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Alienation

(10 Posts)
hokeycokeyyy Wed 05-Nov-14 11:43:01

So for years DH's ex has been trying to control DH and has been gradually pushing him out of DSC's lives.
At first it was little things like not inviting him to parents evenings, not informing him of medical problems etc but more recently she's been reducing contact more and more.
When they first split DH had them every weekend and midweek. Granted she's moved area now so they're too far to come for midweek visits but he's lucky now to see them once a month.
Also if DH dares to have a problem with her changing/cancelling plans then she stops contact for even longer to punish him.
DSD has said in the past to MIL that she's scared that her Dad won't want to see her any more like last time so it seems that's what their Mum has told them.

I didn't know until recently that there was an actual name for what she is doing, I just thought she was being a cow.

We started legal proceedings a few years ago when she was being difficult with contact and she went for the first assessment with a mediator but was deemed to be unsuitable for mediation. Basically it's impossible to reason with her or even have an adult conversation with her.

She also made it very clear last time that even if we went through the courts she wouldn't take any notice of any court order.

How do we deal with a woman like this?

TBH she's very clever about the way she denies access, the kids have always got something that they apparently really want to do and she knows that DH would never make them come if they don't want to. Fair enough things come up and DH always tries to be flexible and accommodating but quite frankly - she's now taking the complete piss!

It's now becoming impossible to make plans and I'm sick of us all getting excited about us all going on a day out or doing an activity and then it gets cancelled because DSC aren't coming, so it's effecting my DC too.

Also, just out of interest, from other people's experiences of this kind of behaviour, does it often stem from the DM's own childhood experiences? She did have a troubled childhood herself so just wondering if that's why she's being like this?

LeftHandedMouse Wed 05-Nov-14 13:39:27

How old are the DSC?

StardustBikini Wed 05-Nov-14 13:55:13

Also, just out of interest, from other people's experiences of this kind of behaviour, does it often stem from the DM's own childhood experiences? She did have a troubled childhood herself so just wondering if that's why she's being like this?

My DSC are the third generation to have lost their Dad through their Mums bitterness and hatred, so yes, IMO, it is very much linked to the childhood experiences of the alienator.
Both my DSC Mum and grandmother (who is their equal primary carer) reinforce to the DCs that "they never had a father, and it didn't do them any harm".

hokeycokeyyy Wed 05-Nov-14 21:56:47

lefthandedmouse they are 6 and 10.

We have a little bit of contact with DSD through facebook (yes I know she shouldn't be on there at 10) but it's awkward because we never really know whether it is her or her DM we're speaking to so we have to be very careful what we say.

stardustbikini my Dad left when I was young but I think it's made me more careful with my DS (me and his dad split when he was a baby), for me it's made me want to make sure he never ever feels like his dad doesn't love him because I know how much that feeling hurts.
But maybe the difference is that I did always see my dad. DSC's mum was abandoned by her dad and has never known him.
She has a step dad but she doesn't have a good relationship with him either.

The psychology of it all really intrigues me

StardustBikini Wed 05-Nov-14 22:11:42

DSC's mum was abandoned by her dad and has never known him.

That's what DHs ex tells people, even now.

It's only after DH and she split that he discovered from her older siblings that their dad went through hell to see them and their mum resisted, and as the youngest, she (DHs ex) was more affected than the others.

hokeycokeyyy Thu 06-Nov-14 11:13:25

stardust i wouldn't be surprised if that was what happened in this case too. Her Mum is an awkward cow too and quite volatile, even as a grown woman she's always falling out with her children and other family members. She was very young when she had DH's ex so I could imagine her to have made things difficult, especially once she met someone else.

I'm not someone who thinks that the my DH can do no wrong and will happily admit his flaws but he is honestly a decent, genuine guy who puts his family and children first.
I admit we have both said things in the past that have angered her (after years of gritting our teeth and biting our tongue) but DH really doesn't deserve this.

My friend suggested that she's being like this because she feels threatened by us. It's possible but I have no idea how to overcome that.
DH just wants to see his kids, not compete with her.

I do wonder whether she regrets leaving DH and I think she's probably jealous of the fact he's moved on and he's happy.
One of the main strains on their relationship was that she hated where they were living. Since they split, DH has been promoted and we're now living in a nice house in a desirable area, don't get me wrong, it's no mansion, but it's nice and in an area she liked.
She's in a new relationship with a complete loser (cocky, arrogant piss head), she's done well at work but has nothing to show for it and is up to eyeballs in debts (we know this because it affected DH's credit report for a while).

