When Parted Parents Refuse to Get It Right There’s Only One True Loser

Major Depressive Disorder

It’s sad enough that children and teens have to endure major depressive disorder, panic attack symptoms, and chronic stress.  But it’s an inexcusable tragedy when their parted parents are at fault. Guest poster Vivian brings us an awakening real-world point of view.

A child can live in fear of her mother if she does not conform to the mother’s negative view of the father. A child may even grow up to behave just like her mother, abusing a partner and repeating the same cycle she grew up with.

What better way than a guest post to kickoff the Chipur article new year? You know how much I love ’em (that would be an invitation to contact me about contributing).

Vivian let me know she wanted to share her thoughts on a preventable contributor to childhood/teen mood and anxiety disorders. She states her case well, and the floor is hers…

Malicious Moms | The Often Overlooked Detriment to Children

We always hear about the deadbeat dad – the father that doesn’t pay his child support, doesn’t spend time with his children, and wreaks havoc in his ex’s life. What we don’t hear about is the malicious mom: the mother who selfishly uses her child to harm her ex.

On the outside, the “face” portrayed to the world, these women come across as caring and concerned, claiming the father is the problem. But behind the scenes, these women are manipulating their innocent children, turning them against their fathers and using the mother-biased court systems to their advantage.

Mother biased court systems?

Take a look at just about any custody proceeding: primary custody is almost always granted to the mother because she is automatically deemed the better parent since she gave birth to the child. Fathers are placed under a strong microscope and even the tiniest, nonthreatening flaw is held against them – while the mother practically has to be a serial killer before she loses primary custody.

Mothers and fathers should be looked at equally when deciding custody. Unfortunately, they aren’t, and this can leave a malicious mom the freedom to use her children as a vehicle to unleash whatever vendetta she has against her ex.

Children’s minds and emotions are like putty: easy to mold, sculpt, and manipulate. And it’s all too easy for a malicious mom to manipulate her children to conform to her will. This is especially true of women who suffer from antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, using their cunning charm and whit to twist reality and buy their child’s loyalty with lavish vacations like annual trips to Disneyland, material possessions, and buying everything the child requests.

There also tends to be a lack of discipline, rules, and structure in the mother’s home, so when the child sees his father for his limited parenting time he is stuck trying to correct the maladaptive behaviors that have been cultivated in the mother’s home.

This only adds to the tension between father and child and can reinforce whatever untruths about the father the mother has convinced her child are real.

The mother’s actions can harm her child emotionally, making the child feel guilty for loving his father and wanting to spend time with him. It can also lower the child’s self-esteem and can ultimately harm the father/child relationship.

A manipulated child may “decide” that she does not want to spend time with her father, may say negative things (often untrue) to please her mother, and may even tell a judge she no longer wants to live with her father in order to please her mother, or out of fear of retaliation by the mother if the mother’s desires are not promoted.

A child can live in fear of her mother if she does not conform to the mother’s negative view of the father. A child may even grow up to behave just like her mother, abusing a partner and repeating the same cycle she grew up with.

On top of the mother’s manipulation of her child, she likely also takes to bullying and harassing her ex any chance she gets. This bullying and harassment often take the form of verbal insults and attacks when the parents come together for their child’s sporting event, band concert, or parent/teacher conferences. This teaches the child that it is okay to disrespect her father (and others), and that bullying is acceptable.

What is a father to do?

  • The best thing a father can do is ignore his ex. Don’t engage in her negativity; it only fuels the fire and gives her further excuse to mistreat you.
  • Don’t talk to your child about his mother’s behavior. Your child has already been put in the middle by his mother. He doesn’t need his father damaging him too.
  • Remember that as your child grows into an adult, he will develop a better idea of reality and will likely begin to recognize his mother’s manipulative actions.
  • Cultivate a positive relationship with your child. Focus on your relationship with your child, enjoy your time with him. Don’t let your ex take up what precious time you have with your child.
  • Seek the help of a therapist to work through your frustrations and hurt feelings, and to learn ways to help your child as much as you can to minimize the damage the mother has caused.
  • Attend support groups. Know that you are not alone in this situation. There are millions of fathers out there who are experiencing similar situations.

Zowie! So there you have it, folks. Thank you, Vivian. Appreciate and respect your insight and point of view.

Let’s Tie a Bow

Yep! How sad it is that our children and teens have to endure major depressive disorder, panic attack symptoms, chronic stress, and so much more. And shame on parted parents who refuse to get it right, contributing to their children’s misery.

Vivian states her case loud and clear. So what about you? Will you share your take in a comment?

Are you in the midst of emotionally/mentally troubling times? Consider a Chipur consultation.

So many Chipur titles to peruse. Don’t be shy.

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk January 7, 2015, 3:45 pm

    That is an interesting article, Bill and Vivian. Thank you. When I was getting divorced, my kids’ father really wanted joint custody. At first I was hesitate, just because of the time I would lose with them, but in the end, we decided to do exactly that. I think overall my kids are much better adjusted because they know that their dad is in their life and that they are loved by both parents. It is so important to put your kids first in these situations and do what is best for everyone.

    • Chipur January 8, 2015, 6:22 pm

      Glad to see you this new year, Cathy. Thank you for stopping-by.

      Sounds like the parted parents set you were involved with decided to get it right. Your children are fortunate, as many parted parents – mom and dad – pull stunts like Vivian detailed in the article. Absolutely essential to put our children first when it comes to parents parting company. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to matter to many.

      Appreciate You!

  • David Cooke January 7, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Call me PC or paranoid, but at first I thought you wrote these comments. Ha, then I realized this offered safer gender perspective. Great points. Though my parents divorced after I was married, there were many times I felt like I was part of the divorce agreement regarding equal time and stuff like that. I hated the pressure and the tension. It was as though there were requirements I wasn’t aware of. Thanks Bill and Vivian for pointing out a balanced perspective and great insights.

    • Chipur January 8, 2015, 6:27 pm

      Somehow I’m not thinkin’ you’re either strictly PC – or paranoid, David. Given the pressure and tension you felt when your parents divorced after you were married, it isn’t hard to understand why and how children and teens become devastated by their parents parting company. It’s such a colossal mess (been there), and why parting/parted parents refuse to get it right is beyond me. Selfish and heartless are pretty good words.

      Thanks for your visit and participation, David…

  • Lisa Frederiksen | BreakingThe January 9, 2015, 3:42 pm

    Such a powerful article, Vivian and Bill. Thank you for sharing your story, Vivian – you’ve described a story I hear repeatedly and one that the legal / child welfare system and family law attorneys must understand, because as you’ve titled the post, Bill – there is only one true lose – the child.

    • Chipur January 9, 2015, 5:51 pm

      Hey, Lisa. Happy New Year! Glad we’re starting the year off right by hearing from you.

      No doubt, Vivian’s story is strong – and all too common. And to be fair, the nonsense is generated by mommy and daddy. When Vivian sent her first draft I could feel the intensity (somehow I think she has some experience with the subject matter). I’m hoping her intensity continued to show through after very minor editing. Bottom-line – many parted parents need to gain a whole lot of insight – and grow up. Right?

      Looking forward to more visits and contributions from you during 2015. Appreciate you, Lisa…