I recently came across a blog post about parental alienation. I’m not going to link to it because I find the author to be a mindless little twit who excuses her whoring around because “love”.
I’m going to tackle this in two separate posts because there is so much to say about this. Today I’m going to explore the PAS angle.
Before I begin let me say I do believe that parental alienation is real. I believe it’s rare but I believe it’s real. Unfortunately, I think a lot of crappy parents hide behind it as an excuse as to why they have no relationship with their kids. It’s nothing they’ve done. It’s what the ex has done. It’s not their bad behavior or shitty choices. It’s the ex alienating the kids. It’s gotten so bad some parents are actually forbidden from telling their kids the truth because the other parent can claim parental alienation. Yes, apparently telling your child the truth instead of lying to them to make mommy or daddy look good is alienating the child. Golly, life is so difficult when your betrayed spouse refuses to be your PR agent any longer.
Let me give you a bit of backstory here. The writer is the girlfriend of a man who claims his ex has alienated his children. The ex is bitter and angry (ah, key words there; anyone recognize them?) because Daddy Dearest has left her for his mindless twit of a co-worker. The kids say they don’t want anything to do with him but that’s not really them speaking; it’s their mother. She emotionally abuses them every day. The emotional abuse comes in the form of brainwashing them to believe their loving father wants nothing to do with them, not letting people who support the affair see the kids, and not hiding the financial devastation they have encountered due to Daddy’s choice to leave and go be with his soul mate.
So much of what this person writes could be written by CF. I’m sure that is his spin on everything that has happened. I have no doubt that’s the story his family tells. Oh, we never get to see our grandchildren because their mother won’t let them visit. Hell, his attorney had it written into our settlement agreement that I wouldn’t interfere in their relationship. Oh yes, dipshit! That’s why the kids have nothing to do with their father. It’s because I’m interfering. It has absolutely nothing to do with his behavior- the fact that he walked out the door without saying a word, the fact that he doesn’t support them, the fact that they were forced to move out of the family home and in with their grandmother. Nope! It’s all me.
That’s the story these people have to tell themselves. Consequences? What are consequences and why on earth would you assume that I will suffer them?
She goes on to talk about another divorce situation, one that involved her childhood friend. She writes:
The children’s mother would openly make disparaging remarks about the father to her friends in full earshot of the children. She would then scold herself and pretend she should not make these comments as they would influence the children. Rolling her eyes when his name was mentioned or reminding everyone who would listen that they were short of money and had to “go without” knowing this would reinforce the children’s beliefs it was due to their father’s departure.
Okay, I will be the first to admit that disparaging your ex in front of your kids is not a good thing and should be avoided. As Chump Lady always says, “Feel free to report the facts; however, do not editorialize.” Yes, children, your mother/father is having an affair. She/he has moved out and is living with someone else, is fine. Your mom is an immoral slut/your father is a lying cheating bastard! is not.
I wonder, though, what she classifies as “disparaging” remarks. These cheaters and their apologists are a sensitive bunch. To them, telling the truth and not covering for their horrible behavior is “disparaging”.
Rolling her eyes? Maybe not the smartest thing to do but seriously, if your children can be turned against you simply because the other parent rolls their eyes (or makes disparaging remarks)? You’ve got bigger problems in your relationship with your children than you think.
I love the final no-no, though. She would remind people they were short of money and had to go without knowing this would reinforce the children’s beliefs it was due to their father’s departure.
It was, you whining whore! Just like I’m sure your dearly beloved’s departure created financial upheaval for his own children. When my husband decided he was no longer going to “let me steal every dime he makes” or “continue to drain the account” he had a severe impact on our financial situation. When he quit his job and no longer sent us money he had a severe impact on our financial situation. There was no tricking the kids into believing their daddy’s departure caused us financial instability. It was the truth. He chose to hand over the majority of his paycheck to his whore for four months, spending wildly and wining and dining her and her kids. His own children received nothing from him. For five months he had to pay me more than he got to take home. Five months. And now? Well let’s see. He took a powder for 10 full months and didn’t pay a dime. Drained a $10,000 401k and didn’t bother to send a single cent to his children. Then he paid back support. Meanwhile, throughout all of that I was working two jobs, a lot of 13 hour days, and more often than not 6 days a week. All while being the sole parent to his children. Finally he got a job. It paid less than half of what he made before but then again his support obligation was reduced by almost half. Still, he hasn’t paid even half of the court ordered support yet he moves his girlfriend and her kids into a new home in a nice subdivision with a community pool and clubhouse. Even the judge believes his primary focus is on his girlfriend and her kids. His kids do suffer because he places the whore and her kids before his own. It’s not theory; it’s a fact backed by the ruling judge himself.
