Divorcing when your Ex has a Personality Disorder
Divorce can be an ugly experience even when the parties start out being reasonably agreeable. When one party has a personality disorder, the conflict and problems which often come with divorce can become much more complicated and difficult to manage. While divorcing someone with a personality disorder is not easy, it is possible to get through the experience.
What is a Personality Disorder?
The Mayo Clinic describes a personality disorder as a kind of mental ailment which includes symptoms such as negative thinking patterns and behavior. A person with this type of condition ordinarily has difficulties with relationships to the point of having intense conflict at home, work, and school. Individuals with personality disorders frequently have problems perceiving situations and accepting responsibility for their own role in creating a problem.
There are several different types of personality disorders. Depending on the type of condition, symptoms can range from having mood swings, being deeply insecure, lacking empathy, and having incidents of episodic rage. Many of these disorders involve the individual engaging in emotionally abusive and manipulative behavior and having severe issues in their personal and family relationships.
What to Expect When You Leave
The stress combined with the adversarial nature of the process is likely to cause your former partner to become highly symptomatic. When someone with a personality disorder is untreated, it is likely that his or her maladaptive behaviors will become worse once the divorce process begins. Depending on their condition this could mean having to endure angry phone calls, texts, and personal interactions or intensely manipulative behaviors. While this conduct may be coming from a place of the person feeling rejected and hurt, their primary focus may become harming you through the case and punishing you by dragging things out for as long as possible.
Have a Plan and Stick to It
It is best to have a plan in place before things begin. You know your former partner and what they are capable of doing better than anyone. By having an idea of what you intend to do before your ex begins their behavior you can avoid feeding into their dysfunction. For instance, you know you will have to talk to them at times during the case. When you are interacting, stick to the facts and keep your conversations brief. If you believe that this individual is capable of making false allegations against you, do not meet with them alone and always see them in a public place. If your former partner texts, emails, or calls, direct them to your attorney for all case-related issues.
Divorcing someone who has a personality disorder can be a frustrating and challenging experience, but with the right attorney you can protect yourself, get through the case, and move on with your life. We have knowledge and experience helping clients during high-conflict divorce and are ready to advocate for and defend you. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.