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Parental alienation-did you tell the kids?

Biostep7777's picture

I wrote in another post how DH ended up telling the kids yesterday about their mom and she had been lying to them telling them DH doesn't want to see them, how she tells DH they don't want to see him, he told them about the false allegations and everything else. He told them how every time theg go home and tell her things that she uses it as a way to abuse him, lying about what was said ect.. basically she's been lying for years to them, DH, the courts, the therapists and he saw his kids slipping away from them so he was like the hell with it! I have nothing to lose at this point and he told them. Everything we have heard and read about says not to tell the kids and put them in the middle by what was he suppose to do? Just keep telling her lie?? And since she was getting away with it the lies were getting more elaborate. When he heard his son talking exactly like his mother, he just couldn't  let it keep going. We have tried everything else. The kids cried and told him they were so sorry but of course DH feels awful. He told them he does want them to love their mom and have a good relationship with her biutbthst he loves them too much to let it continue. The whole thing was heartbreaking. 

We don't know where to go from here. We have no idea when or if they are going to tell her this. She won't agree to therapy and DH is just crushed. He didn't want to do this but he was losing his kids to alienation and he figured at least this way they will know dad tried everything. Had anyone done this? Did it help of hurt?? Oh the kids are tween/teenagers. This is not going kids. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, DH told SS. We even had him watch Welcome Back, Pluto. None of it really made any difference, honestly.

Cookieboom's picture

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  I am in a similiar situation, although BM and SS have refused access to BF until he "dumps that skank" (In case you did not know that's me!!!!). 

BM only agreed to a court ordered therapist IF she picked him.  One session with her/SS and therapist refused therapy with BF as he said he didn’t have the moral compass to continue therapy with an abuser who chooses transients in his life over his DS. 

BF's lawyer just requested to the judge that the court ordered therapist be removed from the case and requested a new PAS/Reunification therapist that he has used with other clients.  BF's mom found the therapists by googling "Parental Alienation therapists" and "Reunification therapists" in our area and found this one team, and come to find out his laywer knew them and had worked with them with other clients in the past.  We are waiting for the judge to make the change (The judge is really good, I think it will be done).   Could maybe your attorney do that?  

Also, we have been reading alot of alientation pages on facebook, and most of them advise to tell kids the truth and show evidence as well (For example of BM says your DH is a deadbeat and doesn't pay CS show them your proof of it).  BUT do it in a nice way, like "your mom is mistaken, I pay my CS, here is the proof"  It might help to join some of them, most of them are private groups and not open to the public.  

Do you and DH go to therapy by yourselves (without kids)?  BF and I go together (Virtual) and it really makes a difference.  Its very stressful to deal with this and we feel better when we have our sessions.

I still have a lot to learn and I feel fortunate to have found this site.  I don't have any good anwers for you since SS refuses to see BF until I hit the bricks, but he has just started reaching out to him after BM was served the request to remove the therapist from the case (I didn't realize that was the reason it until Tog pointed it out!!).  Best to you,


Biostep7777's picture

See everything we have heard is to NOT tell the kids, just be the best parents you can be ect.. but it wasn't working! He was losing them and she was getting worse because she was getting away with it.  DH felt backed in the corner. We have no idea what's going to happen. HCBM is going to complete lose her mind. She is most likely waiting to tsk to her attorney tomorrow to see how they are going to use this against him. We feel sick. 

Biostep7777's picture

Oh and yes. We do have a therapist that DH snd I see every week. We are telling him about this Monday. I'm sure he's going to be like "ummmmm you did what?" 

Cookieboom's picture

(If you haven't already) and let him know what happened.  Start googling the therapists and ask for the judge to order the therapy.  In regards to what you have heard, I have read in books/Facebook Pages that it doesn't work when you stay silent, as the kids start to believe the lies.  So sorry!!!! Hang in there!!!!

Biostep7777's picture

This happened yesterday so it was the weekend. We will talk to them tomorrow. We have asked BM constantly to agree to therapy. She won't agree.  We have a temporary hearing and the judge said the kids are to stay in therapy. There was an argument about whether the judge meant their current therapists or just "I'm therapy" so she just took it out. Ugh!!! It's been a nightmare. Could you let me know which books?? Thank you! 

Cookieboom's picture

Our therapist can’t stand BM, and always says “She did/said that?” When we tell her things that have happened.  She nearly fell out of her chair when we told her we found out BM broke into his Icloud and has been reading all of his stuff for years!!!  As far as the books, I’m a reader!!! I have read a lot!!! The ones I have read so far:

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You by Amy Baker.

You're not Crazy: Overcoming Parent/Child Alienation Overcoming Parent/Child Alienation, by Lynn Steinberg. 

Brainwashing Children by John Steinbeck (on kindle).

Raising Resilient Children with a Borderline or Narcissistic Parent, by Fjelstad, Margalis, McBride, Jean, Rowman & Littlefield

Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing by  Dr. Richard Warshak

Say Goodbye to Crazy: How to Get Rid of His Crazy Ex and Restore Sanity to Your Life by Tara Palmatier and Paul Elam.

