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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Vigorous campaign to portray me as angry and hostile

Editor’s note: On April 15, 2009, we posted “Bob’s” story—Leaning on his family while battling his wife. Well, the battle continues. Bob is asking the Lovefraud community for suggestions.

I recently received the email below from my P ex-wife and wanted to share it with your readers. I would like someone to analyze this to get some insight and commentary on this situation. It is so reminiscent of what I have read on Lovefraud.com and in books and comes really without surprise; it just surprises me of the lengths she will go to try to falsely trash me in an effort to obtain custody of our kids. The allegations are either fabricated or extremely exaggerated. She has a knack for manipulating people to write letters for her and support her. She has no fear of me and really no fear that I will endanger our kids; she knows I would never hurt them. This is all blowing smoke, but there is motive.

A quick background: Post-divorce with joint custody, she moved out of state to be with her lover and took me to court to move the kids with her. Her motion was denied and the kids still live with me in my state during the school year, but she moved regardless. Her child support to me was tripled by the court order, and that has angered her. She lies to my kids about the circumstances of her move and casts blame at me for us being so far apart geographically.

During the custodial evaluation, up to the hearing and after the order was handed down she has been on a vigorous campaign to portray me as angry and hostile towards her. Apparently this is the only way she could convince the courts to give her custody. She stopped paying me for children’s expenses after the court order was received, attempting to elicit angry emails from me. That was over a year ago and this continues to this day, even after I took her to court this year to force payment of children’s expenses. After that court order, she still refuses to pay me what is legitimately owed. She is very angry and vindictive, but she conceals it from others very well.

Note, I have been to her home on only three occasions to drop off or pick up my kids and she lives over 1,000 miles from me. She travels to my state with regularity to pick up and drop off the kids at my home without any fear of me. The characterizations of me”—hostile, angry, vindictive, inconsistent, unbalanced, unstable, threatening, harassing, bi-polar—”are a common theme in her emails.

Bob:

I have just returned from a meeting with local law enforcement. I met with them because I fear for my safety and the safety of our children. Your actions, writings and overall demeanor are unstable, inconsistent, vindictive, and threatening.

During this discussion, I shared the following:

1) Our guidance from the Court.

2) years of correspondence between Bob and me, highlighting particularly the exchanges that were most hostile, threatening and vindictive.

3) A tape of Bob’s wire tapping of my phone while I lived in (city removed).

4) Several documents that prove Bob’s attempts to hack into my bank accounts, my AT&T account, my email account and one credit card account.

5) Data I have collected through Bob’s emails of him stalking me, including one today where he has details of my flight information that I did not provide to him. There are several other emails that confirm this pattern of behavior.

6) A written statement from the Summer Camp employee that he interrogated in August, complete with her statement that he appeared unstable and made her uncomfortable. She also confirms that he explicitly told her that he had sole custody of the children and that I was not allowed to make the decision I had made when enrolling him in his summer activities.

7) Evidence suggesting Bob’s taping of the children’s and my conversations.

I agreed that I would follow up this information with an opinion from my therapist, since she has been privy to the daily deluge of drama and interactions and has formed some opinions, based upon what she has read.

The officer confirms that there are red flags in this situation that do not need to be ignored. His suggestion is that I state first my concerns in writing directly to you. I am once again asking you to stop this harassment and contemptible behavior immediately. If you continue, I will have no choice but to proceed with the process of highlighting these situations and writings to the proper authorities and to seek protection for myself and our children.

This is not a threat and these are not games. Your anger, vindictiveness, and nonacceptance of the rules we were given have resulted in harassing and predatory behaviors which are at a minimum, disturbing and at the extreme, dangerous.

Our community saw a triple murder within the last two months at the hand of their father, a white-collar banking manager. The background and circumstances of this heinous crime were eerily similar to our past two years. I will no longer take the chances of what your volatility, instability or hostility might lead to.

Angie


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103 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Vigorous campaign to portray me as angry and hostile"

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In these cases, I think you have no choice but to:

1. Surround yourself with witnesses every time you speak or write either to her or on behalf of the children.
2. Do not speak with her or write her unless it is absolutely necessary. Stick to the task at hand and only that. Do not exchange emails as these could be altered. Have someone witness your writing.
3. IF you have been in mental health treatment, stay for now and have your new partner also attend with you periodically.
4. Always keep your cool, and never drink any alcohol when you may being seeing her.
5. If you have tried to collect, stop thinking about what you are owed as this will only poison your life.

“The officer confirms that there are red flags in this situation that do not need to be ignored. His suggestion is that I state first my concerns in writing directly to you.”

My personal opinion is that if the officer truly believed you were a danger, you would have heard from the police directly.

I would either ignore this email, or respond with “Thank you for your email.” You need to reduce your risk to this latest tactic. Whenever there is a pickup/dropoff with your kids- you need to be sure to have someone else with you or in your stead. Make sure it is someone who will not rise to her taunts- because she needs to make a scene to make some of her story true. She’ll most likely try SOMETHING the next time you personally have to interact. In a way, this email is a heads up to her new strategy.

If she is the one who is truly in violation of your court orders, do not contact her yourself. Have your atty contact hers. The less you have ANY contact with her, in person/writing/cyberspace, the less ammo she has to twist around.

If you absolutely have to exchange an email with her to finalize visitation details or such, have someone proofread it before you click send. Or if you have a friend or family member handy, have them act as intermediary for you. Tell them, “I think Angie is going to try to railroad me with a harassment claim. I can’t interact with her for awhile. Can you help me out?” You can’t threaten or be accused of threatening behavior when you have zero interaction. In dealing with my xs’s, I found that my own sanity and damage control was more important than their smear campaigns- sometimes I gave more weight to their nonsense than anyone else. It’s that whole brainwashed, larger than life thing not dying off as quickly as it should. After years of placating them, their little tantrums take practice to ignore. Stay consistent, stay the course. The kids are still WITH YOU, yes? Eventually, if you are as cool as a cucumber, her erratic behavior will be easier for others to discern.

If she calls the house to talk to the kids, YOU don’t answer. Have one of the kids get it.

“If you continue, I will have no choice but to proceed with the process of highlighting these situations and writings to the proper authorities and to seek protection for myself and our children.” This sounds like a tantrum threat because the cop wouldn’t start those proceedings now.

If ANY of the allegations of stalking are even a little true- STOP. Any evidence from that probably wouldn’t be permitted into the courtroom, so it doesn’t do you any good anyway. But it could make you look bad.

That last bit, comparing you to a murderer, is just a jab. We all know just how useless that threat, even when real, is in the courtroom.

I’m sorry she hasn’t found something shiny to distract her from badgering you- you’d think 1000 miles worth of distance would have something she could amuse herself with. I base my opinions on the kids still residing with you the majority of the time. If that is not the case and I misunderstood, and she has gained custody, my advice would be different.

Bob,
I agree with the advice of the other posters but I would also add that this is gas-lighting. She is trying to access your emotion of fear. The last paragraph made it clear. Furthermore, she is doing what my xP did, using the fear of law-enforcement and a smear campaign against you there.

I’m tempted to tell you to go to the highest authority at the police station, but I tried that myself (since this is what my xP did to me) and they won’t talk to me. Of course, my problem is that the cops in my area have already involved themselves with him after many years, so now they are afraid of being implicated, I guess. In your case, it might be a good idea to put on a nice suit and go visit law enforcement, with a copy of the email. You’ll never get them to understand narcissism, but you can tell them that she is predictable. Tell them that you know she will continue to try to slander you to anyone who can listen.

Point out the last paragraph. It really shows the workings of a deranged mind because no normal human being, who was really afraid, would plant “suggestions” such as these into the person they were afraid of. On the contrary, they would avoid any suggestion of murder for fear of inciting it. But the sociopath doesn’t know this. By the time she was writing the last paragraph, she was already deep into her fantasy and visualizing a catastrophic ending. Feeling quite pleased with herself.

Dear Bob,

First off I am so sorry tht you are having to deal with this, and your children are having to deal with this too.

I would check and see if tape recording telephone calls is LEGAL IN YOUR STATE. In my state, as long as ONE OF THE PARTIES to a call knows it is being taped, it is legal, also if you are ever face to face with her I would also have either a nanny cam type thing going and/or a voice recorder in my pocket. I saw a video a while back where a guy had one of thse cams installed in his car and was stopped by a P-type absive cop and it got it ALL on tape, it also showed his speedometer and proved he was NOT speeding or driving crazy.

I would DOCUMENT AND DOCUMENT AND DOCUMENT every exchange between the two of you, and I would NOT talk about her to ANYONE without that conversation being recorded except for your attorney.

