSM, and NPD being not widely known or discussed in the field of "mental health"?

PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH is a Psychopathic NPD profession, rife with gaslighting, manipulation, torture and 'dehumanization' exactly like what has been described above...


Great article anyway and maximum love, strength and blessings to all people on earth who have encountered a 'covert psychopathic NPD' (Male or Female)

Love and Peace to everyone....

Mud on September 03, 2019:

Family Law - Anything you say can and will be used to make you out to be a narcissist. Usually coerced by a narcissist assisted her harem of white knights and flying monkeys. Enjoy the show.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on August 28, 2019:

Joyce Martin: usually, a psychologist can administer it.

Joyce Marin on August 28, 2019:

How do you take the MMPI test?

Hiker23 on August 19, 2019:

Going through this now. It’s breaking my heart. Kids are/have been neglected by the NBP mom since birth. My son is seeking custody but has a judge who historically sides with moms. Kids have been in therapy for 9 months, but still will not even speak to their therapist- just stare blankly. What is she doing to them? She has manufactured one child’s learning disability into a “special needs” diagnosis, has used smoke and mirrors to deflect questions from doctors and professionals and has been successful. Is now using the “special needs diagnosis” as her means of getting custody. She has worked with the younger child to ridicule the other and it is insane. Yet my son is scared to death that she’ll win; that the judge will not see through her. She lies (and believes her own lies, so she’s convincing!), blames everyone and everything for her failures, cares only about herself, has disappointed the kids over and over (it’s dads fault, he doesn’t give me any money, I have to work, etc etc etc.) If she was simply a good mom we wouldn’t worry. But she is destructive, manipulative and super NBP. She verbally abuses one child, and has manipulated the other to feel so superior that he’s difficult to control. This article is eye- opening, but highly disturbing. Yet it is extremely difficult for any human, even judges, to comprehend how a mother or father would use their children so blatantly to realize their personal goals. However, since judges make these life changing decisions, they should consider it their duty to be acutely aware of such mental disorders. These disorders are easily the source of the marital problems and will affect the children in the custody decisions.


scott on May 30, 2019:

You obviously have no idea what causes parental alienation. And yes, it is very real. Contrary to your "article" it is usually the NPD or BPD parent that does the alienating.

Laura Smith on May 28, 2019:

I am experiencing this right now. We went through a $20k parenting evaluation, which included psych testing. My ex was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Unfortunately, it has done nothing for us in court. The courts are a playground for people like him. He constantly uses the children to abuse and control me, and the courts do nothing about it. Most recently I had a judge order joint decision making for work related daycare..even though it only affects his work schedule 2x/month. By doing so, my ex can disagree with whatever daycare I chosose and he essentially doesn't need to pay. The parenting evaluator gave my ex 38% custody, even though he found him to not show empathy or partake in any of the parenting responsibilities. My ex has outsourced his time to an au pair, and the courts don't care. Articles like are important to build awareness, hopefully the courts will catch on.

Louis Garces on May 23, 2019:

This is unrealistic. Family law attorneys don't care about the best interests for anyone but themselves. They deliberately keep the fighting going, never to bring resolution, and they empty the bank accounts of unsatisfied clients. Judges are but former attorneys. They usually side with nasty narcissists, not because they don't recognize them, but they are narcissists too. They don't seem to like seeing honest people, especially fathers, telling the truth. They make it a game of who can prove what, and it usually becomes a matter of convincing, not simple truth. Investigations, counseling, all 'services' cost dearly, and people cannot afford it, making it a game of who can pay more money towards the crooked family law system. I'm not buying your minimizing of the scandal designed by judges and attorneys to exploit people in need of simple resolution. I find your article to be but a misleading advertisement for yet another expensive 'service' that continues the exploitation of innocent people who have disagreements. They are put into the colosseum, the court rooms, made to feel through legal intimidation like they have to fight for the kids in a win or lose all contest, and drained financially. Their expensive lifestyles are paid for, and the folks who turned to them for help will never afford college for their kids after they're done with them. They are not ignorant or stupid, in fact, the judges and attorneys are the bigger abusers. Don't excuse them for hiding behind manipulative parents. If their corruption practices were under control, the courts wouldn't have it.

Life Sucks in Ohio on May 23, 2019:

Sorry for the book and this is only part of the cliff notes.

Relationship of 3 years with a NPD and her NPD grandmother.

The 3 year relationship I had with my baby mom was never truly one between her and I. There were three people in this relationship; me, my ex, and my exs grandmother. Our entire lives from the moment we opened our eyes in the morning revolved around gma and what gma wanted to do. We'd make plans for us but 90% of the time it wouldn't happen b/c gma had plans already that involved my ex being her taxi or paycheck. The GMA basically believed the women should cook/clean while the men are whore monger and go to work/school. She always prevented my ex for bettering herself, even got her to drop out of college.

Since our boys were born I had hoped her decision making process would be "Which of my options best benefits the lives of my two boys" but that was and still isn't the case. The thought process is "Which option will GMA complain less about". That option never involves me, the father.

It's been around 9 months since the mother of my two boys and I have "officially" split. In reality, it's been much longer. In my eyes it was over before our second son came into this world. That's when I finally grew sick and tired of hearing her say "Let's work on our problems together" when she truly meant "I'll pretend to like you again if you just do everything I want you to do".

After I was able to let go of the "idea" of her and our relationship, that's when it got real sour between us. Every complaint towards me branched from when I was no longer under her control. Even still, she claimed she wanted to work things out about every two months. I would agree but I'd wait for her to start the change, which would never happen. About 9 months ago was the last time she tried pulling that stunt.

Since then I've been only able to keep my oldest son with me over night with a reoccurring pattern. 1 Week w/ mother - I get little to no contact with them / / 1 Week w/ me - Threats of calling police or taking him back if she doesn't talk to him everyday // 1-4 weeks w/ mom and I'm unable to get into contact with her due to being blocked b/c she's mad at me(For any number of reasons). Then I'll randomly get a call from her wanting me to watch the boys, acting as if nothing is wrong.

Since we split, last month was the first time she has left our youngest son with me and her not being around. Every time before that she claimed he was too young to be away from his mother, which was never a problem with our oldest son who is basically my twin. While denying my request to keep my son, she's going around telling everyone that I denied him being my son and refuse to keep him with me. Even to the point that her friend was harassing me via text, repeating the lie's that my ex has been feeding to her.

I last had both of my boys stay over for 1 day. The next day her and the boys joined me at a birthday party. We established that I was to call her the next day so I could join her in picking the boys up from daycare. Called once before her classes(NA), once after her classes(NA), and by the third call before normal bedtime I had then been blocked.

I'm terrified to go to court, i wish we could just talk to one another and establish an agreement for when I can have my boys with me. If the responsibility is left up to her and her gma, then I will never have a relationship with my boys. The way they both run to me and cling to me when I'm finally allowed to see them warms my heart and soul but it also pains me in many ways.

I just can't take it anymore, I need to see my kids.. I need to be with them.

Michael Rustad on May 19, 2019:

Yanni, you just described what my daughter and I are going through to a tee:( It is far worse in circumstances and detail but that exact thing is happening and it's truly the most horrifying thing I've ever gone through and I've been through cancer, broken neck/ back and literally death bed... yet this whole thing going on with NPD ex is the worst experiences of my life by far. I'm still fighting with a trial coming up soon but her abuse is getting worse even physically abusing daughter now since she's been getting away with the neglect and emotional abuse for so long with support of the court. It's literally like living in the twilight zone

yanni332 on May 18, 2019:

Went through this with an NPD spouse, before divorce it was a nightmare, our childs behavior would change completely whenever the npd was present. As soon as the npd went back to work, child would return to her normal happy self.. here is an 8yo child dealing with same crap I dealt with when around the npd, and i as a grown adult couldnt handle it.

But the npd was calculating, kept control of all her activities, bookings, appointments, vigorously sabotaging any attempts I made to step near that area.

Long story short , even though the npd hated our child, had zero patience for her, she made sure to maintain the appearance of involvement 'on paper'. Her one phone call to my actually taking her to all her appointments.

Of course later in court, this was used (among other things) to successfully to win custody that I knew she did not want. And sure enough she began dumping our child on me more and more until I had her full time against court orders. This went on for years.

Carlos on May 13, 2019:

Sorry, but most NPDs are women

Mary on May 09, 2019:

This is My past 8 years since actually leaving My Ex for Good and walking away from everything but My Children. I have been to 4 Gal’s in the past 8 years. My ex has not followed any court orders nor any recommendations by GAL’s.... and He gets away with it. I’m not exactly sure why we even have court orders when someone can blatantly and “wide openly” disobey them and get away with it all while making Me out to be crazy.... after giving Me Our child full time. I feel like Alice in wonderland, and I am not a mean or vindictive person. I do not want to be that person, but I feel like not being that person, and following court orders, and being honest and truly caring has done nothing but allow My Ex and The Family Court System continuously psychologically and mentally and emotionally abuse Me and in turn My little Girl who never once deserved any of this, I’m at the point I want beg Mean and lie and make false accusations, but I can’t because it’s just not in Me to be that person.

