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Seperated spouse bashes me to children...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My wife and I have been seperated several months and one of the leading contributers to this was her lack of respect of me as a father. She would frequently call me names in front of and to the children as well as undermining my decision making and discipline. I always attempted to collaborate with her but she would refuse to institute discipline if it would make her look 'mean'. Since we seperated, the children now call me the same names she referred to me as and repeat conversations (not suited to children's ears) which she has had in front of them. I refuse to say anything negative about their mother to them, but they say it is my fault that I left and I don't love them. My children are from the ages of 2-14. I don't know how to deal with the children when they are rude to me (giving me the finger in church, hitting, kicking, mouthing off). Any attempts to punish them for their behavior are reversed as soon as they are with their mom. What can I say to them to help them understand that I love them and I know this situation is tough, but it is not acceptable for them to treat another human being this way.
post #2 of 6
my daughters farther is the same way he says things to me that are rud.... i wish he would be like that my daughter takes every thing out on me
post #3 of 6
I'm not (yet) a father and haven't ever had to deal with a situation like this, so take this for what it's worth...

Unfortunately, you're facing a tough challenge if talking to your ex doesn't work. If she can't see (or doesn't care) that her parenting is resulting in rude, inconsiderate, ill-behaved children with no respect for authority, their parents, or anyone else, you're going to have a serious uphill battle. Try talking to her about this (in a calm and rational way) and probably try to keep the discussion in terms of the well-being of the kids, and avoid any issues in your own relationship. Tell her that even if she doesn't like or respect you, it's unhealthy for children to feel that way about their parents, and it's going to hurt them in the long run (in fact, I'm sure it already has - no one wants to have those feelings about their own parent, and I'm sure somewhere behind the "indoctrination" from their mother there's some pain).

Also of course continue trying to set a good example for the kids, and talk to them about it as well. Be sympathetic, calm, and loving. Tell them you're sorry for what happened between you and their mom and the effect it's had on their lives, but that you *do* love them, you didn't "leave" them, and that even though they continue to treat you badly, hurt your feelings, and misbehave, you still love them and want what's best for them.

Lastly, and no offense here, but take a good, objective look at yourself to see if any of the things your ex says about you really are true, as much as you may hate to admit it. There's no excuse for the way she's handling this, of course, but these are very often not as one-sided as the people involved think they are. It's very easy to become defensive and lose sight of the fact that perhaps some of the other person's complaints about you are, in fact, valid. No one wants to face their own failures, weaknesses or flaws, but we all have them, and the only way to improve is to acknowledge them and look them head-on. Again, I'm not trying to accuse you or make it seem like you've caused or deserve this, but if you really want to try and resolve this you have to look at it from all angles.

Good luck with this, hopefully someone with more experience and insight can give you some better advice, it must be a horrible thing to have to endure.
post #4 of 6
It's against the law in washington for a parent to do this. They could lose their children over it....


Sorry you are going through it, my parents divorce was relatively smooth so there was no backlash....


No advice, just empathy.
post #5 of 6
I'm really sorry you are going through this. It must feel awful to be in your shoes right now. I might suggest taking the children to a family counselor where you could have family meetings or individual counseling. I think the more they see you really trying to be a positive person in their life the more they will see the manipulation that their Mother is trying to use. Your kids will really appreciate you trying so hard right now in the long run, and they will end up resenting their Mother for her negative behavior. I know it is a thankless job for you right now but, the longer you hang in there and are postitive the better off they will be.

Good Luck, and vent away if it helps here.
post #6 of 6
OK heres the kids side of the story because I was that kid.

Your children are being brainwashed and your wife is using this as a tool to make them choose between you two. They deep down probably feel that if they don't side with mom she won't love them and since dad APPARENTLY doesn't love them then why not. You need to sit down with your wife and work this out. If that doesn't work then go to counseling, if she won't, then get the courts to order it, better yet get the courts to award you the children because I will say from experience that this is ery unstable for the children and wil most likely cause alot of emotional problems that will carry well into adulthood, damaging them....

...I've been thinking about this for you and have decided to tell you the truth... but this is hard to tell another parent....I don't think you will win the 14 year old back especially if it is a girl. If they are under 11-12 you have a good chance though but you need to spend one on one time doing thing that they like and connecting with them and building back their trust. Eplain to them that you and Mommy are very hurt right now and sometimes when people hurt the lash out to hurt others. Pull out photo albums and tell happy storues that they might remember and point out how happy you were with them at that time and still are. Make goals that you all want to reach or plans and alway follow through on a promise/deal/plan. I wish you the best of luck, now go save your kids, because I would hate to have more people out there with the pain and confusion I felt and still feel.
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