Divorcebusting.com
Posted By: Wolfman Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/13/21 01:23 PM
https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...ain=63263&Number=2922903#Post2922903

That is the previous link.
Things with the GF are getting better. I am learning to be patient, that she just wants the best for our baby. Also, realize that she is going through changes hormonally and slack of sleep. I am working on not taking things so personally and just moving forward. The nice thing is to see my GF and my son starting to build a relationship again. They are talking more and joking more. It really makes me so happy. I hope it will continue. My son loves his baby brother, I knew once he saw him and was around him, his feelings would change. I don’t think there is anything his mother could do at this point to sabotage that. I took my son out to Dave and Busters and he wanted to win his baby brother a prize, which he did and was so happy about. These are the things I love and make me so happy.

As far as my daughter. It is really hard for me. She just continues to bash me and say how horrible I was (which most of the time is not true). I am trying to listen and validate, but when they are straight up lies or not even. Close to the truth I feel a need to defend myself. The therapist is starting to see more through her bs, and the therapist said she is seeing more and more alienation. She also told me that if things don’t improve soon, she is going to recommend to the court a forensic psychologist. I really hope so, it needs to be documented that their is alienation and she needs the proper therapist to address this. I miss my daughter so much and I am missing out on so much time with her!!!
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/13/21 04:48 PM
Hey Wolf, glad your life is going better this week!

Cultivating patience is great. Listening if your GF's expressing something about what urges and non-urges her hormones are giving her is great. If you're working as a team, you're almost as sleep-deprived as her, yes? I'd caution post-pregnancy is when my marriage turned sexless and 1-2yrs later divorce. I think we had more sex the week I filed than the whole year before that, lol. If she's had time to physically recover, strive for a balance between your needs and her needs. Be wary of ignoring your needs too long to be "nice", keep the peace, and people-please. Ignoring your needs builds resentment. Resentment leads to anger. Anger leads to the dark side. Wait.. that's Star Wars, nor Doctor Phil. Sorry, watching too many movies lately. wink
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/13/21 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
As far as my daughter. It is really hard for me. She just continues to bash me and say how horrible I was (which most of the time is not true). I am trying to listen and validate, but when they are straight up lies or not even. Close to the truth I feel a need to defend myself.

If your D says, "It was horribly unfair, hypocritical that you didn't let me play games on my computer when I hadn't finished studying, but you were enjoying browsing the Internet before you completed the laundry." -- I get it can be challenging separating out her feeling that she was treated unfairly, her accusation that you're hypocritical, and your disagreement about a fact such as whether or not you browsed the Internet before completing the laundry. Except where you have proof, neither of you is the ultimate arbiter of facts. Her beliefs about what happened are as valid as your beliefs.

Once I told my XGF she had yelled at me. She disagreed. I happened to have an audio clip proving it! Assume the recording was not underhanded. Would you take the curious approach, "It sounded like you yelled at me. This is what it sounded like.." or the right-fighting approach. "That's a lie, and I have an audio clip proving it.."

Upon listening, she said, "I raised my voice. I didn't yell."
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/21/21 01:31 PM
So the last therapy session went rough. The therapist wants us to do list of the talking. It’s more of an interrogatation. I ask a question and she gives me 2 word answers. I ask her open ended questions like, tell me about your school day? She will answer, I don’t know. Then I say can you tell me how your classes are going. I get, good. Tell me about your teachers? She replies, they are fine. Thanks here is no point. Anyway at the end. The therapist said she is going to tell my lawyer that we need forensics and that she sees parent alienation and for forensics to get involved now. We have been going 2 and a half months and have made zero progress. The therapist said to me at the end, she has never seen a child behave the way my daughter behaves. I really hope, finally someone will help me. By getting forensics involved and when they determine parent alienation, then I can get a therapist who specializes in parental alienation. There is a nationally renowned parental alienation specialist right by me. I am hoping to get her with the help of forensics and the court. Anyway.

C.W I appreciate that you have stuck with me. I don’t come on here that much, so busy with the baby and running around for my son.

Slowly my gf and s relationship is getting better, they are talking more and joking around. Last night the 3 of us played cards for an hour after we put the baby to bed. I am trying very hard to bring them together. It’s taken a lot of patience and the birth of the baby has seen to help.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/21/21 02:11 PM
A bit of advice, for whatever it is worth, in regards to the relationship between your S and your GF. This comes from my own experience and you should absolutely feel free to take it or leave it as you see fit. No pushing or judgment on my part, just putting it out there for you to think about. When I first started dating my XH, his 3 daughters were 12, 14, and 16. (I think your son is a little younger than that, but it really doesn't matter, my advice will be the same, as it isn't necessarily age dependent).

My youngest stepdaughter took to me quickly and easily, but she was a happy, unbothered child and is still pretty much the same as an adult. When I met the middle daughter, she took to me easily as well, mainly because she had issues with her own mom and she craved a female presence in her life that she wasn't getting from her mom. The oldest was going through some very typical teenage girl drama and having some big issues with both of her parents and some other things I won't go into, so I knew that connecting to her would be more challenging. I kind of sat back and let her take the lead in how she came to me. I was always open and friendly with her but didn't push. Think about little kids and how they explore things and how they join groups of their peers. They'll act aloof at first, then when no one is really paying attention, they'll jump right in the middle of whatever is going on with both feet and reckless abandon. So, I sat back and waited for her to come to me.

My advice to you is to not push your S or your GF too hard toward each other or you will likely get the opposite of the desired reaction and they will actually both kind of balk and repel each other. Let them interact naturally. Now, of course, as the adult, the onus is on your girlfriend to respond in a positive manner when your S tries to interact with her, even if she might not be feeling it in that particular moment, but a brief conversation with your S in that moment will go a LONG way to helping him feel like she really cares. I think you have to let them find their own way naturally and not try to force it or always be the mediator. (By the way, I'm NOT saying you are trying to force anything...I'm just saying to resist that temptation.)

You may be right about the baby helping to bridge the gap, for a number of reasons. Whatever it is, it is nice to hear that you all are interacting as a unit. A strong, steady, stable environment is really what kids need most.
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/21/21 03:01 PM
Wolfman,
Originally Posted by Wolfman
I ask her open ended questions like, tell me about your school day? She will answer, I don’t know. Then I say can you tell me how your classes are going. I get, good. Tell me about your teachers? She replies, they are fine.
For what it's worth, and I'm not saying this is the case with you & your daughter, but those are the typical responses I get from S6 when I ask about his school day. I have no reason to think it's anything to do with the D - think he just doesn't want to talk about it or go into specifics. When he does want to talk about something there is a spark and he'll go into detail and tell me all about it.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
I knew that connecting to her would be more challenging. I kind of sat back and let her take the lead in how she came to me. I was always open and friendly with her but didn't push. Think about little kids and how they explore things and how they join groups of their peers. They'll act aloof at first, then when no one is really paying attention, they'll jump right in the middle of whatever is going on with both feet and reckless abandon. So, I sat back and waited for her to come to me.

My advice to you is to not push your S or your GF too hard toward each other or you will likely get the opposite of the desired reaction and they will actually both kind of balk and repel each other. Let them interact naturally.
I'm not expert, but this seems like good advice. It's like the cat analogy on this board...sit back and let them come to you, and hope it develops over time. If you force it they might rebel more.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/22/21 01:25 PM
Dawn and BL42, I completely understand where you are going from. I don’t want to push to hard but I also feel like I need to do something. I kinda offered suggestions on what we can do and what they can do, if that makes sense. I didn’t want to do nothing, I felt I had to try a little. I am just happy to see it moving in a positive direction. I hope it continues. It so hard to believe where I was 3 years ago compared to today. Never would I have thought my life would have turned out this way. I bet everyone else on here feels the same. Thank you for the advice I always appreciate it.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/22/21 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
The therapist said to me at the end, she has never seen a child behave the way my daughter behaves. The therapist said she is going to tell my lawyer.. that she sees parent alienation and for forensics to get involved now.
It must be validating to hear a professional say that she sees parental alienation. I hope that process leads to improvements in how you and your ex talk about and interact with each other for your D or even your S.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
The therapist wants us to do list of the talking. It’s more of an interrogatation. I ask a question and she gives me 2 word answers. I ask her open ended questions like, tell me about your school day? She will answer, I don’t know. Then I say can you tell me how your classes are going. I get, good. Tell me about your teachers? She replies, they are fine. Thanks here is no point.
Like BL42, I was going to say--this could easily be my teen on the right day, lol. Is your therapist giving you guidance on how to converse effectively? E.g., small talk, being light, and building up from questions requiring short, simple answers to ones requiring longer answers? That sort of conversation definitely feels frustrating, but when you think "There is no point", consider info about her teacher isn't as important as being in the same room as your D with opportunities to show her that you love her and are willing to meet her where she is. The last time I gave my parents a chance to talk to me in person.. 2-3yrs ago.. I know I shut down whenever they pried for personal details such as my hobbies, work, love life, etc. but I was willing to engage with them when they talked about the weather or non-political current events or the natural things around us. I had a couple of phone calls with them last year and said I'd try to stop by this summer, but they began pressuring me for dates, so I broke off contact again.

Anyway, another topic you might consider chatting with your therapist about.

I'm so glad you and your S are on a positive arc! Dave & Buster's together--HUGE! Keep offering him opportunities to spend fun time 1:1 with you. I wish I'd used a much lighter hand when it came to integrating my family and my XGF's family. Blending two families together is such a delicate thing. Wishing you much success. (:
Posted By: Sage4 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/23/21 05:54 AM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
So the last therapy session went rough. The therapist wants us to do list of the talking. It’s more of an interrogatation. I ask a question and she gives me 2 word answers. I ask her open ended questions like, tell me about your school day? She will answer, I don’t know. Then I say can you tell me how your classes are going. I get, good. Tell me about your teachers? She replies, they are fine.

Wolfman, can I offer a suggestion? As a mother to four, in the midst of a D, I was the gatekeeper for all my children's daily comings and goings and all the external fixings of their lives. For their entire lives. Not by choice, but by survival. H traveled a lot for work and didn't (and honestly probably still doesn't) know the names of our children's teachers, or all the sports' coaches etc. We are working on correcting that, but honestly, it is public information that any parent has access to, even ones without custody.

The questions you are asking are ripe for such responses from your D. Superficial and perfunctory. But what if you knew who she had as her algebra teacher? What if you knew what soccer coach she had? You could ask much more leading questions like 'where do you sit in algebra class with Mr D? Is he sooo boring and only calls on the kids in the front of the class? And soccer coach x? Is she a fair coach that lets all the kids play or does she have favorites?' These sorts of questions tell your D that you are invested, if even from afar. That you actually know what is going on in her life, that you actually care enough to follow it.

I find that in my non-custody time with my kids, we have nightly conversations (instigated by them) where I am able to ask relevant questions about their day-to-day lives because I am keeping up with their day-to-day lives, even if I am not seeing them daily. It takes a lot of work on my part to know what they're up to, but the dividends are huge. H doesn't prioritize that. So when he calls on my custody time, he asks them what they've been up to. Which they are too bored or exhausted to catch him up on, and the conversation sizzles.

Keep the conversation relevant by doing your homework up front. Ask questions that let her know you are keeping up with her, whether she wants you to or not. It proves to her that no matter how long-armed-length she keeps you, nothing will deter YOU from knowing HER. It's the ultimate declaration of love, a la The Runaway Bunny book (if you become a sailboat, I will become the wind to guide you back to me).

You've got a lot on your plate. But investments made now will produce dividends in the future and are totally worth it. Keep trying, keep failing, and get up and try again. Ignore the fact of whether parental alienation is present or not, it matters not a whit in the end-game of a relationship with your daughter. A legal definition is only that at the end of the day. Only you have control of what your relationship will be with D.

