Coping with Narcissistic Parental Alienation? Consider These Tips

Parent with determined expression holds child on lap on park bench outside. Child leans toward her but looks awayLittle research on narcissistic parental alienation exists, and many who have experienced this aspect of narcissism are desperate to find help. This article is written to address the issue from a psychological perspective only, in an effort to provide those coping with this situation with tips and strategies. However, it is also possible to seek legal assistance.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Narcissistic parental alienation syndrome refers to the psychological manipulation of a child by an alienating parent (the narcissistic parent). The manipulation typically results in the child’s rejection, disdain, and lack of empathy toward the other, targeted parent.

While parental alienation may occur even when narcissism is not a factor, for the purposes of this article, I will discuss parental alienation that has been instigated by a narcissistic parent.

If you are the “targeted” parent of this syndrome, or if you are trying to help a targeted parent, then the following strategies may be helpful.

You may have to engage, even if you prefer to avoid conflict.

Some of the alienated parents I’ve worked with have called this a battle, while others found this term too light and preferred “war.” Even when you don’t want to fight with your co-parent, their behavior may force you to take action to maintain custody or visitation of your children.

You might have tried to collaborate with your co-parent. You might have suggested finding a therapist together and even tried bringing them to relationship or family counseling. But if the person with narcissism doesn’t want to participate in therapy, does not believe they have done anything wrong, or has no desire to change, you are unlikely to get very far. It helps to understand you do not have a “typical” situation on your hands. The person with narcissism may have already managed to manipulate or damage your sense of self in many ways. You might feel as if they have dashed your dreams for love and crushed your heart. What do you do now that they also seem bound and determined to take away the children you value more than anything else?

It’s not a simple task to co-parent with a hostile adversary, and it can be even more difficult when you want to keep what you’re feeling from spilling over to affect your children. You will have to figure out how to parent your children in spite of the feelings you have for the other parent and the feelings and behaviors they are demonstrating toward you.

A good place to begin is to figure out how to make peace with reality. It’s generally unhelpful to ruminate over the unfairness of it all, your feelings of hatred and hurt, or the fact things have become so difficult. You will likely have these negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings, but you may be able to better process them by talking them over with friends and family or your counselor and by keeping track of them in a journal.

Create a plan and develop your resources.

Dealing with parental alienation is not easy. It can be exceedingly painful when your children resist your attempts to connect or view you as the “bad” parent, which is often the case. In your hurt, or out of a wish to do what’s best for your children, you might wonder if it’s better to give up the fight. But this could mean giving up custody, your right to parent your own children or even see them as much as you’d like.

Battles cannot be fought alone. You will need many resources to navigate the difficult terrain that lies ahead. Some potential resources include allies, legal experts, strong boundaries, self-care strategies, a good counselor, parenting strategies, and personal strength. If a person is manipulating you as well as your children, the manipulation may reach a point where you feel as if you are unable to trust in your own reality. Having a friend or family member present when you need to have discussions with your co-parent may be a helpful way to stay grounded. A good counselor can help you explore the best ways to talk about the situation with your children and may also recommend family counseling.

It can also be helpful to join a support group for parents affected by parental alienation. If you can’t find one locally, you may still be able to find helpful resources and web support. If you can find people who’ve experienced similar situations, their advice may be helpful, at least as a form of support.

Develop a plan, with the help of your counselor and legal aid, to address and face and allegations that may be made against you. Do you have proof to counter claims you know to be lies? Track down proof. Keep a record of any incidents or contradictory statements, without engaging or participating in conflict with your co-parent. Arrange to have a friend or trusted family member when you meet your co-parent to pick up or drop off your children. This can be a good idea for your own well-being and safety, but a witness may also be useful in the event of a legal battle.

The bottom line is, having supportive friends and family can help you get through this challenge. You need these people so you can process your feelings, receive good counsel, and develop a plan to move forward.

Take good care of yourself.

I believe it’s especially important to remember to love yourself through this chapter of your life. Practice forgiveness toward yourself for small mistakes you may have made in the past, as a spouse or as a parent, and offer yourself compassion and understanding instead. If your relationship was characterized by abuse, remember that you are out of it now. Reminding yourself of your resolve to live abuse-free can be a good first step, but then remind yourself that this can extend to include any harsh self-criticism that exists within your own mind. Remember: self-compassion is essential for moving forward.

Your physical health is also important. To maintain good physical health, try to eat nutritious foods and get plenty of sleep and exercise. Be mindful of the link between emotional and physical health: having affirming, safe people in your circle of influence can help you stay positive and keep your wits about you. It can be even more difficult to withstand the pressure if you aren’t taking good care of your health—emotional and physical—so commit to making self-care a top priority.

It’s not a simple task to co-parent with a hostile adversary, and it can be even more difficult when you want to keep what you’re feeling from spilling over to affect your children.

If you are a religious or spiritual person, turning to spiritual or religious leaders in your community and the higher power you believe in can help you feel both stronger and not alone. Whether you meditate, pray, or connect in some other way, many find it beneficial to “fill” empty psychological reserves in this spiritual way.

Use wisdom.

Think back to strategies your co-parent may have used to manipulate you in the past and remember not to allow these same tactics to work on you now. It may be difficult to realize you are being manipulated as it’s happening, especially when you are primarily concerned for your children. Try to use your own feelings as a guide. Do you feel angry, confused, guilty, or ashamed? Take a moment to consider why you feel that way.

If you believe you are being manipulated, don’t allow yourself to react heatedly, but plan ahead for when the same strategies might be used with your children. Talk over your options with your counselor. Developing firm boundaries and sticking to them can help you avoid “traps.”

If, over the course of the relationship you had with your co-parent, you gained knowledge of the particular tactics they used—lying, gaslighting, boundary violation, anger, or playing the victim, to name a few–you may be able to use this knowledge, even if only to prepare and forewarn yourself.