This particular author would like to look past that. I guess I’m supposed to lie to my kids and tell them that I’m just too lazy to work two and three jobs so that they can have everything they want. I’m supposed to explain to them that Daddy is madly in love with someone else and so now his financial obligations are to his new family and if they go without it’s my own shortcoming.
How exactly is that supposed to work in the real world? Your child comes up to you.
Parent (I’m trying to be gender neutral here), here is the yearbook order form. You: I can’t afford to buy a yearbook this year. Child: But I always get a yearbook! Why can’t I get one this year?
According to Baroness von Nitwit I’m thinking the appropriate response is to simply reiterate the fact that you can’t afford to buy it, completely sidestepping the fact that the reason you can’t buy it is because the child’s other parent refuses to pay court ordered support, thereby crushing your standard of living. It’s far better to gaslight and spackle than it is to tell the truth. The truth might hurt the cheating parent.
I would have had to expend way too much energy to keep covering for CF. As I’ve said before we went from living on over $200,000 a year to living on less than $20,000. It would have been next to impossible to try to protect their father from that fallout. They knew the changes they were experiencing were due to him. I didn’t move because I wanted to be closer to my mommy. No, I was willing to stay in a town where I had very little support, probably not many job prospects, and my expenses were outrageous and ate up a huge chunk of the support I was given so that my daughter could graduate from the high school she loved, a school where she reigned as a superstar. I also busted my ass working two jobs just to be able to give them a Christmas and put food on the table after we did move. I’m not going to throw myself on my sword and take the blame for their lives going down the toilet. Their diminished standard of living is due to him and his choices, especially his choice to put the whore and her kids ahead of his own children. As far as I’m concerned I did my due diligence by not outing every shitty thing he did in order to impress four kids that didn’t belong to him.
I also love how she interjects this jewel:
She should not let her ex’s decision negatively affect their children’s psychological wellbeing. His decision was not to leave his children; it was to leave the marriage as it was not working.
What exactly does that mean, you vacuous whore? Is that your fancy way of saying she shouldn’t let her husband’s affair with you negatively affect her children? She should cover for him? She should lie for him? She should dance harder and faster to make him look like a good guy for her kids?
Here is the brutal truth. When you choose divorce you are choosing to see your children less. You can dress it up in all the flowery terms you want but that is the end result. When you are married to and/or living with the other parent of your child you have 100% access to that child. There is no splitting the holidays or weekends. There is no missing a birthday because it’s not “your time”. You can tuck your kid into bed every single night. You can help with homework every single night. You can eat dinner with that child every single night. When you leave that marriage that is no longer working, primarily because you’re fucking someone else, you are not going to get 100% of the time with your kid. You are going to lose time. You are, in fact, choosing your side piece over your child. Again, couch it in whatever flowery terms you choose. That is ultimately what happens.
You do not get to leave your spouse and then demand they play PR agent for you. It is no longer their job. I can’t speak for what those kids went through and feel right now. I can, however, speak on behalf of my own.
Any psychological damage that my children suffered is due to their father’s behavior, not the fact that I won’t cover for him. That’s the lie cheaters and their enablers want you to believe. They were hurt by the fact their father couldn’t be bothered to talk to them, couldn’t be bothered to apologize profusely, couldn’t be bothered to say good-bye to them when he moved out of the house and out of the state, couldn’t be bothered to drive to see them even one time, couldn’t be bothered to contact them on a regular basis.
If you talked to him, though, I’m sure he would say it’s all my fault. I’ve poisoned them against him. Hell, I know he’s said that. I’m sure he would have this author’s ear as well and she would nod her head astutely and agree that everything was definitely my fault and the only thing CF was guilty of was fleeing an unhappy marriage to find his true happiness.
Once again I will remind everyone that I do believe parental alienation is real. I just think it’s rare and used mainly by entitled assholes to explain away their own odious behavior and their children’s reaction to it.