As far as her not paying, the less she pays and the more she VIOLATES the court orders, the better in my book, I would just keep records to prove she has NOT PAID expenses. I know you may think you need the money, but in reality it is a small price to pay for EVIDENCE of lack of caring about her children.

A good bit of this I think is about MONEY and her perception that you have “WON” so she is trying to get out of paying the money and make it look like SHE is caring about the kids and thinks you are a danger. LOL

I dont’ know how old your kids are Bob but hang in there, you have won the biggest hurdle of all and have the kids.

If possible I would NOT drive to her house and would put the kids on a train or plane (depending on ages) and let HER FOOT THE BILL…since you are unable to afford the tickets since she has not paid her part of the expenses. I would handle that negotiation through your attorney as well.

I wouldn’t put it past her to when she has them in HER state to try to get an emergency custody order for “protection” of the children….some states will do this, I would have your attorney check and see if that is possible in HER state. She might be laying ground work for this in her state with “contacting the officer”—ask your attorney what you should do about this.

Good luck and God bless you and your children. Thanks for sharing this with LF.

I have been doing for some time what you recommend. But I do appreciate other good, new advice I have received from the few posts.

We recently had be fighting for a couple months over the x-P’s parenting time and the boys travel to her state. The court order is explicit yet vague at the same time. The parenting consultant made a directive last night, which squelched her plans for an overnight trip for my children with another family, but rather ordered that the children stay in town and trick-or-treat in my neighborhood (shared parenting time on Halloween, per the J&D).
This angered the father of the other family (one of my x-P’s former affairs). This man has been manipulated by her and is one of her leutenants in her battle against me, fully manipulated by her. He sent me an angry and scathing email this morning. I took it to local police, but it wasn’t threatening and I haven’t heard from him enough for it to be harrassing.

In response to one of the comments above, one past story. When this custody ordeal was in its infancy and the mother was packing up and moving away, she left me a message inviting me over to pick up the last of my belongings at her home that was being sold a few days later. She said my things were at the curb. I called back and left a message that if anything was stolen or missing I would hold her accountable. When my girlfiend drove by her home, she had both of her cars at the base of the driving blocking access and my items moved up near her house. We left and called my son to ask his mom to move her cars (Porsche and Mercedes) so we could get my things. We went back with my truck. When we arrived her cars were moved, but her former lover’s large landscaping truck was blocking the driveway. We parked behind it in the street. I also had sent her an earlier email advising that she was no move the boys personal items away since she had not court order to move them with her. I printed a copy, put in an envelope to deliver to her (since she won’t respond to emails she doesn’t like). We started moving my things to my car. My three children were wandering about us as we moved things. My x-P’s father happened to be there from out of town, and the ex-lover was there, both watching closely over us. I sent the envelope inside with my oldest child. Several minutes later, my ex-P came storming out of the house waving the email and engaging me. Her neighbors come out of the house a few minutes prior to that and witness our heated argument. We left and I went home and wrote my attorney about the situation. Needless to say, the x-P wrote a scathing email about my hostile confrontation in front of our children and witnesses. She suggested that I now have supervised visitation. Wow, what a set up.

What a joke. I stayed home and raised my children while she travelled the world and had affairs. She was abandoning her children and leaving them in my care. Yet she was now claiming I was not a capable parent.

This is how bad it gets. It has only gotten worse. What next? That I sexually abuse my children????

AKA Bob:

“What next? That I sexually abuse my children????”

Do not disregard this statement. I was having drinks the other night with 2 colleagues — one who does matrimonial work and the other who does criminal defense work. The latter is currently working on 5 cases with the former. All involve vindictive wives who make allegations of sexual abuse against their husbands in order to gain the upper hand in divorce actions.

I want to make clear that I am not sexist and I deplore sexual abuse of children unequivocably. However, I feel that women (and the occasional man) who play this so-called trump card should be shot. By the time the courts get done investigating the situation and determine that no abuse has taken place, the father’s relationship with his children has been irrevocably altered. The financial resources that have been expended by the father defending himself are immense. To say nothing of the hit to his reputation.

So, AKA Bob, I hate to be alarmist, but I would sure be on the watch for your ex to play this card.

Regarding the email storms, I would not respond. I am of the school of thought that emails can be too easily altered. For correspondence with a S, nothing beats certified letters. All those letters should be “cc’d” to your attorney and one or two independent, trustworthy witnesses. Make it clear in the letter that the only way she is to respond to you is via certified letter or overnight express mail — and that you will ignore all emails. As for the emails of her dupes, print them out, archive the originals and don’t respond.

Another reason I recommend certified letters versus emails is that it is too easy to get yanked into an escalating exchange of emails with a S and then have it blow in your face. By having to type up a letter and then take it to the post office or Fed Ex it helps keep you cool-headed and forces you to stick to the facts in the letter.

Also, for what it’s worth — I don’t think she has been to a meeting with local law enforcement. If she had, you would be hearing from THEM.

As far as sending your children to visit her, I am of the school of thought that I would put them on the plane and pay the fee the airlines require for unattended children. I would send her a FedEx letter in advance (that way you have her signature) that puts the onus on HER to get her ass to the airport and pick up the kids.

How many more years are you stuck dealing with the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Dear Bob,

Can you provide an example of an email that you have sent her that she labels as harassing?

You say that she only responds to your emails that she doesn’t like. I think the advice you have received here is excellent. Stop emailing her. Certified mail only. Communicate through a third party, like a case manager. Follow the custody agreement to the letter. That way, it will become obvious who is causing the problem.

Of note, local law enforcement are unlikely to contact a harasser unless they are in violation of a court order. I ran into that problem with my ex who was sending me harassing emails, despite having a restraining order. I had to change my phone number, block his email and only communicate through my lawyer. all his friends believe think I am the vindictive ex “trying to punish him by taking away the kids”….the reality couldnt be further from the truth.

Here is a thread of email messages. Keep in mind, Angie flies into town and takes the children to a former lover’s home for the weekend (when she travels with and without her current boyfriend/fiancé). She is not capable of caring for and entertaining our children by herself, so she must always have adult company and pawn the children off on those people’s children to entertain themselves so they can have their adult parties. We call this “outsource parenting”. We hear stories from the children that they stay up to all hours on these weekends, she is very indulgent (Disneyland Mom) and also highly favors the oldest (“Tim”), while the youngest (“Chip”) gets bullied and the short end of the stick. I feel I have to call her out frequently after these weekends out of my concerns. Of course, what I am told is hearsay by the children, but I trust that they are telling me the truth. I am tire of this, and will likely just voice my concerns with the parenting consultant and therapists in the future.

Angie

It came to our attention this morning that Chip’s weekend writing and math assignments were not begun or completed, and Jerry’s assignment book and behavior slip were not signed by you either. I can only assume that no reading occurred as well. I do not like feeling I have to send you these messages, but you do have a parental obligation, as well as Dr. Smith issued a directive some time ago, that the boys’ homework and reading will be completed before they are returned to us following your visits to our state.

Chip fell asleep on the bathroom floor this morning after his shower and we had great difficulty getting Jerry up and out this morning. We were advised that they were up until midnight on Sunday. I would think that earlier weekend visit bedtimes would be in order to avoid this school morning lethargy. Chip struggles academically as it is when he is well rested and alert. This lack of sleep during many of your visits has got to have an adverse affect on his already lacking concentration and effectiveness at school.

I think that it is fantastic that you can on occasion facilitate social outings and parties for you and the boys when you visit our state. However, I do feel it is of utmost importance that the boys’ receive adequate rest and that their relatively few weekend assignments are completed during your visits. I trust that you would agree.

Thanks,
Bob

Dr. Smith (parenting consultant involved in case ”“ Bob cc:d on message):

I will not engage in, nor honor, Bob’s continued harassment and erroneous accusations. His motivations and focus continues to concern me. I will not respond to him on this type of nonsense, and this is exactly the kind of continued bullying that prohibits any type of sustainable progress in our communication (per my last email to you). In fact, it drives us further in the opposite direction.

Each of the boys (everyone, in fact) had in excess of 9 hours of sleep Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Tim and I sat for over two hours on Monday morning working on a school project. Chip had said he had none, and it was not until late Monday afternoon that he remembered he had a writing project. Therefore, he had to do it when he returned to Bob’s at 5:00, and reported to my by 7:00 pm that he had finished it. If you would like further data, details or information regarding our time this weekend, please let me know.

We all had a wonderful holiday weekend, and it’s such a shame that each time I return from our terrific visits, I am sent this kind of harrassment and Bob’s list of grievances, based upon false assumptions and interrogation of the children. Rarely does he operate with a full facts, and never does he find anything positive to say.

He can choose to stay stuck in his misery, but I won’t stoop down to his level.

