Parental alienation in the family home

Alienating one’s husband or wife inside of the family home is a huge breach of trust, and can have a potentially devastating effect on the alienated parent, and the children. To talk about the mother or father of your children negatively, to pathologise the alienated parent’s behaviour, or to turn your children against the alienated parent, and then deny having ever conversed with the children about the alienated parent in the first place, is crazy-making behaviour.

Psychopaths, narcissists, and sociopaths are dangerous people. They destroy entire families, and people in numbers. Put a psychopath in a harmonious situation, and people will suddenly begin to hate one another. Psychopaths, narcissists and sociopaths have absolutely no empathy, a lack of emotion, and will cross their husband or wife, children, cousins’, brothers’ and sisters’ at the drop of a hat.

How does the alienating parent think?

In the mind of an alienating parent with a severe personality disorder, their family members are merely extensions of themselves. This means that they must believe, do or say, as the narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath believes, does or says. Without complete control over the entire family unit, the severely personality disordered parent feels dumbfounded, confused, and disorientated.

Narcissists must have all of the attention in the room, endless amounts of sympathy, and constant adoration from their partner and children. These people have a deeply ingrained desire to divide and conquer, and to triangulate against anybody who challenges them. Divide and conquer will ensure that this parent remains the victim at all times.

Alienating parents’ cannot share attention and adoration. In the mind of an alienating parent, the alienated parent is their biggest threat and overall competition.

The alienated parent’s lack of awareness

A lot of alienated parents’ don’t understand the extent to which they have been alienated by the other parent until they leave the family home. They know deep down that something is up, and often feel as though they don’t have the alienating parent’s full support. However, it is unlikely that they are fully aware of just how much their children have been brainwashed right underneath their noses.

Some alienated parents’ are so fooled by the personality disordered parent’s false persona, that they may not find out the real reason why their children have been disrespecting them so badly for so many years, until one of the children decides to expose the alienating parent twenty years down the track.

Why does the personality disordered parent alienate the other parent?

The psychopathic, narcissistic or sociopathic parental alienator cannot handle any criticism from anybody, including the alienated parent. They can dish it out, but they can’t take it. As soon as someone says one thing to the alienating parent, they truly cannot handle it and will turn everybody against their new target. Psychopaths’ must have complete control over the people they have relationships with.

In marriage and partnerships with a psychopath, solving problems is very difficult. If you have a problem with a personality disordered individual, you often become the problem.

The alienating parent will not own any of their bad behaviours. Everything is everybody else’s fault. Every time the alienating parent is asked to accept responsibility for their own behaviour, they will turn the situation back around onto the alienated parent.

The simplest of criticisms or signs of discontent from the alienated parent will threaten the alienating parent’s sense of self. The smallest criticism will leave the alienated parent confused, and facing a serious narcissistic injury. This will drive the narcissistic parent to compete with the other parent to prove that they are more superior, grand, and far more deserving of all of the love and attention in the room, than their inferior spouse, who they now see as unfit, and in need of lessons on how to be a parent.

Boredom and the psychopath:

Psychopaths’ will alienate for a number of reasons. Some of them do it because they are bored. Simple as that! They must feed off others emotions, and must invoke strong emotions in others for their own pleasure and mental stimulation.

The drama they create amongst all of the family members will give them a role to play. This role may be healer, protector, or good guy who has come in to save the day and resolve all of the fighting (which they have set up through tactics such as divide and conquer) between siblings, or mother and child; when in fact the opposite is true.

The psychopath sees the children as objects to use to abuse the kinder parent.

The family unit is the perfect arena for a psychopath. In the eyes of the psychopath, a family is a perfect place to set up their stage, and to begin the performances. As the director of the play, they will choose the actors’, the roles the actors’ will play, and the role they will play. The psychopath will play the martyr, victim, abused mother or father and mistreated soul. From now on the psychopath will never be without emotional food.

This quest for drama will ensure that the psychopath will idealise, devalue, and discard the alienated parent over and over again. When they are done with the parent, they will then start on the children.