You may feel anger and other similar emotions toward the other parent. You may have chosen to practice forgiveness. You may understand their actions stem from a mental health concern, such as narcissism. Regardless of how you think of the situation, it can be helpful to remain calm when dealing with the co-parent in person. Try to contain your emotions and feelings instead of giving them the reaction they may be seeking.

Know your weaknesses.

The other parent likely already knows your weaknesses, and they may attempt to use these against you.

I believe that the best way to counteract exploitation of your weaknesses is to know these weaknesses yourself. Be honest and open with yourself. If this is something you struggle with, it can help to explore this with your counselor. Developing your personal strength can help you learn to accept your weaknesses as part of you and embrace them. If there are aspects of these you can and would like to change, you can work on a plan to do so.

But even simply acknowledging your areas of weakness is a great exercise in self-acceptance. Once you can embrace your own fears and perceived faults, these things are likely to lose any hold they have on you. If you are okay with yourself, with all of who you are, it will be much more difficult for someone to use any aspect of your self against you.

Don’t lose focus on your strengths, either, as you consider your weaknesses.

Don’t compete.

Sometimes parents attempt to buy the loyalty of their child(ren) by pulling out all the bells and whistles when it comes to promises, gifts, and privileges. The parent may not explicitly state these things are exchanged for the children’s loyalty, but this is generally implied or clearly communicated non-verbally.

It can be difficult to resist the urge to compete, but instead, try to focus on yourself and your own parenting values. It is still important for you to understand the dilemma your children are facing. Without a full understanding of the situation, these bells and whistles are attractive to them. Understand this, and also the manipulative tactics at play.

What may bring you greater peace of mind than an attempt to compete with your co-parent is consideration of what you have to offer your children. What are your personal strengths and values? While they may not be tangible or have monetary value, “gifts” of intrinsic value will sustain your children throughout their lives:

No matter what is going on in your personal life, particularly with regards to the challenges you are facing with your co-parent and children, it can help to avoid expending all of your energy focusing on what doesn’t work. Maintaining a positive attitude can be difficult, but try to practice gratitude by waking up each morning and welcoming the day.

  1. Empathy
  2. Validation
  3. Love
  4. Security
  5. Stability
  6. Kindness
  7. Strength
  8. Good role-modeling
  9. Truth
  10. Presence
  11. Attunement
  12. Healthy attachment
  13. Abuse-free environment

Your children may not immediately recognize the worth of these values, but be constant in your demonstration of love and affection for them, and commit to practicing these values, even when it is difficult.

Enjoy your life.

No matter what is going on in your personal life, particularly with regards to the challenges you are facing with your co-parent and children, it can help to avoid expending all of your energy focusing on what doesn’t work. Maintaining a positive attitude can be difficult, but try to practice gratitude by waking up each morning and welcoming the day. Notice the good things you do have and keep in mind the things in life you are thankful for, instead of focusing on the negative.

Another helpful practice is demonstrating resilience and confidence each day to your children. You do this by living these values, by genuinely showing your children your strength and love for them. Children may naturally gravitate toward strength. If you can show yourself and your children unwavering and positive strength through the process of living well, you may be able to minimize any damage caused by the other parent. This may, in fact, be one of the most important things you do for your children in the long run.

I hope some of these strategies are helpful as you attempt to manage the challenges that may come your way when co-parenting while experiencing parental alienation. Narcissistic abuse is often so personalized and insidious that it can be difficult for people who have not experienced it to fully understand how daunting and far-reaching it can be. Regardless of how much support you have, you may feel alone, as if other people in your life have no clue what you are up against.

But remember that you are not alone. Developing trust and faith in yourself, and prioritizing your well-being, can help you remain strong. If you aren’t already working with a compassionate therapist or counselor, finding one who has training or experience appropriate for your situation can also be of great benefit.


  1. Childress, C. A. (2015). An attachment-based model of parental alienation: Foundations. Claremont, CA: Oaksong Press.
  2. Darnell, D. (2008). Symptoms of parental alienation. PsyCare. Retrieved from
  3. Simon, G. (2011). Character disturbance. Marion, MI: Parkhurst Brothers Publishers Inc.

© Copyright 2018 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Sharie Stines, PsyD, GoodTherapy Topic Expert

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Ty

    January 15th, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    What you are defending and advising is the enabler of a malignant narcissist. Children, the victims, have little cash and are therefore not represented? Co-parenting? There is no such thing with a malignant narcissist. There is running from a malignant narcissist, that’s all, just running. While I understand that therapy with a narcissist and their enabler can be cash cow while the children suffer you really are on shaky moral ground. I’m on to you. Repent. Help people in need. Find a way.

  • Zoegotmojo

    June 30th, 2019 at 8:36 AM

    ^^^This. Well put, Ty.

  • M.

    January 17th, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    Best to try to get full custody of the child if possible though this is hard if they have manipulated your kid or the court into thinking YOU are the problem.
    Good luck.

  • John

    February 24th, 2020 at 7:20 PM

    Full custody? In America? This is the worst country where the law is so biased and supports only woman and who do not correct woman at all. Because of the court systems here and the useless lawyers, I lost both my children and still my ex wife has alienated them and now they are 18 years plus and they don’t even talk. That is they kind of stupid things my ex wife has done, because the court allowed her to do what she could do. If the court would have corrected her behavior, this would not have happened. Useless. I regret coming here at all.

  • Jody

    March 24th, 2020 at 9:44 PM

    I am a mom and in the same boat at you. I have 3 boys the court did not do there job. It is not a man or a lady thing it is a court / judge thing. Family court let’s the judges do what they like. And we have no were to go for help. I would be here all night with all my story’s of sadness. We just made baby’s with bad people, we did not see coming. And no one sees the sad people behind the bully’s.

