Anna, there is a term for what the mother is doing, it is called "parental estrangement" when one parent decides to murder the relationship the other parent has with the children. There are some good books about this issue and perhaps counseling for your partner to figure out what he wants to do. It is hard to have your former spouse alienating your children, talking bad about you. The good news is his one son is an adult and the other son is almost an adult. Dr. Coleman's book has a chapter on writing an apology letter, this might be helpful for your partner to do if he can. But he needs to understand what he is apologizing for, not just write something self serving. My former husband is doing the parental alienation against me just because he has always been mean and abusive and controlling. My daughters were adults, they should know better but they are desperate for a relationship with their father, who used to ignore the kids and do his own thing. The children are hurt in these situations and it might be that in a few years, his children start to come out from under the thumb of the mother. There might have been patterns of bad or negative behavior in the marriage and in the family that you don't know about and that the kids do know about, that also stop the kids from reaching out to your partner. It sounds like all four people are hurting, the kids, the former wife, and your partner. If we try to look at this as hurting people, instead of good vs. evil, we might have more success? Anyway, its tough for you to watch him suffer, so see if you can get him to read Dr. Coleman's book or one on parental alienation. I am not answering your questions because I don't know the answers or what trying looks like. For me, I had to come to terms with what had happened and what was happening now and take responsibility for my own actions past and present and also decide how I was going to create a happy life with or without my daughters. I also had to make peace with the fact that my former spouse destroyed my relationship with my daughters, although with their help. I had to see myself as more than just this tragedy. Counseling was very helpful in learning to let go of things I can't change.
I'm writing about my partner who went through a very difficult divorce a few years ago. Unfortunately he had an affair which was his way of catalysing his exit from the very toxic marriage he spent 15 years in. He stayed for the children. He recognises that this was not the right way, but it is done now. He is paying for it because his son's found out about the affair and the Mother had turned them against him. They won't talk to him, respond to his texts (the texts are also routed to the mothers phone so she screens everything). His eldest didn't give his father a ticket to his graduation. My partner is broken about this. He's at a loss to know what to do. Every time he goes round to the house where they live to drop off birthday presents or whatever, the ex hurls abuse at him. He can't get close to his kids because she is there poisoning them against him. He had an affair. Yes it was a massive mistake which he is now paying for.
My question is how does he keep showing his love, if he can't see them, speak to them, they don't respond etc and it's like that all communications he sends is screened and tampered with by the ex. The boys are 19 and 16 years old, so at the age where they don't have 'visits'.
I'm sure the boys feel betrayed, let down, I went through similar things with my father. I don't know how to help him. Any advice would be really appreciated on the subject of does he keep trying and what does 'keep trying' look like? Write letters, emails? We're at a loss.
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