((Wolfman))
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/23/21 11:09 AM
I definitely agree with all sage and dawn said.

I have a very very close relationship with my daughter. She’s been my sidekick from birth and it’s been just me and her when I’m my home for 14 years. If I ask her a question like “how was school” I get the very same responses like you do. Now….. I am the only parent in the know just sage. I know her teachers, her curriculum, her electives, I speak to other parents about school stuff, I read all the emails. So when I ask more pointed questions, I get more enthusiastic detailed replies. My daughter sends me all her papers to sign even when she’s at her dads. I help her with her homework even when she’s at her dads. I know it’s harder for you since you can’t be with her , but sage gave excellent advice to get in the know. It’s going to take a lot of work.

I think one of the hardest things for you do do is what you need to do. You need to keep YOUR feelings out of it. How much it hurts you she doesn’t talk, how much it hurts you that you aren’t in the know, how much all of this hurts you. I understand it does, but you cannot make any of this about the effect it has on YOU while you are trying to rebuild. It’s got to be focused on her. She’s a kid and been through a true emotional ringer . Show up, be consistent, put the effort in, and just don’t make this about you.

And dawn is right about how you have to let the relationship between your GF and son happen organically. You can’t force it. You can encourage what they cultivate, but you can’t push either . They may honestly never be at the level you want them to be. Your son has also been through an unbelievable emotional ringer and his world has flipped so many times. Divorce, new GF, new half brother in a very short period of time. I couldn’t even imagine. He only needs to be made comfortable. He needs to be heard. I’ve dated 2 guys with kids that I have met and we got really close. It happened very organically, nothing forced, no pressure at all. They came to me, and left myself open for that to happen. Your son also knows this woman is a mom to a baby that is shared by the both of you. That has to be hard to wrap his head around right now. And he sounds like he is doing good. But any trying too hard to push together might drive them apart. Be open, be comfortable, don’t make anything about either of you, and things will progress

I don’t envy you wolfman. And my heart certainly aches for your kids. This is a time in your life where you are going to have to be completely selfless with your kids emotionally. Remember, this is hard for you, but the changes and turmoil they have gone through at their young ages are astronomical and in quite a short period of time. The adjusting will take a while
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/23/21 03:56 PM
A different tactic to try with questions for your daughter: "What was the best thing that happened to you this week? What was the worst thing? What are you most proud of? "

These kinds of questions let HER pick the reply - but they do require an answer. (She could say "I don't know" but seems less likely with this kind of question.) Does she ask YOU any questions?

School may be something she doesn't want to talk about if it's a problem area for her right now, which it might be.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/28/21 06:02 PM
Thank you for the responses, they are great. I will definitely try to find out more about her teachers. I will try anything. It’s just so sad the relationship we had and where we are now. I am trying so hard to not let it bother me, buts it’s tough. I have couple of things.

2 weeks ago I was in therapy with my d. At one point the therapist said she was going to go in the hall and get a cup of water. I was showing my d pictures of the fun times we had when she stepped out. She was literally out of the room for 1 minute. She came back in and I continued to show pictures and talk with my d. Later that night the therapist got a call from her mom saying my d was very upset she stepped out of the room and she was anxious. Here’s the thing, my d was fine the one minute she was gone. 2. My d has had no problem voicing how she feels about me and bashing me. My d could have told her she didn’t want her to step out, but she didn’t. She could of said after that, that made her anxious and upset but she didn’t. Before the phone call the therapist even said to me I bet I get a phone from her mom about stepping out of the room. The therapist said this shows a lot of the character of her mom. She said when she came back in the room my d looked perfectly fine. It once again goes to show what her mom is doing.

Friday I went and picked up my s from his moms home. I was parked on the side of the home and on the opposite side of the street. I see my s walking out of the house and my ex’s bf walk out behind him with a lit cigar. Walking next to my s while he is smoking it and walked him half way to me. Then walked back in the home with the lit cigar. I am so disgusted this man is smoking around my children and she is allowing it. It’s her home and I know I have no say what goes on in the home but those are my children too. I did t say anything because I know she would deny and cause an argument.
Lastly, my s had a basketball game on Sunday. We was with me for the weekend. His mom had his basketball shirt. So she gave it to him before the game and different sneakers to play in the game and he changed. He ran over to me before the game and gave me his shirt and sneakers. Ok fine no problem. After the game he went over to him mom to say goodbye, while he was saying goodbye there was another right after his, so 2 other teams where there and people in the stands. She made him take the basketball shirt off and his sneakers and made him run across the whole gym shirtless and shoeless in front of all these people. My s was so embarrassed. I have no idea why she wouldn’t let him wear his basketball shirt home with me. Or his sneakers. Or ask him to come over to me to get his shirt and shoes and change in the bathroom. She is a disgusting human being!!! I emailed her why she did that last night, waiting for a response.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/28/21 06:45 PM
Originally Posted by kml
A different tactic to try with questions for your daughter: "What was the best thing that happened to you this week? What was the worst thing? What are you most proud of? "

These kinds of questions let HER pick the reply - but they do require an answer. (She could say "I don't know" but seems less likely with this kind of question.) Does she ask YOU any questions?

School may be something she doesn't want to talk about if it's a problem area for her right now, which it might be.

I love kml's question about what are you most proud of. We did that with our girls when we were teenagers...ask them pointed questions rather than questions that could easily be answered with one word. We called it blessin' and lesson time where we would share blessings and lessons from our day. Their dad and I participated too to show good faith that we just wanted to chit chat and we weren't trying to pry into things that they might want to maintain privacy about, but just wanted an overall look into how their day went and what was good and not so good. Given the option to say few or now words, a teen will take that option EVERY time with a parent or authority figure. You just have to be creative to get longer answers.

As far as your post about the counseling stuff with D, you are certainly in a tough spot, as is your D. I'm not particularly a fan of Dr. Phil, but I do watch his show on occasion if I happen to be home when it is on because he does sometimes make good points. One point that I have heard him ask over and over and it is usually aimed at either parents or fighting spouses is "do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" I may have even said this to you before, can't remember, but Wolf, your posts here, at least in my interpretation as I read them sound like you spend a lot of time trying to get everyone to see your point of view and to agree that you are right. I think people have said to you repeatedly that you are NOT in your daughter's head so while she may APPEAR fine, you really don't know exactly what she's thinking when she is sitting in that room either alone with you or with the therapist and you. And, you said that she could've spoken up and said she didn't feel comfortable about being left alone, but think about that for a second. Most kids, in her spot, if they were TRULY uncomfortable being left alone, likely are not going to say that to anyone unless they feel about 10,000% safe and while your daughter may be ok with the therapist, she may still not have felt safe enough to say hey, don't leave me alone. You just can't assume anything. Honestly, I'm not defending or siding with your wife, but if I was sending my child to therapy with anyone and I found out the therapist left them alone in the room, even for a minute, I would want to talk to that therapist about why that happened. You need to focus on yourself and your relationship with your daughter and stop assuming what she is thinking or what she knows and stop making accusations against your wife. You can't control her. The quicker you realize and accept that, the smoother your road will be. All you can do is do YOUR BEST to connect with your kids and you may have to be the adult and meet them at THEIR level instead of trying to reason or force them up to yours.

As far as the deal with your son and his basketball attire. Yeah, that was a real d!ck move on her part. But, if you saw it happening, why didn't you go meet him halfway or closer or make some move to help him rather than just watching him walk across the gym half-dressed? Now, again, not defending or siding with your XW because there is NO excuse for that, but man, just help your kids out and be there for them. I know you are trying, but you almost need to act like she just doesn't even exist so that you can focus on them. You and your XW clearly cannot communicate effectively or co-parent, so just act as if. She's going to be who she is going to be and she's going to do what she is going to do and you can't change that. It almost seems like the more you try the harder she digs in.

I'm confused about why you were so upset about her bf smoking outside while he was walking part of the way to your car with your son. You don't owe me any kind of explanation of that so don't feel obligated to give one because they are your children and you have a right to choose what influences they have around them. I guess for me, that just seemed like something else that you wanted to be in control and wanted everyone to say you were right about, but it kind of seemed like a little thing. It would be different to me if he was in the car with them or in the house with them smoking in an enclosed space near them, but walking outside doesn't seem that bad to me. It makes me wonder how you would react if your current GF were a smoker. It also makes me wonder if you might see how some of your actions might be things that your XW doesn't care for her children being around, but you just haven't really thought about it. Your younger-than-you GF who you hadn't dated very long and by your own postings were strongly considering breaking up with got pregnant and now you have a child with this person out of wedlock. I would be a little leery of that around my kids, if I were in your XW's shoes.

I'm sorry this is long and harsh and judgmental and I really don't mean for it to be any of those things. My heart goes out to you and your children because it is clear you love them and want to have a good relationship with both of them. I'm sure there are a lot of things that I read and interpret incorrectly because I don't know you nor all the particulars of your situation. I guess I could probably actually go back and delete the bulk of this and just say, try to focus on yourself and your kids and stop worrying about being right about how awful your XW is and the horrible things she is doing because you really don't know what is going on from her end and even if you did, you couldn't control her. Stop fighting to be right and start fighting for your kids.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/28/21 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
I emailed her why she did that last night, waiting for a response.
Hi Wolf, I'm going to go out on a limb here and wager your intent wasn't inquisitive--e.g., "Hmm, I wonder if I should do that too?" You already have an antagonistic relationship with your XW that boils over onto your kids. You mention you have a protection order that prevents you from sending positive messages about her parenting or soliciting her advice on your relationship with D. It's odd it doesn't prevent messages like the above. I would probably try to drop all communications with her unless it's simple logistics or positive messages. I encourage the latter if you can. Easing tensions with your XW would be a cheap and very effective way to reduce parental alienation. And, frankly, she seems better at that game than you--which is a compliment. wink

Originally Posted by Dawn
I think people have said to you repeatedly that you are NOT in your daughter's head so while she may APPEAR fine, you really don't know exactly what she's thinking when she is sitting in that room either alone with you or with the therapist and you. And, you said that she could've spoken up and said she didn't feel comfortable about being left alone, but think about that for a second. Most kids, in her spot, if they were TRULY uncomfortable being left alone, likely are not going to say that to anyone unless they feel about 10,000% safe and while your daughter may be ok with the therapist, she may still not have felt safe enough to say hey, don't leave me alone. You just can't assume anything.
I was thinking exactly this. Consider how much easier it is to bash an ex than to admit when you're feeling uncomfortable or afraid--and to top it off this is a teen. My D16 also isn't comfortable expressing certain things in front of certain people. If I were her Mom, I'd be asking the therapist the same thing--"Why?" I'd be more comfortable hearing it was a test to see how you two handled being alone, and it won't happen again for a while than hearing she was just really thirsty.

Originally Posted by Dawn
I did t say anything because I know she would deny and cause an argument. I am so disgusted this man is smoking around my children and she is allowing it.
That's "Fortune Telling", but I agree you have not built a relationship with your XW that would allow you to offer constructive criticism and be heard. Imagine if you were on such terms, and able to see from her perspective as a loving mom--"I bet, like COVID, outside smoking isn't as bad as inside smoking." If you were in that place you might be able to share a May 2007 JAWMA article stating it's on par with inside smoking. She might take a look and decide for 2-minute walks to the car it's okay but she'll consider that the next time they're all sitting outside on the patio for thirty minutes or more.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 09/29/21 12:04 AM
The last quote I meant to attribute to Wolfman, not Dawn! Look, I don't love your XW's choice to take off his outfit in the bleachers so it stays at her place--but given the place you two are at now--I think you'll gain more influence with her by considering her point of view and building a relationship than pointing out perceived flaws and errors.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/19/21 09:15 PM
Hi Wolfman, been a month, how's therapy and life coming along?
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 01:37 PM
Dawn. The comment about the bf smoking was that he walked out of their home smoking a cigar. He just wasn’t smoking it outside. He also walked back in the home smoking. That’s where I have a problem. I guess you are right, that I fight to be right. I guess I have to prove that because there is so much stacked against me now, I feel like I am slowly drowning. Overall my depression has come back and it’s pretty bad.