  • Laraly

    August 24th, 2018 at 7:35 AM

    It is a tough situation. I wrote about this

  • Jules

    January 29th, 2019 at 10:43 PM

    There needs to be different guidelines for addressing parental alienation when the child is under 12, 12-18, and over 18. I see a lot of father’s successfully alienating the mother once the child reaches adolescence, and this is the most likely from what I’ve observed to extend into the adult years. My ex refused to see the children (one a baby) for five years after our divorce, then commenced occasional contact when they were in middle childhood, and pounced once they entered the difficult period of adolescence. This is perhaps the time a single mother most needs support, yet he exploited the opportunity. The dynamics are different in each period and the legal options.

  • Michele

    June 5th, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    That was spot on. I had the same thing happen. Seeking further resources on the neglect and abandonment and then the seeping in at adolescence and eventual “take-over” and alienation of the mom at that point. Do you have any further information??

  • Gina

    December 3rd, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    This has happened to me as well…..when my girls became teenagers and basically able to physically care for themselves my ex pounced on them to convince them to live with him to avoid child support. This was not sudden, for years he had been feeding them false information about me, validating their behaviors and blaming everyone else for their troubles instead of taking ownership. They are never wrong, everyone else is to blame….they now have the mindset of constant victimhood, entitlement and do little to help themselves because they don’t learn from their mistakes because they don’t see them as mistakes. It’s sickening to me that their lives have been ruined by their father – one of the two people children entrust their lives with to guide them to become good people and have successful, productive lives. As a mother having to watch this I feel powerless…it’s like watching your children being led down a road of pitfalls, dangerous curves and poisonous animals and ultimately off the side of the cliff with out being able to do anything to stop it. As a person it has crushed me by physically and emotionally tearing me apart. I will never be the same again……barely hanging onto my sanity and trying not jump off the side of the cliff myself.

  • nikki

    December 21st, 2019 at 3:51 AM

    Same here!
    Am in the thick of it as I write looking for resources…guidance…and ways to find/build a support system after he moved across the country with the kids. He is around his family, I have none. He has succeeded in turning the kids so that they think so little of me that it is CRAZY!!! He lied in court to get temporary custody. I need an attorney but have not been able to gather enough money quite yet and time passes and passes….

  • Jross

    March 5th, 2019 at 4:50 PM

    I’m a mother going thru this exact situation with my three sons father hes a narc..we agree for them too be with him til I got our living situation together just took n bored…he called n said he decided he should keep em since we are over..He’s denied me too see em he would make excuse n get in arguments or don’t answer or tell me he’s busy..he jumped on me stole my phone n saw I was mingling mind you he had two girlfriends then..He’s been using that against me since last October..I get harassed n called names all the time trying too reach out..I feel helpless I want full custody cause he’s only going too make matters worse for me even finding a reason too fight me..he told my sons about my personal life and say I live with another man which I had too explain too my son it wasn’t youngest refuses too say I love you..I can’t let him win! I love my babies I have proof would it work???

  • Jill N.

    March 18th, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    I am going through this very same evil practice called parental alienation its devestatingly heartbreaking . I am crushed in constant agony and seperation anxiety to say the least . If there is a lawyer out there im looking for advice on how to takle this and save my gifts from this terible mental and emotional abuse. May God grant me the grace to carry on.

  • Jennifer

    July 2nd, 2019 at 7:39 AM

    I’m a survivor. It took my ex 10 years to complete his mission and he’s done a good job. I had 3 children and 2 grandchildren – now he has them. First, for any parent going through this (male or female), document Document DOCUMENT. Parental Alientaion has quickly become an epidemic in this country and most family courts are starting to penalize the aggressive alienator. You MUST have concrete documentation though. If you can afford it, please PLEASE start to take your children to a therapist. The damage that is being done to them is irreparable. Getting them into therapy earlier in the process will not only provide you with concrete documentation but may just save your relationship with your child(ren). This is something I wish I had done from the beginning. Lastly, realize that this has nothing to do with what is best for your child – this has everything to do with the other parent deciding to be judge, jury and executioner. It’s taken me 10 years to realize that I was a great mom. He almost destroyed me…ALMOST. I’m still standing and I’m thriving in my recovery. My prayers for any parent having to mourn a living child.

  • Richard

    August 14th, 2019 at 4:30 AM

    Im losing my mind. My daughter, who I took care of from age 6 months to 4 years, wanted to move to her kmoms , shes in usa, Im in Russia. Im american, mom russian. Mom loves usa, i love it here. Mother is narcisisstic, her new husband is overly strict and also narcissistic, they lie to my daughter, control her thought, her speech, all toys, books Ive bought have been banned. They have hijacked her whatsapp and pretend to be her, calling me a bad dad, a liar…shes nine and would never say these things. Im a manly man. This has been a punch to my soul, daily, I cannot speak to my daughter, at all. When we last spoke he was standing over her, so her conversation was robotic. I cant afford a lawyer and still will fly for a custody court date. I honestly feel like Im losing it. I cant sleep, im anxious. Mostly concerned for her, my daughter. I refuse to respond to him or my ex, Im too angry and Im sure theyre recording everything. Maybe all of this is a ruse to get me to react? How to react?what to do?

  • Marissa

    June 15th, 2019 at 1:42 PM

    We are going through this with a narcissistic mother. It’s very difficult to know how to handle it. It’s going down a bit of a disastrous path. We are at the point where we don’t know what to do next, beyond thinking that she has such a bad mother but she will have to find her own way forward. A lot of people have bad mothers.. but I don’t believe we will be able to get custody or improve it as she is so very awful!

