A Challenging Divorce: “Help, My Spouse Has a Histrionic Personality Disorder!”
Every divorce has its ups and downs. But divorcing a person with histrionic personality disorder, the roller coaster goes higher and much, much lower. While you may want to exit your marriage amicably, your attention-seeking spouse may make that impossible.
I’ve seen many a soap-opera divorce with a dramatic personality in my 30 years of practicing family law. It can be a challenge, but I’ve helped many a long-suffering spouse on the journey to freedom with a divorce decree in hand.
I’m Wayne Ward, a divorce attorney and certified specialist in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you’re ready to get your life back, to find some peace and stability, call me: 817-789-4436. You will need my extensive experience to protect your interests both in and out of court.
Divorcing – The Histrionic Spouse
In psychology circles, your spouse may be said to have a histrionic personality disorder. But in the everyday world, most people would call him or her a drama queen.
They love to be the center of attention, even if it’s negative attention. They love the grand entrance in court, a call to the police with inflated charges of abuse, an escalating disagreement at their child’s school. Their tendency for the over dramatic and vague manner of speaking turns small problems into large ones, even when they don’t mean to.
On the other hand, the drama queen has a strong desire for approval. She may come across as vulnerable to draw on your sympathy. Or, after tossing you aside and cheating on you, he may turn on his seductive charm to get you back.
Don’t be surprised if your histrionic spouse:
- Mounts a campaign of character assassination against you. Remember, all eyes must be on him, either because of the righteousness of his cause, or because of his martyrdom.
- Bows to the wishes of others. People with histrionic personality disorder can be gullible and highly suggestible. You may think that you have arrived at an agreement only to find that she’s changed her mind because of someone else said something.
- Shifts between being agreeable and rigidly inflexible.
- Calls the police … repeatedly. I’ve seen many cases in which a spouse files false charges of domestic assault or even child abuse.
- Creates conflicts with your child’s teachers, daycare provider, scout leader in ways that can be deeply disturbing to your child’s life.
Histrionic Personality Divorce – You Need Clear Boundaries, Documentation, and a Plan
The drama queen spouse is erratic, unpredictable and emotionally exhausting. It’s no wonder you want off this roller coaster. My goal is to help you get out. Here’s how:
- We’re realistic from the start. We know this could turn into a fight, so we prepare you for trial court right from the very beginning.
- We keep in close contact. In very volatile cases, we meet with our clients weekly or biweekly so we can head off problems as they develop.
- We prepare for lies and false charges by helping you document, document, document! Keep every text message and email. Note every lie or false claim. We will need evidence for court.
- We access mental health specialists, when we need to, so we don’t have to rely on “he-said, she-said” testimony but can turn to the informed judgment of an expert.
- We use investigators, if needed, to help us refute allegations of abuse or wrongdoing. If you think this could happen, avoid being alone with your soon-to-be ex, and be sure to tell us who witnessed any conflicts.
- We will be smart and strategic with your money by staying laser focused on your goals.
Dealing with False Charges
I know it’s very upsetting to be falsely accused of spousal or child abuse, or to have your reputation dragged through the mud. But there are ways to fight a restraining order or a smear campaign. Documentation is very important, as well as witnesses. Drama queens have trouble maintaining relationships so it may be hard for your ex to find credible witnesses. Who can vouch for your parenting ability and the nature of your relationship?
Expect to find yourself back in court over child support or child custody matters. It may be helpful to your children, and useful to you, if your children see a therapist. Courts can order that a parent not be allowed in the school or daycare if they are creating a problem and there is evidence to back that up.