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Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

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Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby protect » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:13 am

I am trying to seek advice how to help children dealing with a stressful situation.
Last edited by protect on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby SenseAtLast » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:36 am

I have been exactly where you are. You are not alone.

I don't have time at present for more than a quick response. My advice is do not say anything to your wife or indeed anyone until

a) you have seen an experienced therapist who has expertise in personality disorders;
b) seen a lawyer. This might seem extreme but both a counsellor and my accountatn gave me that advice on separation. I ignored it and it cost my nearly US$100k. (I am not located in the US BTW.)
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby Dove91801 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:15 pm

I am in a similar situation with my N-husband.

Most of the time, you have to separate from the N and it would come down to some type of marital crisis for them to seek any type of help. I have thought seriously about telling H about this problem, but I am too chicken. He is a scary person. No physical abuse, but just the emotional terror and immediate blaming. It is always my fault, everything that happens is somehow linked to what I have done or what I didn't do.

I have been to counseling and found a really good one who helped me understand some of H's behaviors. Unfortunately, when you are the only one constantly seeking help, there is just no balance.

The problems with the children did not arise in our family until my oldest daughter was about 13 and old enough to confront her dad about things. It is so sad to watch them argue because there is no argument, just hyper-criticism and the conversations are just confusing. We never know what he is talking about and he gets so mad and acts like we are idiots. His thinking is just crazy. Unfortunately in some ways I have really spoiled my oldest because of always being criticized by her dad, I felt sorry for her and tried to always give her her way and let her have fun. I can see that she has some N-traits and I always tell her about it. I try to make her very aware of herself without being critical, just gentle reminders.

I sat all of my children down (the ones who are old enough to understand) and I told them that their dad was failing them spiritually and emotionally. I explained that because of his horrific childhood, that his thinking is disordered. I said that I am trying to emotionally be their father and mother and they need to understand this as a sickness in his mind. I have explained that we both fail in some ways, and they hopefully with learn to forgive.

I don't have the same situation with my children being very close to him. They all know that something is wrong with his behaviors because he is so controlling and negative. He doesn't relax and never has fun with us as a family. They know he is not "normal", but he doesn't.

I wish you the best with your wife. I know how hard it is to live in such a confusing way. The best thing to do in the meantime is concentrate on being the best you can be, and working on your own issues, since that is the only thing you can change. I came to realize that I am here for a reason and wanted to know why I would choose this, sure enough, I have lots of issues of my own!
"Two loves have made two different cities: self-love hath made a terrestrial city, which rises in contempt of God; and Divine Love hath made a celestial one, which rises in contempt of self. The former glories in itself-the latter in God.”
-Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby protect » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:52 am

SenseAtLast wrote:I have been exactly where you are. You are not alone.

I don't have time at present for more than a quick response. My advice is do not say anything to your wife or indeed anyone until

a) you have seen an experienced therapist who has expertise in personality disorders;
b) seen a lawyer. This might seem extreme but both a counsellor and my accountatn gave me that advice on separation. I ignored it and it cost my nearly US$100k. (I am not located in the US BTW.)


SenseAtLast-

Thank you so much for the advice. This is very helpful. I will follow your advice and will not attempt to confront her.
Last edited by protect on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby SenseAtLast » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:40 am

Dove91801 wrote:I sat all of my children down (the ones who are old enough to understand) and I told them that their dad was failing them spiritually and emotionally. I explained that because of his horrific childhood, that his thinking is disordered. I said that I am trying to emotionally be their father and mother and they need to understand this as a sickness in his mind. I have explained that we both fail in some ways, and they hopefully with learn to forgive.

That's interesting. My therapist, very experienced in personality disorder, expressly forbid this approach in my case, and in two of her other patients that I know.

The basis for this is their relationship with their Dad (or Mum) is their relationship with their Dad and it is not the role of the other parent to be involved or influence that relationship.

Further, if you do this and the children report it to the other parent, the legal system in my country will take a very strong view. At the extreme, we have had at least one case of a woman running down the father to the children and preventing access and then being sentenced to a jail term. In another case, the woman lost "everyday" custody and the child was basically forced to live with the father.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby protect » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:58 am

Dove91801-
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby Dove91801 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:32 pm

The basis for this is their relationship with their Dad (or Mum) is their relationship with their Dad and it is not the role of the other parent to be involved or influence that relationship.

Further, if you do this and the children report it to the other parent, the legal system in my country will take a very strong view. At the extreme, we have had at least one case of a woman running down the father to the children and preventing access and then being sentenced to a jail term. In another case, the woman lost "everyday" custody and the child was basically forced to live with the father.
SenseAtLast


sal,
I appreciate your viewpoint on this. It is a very touchy subject and was a hard decision to make. I did not tell my children about their father until they were old enough to start complaining about how much he yells and how he is never happy. They discovered his character themselves. They started asking why he expects so much of them, but does none of it himself. We hear him constantly tell us what to do, but he takes no initiative to ever help anyone. Just makes demands. Of my 3 oldest children, the youngest is 8, she is very sensitive and I believe they all came to their own conclusions.

