I was well aware of the high-octane drama my ex would bring to almost any situation. “Calm” she was not. Part of the original allure was the sensationalized alarm she would transport to even the most mundane experiences. I found it charming to watch her fight for her rights – even when I didn’t think it was warranted. As a quiet and reserved person, I was attracted and in awe of her outlandish personality.

But over the years, the appeal waned.
I couldn’t anticipate or quiet even the basic anxiety a simple task would cause.
I began to hate the very character that brought us together.
And after years of therapy, I finally decided I couldn’t take the lifestyle anymore and asked for a divorce.

I braced myself for the turbulence of her outbreaks.

I tried to circumvent the episodes by providing her with a generous settlement. I met her every need – and then some, making certain she would never be concerned about money or have to work. I knew my freedom had a price and I was willing to pay for it. But true to her character it wasn’t enough and she continued to explode.

Even though I knew the devil I was dealing with, I still thought of her as a kind and caring person – An especially attentive mother to our two boys and a woman who would put her children first.

Turned out I was wrong.

She was angry with my decision and spun her anxiety into revenge by bringing our children into the mess.

She filled their heads with lies and misconceptions, telling them I left her without money, for another woman, without warning… she made them believe I didn’t care for her or want the kids. The list of lies went on…

I tried to stay the course. I didn’t want to throw back any punches. I wanted my kids to think only virtuous things of their mother. I wanted them to feel safe and happy in both homes. I hoped my calm approach would soothe their messed heads and that my actions would propel them to believe the real truth.

A year later, I found my own happiness with another woman who welcomed my children into our new life. My ex felt threatened and used her pain to further the lies – implanting outrageous stories about me into their minds.

When she found her own partner I expected the madness to subside – but it never did. As the kids got older, she started to poison them with her own insecurities – tormenting them with thoughts of abandonment and financial worries.

My relationship with my boys has become strained. They seem confused and offside when they see me and ask me strange questions about my finances. When I answer they have glazed looks in their eyes – almost like they don’t believe me. I feel them growing more distant after each visit.

I’m not sure how to make this stop. I feel so torn and confused myself.

Martin, 48

9 Responses to “Parental Alienation”

  1. Corinne

    I’m so sorry Martin that you are going through this. You deserve to be happy. Any human being who would put innocent children – especially their own – in the middle of a battle with another adult – is cruel, hateful and quite honestly dangerous. A parent should be a parent first! And only take actions that are beneficial to their children. Talking bad about the children’s other parent is actually emotional abuse. I have a social worker friend who is trying to get this recognized by the courts. It is the NUMBER ONE thing every divorce/child/relationship therapist/expert says you absolutely must never do because it will severely hurt your child. By talking bad about the children’s other parent…they might as well be physically pushing them into a wall or punching them in the face. Would they ever do that? No, and yet this is the same exact thing. It’s disgusting and these parents should have their children removed from their care.

    In the meantime it’s wonderful that you found new love. Enjoy. Your children will get older and see the truth about their Mother. Until then just smile and be the better person. Sending you strength.

  2. Tara

    Martin .. You are full of shit and I believe you wife has had no choice based on you as a man and father .
    Your poor me story is so cliche .. No question the woman who made you happy was around long before you left and you must have been a distance husband who never was invested in your family when there .
    To blame her for your boys distance .. Is crap ! Your their dad be a dad and if you out the time in no child will feel strained .. You failed them and her .

  3. LawAngel

    Wow, Tara are you such an angry person and your response to Martin is mean and extremely immature. His story only proves that there are woman like his ex. You, Ms.Tara


    • M.Galvo

      Well said Law Angel! Woman like Ms Tara and his ex wife ruin it not only for the children but for other woman as well. There are some kind, generous ex husbands out there that actually leave on their own accord not just because of another woman. And maybe, just maybe if his ex wife was fiesty with him like she was with the world he would have stuck around. Problem is this, not that I’m praising Martin but there are 3 sides to every story, his, hers and the truth. Always remember that! If your going to voice your opinion states the facts or at the very least be neutral without picking sides. Shaming one person or another based on your very own experiences Ms. Tara doesn’t help any. As for Phoebe are you commenting just to comment.

  4. J

    I’m sorry for your situation Martin – I’m living with similar poison from my bitter ex… His new relationship did not decrease his venom. Steer the course, and as the kids grow they will see the true colours of your ex.

  5. Alf

    certainly one needs to hear both sides of the tale but yes there are people, both men and women who will turn children against their other parent for their own gain and because they cannot lose face in public. They need to blame someone else to deflect shame from themselves and if they can turn the children then its very easy to say….see, look, it’s not my fault even the children don’t want anything to do with them. The love of a child for their mother or father is not immutable. It can be twisted. Not all parents play fair when it comes to the children of a relationship which is something that most people do not understand.


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