Hey CW thanks for checking in. Things have been really hard. I was completely hurt 2 weeks ago at therapy with my daughter. At one point she mentioned that she is afraid of me. The therapist asked why? Her only response was that I yelled at her a few times when she was younger and that scared her. So the therapist asked was there anything else your father did to scare you? She said no. So I asked you are afraid of me? She said yes. I said it’s only because I yelled at you when you were younger. She said yes. I asked if she was afraid of anyone else? She said no. You said you are sure you are not afraid of anyone else only me. She said yes. I am sorry I had to bri g this up with the therapist so she could hear it. I said you are not afraid of your uncle (my ex’s brother). She said no. I said that is interesting I said so you are afraid of me for yelling at you but not your uncle who physically tried to beat up your mom in front of you? She had no response. I said or the time he punched a hole in the bathroom door of our house in front of you and your brother. Or the time he flipped a glass table and shattered it? But you are afraid of me because I yelled at you when you weren’t doing the right things. The part that hurt me was then her response. She said don’t talk about my mom and uncle. I said I am not taking about your mom I am talking about what your uncle did and that you are not afraid of that but are afraid of me raising my voice. She said that my family don’t talk about them like that. I said I am your father and I am your family too. That comment that’s her family makes me feel like I am nothing to my d. I just wanted to break down and cry right there. Afterward the therapist said to me privately, that shows her how bad the parental alienation is. That she is going to write a letter to all lawyers that she feels that this parental alienation and we need to have forensics involved.

For those of you not going through this, this is tearing me up. This is like the death of my daughter. And everytime I see her it just opens that wound again. This situation is destroying me. I am trying to stay strong, I am trying to be the best person but I am losing. Death would be easier because people understand death. In everyone else’s eyes, oh your daughter is there she will come around. No one can understand this pain because every says she is “here”. Even if she does I am losing so much time with my daughter that I will never get back. I don’t even like talking about this anymore. It just hurts more and more. And no one wants to hear about it. Parental alienation is so lonely and devastating.
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 02:00 PM
Wolfman,

Sorry you're going through all that with you daughter. As a parent I can imagine it would be heartbreaking. Hang in there and keep trying to be the best dad you can be.
Posted By: DejaVu6 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 05:44 PM
So sorry Wolfman. I can appreciate how hard this is. I really can. What you need to keep reminding yourself is that this IS parental alienation and not about anything you did or did not do. As difficult as it is, you need to step back from it and accept this is what it is right now. Forgive your daughter and forgive yourself. Yes…you are losing time with your daughter but there is plenty of time left. As long as you are consistent and steady in your presentation, she will eventually see that she is wrong about you.

Also…a word of advice… you really need to stop trying to logic her into feeling differently. Her feelings are her feelings and they are valid…to her…right now. As difficult as it is, you need to stop trying to defend yourself or point out to her how bad other people are. It will not change her mind in the least. It will only seem to her that you are getting defensive because she his right. When she says stuff like that, you just listen and say you understand…not that you agree…but that you understand. You can’t fight with someone who is refusing to fight with you. She is continuing to show up to these sessions and that’s a good thing. Your only goal during those sessions is to listen and validate and be consistently non-threatening and warm. Give her a different experience than what she is expecting…every time. Give up the need to be right. You are right and you KNOW you are. That’s good enough for now. It’s not fair. It’s an awful situation but it is what it is. Accept it. Work with it. Use whatever time you have with her to chip away at her beliefs by showing her she is wrong, not telling her. One question you need to ask yourself every single time is… “Is what I’m about to do going to pull her towards me or push her away?” If it is the latter, don’t do it. Your goal is to win the war, not the individual battles.

RE: your depression. I don’t know if you are seeing your own IC but you really should if you can afford it. You need to work through these feelings with a neutral party away from your daughter’s view. If you can’t go to an IC, than my advice would be to call your local crisis line when you just need someone to talk to. That’s what they are there for.

Best of luck my friend. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 07:14 PM
Hi Wolf,

Ditto DJ's comments.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
At one point she mentioned that she is afraid of me. The therapist asked why? Her only response was that I yelled at her a few times when she was younger and that scared her. So the therapist asked was there anything else your father did to scare you? She said no. So I asked you are afraid of me? She said yes. I said it’s only because I yelled at you when you were younger. She said yes. I asked if she was afraid of anyone else? She said no. You said you are sure you are not afraid of anyone else only me. She said yes. I am sorry I had to bri g this up with the therapist so she could hear it. I said you are not afraid of your uncle (my ex’s brother). She said no. I said that is interesting I said so you are afraid of me for yelling at you but not your uncle who physically tried to beat up your mom in front of you? She had no response. I said or the time he punched a hole in the bathroom door of our house in front of you and your brother. Or the time he flipped a glass table and shattered it? But you are afraid of me because I yelled at you when you weren’t doing the right things. The part that hurt me was then her response. She said don’t talk about my mom and uncle. I said I am not taking about your mom I am talking about what your uncle did and that you are not afraid of that but are afraid of me raising my voice. She said that my family don’t talk about them like that.

Originally Posted by Gottman
The third horsemen in the Four Horsemen is defensiveness, which is defined as self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victimhood in an attempt to ward off a perceived attack.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Minimisation, or downplaying the significance of an event or emotion, is a common strategy in dealing with feelings of guilt. That avoids acknowledging and dealing with negative emotions by reducing the importance and impact of events that give rise to those emotions.
I'm glad you're getting traction with parental alienation. I hope it bears fruit.

I get losing your D is a helluva punch to the gut and hope you are able to find counseling. I also hope to see you here more often. Your, my, and Andrew's stories tend to get lots of.. feedback.. lol.

Wolf, lots of good advice was offered last month on validating your D and building a relationship with her. You finally have these little slices of time with D. Use them wisely. I'd focus on your broken relationship with D rather than D's functioning relationship with XW and her family.

Minimization is a form of invalidation, the opposite of the validation DB encourages. When you say, "it's only because" you are minimizing her experience. Consider the alternative, "Wow, it really scared you when I yelled." As you try to understand her, you might discover it wasn't the yelling per se but your apparent anger, or it triggered memories of someone else yelling and what happened next, or whatnot. (Can you tell I've had not-too-dissimilar conversations with my daughter?) Validating helps you understand their experience and shows you care. You can validate her experience and still be "right" about whatever you want to be, e.g. yelling as an appropriate punishment for misbehavior when she was under your care. I do wonder if the qualifiers "a few times" and "when I was younger" came from her or you. If they came from you (e.g., after she gave three examples from 3 years ago), they're also minimizations.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 08:29 PM
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Validating helps you understand their experience and shows you care. You can validate her experience and still be "right" about whatever you want to be

What is more important, "Being Right" or improving your relationship with D? It is about relating to the other persons experience.


Wolf, I can relate to the parental alienation. Definitely at different levels. The hate campaign my ex wife had for me does not stack up the the hate campaign your X has for you.

Thankfully it sounds like you are shining a light on it and professionals are seeing it.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/20/21 11:33 PM
You have two goals in this therapy. One is to get the therapist to see your side - you've done that.

The other is to improve the relationship with your daughter - that, you're not doing so great at. While pointing out that other people have done more scary things may help make your case with the therapist, it does NOTHING to improve your relationship with your daughter. Being defensive and engaging in whataboutism is not going to help you with her. A better approach would have been validating (which, as demonstrated above, is not about saying "you're right" but about acknowledging her feelings "so, what I hear you saying is me yelling at you years ago scared you?" This could be topped off by "it was never my intention to scare you, I love you and only want what is best for you".

Now - there are two possibilities here with her saying that. One is that you yelling DID scare her and that effect has either lasted or been called back up in the current drama. And she's looking for reassurance that you won't do that in the future. The other possibility is that her mother told her "Go in and say you're scared of him then you can stay with me full time and won't have to visit that horrible ho he's with and see their misbegotten infant".

You cannot know which it is. I'd say 50:50 chance of it being A or B. So just assume that she needs validation and reassurance and offer her those.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/21/21 01:34 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Dawn. The comment about the bf smoking was that he walked out of their home smoking a cigar. He just wasn’t smoking it outside. He also walked back in the home smoking. That’s where I have a problem. I guess you are right, that I fight to be right. I guess I have to prove that because there is so much stacked against me now, I feel like I am slowly drowning. Overall my depression has come back and it’s pretty bad.

I'm so sorry you are going through all that you are going through. Others have given you some great advice and things to think about. I guess all I can add is that you are in therapy with your D and she is showing up, so that should be a win for you. At least she's coming, even if she is saying she's scared of you. I think it was Deja who talked about how when your D says she's scared, you need to listen and validate rather than try to turn the tables and prove how scary others are in relation to your yelling. This is what I'm talking about your fighting to be right. If you are fighting to be right to your daughter, it is NEVER going to happen and the more you dig in and try to get her to see that you are right, the more she is going to dig in and insist that you aren't and withdraw and defend "her family". Right now, you have to put your feelings aside and make your therapy all about her and her feelings and understanding them.

Your situation [censored] and my heart goes out to you. If you had a good co-parenting relationship with your XW a lot of these things would be easier to resolve, but clearly that ship has sailed, so you just have to continue to work to have a good relationship with both your kids. Keep going to therapy with your daughter. LISTEN to what she says and really hear her. Don't just listen for the sake of forming a response to "prove" how wrong she is. Her feelings are her feelings, regardless of whether you agree with them or not and trying to change her feelings is only going to bite you in the butt later. Listen, validate, say "I understand", "I'm sorry you feel that way", those sorts of things. I have said this to you before and it bears repeating: you are the adult and the dad in this situation, so be the adult! Don't stoop to trying to prove you are right or one-upping her by pointing out that you only yelled while her uncle made threats and broke things.

I will be honest, and I say this from a place of a woman who is and always has been a "daddy's girl". My daddy will ALWAYS be my hero and he will always be the man that every man in my life has to measure up to and let me just tell you, those are some mighty big cowboy boots to fill. Your daughter loves you. Your daughter is hurting. Your daughter is a teenager. She is hurt that you yelled at her for whatever reason (even if that reason was totally justified, as you were getting onto her for something or whatever...I'm not debating whether you yelled or why you yelled....doesn't matter). She's hurt by that because she loves you and she knows she disappointed you. Sure, she loves her uncle, but she might not think his actions are scary because she knows that her mother and you will keep her safe from her uncle. She's also a teenager and teenagers hold grudges and make poor decisions. My guess is her steadfastness in her claims that she's scared because you yelled at her are, at least in part, a way to "get back at you" for hurting her, choosing your girlfriend (another claim she's made against you). My point in all this is that while your XW may very well be doing some alienating, your daughter may be lashing out in every negative way she can think would hurt you just to get back at you for something she perceives as a slight against her, i.e. you chose your GF and new baby over her. (I'm NOT saying that is what you did, just saying that makes sense given that she's actually made that claim, according to your own story.) Of course, this is all purely speculation on my part, based only on the information you have provided, so it could be way off.

