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How do I deal with this?

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Cannon posted 10/14/2013 09:50 AM

My XWW and I have been divorced since May and are sharing custody of our three kids (S-11, S-8, D-6)

She's becoming increasingly erratic in her treatment of them, even going so far as to at one point last summer slap our daughter in the face and call her a bitch and tell the kids lies like I abused them and her when they were younger.

Things got so bad I contacted her parents (with whom I have a great, healthy relationship) and told them I was considering filing for custody if things didn't improve. They spoke to their daughter and things got better...for a while.

Yesterday when she dropped the kids off to me she didn't get out of the van - just revved the engine and sped off. The kids came in and said she was REALLY mad and called me and the 11 year old names.

I let it slide at the time, but talked to each kid individually later. Apparently she called the 11 year old a "snitch" because he tells me what she says and does.

When I asked daughter what was said, she said "Mom told me not to tell you". I finally coaxed out of her that she called me a "shithead" and a "piece of shit", that she "hopes (I) die in my sleep" and that if I died she would laugh. Oh, she also told them I "had sex with another woman" (of course, a 100% complete fabrication)

So,'s the problem: I feel like I'm going to get my kids in deep shit with her and they won't trust me anymore if I bring this stuff up to my XWW or her parents. I want them to be able to tell me what's going on if it's bothering them, but I don't want them to not trust me if they get retaliation for what they say to me. Does that make sense?

Any advice?

Nature_Girl posted 10/14/2013 10:13 AM

I know how to deal with this. Today, right now, you get them their own counselor. Call their pediatrician and tell her why you need a referral to a counselor ASAP. Also, contact anyone you know who is in counseling and ask for a referral to a counselor. Hopefully by the end of today you will have an appointment for a counselor. This can be someone who only sees kids or it can be someone who specializes in family counseling. Make certain that you get someone with a Ph.D and is also a social worker. This last bit is important because their word carries more weight when you do finally seek custody.

Now go! Make those phone calls!

confused615 posted 10/14/2013 10:17 AM

^^^ THIS^^^


RyeBread posted 10/14/2013 10:23 AM

What NG said.

Also, you might contact your attorney to just let them know the situation. He/she might have other legal options for you as well.

Your xWW is severely abusing the children on every level. You are their father who they love dearly and xWW is using that against them to vent her anger and make them feel guilty for loving you.

My heart goes out to you and your kids.

Nature_Girl posted 10/14/2013 10:26 AM

One more thing. You tell your kids' teachers at school what is happening.

I've had to do all of the above already, and my divorce isn't even final yet. I've learned it is critically important to be very transparent with other adults, and to bring additional adults into relationship with my children so that there can be more eyes 'n ears available to help. Everyone at my children's school knows what's going on. So does everyone at church. The pediatrician. Our neighbors. My counselor. The two counselors I've had for my kids. I've given my kids plenty of avenues to reach out for help.

dmari posted 10/14/2013 10:56 AM

I wanted to reiterate what NG said about being transparent with other adults. Especially the adults who have regular contact with the children. This is so important!

Also, document, document, document.

Please therapy for the kids ASAP.

Your kids are being emotionally abused. This is unacceptable!

PhantomLimb posted 10/14/2013 11:41 AM

Yes, 100% this is abuse and needs to stop.

I can tell you that my grandmother was bi-polar and did this kind of thing to my mother-- and she is STILL messed up over it. And my growing up intuiting how I had to take care of her emotional life as a result led to me M a man who turned out to be-- you guessed it-- bipolar.

Break the cycle!

Cannon posted 10/14/2013 12:26 PM

Thanks for all your responses, and a few things:

-- I have a counselor for the kids that I used a few times back in the aftermath of the divorce. The kids and I liked him a lot, and he said as far as he's concerned, they were adjusting fine and could see me on an "as needed" basis. I guess this counts as one.

--My kids' teachers are aware that there was a recent divorce

--XWW is clinically bipolar as many guessed. Besides the infidelity, she had a DUI wreck about a year ago followed by a suicide attempt soon after (these were the last straws for me)

Nature_Girl posted 10/14/2013 12:47 PM

The DUI and suicide attempt might be enough to warrant supervised visits. Combined with slapping your daughter in the face as well as the verbal abuse, your case is even stronger for supervised visitation.

I have a clause in my parenting time section that if STBX ever again is verbally aggressive towards the children his parenting time will be curtailed and he'll need a mental health intervention. I urge you to make this happen for your XW. She is not a safe person for your children right now.

ladies_first posted 10/14/2013 14:08 PM

XWW is clinically bipolar as many guessed. Besides the infidelity, she had a DUI wreck about a year ago followed by a suicide attempt soon after

Are bipolars triggered by season/sunlight changes? Sadly, whilst not her keeper, you need to be both proactive and reactive to protect your children.

After a lengthy marriage, do you know what sets off her episodes? Stress? Seasons? Hormones?

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