  • JWH

    July 7th, 2019 at 10:57 PM

    There is no negotiating with a narcissist. My ex, who was threatened because my daughter and I were so close, went to work on her for two full years before my angel turned on me. My ex laughs at me when I point out her crimes. She also kidnapped my child and has conveniently forgotten that fact. All I can do is remind my daughter of my unconditional love and that my door is always open to her. At some point she’s going to connect the dots and realize I’m not the monster her mother and grandmother paint me to be.

  • JWH

    July 8th, 2019 at 12:26 AM

    Me again. While it is tempting to call them malignant narcissists, the expression is redundant. Narcissism is a variation of psychopathy and the inability to empathize. The best advice I can give is what will be will be. Perhaps Jesus was right in advising us to forgive, perhaps karma is right in that what comes around goes around. I launched a contempt lawsuit against the mother that I had no intention of seeing through. I play the long game, which narcissists are incapable of. I just want to be able to show my daughter I fought hard for her, but when the mother threatened to drag her into court and bear false witness, I dropped the case because this would have scarred my daughter for life. The good news is that daughters of narcissist mothers tend to become the opposite. They will outgrow the smothering mother. Narcissists cannot help themselves, they are their own worst enemies.

  • JSB

    July 19th, 2019 at 6:31 AM

    We are going through a similar issue, I am the step-dad of a 6 year old boy. My Girlfriends ex is telling him to call me a F***ing loser to my face, telling him lots of negative stuff, mostly name calling. He is also saying negative stuff about other family members on my girlfriends side, as well as mine. He uses his son as leverage against his own parents. If the son does not agree with his Dad, he is disciplined by him. We have never said a single negative thing about his dad whenever he is with us, We are lost at what we can do.

  • Victim

    July 24th, 2019 at 6:54 PM

    What do you do when the alienator is also a licensed psychologist and should know better???

  • Ty

    July 25th, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Narcissists are actually attracted to professions like psychology where they can acquire the tools to influence people so there are probably more in this field than the general population. The difference is that they want the tools to exercise control over others to prop their fragile self-esteem not to help.
    They do know better, they just don’t care. They never will get any better than they are now. If it seems like they are then they are probably manipulating you.
    NO CONTACT is the only permanent solution. If it can’t be physical than remove yourself emotionally. Surround yourself with people who respect you. Good luck

  • Hayley

    October 19th, 2019 at 8:40 AM

    What sucks is when the narcissistic alienator father uses his attorney daddy to sabotage both myself and his daughter. Been happening for almost 9 years now. And they are telling me that I am the unfit parent. He is the one that left hardcore drugs in his daughters reach!! I tried protecting her from him yet with his daddy being an attorney, the jerk got 50/50 custody! The system is bogus and doesn’t do what is right and safe for the child. Now we have to wait until she is 15 to at least give her the chance to speak for herself. This whole journey has been so heartbreaking watching a father destroy a little girl.

  • John

    August 15th, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    We had reunification from severe alienation therapy done 5 years ago and used a reward system of a dollar prize per day and $10 if 5 of the days went well at the end of the week and they called on the nights with the x nightly. This worked well for ages 8 to 13 but now at ages 13 and 16 it has all fallen apart. They don’t seem to care about the rewards, they are skipping visitation or say they are staying at a friends house I don’t know or won’t even get into the car to go visit family members (they don’t recognize my side of the family as family since the divorce. So they are breaking the time sharing agreement and the mother never stopped coaching them on what to say. The nights they miss the time sharing I have the police do a wellness check but they say they can’t help. She had Florida DCF visit me for not feeding them and what they do is demand to go out for dinner and if I do not take them out they walk to a restaurant and the mother pays. Luckily the DCF officer said they only need peanut butter and jelly and bread – she recognized the issue and thought I was doing a good job but she said if I take her to court there is a chance the judge will let the kids stay with their mother exclusively if the judge thinks the kids are thinking on their own. The DCF office said I need to pick my battles because they are bad but you could loose them if a judge listens to them even with a history of alienation. My son is said to be depressed by the childs doctor, the school councilor and the reunification therapist but the mother won’t let him go to therapy. I already spent $100K on the divorce and have never been able to bail myself out of debt. Does anybody have any suggestions for me to work with the kids or litigation? I am not afraid to self litigate if needed.

  • Jane D

    October 28th, 2019 at 8:16 PM

    John – there are many Facebook groups for alienated parents, and there are usually parents on these forums who have experience with litigation and can offer advice, and can answer questions about other aspects of your situation. Most of these FB groups are ‘closed groups’, but a few are ‘public’ – Unfortunately some of the ‘public’ FB groups are quite good for collecting information and advice, but if the Facebook name you use is your REAL name, then posting questions and comments on those sites can be risky. You can still look through the information on them though without risk…