But most of all I think she's probably jealous of the fact that we're settled. I don't think she's ever had that, she gets itchy feet after 5 minutes of any relationship/home/job.
We can offer the children some stability which she's never managed to do so far.
And she doesn't like the fact that she can't control DH any more. I think she thought when she left him that she could have him back when ever she wanted him and he'd just sit at home crying, missing her and the kids and that she could click her finger and he'd come running. He did for a while and then he met me and now he doesn't give in to her demands any more so now she's punishing him.

It's just an impossible situation. I really think that no matter what had happened over the years, who he'd married, what he'd done...nothing would have ever been good enough and we'd still be in this situation.

BumblersBee Thu 06-Nov-14 15:22:26

As far as I know DH's ex wasn't abandoned by her dad (not that I know much about her past nor care) so I've no idea why she's the way she is. It's like she's a split person. One minute she will seem reasoned and the next not. It's like she'll have no recollection of what she's said or that what she does in anyway wrong. She'll always find justification (to herself) in what she does. There is no wrong.

I'm now wondering if this alienation will pass as they get older or not.

hokeycokeyyy Thu 06-Nov-14 15:50:43

bublersbee that's exactly how DH's ex is too. Everything is our fault, my DS's fault (he was a baby when I met DH so he is like a Dad to him, although he doesn't call him Dad and still sees his real dad), school's fault etc.

Her arguments just make no sense at all, sometimes we have wondered if she actually has a screw loose. She says one thing one week, then the opposite the next. She can contradict herself in the same sentence.
She is an expert at making a mountain out of a mole hill and will use that as her justification for things.
If she can't think of a good excuse she'll drag things up from years ago ''well once DD was poorly and you didn't even ask how she was for 24 hours, that proves that you don't care about them'' or ''you said you were going to ring them at 6pm but didn't call till 6.15pm and that's just too late, you've got all your priorities wrong blah blah''.
She's even used the fact that DH once had to leave the children with his Mum whilst he went in to work for a few hours as a reason to kick off with him and dragged that back up months later. How can you criticise a man for going to work? Clearly he would rather be at home with his children but he had no choice.

In all the years they've been separated he's never once cancelled or changed plans, we never leave them with a babysitter and go for a night out, there has been occasions when DSC have gone for a sleepover with their Grandma because they want to.
She honestly doesn't know how lucky she is to have DH as the father of her children, it baffles me how someone can be so vindictive and so manipulating for so long. It must be truly truly exhausting for her.

But the key reoccurring theme is that whatever happens it's always about what suits her best. If she is being nice it's because she's up to something. When plans change I suspect it's to suit her social life. If she was just honest though, that would be fine.

The most scary part of it is the way she can influence the DSC's thoughts. One minute they want to come to ours and then once she's talked to them all of a sudden they want to do a particular activity so need to swap weekends.

StardustBikini Thu 06-Nov-14 17:01:51

She honestly doesn't know how lucky she is to have DH as the father of her children, it baffles me how someone can be so vindictive and so manipulating for so long. It must be truly truly exhausting for her.

But in her mind, nothing could be further from the truth. For whatever reason, your DHs involvement in his DCs life is undesirable to her, and her behaviour is a reflection of her commitment to protect her DCs from that involvement.

Yes, it is exhausting for her, but only because he won't settle for the level of involvement and contact that she is comfortable with and believes is best for the DCs.

The fact that professionals and society are increasingly supportive of your DHs involvement in the DCs life only makes things more difficult for her - she has to fight longer and harder to prevent your DH from harming the DCs.

She is convinced and adamant that her position is the right one for the DCs - and she will fight with the determination and ferocity unique to mothers protecting their young.

hokeycokeyyy Thu 06-Nov-14 17:33:01

That may be the case for some women but you'd be amazed at how little she says is actually about the children. I honestly don't think that she's got the slightest concern about the children spending time with DH or our family. I get the impression it's all about what suits her best.

Her DP has children who come to them every weekend, I think she probably doesn't like being without her own children when she has her DSC there.

I think she just makes up excuses to keep the children there because it suits her.
Some weekends she's eager for them to come to us, they come to us in holidays too.

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