You are a recently divorced dad and you sometimes find yourself reflecting on what went wrong with your marriage and was there anything you could have done to keep it together. You think back to your now ex-wife and remember how socially engaging and charming she had been when you first met her. You felt like you had found the perfect match. However, as the first few years of the marriage passed and the children came along, she seemed to unravel. She became increasingly self-centered and blamed you for everything that was wrong with the marriage. She never admitted to be wrong or showed regret that the marriage was on the rocks. The grounds for divorce were irreconcilable differences. However, was it truly just a personality difference or something more.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, personality disorders are an official diagnosis. The most common personality disorder is anti-social personality disorder. This may be misleading because people who have this disorder are not reclusive. Essentially, these people are social predators who charm. They are socially engaging and charming as long as they feel you have something they can take. They take but never give. Their motto is “It is all about me”. They are extremely self-centered and narcissistic. These personalities are impulsive and feel that rules are for other people, but not for them. They manipulate, ignore and violate trust. These people use rationalization and projection when things go wrong. Nothing is ever their fault. They have no conscience or feelings for others. The people who are unfortunate enough to live with a person with a personality disorder end up with only heartache and hard times.
Armed with the knowledge of the profile of a person with a personality disorder, you need to ask yourself some serious questions. Does this profile ring true with what you know about the mother of your children? As a divorced dad that does not have custody of your children, is this personality type apt to be a good mother? Now that you are out of the picture and you were the brunt of the blame, who will she blame now? In order to love, you must give. This personality disorder only takes. What kind of a role model will she make when trying to teach following the rules? How will she go about providing structure for your children?
When parents provide structure, it means that they are asserting and establishing their parental authority and control in a responsible manner in order to encourage growth and development of their children. This includes structuring the child’s environment, setting up daily schedule and controlling their behaviors by using discipline. Children need structure to feel safe and secure. Unstructured environments are detrimental to children’s physical and emotional health. By teaching children rules it facilitates them getting along with others in their world. Understanding about disappointment and frustration in a structured environment helps the child learn how to cope with feelings of disappointment and frustration. Structured environments help children cope with delayed gratification which improves their ability to mature emotionally. Developing self-responsibility, limits and demands provide children with an opportunity to learn self-control and to make responsible choices on their own. Providing structure for your child may mean structuring your child’s environment. This often means determining what activities your child will engage in and how your child will fill his or her time. This means being available all the time physically and mentally to provide appropriate monitoring and supervision for your child. If others are in charge it will mean ensuring the competency of the people who are in charge of the children.
If you have determined that the mother of your children may have a personality disorder and you become concerned about your children’s safety and security, it is time to file for sole custody of your children. Locate a law firm such as The Long Beach Child Custody law firm that specializes in child custody and has experience helping fathers gain sole custody of their children. You will be informed of your rights and what to expect. The law firm will guide and advise you through the entire experience. The law firm will advocate both for you and your children. The law firm can suggest whether or not you should divulge the information that you think or know that your ex-wife has a personality disorder. It may seem cruel to share this information in court. However, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. In other words, sharing this information about the mother of your children might seem cruel, but it will probably be the kindest thing you can do for your children. If you have uncertainties about how well you will do as their primary caregiver, look to the research. A study was conducted by the CDC approximately ten years ago concerning family structure and the health of the children. Over 100,000 families participated in a random dial telephone interview asking questions about the family structure and the physical, mental and dental health of their children. Obviously the best scenario was children living with both biological parents that exhibited the best health. Believe it or not, living in a home with only the father came in second. The only area that was slightly lower was dental health. Yes, this scenario was even better than living with the mother only. It is time to dispel the myth that children living with the mother in all cases is the best solution.