Thanks,
Angie

Angie,

The rhetoric and projection contained in your emails have become old, stale and exhausting. Your characterizations of harassment, bullying and anger, among other less than complimentary terms, have been used falsely and frequently in response to my parental concerns to the point of ad nauseam. The fact is that such written assaults have been the cornerstone of your communications for years used as knee jerk responses to divert attention from the real issues; your lack of responsible parenting, poor judgment and record of delayed and/or non-existent communications. Conversely, the harassment and bullying directed towards Cheri and me by you and your closest supporters is well documented. While such tactics fail to affect us, they do ultimately serve to affect the welfare of the boys.

The undeniable truth is that Chip did not touch his weekend homework, Jerry’s school forms were not signed by you and Chip fell asleep on the bathroom floor on Tuesday morning before school. However, you did find time to work with Tim, which is not surprising. Perhaps the time and effort expended on organizing social gatherings for your circle of friends in my town could be channeled and focused into personal, quality parenting time with all of our boys ensuring all of their educational, emotional and physical needs are met. Your parenting time after lengthy absences is intended to strengthen your relationship with our boys, not their relationships with your friends’ children, and certainly not to promote your social needs.

FYI, regarding Chip’s missing reading assignment last weekend, your assertion that Chip spoke with you on Monday evening about the assignment is not believable. We were advised via email on Tuesday by Chip’s teacher that his writing assignment was not even started and that his math assignment was only partially finished. When asked about his writing assignment on Tuesday night he still couldn’t remember either the subject or specifics.

You make this about you. Its not, it’s about the children. This really isn’t complicated.

Bob

Bob:

I acknowledge receipt of this email, and while I did read its content, you are incorrect and wrong. I will not honor your angry and malicious attempts to defame my character. In fact, your judgement, as evidenced by your inciteful writing, is severly impaired.

No further response would be productive or support the goals and objectives that we parents must have.

Angie

Bob,
When dealing with a P, remember you are dealing with an incorrigible child with oppositional defiance disorder, so treat her that way. Whatever you say you want, she will do the opposite and then, in her state of delusion, she will deny the truth and project her own behavior on you.

So, knowing that, you have to use reverse psychology whenever possible. Whatever you want, hint that you want the opposite. In the case of your children, don’t tell her that you want her to do better, tell her you know that she can’t do better and then YOU model the behavior that you want her to do and take great pride in it. Meet with teachers and become their friends. Hopefully her competitive nature will take over and she will try to outshine you. Remember the story of Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence and how he got the other boys to paint for him.

Well, Bob, I would suggest you hire a case manager. Request this through a lawyer. That way, any concerns you have, you can use a third party. If your children have any complaints about their mothers care, they can also talk to the third party. Use a journal. Finally, dont give your children letters to give to your ex. And dont question your children about their time with your ex. That could be seen or reported as an abusive use of conflict. Your emails to each other should be business-like, short, cordial and no more than once a week. Good luck and stay positive.

AKA Bob,

Arguing with your ex via email is useless. She will never do what she is supposed to do, she won’t follow the court ordered plan and she doesn’t care about the welfare of the children.

I recommend that you document what happens in your records or journals, and don’t even bother bringing the issues up with her. Present your information to the court if you go to have the orders changed.

Other posters have offered valuable advice. Understand that her objective is to torment you, and she uses the kids to do it. Do not respond.

Matt, I agree with you- especially on 2 points. People who file false claims of sexual abuse of the children should be shot. When it’s true, people just want to point to examples of false allegations by vindictive x’s. It dilutes the truth and credibility of the real victims. Lemme tell you, life would be SO much easier if it weren’t true. My poor daughter was doing so well- but for whatever reason or trigger, is off doing things that are out of character at best. I’m worried sick about her. I have him to thank for that. I’d like to shoot him AND the liars…I digress. Sorry. The other point is that maybe she didn’t even go to the police, made the WHOLE thing up. I thought that too and I think it’s totally possible. Their words have no value.

Aw man, Bob, don’t bother trying to talk to her…you’re only banging your head against a wall. What’s that phrase about wrestling with a pig? Oxy, you know this one…it annoys the pig and makes you smell or something like that.

Put the energy you use to struggle with her for damage control for the kids. You know when they get home, that it’s been Disneyville- try to find some coping strategies to make the kid’s transition back to reality less harsh. If you need to, talk to their teachers and let them know that homework is not a priority for your x and it’s likely it won’t be complete upon their return- ask if you can get a day or 2 reprieve after “mom” visits. Most teachers are human beings- don’t BASH the x, just explain that historically, despite pleas from you, homework doesn’t get done with “mom.” I had this talk with more than one teacher over the years. The first day or so after my daughter had been with her “dad” was deprogramming.

Who. What. When. Where. That’s all you need when dealing with Angie. (Love the irony that her name is Angela. Angel- HA. Oy.) NO emotion, just the facts. I like the idea of certified- just make sure it’s totally vanilla, boring, emotionless certified. If you wouldn’t read it in a meeting with the big wigs at work, don’t send it.

Remember- disordered types feed off the emotion you give them. She’s getting wayyyyy too much from you. I know it’s hard, but just because she says it, doesn’t mean it’s true or that you HAVE to respond. You don’t. Don’t feed the beast.

Dear Bob,

I’ve been trying to post but due to a storm have had horrible AT&T internet connection on my air card—Donna is right, there is NO use arguing with her via e mail or any other way, she is getting her GOAL every time she piths you off.

She is usiing your kids a a club to pound you over the head, no matter how it splinters and destroys the kids. Talking with the teacher (without bashing) might help your cause. I think that most teachers who ohave a MAN raising his kids pretty well will accept that “mommie dearest” isn’t the best of moms or the kids wouldn’t be living with dad! (yes, gang, that is a “sexist” statement, but none-the-less it is a true statement) LOL If the teacher truly has the welfare of the kids at heart, I suggest that he/she will give your kid some breaks.

The de-programming is also a given. I would also, if you can, do NOTHING to encourage visitation. Stick to the LETTER of the agreement but do not give one INCH on pick up or drop off. Make it as INCONVENIENT as possible for her.

If she loses clothes, keeps the kids up late, or whatever she does, unless it is LIFE THREATEBNING I would not in any way confront her, and then do it through the lawyers or courts.

I would cut conversation to a MINIMUM and one word answers at that. If it is legal, tape record every word between you. Keep but do not respond to text messages or e mails.

You are UNDER ATTACK and the weapons she is using are your kids. Don’t fraternize with the enemy in any way. “Loose lips sink ships”–write down or record any negative infromation in a journal and keep records of what your kids say about their visits. But I would NOT pump them, that is what she is doing to them to get information about you, I would bet the farm! Ask the teacher to let you know if “Johnny” falls asleep in class or has any behavior problems the day after the return from “Mommie dearest’s” house.

Good luck, Bob! God bless you, your wife and your children.

Bob,
You are looking for a healthy co parenting relationship. You will not get that!
I agree with all the advice above…..
NO contact. no expectations, with no contact comes NO ARGUING, no point making, no amunition offered!
What’s the point….are you trying to talk her into seeing it the way you do? If you could, you would still be together!
Do not ever rely on your girlfriend to do any of your parenting or any deals with the ex. Pick up/drop off
Do not ever ask your children anything about the ex.
When they visit, just welcome them back with a happy, all about them attitude….if they want to share they will, if they don’t they won’t…..but if you push in either direction….you will shut them down. Allow them to feel loved by both….in their own time, they will figure it all out on thier own……
One of my kids last night, told me their memories of their childhood was all bad.
I went to great lengths to be there ALL the time, subconsciesly protecting them from the ex…we traveled the world, always did weekly outings, ate dinner (kids and I) together, was involved in the schools, sports etc….BUT, the little time this child spent with his father was the only thing they remember….and focus on……the pain rises above any pleasure…..we do the same.
They talked about how different dad was when i was around and when they were with him they told me MORE things I didnt know…..like pulling the pants down in the first grade class or in the middle of the grocery store and spankings in public, bare butt, how he showed kisses and hugs in front of me, but lived to embarrass them in public. they shared with me the joy he got in humiliating them. I listened, and validated their feelings. That’s it. THEY KNOW THE TRUTH, they don’t need to hear it from me what an asshole their father is! They probably know more than me……
We talked aobut all the fun things we did, our memories of fun, games, silly songs, air races, all our traditions, easter, road trips, inside jokes….I told them how important it is to remember to good times and not choose to focus on 1/8 of their life that was not pleasant, when they only remembered punishment and abuse, because once they started talking about our fun times….it flowed and flowed and they were amazed at all they had buried….by choice!
This is not to minimize their reality……but show them they have choices……
We all do…..
Keep encouraging your kids…..and recite the serenity prayer as many times as you need it!!!
Good luck.

Wow Erin, your kids are so lucky to have you.
I would have broken down and cried.