So I’m continuously abused by family court after leaving My Ex to protect My Daughter and Myself from the abuse. I find myself all the time saying.... “and this is why victims stay.” I have been in the family court system longer than my relationship with My Ex. I’m like “Alice” but this Is by NO means any kind of “wonder” land..... unless of course wonderland means “wondering” why the family court and all involved in the same still see a duck when My Ex looks like a wolf, howls like a wolf, stinks like a wolf, preys like a wolf, and probably even has Rabies while carrying a sign that says “hey I’m a wolf with rabies!”

“Wonderland” doesn’t even do it justice.

Sandy on May 07, 2019:

This article is so accurate in describing my grandsons mother this is on going for 7 years . You would swear this was written about her word for word. But what so many people don't understand is this person can become exyremely dangerous to a point they may kill the child or ex spouse!!!

Our judicial system must be schooled in this type of personality disorder it is dangerous and the children are deystroyed. You would think in this day and age our judges would more educated . The court might as well make room for these children to become part of our prison and or mental system in the future.

Shame on our courts and our judges

Monica on May 07, 2019:

And here I thought I was the single soul wishing the justice system and officials could be educated on this topic! (a bit vain I suppose) ~ this article is SO up my alley! THANK YOU!

The shell that I once was on April 24, 2019:

I wont take long on this. I read the posts threads and my attention honed in on Mud and Williams differences in their experience and views. I wont take anything away from Williams vast experience or disrespect him in anyway, But Mud makes so many excellent and valid points about dealing with FEMALE narcs in court. I was destroyed by me ex who was female. If one has never actually been on the receiving end of a female narc, or any narc for that matter in a criminal court matter as well, then 30-40 years of experience isn't enough to identify the complete mind numbing torture that a victim is subjected to. My ex tried to put me in Prison for years based on all lies that she put in Police reports and perjured on the stand. Female covert narcs are extremely dangerous and especially in court. The have a way of playing the system that already is against men. Mud is spot on when he speaks of how a female narc will play so cruel that the man will have no choice but to seek the courts intervention to save himself. Even if the female initiates courts involvement first and beats the hell out of her male ex that was just not prepared for what was to come, it works out the same for the man either way. We believe we have to speak out to anyone who might listen to us because we literally fear for our lives and sanity. Every time we do, the DA or Judge starts to believe that we are the high conflict person and they hammer us even harder. Its such a crime that the court system is allowed to destroy the real VICTIMS lives in the playground of theirs. If you don't believe this, go find a women covert narc and allow her to hook you and then expose her to her family for who she really is. Wait for the arrest warrant for something you never did, and get ready for hell, evil, and destruction of your life as you have never known possible. EVIDENCE? when they ask them for it and get peanuts, the cops just fill in the blanks for them. This is a FACT in many cases (not all) you better believe it.

Jp on April 11, 2019:

We are actually dealing with a female NBP. However she has manipulated the kids into lying to their father, keeping everything that they do with her from him, telling them that he is punishing her. She is also making the kids think they have illnesses they do not have. The children are becoming with drawn, low self esteem and not wanting to take care of themselves. We have put them in therapy but they will not speak to the therapist. What can we do to help the children? We know we can’t say anything negative about the mother (nbp) but how can we positively counter act what she is doing to the children?

Erin on April 09, 2019:

Family court system is a joke in regards to the high conflict parent which will never co parent. Judges provesionals need to address NBP and come up with things most pearents should and would comply stoo giving profesionals attorneys free time to clog this system up psychologist tester should remain neutral and if you dont know the answer to precede then call your life like take the time to study up on it rember first impresions may not always be what you see everyone has stories listen and then use common sense vibes about what someone may be telling you cause to you they maybfeel crazy but fir them its taken years to get someone to identify with them. Worst law to he in families destroyed money taken to fight but away from the kids NBP wins at all cost even if everyone is left destitute sometimes giving them thenchildren so thenparent only trying to protect there kids intrest gets assault by the system and now pays the abuser for his gratification not the best fir the kids. Npd is a menatal health issue sometime more to an degree than another people need to stay current with mental health and so do evaluators. Because people who provide a service to protect the oath and serve to protect have backlogged thensystem with old school garbage and nothing to prove it but you word

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on April 01, 2019:

It's fascinating to me that some readers accuse or assume I am only writing about men; I cannot find evidence where I say that females are exempt from NPD. Though the science does say that it is mostly a male disorder, with females making up the majority of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Mud on April 01, 2019:

I can basically condense our anger at your words William with a small but accurate comparison.

To hear aggressive protective statements like “If anyone hurts my child, etc, etc” from a mother or parent, it is acceptable. Accept when its a father in a family court setting. Then it is obvious he is a seriously disordered individual..??

And people wonder why we are upset? Go figure.

Mud on March 31, 2019:

Hi Amanda, Trying To Understand and William.

Firstly Amanda your words are perfect. When you say it is “fascinating” it hit home. It is in actual fact just fascinating how a person would enjoy this sort of conflict and chaos, but moreso how the hell they get away with it. The situation you describe regarding your ex’s, ex is pretty much to the letter what I am going through. For any dads out there going through it though. My son was taken at six months under this mental cloud of utter contempt just because he loved me. I knew it would be hard. My life is like an old banger (rusty old car for you across the pond) that I just wont give up on. I have fought with the idea of walking away from my little man on many occasions. Its hard. It hurts. You’r ex is an abolute bitch. But having stuck it out for the last three years I can clearly see the effect I am having on him. He’s a shattered little soul with so much love and excitement to give. His abilities are amazing but lacking severely in confidence. When I spoke to a friend about walking away he insisted I shouldn't. To keep it short “I know your parents were like that but he has at least one parent in his life that validates him, so he needs to see you. Even if its for an hour or so. Take it.”

There’s a fantastic book by a psychology professor at The University Of Oxford called Eirini Flouri. The book - Fathers and child outcomes. Not a sob story or opinionated beliefs, just sheet hard facts. Google her. You’ll find her work. It will help you understand whether you should walk away. The answer is an unresounding NO. Not my opinion. Read the facts. Another fact is that I can see his confidence now growing. In a way, a child that usually lives in a severely controlling enviroment is very easy it cope with. They have been shouted at and told NO every step of their young life. But not with you. Your child needs to be able to be free and they can with you.

Just Trying To Understand.

I feel your pain. Our cases are not important enough to look into closely. They are overwhelemed already. Again, as a parent not only through the eyes of the mother but of the system also. We are deemed as unimportant. That word probably being the reason behind the never mentioned taboo of male suicide being THE biggest killer of men. Fact. Time to change attitudes. I’d like my boy to never have to face this issue that so many of us silently do.

William. Your article has sparked debate. Lets hope it gets noticed. I can only thank you for that. Your article is brilliant. Very accurate and very informative. Gives a non NPD parent hope, which I also liked. We could have done with a heads up on the one sided view in the paragraph titled Recognition. Your largest contribution to the subject of NPD in this article. Sparking controversial debate is never a bad thing.

Amanda Smythe on March 30, 2019:

This article is thorough and informative, but don't be mistaken,there are plenty of female sociopaths out there too. I have personal experience with both, and although their skill set was and is different, the underlining abusive, manipulating and damaging effects of these individuals is the same. The male sociopath, which I unfortunately lived with for 5 years was highly intelligent and had a violent side, and his only fear was exposure.He covered his tracks well and planned his moves years in advance. My partners wife was unintelligent,but clever, a master manipulator that played the poor, dumb incapable card extremely well. She was and is fearless and brazen and non threatened by being exposed. She didn't care to cover her tracks and it just doesn't seem to matter. Her actions and motives are transparent, however the "real world" seems unawares and she continues to create chaos everywhere she goes. Sometimes I think this is worse as she just won't go away. Fortunately I had no children with my sociopath, my partner wasn't so lucky. Two children and a court case from hell. She is, of course, on legal aid, he is paying through the nose. She will never agree on any reasonable parenting plan as the manipulation and control of the courts just gives her too much pleasure. She has no regard for the children, simply uses them as pawns to hurt their father. Inexperienced judges, solicitors and even psychologists simply fall under her spell. Its fascinating to watch as her actions and motives and lack of parenting and care is apparent and transparent. The system loves the sociopath. It;s scary. I think they align well with the arrogant, egotistical mindset of the judges and judicial system. There is no win to be had against the sociopath. A hard pill to swallow when children are involved. My advice is to carefully plan your escape well in advance for the safety of your children. See a psychologist, and understand the venomous person you are dealing with. Organise your finances, accommodation, support network and get as far away as possible. Stop the sociopath in their tracks. Take the time with help to understand their weakness and use that as your tool to reverse the manipulation and get them out of your life. Careful planning and an understanding of what you are dealing with is the only chance you and your children have. The alternative is a flawed legal system that will fall into the hands of the abuser.Then the best you can do is walk and it may be without your children. There is no joy to be had. Chances are at least of one your children if not genetically, will become environmentally sociopathic too with continued exposure to the sociopathic parent. It's a lose/lose situation and a life that's better to walk away from. They are vicious, evil, parasitic people that thrive on causing chaos, hurt and debilitation to their victims lives. Living a loving and successful existence in the aftermath of their fury is the only power you will ever have. Hopefully your children will survive and one day you can have a healthy relationship as they mature and break free from their captor. It seems that "the Children's Best Interests" is disregarded in the court system and the only concern is the Sociopaths Best Interests. If you stop the fight through the courts your best chance is that the sociopathic parent will lose interest. They don't care for the child anyway, they just love to damage them to get to you. Walk away and see what happens.It's your best bet. Manipulate the manipulator and get the hell away with your children or play Russian Roulette with the courts. Don't join in on their games. Good luck and take care of you.