  • Rdm

    September 19th, 2019 at 6:53 PM

    Clearly, article author has never dealt with a narcisitic abuser first hand

  • J

    November 26th, 2019 at 2:02 PM

    I have been divorced 10 years. My second oldest son (we had 4 sons together, almost 20 years of marriage) hasn’t spent one day with me on good terms in that time. He is now 24. My oldest son struggled back and forth with my ex and I, that’s a whole other topic… Anyway Son #1 still has some respect issues although that is getting better as I set my boundaries and stick to them and we actually have a very open fairly good relationship now that he is maturing, etc. Bought his first home this past year. Son #3 and 4 are good for the most part. ANYWAY, son #2 we spent months in counseling, I fought and fought and fought the system. I had custody and we were supposed to be working towards him coming over during my placement time when he was underage. The ex never supported it. Never set consequences for disrespecting me, etc. The only option I had was to use police to enforce my placement time and the child psychologist we had at the time recommended I not do that, so I didn’t. I begged, pleaded, tried to answer his questions as best I could but of course it was all attacks on my and my only defense was that I had been in an emotionally abusive marriage to his dad, which wasn’t a defense I could use. I went to every counseling session, did everything I was recommended to do but to no avail. Without the cooperation of my ex (who is a physician btw) I was fighting against a brick wall. I finally backed off after years of trying everything I could think of. I ran into our Guardian Ad Litem several years after the divorce. She asked if things had gotten better, I told her no and she actually apologized to me and told me the courts are not set up to really help in cases like ours. It breaks my heart every single day of my life. I miss having all of my kids together so much and this time of year is particularly hard. I have an incredible group of friends and family that truly I don’t know what I would do without. I have an absolutely wonderful man in my life now, he has 3 grown daughters and we have a fabulous relationship. We even went on vacation in Spain for a week with the 3 daughters and his ex wife this past year. I’m so grateful for the healing I have been able to accomplish, and yes I have a very strong faith that this is all bigger than me. That someone out there at some point will hear this story and it will help them somehow. I’ve accepted that son #3 might not ever come back into my life. I live with that every day, but this time of year is so hard. I HATE it, I hate the system that allowed it. I hate the mental health that was never addressed and allowed this to happen. I hate that there is so little information out there to truly help in any way with this as the kids become adults. Why am I writing all this? I don’t quite know. I guess I just want to know if anyone else has had anything similar. A 10+ year with no end in sight of being alienated from your now adult child with zero help from the other parent. I can’t even talk to him because it just goes in circles and he won’t accept any responsibility in helping to fix this. If anyone has any related experience I guess I’d appreciate hearing about it. I don’t know why. I guess because even the people close to me, who I have helped get through their own experiences with divorce and alienation have all made strides in healing their relationships and I just don’t see the light at the end of my tunnel. Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far…

  • kayla

    December 4th, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Your writing on narcissistic spouses have been invaluable for me. Thank you

  • Wrenn

    December 6th, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    I too have experienced this alienation and it is the most hurtful thing a person can do … intentionally turn children against their mother. I have been told that my children will eventually turn on him once they realize how much he has taken away from their life experiences.

  • D

    January 19th, 2020 at 6:53 PM

    Going through all this right now. My kids have always been my life. I am so sad all the time by the pain. I have asked God to take me from this earth many times. My ex husband still does not realize what he has done to our kids. He wouldn’t leave 18 months ago so I did with 50/50 custody. My daughter turned 16 and he bought her a car right after which I couldn’t help with because I spent about 5-6 grand to leave him. The first time th kids came to see me, he told them they were old enough to make their decision about seeing me or not. So, the first time I said no to my daughter (wanting to drive past 9 pm, which is illegal in my state until they have been driving for 6 months)… she never came back. All this has been nothing but pain. I wish I had Just stayed now. 😥

  • Mel

    February 15th, 2020 at 8:41 PM

    D – please don’t blame yourself for leaving. I stayed, through some really terrible things, because I knew how he would be about custody. He left me, with no warning, after taking money out of savings and lying to me, and got a 1-bedroom apartment. 6 months later, he gets a house, swoops in, and suddenly he’s super-dad. As soon as I set boundaries with my teens, they went to live with him. My 9 y/o is with me every other week, my 15 y/o stays with me 1x a week, and my 17 y/o cut me out of his life.
    A million times, I’ve thought maybe if I had left him it would be different with the kids. D, it isn’t fair or rational, and it isn’t because we weren’t strong enough. Hugs to you on this terrible journey.

  • Beth

    May 12th, 2020 at 3:32 PM

    In my situation, my narcissistic alcoholic ex managed to turn my family against me during the divorce, claiming he had no issue. After 3 rounds of rehab post-divorce, things changed…but not for long. The narcissist was still there. He manipulated my daughter’s counselor and was trying to make a play for custody. He found out about a month before I did that my daughter was Bi and at 16, he helped her, and the counselor was also aware of it, to sneak out of my house to go to an event, breaking her ankle that night. I am pursuing legal action at this point because the alienation he caused, with the help of the counselor, has been ongoing. I have also filed a complaint with the state board for counselors.

  • Philip

    August 3rd, 2020 at 5:28 PM

    It has been helpful reading these comments if only to know that I’m not the only one going through this. I watched my beautiful baby girl come into this world only to be told by the mother seconds after signing the birth certificate at the hospital “now you are going to pay”. What she meant was child support (I had just graduated from college with top marks, moved to the mother’s country, was still learning the language, had found and taken the first job I could find to be there and support both her and the child, and began paying child support voluntarily long before and court ruling) and in a matter of seconds everything changed and I was the subject of what appeared to be a scam while my days-old daughter slept upstairs in the hospital room. What ensued was a court case where initially the terms were good… joint custody, shared holidays, child support) and then came out the attempts to make me not show up to the court case, slandering me among our mutual friends, having her friends present while I visited my daughter and then using those friends to bear false witness for the court case. The final judgement says I have the right to visit my daughter at supervised visitations in France, and also a Skype call every week. When I attempted to exercise those rights, the mother throws up every barrier she can, sometimes just ignores those requests outright. Trying to negotiate with a narcissist is futile and can be mentally devastating. To say it’s a helpless feeling is an understatement. It tears my heart out every single day wondering how my daughter is. I was in therapy for over a year to cope with the mental mess I had become. Birthday and Christmas gifts which I sent to the mothers house and her fathers house are refused at the door. Mentally I can’t bring myself to start up another court case and go after her, I can’t even bring myself to ask the mother for a Skype call with my daughter because that will be yet more mental abuse. Parental alienation is one of the worst kinds of abuse. Why don’t court systems sit up and listen? How many suicides take place every year because of parents being systematically alienated from their children?