Erin, I too, am in awe of your parental clarity. Thanks for shining a light into the how to’s of parenting through turbulant times.

AKA Bob… What can I say? The experts have spoken. Know this, with every letter you wrote, I get it. And, from my limited perspective, may I say… I don’t agree with the assessment you were delt.

As much as you desire to co-parent in a rational and reasonable manner, my dear, it ain’t going to happen. It’s taken me 4.5 years to wrap my brain around this concept. Especially hard is the fact that I’m accused of parental alienation, and yet, have been published on my suggestive “Rules of Engagement for Divorced or Seperating Parents” through the very court system that I’m being accused. It’s mind boggling. I advocate children having equal access, unlimited, to both parents. I longed for my father, who was totally absent, my entire life, except for two brief period, where there were tears, and promises made, then abandonment, all over again. I GET it!!

I preach to my kids that even though their father isn’t 100% right, he is their ONLY father, and as such…even if they only experience 1% of enjoyable experiences with him, that 1% is worth it.

Our oldest daughter yelled at me, yesterday…”Mom! I know! OK? I don’t need to hear it twice a week that I can call my Dad anytime I want, without asking! I don’t want to call him. I’m sick of him. I hate him.” (He’s told her, outright…since she no longer is leagally obligated to go with him, but does so to protect her siblings…Why do you go with us? We have more fun without you.. etc.) He is an A*s, but even still, in her 15 year old mind, there hope he will remember he loves her, and since he no longer can use her to accuse me… she is now his target, as I went NC. And, he needs a target.

The court appointed attorney for the kids, who I’ve talked to for 10 minutes max in the past 4.5 years…has his mind made up that I’m alienating the kids from their father. I find it ironic that their father has had more face time with the KID’S attorney then the kid’s have had. And, I’ve mentioned this in enough correspondence to protect myself, and the kids should things turn more sour. He is supposed to represent the kid’s, only; not their father, yet… the S’s have a way of breaching boundaries, and finding loopholes.. so beware…

Rational, effective, influential co-parenting is NOT OPTIONAL. The sooner you wrap your mind around this, the clearer you will become in your efforts. If you are expending this much energy to educate the co-parent, then you are digging your own litigation grave. STOP IT!

As harsh as this sounds, my dear… I with someone had tough loved me into realizing no matter what I desire to be, the S will pollute it. Period. End of story. So now what?

Learn, head the wisdom bestowed upon you… survive.

Then learn how to live again.

Just to give more perspective on how bad this has gotten, and to provide a little more background:

My P moved to the state where I live in 2004. She sought a job transfer in old state, claiming the company would IPO, be spun-off or sold and that she would lose her job. She was actually part of an elite leadership team to turn the company around. She was right about the direction of the company, but she was not in danger of losing her job. She moved to this state ahead of me to start work while I stayed in old state to keep boys in school and sell house. I now understand the real reason for the job transfer was so her co-workers’ and our community would not find out about her affair with a co-worker. At that time, I was under her control, so I kept it quiet except from my closest friends. I now understand that she sought out the move to get me away from my support base and to keep me off balance as we moved towards divorce. It was all about controlling me.

During the five months I was back in the old state with the boys alone, I had suspicions that she was having another affair in the new state. Before me and boys moved to new state, I made a house hunting visit. I didn’t want to buy a house given our marital turmoil, but she convinced me since her company was paying relocation and closing costs. I thought it best to rent until we figured out whether or not to stay married. I gave in. We found a house, but it needed extensive landscaping. The day we saw the house I flew back to old state. She went back to house after I left with a “landscaper someone referred to her from work”. She decided she wanted the house. The landscaper began work before closing (vacant) and we closed 1+ months before I moved to new state. After closing, landscaper/handyman and P spent much time alone at the house pulling carpet and staples, hiring painter and other busy work. I was suspecting something.

Boys and I finally move to new state. Landscaper is hanging around at house frequently, but we hadn’t moved in yet because we were waiting on carpeting (living in temp corporate apartment). P and I agreed to separate. She has landscaper help me move into an apartment. Agreeing to move to new state, then to move out, two of my all-time biggest mistakes. I do investigating and determine that P and landscaper having affair. I saw an attorney that day who recommended I cancel my lease and move back in (I didn’t take his advice). Same day I called P at work and advised of evidence of affair. It was now in the open. At that point I still felt I could reconcile our marriage. She had emasculated me for many years, I hadn’t worked in three years, and I was bit scared to be on my own. She blamed me for our maritial problems, cited that reason that I wasn’t working. A month later I discovered that P and landscaper made travel arrangements together (see letter below). I was teetering on whether or not to accept that my marriage was over.

While living in our new state, P made very few friends, mostly men she met while dating online. One close, divorce w/ kids girlfriend made it a habit to date wealthy men, and move in with them. This friend also motioned the court to move her children away from their father. Same judge as us, order denied. P stayed close with landscaper, although began dating a childhood friend, in the state she lives in now.

Fast forward I after I retained “majority” custody (children ordered not to move with P).

P and I continually at odds over parenting time, parenting styles, children’s finances, etc. requiring interventions from court appointed parenting consultant. P constantly attempting to violate court order, and me seeking parenting to consultant’s intervention. The parenting consultant requires the P to propose her quarterly visitation schedule, which needs to be within the parameters of the court order (FYI, she is ordered to pay almost all transportation costs to and from her new state). She does keep up a pretty grueling travel schedule, but I don’t believe it is for the children, but rather to give the appearance of the doting mom (we call her the Christmas Card Mom ”“ leaves them to me to raise but dresses them for Christmas card for appearances sake).

Within the past few months we have been battling over her visitation and plans to fly kids to her new state (3.5-4 hours each way, plus additional 1+ hour on plane per flight due to unaccompanied minor standards). Her plan to fly them on four occassions within 10 weeks was unreasonable, even though the court order allowed for it. I presented my arguments to the parenting consultant (who legal authority to change parenting time if in the kids best interests). He is not real timely in issuing directives. I was arguing that this weeks’ visit to my state that the children should trick-or-treat with their friends (I historically took them out on Halloween). She had made plans to take the kids to a waterpark four hours from my home with the landscaper and his kids. Note, this weekend’s visit is not with her “legal” parenting time, although court order is not tight and somewhat vague.

Two nights ago the parenting consulting ruled that P must stay in town with kids and take them out locally on Halloween (I sought this out because it was not fair to deprive my 8 y/o the trick or treating tradition). He also ruled that P’s plans to fly the kids to her state in two weeks that she could only visit them in my state for that long weekend.

At 1:00 am I received the following email from the landscaper:

Bob,

I sit here tonight having already had the conversations with both of my children telling them “why” they are unable to go, AS PLANNED, to the waterpark this weekend. I’ll spare you their comments as I know you’re entirely unable to process the comments of a child.

I will take this moment to share this with you. It’s been a long time coming and I was always hoping to avoid it.

Do you remeber the day that you “confronted” me in the front yard of (P’s address) when you learned, through your devious stalking/searching, that Angie and I had planned a trip to Vail? When you stood there, in my face, confronting me about that trip, I fully expected you to take a swing at me. I would have let you. A real man would have. Back then, I felt that you were entitled. Why you didn’t, I don’t know but I reasoned that I should be proud of you for not punching me. I felt that you knew the big picture and knew that an action like that one wouldn’t help in the big picture.

Now, however, I know the truth. Now I know that you’re just plain too spineless to ever confront someone your own size. You’re much too comfortable screwing with children, with ex wives, with anyone you can bully at no risk to yourself. What you don’t know, in that pea-sized brain of yours, is that you’re the only one that will ultimately lose. Your boys don’t see trick-or-treating as a “win” for them. They don’t see you screwing with Angie now many years after you should have been long over that crap as anything other than pathetic behavior. Even my kids can see it. And worst of all, you accept Sheri’s decisions over those of yourself. Once again, you’re allowing yourself to wallow into the mud while someone else takes care of your business.

I used to think you were smarter than you were letting on. I used to think, and in fact said to Angie, “he’s crazy like a fox.” I got yelled at many times for sticking up for you. Now I know it was all crap. You’re a pathetic, lazy, wuss of a man. I used to think that you had a long way to go to recover and become a man that could be a symbol of strength for your boys. I used to pray that you would become that man FOR THEM. Now, I not longer pray for you. Now, I pray that other, stronger men will have the chance to provide Angie’s boys the role modeling they will so desparately need to become well adjusted men.

You’ve blown it. You’re beyond any prayer now. You remember the day you said to me “Dave, I like you, I don’t really care what you do for a living, I mean, you’re not what Angie is used to but I like you.” “Just don’t try to be a father to my boys.” Well, now I’ll have to because they need one.

Good luck to you ever finding a way to move on.

