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What if you're co-parenting with a sociopath?

There are likely many reasons why you and your child's other parent split. But if you are having many difficulties with the co-parenting relationship, it may be that your co-parent is a sociopath.

While that may bring to mind images of a knife-wielding Ted Bendy on a sorority house rampage, that is an atypical version of a sociopath. Most sociopaths blend in quite well within their worlds. It's only when you become involved in a relationship with one that you recognize them for what they truly are.

Sociopaths can be very charismatic and popular among their peers. But this is a facade that hides their complete lack of a conscience and empathy towards others. If your child's other parent is sociopathic, your son or daughter will be adversely affected by the parent's decisions and actions.

Your child may be aware that there is something wrong with mommy or daddy. Of course, children are ill-equipped to understand — let alone diagnose — sociopathy in their parents.

But this prevailing trait will emerge as a form of emotional neglect of the child. Because sociopaths have no regard for others' feelings, they will trample all over a child's emotions without knowing — or caring.

Sociopaths believe that the end justifies the means in every case. They use underhanded tactics to further their agendas and will portray situations falsely. They are adept at twisting people's words and masters at blame-shifting. Nothing will ever be their fault.

You may need to seek a legal solution to the problem if:

  • The other parent causes emotional harm to your child.
  • After inflicting emotional pain, they act like it never happened. Moreover, they expect the child to ignore it, too.
  • The parent plays a victim role and never owns their own role in situations.
  • Their parent attempts to manipulate the child, you or others to get what they want.

Arranging for counseling for the child is often the first step toward fixing the problem. You ultimately may need to seek a modification of the child custody arrangements to protect your child from their other parent.

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