  • Charles

    October 11th, 2020 at 3:11 PM

    I didn’t know it but I married a narcsisstic women , when my daughter was about 9, the wedge started between my daughter and I , by the time she was 14 she hated me full blown parental alienation was happening and then the divorce took place, I fought for therapeutic visits and it was granted by a judge , 5 days after that court date I was informed I was being accused of molesting my daughter 8 years prior. The mother who had a forensic psychological evaluation done During the divorce was diagnosed being Narcsisstic, impulse control disorder and a few other smaller mental quarks. None of this mattered to the gal , the judge , or anyone else involved. Just so you know I never ever harmed my family on any level , I was a devoted family man
    Who took the high road in life. So the now to be ex has convinced social workers etc… along with my daughter she was molested, so now I sit innocent as innocent can be fighting multiple felony counts of sexual abuse. My ex is extremely intelligent and mentally ill and has a way to act like the victim when she is actually the perpetrator. The GAL read the report which goes in great detail of parental red flags being done by the ex, but once the abuse charges came out the gal ran and did nothing , never called family members , me or anyone to make a fair assessment of the situation, he did go to the judge and ask he get paid more money. So in the end with so much evidence showing my ex is messed up he recommended Sole custody to her , wow. So I sit here I lost my daughter , my house , my pets ( the ex gave away my daughters beloved pets , all 3 dogs 16 chickens and 2 bowl fish , gone , just like that. All my tools all pictures of my parents , grand parents etc, pictures of my daughter and I , everything I had is gone, now I’m severely in debt fighting these false allegations and bankruptcy is on the horizon, and maybe life in prison , for something I never did. She don’t work , I supported the family. Narcsisstic people can be some of the worse people that exist. She has ruined my daughter, destroying my life and extended family members are heart broken , but yet nothing gets done about these type people in court, oh did I mention she had me arrested and I spent 12 days in jail with the real perverts. She is a master manipulator and I’m when I talk of narcsisstic parents in high conflict divorce, nobody really knows much about the subject. Sad sad situation, false allegations happen more often than people realize, when they Say guilty until proven innocent for child abuse cases , it’s so true

  • LaRisa

    November 7th, 2020 at 9:51 PM

    Same. My sons father is a narcissistic and this was why I left him. On top of verbal abuse. Even tho I filed for joint custody when I left he is filing for full. And he is doing whatever he can to smut my motherhood and win. The fact that he works for the government doesn’t help my situation at all. He has his mother doing everything because he works and Im losing this battle because they are blind to his ways to manipulate and I am having to constantly prove myself as a person and mother. For instance, after getting my son for the 4days every other wk I now get him, I noticed he had some scabbing from what had been dryness on his butt cheek which he has gotten before many times. (He is 5) I send him back and it wasn’t as bad all I did was use a good thick lotion on him after he bathed. But it was still noticeable on his rear cheek. Not the day I take him bk to his dad but the following night he angrily msgs me asking me what is on his butt, and states I better not be hitting him. I msg him back saying “are u kidding me?” I said “it is dry skin! Put some good lotion on it and it’s be fine!” INSTEAD he takes our son to the ER for “possible physical abuse” BUT comes to find out ITS DERMATITIS aka rash due to dry/wet skin! Because it was flaky and itchy at times his scratching led it to bleed therefore looking like a cut. Now this isn’t the point of the story, my point is, he is using that document from the hospital that says the reason for visit being “possible physical abuse” he is using that against me in court! Yes it does state that it turned out to be dermatitis but this is the way he is going about smutting my name! And IT IS the judges and systems fault for NOT being knowledgeable on how to recognize a narcissistic person and their tactics. So it is working for him. And YES I FEEL ALONE because NOBODY no’s how to FIX these types of situations. Good mothers are losing their babies and the babies are suffering for it.

  • Alexander

    May 22nd, 2021 at 11:07 PM

    What a pointless article. It really offers no solutions but instead regurgitates the same concept again and again throughout the article.

  • Yopaz21

    June 30th, 2021 at 10:58 AM

    I have been trying to learn what this is called because I’ve been a victim of it for years. I pray for strength to get through this so my daughter will stop hating me, as that is what her father made her do, based on brainwashing tactics.