The effects of parental alienation on the alienated parent and their children:

Parental alienation is a severe form of abuse that destroys children internally for a lifetime, as well as the alienated parent. Children are manipulated by their parent into mistreating the kinder parent. Their childhood is filled with drama and mistrust. They are used as pawns in a game. They have been lied to about the parent that they love, and their relationship with this parent may remain severely impacted well into adulthood.

The parental alienator is a selfish pathological liar, who would cut the children loose at the drop of a hat; especially if they expose the psychopath. Destroying other people’s relationships is a game to this parent.

The psychopath as master of illusion:

Prior to the relationship with the alienated parent, the psychopath will have preened and polished a false persona to their liking, by emulating the qualities of many, in the hope of pulling the persona off and hiding the monster underneath.  With this new persona, they will delude their new target, and manipulate their way into the life of their soon to be, mother or father of the future children.

With an incredible amount of self-control, the psychopath will temporarily paint over the cracks, in true master of illusion style. The psychopath will mirror the victim, and will begin to copy the victim’s kind empathetic nature, as a way to manipulate, and hoover in their victim.

Once the psychopath is married, the cracks in the paintwork will begin to show, and the faulty foundation will begin to crumble. The cognitively dissonant partner will suddenly see the red flags everywhere. However, they will most likely continue on in the relationship hoping that the psychopath will make some changes in regard to some huge character floors.

The psychopath’s carefully formulated false persona, their ability to change personalities quickly, and to temporarily emulate kindness, empathy, love, forgiveness and remorse, will keep this partner engaged in the relationship, and living in hope of change.

Common red flags of a severely personality disordered person: 

Narcissists sociopaths and psychopaths all have one thing in common. They must be superior to everybody in their company.

Nitpicking, bagging everybody out, raging, accusations that everyone else is crazy, no real relationships, and a long list of broken relationships is a dead give away that this person may one day be the same person who will portray their spouse as the primary problem in the family.

Psychopath as a pathological liar:

Every-time the alienated parent asks the psychopath if they have been talking about them to the children, they will deny the accusation. I have known of psychopaths who have stayed in denial even after one of their children has come forward and confirmed the alienated parent’s accusations.


Gas-lighting is a form of manipulation through persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying in an attempt to destabilise the victim. Its intent is to sow seeds of doubt in the target hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

For example: The alienated parent will notice the considerable change in the children’s behaviour towards them, and may even sense that the alienating parent is causing trouble. However, they won’t be able to prove it, and may even begin to feel as though they are going crazy.

10 ways the alienating parent alienates the other parent?

Good cop, bad cop: Some psychopaths will play good cop, bad cop. They will want their children to see them as a good guy, the parent with no boundaries, the fun parent, and the parent who complains in front of the children that the alienated parent is too strict.

This parent will often pretend to be the more lenient, relaxed parent, who lets the children stay up late, doesn’t discipline the children, and doesn’t expect any respect from the children. This is all a part of the plan though and serves a purpose for when the psychopath decides to play the victim. This is when they will complain about what bad children they have, and just how out of control their children really are.

However, in the meantime, the children will be driven to think that the alienated parent is too strict, annoying, the problem in the family, and the reason they have rules and boundaries.

Swapping between ‘real self’ and ‘false self’ :

The psychopath’s false – self  comes out in front of the parent, and their real-self comes out in front of the children.

For example:  Psychopath tells alienated parent they are going to go into their teenager’s room to discuss the teenager’s disrespect of the alienated parent. Instead, the alienating parent goes into the bedroom and says:

‘You know your father has anger management issues, you need to learn to ignore him.’

It is through this form of parental alienation that the alienated parent will begin to feel as though they are going crazy.

By making the children feel sorry for them:

Severely personality disordered people want their children to feel sorry for them.

For example: If the alienated parent is upset with the psychopath for undermining them in front of their children, and speaks up about it in their own defence, the psychopath will suddenly feign victimhood, and put on a performance. Instead of apologising, resolving the problem, or taking any responsibility for their behaviour, they will use their body language to provoke a reaction from the children.

They may shrug their shoulders, or become silent and droopy. The psychopath will pull this trick out of the box daily; and in time the children will learn to interpret the alienating parent’s body language as the cue to intervene in the argument, and to stand up for the alienating parent.

