[Solved] Parental Alienation (Syndrome)
My ex wife and I separated three and half years ago, and have been divorced for two years. She has now remarried. Since her new partner moved in to her house full time (now about a year plus, before they married), my relationship with the children has got worse..because I dont get to see them ahd havent done for some time. It has been clear to for some months that she has been poisoning them against me, and many of the things described under the "condition" above, fit her behaviour, for instance, telling the children they dont have to see me, and if that is their decision, then she will support them in that. She absolutely hates me (although she had the affair!), and as I say the desire to erradicate me from her life and that of the children has definately got worse since new guy around. She most recently showed an email which Ihad sent her in the middle of one of our rows, to the eldest, and admitted that to me. I fear I am rambling, but it is clear to me that she is deliberately alienating me and I just dont know what to do about it.... Clearly I cant go t the house and make the children come with me, so what in hell do I do to get the children back.....?
Has anyone else experience this problem of ex-wife deliberately manipulating the children against them ? What did you do ?
I can only try to imagine you pain in what is being done/happening to your relationship with your children. I can only try imagining what it must be like to know they are 'there' but not being able to spend time with them. I have no experience of anything like this so I feel at a loss about what to suggest.
Are there any relatives who your children see and you have a reasonable relationship with... perhaps they can put in the odd 'good word' about you and thus offer some gentle healthy input to your children. Or pass on a verbal message from you about how proud you are of them or how much you care for them...
I guess the crux of the matter is to work out whether there is any legal stance about the situation you find yourself in. I see that on the main body of this site there is a Legal Eagle section. In there I see they have a Legal Advice section with some web links.
Perhaps you have previously taken action with regard to your legal stance and it is the really practical 'child' side of things you hope to get ideas for.
Anyway, my thoughts are with you.
Hi - just saw this as well.
I had realised what was happening before but have been at a loss as to what to do. Tried the family route through my brother (ie their uncle) with the eldest, which totally backfired as i) she told him to mind his own business and got very upset as he was in her eyes "siding" with me, and ii) she told her Mum, who went berserk. Both again,typical signs of parental alienation, as the psychologists call it. The problem is that the child becomes brainwashed and believes the garbage being fed to them by their mother, directly, or manipulatively.
Legal - I am consulting with one next week, but dont see it as the real solution -perhaps a letter to act as a shot across the bows, so to speak.
My "problem" if you can call it that, is that unlike her, I have always put the children first - and dragging them into a legal/court situation is just not what I want for them. In reality, they are not the problem, the ex is ! The problem with parental alienation syndrome is that she is never going to admit that is what she is doing.
I have read some shocking cases where fathers who have been in this situation dont see their children for 15-20 years.... and then when they finally are able to get across their message the child, now in their thirties, suddenly realise what their mother has been doing - by then of course you have lost 15-20 years..
Its a mess, and is certainly compounded for me because my business collapsed, and am facing backruptcy, and the house which I provide for the children will ost likely be repossesed if I cant resume my income or get a job soon....
Its a real "violin" job !
I'm sorry to hear about the backfiring of your attempts to get your brother's help. Also, your news about looming bankruptcy is rather extreme, especially loosing your children's home. One thing that occurs to me - do you have a long trusted mate with whom you are able share openly and deeply? It would at least help you to know there is someone who is there for you so you can prevent 'the pressure cooker' from building up by bottling up the emotional stuff.
... dragging them into a legal/court situation is just not what I want for them.
I guess there will always be the potential element of no matter what you do teenagers might angrily blurt out either or both: you dragged us through court; or you didn't bother fighting enough. And as you say, then realise the complexities once they are many years older. Tough.
I sincerely hope your legal consultation puts some clarity on the situation and a couple of actions you can take.
Have to go and feed todder now.
/all the best, MrOrange
I'm really sorry to hear about this common situation you find yourself facing. Unfortunately your ex isn't thinking about what is best for the children, who are the ones who suffer the most. It is always extremely difficult to effectively communicate with your children when you constantly badmouthed in your absence. I can understand your reluctance to proceed through the courts as this may be used by your ex as further amunition to brainwash your children against you.
I will pass your comments on to the Childrens Legal Centre for their comment and in the meantime I hope your legal meeting is productive. They might suggest mediation as a way forward but you may also want to get in touch with an organisation called Families Need Fathers, http://www.fnf.org.uk as they will fully understand the issues here.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for that.
Id be interested to see what your legal guys will say.
I have spoken to two firms this morning, and one, who will provide legal aid (I am on JSA), had never heard of parental alienation (!), and the other, who clearly had the experience I need, wont provide legal aid, and I cannot afford the Ã‚Â£150 per hour that they will charge me.
Mediation - same problem re paying for it, plus I cant see her voluntarily coming to the table.
I almost think there is nothing I can do....?
The first question that I have is why do you not see your children? You need a court order so that you can have fair time with them.
Next.......never resort to doing the same despicable thing that your ex is doing. My ex does a similar thing and constantly lies to my children. I on the other hand would never drag them into things or use them the way my wife does. She is trying to eradicate me from their life (even though she was the one who had the affair).
I'm afraid that the answer is to go to court to try to get some time with your kids. You can't do anything if you don't have time with them. Also record all the evidence you can get about her behaviour. Trying to turn the children against a parent is very serious and if the court get enough evidence then they can award residency to the other parent.
You are not the first nor the last who will go through this nonsense but there's no easy answer. Be positive and never ever bad mouth your ex in front of your kids. Her bitterness will eventually wear her down - in the meantime do not let her get to you. I get text messages every week about how my kids despise me........however I know in my heart that this isn't true.
Thanks guys......I now know that I am going through the same thing.
I read this article and I can see many signs.
The best advice is this one in the article:
"One father expressed it like this: "I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know how to make it better with the mother, but I do know how to make it worse." He was one of the more successful parents I met in fighting the PAS problem because he stayed in the role of the peacekeeper."
Your situation is really very difficult, it's not that easy..
Have you ever try calling your kids???
If you have and they just ignore you, try it again.
Make them see who is their real father, no matter what happened , you're still their real father..
The new guy is just nothing but a new guy for them.
Do you believe in the sayings, "blood is thicker than water"
In your case, you are the blood and that new guy is the water...
Just maybe they really wanted to see you but then, they're just afraid to disobey their mother.
Do anything that you think is best and don't stop communicating to them so that gap would not reach into a point where you can never have them back again.
Maybe have a look at the Centre for Separated Families - there is a lady called Karen Woodall and she is like a breath of fresh air - she is an experton PAS too. She can give you strategies to deal with PAS. Please don't give up on your children. Cards, letters... anything!
I think it will help for you to know your not alone, and as much as it hurts there isn't a quick fix. I am in a similar position, although my ex-wife allows access she moved 160 miles away with them five years ago and I have managed to see them most every other weekends but the last twelve months I just haven't been able to afford it so it has been every third weekend. Problem has always been she refuses to include me in anything the girls are doing, and I have never had a fathers day card, birthday or Christmas acknowledged. It is a typical and long story of unnecessary hurt and pain and our own hurt and pain is bad enough but the thought of what it is doing to our children is worse. Anyway, my advice is don't accept all the blame and guilt, your children will always love you, and its a long game.
Head up, make a plan and do your best.
If you are on benefits mediation s free for you and costs for her if she is working. Also I am not sure how old the children are but mate get a court order if mediation fails and move forward and get legal advice (again free I think cause you would have tried mediation by now)
Good luck ...