Parental Alienation Syndrome

I think most of us will agree that divorce is disappointing.

Yet, even in the midst of difficult, even traumatic circumstances like these, many folks are able to lay their personal feelings, assume responsibility for the behaviors and circumstances leading up to the divorce, and work together to craft a separation that makes the best out of a bad situation for all parties involved – and these folks that are able to treat other professionally, even if they don’t like the other party, deserve our admiration and respect.

And then there are the others – the selfish ones.

It’s certainly not uncommon to feel hurt, angry, and hateful toward your estranged spouse in a divorce matter, and there are probably good reasons for both parties to feel that way.

You are after all, suing each other; leveling blame and dividing up ownership of marital assets and debts while trying to establish a new life for yourself, that is hopefully, relatively free of the presence of the person you want to be rid of.

Money and assets are easy enough to divide up. The problem arises when children are involved, because once the Family Court process gets rolling, it soon becomes apparent that divorcing parents must remain cooperative, responsible, and accountable to each other – and for some, this is conflicts with their desire to put themselves first.

One cannot simply pick-up and move the children without the consent of the other parent.  Decisions regarding schooling, health care, extra curricular activities, religion, and the day-to-day activities of the children must still be arrived at cooperatively, and visitation schedules must be adhered to unless both parents agree to deviations from it.

And this presents a problem for those who value their personal freedoms more than they value the welfare of their children – This is a problem for self-centered parents.


And It’s The Children Who Truly Suffer

As you’ll see in the alienating and accusing profiles page, alienating parents tend to exhibit psychological markers of narcissism, control, and impulsiveness.

In other words, for self-centered parents, it’s all about them, and then tend to lack the ability to see and feel perspectives other than their own; which includes their own children.

When a family is torn apart, it’s difficult enough for children cope. In fact, it can be downright terrifying for them.

And numerous studies have shown that when one parent mindfully works to further damage or terminate the relationship of the children with the other parent, the psychological damage is often long-term and devastating.

In fact, its been statistically shown that children suffering the effects of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) suffer above average rates of:

  • Self-esteem and self-confidence issues
  • Depression
  • Anger management problems
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sleeping and eating disorders
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Self-hating behaviors
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Adverse run-in’s with the Law
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Note: for a pretty decent summary of the issue, please see the following article: The Effects of PAS on Children,, as well as those indexed under the links to the right)


Why Would Anyone Hurt A Child, Especially Their Own?

I’m sorry to say, the answer to this is pretty straightforward:

First, self-centered parents believe they are a superior parent and that the other parent is not needed.

Secondly, they recognize that joint custody and decision-making will restrict their personal freedoms – they cannot simply do what they want.  And for and self-centered parents, this is unacceptable.

And thirdly, there is a financial incentive for self-centered parents to limit or eliminate your time with children. Because child support is not only a function of annual income sharing, but can also be determined by the custody hours awarded to each parent – the less time you spend with your kids, the more money they make.




19 thoughts on “Parental Alienation Syndrome

  1. I firmly believe that no fault divorce was a needed reform to divorce laws.

    But I also believe that the needed reform to no fault divorce, and a good way to stop PAS before it starts, is a rebuttable presumption of joint shared 50/50 custody.

    Take away from parents the ease of gaming the system. Then put into place DMV like systems that allow/manage/supervise two co-parents to quickly, swiftly, inexpensively see mediators a couple of times a year while preserving their rights to see a judge. Pay for it by sliding scale of each parents income, but understand the money spent by the State here is money not spent by the state on overcrowded very expensive courtrooms. So it may even save money, especially if it leads to better outcomes for the children.

  2. Reading this i did not know what to think. Were u with us payees or for the nesting so called other. Bottom line these imposters are saying there perants. N they are crippleing us parents. My 2 sons hate me. They say i was never there for them. And that i never helped them. They told me things i wouldnt even put on this site. Thats cool. Go ahead. They dont know the truth. But now there older and over 18 now n there own family is telling them. How mommy took off. N played around with mr dope man Thanks. I was better off with out It. It meaning her. Mrs Welfare. My X. She been on welfare so long they had her face on the foodstamp.

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  13. It’s scary how really common this is, I’ve seen it more than a few times in my life. My own ex husband twice had an affair and I never once thought of using our son to try and hurt him because it ultimately hurts the child and they have a beautiful strong bond which has nothing to do w me or our minimal relationship. It’s hard enough to split a family and I don’t understand this kind of behavior. We actually work better together now and fight less than we did under one roof and it doesn’t seem to be negatively affecting our son because we have tried to make the transition so pleasant. We encourage a relationship with other parent and we work amicably together to see how much or even IF child support is needed that month on both sides based on time spent w the kid. My 4 year old says he’s happy and he’s ok with taking turns. I wish every separation could be so easy. The affair was a blessing in disguise as my ex deals with some narcissistic control issues. I finally have the freedom and confidence to be a strong, consistent parent able to teach my son discipline, (and I don’t mean reaction to bad behavior,) instead of being undermined and treated with disrespect in my ex’s efforts to friend our son to get him “on his side.” My son’s behavior dramatically improved since our split a year ago. I have learned how to deal w the narcissist peacefully and make things seem like it’s for his benefit. He even gets along with my boyfriend and so does our son.
    My boyfriend on the other hand went thru the same thing at the same time. Third time he caught his wife having an affair. Don’t understand it but this girl has repeatedly held their sons over his head in efforts to control, hurt and manipulate him more and more. The children cry for their daddy and she cares not. She didn’t even want him back when he asked to work it out because of the family until he started dating me, same as my ex, but they were okay to fall in love while married. This girl is certifiable borderline personality disorder. She got caught, victimized herself, falsely accused my boyfriend of rape in efforts to put him away; which he took all the way to trial and found completely innocent by a jury. Trial ended in August. 8 months of “get back together with me or you’ll never see your kids again.” She’s still w her affair partner who she claims beat her up and now recants her testimony. She’s had 5 other partners between the affair partner. She has withheld the boys and moved them 5 different places in less than a year, w each new partner. My best friends of 10 years were their neighbors amd actually introduced the affair partner to their family. Everyone saw what was happening. She publicly sexually humiliated her ex, to the point their oldest son was the one who told his dad, “why is Uncle Brian naked in bed with mommy?” Everyone knows she really is not good mother. Sat on Facebook all day, didn’t change diapers or put shoes and coats on the kids when they were playing in the snow. Taught her oldest son that lying is ok. Didn’t cook, didn’t clean, never had a real job and has taken everything from this man when all he wants is to be an ivolved father. She gets babysitters when my bf is perfectly available to see his kids and hasn’t seen them for months because she tells him to fuck off and she’ll call the police and file harrassment if he comes to pick up the kids. Even through all this I have encouraged him not to take the boys away from her completely because kids need their mothers too, as fucked up as she is. He spent $17,000 on a badass lawyer for the rape trial who exposed them for the liars they are. It was his life savings to buy a house. She used to be cool w me and claimed to want to get the boys together for a playdate and has come over and hung out, and now she hates me even though I’ve done or said nothing to her but provide a safe stable place for her kids to play and live and emotionally helped keep her children’s father from going off the deep end w this stress. She refuses to fill out divorce paperwork or agree on any day for the boys to see their dad even though she admitted to me he is a great father. Feeling like our hands are tied. We just want this nightmare to end. He’s too drained of resources to hire a custody lawyer right now and it’s like, how much longer is he at her selfish control. Custody battle is such a bullshit term. What to do? Any advice?

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