Robin on March 27, 2019:

My dad was in a nursing home. I complained about care to all authorities. A Psychopath Director of Nurses went after me, stalking, retaliation, smear campaign, lies, public humiliation, etc. She contacted narc brother. Both went after me. She, DON, is x military. She has local police in her back pocket. I was issued 2 No Trespassings, back to back with lies on them.. This took my dad from me. He died there without me. (RIP dad

Sara on March 22, 2019:

I have a NPD ex and he rarely slips up in front of any authority or counselor. He would never miss a therapy appointment because if he did; he would have the fear of being exposed.

My children are able to expose him but the Judge never allows them to speak or their counselors.

Mud on March 20, 2019:

I am not challenging your advanced academic abilities. Please don’t be offended. I am merely questioning the reasons behind why there is such a one sided view of the disorder and hopefully at the same time, raise awareness to what I believe is a huge growing problem in family courts. The female narcissist. You agree that NPD lies on a spectrum yet your article focuses solely on men. Why? The spectrum isn’t gender specific. In forty years have you never encountered a narcissistic female? If that is the case then maybe its time to ask why?

I don’t remember saying ASPD isn’t a disorder and not sure why you felt the need to mention that it IS one. I was trying to make a point that acting in an anti social manner in a highly emotionally charged situation such as a child access/custody battle doesn’t diagnose an individual as having a personality disorder, most certainly not a full blown psychopath (Antisocial Personality Disorder). That would relegate a very serious disorder down to rowdy neighbours, drunken revellers or again your average asshole. For instance PTSD and C-PTSD sufferers are known to act out in an anti social manner due to the complexities of the disorder and the harmful experiences they have been through. It doesn’t make them calculated and manipulative predators.

I am not trying to create waves here or marginalise anyones experience of dealing with a toxic personality. I know exactly what that feels like. I’m not out to win an argument, prove who knows more about PD’s or start some gender fuelled debate about family courts. I cant boast about multiple advanced degree’s or extensive experience. I can only speak from my own experience. In years of searching for help and support on dealing with a narc in family courts, all I find is a plethora of material about how bad men are and their narcissistic traits to look out for. Your blog being the most overtly damning of men so far. There is no help for us men.

I’m not sure what your profession is or whether you are qualified in the field of psychology. I am only an engineer, so I work on logic. Like I said previously, NPD is very rarely diagnosed. I think the disorder counts for about 1% of the population. You take half of the population out of the equation straight away. Then take that down further to only the characteristics of the more easily recognisable overt narcissists. Then furthermore claim that actions like repeatedly applying to court is a characteristic of NPD. For men like me who face a lifetime of having to repeatedly apply to court for reasons I shouldn’t have to, articles like this are toxic and extremely harmful to the children we are desperately trying to protect.

Backwardsbike on March 20, 2019:

This is a great article but completely ignores the fact that many in the legal profession are NPD themselves. "Takes one to know one" as they say. Sometimes judges find themselves aligining with the NPD spirit because they seem to be kindred spirits.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on March 20, 2019:

40 years in the business, two advanced degrees, hundreds of hours treating victims and on the stand testifying on their behalf.. Yes, it is a spectrum disorder, some stupid, and all assholes. Yes, material written about them helps them, but the public needs to become sensitized to the issue, victims need support and skills to better battle to defeat them. "Anti-social" IS a personality disorder, and yes, antisocials are in fact, very narcissistic. And yes, the very clever ones are very, very covert, and I think the article I wrote points that out.

Mud on March 19, 2019:

It is not I but you that relagates the disorder William. Narcissists are extremely hard to detect as they, like you mention, are extremely good at playing the victim, manipulating situations and getting away with it. They are adept chameleons. By relegating the disorder to any individual that is a nasty bully or asshole as having NPD, the real disordered individuals coverlty get away with their behaviour. Making crazy allegations of child abuse will insure they wont manipulate anyone with half a brain and therefore not get away with their covert behaviour. The infornarion in your writing is accurate but the examples of the individuals you give contradict that information and also the experiences of the people that have to deal with such disordered characters at the top end of the spectrum, whatever the disorder. That contradiction and misinformation is useful to the very people you are trying to warn us about. Hence my reaction. People with NPD are not that easy to detect. Giving misguided information on what to look out for only helps a narcs gameplay.

Have you any experience of being through the family courts with a toxic individual?

Are you qualified to dole out information on personality disorders?

Personality disorders are on a spectrum. NPD is very rarely diagnosed and can only be done by a qualified professional. By claiming that anyone that acts in an anti social manner in a highly emotionally charged situation is a dosordered narcissist relegates the condition to a very large proportion of the world.

If my ex were to accuse me of sexually assaulting our child, I would see it as a positive step to her mask slipping off. Two of my friends had such allegations made against them by the women they were married to and now have full custody of their children. Such allegations are very common in family courts. Sadly narcissist are not that blatant and much much more calculated in their behaviours.

Melany on March 17, 2019:

I thought divorcing my narcissist ex-husband would free me of the mental and physical torture. The gaslighting, silent treatment, manipulation, pathological lying is how I lived for 10 years. Two years later and my seven year old is now on the receiving end of physical abuse as well as mental and emotional abuse. When my son came home with bruises, I reported it to CPS. Putting my son through interviews with caseworkers and detectives resulted in confirmation that he was abused; but their conclusion was that I take a co parenting class with the ex! He refuses to pay for anything, resulting in thousands of dollars in legal fees. I read these stories and I know that I am not alone. I'm trying to protect my little boy and I feel like I'm failing him because like the others, the smear campaign against me and the lies he tells to my son I cannot do anything except ignore them. The motion he filed in court is so outrageously unbelievable it's laughable..but my fear is that a judge may buy into this nonsense. I document everything and both my son and I are in counseling. I fear the future for my son, I just wish someone would see the truth.

Julia on March 11, 2019:

Thank you for your article. We are in court for custody with my ex. By court request we both had psychological evaluation. Family court psychologist found my ex has " narcissistic traits with lack of empathy" and " no emotional connection to the child" I am wondering if the court will consider these conclusions in decision about custody.

Needinghelp1003 on February 20, 2019:

This article was the first I've read that perfectly describes my ex. I have been in and out of family court for four years. The trauma, constant threats, harassment, stalking, lying, accusations, CPS calls, police reports, gas lighting and manipulation have all become unbearable. We have done psych/custody evals, both showed unequivocal proof of my exes mental instability, narcissism and delusional thoughts/behavior. I cannot understand why family court continues to force/encourage this abusive, neglectful, traumatic and inappropriate relationship. Every claim he has made against me has been proven false. I have complied with every order, I have never withheld our child from him, I have participated in co-parenting counseling (which was the biggest joke), I have not asked him for one single thing other than to focus on being a father. I am solely responsible for our child in every way. He pays for nothing, he buys nothing. His social media accounts are filled with pictures and stories of what a great father he is while simultaneously (playing the victim) bad talking me and claiming parental alienation. He has sent my child home with multiple injuries (burns, bruises) that he could not explain, my child received a concussion while in his care (at 1yr old) and instead of bringing him directly to the hospital he made me meet him there because he was 'afraid he would get arrested'. Recently found out that he had hundreds of recordings of my child being interrogated, like a criminal at a police station. He would force our child to sit down and ask questions about me, show pictures of people I may or may not know, he was feeding information and calling my child a liar when the response was "I dont know". I'm not sure whats worse? The fact that over the course of 7 months of non-supervised visits my child was being emotionally, verbally and psychologically abused? The fact that this abuse has been captured on film? The fact that my ex thought these recordings were evidence against me? Or the fact that he sent them to the court/ the attorneys and the doctor who did our evaluation (back in August) and nothing at all has been done about it. He is currently demanding that our child be placed in foster care because of my "multiple issues". He has a binder full of the diagnoses he claims I have. I have no history of substance/drug abuse and no history of mental health issues. When he refused to return my son after a visit, I called the police who said they couldn't do anything as that's the father so technically no one's missing. The judge told me to wait a few days to see if he would return. After crying and begging the judge to please at least find out where my child was (because my ex refused to tell me then blocked my number) the judge called him and threatened him with a warrant if he didn't disclose where they were and when they would return. I was told they were in another state and would return in three days and that's that. I was told it was an obvious misunderstanding. Anyway, I need advice, I am supposed to go back to court next month to start trial, because he says I 'manipulated the doctor and I am the sick one and the evaluations are flawed'. He is on attorney number 8 because he either fires them or they motion to be dismissed. What can I do or ask for? Why isn't anyone taking his mental illness seriously? I need help.