Dave

Not sure about you, but this wreaks of parental alienation. I have shared this with parenting consultant and the therapists involved. My P manipulates her supporters to do her dirty work. They only know her side of the story, although the Landscaper has been around for years thoughout this drama, he sees her as victim and me as perpetrator. Couldn’t be further from the reality.

I visit the police yesterday, but the office said it was not enough for harassment on consider a threat, just an opinion. I have asked the parenting consultant before and am asking again that my kid do not spend time with the landscaper (P and stay at his home frequently). Parenting consultant has not responded.

Comments??

I know I am getting long winded here, but I just located a letter I drafted to the Landscaper but did not send. At this point (3.5 months after discovering affair), realizing my marriage was over, I began the pursuit of online dating in this new town solely for socialization (no local friends or family, I wasn’t working and now living in an apartment). On my very first date, we discovered that my date had been out with the landscaper two weeks prior. He bragged to her about his new landscaping job for a corporate executive woman with lots of $$ who had just moved here and bought a house in an exclusive neighborhood, and that she got him multiple new jobs at other neighbors there (one being the local, major university’s college football head coach, who I subsequently found out thru P is a wifebeater). She wanted to see landscaper again, but he said he had work in another town (he was actually with my P). Shortly after that, I met another woman online who had been in recent contact with the landscaper. My letter was drafted after I advised my P that her landscaper was cheating on her, and sent me an email on Match.com. Looking out for the protection of my children, I drafted this letter, but did not send it……

Dave,

I felt compelled to respond to your email (and by the way, your email to me and Match profile had typos, so give the judgments and advice a rest). I wanted to make some things very clear.

The sole reason for my interceding in your illicit relationship with my wife is for the protection of my children, and their mother, for whom I still care for her well being. If she feels it a necessity to continue her co-dependence on another man while still married, that man should at least be one who is sincere enough not to be chasing other women online while sleeping with her, professing his love for her and expressing his desire to be with her for life. A man with enough integrity to stay clear of our boys until a final decision and outcome to our marriage is resolved.

For my wife, still married and with 3 young boys, to go out blindly on the internet and seek out a complete male stranger for companionship while her husband and children are living in another state, in the midst of a troubled marriage, was dangerous, purely bad judgment and self-centered on her part. Regardless of where Angie told you our marriage stood, for you to entertain that relationship, escalate it to a full blown love affair in the view of young, impressionable children, and to be screwing her in “our” house when our boys were present, was irresponsible, self-centered, and inappropriate and shows a lack of integrity on your part. And for the two of you to flaunt that relationship in my face, and in full few of our nanny and neighbors, was and continues to be classless, in poor taste and judgment, and downright cruel and insensitive to the father of her children. Frankly, I can care less if you and Angie continue your love affair. I just demand that if it does continue, you take the children out of the equation.

Further, you are in no position to suggest how I should live my life, raise my children, or with who of Angie’s friends and family I should interact. These are Angie’s and my issues and don’t involve you in any way, shape or form, so I suggest you keep your nose out of it. You don’t know Angie the way I know her and have known her. She is changed from what I have known, and is currently self-destructive in her behavior. This is evident by her refusal to acknowledge that any of hers and your actions might have been or be detrimental to our children and family in the slightest way.

You have attempted to give me advice on fatherhood and how to handle my children. You have insisted that you are not trying to replace me, and that you would never attempt to do that. Yet, it appears that you take every opportunity to try to establish a bond with my children, taking them boating, telling them you love them, bringing them to your home, offering to baby sit them, etc. Just do your work and stay away from my boys. They are having a difficult enough time with this separation; they do not need to be forming attachments with other men who will likely exit their lives. For Angie to bring you around the boys when we are separated is just wrong and in her continual pattern of bad judgment.

The discovery of your online pursuit of other women was purely coincidental, and not part of a mission, as you suggest. You have done this to yourself. I find it staggering that, of a small handful of women in our area with whom I have spoken; you have pursued 2 of them online while continuing to sleep with my still-married wife. Pretty staggering statistics, which just evidences your insincerity towards my wife. I felt Angie had a right to know what kind of man she is confiding in, opening our house to, spending her family’s money on, and exposing our children to.

And finally, I am fully aware of and in touch with my state of being. I have done nothing but support Angie’s career from day one. I raised our boys while still working and thereafter and forwent any dreams I might have had so that Angie could pursue her goals and dreams. I have integrity, am sincere, unselfish, loyal and honest, and have been nothing but a fabulous father to our boys while Angie has pursued fame and fortune, cast me aside, and turned to other men when our relationship wasn’t perfect. My wife has done some terrible things to me over the course of 1 ½ years. It is amazing what the discovery of a cheating spouse will do to a person. But you are not in a place to be making suggestions as to what I should be doing with my life, as you have had your regressions. I will figure that one out on my own, thank you.

Try not to be too cynical, smarmy and sarcastic when you encounter me. It is not your most endearing virtue. I will not tolerate any nonsense or disrespect. In short, you are to stay away from my boys at all times. I hope my message is clear.

Bob

Bob,
I am not a parent, so I can only imagine how frustrating it is to send your kids off to be with these sleazy people. However, you are trying to reason with them as though they were rational. It won’t work. You will not win. This guy is sleeping with a married woman and cheating with others. Do you think he cares about his morals? Do you think he will change for the sake of your kids? It will never happen. I agree with what has been said above. Unless there are life-endangering things going on when your kids are over there, you cannot control what they do, when the kids go to bed, etc. These are not rational people you are dealing with. The best you can do is to document everything. I know this must be hard, but I think it’s best to avoid the temptation to fight and argue with your ex or her boyfriends or to badmouth her in front of the kids. I think you need to stop engaging with these people and focus on what happens with your children when they are with you. Eventually, they will figure out what she is. You can ask them ahead of time what homework they have for the weekend and let them know your expectation that they get it done. Obviously, your ex isn’t going to do participate in this. I don’t know if the homework stuff is in violation of her visitation rights? If it is, you will have documentation. If it isn’t, there is nothing you can do.

I also wanted to add that it sounds like they are conducting a smear campaign and trying to make you look like the bad guy. We believe you here, and we know who the real bad guys are! We know what sociopaths are like. You can always come here for validation. But it’s best to have as little contact with them as possible!

Bob,
The thing is that you are being strung along here on an emotional rollercoaster. And the only person here who can get off this “ride” is you. She is going to stay on the rollercoaster. Because its all about control. Every time you bite….she wins.

You can have an entire fleet of lawyers and child advocates to keep this “battle” going…..But all the lawyers and all the advocates in the world are NOT going to make much of an imprint on your children. Only you can DO THAT.

These people are not going to help you raise them, go to teachers conferences, sporting events, help with homework, nurse them when they are sick, play catch in the back yard, take them camping and yadda, yadda……Again, only you can do that.

And all this other stuff, this “battle” uses up so much energy. You must be exhausted.

You can NOT control your X wifes behavior. You can NOT determine what men she chooses to spend her time with. And here’s the real clincher. You really can’t prevent your kids from spending time with these men either. Just because these men might enter their lives, become attatched, and then exit their lives later…This isn’t against the law. Neither is dating several women at one time, such as the landscaper. (better world if it was against the law, LOL)

What I am trying to say here is that alot of this is unfinished business with your X wife, on your part. SOME of this doesn’t even concern your childrens welfare…Other than YOUR well being in regards to them as their father.

So you have to decide….What is more important here?

Your kids well being? Or your fighting the never ending battle and riding on the emotional rollercoaster?

STOP and think about it.

GOD Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change……..
(Alot you can’t change here….BUT mostly HER)

The courage to change the things I can……(you)

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Someone needs to step to the plate. If you spend your entire childrens life fighting this battle what are your children going to remember about growing up?

Very well said, witsend. This is what I was trying to say.

I am discussing and considering addressing landscaper’s email to me. The purpose is to put him on notice. I realize legally I cannot make demands of him, but I wish to continue a paper trail. I will copy the parenting consultant and Angie. Hopefully the parenting consultant and therapists will come together and issue directive that he not be around children. I was hoping to get this off before I drop the children’s clothing/bags at one of their activities tonight (she is getting them from school this afternoon). Also considering asking for police to be present. Thoughts?

Dave,

We are all entitled to our opinions.

In the future, I suggest that you don’t make joint plans for your family with Angie until after her parenting time has been agreed to by me and/or our parenting consultant.

Further, your documented threat of alienating my children from me has been discussed with the local police and provided to the professionals involved in our case. I take your threat very seriously.

In the future:
• do not communicate with me in any manner;
• do not have any involvement or be present in the exchanges of my children between me and Angie; and
• do not be present at any of my children’s activities where there is any possibility that I will be present.

Should you decide to ignore my requests, you can expect that I will seek legal action.