My children would never tell their father of this conversation, I don't have to tell them not to tell him. They do not talk to him about things because they are afraid. You cannot have a regular conversation with him about anything and they know this. When they are with him, they are quiet and only answer question, he does not engage.

I was advised by a devout Catholic psychologist and a Catholic priest (both of whom I trust immensely) to have this conversation with my children. My goal is to protect them from damage. Also, I have no intention of leaving him.

Protect-
I think the hardest part about my relationship is how confusing it is. It is hard to see things clearly. I like the term you used "magic thinking" Because it is amazing how things get twisted and turned out of nowhere and you wonder if you blacked out or something.

H also has the same righteous and moral character. This is how he gets supply by correcting everyone of us who is beneath him in this way.

Also, I just want to tell you that for me it helped me to grieve the loss of what I thought the marriage was and could be. It took a long time to understand and accept that there is no intimacy or friendship and he is not capable of this.

I wish you the best with your family as well.
"Two loves have made two different cities: self-love hath made a terrestrial city, which rises in contempt of God; and Divine Love hath made a celestial one, which rises in contempt of self. The former glories in itself-the latter in God.”
-Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby SenseAtLast » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:27 am

Dove91801 wrote:sal,
I appreciate your viewpoint on this. It is a very touchy subject and was a hard decision to make. I did not tell my children about their father until they were old enough to start complaining about how much he yells and how he is never happy. They discovered his character themselves. They started asking why he expects so much of them, but does none of it himself. We hear him constantly tell us what to do, but he takes no initiative to ever help anyone. Just makes demands. Of my 3 oldest children, the youngest is 8, she is very sensitive and I believe they all came to their own conclusions.

I have a feeling that is coming as my daughter seems to heading down a pth that will lead to more confrontation. She is trying to work out a way of living with both of us during the week. I said Mummy has told me in no uncertain terms that will not happen. Daughter says something like well, I get to decide where I live ... and suprisingly seemed to be aware that her mother's proclamation (great word for N's way of speaking) has limited applicability at law.

But your situation is different from my mine as their mother is more covert. and you are still there.

My children would never tell their father of this conversation, I don't have to tell them not to tell him. They do not talk to him about things because they are afraid. You cannot have a regular conversation with him about anything and they know this. When they are with him, they are quiet and only answer question, he does not engage.

Again, I think we may be reaching that stage over the next few years. The kids have woken up to what they say to their mother gets twisted and she has recently been on a compaign to say bad things about Daddy. Last Friday we had to review the protocol on what to say if Mummy says bad things about Daddy.

I was advised by a devout Catholic psychologist and a Catholic priest (both of whom I trust immensely) to have this conversation with my children. My goal is to protect them from damage. Also, I have no intention of leaving him.

I can see how it would protct your children. In a similar vein in my will I am having a letter inserted just saying "The reason I left your Mum is that she has NPD. You may wish to check this out if you find your relationship with your Mum problematic." And for this to be given when the eldest is 21.

So, yeah, I can see where you are coming from and it may be a conversation I end up having.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby SenseAtLast » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:08 am

protect wrote:I decide to stay in the marriage to protect the children, and hopefully helping my wife.

It sounds like you are a bit stronger and more secure than I was. I was at my wits end and was become less and less functional.

In the end I determined to leave because, to the degree than an NPD'er is incurable, there was never going to be any change. I needed to look after myself at that point.

Other reasons though included having a relationship with my children outside of my ex-. If my ex- was present any interaction with my children was quickly brought to centre on her. For example, if I asked the kids a question about school she would respond. If I played a game with the kids she would interefere telling us what the rules ought to be. She would take over even the most mundane of activities.

Another reason is that we lived in chaos. There was no housework being done, the kids were feral a lot of the time etc. In leaving I made it clear from the beginning that I wanted 50/50 custody. We waited till we thought the kids were ready but at nearly 8 & 6, they actually requested we move to the 50/50 so they could be with Daddy.

I implemented pretty normal routines such as having a list of jobs, getting homework done and set routine for bed times. And I got to feed them, bathe them, care for them when they were sick and actually take great care of my kids. Within three months of implementing this I received three reports from school parents saying the children's behaviours had improved noticeably.

So leaving gave the opportunity for my kids to go from being wary of me to them finding out who I really am and having what I consider deep, profound relationships -- as parent and child (I'm not into being their buddy thing). Anyone who watches the kids at handover or school pickup where they rush up to me and crush me with their hugs can see something must be working.

I got to be a real parent free from the domination an NPD partner brings to their household. And the kids got to see another way of being with children. I got to model the behaviours I would like the children to learn (and some they shouldn't learn). So they have got to learn two different ways which they accomodate without a problem.

I'm not advocating leaving but highlighting that in terms of the kids leaving has been a postive experience. The htree years of litigation has been sa lot more probelematic but if I had detrmined never to trust me ex- from the the daye of leaving many problems would have been avoided.
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Re: Help please, how to protect children from NPD mother

Postby protect » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:04 am

SenseAtLast-
I can fully appreciate how you feel when your children run to you with open arms and how they improve their behavior even after a short period of time spending with you. I have similar experience.
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