Keep the faith!! Sending hugs!!!



Evil4's picture

H and I went through being vilified by BM and the SKs ate it all up. BM is the one who cheated on H. I didn't even know H until three years later. BM convinced the brats that I'm a homewrecker and that H was abusive to BM and on drugs. Kids believed every word and BM continued her crap for about two decades. I was in LE and even had to defend myself in investigations. H was a yellow belly and kept up the taking the high road bullshit. To this day there is tension from SS to H and SD seems to still believe that I ruined her parents' marriage by seducing H. Taking the high road so to speak doesn't work. I'm very close to blowing my stack and letting the cat out of the bag and telling the family secret because I'm tired of the abuse after 25 years. I really don't care anymore. A lot of the bullshit H and I endured could have stopped if H simply defended us. By chickening out and "taking the high road" the lies were believed for so long that I really don't think there's any ability to come back from this. The beliefs festered for so long that I really think that even with concrete evidence the kids will not accept it. H let it all happen for way too long.

lieutenant_dad's picture

You shouldn't just spill all the dirty details to kids unprompted. However, defending yourself or correcting lies is okay. Similar to the old saying about not starting a fight, but being okay to end one. As mentioned above, you can tell the kids the truth without disparaging their other parent. "Here are my receipts that I pay child support" is fine. "Your mother spends my CS on herself so that's why you never see it" is not.

Biostep7777's picture

The problem is they never say anything to him. They have kept her lies to themselves. We didn't have a chance to defend ourselves because they would just believe it. I agree it's not the ideal way to handle it. He gets it too. But, we are all human and we all reach out breaking point. After 4 years of this, he hit his point. He also gave them the facts. Things that are documented. Not "your mom did this because she hates me" he said "I didn't see you for those couple of months because mom accused me of abuse and she told me you refused to come with me" SK's said  "we never said that" 

Cover1W's picture

DH told OSD when she was 13 and putting up a huge stink about why HE left her mom and how mean he was, and how sad it was for HER.  Oh, he laid it allllll out.  He addressed BM's behavior around then too, but didn't go into detail.  I'm sure YSD heard it all too - there's no way she couldn't have with her room right next door.

OSD was gone from our home in less than a year. Nothing DH did or said made one bit of difference to her and BM believed a 13/14 year old's version of events over an adults. We also know who is actually running BM's home and it's not BM. 

DH is more reconciled to the PAS now but hates it and every so often, every couple months kind of loses it and says he's going to fix it. I just listen and give him support. Because BM and OSD have never ever WANTED to fix it. No talking, no counseling, no communication  -  BM gave OSD all the power. Of course, now college applications will be happening and BM is coming to DH with financial requests. He's like, Yeah no. OSD either meets with him to discuss college or she gets not a dime. He's not good enough to talk with but he's good enough to spend thousands of dollars on her? Nope, doesn't work like that.

YSD is experiencing some PAS as well, and a not insignificant slice of it is coming from OSD. So that's fun.  We expect her, once schools are in person again, to go to the school near BM which means she would likely only be here every other weekend and the requisite holidays. DH is reconciled to this too.

I'd say it's up you your DH to decide how to handle it. I have zero say in anything and none of my suggestions are/were taken and used. So not my issue - other than a relief oftentimes to not have to deal with any of it.  I support DH and listen to him and that is my role.


Rags's picture

It is never too early nor too late to provide PAS manipulated kids with the facts regarding the toxic manipulative POS parent.

We did and as you you and DH are doing we did it while working with SS to build understanding that it was okay for him to love and care about them even if they were dishonest and manipulative.

I our case it turned out pretty well.  SS learned to recognize when they were manipulating and to protect himself in real time and as an adult m.  These people never stop their crap and will victimize their kids all through adulthood if the kid is not aware and knowledgeable of the facts.

Biostep7777's picture

Yeah this is why it really confuses me when I hear that you shouldn't tell the kids about what the alienating parent is doing. In our case, they were believing it and they would even join her in the bad mouthing ect.. DH came down on them hard. He told them that they were not allowed to text their mom and talk s--t about us under his roof and to stop telling her everything that happens here because she creates a story that's not true from one little thing they said. He's ready to take their phones when they come here or better yet, tell them to leave their phones at their mom's house. Once he called them out on their s--t they cried and said they were sorry. So, we will see what happens now. It's going to be bad. We exposed her. Nothing could possibly make her more mad then being exposed. 

Rags's picture

For your own sake, the sake of your marriage, and the sake of the Skids... stay the course outlined by the facts. Tolerate no crap. Keep the kids up to speed on the truth, the facts, the CO, the supplemental county rules, and the State regulations that govern their lives under a Custody/Visitation/Support CO.

We landed on this model when my SS's SpermClan started their crap.  So... out came the CO, court recordings, conversation logs, taped telephone conversations, vitriolic answering machine messages, SpermIdiot arrest records, marriage records, divorce records, etc, etc, etc.....

They would lie and manipulate, we would share the facts and truth with SS.

Not a pleasant experience for anyone in the mix but it gave us a break and SS a foundation for protecting himself and managing his interface with them.