Bob

I have addressed lapses in landscaper’s behavior around children with Angie in the past. She just brushed them off saying that I should talk to him directly and that she has no control over his actions. She accepts no accountability, as expected.

Bob,
the landscaper sounds like a P. His tone is manipulitive and his womanizing is also a red flag. I’m glad you didn’t send the email response. How can you be sure he even sent the email to begin with? Either way, it is obvious bait to get you to seem angry. My xP also sent me emails about how horrible and pathetic I was. Back then, when I was responding to his emails, I just emailed him that regardless of what he has done to himself, he is still a child of God. (an idiot priest told me that) That reply must’ve gotten to him, because he pretended he didn’t get it. LOL.

That’s funny. When I have written to my P, was concise and factual without emotion or accusations and called her on her document behavior she did not respond. That’s when there is a sense of satisfaction.

For example (too wordy), she wrote me that she has no more spare time than me to work on children’s issues. Remember, the children live with me during the school year, and her during the summer (nanny is her live in boyfriend’s 19 year old daughter who lives with her in the summer as well).

Angie,

The reality is that you are in (home state) without any of the daily responsibilities of raising our children during the school year (and passed to others during the summer), while both adults in our home are working daily, involved in nightly homework, transporting children to nightly activities (multiple on some nights), and both my wife and I missing work over the past two years for doctor, dentist, therapy appointments and getting the boys to and from the airport. Not to mention having to defend and respond to your continual allegations and demands. The boys likely would not require therapy absent a frivolous custody battle, custody evaluation and their mother leaving them behind. We are caring for and raising our children as well as we can considering our daily behavioural challenges of our oldest child while you sit on the sidelines and make demands of how we raise them after you made the choice to leave them in our care. Your choice to move was optional, and your decision and how you handle this affects our children. Please remember this when you are not physically available to help our children.

You have never in this lifetime had the responsibility of raising our children while working without the assistance of me and/or a nanny to attend to their daily needs, never. So your statement that you have no more spare time than me is not believable.

BOB:
What are you doing?
Bottom line……are your kids in danger?
OR- are you trying to control who/what/when/where their time with the ex?
I see you jumping at every inch of bone anyone throws you.
IF YOUR KIDS ARE IN NO IMMEDIATE DANGER OF HARM…..GIVE IT UP!

She’s dating…..so what, she’s not with you anymore? Your dating……I get the impression you have underlying issues with this?
YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF HER MORALS!

Your emails are full of blame, digs and point making……do you really think this is productive? Do you really think she’s going to have an epiphany and admit to YOU she was wrong? NOT A CHANCE….and if that did occur…..I don’t think that would put an end to it either. I think you are perpetuating this crap and it will bite you in the ass later…..in the form of your kids!
DANG…..let the woman go, raise your kids and stop the childish neener neener games with her and her cronies.

Based on what you write, there is absolutely NO Legal grounds for anything….just because he brags about your ex’s $$ doesn’t make him a threat to you or kids……just because he’s on match dating others isn’t illegal……it may go against your morals……BUT IT AINT UP TO YOU!
Stop involving the police……this is not a police situation……
I think you need to step back and reevaluate your goals here.
If indeed it’s for the health and welfare of the kids…….then stop it right now!
Find some other drama to engage in……NOT involoving them!

BOB,

STOP…..You are engaging in “Tit for Tat” behavior.

This has nothing to do with your children and everything to do with your unfinished business regarding your past/present relationship/experience with her.

She is WINNING at her “Vigorous Campaign To Portray You As Angry And Hostile”

Your emails sound angry and hostile. Don’t let her do this to you!

Bob,
I am sure that your intentions initially were about the children. You were a stay at home dad and had a relationship with them.

But your pain and anger over what she “did” to you is clouding your vision right now.
She did what she did. And it wasn’t right. And she got away with it. PROCESS and heal from that pain.

But don’t loose focus on what is really important here and that is your KIDS.

NOT her arrogant boyfriends. Not her self centered lifestyle.

YOUR KIDS.

I fully understand what you are saying. Many of the rambling and accusatory things I posted above that she dragged me into are from a few years back. I am far past the affairs, and am actually greatful as the opened my eyes wide and gave me strength and motified to leave the relationship. I have gotten much greater control over my writings and they don’t go out without running past both my wife and my brother. My wife is of the view point to just not respond, and note the email with the professionals. She is a saint to have stuck by my side through all of this from the very beginning and to love and care for my children.

Here is my problem. This landscaper and the P’s boyfriend (who are now friends and part of the Anti-Bob club) have been manipulated to believe things that are untrue about me and about our legal issues. This P keeps her plans and agenda close to her chest, even the closest confidants don’t know all about her or she might lose them. You understand the charm and manipluation skills of these Ps. I don’t care what these men think of me, they will never be friends with or civil to me. In fact I have received multiple threatening and harrassing messages of various types from her boyfriend.

However, based upon what landscaper wrote the other day and from past experiences, both of these men are attempting to alientate my oldest child from me. This has been on ongoing campaign because of their despise of me. They feel that I have let down my oldest child (the P’s favorite child) because my new wife and I are stearn with rules, expected behavior, bullying of brothers, etc. Something they never experienced before the P left town and I remarried, and something they still don’t experience outside of our care. They feel they have a right to step in as father. I know, I have no control over this. The professionals involved in our lives continue to stress that we are doing the right things with the children.

Last year this Landscaper sat on an 4 hour flight with my boys and his two children returning from my P’s state back to mine. When I picked up my boys at the airport, my youngest (then 7) had visible pinch marks all over his arms and a few on his face (a few with skin broken), and a bloodied earlobe. When asked what had happened we were told that Landscaper’s 11 year daughter did this to him while Landscaper held him down in his seat. We made the mistake of not going immediately to the emergency room to document this. We talked about this in the car, and my oldest said the younger two were lying and defended the landscaper. Things escalated in the backseat of my car between the boys, and my wife reached back to separate the boys. She barely touched my oldest and he went bezerk screaming that she is never to touch him, that his mom said so, and that he had the phone number of a woman he was to call if he was ever touched by my wife.

Unfortunately, many of the additional instances where I feel my children have been endangered are unprovable, unless the therapist or consultant can get the boys to open up and document these instances. You all know how that goes.

I guess what you are all telling me is that I have to give up the fight and the hope that my x-P will ever become a responsible parent and do what is best for the children. I hat to succumb to that, but I guess it is the reality.

Like the therapist tolds us, she will never get any better, but she will get worse. Count on it. The recent alleged trip to local police and accusations by her are stong evidence of that.

Hence the reason for NC!!!!

Bob,
you do have to give up the fight….

Unless these guys are doing drugs in front of your kids or other illegal behavior, you got to let it go. If you think there are “marks” from abuse go to the hospital. This kind of harm is your duty to protect them.

They can try to alienate you from your kids and do all kinds of other things you would frown upon. BUT you can’t change that.

Your best defense is to have a great relationship with your kids and FORGET about their mother and her constant drama. That is HER thing. It doesn’t have to be YOUR thing.

As far as your oldest son if this is her favorite child and the one showing the most problems….I would keep an eye out on that. This might escalate.
You should read the book “Just Like His Father” and even though the “title” of this book doesn’t fit your situation, it has many insights to parenting the at risk child.

And I am here to tell you that what works for the average child does NOT work when parenting an at risk child.

My children have seen a therapist for close to two years. Most of the visits entail my wife and I without the boys present discussing our parenting styles/skills and how do deal with the P. Unfortanately, the P coached the oldest that he was seeing the therapist as punishment for his behavior rather than to help him dealing with his feelings of his mother moving away, so he clammed up and would not talk with the therapist.

Following the custody order, the P attempted to fire both the parenting consultant and the therapist. Fortunately, our J&D and court order were tight enough that she could not do that unilaterally. The P knows that these professionals know what she is doing, so wanted to start with “fresh, new professionals”. I discard those who know what she is up to, and seek new people to influence. I didn’t work, but the P was successful at the getting the oldest to see a new therapist. Fortunately, this therapist is very bright as well. And his visits with her are very helpful in behavior in our household, more respect for the adults in the household, more responsibility and a bit nicer to his brothers. But I do beleive that the older is becoming a P as well. He has been brainwashed. I only pray that he will figure her out someday.

Bob:
The reality is…..
If she ever went to the police they would advise her to file for a TPO……
Most likely….she did not. You would know about it.
If she was that scared of you, she would have NO contact with you.
She stills ignites the fires.
She still attempts and is successful at yanking your chain through emails.

YOU have to be the one to rise above it all……and expect that your relationship with the oldest ‘golden child’ will be effected. Continue to rise above.
The kids will evolve IN this situation AND just being kids….don’t confuse the two….it’s a hard one.
Just remain the rock NO MATTER WHAT. Do not ever give the oldest any idea that you go along wiht his mothers favortisms….dont acknowledge it.