Public humiliation in front of the children:

Example: Psychopath is about to get in the car and go surfing. Alienated parent asks the psychopath if they can look after the children instead, because the alienated parent has suddenly come down with a vomiting bug.

Parental alienator points at the parent and screams at the top of their lungs: ‘Look what your doing now. This is what you always do. You aren’t sick. Look kids, your mother isn’t sick.’ Looks around to make sure the kids are watching. ‘This is what your mother does when she doesn’t want me to go surfing. Are you watching kids? Take note.’ Psychopath rolls their eyes, and storms off, leaving the alienated parent to vomit for hours while the children are watching television.

Disagreeing with the alienated parent about issues to do with the children in front of the children:

Psychopathic types are renowned for starting arguments in front of the children, about the children. Instead of asking the alienated parent to come outside to discuss an issue which has arisen about the children, or a difference of opinion about the children, the parent will involve the child in the issue, or even defend the child’s inappropriate actions towards the alienated parent in front of the alienated parent.


Constant put downs of the alienated parent in front of the children:

‘You’re so paranoid.’

‘You really do have behavioural problems don’t you?’

‘Your anger is a number ten. You really do need to watch that.’

‘No wonder the children are frightened of you.’

‘Give you an inch and you’ll take a mile.’

‘Why do our children need to ask if they can eat some of your lollies?’

‘Why does she have to clean her room up now? Can’t you just relax?’

Shows the children personal messages from the other parent:

Parental alienators’ have no issue with showing the children private messages or emails between parents’, and they will deliberately leave the phone on speaker if the alienated parent is going to be slightly distressed on the phone.

Example: Alienated parent writes a text message to alienating parent:

‘Can you please hurry and come home. You said you would be  home in an hour, and that was three hours ago.’

The alienating parent will show the child the message, and claim that the alienated parent is being controlling and difficult.

Example: Alienated parent rings the alienating parent and is immediately placed on loud speaker so as the children can hear the conversation, unbeknown to the alienated parent.

Alienated parent says sternly: ‘I told you I have an appointment to go to and your running late. I have told you a thousand times over that i cannot be late.’

Alienating parent gets off the phone, rolls their eyes, looks really sad, and says to the children.

‘Did you hear how your father speaks to me.’

Alienated parent must not show any emotion: The alienated parent is picked to bits. They cannot raise their voice, cannot show anger, and is never allowed to be sad, hurt, or disgruntled about anything the psychopath does. If so, the alienating parent will inform the children that any emotion the alienated parent has is a sure sign of a character floored person. 

The behaviour of the child towards the alienated parent:

Children living in this environment often end up triangulating against the alienated parent, and will often claim that they have come to the conclusion on their own that there is something wrong with the alienated parent.








  1. itsavolunteerslife | 3rd Mar 18

    The first time I ever heard of “Parental alienation” was on a Dr. Phil show after the father of several children located his missing children many years after they disappeared. He had found them living in England with their mother. His children were young adults by the time he found them. They had been totally alienated by the mother who kidnapped them and were then all in therapy trying to find their way back to a healthy relationship with their father when they were featured on the Dr. Phil show.

    I began researching this subject then but was never able to find a situation like my own. So I am curious if I am the only parent who’s Narcissistic Mother and Enabling Alcoholic Father systematically alienated their own Scapegoat child’s (<<<me!) children in secret every time they spent time with their grandparents while they were growing up. Surely not!

    Tragically by the time I found out that my parents had convinced my kids that I am a liar, the troubled child, the crazy child, etc… my kids were adults and had been completely alienated from me and become my mother's flying monkey's.

    It's been 10 years now that they have been estranged from their father and I. During that time, we've come to realize that our oldest child is also a full blown Narcissist and we suspect he abuses his kids both emotionally and physically as well.

    Which causes me to conclude that Narcissism leaves a wider path of destruction than just one generation in a family….I can not begin to imagine how this is destroying my grandchildren's lives since I have had no contact with them in 10 years now!

    • Parenting Exposed | 3rd Mar 18

      Thankyou for sharing your experiences. Its good for people to hear stories of what can happen to scapegoats who still allow their children to spend time with the grandparents. I have heard of this happening many times over. I wish you all the best, and hope you find healing.

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