Focused on February 07, 2019:

I have read your article and read the blog below. In your defence there is no way to completely the capture the extent and depth of the NPD parent. I agree with the writer who says that the child rarely refuses contact with the NPD parent until old enough to understand that the behaviour is not right and this may never happen for the child who is the parent's pet. I am the step parent of twins and I am up against an NPD mother - she hasn't broken me in 13 years but she's had an excellent crack at it. We have custody because her sense of self-importance was greater than her commitment to her children. She thought she was punishing her ex and me by handing over the children. When the children were settled and comfortable and doing well she ditched her second husband and then swooped on our household. She knows that as a step parent trying to explain to teachers and doctors and lawyers that the mother is dangerous is in fact detrimental to me and so I have learned to wait for her to reveal her true self to them. Her recent swoop and gas-lighting of the children was masterful abuse of an extroadinary calibre. But for some basic mistakes she may well have succeeded - the trauma bonding that was developing was scary. For us it is about staying out of court because of the lack of continuity and understanding of NPD and the impact on children, but recording everything to show the pattern of behaviour if we have to use it. These children have recovered and are once again in a good space aiming high and free to be themselves.The scapegoated child has learned to manage her relationship with her mother. She knows there will be a next time - there always is but she is better able to deal with it. It is the golden child that I worry about. A look, a word, silence, broken promises can shackle him in no time at all and cause him extreme anxiety - yet he will still say that he wants to live with her. Living with her means a childhood of neglect, emotional absence and psychological abuse which we cannot explain to him and expect him to comprehend. I have raised her children with their father but I am the worst person in the world if you ask her. She does not look upon her children and see their achievements - she looks upon as the nest opportunity to hurt me. The legal system does need to address this issue without the gender bias.

Grandma on February 06, 2019:

My daughter just went thru this and "he", the sperm donor, got full custody of my grandson and my daughter had to get a loan against her family car, because he placed a lien on her house to pay his court fees. He is a master manipulator, he is very intimidating and I don't even want to deal with him. I babysat one night and just because I didn't hear my phone, he sent the police to my house to do a welfare check. He's also filed complaints with CPS on at least two occasions and nothing was found. Oh just thinking or talking about this A..Hole makes me sick to my stomach. I wish the Judge had taken more time to research this and had read this article. This was a very informative article, thank you!

Anon on February 04, 2019:

Having been the victim of an extreme NPD wife for many years, and the victim of Domestic Abuse from the same, I wholly agree with and recognise everything in this article. I never post comments, however this one is exemplary, the most accurate one I have seen to date. After several thousand $ in legal fees, I have had full custody for several years. Thank you William for sharing this article.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on January 30, 2019:

Sorry for your pain and that you feel that way about the article effort, Mud. Surviving a narcissist is a painful and traumatic thing. I do not believe I relegate the disorder in the way you describe, but do understand that I do not know everything there is to know about the topic, though I have been a victim and have treated victims for over twenty five years.

Mud on January 29, 2019:

Once again, another article by someone that has never experienced a true narcissist in a family court setting. They are masters of manipulation. The total opposite to the idiotic and brazen examples you give of clowns attempting to be manipulative. I repeat. They are masters at it. Not anywhere as easy as you obviously think they are to detect. If they were, the world of alienated and estranged fathers would be a third of what it is today.

Let me give you a typical scenario. Narcissist mother frustrates the father into having no choice but to apply to court. He does so and fails. Has to try again after more frustrating behaviour. Can you see where terribly missinformed articles like this has framed thousands of innocent men as narcissists? What you are doing us called “enabling” (the abusive behaviours and powers of persuasion a narcissist has in HER arsenal). Keep up the bad work.

PoetikalyAnointed on January 22, 2019:

Oh My God, Amen to this:

"Part of the problem is that in the context of family court or custody court, a judge may not be thinking in terms of a parent as being so cold, calculating, and valueless as to be using their children as a means to harm their ex, or if the judge get a hint of such tactics, continues to believe that these often extremely harmful and emotionally abusive parents still have a right to continue to have ‘a relationship’ with their child; freeing the NPD parent to continue to perpetrate their abuse on the child and the child’s healthier parent."

Regretfully, I know ALL about this from personal experience and I certainly applaud and respect you for speaking the truth hear! I've also written about Narcs on here.

We have to get the word out about this disorder so the cons can end!

Scott McMillan on January 17, 2019:

Your comment stating that most NPD 's are men is profoundly false... you have never seen a covert narcissist in action then.. Covert nsrcissistis are for the majirity.. women women cannot be as grandios as their male counter parts.. and use their "victim" role as basis and tactic to gain the upper hand in ANY situation..and to excert their covert abuse onto their targets.. look at the statistics of parental alienation and you will see that 80% of target parents are men.. amd 20% are women.. those 80% of men are targets from NPD's.. I would advise to not spread this false information..

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on January 14, 2019:

I'm sorry to say that one of the huge problems is that these folks will not sit for a clinical interview, unless forced to by a judge,and even then, there is no sure-fire way to pin the disorder on them. Many are skilled enough to skim through testing designed to snag them up. It's why judges need education on the problem.

Jennipher Forte on January 14, 2019:

I live in Indiana I had a child from a brief dating situation with an extreme narcissist I’ve become friends with his ex-wife who has a 14 and 15-year-olds who are already so damaged my child is sex this man is wearing down our funds for a legal representation I need directions to someone who will testify to his disease since you’re saying I can’t go out with a DSMRAnd point out all the things he’s doing to my child to destroy him I need someone who can show the judge that this man has no respect for his orders and has no care for his children I cannot find a direction for this please direct me to someone who can help me do this for a reasonable price

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on January 14, 2019:

I grieve your pain, Alienatedmom. I have read Childress, and embrace his approach, though it seems that folks attach to some of his ideas without considering just how manipulative and skilled the narcissist can be, or how bright and loyal kids are to BOTH of their parents. The point is, I do not believe that loyalty alliances are always, in every case, as total and ironclad as some would suggest. Though NPD's are very similar, there is a real danger in painting the page mono-chromatic; each family circumstance has unique dynamics. Of course, each victim understands their circumstance and abuser far clearer than any counselor ever will.

Alienatedmom on January 13, 2019:

I beg to differ. The parent the child is refusing contact with is usually not the NPD parent. You should look at the other parent very closely. The favored parent. How can you in one paragraph say a child will refuse contact with the NPD parent and then in the next paragraph admit that the child views the NPD as godlike? The child that has no faith in the legal system in ways of protection is NOT going to refuse the NPD. Sorry. Not going to happen. The fact that you have dealt with this for many years is frightening to say the least. Its called attachment trama. Even an abused child that has a drug addicted parent does not "refuse" their abuser. Quite the opposite. The drive for an attachment becomes even stronger in an abused child to the abusive parent. CHILDREN DO NOT REJECT THEIR PARENTS! If you have a child rejecting a parent and you're looking at the rejected one as the NPD then i hate to be the bearer of bad news but you have got it wrong. Dr Craig Childress. An Attachment Based Model For Parental Alienation. Might I suggest his book to you?