I guess my overall point is that I get you are in an awful situation and I feel for you. Just keep loving your kids and trying to be as good a dad as you can be. Listen, validate, make the times you have with them about them and their feelings instead of your need to be right and your need for EVERYONE to agree that you are the victim of parental alienation.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/21/21 09:54 PM
Wolfman, you wrote this one year ago--
Originally Posted by Wolfman
1. When I have a disagreement with my GF is to validate and not raise my voice. I can�t help it I am Italian. Lol Seriously though, try to stay calm even when the other person is yelling at me.
2. I have learned from here that a person�s feelings is their feelings and I don�t have right to tell them what they are feeling is wrong, ridiculous, makes no sense. That is how they feel in that moment and it is my job to understand and validate those feelings. Not easy for me but I am working on it.
3. Do I want to be right or happy? Instead of always trying to prove my point, just let it go and put my pride to the side and be happy.
4. Really try to express how I feel and how something is making me feel instead of just bottling it up or expect the other person to just know how I feel.
5. Most important, just learn to be happy no matter what life throws at you. These last 2 years have been the hardest years of my life, literally. I am always trying to find little bits of positive and happiness. It�s not easy, it takes work but it�s worth it.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 01:44 PM
Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I need to continue to work on the validation. I really stink at it. I guess a lot of times I am just astonished what my d says about me and what our relationship was. It’s hard to validate at times when they are complete lies. For example a couple of weeks ago, my d said, isn’t it true your gf does not get along with her parents or talk to them? How would I validate that, when it’s a lie? So I replied, I don’t know where you heard that but your brother met gf’s family the other day. We even went out to diner with her parents and her sisters family. So I am a little confused how you could say that? I definitely needed to clarify that. I know my d point is trying to say that my gf has problems with people, but it wasn’t true at all. Even the therapist chimed in and said d how can you say that when your brother has met them? Then my d backpedaled and said, oh s said he did meet them once. So I asked they why would you say that? She changed the subject. So yes, I feel I need to clarify certain situations. I guess I am not always sure when to validate and when to make a point. Does anyone have any suggestions for me how to make a conversation with my d? I ask about school, example, “Tell me about your last few days about school.” I try and use open ended questions to get more than a one word response. But she still cuts it short. She will respond, “it was ok.” I will say can you tell me something that stood out as funny or bizzarre? She will respond, no. I even tried 2 sessions ago to bring cards. I said let play some cards and chat. She refused. I try not to make it into an interrogation, so I try and tell her things that happened during my day. Nothing. Then the therapist will ask her to speak or say something; then she will attack me about something. Again, usually lies that I can disprove. With either texts, pictures or emails. So again, how do I validate attacks on me? I feel if I would have validated her with theses attacks I would look like a monster. Please help me with that everyone. Definitely a skill I am not good at or even understand. Being attacked with lies and sit there and validate and not defend.

More to come. Huge problem happened at therapy on Friday. My ex is out of her mind. I’ll write about it soon. Thank you everyone for sticking with me.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 03:58 PM
Friday I had therapy with my d. The therapist text the day before to come in a half hour earlier. I asked, just out of curiosity, why? Wasn’t sure if she wanted to see me first or if she just moved it up. She didn’t respond. I showed up on time and the ex and d were not there yet. I went into the office and she closed the door but left it cracked open. We started to talk about the week before and how it went. Then she asked me why I brought up the uncle 2 weeks before. A little puzzled because she was in There and we spoke about it 2 weeks ago why. So i started to explain it was to show her that my d claims she is afraid of me yet not afraid of my ex’s brother when I’m the past he physically attacked and we had to run out of her parents house. Well just as I said that, my ex and d walked into the building and she heard that. She opened the door, and started to yell at me in front of the therapist and my d I am not to talk her or her family. That this is slander and she is going to speak to her lawyer about this. And that I am a liar that he never did such a thing. I responded calmly, he never attacked you and we had to run out of your parents house? Her yelling still never, you are a liar!!! I said really l, what about him punching a hole in the bathroom door? She started to yell look what you have done!!! I said answer the question. Calmly, “did your brother punch a hole in the bathroom door?” Again yelling at me, what about what you have done!!!! Again I said calmly, I repeated the question. She replied angrily, yeah he did that but the kids weren’t around. I just responded, ok. Then she proceeded to yell, what about you? You put your hands on me!! I said never. And then to my complete shock and astonishment, she said what about you putting your hands on the kids. I said you are a complete liar. I said to the therapist, notice she is saying this all in front of my d. Continue to make a scene and lies in front of my d. The therapist finally escorted her out of the room and told her to calm down. The therapist also apologized to the ex because she said she was the one asking me that question and I was simply answering it for her. She asked my d if she wanted to continue, her response was she had no choice. Which implies that the ex is telling her that she will get in trouble because it is court ordered. I said I guess so, but the ex has to wait outside. Side note, the walls are thin and she sits right outside the door listening to our conversation. She yelled, she is not waiting outside she is staying right here. I said to the therapist then I will not speak unless she is outside and cannot hear our conversation. The ex yelled, I am waiting right here. The therapist said to her, how you go into another room for this session. And she escorted her to another room. At this point I was not in a good mood and my d. Even so, I tried. I took a long pause before I started. I asked her about school. One word answer. I asked about some of her friends. One word answer. So I realized this session was a wash. So I told my d. I love her very much and I am very sorry you had to witness that. I said I know you are upset right now and you don’t have to stay. She looked at me shocked, and replied really? I said, yeah babydoll you can go if you want to. She said thank you and got up and walked out. I spoke with the therapist again solo and made sure they left before we spoke. And she said she is calling my lawyer and writing a letter that there is parental alienation and that we need a forensic psychologist. She also said that she wants to have the family to go through a psychological evaluation. I said that is fine with me. She said besides the alienation there is a very unhealthy attachement with my d and ex. So this is where I am at.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I need to continue to work on the validation. I really stink at it. I guess a lot of times I am just astonished what my d says about me and what our relationship was. It’s hard to validate at times when they are complete lies. For example a couple of weeks ago, my d said, isn’t it true your gf does not get along with her parents or talk to them? How would I validate that, when it’s a lie? So I replied, I don’t know where you heard that but your brother met gf’s family the other day. We even went out to diner with her parents and her sisters family. So I am a little confused how you could say that? I definitely needed to clarify that. I know my d point is trying to say that my gf has problems with people, but it wasn’t true at all. Even the therapist chimed in and said d how can you say that when your brother has met them? Then my d backpedaled and said, oh s said he did meet them once. So I asked they why would you say that? She changed the subject. So yes, I feel I need to clarify certain situations. I guess I am not always sure when to validate and when to make a point. Does anyone have any suggestions for me how to make a conversation with my d? I ask about school, example, “Tell me about your last few days about school.” I try and use open ended questions to get more than a one word response. But she still cuts it short. She will respond, “it was ok.” I will say can you tell me something that stood out as funny or bizzarre? She will respond, no. I even tried 2 sessions ago to bring cards. I said let play some cards and chat. She refused. I try not to make it into an interrogation, so I try and tell her things that happened during my day. Nothing. Then the therapist will ask her to speak or say something; then she will attack me about something. Again, usually lies that I can disprove. With either texts, pictures or emails. So again, how do I validate attacks on me? I feel if I would have validated her with theses attacks I would look like a monster. Please help me with that everyone. Definitely a skill I am not good at or even understand. Being attacked with lies and sit there and validate and not defend.

More to come. Huge problem happened at therapy on Friday. My ex is out of her mind. I’ll write about it soon. Thank you everyone for sticking with me.

Hi Wolfman,

Validation has nothing to do with facts--it's recognizing your daughter's emotions like fear, anger, pain, etc. Feelings aren't right or wrong. Acknowledge them. Practice this on everyone. Active listening is where you repeat back your understanding of what someone says to ensure you get them correctly. It may be particularly helpful in turning off your right-fighting.

Originally Posted by Conversation
D: "isn’t it true your gf does not get along with her parents or talk to them?"
Wolf: "I don’t know where you heard that but your brother met gf’s family the other day. We even went out to diner with her parents and her sisters family. So I am a little confused how you could say that?"
D: "oh s said he did meet them once."
Wolf: "they why would you say that?"
Therapist: how can you say that when your brother has met them?"

You're so focused on the battle over whether D believes your opinions or your XW's opinions, you seem to be completely missing the battle over whether D wants a relationship with you.

Your D did phrase her maybe-accusation as a question. A simple response might have been, "Your brother and I saw gf’s family the other day. We went out to diner with her parents and her sisters family." Just answer her question by telling her what you saw. The more troubling bit of your dialogue was the "I don't know where you heard that.. how could you say that.. why would you say that?" Are you attacking her for asking a question--discouraging her from communicating with you? Are you trying to attack her mom by getting D to slip up and provide evidence for parental alienation--discouraging her from communicating with you? If your point in these sessions is a legal attack instead of building a relationship with your D, I wouldn't be surprised if mom stops taking her, or requests a change of therapist to one with a more neutral position.

Wolf, I would love to see you rebuild a relationship with your D. As long as you have these sessions, it's possible, so don't squander them on right-fighting. I highly encourage watching the 5-minute video by Brene Brown on empathy or picking up lengthier texts on communication. You can improve the way you interact with your kids. We all can.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 04:54 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Then she asked me why I brought up the uncle 2 weeks before. A little puzzled because she was in There and we spoke about it 2 weeks ago why. So i started to explain it was to show her that my d claims she is afraid of me yet not afraid of my ex’s brother when I’m the past he physically attacked and we had to run out of her parents house.
Really?! Wolf, we all called you on bringing up your uncle--it sounds like you still may not get why that was irrelevant and inappropriate in the context of that conversation. Wolf, I'm going to be blunt--I suspect the therapist's recommendation may not be as glowing as you hope. See if you can understand why you shouldn't have brought up your uncle. Show the therapist you get it. I'm worried you're going to lose these visits and then you'll be waiting much longer to patch things up with D.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
She opened the door, and started to yell at me in front of the therapist and my d I am not to talk her or her family. That this is slander and she is going to speak to her lawyer about this. And that I am a liar that he never did such a thing. I responded calmly, he never attacked you and we had to run out of your parents house? Her yelling still never, you are a liar!!! I said really l, what about him punching a hole in the bathroom door? She started to yell look what you have done!!! I said answer the question. Calmly, “did your brother punch a hole in the bathroom door?” Again yelling at me, what about what you have done!!!! Again I said calmly, I repeated the question. She replied angrily, yeah he did that but the kids weren’t around. I just responded, ok.
Wolf, what the hell?! Why can't you turn off the right-fighting, "calmly" or otherwise?! You really did this in front of your D and the psychologist making court recommendations?! That's not a good sign.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
I love her very much and I am very sorry you had to witness that.
Wolf, she didn't HAVE TO witness that. You could have stopped anytime.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
She also said that she wants to have the family to go through a psychological evaluation. I said that is fine with me. She said besides the alienation there is a very unhealthy attachement with my d and ex. So this is where I am at.
Wolf, I get you right-fought "calmy" while your ex right-fought by "yelling". I'd even go as far as saying that if you interact with her in a toxic way, she interacts with you in a super-toxic way. The problem is D is closer to XW. I don't see peace and R with D in your future until you learn to better control your side of the toxicity and stop throwing gas on the fire.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
She opened the door, and started to yell at me in front of the therapist and my d I am not to talk her or her family. That this is slander and she is going to speak to her lawyer about this. And that I am a liar that he never did such a thing.
How might I reply? "Hello <D>". Imagine if XW ranted and you focused on your reason for being there--connecting with D? And then the therapist explained that she had asked the question and escorted XW out and you had your session with D?
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 05:19 PM
Quote
So I realized this session was a wash. So I told my d. I love her very much and I am very sorry you had to witness that. I said I know you are upset right now and you don’t have to stay. She looked at me shocked, and replied really? I said, yeah babydoll you can go if you want to. She said thank you and got up and walked out.

This part you did right. You acknowledged her feelings and you showed your caring for her. You put her needs ahead of your own. You showed that you were the calmer, steadier parent (although it would have been better not to engage with your ex at all) and your ex will look bad by comparison - mom creates a scene in front of the therapist, dad is calm and acknowledges daughter's discomfort.

