Originally Posted by rubelin
if you've having trouble with keeping boundaries with him, I'd suggest meeting for drop offs at a neutral location first and if he continues to push it, then look into a protective order.
Maybe tighten up on the visit schedule, having them only at the times that you know he'll be at his best or there will be other people around. If you are really worried for their safety, you need to bring that up in court. It's one thing for the court to have all the info and still order visits, it's another thing for you to keep that info to yourself and send them knowing that they could be in danger.
I totally agree with this advice. You can ease him into it by making the first few times a "hey I just happened to be going through here and let's do the exchange here..."....so it's not presented as a "get out of my space" request. Then he gets used to the idea and you get his agreement without him ever knowing the intent behind it.
If there are safety concerns then you need to be gathering evidence and getting legal advice asap from a lawyer who understands abuse dynamics. If it suddenly comes up in court and there is no history of restraining orders,etcm then it can look like it is less credible. It's very very important to establish credibility right off the bat, which means that there should be evidence to support your claims. (I believe you....have just had experience dealing with a system that does not help when it's one word against another). Also, it's common for the abuser to actually make claims of YOU being abusive. Often setting the first boundary can trigger this. Once he figures out his 'poor me' or lying tactics don't work to manipulate you, then he might resort to other more harmful strategies.
Have you looked up antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy - not psychopathy) or narcisisstic personality disorder? The behaviour you describe is classic. Since people with this PD are incapable of empathy or seeing anything wrong with themselves, they will fabricate any sort of explanation to avoid taking any personal responsibility. Blame is a classic trait. They relish playing the victim role - a narcissist does this well in order to get their "fix" of your attention/sympathy and ego feeding. There is no cure and therapy generally will only help to mask it or give them general stress and coping skills (which is still good, but just don't expect a "cure" ever). the behaviour needs to be managed to protect yourself and the kids. I don't want to label prematurely, since there is always more to the story. But often labels can give explanations and give you direction on how to deal with the person. Just a suggestions if you haven't explored this already...
If this is indeed what is behind his crazy behaviour, then you need to be very careful about how you go about making custody/visitation changes and boundary setting. Certainly set boundaries kindly and respectfully, just be careful to do it in such a way that it doesn't trigger him to feel abandoned or criticized. The back door approach can work well at first (e.g. innocently arranging dropoffs to be at a neutral location, engineering visit times to be at his best times, etc.) so he doesn't even realize that is what you are doing.