My passive-agressive husband is manipulating me with my kids, please help!

q-100Married to Pass Agg narcissist anti-social for 20 yrs and no longer allowing him to manipulate me. He has undermined my parenting for yrs – now he is turning my kids to lie abt me physically abusing them – he plants subtle thoughts … trying for unfit mom so he can get me either to leave or if I file that he will get the kids and house. I have offered him a civilized divorce, separation – whatever if he will not try to destroy my kids or myself financially. He is an attorney. The kids would choose him over me – he is the disneyland parent. Daughter 17-yrs old – stands by him no matter what – even lies with him. 16-yr old son is following in his sister’s footsteps. 11-yr old son is truly caught in the middle and tries not to take sides but tends to get angry at me as well – especially after spending time with him. My husband is a master manipulator and has returned to his mother (who is the same as him and who he hates) and father against me. He is loyal to no one but himself – not his parents, siblings, me, and even I think is using his kids to work against me. He goes out and hangs out at bars, does not pay bills – other than mortgages and immediate bills, canceled health insurance on family (except himself), controls all the finances – I have no clue how much he makes. I am a stay at home mom – quit work for his practice… I put him thru law school and now everything is my fault all the time. Everything is a disaster – I am living in a crisis mode. What – if anything you can you offer for advise – even one helpful piece of advise bec I know this is so bad. I am in the process of going into counseling and have consulted with attorneys. I just feel sick to my stomach – it just went from ok to bad to horrible to crisis since August and I am trying everything to hang on.




I’m so sorry that you have let this go on for so many years. No doubt, you are torn down and worn out. Unfortunately, you are not alone. This happens more frequently than you might think.

It would be helpful to me to know which state you are in. Laws vary and that would help me give you more accurate advice.

You do seem to be dealing with major traits of high conflict people on a repeated basis. (Those are folks who seem to usually  fit the twelve criteria I put on my site at .) Unless he has been diagnosed by a competent psychologist or psychiatrist, I invite you to simple use the phrase “he has the traits of….” rather than labels. When you talk with attorneys and go to court, you don’t want anyone asking you sarcastic questions about where you got your psychology degree, right?

So, to the meat of the matter:

I would love to be able to tell you that I have good news, but I know that you already know that he will not change in positive ways. The more you push, the tighter rein he will likely put on everything, including the children. People with these traits HAVE to win, even if it means contradicting themselves from one minute to the next. He will likely persist in alienating the children, because those are his closest likely allies. They become his weapons of choice.

As I am writing this, I realize that I cannot give you advice without speaking to you because your situation is so fraught with layers of difficulties. My specialty is working with passive-aggressive and high-conflict people, and more usually, with their partners. I can help you figure this out, but I need to ask so many more questions.

I see clients in my office and through Skype. If it is possible for you to make an appointment with me, I am happy to sort this through with you to create your best long-term solution. It will take a while, but we can do it together. If you are willing to do that, you can schedule an appointment yourself for a convenient time for you HERE.

I usually can offer much more advice here, but this time I have to know more.

I hope we can talk soon.

I wish you well.
Dr. Shaler

Schedule your own session with Dr. Shaler at a time convenient to you  HERE.  Subscribe to her twice-monthly TIPS FOR RELATIONSHIPS HERE.

January 31, 2015   122    Spouse/Partner  
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