No guarantees - she might have just been happy to get out of the session - but if you're lucky, this episode of seeing the two of you contrasted together might just start to plant the seed in her mind that you're not the bad guy mom makes you out to be.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 06:26 PM
(as for how you should have responded when your ex showed up - I would have said nothing and let the therapist handle it).
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
I love her very much.. I know you are upset right now and you don’t have to stay. She looked at me shocked, and replied really? I said, yeah babydoll you can go if you want to. She said thank you and got up and walked out.
Yes, this part was well done, and I suspect gained some cred with his D.
Posted By: bttrfly Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/25/21 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Friday I had therapy with my d. The therapist text the day before to come in a half hour earlier. I asked, just out of curiosity, why? Wasn’t sure if she wanted to see me first or if she just moved it up. She didn’t respond. I showed up on time and the ex and d were not there yet. I went into the office and she closed the door but left it cracked open. We started to talk about the week before and how it went. Then she asked me why I brought up the uncle 2 weeks before. A little puzzled because she was in There and we spoke about it 2 weeks ago why. So i started to explain it was to show her that my d claims she is afraid of me yet not afraid of my ex’s brother when I’m the past he physically attacked and we had to run out of her parents house. Well just as I said that, my ex and d walked into the building and she heard that. She opened the door, and started to yell at me in front of the therapist and my d I am not to talk her or her family. That this is slander and she is going to speak to her lawyer about this. And that I am a liar that he never did such a thing. I responded calmly, he never attacked you and we had to run out of your parents house? Her yelling still never, you are a liar!!! I said really l, what about him punching a hole in the bathroom door? She started to yell look what you have done!!! I said answer the question. Calmly, “did your brother punch a hole in the bathroom door?” Again yelling at me, what about what you have done!!!! Again I said calmly, I repeated the question. She replied angrily, yeah he did that but the kids weren’t around. I just responded, ok. Then she proceeded to yell, what about you? You put your hands on me!! I said never. And then to my complete shock and astonishment, she said what about you putting your hands on the kids. I said you are a complete liar. I said to the therapist, notice she is saying this all in front of my d. Continue to make a scene and lies in front of my d. The therapist finally escorted her out of the room and told her to calm down. The therapist also apologized to the ex because she said she was the one asking me that question and I was simply answering it for her. She asked my d if she wanted to continue, her response was she had no choice. Which implies that the ex is telling her that she will get in trouble because it is court ordered. I said I guess so, but the ex has to wait outside. Side note, the walls are thin and she sits right outside the door listening to our conversation. She yelled, she is not waiting outside she is staying right here. I said to the therapist then I will not speak unless she is outside and cannot hear our conversation. The ex yelled, I am waiting right here. The therapist said to her, how you go into another room for this session. And she escorted her to another room. At this point I was not in a good mood and my d. Even so, I tried. I took a long pause before I started. I asked her about school. One word answer. I asked about some of her friends. One word answer. So I realized this session was a wash. So I told my d. I love her very much and I am very sorry you had to witness that. I said I know you are upset right now and you don’t have to stay. She looked at me shocked, and replied really? I said, yeah babydoll you can go if you want to. She said thank you and got up and walked out. I spoke with the therapist again solo and made sure they left before we spoke. And she said she is calling my lawyer and writing a letter that there is parental alienation and that we need a forensic psychologist. She also said that she wants to have the family to go through a psychological evaluation. I said that is fine with me. She said besides the alienation there is a very unhealthy attachement with my d and ex. So this is where I am at.
you know the Chinese saying that crisis = opportunity?

This crisis has created an opportunity for real healing. The therapist saw exactly what you and your children are dealing with. While I am sorry you, and especially your daughter, had to endure that, I am ecstatic that your wife showed her true colors in front of someone who can actually legally get the ball rolling to hold her accountable. Continue to keep your side of the street clean, despite the extreme provocation. You are in a great position, imho, right now.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 10/31/21 05:53 PM
Happy Halloween, Wolfman. I hope you make some wonderful memories this week with your son and little one. (:
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/14/21 02:21 AM
Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for the input. A lot of you talk about “right-arguing”. I don’t understand, am I never allowed to give my side of things? If someone makes up lies about me am I just supposed to validate? Sorry I wasn’t raised that way, to sit back and just take things. Look the therapist asked me a question about the previous session and I was simply answering it to her. I am certainly not going to sit back when someone attacks my character. Maybe that’s something you all do, but I won’t allow it. I made sure I did not raise my voice at all!! I spoke firmly and that was it. When someone is attacking your character you all just validate the lies?? Anyway.

The therapist wrote a letter to my lawyers that she is recommending a forensic psychologist and she included in the letter that she believes there is parental alienation. That’s the up side. She gave this to my lawyers a week ago. The downside the lawyers have not reached out to me that they received the letter. I even emailed 2 of the lawyers in the firm that are handling my case and no response, that was 4 days ago. I am very disappointed with this firm, I feel like they just wanted my money and haven’t really fought for me at all. I am speaking with a new lawyer on Thursday. The therapist writing this letter is huge for me and my lawyers are nowhere to be found. Nothing, from them. Ugh. In the meantime the therapist had said that she was going to stop therapy with my d and I until after forensics. But in the meantime now I have t seen my d in 2 weeks. This life is terrible. The only bright spot in my life is my s and baby. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t take it. Some days I am just so depressed. I miss my d and miss being with my children all the time.

The gf has become super overprotective of the baby. She doesn’t want anyone touching him. She really doesn’t want anyone over the house. She has a schedule for when he feeds, sleeps and change his diapers. We can’t deviate from that or she gets mad. For example, if the baby is taking a nap and it’s been 3 hours since he ate last, she will wake him up from a nap to eat. Even if he is not tired she puts him down for a nap because it’s been 2.5 hours. Then he cries sometimes for 10-20 minutes. I wanted to take the baby out to the store with me the other day and she wouldn’t let me. She said it was cashing her anxiety me taking him out. But when she went to get her nails done I told her I was taking him out, she was ok with that. Whatever she reads online that’s what we have to do, and even though I have 2 kids already most common what I say she doesn’t want to hear.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/14/21 10:32 AM
Wolf buddy all these years you still don’t understand validation lol.

Therapist: Wolf you stole the stapler from my desk!
Wolf: I understand you’re upset but I did not steal the stapler from your desk.

As for your GF it sounds like there are some control issues if she will only let you take the baby when it benefits her. Time to nip that in the bud.

Wolf your situation sounds horrible and I am really sorry. Just remember that bad runs don’t last forever and your situation will get better.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/14/21 03:17 PM
Your girlfriend is suffering from a postpartum mental illness - you need to speak with her doctors. Some women can suffer crippling anxiety or OCD in the postpartum period, akin to postpartum depression of postpartum psychosis. She needs help.

As for validation - it’s not about not defending yourself. It’s about hearing what your daughter is telling you and acknowledging her feelings. You have to get out of your defensive posture to do that.

You can validate without acknowledging wrongdoing.
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/14/21 03:20 PM
I wouldn’t doubt watching What’s happening between your kids and your ex is causing her to hold on super tight.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/15/21 08:07 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for the input. A lot of you talk about “right-arguing”. I don’t understand, am I never allowed to give my side of things? If someone makes up lies about me am I just supposed to validate? Sorry I wasn’t raised that way, to sit back and just take things. Look the therapist asked me a question about the previous session and I was simply answering it to her. I am certainly not going to sit back when someone attacks my character. Maybe that’s something you all do, but I won’t allow it. I made sure I did not raise my voice at all!! I spoke firmly and that was it. When someone is attacking your character you all just validate the lies?? Anyway.

You know, Wolf, you have gotten some REALLY good advice and comments here from some really wise folks and this is how you choose to respond. It is just beyond me. I may be in the minority here, but this response just proves what everyone is saying about how you are always trying to be right and make excuses. NONE of this is about how you were raised vs. how anyone else was raised and it was, quite frankly, kind of insulting to read the way you worded it. You can validate someone without accepting their lies and LH gave you a perfect example of how to do that, so I won't belabor that point. You say "maybe that's something you all do, but I won't allow it"....as long as you have that attitude, you will continue to NOT make progress with your d because I can pretty much guarantee you that she is as put off by that as I am and I am a complete stranger to you. Can you imagine how someone who loves you feels when you say stuff like that? You are always wanting to defend yourself, point out how others are wrong and you are right. Take a step back, take a breath, and make it about your daughter rather than yourself. Listen to her, tell her what you are hearing her say, respond with kindness.

As we have all acknowledged, you are in a crappy situation and my heart goes out to you for that. At some point, you have to see your own part in how all this has gone down and take responsibility for it so that you can make forward progress.

I don't have any specific references to give you, though I wish I did, but do some research on validation techniques and REALLY learn and understand them. I think that will help your communication with your d.

As far as your gf and the baby, I have to be honest, if I were a first-time mother and I saw the storm that you live under, I would be hesitant about leaving my baby with you too. Another situation where you need to learn to validate and communicate.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/15/21 09:38 PM
Seriously, everybody - his girlfriend isn't being just a little nervous. She is suffering from a serious postpartum anxiety disorder that often overlaps with postpartum depression. She needs medical treatment!!! Please stop minimizing it. Here's just an excerpt from an article on it:

"Everyone experiences anxiety differently.

But people with postpartum anxiety experience thoughts that are usually:

uncontrollable
racing
consuming
disrupting
overwhelming
recurrent
irrational (not logical or realistic)
frightening

These uncontrollable, consuming thoughts tend to center on a few major areas of worry, such as:

fears about the baby’s and one’s own health
fears about a parent or partner becoming ill or dying
a sense that something bad will happen
irrational obsessions or fears
blaming oneself excessively when something goes wrong or feeling excessively guilty

Postpartum anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, including:

unexplained exhaustion
trouble sleeping
trouble concentrating
increased irritability
muscle tension
feeling on-edge, restless, or wound-up
a rapid heartbeat
feeling panicky for no clear reason

Postpartum anxiety may make it harder for a person to bond with their baby. It may also negatively impact a baby’s mental and physical development. Left untreated, postpartum anxiety can also lead to serious negative consequences such as infant neglect and, in extreme cases, infant death. "
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/15/21 10:34 PM
I agree KML, but I think it’s seriously being exacerbated around the situation going on with her baby daddy. I don’t think it’s all irrational. I’m pretty sure she is scared as sh!t
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/15/21 10:39 PM
I didn’t minimize anything. Yes, she obviously has something going on but I am not a doctor and can’t diagnose or treat her over the internet. I was merely pointing out that, if I were in her shoes, dealing with ALL the stuff she is, I would likely be protective as well. Does that mean I think she shouldn’t seek medical help? Of course not! A professional might very likely be able to help her and guide her and make her feel more safe. None of us really know exactly what she or Wolf is dealing with because we aren’t walking in their shoes. My heart really does go out to all of them.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 02:15 PM
Originally Posted by wolfman
Look the therapist asked me a question about the previous session and I was simply answering it to her. I am certainly not going to sit back when someone attacks my character. Maybe that’s something you all do, but I won’t allow it. I made sure I did not raise my voice at all!! I spoke firmly and that was it. When someone is attacking your character you all just validate the lies?? Anyway.

Originally Posted by Dawn
You can validate someone without accepting their lies and LH gave you a perfect example of how to do that, so I won't belabor that point. You say "maybe that's something you all do, but I won't allow it"....as long as you have that attitude, you will continue to NOT make progress with your d because I can pretty much guarantee you that she is as put off by that as I am and I am a complete stranger to you.

Wolf, I get you're struggling with validation and when to deploy it. Validation involves recognizing and acknowledging someone else's feeling and their validity. If you Google, "Wheel of Emotions", you will see a list. Emotions are not logical arguments, so "validate the lies" is a non-sequitor, assuming we're discussing validation as DB and psychologists discuss it. There's a whole thread here on validation. There's also a great video by Brene Brown about Empathy.

