Holiday with DSS whilst still alienated from other two(4 Posts)
DH has 3 kids with his ex. We've never been allowed to see DSD (now 10) but we had a lovely relationship with the DSSs (14 and 16) until four years ago when alienation occurred, probably so that the ex could align the situation with that of DSD (we started legal procedures but ran out of money after £10k spent, plus solicitors letters claimed all kids didn't want to see us).
Secret text and FB contact with the DSSs has been maintained throughout the four years, and a few months ago the younger lad (14) stood his ground and resumed contact with us. It's been lovely, we have been cautious as we have DS (7) and DD (5) but so far everything is going really well.
We are looking at a canaries winter sun villa break over Feb half term and I'd love to invite DSS. These are my worries:
1. Years back (pre-alienation), we suggested a holiday in the future with the DSSs and this was used in the ex's solicitors letters to attack us, eg. We were intending to remove the children from the country or some such rubbish.
2. Older DSS is in constant text contact with DH, small talk about college etc and occasionally asking for more money. DH is looking for a cue to invite him around, doesn't want to push things. So I think soon there could possibly be a reconciliation in person with older DSS, would suggesting a holiday hinder this?
And then, what of poor DSD who has never been allowed to know her dad an step siblings at all? She isn't ever likely to be allowed to know us, in my opinion. Is it better to just never invite any of them on holiday because she'll be left behind?
I would be loathe to rock the boat with something so big, it could hinder progress already made. I'd wait until each DC reaches 18 and can make up their adult mind to accompany you on holiday.
Goodness me, why on Earth has there been no relationship with DSD?
The ex sounds awful, I'm so sorry.
In regards to holiday, I'd hold off on that for a while, perhaps till they are old enough to leave the country without parental permission?
I don't envy you your situation, marblearch - in my experience, dealing with a situation in which siblings are split in terms of alienation is almost untenable.
Much of the recent advice and professional support for alienated families refers to the DCs looking for "triggers" to justify withdrawal/no contact to themselves.
In your situation, a holiday abroad with one sibling could act as a trigger for any or all three of them.
It will reinforce your DSD "belief" that her dad has rejected her
It will create conflict for the older DSS, as he will feel both loyal to his mum and envious of his younger sibling - and may delay, or reverse, the reconciliation process.
And it will place the younger DSS under significant pressure and manipulation. Your DH will have to secure his Mums permission to remove him from the country (assuming you're in the UK) and the resulting drama (and possible court action) will undoubtedly put your DSS emotions into turmoil.
Even if none of the DCs go with you, it's likely that such a holiday will be "used" to reinforce the alienation - although I don't think that should be a reason not to go, the decision has to be made with that in mind.
While I understand your desire to involve your DHs DS in "family life", the reality is that they have an implacably hostile parent and neither their lives, nor yours, will ever be "conventional".
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