Dealing with differing personalities is one thing—when someone has a personality disorder or another similar condition, that exacerbates the situation in several different ways. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition that is often made worse by stress and emotional turmoil, so it can increase or become more apparent during something like a divorce hearing and custody battle.
The best thing that you can do if you are dealing with a spouse who has Petulant BPD, a classification of condition where people use their emotions as bargaining chips to get a response or validation. They can become insulting and threatening, or even panic and become reactive in making unfair, untrue accusations about the other parent’s abilities or behaviors around the children.
Because of the uncertain and unpredictable nature of Petulant BPD, it’s best to seek legal assistance so that you can get through the process with less stress and a better chance of getting the best outcome for all involved.
Read on to learn more about this condition and how it can affect parenting, divorce, custody arrangements, and more.
Symptoms/Features of Petulant BPD
It can be difficult to recognize different emotional and mental health conditions in our spouses and former spouses. However, with a condition like this, there are several different signs that you can (and should) keep an eye on. Some of the most common symptoms or warning signs that your soon-to-be ex may be suffering from this condition include:
- Easily irritated or angered by things that otherwise wouldn’t normally bother them.
- Increasingly threatening behavior as they continue to lose control throughout the divorce hearing.
- Making accusations about the other parent because they aren’t getting their way.
- Seeking attention and validation in any way possible, including from the children, lawyers, judges, and family courts.
- Fear of abandonment and increased emotions when that fear is challenged or realized by the idea of divorce.
People with Petulant BPD and other forms of this condition often have intense episodes of emotion that can last for hours or even days, in some cases. They are impulsive in decision-making and have a lot of unstable relationships. They also have unstable moods, along with a damaged self-image and unstable behavior and functioning capabilities, which all add up to a lot of volatility during a divorce case.
Fortunately, you can try to listen and empathize with them. acknowledge their feelings and validate their concerns or worries. If they’re being ridiculous, don’t tell them that. Instead, suggest an alternative and remind them that they have no reason to fear being abandoned.
Of course, you may not always be able to rationalize and have a conversation with your spouse when they’re in the throes of an uptick in their BPD. In that instance, it’s best to sever communications as much as possible and rely on your divorce lawyer to handle things moving forward. If you can, get the parent who is struggling away from the children, too, because they don’t need that kind of emotional upset with everything else that’s going on.
How Can Petulant BPD Affect a Divorce Case?
There are several different ways that having Petulant BPD can come into play during a divorce. People with this condition are often unable to see things in shades of gray. They don’t understand or agree that other people should have their own point-of-view and they often see themselves as the “good parent” while the other parent isn’t “good” unless they agree with the BPD.
Boundaries are hard to establish and agree upon. Because these people require so much extra validation, it can be hard to get through mediation or an amicable divorce settlement. Even more so, they want custody of their children and believe that they are the best choice, so they will try to get full custody in most cases. Fortunately, if there is enough proof of the Petulant BPD condition, the other parent can prevent this from happening.
Divorce includes a lot of uncertainty and emotional charge. Essentially, it’s the perfect storm for a BPD flare-up, and parents need to be aware if they are dealing with a partner that has Petulant BPD when it comes to divorce and custody issues.
Can Petulant BPD Affect Parenting?
This condition can also impact parenting in several ways. As mentioned above, it often causes the parent with BPD to feel that they are superior to the other parent and that they are the best choice for the child when it comes to custody and legal decision-making. They also may not be good at setting boundaries or feeling the need to keep their promises or agreements because they value themselves more than the other parent, and sometimes even more than the child.
Petulant BPD makes people demanding, irritable, and anxious about everything. This can also impact the children in the relationship because of the unstable relationships and the constant mood swings. Children can feel neglected, unheard, unappreciated, or even like they don’t matter as much as their parents. All of these will have their own impacts over time.
That’s also why courts often rule in the favor of the parent without BPD when it comes to custody and legal decision-making.
What Should I Do?
The best thing that you can do when you are dealing with a complex divorce or complicated spouse, such as in the case of Petulant BPD, is to hire an experienced family law attorney. They will be able to help you navigate the issues at hand and come to agreements in as many ways as possible. If an amicable arrangement isn’t possible, they will fight to get a fair outcome that has the best interests of the children in mind.
Contact the Modern Law team today to discuss your custody case or the struggles with your spouse that suffers from BPD. We can help you figure out the details of the case and determine the best way to move forward to protect your children and provide the safe, stable environment that they deserve.