Active Listening is another technique you should deploy to build rapport. This involves showing you understand what the other person is saying. "You're saying that your brother gets an oreo cookie every time he plays football, and you don't have an opportunity to play football, so he gets more oreo cookies and that's unfair." Here you actually are restating their logical argument. You are not agreeing (or disagreeing). You are showing that you get what they're saying.

Case #1: Your D - Yes, you should be actively listening and validating your D. It's a shame you didn't learn these techniques before your therapy sessions with her ran out. Life is long, so if you up your game, there's a good chance you'll get another shot down the line. Be ready! Practice these techniques on your friends and loved ones.

Case #2: Your XW - kml and I did not encourage you to validate or actively listen. We encouraged you to stay quiet and let the therapist deal with the crazy. This is in contrast to the right-fighting where neither of you prioritized your D. I get it probably feels unfair that your relationship with D is in a place where you have to be better than your XW.

Case #3: Your GF - kml is a medical professional and pointing out your GF's behavior shows warning signs for a mental health issue with consequences for your newborn. Encourage her to get checked out so she can get better if that's the case.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 05:14 PM
Omg, thank you all for your loving advice and support. I apologize for coming off so strong. This has been just near impossible for me to handle. I was not trying to offend even though it probably came across that way.
Originally Posted by LH19
Wolf buddy all these years you still don’t understand validation lol.

Therapist: Wolf you stole the stapler from my desk!
Wolf: I understand you’re upset but I did not steal the stapler from your desk.

You are absolutely right. I am terrible at it. I just feel there is so much lies being thrown at me i don’t know what else to do, other than defend. Question: the second part of the response you put for me with the stapler example, you said, “I did not steal the stapler from your desk.” That would still be me defending? That’s all I want to do I say, no I didn’t do those things that she is accusing me of.

Originally Posted by kml
Your girlfriend is suffering from a postpartum mental illness - you need to speak with her doctors. Some women can suffer crippling anxiety or OCD in the postpartum period, akin to postpartum depression of postpartum psychosis. She needs help.

As for validation - it’s not about not defending yourself. It’s about hearing what your daughter is telling you and acknowledging her feelings. You have to get out of your defensive posture to do that.

You can validate without acknowledging wrongdoing.
2 things here. You truly believe that it’s post partum depression? If so, I how do I say that to her without upsetting her. She is a very sensitive person.
Second can you give me and example. How should I respond to say something like this?
“Dad I have always been afraid of you and I never wanted to be with you.”
Just so you all know, not even close to being true. My d and I did so many things together. I have a million pictures of us together. I even have to defend myself here when I use that example. I just hate the picture she tries to paint of me.

Originally Posted by Ginger1
I wouldn’t doubt watching What’s happening between your kids and your ex is causing her to hold on super tight.

You are probably right!!

Dawn, I know it came across that way. I am just so frustrated, with everything in my life. I try so hard to make the people I love happy. I know I AM NOT PERFECT, I just don’t like drama, I don’t want drama, and I certainly want my d back in my life. It just hurts so much what my d says about me. I leave those sessions crying sometimes, thinking what happened to my baby girl? I just feel so eaten down that I always feel a need to defend now. It’s not right, I know and I am sorry to everyone on here.

I have to run, I will get to everyone else’s comments, I do t want anyone to think I am leaving g them out. Thanks again. I will be back on shortly to get to those other comments. Again I appreciate everyone sticking with me.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
I am certainly not going to sit back when someone attacks my character.
Why? I related recently an incident where I slowly convinced someone who was drunk to NOT drive home, and simultaneously a guy with anger issues followed us shouting and cursing. I didn't particularly care what he thought of me or the drunk--all he was to me was a potential threat to be aware of and possibly neutralize if he became physically aggressive. One's quickness to engage is distinct from one's ability to engage--consider the teachings of martial arts masters. What causes you to engage? Arguing with Mr. Anger Issues wasn't likely to change his opinion. Getting into a verbal or physical altercation wasn't likely to improve any of our lives. How has "not sitting back" served you? Like many defense mechanisms, maybe you needed that behavior at some point in your life. You can leave behind behaviors that no longer serve you.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 05:31 PM
Quote
You truly believe that it’s post partum depression? If so, I how do I say that to her without upsetting her. She is a very sensitive person.

It sounds like bad postpartum anxiety which can overlap with postpartum depression and sometimes progress to OCD or, rarely, psychosis. You might try speaking with her physician first - they cannot tell you things about her without her permission, but you CAN tell them what you're seeing and your concerns about it. You can also try gently mentioning to her that you think she may be experiencing some postpartum issues and perhaps she could speak to her doctor about it? Of course, telling women their hormones are off is dangerous ground for a man! Does she have a sister or mom that you could approach about this? Maybe coming from another woman she could hear it better? I have a good friend who had such bad postpartum anxiety that she never wanted to have another child. She was terrified she might accidentally hurt her child, or something awful might happen. I never knew the depths of her disordered thinking at that time until recently - this occurred 30 years ago.

Quote
Second can you give me and example. How should I respond to say something like this?
“Dad I have always been afraid of you and I never wanted to be with you.”

I'm so sorry you felt that way. I love you with all my heart and I never wanted anything but your happiness and safety. "
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
That’s all I want to do I say, no I didn’t do those things that she is accusing me of.
I would have to know what you are being accused of. Was it specific actions or how you made her feel?
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/16/21 06:42 PM
Originally Posted by Ginger1
I agree KML, but I think it’s seriously being exacerbated around the situation going on with her baby daddy. I don’t think it’s all irrational. I’m pretty sure she is scared as sh!t

Unfortunately, things going on around me definitely don’t help the situation, at all.

CW you are right I have trouble figuring out when and how to use validation. Thank you for the 3 case examples. I am trying, I not I am not doing well with the validation, I will continue using to work on that.
Originally Posted by kml
Quote
You truly believe that it’s post partum depression? If so, I how do I say that to her without upsetting her. She is a very sensitive person.

It sounds like bad postpartum anxiety which can overlap with postpartum depression and sometimes progress to OCD or, rarely, psychosis. You might try speaking with her physician first - they cannot tell you things about her without her permission, but you CAN tell them what you're seeing and your concerns about it. You can also try gently mentioning to her that you think she may be experiencing some postpartum issues and perhaps she could speak to her doctor about it? Of course, telling women their hormones are off is dangerous ground for a man! Does she have a sister or mom that you could approach about this? Maybe coming from another woman she could hear it better? I have a good friend who had such bad postpartum anxiety that she never wanted to have another child. She was terrified she might accidentally hurt her child, or something awful might happen. I never knew the depths of her disordered thinking at that time until recently - this occurred 30 years ago.

Quote
Second can you give me and example. How should I respond to say something like this?
“Dad I have always been afraid of you and I never wanted to be with you.”

I'm so sorry you felt that way. I love you with all my heart and I never wanted anything but your happiness and safety. "

Ugh. What else can I stack on my plate?? When does this end? I am just so mentally exhausted. I will take your advice and get her help. Unfortunately she is not close to her mom or sister. So I can’t use them. I am on my own with this. This should be real fun. I need to get this taken care of. She is having a hard time with having to move the baby to his own room and in his crib because he is starting to outgrow the bassinet and it’s in our room. I am trying to validate and understand it’s hard for her to separate. Thank you for the example how to answer my daughter. Still have a lot of work in that area.

Sorry I have to run again. I’ll be back on shortly. Thank you everyone. LH. I will give an example when I come back.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/17/21 03:26 PM
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Wolfman
That’s all I want to do I say, no I didn’t do those things that she is accusing me of.
I would have to know what you are being accused of. Was it specific actions or how you made her feel?
That she was never happy when she was with me. I have tons of pictures of so many things we did together having a good time.
Another that she doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone all the time. Yet, she the. Complained when she took a cruise with her mom I didn’t call her on the cruise. Huh?? So which is it? Claimed I was shoving my gf down her throat. Yet then complained that she really doesn’t know my gf?
When she was a little girl I would force her to go to the playground. That I wanted her to go when she was like 5-9 years old. We lived across the street from the elementary school so it was right in my “front yard”. She was asking me all the time to take her when she was little. Hope those help for examples.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/17/21 03:41 PM
I may be way off base here, but I had and survived 3 teenage daughters and this kind of stuff was typical for my girls at a certain age. One minute they would be saying they didn't eat breakfast so I was wasting my time cooking it for them and the next minute they were complaining I wasn't cooking them breakfast and they were "starving". Kids are kids are kids. Your situation is, of course, exacerbated by all the drama surrounding it, but you have to do your best to listen to what your D is saying to you and then validate it. Again, as many have pointed out, that doesn't mean taking blame for anything or admitting that you are doing anything wrong, but more just that you are actively listening to what she is saying. I can pretty much guarantee you that you will never "win" the girlfriend argument so your best bet there is to just listen to what d says and if she says you are shoving gf down her throat, tell her you are sorry she feels that way and ask what you can do to make it better. If she says she doesn't know your gf, ask her if she'd like to and how you might go about making that happen.

You have to go into adult active listening mode, not defensive the world is against me mode. Think about it like this.....you have been saying parental alienation all along and have been fighting to get others to agree with you and see it that way. If that is, in fact, what is going on, can you step outside of yourself for a minute and see how that puts your d in a bad situation if her mother is manipulating her?

She said she was never happy with you and you say you have tons of pics of y'all having a good time. That proves NOTHING. I have a ton of pics of me and my XH together, smiling, looking like we were having fun, just a month or so prior to our split. This is another time when you have to LISTEN to what she's saying and stop trying to prove that what she's saying is wrong. Ask her why she was unhappy, what made her unhappy, how you can help her find happiness. In short, make it all about her and helping her. You are the adult and you will have to compromise, but really digging in and listening to her and trying to see things from her perspective will go a long way to rebuilding your relationship.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/17/21 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
That she was never happy when she was with me.
W: Really? Those were sure some great times for me.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
Another that she doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone all the time. Yet, she the. Complained when she took a cruise with her mom I didn’t call her on the cruise. Huh??
W: I am really sorry baby, I didn't want to disrupt your vacation.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
Claimed I was shoving my gf down her throat. Yet then complained that she really doesn’t know my gf?
I agree with her on this one. You should have gave her time to adjust to the divorce.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
When she was a little girl I would force her to go to the playground. That I wanted her to go when she was like 5-9 years old. We lived across the street from the elementary school so it was right in my “front yard”. She was asking me all the time to take her when she was little. Hope those help for examples.
W: Really? Boy I sure do remember those great times we had at the playground.

Argumentative people are exhausting Wolf. Time to make some changes even if you have to eat some $hit sandwiches.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/17/21 04:34 PM
Originally Posted by Dawn70
I may be way off base here, but I had and survived 3 teenage daughters and this kind of stuff was typical for my girls at a certain age. One minute they would be saying they didn't eat breakfast so I was wasting my time cooking it for them and the next minute they were complaining I wasn't cooking them breakfast and they were "starving". Kids are kids are kids. Your situation is, of course, exacerbated by all the drama surrounding it, but you have to do your best to listen to what your D is saying to you and then validate it.

This is very true. I might be able to handle it better if my situation was a lot better. Not an excuse I am just mentally exhausted and spent. You are so right, I just want so bad for her to remember all the fun we had together. So, I try to get her to see that, but listening to all of you i see it's counterproductive with my approach. Honestly, I am so scared if I didn't defend myself that I would look like this monster in the therapists eyes.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
You have to go into adult active listening mode, not defensive the world is against me mode. Think about it like this.....you have been saying parental alienation all along and have been fighting to get others to agree with you and see it that way. If that is, in fact, what is going on, can you step outside of yourself for a minute and see how that puts your d in a bad situation if her mother is manipulating her?

