LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: How can I help my children not suffer?

Editor’s note: Lovefraud has received another question from Andrea, who wrote in a month ago. If you have any suggestions for her, please share them.

I am looking for some strong advice on how to help my children deal with their father ”¦ my ex ”¦ who is a sociopath. We have been divorced for 4 years and I have been terrified of this man. Not so much physically, but more just afraid of his bullying and threats. Even though people have told me that his threats are just words and he cannot follow through on them, it is still hard when he is so confident that he is so right and I am so wrong. I have tried very hard to take the high road through all of this and he falls in this gray area between legal and illegal, but suffers no consequences. I have been told that once I stop letting him get to me, he will get bored and move on to someone else.

Recently, I have broken free of his hold and I don’t care anymore. I’ve started living my life and doing what I want. I’ve met a new man who was in the Marines and is an avid hunter. My son has expressed interest in hunting and went with him one day. My ex found out about it the night before and went insane. He told my son that he forbade him to go, but I told my son that he was with me and I was allowing it. My ex started calling the house at 1:15 in the morning and called for about an hour. I tried to talk with him one time, but it was ridiculous. He told me he would stop paying child support and would fight for sole custody if I let him go. (Wish I had that all on tape). Anyway, I let him go because there was no danger, he had an apprentice hunting license, and he was with me that weekend. Now my ex has decided to bully my son. It has been horrible. He is now threatening him and scaring him with things that he can’t possible do. Even though I try to explain to my son what he’s doing, it’s too hard for a 12 year old to comprehend. My son is withdrawn, angry and scared. He won’t talk to me very much, so I don’t exactly know what he’s thinking or how to help him.

How can I help my son (and daughter eventually) not suffer? Has anyone had any similar experiences? My biggest fear is that my son will just give in to my ex and do what he says to keep the peace ”¦ to get positive attention from his dad. The worst case scenario would be my son moving in with him when he’s 14 (something that my ex is working on because he knows it will hurt me). How much should I tell my children? How can I help them? We already have a pact that anything that happens at our house stays between us ”¦ terrible, I know ”¦ but it’s the only way to keep them safe (emotionally).

Thanks for any advice I can get.

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136 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: How can I help my children not suffer?"

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So sorry to hear that! Hope you can get it fix soon!

As my two children grew older, the father ended up ‘abandoning’ the relationship he has with them and that started beginning more healings to them in the long run. In time, they started seeing how their father really was and now as adult children, they have both decided not to have anything to do with him, this is a blessing..he is so manipulative and cunning and for them to break away from him, is good for emotional healings as well as physical safety..he my ex husband has major rage issues and has destroyed and damaged many of my personal things over the years, but the emotional damage of living with a sociopath takes years to recover..and my children are recovering..Having my two children in therapy during and after the divorce really help them heal. Over time, I have been able to empower them by living my life with self respect and not allowing myself to be abused anymore by their father.
Like all things..healings take day at a time.
May this encourage some one..

Good evening everyone, I need some advice. I am feeling pretty crappy today. as you might have read, I recently went NC with my mother and sister. Since then my sister has by passed me and invited my daughter over to meet her new baby, during the time she was there my sister went on about how spiteful I am and when my daughter said she didn’t want to discuss me, she made a big performance about how she shouldn’t have to separate her self from her loving (puh!) family out of mis-placed loyalty for her mother(me) lavished her with hitherto un seen attention and sent her home with an array of home cooked dishes!(oooh look at me and how nice I am). My daughter has already been built up and disgarded by my mother… this kind of stuff is still a real trigger for me, I cant stand them attempting to play my kids off against me… it didn’t work and my daughter and I have agreed that if she sees them that’s fine but I dont want to know what they said. Anyway, so today I got a letter from my sisters stepson addressed to my 7 year oldand my daughter inviting them to his birthday party.(my sister has had no interest in my son since the day he was born) I expect the whole family will be there and my son really likes this other little boy. after spending a good part of the day feeling angry and worried about it, I have written a letter back to say thank you but were sorry we cant make it and we hope he has a wonderful day. I just cant stand the thought of being dragged into the ‘tornado’ again by my children or them being exposed to their mother being slagged off … but I feel sick because I dont know if I have the right to keep them away from their family (then my brain says but they’re toxic)… I just feel terribly upset and confused about the whole thing.:( Words of wisdom please LF-ers.

Dear Blueskies—waht is so HOLY about “family” when it is like the “Manson Family?” Are you doing your son (or daughter) a favor lby allowing these people access to your children to fill their heads with ugly things about You or to influence them with their toxic “love”?

In my opinion, FAMILY consists of people who love you, are good and truthful and kind—-anyone who is not truthful, loving and kind is WORSE THAN A STRANGER to me and I will NOT associate with them.

I have cut out of my life ANYONE who is TOXIC and anyone who wants to enable them or carry tales.

Sooo… if the situation is confusing then reframe it 🙂 Instead of thinking of it in terms of you being “slagged off” or if you have the right to keep your kids away from their family, think of it as YOU choosing to exercise your right to keep your children safe. YOU likely didn’t have any choice as a child in dealing with toxic people and no one kept you safe from them. Give your children what you likely didn’t have done for you. In terms that your children can understand explain to them that is what you are doing; use it as a chance to talk about healthy boundaries among family members, so your children will be fortunate to learn such things at an early age. I have talked with my children often about setting boundaries with my Borderline mother. Now my five yearolds and 9 year old talk with me openly about times they observe grandma pushing boundaries or not respecting people’s boundaries… even in simple every day things such as what to eat, their clothing etc. Recently my five year old recounted a story and said “her [g’ma] don’t like boundaries, but I do, ” and my 9 yr old added that the 5 yr old even told Grandma “You have to respect people’s boundaries.” 🙂 There’s a much longer story but the point is NOW is the time for you to keep your children safe and to help them to see toxic behavior in people so they can have healthy relationships in their adult lives. It’s all about the re-frame. 🙂 Keep your focus and instead of letting their disfunction make you feel bad allow yourself to feel empowered… and remember you LF friends are here for you. I always like the quote “Friends are God’s way of making up for your family!”

My last post should’ve been addressed to Blueskies! Sorry about that!

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