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Father's girlfriend wants advice on how to deal with a nasty ex-wife


Your Question:
I am involved with a man who is in the middle of a messy divorce/custody battle with his ex. He is in no way a deadbeat dad or an absentee father. He loves his kids and worries about them endlessly. There is no real custody agreement in place however, the children do reside with her because he had to take an "out of town" position with his company in order to keep his job. Yes, he pays a considerable amount of child support (more than half of his income). Of course it's never enough for her. After a few run ins with her myself, I truly believe she is a Narcissist. I went so far as to research the subject quite extensively. She matches the profile and characteristics 100%. Not sure if you've ever had dealings with one but, she has managed to con and manipulate everyone including the children and the courts. If he refuses to do anything SHE tells him to do, she punishes him by using the children (bad mouthing him to the kids, refusing phone contact between them, interferring with visitation--of course she makes it seem as though it's the childrens decision, and she even took time out of her schedule to teach the kids a new game... "how many ways to kill SHELLY".) Yep, it's true. She even left me a voicemail telling me so. She has had the oldest daughter call my voicemail and leave me messages thanking me for taking their daddy away from them. Needless to say, the children hate me quite a bit. (though I've never even met them). She doesn't allow the children to speak to him if I'm anywhere in the vicinity and then berates and harrasses him for failing to be a part of their lives. By the way, HER new b/f IS allowed around the children anytime of the day although the children have been warned not to "tell their father" about her life. I'm tired of all of her lies, the deception and the damage she's doing to the kids. The daughter is 16 with serious behavioral and mental health issues, the son is 11 and showing signs of the destruction she leaves in her wake. (problems in school and increasingly hostile behavior.) After 20+ years of abuse and control at the hands of this woman, the father doesn't seem able to find a way to deal with her the proper way. Primarily because no matter what he does, she finds a way to make it all his fault. She's like teflon, lol. I've talked him into getting couseling and he agrees that he needs it. So I guess for all my rambling... my question is, how should he/we deal with her? Or the kids? I'm lost for answers and often times wonder if we're the ones who are insane. Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

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My Answer:
Hi,

I understand that you're trying to help, but the father should be the one writing to me. He's the only one who can effect change, and taking the lead is important to his growth (per what you describe). To change the situation will likely require getting court orders to enforce a parenting plan.

If this woman is leaving you messages about a desire to murder you, you should contact the police.

Regarding the hatred the children exhibit, I recommend that you and he read the book Divorce Poison, by Richard Warshak. It's available on Amazon, and I have a convenient link to it on my Recommended Resources page.

Best wishes for you,
Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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