  • Richard

    August 1st, 2021 at 11:21 PM

    Unspoken prayers to all of need
    God bless humanity 🙏

  • Sad mad scared

    December 7th, 2021 at 3:38 AM

    I am going thru the worst..a bit of everyone’s story it seems. If we are on the shitty end of the stick, which I am feeling so helpless. Here is a small bit of my narcopath and his alienting co-parent story….seemed perfect, had a ex who didn’t chose her kids. Didn’t even exist in girls lives for 1st year of our relationship. I am a huge empathetic person which I’ve learned it’s a fine line for empathy and sympathy and love for me. I don’t have it all, but I’ll give the shirt off my back to help someone who has less or in need. It’s who I am…which attracts the worse I’ve learned. So years later as mom rejoins pic she starts to have oldest daughter under her wing. Making lies up about me and just nothing I’m use to. He maintains, never follows thru with punishing or teaching her that’s wrong. Which doesn’t settle well but I make the excuse and he is guilty parent and later nope, it’s his mini wife! Jump ano few until we’re engaged and her literally purposley knocks me up. I’m talking it’s a no don’t and he smugly shakes my legs side to side to make sure it like settles. Once I find out I’m pregnant which I’m 39 waited my entire life had career, wanted marriage the entire I have morals etc….I wanted my baby and he agreed to be a donor basis because we weren’t good and I wanted away from him. He later admits he trapped me purposely. Then two years after baby born with never spending a moment with him or one family pic or moment….he tells me he hated me since December 2017 which is 9 months before pregnant and as I try to break it off over and over yet his persistance paid off only for him tho. I’m under his rented roof mind u I own 1 home outright and owe on my 2nd..yet he didn’t want to disrupt the girls home. So I said ok letting my home go and sit…..always promising yearly were moving there. The ex does the parent alienation on me all thru this time for 3 plus years secretly taking girls to Drs even accusing me of piosioning the eldest who is her moms child 100percent and my baby’s father can’t stand it. He takes everything they do out on me and my baby son. Ruins every holiday and every minute….never there for us. Yet home on girl weeks….. Makes me know I can’t do it without him yet if I try….he’s coming because I’m a child abuser to his girls and I have no one anymore. Went to well liked nice girl always smiling to alone, never one minute of alone time single can travel or do what I want take care of family, donate, like just be me….to crying in the bathroom in any spare chance of freedom I got from his girls and never getting the solace and enjoy,went I should for my own child. I was made to handle them first and they were on me 24/7 even as their dad sat on his ass they knew he wouldn’t handle it unless it’s his favorite asking and in their private time……. Anyways so over 2 years he stole every minute of a happy life from my son. His youngest has requested to live with me and if I adopt her, emancipation I mean it all weekly anymore because I am just me. I don’t talk bad or turn to their level of evil. I just be like let’s fix this…….didn’t get me anywhere but a sad little one and I strood up for myself saying why are we left out when your eldest who brings problems daily to our home for no reason is enjoying life everywhere…why can’t we..youngest, our son and us go do something get in car and go and leave Aubrey home for once with cameras security and she’s 14. Nope….that’s all it took. Now I’m voilent and this and that….remind u he never handles her bad behavior and lies…he took it out on me so yes scared to leave with all threats and the allegations …..his family money and hire attorneys left and right….well I’m gonna file a restraining order is my goal…yet I feel alone, not believed with his charm even tho I kept a journal and such. Custody …..what’s. The point if all of you aren’t getting anywhere and the good ones are made out as the bad and we lose. Am I missing something?.. I’m older and yes stupid or Nieve but can’t we all as a whole of victims do something together to change the courts an such??? I worked for courts yet never family. By choice because I wanted a family and didn’t want to be jaded… I know a judge yes hates the loud one who stands up for what they believe but I also know that if they are shown that there is a jury of 12 or 15 than one respondent or defendant, public defender or whatever they will give in because they hate to be hated and outed above all. Has no one ever tried to get some petition going for the abuse and literal hell we’ve gone thru little alone what are kids are in for to only be taught to keep cycle going????? I’ve joined a forum for help because I’m so embarrassed and I, reaching for every bit of help I can get because I feel so helpless yet I don’t want to lay down for that intentional premeditated jerk anymore and I want my son to be happy and healthy as an adult. What can we all do to make a change…….?… Forgive me I may sound stupid yet there are soooo so
    many of us going thru it alone and then the ones with children. There has to be something to change this pattern and stop the crap being spread to our children. If we have bomb and lgqtb sorry if I got wrong …but making their way now can’t we the used and abused which is effecting all our genders, colors, and most importantly our babies and children which is our futures. Can’t we as a whole group change this and if it’s being tried please direct me to wherever I can go to change the judicial & legal system and anyone else in the mindsets that we are just an upset ex who got dumped.

  • exhausted from it all

    January 23rd, 2022 at 8:28 PM

    My ex is a narcissist along with his new wife. I am so exhausted with her telling me how to be a parent and everything. She has her own kids to worry about. My ex doesn’t even do any communicating like we are suppose to all he does is verbally, mentally, and emotionally abuse me. Even they are spreading rumors about me especially to my daughters dance team parents. No wonder I am never included in anything. They make me look so bad and I hate it and right now all i can do is call the cops and file harassment charges.

  • Gina

    February 6th, 2022 at 9:55 PM

    I had no idea so many people are dealing with parental alienation. I’ve felt so alone for the past 10 years. I’m not happy that anyone else has to deal with this pain, and my heart goes out to you all. My little girl and I were inseparable the first 4 years of her life until her dad and I separated. He used her as a pawn in his games to try to control me, and finally I had enough and left. He manipulated her and the courts and got emergency custody of her based on lies. It’s been on going for 10 years now. I can’t get into details because the pain is just too much. I’ve gone through supervised visitations, therapy, expensive psychological testing and lawyers. All they found “wrong” with me was depression; I don’t see how any person in my position couldn’t have depression! So they force meds down my throat and I’ve done everything and anything just to get my baby girl back and I still don’t have her. I ran out of money for an attorney. I gave it my all, for so many years I battled. Finally, a few years ago I left the state and now I only get to talk to her on the phone once in a while. She said for a while she wanted to come live with me, and she talked to me online behind her dad’s back, but he found out and put an end to it. Now we hardly ever talk, and she hates me. He finally won. I don’t know how to deal with the pain sometimes, but somehow, I just keep going. I left thinking that I could heal if I removed myself from the toxic situation, but I don’t think you can ever really heal from the trauma of losing a child. She is a part of me, my soul, and it’s always missing. Always a hole.

  • Dad

    February 15th, 2022 at 11:30 PM

    I’m up against a very shrewd, intelligent ex spouse and she has been telling our daughter that I am the narcissist, and in my opinion projecting her hurts, anger and disappointments on me and telling our daughter ” your dad will always need to be with a woman and to be careful because your dad sees you as his surrogate wife. Which for me is utterly disgusting and in my mind her mother is manipulating her and even suggesting there is something in appropriate with our father daughter relationship. Nothing could be further than this. I was a stay at home dad and raised both my kids while she pursued her high paying engineer job. She told our daughter I will always need to be in a relationship yet, she is the one who go into a relationship with a co worker before our divorce was even finalized.
    It’s been four years since the separation and I have not been able to see myself with anyone because I still have love in my heart for my kids mom. Even after she has undermined me and said terrible things I still try to get my daughter to know her mom loves her and is resentful of her mom needing to pay me alimony.
    I’m shocked at these accusations and sad for my daughter because all our daughter wants is to have a real mother daughter relationship, yet she tells her such mean things about me, even that she should limit her time with me and that she shouldn’t want to have and doesn’t need my blessing to give her away to a guy I don’t approve of and she’s only known for a couple of months. Our daughter struggles with other issues too, and her mom deffinatley seems to be looking like the “good parent” by taking the approach that our daughter should not seek my approval as the dad and she should do what ever she wants. I am a christian man, and my daughter also has her faith and I’m so sad that she is being confused by her mom’s statements about me. I told her to pray about it and that I as her father am directed by our faith to follow Christ’s counsel and for me as the figurehead in our family that I am responsible for giving sound, faith based advice and counsel and it is her choice to live by her faith or take others hurtful remarks and allow herself to be affected. This has been proven to be difficult advice even for me to take as I try to stay positive for her and myself. I never have said anything negative to our daughter about her mom other than it makes me sad she would say these things to our daughter about me and our relationship.