ANd alwyas keep in mind…..you can only control yourself!
Good luck….
XXOO
EB

Dear Bob,

I hurt for you that you must endure this because of your x, and that your kids must endure this constant chaos.

It makes life difficult for your wife and you, but also for the other children and even for the “golden boy.” I am glad that you have them in therapy, and that you are learning about how to deal with your x and her crap.

I know how it is to have one child that is the “problem child” and it takes time away from the other kids in your effort to take care of the needs of all your children. Unfortunately, one of mine turned out to BE a P, like his grandfathers on both side. There is a genetic component as well as environmental.

I do strongly suggest you go to Dr. Leedom’s site and read her books about raising the at risk child. She has PERSONAL experience with this plus the fact that she is a very caring professional (M. D.)

I repeat what everyone else has said, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT on the serious and proveable things, and let the rest slide. As close to NC as you can get. As for your son (the golden child) saying what he has been told by his mother, about your wife and so on, I would just suggest that you say to him “Son, Sue is my WIFE, and I love her, and she lives in the house with us and she cooks for and does your laundry, etc., I will respect her and I EXPECT YOU to respect her. Period.” Then when he shows disrespect to her (as he did in the back seat) I would put him in TIME OUT or whatever sanction you use with him for disrespectful behavior. Just make it clear to him that there are CONSEQUENCES for disrespectful behavior toward your wife. (or you, or a teacher or whomeever he acts disrespectful to.) He doesn’t have to like your wife or anyone, but none-the-less I think he should be compelled to act respectful to them in spite of the provocations of his mother to act otherwise. If worse comes to worse and you absolutely cannot control him, or he continues to bully your other children, making life misrable for them, send him to live with his mother—my guess is that he might be glad to get back to your house quite quickly after livign with his mother for a while.

It is a pickle and a half to have one child that makes the lives of the other child(ren) miserable. Having to “choose” between your children, I’ve been in that position, and I did not do (in retrospect) what I should have done which was toss out the trouble maker in favor of the rest of the family. Sometimes, with some kids, there is a no-win situation, you can’t save the one, even by “sacrificing” the others and you can end up “losing” all of them. I don’t mean to sound negative, and I’m not sure how old this child is or what his other problems are (emotional and/or genetic or medical or psychological) but I have come to the hard conclusion that sometimes ONE child or one person can ruin an entire family when without them the unit could prosper, but with them in the mix, the while thing blows up like a bomb!

God Bless you and your wife, and your kids, Bob. I know you have a “hard row to hoe.”

3+ year post divorce, 2+ years since P moved away, 1+ years since custody order, it just won’t end!

The P had not communicated with me since Wednesday, no information on exchange times, kids clothes, etc. I communicated this with the parenting consultant. His response was he has been trying to get a ahold of her, and that he is really unhappy with landscaper’s email to me. So unhappy he contemplated directing that she and the boys don’t stay at his home or be with him, or even revoking her parenting time.

So last night I take my boys’ overnight bags to my youngest’s gymnastics session where the P and my boys would be. The landscaper and his daughter where there inside with the P. I didn’t go inside, one of my boys came outside and helped transfer bags. No engagements, which I am sure is what they wanted. He was their either to intimidate me, or to show someone that she really is in fear of me and needs protection. Either way, she has him bamboozled.

I am sure landscaper’s children are bitching about me to my kids based upon what landscaper has shared with them. Truly a sad state of affairs.

Bob,

Don’t think of what your no-contact policy as giving up, wimping out or losing. Think of it as strategy.

Sometimes Ps are really, really stupid. If you give them enough rope, they can hang themselves.

It sounds like the parenting consultant may be getting it. This can be really good for you.

Think of yourself as quietly building a case against your ex. Document everything. Report anything that is significant, but don’t sweat the small stuff.

In the meantime, keep providing a warm, stable, loving environment for your kids. Kids are smart. They will see what is going on.

Persevere. Yes, you want to throttle her. But sometimes you just have to bide your time.

BOB…..
Do not worry about ‘what’ they want…..do not give any of ‘them’ a second thought……
Your letting them control your thoughts and mind and actions.
STOP! STOP! STOP!!!!!!!!

Donna is spot on…..NO CONTACT is not giving up….it’s regaining Power……you turn into the puppeteir. and it’s a great strategy….trust me…..28 years with…..2 years w/o the S. That was my first MOVE TO HEALING…..taking that stand! Taking that POWER!!!!!

You HAVE to be patient…..it’s hard, yes….but you have to see a lesson in each step you are taking, each thought you think…..learn for the next time……if something makes you feel bad…..FEEL IT…..then bank it and keep it handy. When you get the same feeling next time, you can recall how you dealt with it and how it felt to be in control!

Dealing with a P is like what we teach our kids when they cross the street……
STOP……LOOK……LISTEN………add in, THINK…….

Your consultant is getting it, so back away now….if you press harder……you will only draw attention to yourself (negative).

YA GOTTA BE THAT SNAKE UNDER THE ROCK DUDE!

NO….your not going to win every battle….expect this!
Keep your eye on the long term!

Make today a wonderful day with your beautiful-loving-supportive wife!
XXOO
EB

Dear Bob,

Donna IS spot on! And I have seen what NC does to the Ps, it is HORRIBLE PAIN FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY CANNOT CONTROL WHAT THEY CANNOT REACH.

If you REFUSE to engage with them, they are at a LOSS of what to do. It is a huge BRICK WALL and they can pound their heads against it (and WILL do that) but they cannot break through or reach YOU if you keep that brick wall intact.

They MUST have contact in order to manipulate—without any contact they are POWERLESS.

Sure, she will try to manipulate lYOU THROUGH THE KIDS, but you can stop even that, by like Donna said, refusing to let that even get through your brick wall.

Let’s say Johnny comes home and says “Mom says you are dangerous/vindictive/a thief/liar” (or whatever that day’s hype is)

You do NOT react in front of Johnny, but simply say, “sometimes even adults say things ithat are not true when they are angry, and I think your mother is angry at me.”

Or you can say something like “do YOU believe that statement?” Then depending on what the child says, discuss it rationally without dis-ing the mother (no matter how much yuou would like to) the kid will catch on even without you dis-ing her.

But whatever you do, don’t let the kids even see you reacting to her antics.

I’m glad you have a parenting counselor/advocate for the kids, and YES, I BELIEVE SHE WILL, GIVEN ENOUGH ROPE, HANG HERSELF. You are very fortunate to have this person in your life and situation as an objective observer and advocate for the kids.

Good luck and God bless. Oxy

Thank you for your time and attention to MY matter. I have known everything that you have all been communication, but it is just reaffirming. This has taken a tremendous toll on me, but I shaking it off and moving on. We have been discussing this at great length and agree wholeheartedly. The NC rule in effect 100% of the time going. Of course, we know we have communicate, put it will be short, to the point, unaccussing and only about the children. We have gone in and out of NC, but have not been consistant. We have experienced what NC does, she becomes a caged animal fighting to get out. That’s not my goal, but its not my problem either.

BOB….
The below was a posting on the high conflict institutes newsletter. I immediately thought of you, so I copied it below.
I have enjoyed reading the HCI newsletters and websites….great information there. Bill Eddy.
Here is the link if you wish to explore this website further.

https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:CampaignPublic/id:1400424.6534380315/rid:e2b536608d2d6b8bdb45496151e3061d

Question: I have been divorced 8 years after a contentious divorce. My ex seems to have a high conflict personality–maybe narcissistic. She has little to do with the kids, but they defend and protect her and they expect nothing from her. Although they are teenagers now, they walk in fear of being cut out of her life because they’ve seen her do this to others. Should I tell them that she has a high-conflict personality and give them advice on how to handle her or should I let them continue down their current path?

Answer: It’s always best to take a balanced approach with children who defend a high conflict parent. On the one hand, you want to understand and respect their very basic need to love a parent, no matter how dysfunctional. This is normal and they should not be discouraged from loving a parent.

On the other hand, you want to teach your children skills for dealing with any difficult person in life. This can apply to their mother. So, you could explain that some people use “all or nothing” thinking when dealing with people. They shut people out of their lives as a method of coping with overwhelming feelings, such as their mother has apparently done to other people in the past. Teach your children strategies, such as backing off a little when someone, including their mother, is acting inappropriately angry, sad, etc. But then teach them to reach out and say positive things from time to time, such as sending a friendly note, even when she has been ignoring them or rude. These are skills that will help them throughout their lives.

