It’s challenging to deal with a difficult ex-spouse, especially when children are involved. It becomes even worse when the other parent actively tries to turn your children against you.
You may feel like there is nothing you can do and feel helpless that your children are caught in the middle. However, it is possible to protect yourself and your relationship with your children.
Understanding parental alienation syndrome
Parental alienation can manifest in children being constantly exposed to one-sided stories and negative comments about the other parent or, in extreme cases, being denied contact with the rejected parent.
This can lead to serious psychological and emotional issues, including detrimental effects on self-esteem, social relationships, trusting others, depression, anxiety, resistance to attachment formation, and disturbed sleep and appetite.
Understanding what to do to combat the issue
If your ex is trying to turn your children against you, staying calm and level-headed is essential. It can be painfully difficult to manage the emotions that arise from this situation; however, keeping your composure and avoiding arguments with your ex is vital.
Explain to your children that you still love them, even if they’re mad at you. They need to know that your love is steady and unconditional. Make sure to express this message in words and through supportive actions and warm hugs.
Keep communication open with your children, and encourage them to talk to you about their feelings if they are angry at you after a divorce. Now more than ever is the time for you to be compassionate and understand how your child might feel while creating a safe environment where they feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly to you as a parent.
Divorce is undoubtedly a stressful situation, but when an ex-spouse begins to turn the couple’s children against the other parent, it can be devastating. But, there are resources available. With the right help, you can fight for your rights and those of your children.