Jeffrey Lawton on January 12, 2019:

Interesting article, but in my opinion the body of law in this field is still way inadequate. I'm a 68 year old male and an only child raised in a family where my late mother was one of the most emotionally abusive that most of the therapists I've had have ever encountered so I'm still trying to deal with developmental trauma (I can;t even get to sleep any more without taking a prescription antipsychotic). It seems as if there's an inherent assumption that there's always a divorce action associated with the issue of custody, in my case my mother's abuse was so absolute that my mother was "divorce-proof" and my father would never have sought a divorce because she would just have pursued him to his dying breath to make his life miserable (in other words his status was in many ways no better than mine). There's no reason she wouldn't have, she already exhibited all four types of cluster B personality disorders and SHE WAS ALREADY TRYING TO BREAK UP EVERY COUPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ANYWAY WITH HER LIES AND VICIOUS GOSSIP! (Heck her paranoia also led her to turn a sizable portion of the neighborhood into her "personal CIA".)There needs to be a reasonable provision for a child victim of abuse to break out of custody of an abusive household even if that child does not have the resources to hire private representation (and I was never allowed to get my hands on ANY serious resources), but from what I know about the laws in most states this is currently practically impossible. (I'm also of the opinion that there ought to be a legally accepted status of "recognized narcissist" that would remove that individual from the right to appear in court so there would be zero opportunity for them to present their self-serving lies and the need for the judiciary to then filter them out but I have a feeling that won't happen for decades until it's generally understood how hard it is to avoid judicial error while continuing to follow the current procedures.)

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Fearful on November 25, 2018:

I believe my soon to be x is an NPD. I suffered extreme mental and verbal abuse from him. The sort of abuse an NPD person puts upon you beats you down emotionally and physically! My fear of leaving was immense but I could no longer live like that! He would follow me around taunting me and saying go ahead and leave you’ll see what it’s like, I will get custody, you’ll have nothing, and all sorts of scare tactics!

When I filed for divorce he refused to sign or recognize it, like it didn’t exist! 2 years later when legal papers asking for financials came he grew erratic. He wrote a suicide note (never attempted it, just pretended it) for me and our young children to read! He did all sorts of horrible things. I left our home for the safety of me and my children. He is trying to get 50/50 custody and our home. I was the sole caretaker of our children he barely did anything with them but complain. He is a coniving, selfish, lying and manipulative person. I pray everyday that he is seen for who and what he is!

julie poole on November 23, 2018:

The problem with the MMPI is that if the npd has any aspects of sociopathy ,they can beat the test.

Sandi on October 30, 2018:

A thousand thank you’s. This helps put light on things dealing with a nar ex myself. We are back in court and he’s trying to get a week on/off. My youngest is 11 and does not even want to go for his 5 days now. My ex continues to disparage me beyond belief. My son has taking matters in to his own hands and voice recorded his father several times. The malipulation is unreal and sad. For those of you thinking

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on October 29, 2018:

Opinion, perhaps, just like yours.

Melinda on October 29, 2018:

“It is never advisable to call the counselor into court to testify, as this compromises the therapeutic alliance between the child and their counselor in ongoing treatment.”

That’s not accurate. I’m a licensed mental health clinician and I can tell you that often the counselor is the saving grace for the child in court if they are competent and respected by the judge. It can even strengthen the therapeutic relationship by building trust in that the child knows the counselor believes them and stands by them.

leilanitruth on October 28, 2018:

This article is so spot on I highlighted at least 10 sentences that described what my NPD ex is currently doing THIS month. I wish you were our judge! My children (6 and 11 years) are currently crying every single Friday before going to their visitation with NPD father. It breaks my heart. My ex is taking me to court to demand several 1-week trips to be with non immediate family (cousins, aunts, uncles) out of the country when he has never once successfully had them for more than one night here in California. Current orders give him one night and one day a week- Friday 4:30 - Saturday 6:30pm (he travels during the week for work, thank goodness) and two full weekends per year of which he has never tried to take in the 4 years we've been divorced. All arrows point to the judge awarding it to him unless he is skilled at recognizing NPD. I'm afraid even my 11-year old son in chambers saying he doesn't want to go won't be enough... My son's reasoning when asked by a therapist as to why he doesn't want to spend more time with dad was, 'because when he does have us, all he does is pay attention to his phone, yell at us, or badmouth my mom.'

Matt on October 23, 2018:

Listen, the problem unfortunately is you have to admit your mistakes, and move on from them and never do them again. This is difficult with kids because you either try to stay together or you still have contact. But, in a NPD persons mind, I’m not sure they are even aware of how they’re acting or even care, because all that matters to them is them. They will come up with whatever excuse they have to, and when they have none you guessed it, they’ll point the finger at you. This is where it gets complicated, because these people never really seem to move on. And they really don’t live in reality at all, they are incapable of thinking about anyone other than them self. See what I mean? Complicated. Maybe not worth it , because you don’t care, but the fact remains you have to deal with this person in some way or another whatever that way may be mind you, a dream would be to not deal with them at all. Don’t worry sooner or later the truth will come out because they are all liars 100%. Deal with what you have to deal with for yourself. Don’t make them part of what you’ll have to deal with or think about.

ShawanaHill on October 21, 2018:

This article says everything about my children's grandmother and ex. I'm in Texas and it's a long story and also too much to type. They are both con artist. Their father doesn't and hasn't done anything for our children and we has joint custody. He has put all the responsibility with his mother. He is a Mama's Boy. She's the ring leader of this always has been. Both of them are narcissistic to the tea. Our children has been manipulate and are afraid and I have gotten to the point I records our conversation. He is trying to stop me from having access to our children and he has given it to his mother. Like I say she is the ring leader. He is trying to stop me from having my rights with our kids.You can't work out and co parent with a narcissist. I did my research on what this was called and can't believe and also thought and knew something wasn't right. What's my right and what do I needs to do about this. I'm sick of dealing with this. He will not come operate with me. My first I have done starts recording our conversation and my children. When it gets to the point that when I talks to my children I feels and know that our conversation is being listened to on the speaker phone and limit. I have concerns. I need advice. Also, I want to proceed and take this back to court. Do you have any advice??

Erin on October 18, 2018:

This article is spot on. Judges and family law truly don’t care about the manipulation of a narc and the trauma it causes their families.

My narc ex and I split 7 years ago and have been in court so many times since. We were just in court one month ago and within two hours after we left the courthouse, he sent me several messages about how he’s not going to follow the new parenting plan, because he knows anything I try to do to enforce it will mean going back to court (and it took us 18 months to get to a hearing this time!)

I hope that more judges do become aware of the impact of NPD on families, but the reality is that hearings are so short and judges are so busy (and narc’s are practiced liars) so it’s impossible for judges to be able to tell in that short time period who is telling the truth and who has NPD.

grandma on October 18, 2018:

15 years ago our son got involved with a women. she became pregnant with my granddaughter.she blamed our son for ruining her life. our son loves his daughter. she has kept her from him. about 2 years ago our grandaughter wanted to come to live with her dad. she said she would do what it takes to keep her away from him. she has a boy friend now husband that she has lived with his daughter is little older. the x has gotten this little girl to say that our son has touched her in an inappropriate mannor. now my son is facing prison time. both our grandaughter and the other girl have been through mental ,physical,verbal and emotional abuse. police have been called and the x always covers up the abuse. This is just a mess. our grandaughter just wants to be loved and be able to live like any child should. we have an attorney and are going through the courts now. now x has convinced the daughter to say that her dad has also touched her in an inapprpriate way. we all know that it is not the truth.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on October 02, 2018:

Single Dad: I’m sorry to hear of your pain. There is a path to healing, but it’s not simple and requires work. Keep your chin up, and maybe visit my website: and Facebook page to help you keep your hope alive.

Single Dad on October 02, 2018:

Its too long to try and explain everything here. I do know that myself and my children need help dealing with the X. I have been stabbed 9 times and we have been abused for yeas. Even though we no longer live with the X she still terrorizes us. Some time we go months without hearing anything from her, but I know what's coming! She files a false report with the courts saying I am keeping the kids from her. This is just a small thing that she does to us. She and her boyfriend's physically and mentally abuse the kids every chance they get. She has accused me of every HORRABLE thing that someone can be accused of. I had to resign my Police Chief position because of her. My kids begg to not see her and I have to make them go. I don't know what to do with dealing with her. Everyone who was on her side ended up apologizing to me because they found out how violent and untrustworthy she is. WE NEED HELP WITH THIS PROBLEM BEFIRE IT DESTROYS MY KIDS LIVES TOO!!!?

MLMX on September 18, 2018:

Thank you for this article, so true!! My question is (because im tired of complaining) HOW can we start to make the legal system aware of this issue?... i live in Canada (Quebec) and its the same, if not worst... any other ideas? Will be greatly appreciated!

