When an ex-spouse deliberately tries to sway your children’s opinions about you or paints you in a neglectful or uncaring light, you may not know how to react at first.
Parental alienation is a serious problem for divorced people, and one that many struggle to prevent. Knowing how this issue affects you can help you take steps to change it.
According to Psychology Today, children may fail to notice what is happening at first. After weeks or months of manipulation and hearing lies about you, they may naturally hesitate to talk to you. This lack of communication can lead to a fractured relationship between you both.
Your ex-spouse may even go so far as to ban cell phone contact or email contact with you during the times he or she has the children. He or she could purposefully forget to invite you to your children’s school events or extracurricular activities. Some ex-spouses may even tell the children to spy on the other parent and repeat back anything you say to him or her.
Many isolated incidents with outbursts or rude comments can form a bigger, more dangerous problem. Some children may disparage or insult you to your face or refuse to spend any time alone with you. In some cases, the words or phrases they use could be ones that your ex-spouse said verbatim.
By using your children’s pent-up worries and frustration over the divorce against you, you can become an easy scapegoat for any problems in the family. Parental alienation can cause heartbreak and confusion, especially when it starts off subtly.