Wednesday, July 27, 2011
We met in 2002, when few people going through a divorce had heard of borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Bill was finishing the first practical book for legal professionals about personality disorders (High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, first published by the author in 2003). Randi was the coauthor of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (New Harbinger Publications, 1998), and the author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder (New Harbinger Publications, 2002), the landmark books for family members of people with BPD. When Bill asked her to endorse his book, Randi was thrilled about his book, because high-conflict divorce was a hot topic in her Welcome to Oz (WTO) online family support community, which she had founded in 1995. WTO members had terrible stories about being misunderstood or criticized by the court system and soon-to-be ex-spouses who created chaos, made false allegations, and refused to follow court orders.
From our different vantage points, we saw a growing international problem. Thus, this book was born. While there are other personality disorders, BPD and NPD are the most common ones in high-conflict divorces. Antisocial personality disorder may appear in some of these cases, and we will mention it where appropriate.
The need for books like Splitting is greater than ever, as high-conflict divorces have increased over the past decade, a trend that may be tied to the growing number of people with BPD and NPD; new research indicates that about 10 percent of the general population meet the criteria for BPD (Grant et al. 2008) or NPD (Stinson et al. 2008).