Jennifer on September 11, 2018:

This article is so compelling and an example of exactly what I've been dealing with for several years. You described precisely the way the judge has acted in my case. One time in open court, the judge laughed and said that I must be the "richest person" in my county. He mocked me but at the same time never holds my ex accountable for one thing. My ex has committed felony perjury and my attorney wrote a brief outlining every instance of the perjury and the judge refused to make a referral to the district attorney. He has also refused to hold my ex accountable for anything HE has ordered. All he wants to hear about is custody and access. Sadly this just makes my ex act out even more. Why shouldn't he? The judge has made it very clear that there will be no consequences for his blatant disregard of his orders. I want to tell the judge so bad, that "no - I'm not the richest person in my county and because you allowed this person to continue his torment of me and my Son, I have drained my Son's college account and had to sell several investment properties to live on. It really is inexplicable. And what makes things worse is the counselor that I hired and I picked has no knowledge what so ever of NPD. After meeting with my ex only a couple of times, he said he felt like I was being dramatic and that my ex seemed "like a nice enough guy." Even after my 16 year old son told the counselor multiple times that he did not want to have over night visits, the counselor would not accept his answer. So much so that my Son stopped wanting to see the counselor. I could go on and on...The damage NPD do to their children and anyone around them is mind boggling. I hope articles like these will help the legal community wake up and see NPD for what they really are. Maybe I'll send the article to the judge??? I doubt he would read it. Thanks again.

Patricia on September 09, 2018:

The law in Ohio that automatically gives the unwed mother of a child all parental rights needs to be changed or amended.

My son, who raised my grandson along with myself, works, pays child support, medical insurance, etc. Is being "punished" along with my grandson, because he chose to respect the wishes of the mother not to marry.

My grandsons mother was never around him until I had him potty trained at the age of three. At which time she moved in with another man, got pregnant by him and took my grandson with her. She was being physically abused in front of my grandson and she refused to let his father see him. He missed his first Tball game, first day of pre school etc.

This has had a great affect on my grandson who just turned five in April. Even to this day he cries because he doesn't want to live with his Mom.

After a numerous amount of money fighting for my grandson, which isn't that what the courts really care about, my son was told he should be thankful for the time he is allowed to see his son.

Today, before his mom came to pick him up my grandson suggested that we hide in the bathroom so his mom couldn't see us thinking he could stay.

He has asked on several occasions to speak to the judge so he can tell him he wants to live with his dad.

You see on the news how refugee children are affected by separation from their caregiver parents. And those parents aren't being scrutinized or questioned about their marital status or asked to come up with absorbinate amounts of money to fight for child visitation while maintaining a job and paying support to a mother who could not care less about the child she has automatically given rights to. Because she's in it for the money too.

So please help us and many others in the same situation.

Last week my son's mother sent him the wrong school info for my grandson. After going to the "opening day" event at the wrong school last week I obtained the correct information and made his opening day event on time. As I was leaving the event after meeting his teacher I passed their car. I waved and she looked upset and did not wave back. She called my son at work and with my grandson in her vehicle expressed how it upset her to see me there.

She called him yesterday and told him my grandson was extremely ill and more than likely wouldn't make his first day of school today. This morning as my son was on his way to work when she text him pictures of his first day of kindergarten and catching the bus and said he was feeling better. So here's another very important day he can never get back.

Sylvie on September 05, 2018:

Help...i'm presently dealing with a narcissist. In attempting to have a normal discussion is impossible. He twists things to his benefit and brings up ridiculous things that don't even pertain to the divorce!

Scott on September 02, 2018:

All alienators have a cluster B personality disorder.. if a child is being used in a custody case the parent stopping custody has a definate personality disorder.

Julie G on August 29, 2018:

I am amazed and relieved to learn that it’s much more common than I thought! It’s a very serious matter that needs to be addressed when custody battles revolve around cases where evidence is presented proving NDP behaviour. This article and comments below will aid me in a soon to come court appearance. So thank you !

Bill Krill on August 28, 2018:

John, I can hear your anger, and I guess you didn’t read the article.

John DeCorte on August 27, 2018:

Ill be disagreeing with the author with respect. NPD's are extremely gifted BS's for certain so thats why ill give it a pass. Parental Alienation is not theory. It is a rampant ongoing national crisis of fact based on math alone- 25 million fatherless US children belonging to 19 million childless dads. 3.5 million motherless kids estranged from their 3 million childless us children. Almost 50 million US citizens whos relationships are in tatters and estranged while severely stressed or non existent entirely. The notion the coyrts and mental health exorrts even have a clue as to what they force the people and families to do in divirce and dissolution when contrasted with this human rights crisis is absurd and the sheer number in volume destroys the credibility of these antics entirely as the laws are based on these experts and their opinions and the laws themselves must stand up and pass mustard against the outcomes such laws are clearly resultibg from. It is judges, lawyers, and the entire mental health industry who agreed just 20 years ago that homosexuality was a mental disirdir that is tearing thos country at its fiber and it is the families that pay the price and our children left with the wreckage forced upon tje populace at the end if the barral of a cops gun. Bs. Custodial parenting and the single parent preference is the problem as only a narcissist would want to do it and that in my mind destroys the authors statement of most NPD's being male in a nutshell. This nation is full of them and one need look no further than the first parent that has no problem limiting contacr between the other parent abd the child to four days a month while citing its in the chilss best interest. Bs. Get a grip. No research in contrast with 50/50 co parenting outcomes supports the dehumanizing single parent fiasco as even being a food choice from the outset. Its about power, control and getting the power to exert power and control. Thats it. The money is just icing on the cake.

jamie on August 06, 2018:

This is awesome, thank you for writing and making public. I've been dealing with narc's for 22 years now. Both of my children's fathers are narcissist and they've both gotten away with "murder" in court and mediation. Everyone says, "They are so charming, and have such a great personality...". This makes me want to vomit, literally. I have had arguments with professionals, recently, in the custody battle of my 2 year old. Her father is a narcissist and no matter how I tried to explain this to the mediator, he didn't care. He still thought my ex was just a great guy and assumed that I was just being vengeful. LOL that's hilarious because i've never been that way, even with narcissist, because I'm not willing to stoop to their level. But I am trying to protect my daughter from the abuse, and that will never happen if judges and other authority figures, refuse to see this as a real problem. The children suffer deeply. Thank you again for sharing this. It's so nice to read something educated.

Vera on August 02, 2018:

I wanted to add that my ex always blames me for everything, kids dont like him, its my fault, they dont do what he says, its my fault, they hate him, is because i told them to.

Ofcourse this is not true. He ignored their existence for 10 years and when i left, he all of a sudden exercising his rights and want time with them. The kids did not know him at all, and just wanted mommy simply cause thats who raised them for the past 10 yrs. There is no reasoning with the guy, he is extremely mad if they didnt perform and is envious of the fact that kids want mom. They simply feel safer, its no surprise to me.

With these individuals its never their fault. Its my fault, my daughters fault, my sons. Just not his fault. He still tries to have a relationship with the kids, but they hate it.

Anytime they try to be themselves they are critisized, screamed at, intimidated. I know cause i lived and worked with him 20 yrs.

He doesnt understand the first thing about relationships or about children, he just know it all, so nothing for him to learn. Big bully who neglects his family and expect love back, dont know what is there to love.

Now i understand some of you had an npd spouse that alienates the kids against you.

I dont judge. I can just say that in our family, there is nothing he can do to convince the kids against me. My kids know me and i have been with them everyday of their life. They know who i am, what he says will never change anything. I understand it could have been different if he started alienating when the kids were little. He had no relationship with them. They will never take his word over mine. He also lied to them, trick them and manipulated them. So they have experienced his behaviour. Kids are 9 and 12 now.

If i pretend for a moment, it is possible that the kids will be against me because something he said to them, than im giving up. I dont have anymore strength to fight and if the kids dont think i am a good mom or if they want to be with him, im all for it. I just want them safe and happy. Lesson learned, stay away from individual who cannot display empathy. Run for your life because you havent seen nothing yet. And no ones broken, so he doesnt need fixing. Take care of yourself instead!

Vera on August 02, 2018:

Great article. I am not sure if judges would search and find this but if they would that would be amazing.

Its a bad situation no kid wants to be in. We as parents can divorce and are no longer forced to live together, but the kids have no say and its not fair, their anger is building up and every time they show him that its a suicide attempt because he is ruthless and will retaliate and hurt them. Maybe a judge need a psychiatrist seating at the hearings, more importantly, listen to the kids, they are not dumb, they know who treats them well, they know when they feel unsafe. Just listen to them, away from the sick parents ears because again, theres ton of fear that they are carrying and the kids know this parent will catch them alone later at home, there will be no court or anyone to protect them.

If i didnt go through this myself, i wouldnt have understand that either, but i would still respect the children voice and hear them out. Definately wouldnt ignore them, would you like your crying for help ignored when you are suffering?

To prevent child abuse, let the child speak to you in private.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on July 29, 2018:

Concerning the problem some people are having with NPD being mostly (note I did not say "all"), here are some "credible citations":

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 21, 2018:

This mental disorder is terrible, and I hate to think about the children being hurt, yet I know it goes on. I would hope most judges have at least some idea they are being manipulated. This is an interesting article.

