Fencing illustrates the elemental experience of people engaged in high conflict divorce well. Fighting is exhausting. Being in a constant state of fight or flight can have physical impacts over the long-term. Disengaging from a high conflict person is often recommended; however, this can be very difficult to maintain.
Often clients that I see that are experiencing a high conflict divorce would also report that their spouse is a high conflict person; has a high conflict personality. People that have this trait typically exhibit a pattern of high conflict behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it. This can be emotionally exhausting to deal with on its own; let alone when coupled with divorce.
Most often the high conflict person’s pattern of behavior involves:
- Blaming others
- All or nothing thinking
- Unmanaged emotions
- Extreme behaviors
High conflict people can have traits of personality disorders or a personality disorder. This means that they have long-term patterns of interpersonal dysfunction, lack of reflection on their own behavior, and lack of change.
If you are also in a position to parent with a high conflict person, you may need to focus on parallel parenting if a co-parenting relationship is not possible.
I have expertise in working with clients experiencing high-conflict divorce. Managing these relationships is a very intricate process that I can support you through.