I think I said this last time, The therapist wrote a letter to my lawyer that she suspects parental alienation and she recommends forensic psychologist. That's the other thing that is really bothering me. Mom in brainwashing my d and it's taking forever to get forensics. Forensics will show alienation and then I can get the appropriate therapist for my daughter. There is a nationally renowned therapist 15 minutes away (who has wrote books about this and spoken around the nation) from me that I could get my daughter to go to, to get her the appropriate therapy.

LH thank you for those. I will definitely use those going forward. The one I did use was:

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Another that she doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone all the time. Yet, she the. Complained when she took a cruise with her mom I didn’t call her on the cruise. Huh??
W: I am really sorry baby, I didn't want to disrupt your vacation.

I said something very similar. I didn't want to call because you were on vacation and didn't want you to worry about getting to a phone. I just wanted you to enjoy your vacation.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 11/17/21 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
This is very true. I might be able to handle it better if my situation was a lot better. Not an excuse I am just mentally exhausted and spent. You are so right, I just want so bad for her to remember all the fun we had together. So, I try to get her to see that, but listening to all of you i see it's counterproductive with my approach. Honestly, I am so scared if I didn't defend myself that I would look like this monster in the therapists eyes.
It is NOT your job to work the therapist. It is your job to listen and engage with the therapist and to try and listen and engage with your daughter under the direction of the therapist. If you have a good therapist, it is not his or her place to judge whether or not you are a monster and that kind of seems like an excuse to continue to try to prove you are right by defending yourself. Let the therapist do their job and you just listen and validate. Drop the defensive posture and see if you make some headway.


Originally Posted by Wolfman
I think I said this last time, The therapist wrote a letter to my lawyer that she suspects parental alienation and she recommends forensic psychologist. That's the other thing that is really bothering me. Mom in brainwashing my d and it's taking forever to get forensics. Forensics will show alienation and then I can get the appropriate therapist for my daughter. There is a nationally renowned therapist 15 minutes away (who has wrote books about this and spoken around the nation) from me that I could get my daughter to go to, to get her the appropriate therapy.
Yes, you have said that before...several times in fact. Things will move however fast the therapist and courts push them to move, so what you can do in the meantime is do your best to just be stable and keep showing up for your d and listen and validate. Of course it is mentally and physically exhausting! It feels that way for you, think about how it feels for your d, who is being pulled in 2 very different directions. She wants to please both of you but she's in the middle so she's lashing out. It's a tough situation for all of you for sure.


Originally Posted by LH19
Argumentative people are exhausting Wolf. Time to make some changes even if you have to eat some $hit sandwiches.
SO. MUCH. THIS! I totally agree with LH. You are going to have to put your big boy pants on and suck it up, buttercup and adult your way out of this one. Arguing about being right or trying to convince d to see things from your perspective is about as beneficial as repeatedly bashing your forehead into a brick wall.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/03/21 02:39 PM
Hello everyone. Hope you all had a great thanksgiving.
I have just been really lost lately. The therapist wrote the letter and it was a bad one. Pointing out that I am the one who wants the forensic psychologist, that I mention parental alienation to her but doesn’t mention that she sees it too, that my daughter and I have made no progress which is true. The incident where my ex came barging in didn’t really mention that. On top of this I am running out of money. I went to another lawyer because my lawyer is not getting back to me. I called and emailed numerous times and have heard nothing from them. This new lawyer I met with told me a forensic psychologist is very expensive and the letter the therapist wrote, my ex’s lawyer could make me pay for it all. That is between $8k-$15k. In the meantime the therapist stopped therapy with my d and I. I haven’t seen her in a month. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have money for a new lawyer. The forensic psychologist is too expensive for me. After that letter the therapist wrote I don’t want to use her anymore. That letter was not at all what she has been telling me privately. I am so tired of all of this. I don’t know what to do. I am just dumbfounded how my ex has continued to get away with all of this. I do I continue when I don’t have the money??? I am so depressed.
Yet my baby is amazing and I try so hard not to let that situation affect how I am with my gf and baby. My gf cracks me up, because she only goes by what she reads in books and online. For example. She insists on putting the baby to bed at 6:30 every night. Yet complains that he wakes up 2 times a night. I tried to tell her what worked for my other kids about keeping them up later so they sleep later. She also breast feeds and I am sure he is hungry, I suggested give him a bottle of the milk she pumped and putting some cereal in it. Nope she refuses. I want to say to her, the. Don’t complain you haven’t slept in 6 months when this worked for 2 of my children at this age.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/04/21 01:51 AM
I’m so sorry about the situation with your daughter. You may have to accept that for a while, you may need to sit back. Continue to make appropriate attempts to reach out, buy her nice Xmas presents, tell her you love her, but work on accepting the situation too. You can’t force her - this will be more like coaxing a squirrel to eat from your hand. Patience, patience. Kindness. She’s hurting, she feels betrayed and replaced. She might also feel like mom “needs” her to take her side.

Kids change. Without focusing on resisting you, she might eventually turn more of her teenage rebellion on mom. Heck, she might come to you a couple of years from now and ask to live with you. Just be steady, loving and supportive but don’t push.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/06/21 07:41 AM
Hi Wolfman,

I'm sorry to read this development. Sending warm holiday wishes to you and yours. I would have replied sooner but my own situation has been quite active lately--good and bad. wink

I think you may still have a shot with your daughter in the nearer term. Clearly, trying to "win" in court is cost-prohibitive, and being "right" isn't scoring with your daughter or psychologist. Your psychologist says you and your D aren't making progress, as you kinda knew. You need to change something if you want a different outcome.

Is this the moment you stop arguing your points and listen to and validate your D? If so, TELL the psychologist that, so they know the next few visits could be more productive and might be worthwhile, then follow through. If they agree no big costs, and another shot at rebuilding a relationship now instead of in a couple of years from now.
Posted By: DejaVu6 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/07/21 12:10 AM
Time and distance will help Wolfman. Keep reaching out when you can. Validate her feelings when she expresses them - especially when you don’t agree. This is not a win-lose situation. It’s a win-win or lose-lose and you have more power in this than you think you do. I don’t think I would waste time going down the parental alienation route. Even if the world agrees with you, how would that change the situation with your daughter? Would she suddenly feel differently? I highly doubt that she would. You need to accept where she is at and go from there. Show her that you are not the person she thinks. Keep your temper in check, resist the need to defend yourself or argue with her, do NOT talk about her mom and mom’s bf, etc… Focus on your other kids and when you see your daughter, even if it is just in passing, make sure you are warm and friendly towards her. Eventually she will get curious and start to question her beliefs about you. This will not last forever. Feelings change and hers will too. Just be as patient as you can possibly be and let her lead the way. If her mom is as manipulative as you say she is, your D will eventually see that and start to question things. This will be on her timeline, though, not yours. Best of luck. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/31/21 02:01 PM
Hello everyone. It had been a while. Hope everyone is trying to enjoy these holidays.

KML, Dejavu, and CWarrior. I am sure you are all right. That I can’t make her come back. It is just so hard. I am losing so much time with her. I am missing her growing up. I don’t get that time back. I am trying g to get back with the therapist and do what everyone says, validate and just listen. I just always felt I needed to prove myself. Be back soon gotta run.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/31/21 02:33 PM
(((((W)))))
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 12/31/21 03:58 PM
Wolfman,

Sorry about the relationship struggles with your daughter. That must be incredibly difficult as a father.

With the New Year ringing in tonight resolve to continue validating and listening in 2022 and have hope and faith things will improve.

Good luck.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 02/22/22 07:48 AM
Hi Wolfman,

Been a few months! Long time, no see. I hope you were able to follow-through on the changes you were planning (another try with the therapist, validating vs. proving) with good results.
Posted By: DejaVu6 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 02/22/22 10:21 PM
I echo what T said Wolfman. I just had a brief blow up with D14 and it was pretty intense so I can see why this has been so incredibly difficult for you. Hopefully things have improved for the two of you. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/17/22 04:18 PM
Hello everyone it’s been a while. A little update. I haven’t seen or spoke to my daughter since October. I reached out to the therapist to start up therapy again. But she has said we need forensics but I don’t have the money for that. So, I said can’t we just try again and I haven’t heard from her in months. I give up. Hopefully one day she will come around.
The baby is almost 10 months now and he is just awesome. I am truly enjoying him. Gf is amazing with him, she is just a little over protective to the point we do argue sometimes about things. But I have learned, it is her first, let her do it this way. I learned a long time ago on here do I want to be right or happy. I choose happy. My son loves his little brother and really enjoys playing with him. It is so nice to see, and what a change from when his mom was poisoning his mind that, that he was not his brother to love being with him.
I have learned that this is my life and just deal with a lot.
The ex still makes waves and problems but I learned that will be how she is probably forever. Just not let her ruin my life or day. More to come it’s great to post again. How is everyone?
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/17/22 05:32 PM
Wolfman,

Very sorry to hear about you not seeing or talking to your daughter. As a father that must be incredibly difficult. Do you not have custody at all, or is she over 18?

Glad to hear your baby is doing well. Time certainly does fly, doesn't it.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/17/22 05:38 PM
Wolfman -
Why not keep a journal, where you document your attempts to reach her and your feelings of how much you miss her and worry about her? Then when she's older and wonders why you didn't try harder, you can provide her with the proof.

Also, please just keep sending birthday and Xmas presents for her - I hate to make your son the go between, but if you are concerned about your ex hiding the presents from your D, it might be best to send them home with him. An Easter basket of candy would be a good idea too. Even if she doesn't acknowledge it, it will show her you haven't forgotten her.

I'm glad your son is enjoying the baby.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/17/22 09:27 PM
It’s incredibly hard. I am just slowly getting numb to it. I am not allowed to reach out to her or contact her unless it’s under the directive of the psychologist. So on the holidays I just send a card with my son. I did for Christmas, thanksgiving and valentines. From my understanding I could technically “get in trouble” I doubt a judge would do anything for me sending holiday cards. I also did keep a journal. I haven’t wrote in it in a while. Honesty speaking, I want to erase her from my memory cause it just hurt so much. But like I said, just getting numb to the idea “I don’t have a daughter”. All my friends just keep telling me eventually she will wake up. But when? I am missing so much of my daughters life. Honestly I just try and focus on the people In front of me now. My gf, son and baby.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/17/22 11:36 PM
She’s a child - please don’t give up on her just because it hurts. She will come back at some point and being able to show her you continued to care for her will be essential to healing your relationship.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/25/22 01:25 PM
I will never give up on my d. I am just giving her the space that she wants. I tried for a long time to force her to be with me. Obviously, that was counter-productive. It will have to be on her time, whenever that is. It just stinks that I am missing out on so much of her life. Also, I looked online and saw that her grades have drastically dropped. Saddens me. When I was involved I made sure to help her and keep her grades up. At least I still have my son and we have a good relationship. His grades are great!! He told me he will be in 4 honors classes next year. I am so proud of him!!!!
Posted By: DejaVu6 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/25/22 02:04 PM
Really sorry to hear your D hasn’t come around Wolfman. I agree with others. She will one day when she is older and a bit more mature. Just keep being a steady presence in your sons’ lives. You can’t control what she does…just what you do. Keep the door open. Find ways to let her know she is not forgotten. Keep being the best Wolfman you can be. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: MLCxH Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 03/25/22 05:45 PM
Hi Wolfman,
Sorry to hear about \your sitch.

I had a thought - I am not sure if it is the right thing for you, but I wanted to share it anyways: Have you considered reaching out to your WAS with a request to help you and your D meet? This will need to be a sincere request and you will likely have to bear insults and meet D on the terms of WAS. Perhaps she can bring D to public place and you can meet her with WAS or a therapist present? Even if it is for one minute to say hello, it will be worth it. In her heart, your WAS knows that your D will benefit from seeing her father so if you can speak without egos in the way, it may strike a chord.