Leandra LaSalde on July 10, 2018:

I feel like im going crazy. MY husband. HAd everyone thinking om crazy ..i been threw hell 16 yrs i have 3 children and my younget is disabled. FAther getiing him kicked out of program he needs to bee in cause he said he doesnt need them i am looking crazy and i feel so lost. IM ready to give up EMOTIONALLY I AM DONE I AM AT EDGE CAUSE I TIRED OF IT ALWAYS BEING ME I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO BUT IS TAKING A TOLL ON ME PHYSICALLY ANY ONE HAVE AMY ADVICE OR SUGGGESTIONS I WOULD APPRECIATE IT

Wendy Moon on July 03, 2018:

I'd like to say to all of you that I can feel your pain with how you tell your stories. I'm truly sorry that others have gone through this at all. But now at least we are attempting to educate people. I went through a custody battle and this man was so ruthless,he used MY OWN CREDIBILITY to them always talking nice about him while he was beating me physically behind closed doors. Nobody ever even asked what happened to my face. He used the fact that I am bipolar to another level w authorities. I had to hide in the bedroom when the law came. He threatened my life and I was so alone. I had no idea what to do about it. It was embarrassing that I was living that way. But when it came to the smear campaign, I have never felt so alienated in my life. People would not look at me. Preacher,principals,police attorney, ad lidem etc. I called them all out even the preacher. My ex was schmoozing CPS worker and she was going to his house and cooking out and letting our kids play. This lady lied about me to my kids. The dirt that has already been told to them by him was enough. He had her in the palm of his hand. He turned my family against me with his lies. I have always been good to people and don't do people wrong and it's like he actually CHANGED THEIR MIND about me. I had never heard of such ugliness. I felt so alone because our battle started in 1999. My kids are grown now and I love them so much but because of all the negative talk about me, they have nothing to do with me. I'd like to kill him myself w baseball bat. I'm not joking but I talked to my God and He has made me the promise that I shall rise again and these enemies will be at my feet. They will watch and be made fools. I got so angry that I used that energy to drive me to my destiny. My Destiny is for me only. Nobody can from me. It's upon me now. I am equipped and ready to use my voice and be heard. I am on Quora as a partner and there is so much support no matter what point you're at with your narcissist. I'm healing while I'm living with this one. I'm leaving very soon and this smear campaign started from the beginning. I have been so ignorant and am so humiliated. But I'm using all these negative forces to fuel my fire and I'm on the way to Recovery and I long to help women and men both that have been victimized by such abuse and we are all gonna be heard and rise together and EXPLOIT this abuse once and for all. Thank you so much for sharing and I'm truly sorry that any soul had to go through this too. Trust me. There is life after NARCISSISTIC ABUSE. WW DO RECOVER. so they say......


Maria on July 02, 2018:

I can see that you are very angry about the the information posted here on Narccisism. However, if you in fact are not the NPD parent, you should be glad that judges be made aware of this horrific disorder that damages people's lives in every possible way imaginable, including children. Narcissm is an epidemic in these days..and truly it is something that should be exposed to the world just as any other malignant epidemic. As in the 13th century, it is truly the destructive " deathly black plague" of the soul and mind,"

Ed Mayers on July 02, 2018:

"If they are male (and most are)"...

This. Could you please consider editing this with source-cited statistics? Right now, it seems as if you might just be perpetuating stereotypes, but if you could back it up with statistics, it would go a long way to supporting this assertion. Perhaps it is true, but I don't want to just take your word for it. In my situation, it is the mother who has this issue. As a man who struggles already with the idea of being victimized, I don't appreciate the way you've posed this statement.

Also, have you considered the possibility that the person with the disorder has manipulated the situation so well that one or more of the children has stopped visitation? You don't seem to address that situation, only make a statement that suggests the person cut off from their children needs to be looked at closely. My oldest son, who was closest to me before the divorce, hasn't spoken to me in years. We mutually stopped visitation after he made a false allegation of abuse that DFCS dismissed and he refused to apologize for it.

I had to return to court to protect my children as best I could--by limiting the ways in which she could control the situation to my harm and the harm of the children. I gave up certain rights of visitation because she used anything that wasn't solidly in writing to manipulate everyone involved. Interestingly, a lot of mystery illnesses stopped after returning to court, except in the case of my oldest son--the one I no longer see. Now, after not seeing him in years, he's been declared a ward of the state who cannot even fasten his pants. He was in the gifted program while I still had custody of him. I lost custody when her family used their money to change the outcome of things.

You don't have to believe me, but all of this is true. I have a feeling this will be picked apart by those who refuse to believe it, but I'm not lying. I wouldn't even have bothered posting this except the way the article is written disturbs me.

Matt on June 28, 2018:

It can also be the mother who is the Sociopath. Mine went to DHR and initially said "Child Sex Abuse" and she waited till I returned the children without my current wife, and said because I hugged and kissed them goodbye on the head it was "sexual abuse" When DHR determined it was not that, they threw her a bone and said "verbal emotional" we appealed and won, so she filed an emergency petition saying that our son (actually she never calls him my son and insists on calling me by my first name but she is glad to take my money still) She has also remarried and insisted on my children calling him "dad". The judge already told them to stop but they haven't and obviously have escalated the alienation. The counselor and GAL are on my side, and see through her. My son has become enmeshed and has sided with her after 13 years of lies and manipulation. So just because the child goes along with the mother (who he was with 82% of the time DOES NOT mean that the dad is the NPD) Kids do not know which parent to choose after that many years of gaslighting. I would take issue with your assessment on that.

Julie HurleyPoole on June 18, 2018:

Agree completely with no name -they are experts at appearing normal and know how to beat the tests-my ex did it...

No name on June 06, 2018:

I have to completely disagree with the MMPI doing ANYTHING when it comes down to the NPD. They are masters of manipulation and mirror everyone they come in contact with. They know just what to say and do and "PICK" to appear normal on ANY and ALL Psych tests. Its ridiculous and they will go to all ends to cover their "issues".

Ann on May 31, 2018:

NPD ex took from me until I said no. He took me to court playing victim of PAS. Now, we share parenting. 90% time parenting is me, and Orders up the wazu. I got Leave and moved away. So far away that I don't remember when I saw him last. Appeared to Family Court by teleconference. I think it was a good choice. My advice to you; be bold, say no, and document everything. 11 years of documenting was my mercy. My happy and safe child is my honour to claim.

Helplessly Stuck on May 30, 2018:

Please help educate divorce attorney, judges, therapists. This should spread like wildfire.... JUST like all the wrongful PAS claims!!!!

Stop the abuse! Three therapists - parenting coordinator, individual therapist and renunciation therapist ..... talk about BEAM The Narc Up!!!

Please help us parents that are fighting alone and against this horrible self made situation for the sake of the children!

Tell us what to do and how to fight this. We are mentally, emotionally and financially drained!

Juliettte on May 28, 2018:

I think everything about this article is spot on. Some commenters have been attacking this one point that "The NPD ‘ace in the hole’ is making the accusation of ‘parental alienation’ towards their ex." But the author is not saying that anyone who claims PAS is definitely the NPD parent. He is just underlining a well known NPD trait, projection. Because NPDs themselves often make their children develop PAS towards the other parent, they often project this motive onto the healthy parent, claiming that the healthy parent is causing PAS in their child. My ex is trying to spread this about me at the moment. He even sends me links to these co-parenting websites, trying to teach me lessons about not saying bad things about the other parent to your child. As if I wanted to be that kind of mother! For all I know, that's what HE would do if he had custody!

Lorena Peters on May 21, 2018:

My ex got me arrested, manipulated the system and got 50/50 share parental responsibility. Three years later he controls and manipulates. He continues to bully. He refuses to co-parent. He even registered our son at the school my stepson attended that is right outside his community. I explained how our son would have to wake up at 5:30..5:45 if he attended that school because it is a 45 minute plus drive for me. We have a great charter school right in the middle, he simply doesn't care. We have share responsibility but because he left me homeless I didn't have my own home until I was back on my feet i lived with relatives. My daughter tells me how he puts her and her brother in the garage when they cry. It break my heart. We do not have any communication other than schedule changes. I don't know what else to do. He kept our business so he has a lot more money than I do. I am a teacher.

Sr3 on May 20, 2018:

This is so scary! I have been through all of it!!! 3 years divorced now. The oldest (14) does not go with him anymore ( 1 year) due to them butting heads. He has talked to our son Maybe 2 or 3 times in the last year. And now 2 weeks before we go back to court, because of all the contempts he is in, he wants to have an extra day with our son this week for just a couple hours. What!?!?!? Sounds like a set up to me!

Manipulation! I usually let him have kids whenever he wants! But he doesn't budge with anything and for a long time would always threaten court on me, changes days, cancells, runs late, ect, and threatens when I am running late...

