Divorce: Is Your Ex A High-Conflict Personality?
While most people exhibit some irrational or unpleasant behavior during the pressure cooker of divorce, people with high-conflict personalities are experts at creating drama and chaos. They respond to the grief of a failed marriage by blaming you for the divorce and any problems the kids might have. Because they need a target, they will probably not “get over it” in time. Wondering if your ex might be a high-conflict personality or whether you are in a high conflict divorce? Take this yes/no quiz to find out.
Are You Headed for a High Conflict Divorce?
- Does he use electronic communication as a weapon? Does he send e-mails, texts, and voice mails that contain threats and insults?
- Does he bad-mouth you to the kids (and anyone else who will listen)? Exaggerate or tell out-and-out lies? Do you feel like you’re the target of a political smear campaign?
- Does he try to obstruct your communication with your children’s teachers, doctors, coaches, etc.?
- Does he interfere with your phone calls to your children, i.e. listens in on your conversations, instructs your children what to say, or refuses to let you talk to the kids?
- Does she try to run your house, i.e. tell you what rules to enforce, tell your kids they don’t have to follow your rules?
- Does she feel entitled to make all the child-rearing decisions and refuse to compromise or listen to your point-of-view?
- Does she initiate frequent litigation, against you or others?
- Does she interfere with visitation? Won’t drop the kids off at the appointed time or puts pressure on your kids not to visit you?
- Does he act as if he’s above the law, i.e. doesn’t follow the custody order?
- Does he pay child support late, or not at all?
- Does she feel that any problem the kids have, no matter how minor, is 100% your fault?
- Does she act like she’s a perfect parent who has to protect the children from you, the incompetent or dangerous parent?
- Does she create drama in other areas or her life, i.e. on the job, with friends or family?
- Is she preoccupied with blaming others for all her problems? Does she act like a victim? Does she try to get back at people for perceived wrongs?
- Is his life marked by instability, i.e. can’t hold a job, financial struggles, feuds with friends and family, legal troubles?
- Does she try to rally support from others against you?
- Does he act like every issue he has, no matter how minor, is intensely important and urgent? But goes off the radar whenever you need something?
- Does he have an “anything to win” mentality? Threaten dire consequences if he doesn’t get his way?
- Does she view things in black and white terms, i.e. people are either all good (that’s her!) or all bad (that’s you and your entire extended family).
- Is she physically aggressive? Throw furniture, hit, kick, slap, shove?
- Is she verbally aggressive? Scream, cry, yell, launch into tirades of criticism?
- Is he emotionally volatile? Does he have frequent mood swings? Make mountains out of molehills? Throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way?
- Does he try to dominate every interaction and situation, i.e. prove he’s the biggest rooster in the barn?
- Does she ignore other people’s boundaries? Interrupt conversations? Snoop through your things? Stalk you? Invade your personal space?
- Is he inflexible? Is it his way or the highway? Does he seem incapable of looking at things from others’ point-of-view?
While this quiz does not constitute an actual diagnosis, you may have a high-conflict ex if you answered “yes” to 5 or more questions. The best way to deal with a high-conflict personality is to focus on managing your own reactions and behavior – because you will not ever be able to change theirs.Are you going through a divorce or dealing with a related custody or support issue with a high conflict personality? Our attorneys can help. Please contact us to schedule your initial confidential consultation today.