    any advice?

  • Mark

    March 15th, 2022 at 11:39 AM

    Covid lockdown should produce an epidemic, maybe pandemic of parental alienation. There’s already an analysis of this in South Africa. In my case, after 8 years of diligent exercise of my alternate weekends and summer month (etc.) possessions without problems, suddenly my Court Ordered right to daily phone communication (15 min. per child) became “harrassment” within three weeks. Two months later in July, 17 year old daughter needs therapy for anxiety, becomes delusional saying I called “slut” and “fat,” probably because the therapist believed me a monster (inflenced by bipolar Ex?) and never talked to me, nor gave notice of therapy. By late December, the therapist calls Child Protective services, the Ex used it as excuse to deny visitations in 2021, and I filed a Motion to Enforce Visitation with the FALSE free legal advice that if I gathered all evidence and filled all the forms and journals in the downloaded kit, the Judge would rule in my favor. Instead of only three Police Reports of denied visitations, I had NINE. Meantime, my kids go to the police and accuse me of sexual abuse, which revealed in Court things like giving my daughter and friend a tour of college town nightlife as “prostituting my daughter” etc. All allegations dismissed by one police interview and two CPS investigations.
    I expected any reasonable human would recognize this as SEVERE Parental Alienation (so common the Standard Divorce Decree full of orders to ensure both parents parent!) but a young ASSociate Judge interviewed my two teens (son 14), decided I was a monster and ordered supervised visitation IN SPITE of correctly ruling I had proved eight years of failure to try to “keep both parents in children’s lives” by my Ex, who had convince the kids to hide Dr.s’ names and Student IDs while putting an ex-boyfriend, stationed in Afghanistan 9 months a year, as emergency contact in school records. The Judge denied my 28 days of makeup time, my daughter turned 18. The three days to ask for another hearing proved impossible because courts use PayPal which needed three days to transfer funds to order the Ruling (the flabbergasted me couldn’t believe my ears!). So I paid $1,000 to buy the Hearing transcript, identify all my bipolar Ex’s perjury, list her contempt of court throughout the eight years AND this judicial process, and win back my unsupervised parental rights with the offer of paying half her legal fees (I represented myself pro se). I held my breath untill a Judge signed the Settlement. So now none of the three answer emails or phone calls. I should have just walked away from my children. This happened in Texas, but USA in general doesn’t recognize Parental Alienation (law firms love the concept!) but other countries ( and I researched this in Spanish also) put it into law against Child Abuse and Kidnapping, which is what it is and in my case, an extension of the International Child Abduction my bipolar adulterous Ex committed during divorce. IN ILLINOIS, the third denial of visitation rights will put the denier IN JAIL, and I believe that law made National would solve many of our problems.

  • Lm

    December 8th, 2022 at 7:37 PM

    I’ve always tried to be a good parent and had the most loving, understanding relationship with my son. He turned 16 and chose to live with his father which I accepted as he had siblings there. In less than 2 months he was alienated from me in a way that was slow, conniving and vindictive. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my life. I know their manipulating and emotionally black mailing my child started many years ago when they took me to court to get full custody and lost. I just naively thought that people grew up, changed and always put the child’s best interest first. I was wrong and this glimpse of evil has me shook and is taking all my strength to survive it.

  • Kent

    January 16th, 2023 at 6:46 PM

    Try to enjoy life while someone keeps your child hostage and abuses them great advice, you’ll need resources lol in this day and age when you can’t even get a living wage? are you serious? All the therapy and support and talking in the world won’t help one bit this article is a sad joke take it from someone who has lived through it the worst part is watching your child be ripped apart and taught to hate you while it’s obvious to the court the Dr’s and everyone else involved and with out ultra large sums of money forget it, now thanks to advice like this I have a Gkid I don’t see either and every day is a struggle to not just end the anguish I feel. I will never get to hold my child, never see their first steps, never get to be a father. We really need to wonder why so many parents on both sides are absent these days ? They don’t hold the instigating parents in contempt but try speaking up for the child while the Judge claims you should be ashamed of yourself, for what putting the child over the bitter little squabbles and doing what you’re advised? The entire thing is a pathetic unjust crime against children and family. If they took visitation as serious as support better believe someone would be in jail. Therapist don’t want to rock the boat though because court ordered family counseling is a multibillion plus racquet. Do everything you can to keep a bond with that child I thought not fighting not staying with an abusive partner would be better my kid wouldn’t grow up with the hell I had to, no he grew up with his own hell and now?

  • Raine

    February 7th, 2023 at 11:02 AM

    I’ve never seen anyone talk about the alienation a parent does to the child. Alienating a child and grown child from themselves and Ultimately the family joins in on that alienation

  • vikki

    July 28th, 2023 at 2:58 AM

    A helpful and sympathetic poetry blog with this title serves as a bulwark of hope and resiliency for people who are coping with the difficulties of dealing with narcissistic parental alienation.

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