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Dealing With Ex Spouse And Parent Alienation

by Margie
(Newtown, PA)

My ex-spouse walked out in Oct 2011 and has since moved close to 10 times and had as many cars. We have three children together.

My oldest son, 18 yrs old, has Aspbergers, second son (14) has autism. They and my daughter (9) have been caught in the web of lies their father has used to justify the chaos he created and his efforts to appear stable. The father lived with a woman at one point that was asked to leave his home by child services.

My oldest son went to live with his father at 13 when he was angry with me. His father taught him to hate me advising him that he 'got to a point where he had to call me a bitch'. My oldest son and I have rarely spoken over the last 5 years. After 4 years of estrangement the father and son accused me of trying to hit my son over the head with a boom box.

Apparently the story is followed by the father coming in and rescuing the son by grabbing the boom box from me. I have questioned both parties on this accusation which I take very seriously. The father becomes extremely angry when I bring it up or will say that it's sad that I did that. When asked to re-enact the incident with a counselor the father becomes rageful and will not talk about it anymore, telling me to 'let it go' or 'I can't argue with a memory'.

At one point counseling was declined by the father because he did not trust 'third party communication'. My younger children have suffered from my estrangement from their older brother and they struggle to understand it. They are currently in counseling for it. The father holds true to the 'boombox' stories and similar accounts to support his position. He has indicated that he actually did not walk out on the family in 2001 however he does not explain that.

His simple rationalization 'I'm sure you see it that way'. He was not present for the birth of my youngest child because he left the family when I was three months prior to her birth. At the time he left he was living out of a Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of the post office where he worked.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Margie, and thanks for telling your story here. Your position is very hard. To have an ex spouse turn one of your children against you can be one of the most painful and frustrating experiences possible.

I will make some suggestions, in case you want to do something to manage your own emotions in a healthy way. I think you're doing the right thing by getting counseling for yourself and your children. The truth about their father will emerge and become clear over time, even to your oldest.

You may want to hold on to your anger, and if that's what you choose, it's certainly your right...and it's justified. If, however, you want to heal and manage your anger in the best possible way for yourself and your children, I suggest that you read the following page on relationships and follow the advice there that feels right for you: how to deal with abusive relationships

The best thing that could happen for you, Margie, is for you to be happy and successful in your life. The benefit to you is obvious, and your children will benefit as well. I suggest you use these positive journaling exercise to get yourself focused in a good direction.

I hope this is helpful to you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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