ESMOD's picture

I think that there can be a fine line of what and when things need to be discussed with kids.

I think it's important to give them FACTS.  Try to not accuse the other parent of outright lying or assigning a motivation .. but when the kids spout off with "it's your fault and SM's fault we are not getting to do X".  A full on bath in the water of truth  may be needed.

"That is not correct.  I don't know how she could have forgotten but she has known since X date that it would be my visitation time that week and I had already made plans for us to do X as a family.  And.. you boys know that I would never ask you to lie or hide things that were important from your mother, but you may not realize it but when you give her a full on report of everything that happens or is said in my home.. she ends up misinterpreting and turning things around and makes things difficult.  It's like one of those games where one person whispers a phrase to the next until it gets to the end of the line and the phrase has been completely changed around.  When you tell her what you "think" you heard or did.. she is often getting a different story in her own mind.  We deserve to be able to live our lives in this home without fear that some outside person is passing judgement on every little thing.  I don't expect to hear the nitty gritty detail of what happens when your with your mom do I?"

I think as teens, it's ok to be a bit more honest.. stating facts and nothing but facts so to speak.  They are old enough to have some understanding of the way that the custody order works.. and that they are being supported by both parents financially etc..

It is tough though.. it's a lot more difficult for a kid to align against the CP... they rely on the CP for so much direct access to what they want.

Biostep7777's picture

Thank you. Yeah, DH laid it in them. He told them that they better never talk s**t about us in our home sitting there in their iPads/phones with their mother again. He told them that they have some nerve asking him and I to take them out to eat, have friends over and take them to sports all while on their iPads/phones saying awful things about us to their mother so she could turn around and abuse us with it. He said it better not happen again. He told them that they can't tell her things anymore about our house because it is putting us all in danger. She has used that information to create a story that's not true and use it to make false accusations. 

I was like "Ouch!!" They were bawling and felt awful but it's true. They were smiling and laughing with us while saying awful things about us with their mom on their phone just to please her. They need to know this is NOT okay and it puts us in danger. 

Rags's picture

Followed by the relevent facts and truth.

No need to go full banshee mode on a kid who is PASd or demonize even a toxic opposition parent.  But.. the facts are important.  They are the most direct and powerful way to help a kid recognize when they are being played.

IMHO of course.

tog redux's picture

I think the reason people say "don't tell them" is that they are operating on normal people guidelines, not high conflict guidelines. High Conflict people WILL put them in the middle and tell them bad things, so if the other parent says and does nothing, the kids believe the HC parent.

We had a lot of situations where BM said, "SS wants this or that .." and SS said he knew nothing about it. Of course, he lies too, and would tell us bad things about BM, so we never knew where the truth was, because sometimes we did catch him saying bad things about us.

DH got scolded a few times by attorneys for things he said. Your BM will undoubtedly try to twist this all around. He would do the kids a favor by taking their phones, so they don't have to stand up to BM (which is really hard to do for a kid). 

Biostep7777's picture

Yeah I see that! She is definitely going to twist this. She has already set the narrative of him being a big mean nasty man  who is unstable and  has "outburst" because he has yelled at the kids a few times in their lives. Like every other parent but when he does it apparently it's abuse. Okay. Lol! She has already stated all this in documents ect.. constantly saying she's scared for his next outburst. Then what does he do?? Has an "outburst" (this is what she is going to say) 

This is not going to end well for DH. She looks like the upstanding perfect mom and she has beat him down so badly, years of abuse, horrible emails, accusations, lying to the kids about him, alienating. Yeah, he finally hit his breaking point. But, all the courts will see if her saying he's "out of control" and "see I told you he's unstable and shouldn't be around the kids"

I am very worried this is going to totally backfire on him. 


tog redux's picture

In my experience the courts do see the bad behavior of the BMs too - but they don't know what to do about it. So they point out that both parties are behaving badly and go with what the kids want. Of course, the HC parent has manipulated the crap out of the kids, so they say they want to live with her. 

I really would suggest he drops the rope - by that I DON'T mean not see his kids - just drop the lawsuit against BM. 

Cover1W's picture

BM put DH in this light too...angry, temper, violent, yells, out of control, etc. It's far from the truth. I witnessed his interactions with OSD and they were NORMAL parent reactions to a kid out of control themself.

BM accused DH of being abusive, and had him arrested once (all charges dropped of course but by then the DV arrest was on his record for 7 years) even in the midst of the divorce. Every single thing was thrown at DH to keep him from the kids.

And BM, I am sure, spins this with OSD especially. OSD and YSD have told him to "stop yelling" at them when he's not yelling - just a firm voice telling them to not do something or to correct their actions. I told YSD myself the last time she said this that "He's NOT yelling at you YSD, he's being firm and you are not answering him."

I think my DH's honesty backfired with OSD because OSD is always right. She wants her way all the time and she gets it at BMs. So once he told her the truth, she decided she was done with him. And she hates men. That's a fun twist right there.  But he regrets none of what he told her and I thought he did pretty good with it overall. It's all on BM and OSD IMHO.