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Book Reviews: "Divorce Poison" and...

1dad4kids's picture

Has anyone read the books "Divorce Poison", "The High Conflict Custody Battle", or "Co-parenting With a Narcissist"?

DH needs coping skills, so do I honestly. Just wondering if these books are helpful for parents who've never been in an actual relationship (BM was a fling with DH)? 

Thoughts on these books and other books are appreciated. We're foreseeing BM will be upping her alienation game the closer we get to finishing SS10's counselling sessions. 

Survivingstephell's picture

Divorce Poison is a good start.  It helped us back in the day. There is another guy who writes about pathological parenting. Childress is his name I think.  He came after.  Any study you do on the Cluster B personality disorders will give you a good background on the typical crazy types. is another good one.  

Ive been at this step game for 15 years now. The best predictor of a crazy ex are their own behaviors.  They all have typical games they play, Many on here tell similar stories about BM behaviors.  Step back and reflect on high conflict times and you will see a pattern.  Once you see it, you won't fall for it, and if your shrewd you can have fun with it.  Legally of course. 

1dad4kids's picture

BM doesn't really communicate with DH anymore, but during DH's last access time SS10 told me about a lie his mom told him so I just want to know really how we handle him without causing damage. Do you think that book would help?

Jojo4124's picture

He has a fb page n youtube videos, deals a lot with parental alienation.

Toxic People is good

Just learn about narcissistic abuse and how to deal with one...narcs play by the narc book so the more you learn, the better equipped you will be when they act predicabilly. Gray rock and other tools. No contact is best except emaiks that can b copied and used in court to prove that they need psych testing to show they are an unfit parent...

1dad4kids's picture

DH has a cease and desist order against BM. She can only contact DH to pass along information and everything else must go through their lawyers to get watered down before it reaches DH. 

I'm not sure she's actually alienating DH and I, probably she is. We just want to be prepared if she is. 

tog redux's picture

I've read all of them. Can't hurt to do so, but you know how my situation turned out.  If I could go back again, I would not bother, it didn't help us at all.  And I would have told DH to read them himself if he wanted insight into how to deal with his ex, because I did far too much trying to fix everything for him.

1dad4kids's picture

DH is planning to do the audio books while he's working since he usually listens to music on his headphones anyway. 

However we're more looking for ways to deal with SS10 since DH and BM really only communicate through lawyers now. We're just thinking she'll really be pouring on the alienation tactics now that we're nearing the end of counseling.

tog redux's picture

That's good that he's listening for himself - it does really need to be him who drives all of this. I'm a natural fixer and helper and DH wanted my help, but I wish I had gotten to the point I am now much earlier - "It's your decision, dear, it's your kid," instead of giving so much advice and trying to help so dang much. (Not accusing you of doing the same, just sharing what I learned).

She will undoubtedly continue the alienation for all of her life. One thing my DH did very right (and yours is too), is that he never became an indulgent father out of fear of losing SS. He did fear it, but he never let that drive his parenting. And even though SS20 is a hot mess, he does respect DH and he doesn't act like some of these entitled adult skids on here, because he knows DH isn't having it.  He is totally entitled and a total jerk with BM, but not with DH.

1dad4kids's picture

Yes since I've joined this site I've definitely taken a step back from the front lines. In addition, the custody and access assessment said that I should lol. She wanted DH and BM to work on communication and since BM hates me so much it's impossible for her to get along with DH. So now I'm more on the support side when it comes to BM. DH is spearheading the decisions but I do of course offer my advice. And SS10 still comes to me as he always has, which is why I think it's important for me to know how to respond to the lies his mom is telling him. I think I handled the last one ok by framing it as a misunderstanding but I'd like to see if there are better ways to handle it. Especially when he is seeking comfort from me specifically while DH isn't around. 

tog redux's picture

I did a lot of that kind of talking with SS, too - as a child therapist, I obviously know how to talk to kids and DH isn't exactly the warm and fuzzy type, so SS gravitated towards me. BM even framed it as how SS was sooo much happier when I was around (implying DH was a big meanie).  The best approach is to try to teach critical thinking in SS rather than pointing out lies. Didn't work for us, but that's what the books recommend.  So instead of correcting misconceptions, help SS see for himself what's going on through questions that get him to think.

Jojo4124's picture

Let the child know how loved and wanted he is by you n dh. Teach him that if someone says something bad about someone that it may not be true.


Jojo4124's picture

Just say if "someone " acts this way it might not be right. Teach him right from wrong. Tell him that sometimes even adults lie. Research with him how to know if someone is lying. Great opportunity to teach him these life skills and you can frame it that way. "Hon, we want to teach you some life skills...for one, have you ever caught someone in a lie?" And go from there. You will give him the gift of discernment is all his relationships.  Tell him you are proud of him that he is mature enough to start learning life skills. Use examples with friends, and if they lie to us, it to self sooth and deal appropriately with a liar. Make it relevant to his age level but you will plant a seed.

Instill in him every time you n dh see him how much you love him and are proud of him.

Hopefully hateful bm will hang herself in court with her venom. Stay calm, loving, normal. Use all texts from her against her and ask that the court psych test her if need be...that look, judge, look at her hateful hard it is to coparent with her, etc. Ask that she re take the coparenting class. State in court papers that if she EVER denies dh any rightful custody time that she loses custody or some consequence.

Parental alienation is child abuse so fight it as that! You got this!!

Jojo4124's picture

I went thru it...great support groups on fb...go on them now and ask seasoned alienated parents questions, it will help you a ton!

Again Dr Craig Childress is actively trying to get the courts to recognize alienation as child abuse and the parent who does it is unfit to have custody

Harry's picture

The SP sees that what they feel and the way they feel is justified.   That the SK birth parents are playing games.  That you don't have a normal family. But some screw up affair.   Where the ex is trying to control your life. And trying to make your life unhappy. 
That your SO just does not see that 

1dad4kids's picture

Well my DH isn't delusional. He's looking for skills to help him cope with BM's alienation and how to talk to SS10 

tog redux's picture

I don't think he's read them if that's what he got from them. None of them have anything to do with stepparenting.

Jojo4124's picture

May have stuff for teaching kids...

Youtube has ppl who were alienated as kids on you can see the pain the kids go thru when alienated

Rags's picture

Nope, haven't read them.

Codependent No More I did read.... 30+ years ago.

But that isn't about divorce, coparenting, or Custody Battles.

strugglingSM's picture

I read a book called Understanding the Borderline Mother that helped me understand BM's behavior. It goes into the four main "types" of borderlines and the manipulation tactics they used. It helped in the sense that I felt like I wasn't alone and also could see BM's tricks a mile away. I shared some of it with DH, but his tactic is more to ignore her at this point. So, in other words, it didn't make things any better with BM or with her alienation of SSs. 

I do not try to help SSs may realize how terrible BM is, but the other never will. He is fully enmeshed and well on his way to becoming borderline himself. I once read that a borderline paernt can't exist without creating a borderline child to provide them with the emotional support they need.