So, rather than saying “your mother doesn’t seem to care about you, so don’t waste your energy…” you can say “some people use all or nothing thinking, and when this happens try to use flexible thinking in return.” From time to time describe some positive characteristics of their mother that you see, so that they don’t feel that they have to defend her to you. When you act balanced, even toward high conflict people, your children will learn to do the same.
I hope that helps.
Bill

Dear Bob,

Yes, NC does send them into a “high conflict” position (make them worse for a while) because they are struggling to maintain CONTROL over the situation, and thus YOU. It has “always worked in the past” so they repeat and escalate that behavior until NC is broken again and they are back “in control” and have you where they can strike at you again.

It takes TIME for them to realize that they will NOT be rewarded with an interaction (ANY interaction or reaction from you isa reward for them) It is like a STALKING situation where even noticing the stalker ENCOURAGES them to continue. Even telling the “stalker” because that is ultimately what it is, this refusal to go away from someone you know doesn’t want you around, so you (the stalker) tell yourself that they really DO want to interact with you, that they notice you, that YOU ARE IMPORTANT and can control the other person’s life. It is TWISTED I know, but must make sense to THEM. LOL

The ultimate goal for YOU is, of course, for your children’s well being. HER ultimate goal is to HURT YOU in any way she can. Since she only has ONE weapon, your children, that is what she will use. Each time she gets even a slight NOTICE from you she is encouraged to continue. These “small victories” are her “life blood” emotionally. Her greatest enjoyment. Cut them off, and hopefully, she will move on to another victim when her greatest antics don’t elicite a response from you. For you and your current wife to live “happily ever after” is the greatest insult you could give her, the greatest narcissistic injury to her ego. YOU MUST suffer and bleed to appease her sense of injury.

“The characterizations of me—“hostile, angry, vindictive, inconsistent, unbalanced, unstable, threatening, harassing, bi-polar—”are a common theme in her emails.”

Keep in mind that this is projection. She’s really all those things and then projects it onto you. This is a common gas-lighting technique used to manipulate your feelings and force you to defend yourself. In fact, you COULD react in a way that would portray you in exactly the way she describes. Luckily, you’re here getting advice instead. Knowing what you’re up against will help tremendously and keep you from falling into the trap of acting based on your immediate emotions. This is really what “they” are after.

Oh wow… this letter of “evidence” reminds me of the Bad Man so much. This is very common with these harrassers. They think if they put their “fear” in writing, then it makes it all so.

Bad Man totally spun his “friends” around his crazy ass lies about me. And btw, he co-workers/friends really weren’t his friends at all. This was part of his delusion as well. It would make me feel CRAZY when he would start his attacks with “My friends think…… about you!”

Defamation of character is a very difficult to stomach.

They also love to go to the authorities so that they can preempt anything you might say about them.. the truth of course.

You know before this thing with Bad Man, I used to be so perplexed about those People’s Court shows. I just couldn’t get my head around the idea that someone was standing there straight up lieing. I used to wonder “How can two people say the opposite things about what happened?” This is so far out of who I am that I just didn’t get it. Now I get it.

The advice that Liane gave the writer was EXCELLENT!

I don’t want this to be all about me, but the situation is fluid, so I thought I’d share.

On Wednesday the parent consultant issued a directive, among other things, for tonight’s exchange of the boys before she left for the airport. He was very explicit and in writing that it was to take place at the local Dave and Buster’s where my youngest was attending a birthday party (he also ordered that he attend this party) ½ way through the party. The P with regularity takes the boys to D&B’s on Sunday afternoons before exchanges because she really doesn’t know how to entertain them, other than feed them game credits, or have someone else deal with them (the outsource mom). So meeting there should be no big deal.

So, my wife and I are pulling into D&B’s 10 minutes before the exchange was to occur (20 minutes from home) and my son calls me. They are at my home. I told my son to have her leave them at home alone (they are 12 and 14) and be done. My wife and I raced home because we didn’t secure our office and bedroom. My thought is that the P doesn’t want to be face to face with me now that she has trumped up all the recent lies and didn’t have a supporter with her That’s OK, I wouldn’t confront her anyhow.

This is reminiscent of this past Labor Day. She flew in to be with the boys. It was a nice weekend, so on Labor Day my wife and I went to one of the few nice lakeside restaurant bars/restaurants with deck on the lake. Low and behold, there were my boys, the P’s boyfriends kids and the landscaper’s kids down by the water. We belly up to the outside bar while the P and her supporters (boyfriend, landscaper, her best slutty friend’s former rich boyfriend, and guy she dated who testified in our hearing) sat at a table eating and having drinks. When they left, they all came by to say hello to me and my wife, except the P and the guy who testified. Go figure

This is a game to the P. To try to keep me off balance, to defy the court order or parenting consultants directives. She is trying to piss me off and elicit a response. No more honey. Just wrote to the PC to advise what happened. I’ll let him deal with her. No response from me.

AKA Bob,
do your kids have keys to get into your house that they carry with them when they go to her house? NONNONNONNONO!

One day when I was 18 years old, (I can’t remember the reason why) the P told me that he had a key ring with all my keys duplicated stashed. He pulled it out and showed it to me.
He had made it months earlier while I was asleep. He told me he knew I would probably lose my keys one day and thank him for making extras. EWWWWW! I thought it was creepy, but couldn’t make sense of it.

Anyways, my point is that they ALL THINK ALIKE. They look at keys the way a 2-year old does. MUST HAVE KEEEEYSSSS.
When your kids are asleep she could take their house keys and have them duplicated just so she can get into your house.
Yes, it’s stupid, but she will do it. She may never use the keys but she could give it to some meth addict and tell him to go burglarize your home. You have to think ahead ALL THE TIME.

OMG Skylar, that is so true, the p had keys to everyones house. We fought about mine since he was always gone and he’d just keep coming up with new ones.

No keys. Wasn’t expecting them. at my home while we were gone, but still no keys Garage door code only, again left house unlocked expecting P to meet me elsewhere. We must think more strategically.

We have gotten into the routine of not allowing the P and my oldest to even enter my garage when we are not home to pick up clothing. I pull the battery from the garage door opener on weekends when the P is in town..

Bob:
Oh…..the little games they play….she’ll say….I thought it would be easier on Bob if I just brought the boys home and he wouldn’t have to leave…….
Uh, uh, I was doing a favor……
I secure my computer and office ANY time I leave the home…..NO KID can enter unless I am in here……
I know the S would be thrilled if he evr had access to the office!!!!
YIKES>…….
At one point I was out of town for the day and had an australian guy staying for a few weeks…..I had a fire in my office….I rushed back to town as the street was blocked off and 6 engines were here….police etc…..it was the ODDEST cause for the fire…..mostly smoke and thank god my friend was staying….it was just prior to my last divorce hearing…
But the LOW VOLTAGE telephone landline curly wire had overheated????? and ignited after smoldering all day……when my friend came into the house……him opening the door gave it oxygen and poof……
SO….the house is a fortress…my bedroom, the garage, even the hall door leading to my office is all locked.
It’s just a good habit to get into .
Keep your head high!!!!!

So what’s up with the keys? My ex also had keys to EVERYTHING. And, he locked everything. I used to joke, “He’d put a lock on my underwear drawer if he could figure a way to do it.”

When he moved out, he did so peaceably. Then I found out he was sneaking into the house. I could just tell someone had been there. When I questioned him, he swore he had not been in the house. When backed into the corner with facts, his excuse was that he had to pick something up.

Long story short, I changed the locks and bolted down enterences that were largely unused. I unplugged the electric garage opener.

Months later I found he had planted a loaded 367 magnum. He had partially installed a survaillence system, but didn’t have enough time to get it up and working, because I changed the locks.

Oh, he tried desperately to break into our house, while he had our son, and I was on an overnight field trip with our daughter. Fortunately, because he was such a freak about security windows, screens, alarm systems, etc. He had pretty much made the house safe, from even himself.

Anyway… Is there an expert reason for the issues with keys?

So what’s up with the keys? My ex also had keys to EVERYTHING. And, he locked everything. I used to joke, “He’d put a lock on my underwear drawer if he could figure a way to do it.”

When he moved out, he did so peaceably. Then I found out he was sneaking into the house. I could just tell someone had been there. When I questioned him, he swore he had not been in the house. When backed into the corner with facts, his excuse was that he had to pick something up.

Long story short, I changed the locks and bolted down enterences that were largely unused. I unplugged the electric garage opener.

Months later I found he had planted a loaded 367 magnum. He had partially installed a survaillence system, but didn’t have enough time to get it up and working, because I changed the locks.

Oh, he tried desperately to break into our house, while he had our son, and I was on an overnight field trip with our daughter. Fortunately, because he was such a freak about security windows, screens, alarm systems, etc. He had pretty much made the house safe, from even himself.

Anyway… Is there an expert reason for the issues with keys?

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