Bill Eddy has worked as a family lawyer, therapist and mediator. His expertise is in handling high conflict personalities in legal disputes. Randi Kreger is an expert on Borderline Personality Disorder. Together, these two professionals have written the book "Splitting" which they have sub-titled Protecting yourself while divorcing someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder."
According to the authors, people with personality disorders have cognitive distortions that they believe are real and act upon them in aggressive or defensive ways. If other individuals try to confront them about these or there is any type of stress in his/her life, the person with the disorder feels threatened and escalates their behaviours. They view others in a black and white manner meaning that they believe the other person can either do no wrong or nothing right. Their fears increase and they react by launching verbal or physical attacks, making false accusations or attempting to manipulate situations.
The person with Borderline Personality Disorder tends to feel unworthy and fears either real or imagined abandonment. On the other hand, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder lack empathy, feel superior to others and fear being seen as inferior.
Personality Disorders usually begin in childhood or adolescence and therefore are ingrained in the individuals by adulthood. In fact, they appear to have two personalities. Because they truly believe that their perspective is correct they blame anyone who doesn't agree with them. This might include their ex, lawyer, therapist or even a judge who does not give them what they want and think that they deserve.
"Splitting" not only clearly describes those with personality disorders and what to expect from these individuals when they are going through a separation or divorce but also teaches the readers how to protect themselves and reduce the conflict that might increase when not using appropriate strategies.
First of all, the authors encourage the reader to be aware of the fact that blamers will do anything to win and this is not your fault! Being able to identify negative patterns of behaviour is necessary while stating that the individual has a personality disorder will only increase the problems and this is therefore never recommended.
Assertiveness, documentation, strategic thinking, responding quickly with accurate information and managing your own emotions are some of the techniques that are recommended.
Besides attacking the ex, someone with a personality disorder will often make false allegations against professionals who they view as a threat. Because those with a personality disorder often tend to be charming and emotional, they might, at times, initially get their way in Court. Over time, however, their patterns usually reveal the holes in the stories that they have made up and help those involved to recognize manipulation that has been used throughout the process.
Those who work with these individuals do not always have training to help them understand or act in an appropriate or effective manner. As a result, the Court system or both of the parties are often blamed for the conflict when most of the problems are actually created by the one with the disorder.
"Splitting" is a psychological and legal guide to help spouses and professionals deal with divorce in a balanced and productive way when there is an unpredictable and manipulative spouse involved. It not only facilitates clear understanding of personality disorders but also provides helpful methods for dealing with them.
I highly recommend this book!