.once because our daygjter had something going on! Anyway the story can go in and on. Your article I have been through exactly! The only thing is the court psychologist didn't diagnose him with NPD. He did however have his pregnant gf in our whole divorce (her name is all over our divorce papers) whom is a "psychologist " herself.and I believe to be a narc just as much as he. What a horrible nightmare it was! But I got through it and now deal with the after math. He wants me to ask our son if he wants to go. Never does he ask me if it's ok. So, it's either he is setting me up because he hasn't seen son in 1 year, he needs supply (cause him and his gf argue a lot says my younger gurls), or he has a change of heart and want to have quality time (ba)

Sheila on May 20, 2018:

This is so scary! My ex has done all of these!!!! Omg!! It was a horrible nightmare! 3 years divorced from him. Our oldest son who is 14, has not gone with him in over a year due to them butting heads and his dad saying he doesn't have to go on visits anymore, but the girls still do! Now..out of the blue...2 weeks before we go to court for all his contemps he is asking for an extra day with our son for just a couple hours. What?!?!?! This sounds like a set up to me! Ugh I can't stand him! I have yet to respond if at all!! Any advice would be greagreat please!!! I usually let him take the kids whenever he wants.....however, every time I do, I see it's s bad idea. Many long stories here. But...yes all u write is true!! The only thing,,,the psychologist never diagnosed him with NPD, which was odd. But then again, his pregnant gf who was also involved at the time was a psychologist as well and seems to be just as much as a narc as he is. .. nut jobs! And from what it sounds. .. they don't seem too happy and argue a lot! Lol! Good! That's what he chose and put me and kids through it all! Horribe! I'm guessing he is setting me up because court is right around the corner and he needs supply. F him!

Val on May 20, 2018:

"I would also add (not reflected in the scope of this article) that there ARE ways to begin to protect the child and yourself from continued abuse, but the tool is not the legal system, which the NPD can manipulate just as easily as the child and ex."

Like what? A kid who has had an NPD parent for years probably already has PTSD. My kid's therapist even diagnosed her with PTSD and did EMDR treatments on her, then after a few months asked if my daughter wanted to have sessions with the NPD parent! SO therapists are useless if they think forcing a child to "fix things" with a narc can even happen.

RR on May 15, 2018:

What is even more difficult is when the father has residential custody due to the mother trying to escape. It’s consider in the eyes of the law abondenment yet she left got herself together meaning her own place she’s a teacher so we’re not dealing with anything serious just a bad Marrige she was granted shared custody but, all that you have explained is exactly what she is going through. I can go on with stories but, it seems like the judge is not seeing it even after proof has been shown. It’s really like sitting in a twilight zone. It’s even to the point where the mother has dropped her lawyer because she feels like the court system is only about money they make revenue off the parents who fight. She refuses to stoop down to his level as he gets away with all of it starting problems at our front door yet the courts concern is only about extra curricular activities. Which has been used to alinet her. It’s to the point of draining her mentally. It’s sad to watch because it takes time for the courts to see it. It’s been 5yrs and 50,000 was spent for nothing. Just to see him on weekends. I do agree with Buddha sometimes to trust the child feelings it’s difficult because they are conditioned to think and feel a certain way. His father has made it clear that he can’t trust anyone but him. They are one and everything his father talks about we didn’t get our money today meaning child care. He includes him as one with everything. It’s mom against us. So he has programmed him in that way since 4 yrs old.

Buddha Stephy on May 13, 2018:

I apologize for my previous comment. It was poorly worded regarding this article. This article is extremely informative and Dead on. I only meant to point out that when a child is severely programmed a lot of what they say and what they demand is their actual feelings are memories and ideas that are conditioned into them and even to the child may seem very real. The child me even think that they remember the things they've been programmed with. Their emotions seem real because they are real to the child after the conditioning. So to trust a child's account or their word or memories or even genuine feelings can be catastrophic to the child and the healthy parent and their well-being. That's the point I wanted to get across and I am no way it was meaning to discount or discredit this article. As a parent that is currently going through this it is very difficult sometimes to articulate things because of the massive amount of trauma we are going through and it leaving our head spinning and our confidence and judgment and communication skills in complete shambles. I meant to add to your points, not take away from them. I'm sorry for my miscommunication. I think this is a fantastic article and I appreciate anyone who puts themselves out there to shed light on this horror that few people even realize exists.

William E Krill Jr (author) from Hollidaysburg, PA on May 06, 2018:

Also look at the responses I and others have made to the criticisms of the article. I in no way deny that children who are alienated are manipulated to be aligned with the NPD parent, but that NPD parents will/can claim that the target parent is alienating the child from THEM. I also indicate that kids are smart enough to know the truths of the situation. Those who want to read it otherwise are free to do so. I would also add (not reflected in the scope of this article) that there ARE ways to begin to protect the child and yourself from continued abuse, but the tool is not the legal system, which the NPD can manipulate just as easily as the child and ex.

Buddha Stephy on May 05, 2018:

This article is very misleading. True parental alienation is very real and is done by a very sick individual that in all likelihood has a personality disorder like NPD that has gone undiagnosed. Although the NPD will always project their behavior onto their victims and accuse the healthy parent of abuse, the children do not outwardly align 27th the healthy parent and refuse to see the NpD parent. The NPD parent is the one with the power and control. The NPD parent is the one that is psychologically manipulating their own children and brainwashing them against the healthy parent. The child will demand that they don't want contact with the healthy parent... Not the NPD parent. This is why it is so difficult to identify and to fight against. The child denies contact and demands that they don't want to see the healthy parent and makes accusations of abuse and neglect. But this is because the NPD parent has implemented a full on psychological assault on their own children. And the healthy parent is poweless to stop it and is prevented from protecting their own children from this abuse because the court system has been conned and the healthy parent and the children are further victimized because the court further inflated the NPD's ego and then he vamps up his abuse and control. Its a nightmare. Like waking up in the twilight zone! And there's nothing you can do to stop it or protect your babies from this monster that is destroying them and the court system that is helping him do it!

LC on May 01, 2018:

When the courts order "coparenting" with a NPD- it is ordering continued abuse of the healthy parent and the child as well.

Until I went through this I was unaware of the abuse I had been enduring. No contact is the way to go, but it is IMPOSSIBLE when you share a child and courts are involved. Also if the NPD has enabler parents who help him financially etc.

Read the book "Will I Ever Be Free of You?" Great insight and tools for keeping yourself sane.

Laura on April 21, 2018:

thank you for this article. I don't think anyone realizes how hard it is to co parent with a Narc.

Glen Keating on April 21, 2018:

Joy; I hope that you read this message. From what I read in regards to your situation, it sound's so, so similar to my daughter and what she experieneed with her deranged mother. Take care of yourself.

krillco on April 15, 2018:

Readers should know that the Millon CMI, while showing great promise, is still in phases of peer-reviewed research to demonstrate reliability and validity. Like any such measure, results of reliability and validity vary depending on who is doing the testing of the instrument. Such instruments are tools, but not definitive in arriving at a diagnosis.

Battlereadymom on April 11, 2018:

I am a mother who has been battling for my childrens’ protection from their father in the domestic relations court for the past 6 years. I know he will never stop. However, the domestic court trials will stop when they turn 18. I have 8 more years to go. I have already spent 200,000. My ex has paid more. He knows I will run out first, but I will keep battling for my children until I can not anymore. God has delivered and provided for us, and will continue to do so. I do not know what our future holds , but I know who holds out future.

The MMPI is worthless for proving NPD. The MCMI-IV (Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory) is what psychologists should be using in today’s courts. It will identify the top 10 personality disorders. Cluster B (mix of narcissism, borderline, anti-social) mix is what I am up against. My ex and I have had 3 psyche evals , each with a different psychiatrist or psychologist. Thus, we have had to take the MMPI 3 separate times. Results showed normal each time for both. A cluster B mixed personality disorder can easily lie through the MMPI, and actually show a personality better than their true self. This can and does happen with someone very intelligent. I had suggested the MCMI to one of the psychologists, who refused and was offended. Thus, my advice is get a reputable psychologist who is up to date with the times, and has a good understanding of personality disorders.

Joy on April 10, 2018:

As a child, I was subjected to horrific abuse by my mother, who I only recently realized is a severe covert NPD. I do not use the label lightly and no, she has not been diagnosed, and never will be.

My parents were divorced when I was 10, and the judge DID bring me and my sister into chambers to ask us what we wanted. Sadly, I was already so beat down by her and my sister, the "golden child", I didn't even consider speaking up. I was terrified of the consequences if she found out I didn't want to be anywhere near her. She has played the sweet, quiet lady so well and spread the word that I was a liar, that no one would have ever believed me. I spent the last 30 years trying to understand and come to terms with what happened, even long after becoming an adult.

Courts, and especially mental health professionals, must be educated about the indescribable suffering caused by hidden psychological abuse. If a single person ever took me seriously, and didn't dismiss everything as 'just' depression or something else wrong with me, I could have been spared a lifetime of suffering.