On the flip side whatever WAS says, you cannot get provoked into a negative or defensive reaction. This will require you to keep your mouth shut and listen if something unpleasant is said. It will be very humbling and probably even insulting but it may be a sacrifice that is worth at least getting to see your D. You may also have to ask multiple times till WAS vents and gets less angry before she agrees.

If meeting her is not possible, see if you can at least write your D a letter and send it with a gift to WAS. You can even keep the letter simple letting her know how much you love her. Perhaps send one letter every week. Keep a copy of the letter with you - if WAS does not give it to her, your D can at least see in the future that you tried.

I am not sure if there are any legal complications that stop you from doing this. I am not sure if you are even comfortable reaching out to WAS in this manner. In short, I don't know if this is the right approach. However, what I do know is that when egos are hurt, sometimes it requires one person to swallow their pride and offer a truce to defuse the tension, even if the person doing this is the aggrieved party.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 04/11/22 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
Really sorry to hear your D hasn’t come around Wolfman. I agree with others. She will one day when she is older and a bit more mature. Just keep being a steady presence in your sons’ lives. You can’t control what she does…just what you do. Keep the door open. Find ways to let her know she is not forgotten. Keep being the best Wolfman you can be. (((HUGS)))

Thank you. It’s hard but I am trying to be the best for my boys.

MLC. I can’t speak to my ex because she is the one who ruined the relationship. Second, I can’t do anything towards my d because my ex fought hard so I couldn’t. I can only speak to her through the therapist. But the therapist stopped it months ago. I reached out to her about starting g therapy again, but she hasn’t responded. I am stuck. So for holidays I send her a card. Technically I could get I. Trouble for that but I want her to know I still love her. I would think it would be hard for a judge to be mad at me for giving my daughter a card on holidays. It really really stinks. Sometimes it hits me that I have d I can’t see or talk to.
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 04/12/22 01:34 AM
Wolfman,

How old is your daughter? If under 18, it sounds like your ExW has full custody? If so, how did that happen?
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 04/13/22 04:54 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
MLC. I can’t speak to my ex because she is the one who ruined the relationship.
A reminder--you CAN be kind, humble, and extend an olive branch towards your XW. The "right fight" with your XW and D has finished--she got sole custody. You're done arguing in front of the judge and therapists.

Have you taken up the idea of continuing to write your daughter weekly or monthly so when she's an adult and chooses to resume contact you can show her you never forgot or stopped caring?
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 01:38 PM
Hey everyone. It’s been a while. My d is 14. Still haven’t seen or spoken to her since October. And of course now in my life, I am having problems with my current gf. She is having a hard time “sharing” me with my s. He is 12. It’s a constant stress for me. She feels like I am putting her 2nd. The thing is I don’t make anyone number 1. I try to make everyone a priority. In doing so, I am completely stressed out. My gf is very immature and does not know how to let go of past hurts. Example, a year and a half ago. Judge order CPS to go to my home and the ex’s home. The day CPS was going to her home, I was supposed to get my s. She kept him there (he had a cold). Now keep in mind CPS came to my house first and spoke with my s in private. And everything was fine. At her house he was forced to lie by his mom, and said some things about my gf. She can’t seem to let it go. And she holds on to that tightly. Bringing it up on occasion, why sometimes she won’t do things for him or go to his basketball games. It has literally got to a point, if I don’t agree with her or do what she wants it becomes and argument. I am reaching my breaking point in this relationship. She actually said to me the other day my opinion doesn’t matter. It was about the baby napping. Her reason was she is home all the time with the baby and she knows what’s best for him. I don’t know what to do anymore. This is no way to live. Stress from the ex. Stress from the current one. Oh and in the last year there is nothing going on in the bedroom. So many of you were so right, there were red flags but I was so broken and it just felt good someone showing interest in me.

Side note the baby is a year old in 2 days.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 02:37 PM
Have you been to relationship counseling with gf? If not, I recommend you try to find a good therapist and go with her. Having an outside adult who hopefully can help straighten things out would be good. Even if you don’t stay together it could help you deal with each other in the future.

Her behavior towards your son is childish and immature. At the same time, she doesn’t need you mansplaining what she should do with the baby’s naps when she IS the one home with him all day.

And I do have some sympathy for the mess she found herself in too. She wanted to be that young couple starting out in love, married, experiencing everything together for the first time as a family. What she stepped into instead was a shaky relationship with a guy who has responsibilities to his first family, wasn’t crazy about having another kid, wasn’t sure about the relationship with her. This is not your fault - she just didn’t think this through and the pregnancy took you both by surprise.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 02:45 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Hey everyone. It’s been a while. My d is 14. Still haven’t seen or spoken to her since October.
That is tough Wolf and I am sorry to hear.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
And of course now in my life, I am having problems with my current gf. She is having a hard time “sharing” me with my s. He is 12.
Yeah being divorced with young kids is tough. Decisions can not be made lightly.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
It’s a constant stress for me. She feels like I am putting her 2nd. The thing is I don’t make anyone number 1. I try to make everyone a priority. In doing so, I am completely stressed out. My gf is very immature and does not know how to let go of past hurts.
Most of us ended up here because our exs couldn't let go of past hurts.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Example, a year and a half ago. Judge order CPS to go to my home and the ex’s home. The day CPS was going to her home, I was supposed to get my s. She kept him there (he had a cold). Now keep in mind CPS came to my house first and spoke with my s in private. And everything was fine. At her house he was forced to lie by his mom, and said some things about my gf. She can’t seem to let it go. And she holds on to that tightly. Bringing it up on occasion, why sometimes she won’t do things for him or go to his basketball games.
I feel sorry for your son.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
It has literally got to a point, if I don’t agree with her or do what she wants it becomes and argument. I am reaching my breaking point in this relationship.
Sounds like a lack of respect here. You definitely have things to consider.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
She actually said to me the other day my opinion doesn’t matter. It was about the baby napping. Her reason was she is home all the time with the baby and she knows what’s best for him. I don’t know what to do anymore. This is no way to live. Stress from the ex. Stress from the current one. Oh and in the last year there is nothing going on in the bedroom.
Yikes. Sounds horrible and more baby momma drama in the future.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
So many of you were so right, there were red flags but I was so broken and it just felt good someone showing interest in me.
When you are in the thick of it you tend to ignore the red flags or downgrade them to yellow flags. The problem with that is you can ignore reality but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Side note the baby is a year old in 2 days.
Happy birthday lil wolfman!
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 03:48 PM
Also:

Quote
Oh and in the last year there is nothing going on in the bedroom.

Unless you have had a vasectomy, perhaps this is for the best? You really don't want to make another baby with her, do you?
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by kml
Have you been to relationship counseling with gf? If not, I recommend you try to find a good therapist and go with her. Having an outside adult who hopefully can help straighten things out would be good. Even if you don’t stay together it could help you deal with each other in the future.

Her behavior towards your son is childish and immature.
I am currently looking for a therapist. I actually emailed one yesterday. Haven’t heard back yet. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, on both ends. Second her behavior is very childish and immature. I’m also going to speak with her father. I saw him the other day and we spoke briefly. I almost laughed because he said, I don’t know how you deal with her. But like I said earlier he is the only person she might listen to, besides hopefully the counselor.
Also, how can you say she doesn’t need me mansplaining? I don’t have a voice when it comes to my baby? Granted she is the one with him, I have also done this twice already.

LH thank you for those words. I let my hurt cloud my thinking and judgement. I was in awe because she is young and beautiful. But like a lot of you have said, the flags were there, I just ignored them. I want to make this work. I really do. Like I said I need to work on some things, like trust now. My divorce made me not trust anyone. Also still working on communication. She needs to listen to me once and a while, I don’t mean just take my suggestions or advice into consideration. Have some respect for me. And just try and show me a little love. You know, it’s like, since I am a man, I just have to be tough. I have expressed to her my love language is touch, but all I get when I say anything which is rare, all I care about is $ex and that she is emotionally not there. Ugh so I think I will be back. This place really helps me a lot. Just knowing I can voice my problems and it be a safe space is great. I don’t trust anyone with my problems, meaning someone to talk to.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by kml
Also:

Quote
Oh and in the last year there is nothing going on in the bedroom.

Unless you have had a vasectomy, perhaps this is for the best? You really don't want to make another baby with her, do you?

NO!!! Lol
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 04:04 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
You know, it’s like, since I am a man, I just have to be tough.
What do you mean you have to be tough?

Originally Posted by Wolfman
I have expressed to her my love language is touch, but all I get when I say anything which is rare, all I care about is $ex and that she is emotionally not there.
Did you ask her how you can get her to open up and connect with you on an intimate level?
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 05:06 PM
Quote
I have expressed to her my love language is touch, but all I get when I say anything which is rare, all I care about is $ex and that she is emotionally not there.

Sex and physical touch are not the same things. Clarify to her that you're talking about handholding, hugging, snuggling etc. Also - what are HER love languages and are you speaking them?

As for the nap debate - an exhausted mom caring full time for a toddler (the HARDEST job I have ever done, and that's saying a lot!) is not going to think you correcting her about nap time is helpful. You may have had kids before but she is the one on the ground doing the work during the day. I can see where she would object to your input on that, especially if it makes her feel like you are coming off as a know-it-all (and unless you were the primary caretaker home full-time with your other two kids when they were this age, you DON'T know it all and are just comparing what she does with what your exW did, which is gonna come off even worse).

As for the bigger picture - does she even express wanting to be in a relationship with you in the future, or do you think she is just staying for now because it's the only practical thing financially? Do you think she will be open to couples counseling?
Posted By: OwnIt Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 06:41 PM
Wolfman, I'm sorry that things feel so out of kilter for you now and it is difficult to discern the path that would be best. A couple of things from your post really stood out for me. The first--I would not want to date a man that would put me before his children (and definitely not one who asked me to put him above mine). But also I would not want to date a man who keeps a list of the order he puts people in. Love and support are not an ordinal position. As you said, you give what you can to those who matter in your life. Sometimes this person needs more of our time, sometimes that one does. While time is finite, love is infinite.

This is starting to look like lots of decisions (maybe unnecessary and/or at least ones that don't need to be made now) and lots of walking on eggshells. Not a way to live. How about since the current way is not working (what would you call this one anyway--trying to hold all the sand as it slips through your fingers?), you try a new one. One that looks like this: Wolman, how do you want to show up in your own life? Are you confident enough to decide that for yourself? Are you strong enough to fight for that guy (and let go of the fear that does not serve you? ) Can you be your own compass? I find this helpful because it is not a reflection of where we are now (which we may not like) but it helps us start walking toward the path we want to be on so that we can actually get there. It is aspirational, the best of us.

I found that when I started down this path (and not one that you need ever explain to anyone else), things tended to sort themselves out). The people I wanted with me followed right along with me (and celebrated the ease and happiness they saw in me). We have easier relationships, more open ones. Some of the people I struggled to have in my life I decided to let go of and I lost one person who needed me to behave a certain way for her to be ok (one that was contrary to how I want to show up in my life) so I was ok with the loss of her and wish her nothing but the best.

When we take out of our lives a "plan" and we let things happen organically, we lose that white-knuckle feeling (that things are not where they are supposed to be). When we let other people decide if they want to be a part of our life as we authentically show up, it becomes easier to let go of them if they chose not to and embrace them if they do. Some people are just not "want" matches with us. They never will be, no matter how hard we try to force it. Either they can't meet us where we are or they resent us for having to try to.

I disagree on the counseling. But I will tell you I have a pretty negative bias against it now (except for folks with mental health issues). Everyone I know who went to relationship counseling is out of the relationship and the money they spent on it. There are so many great resources to be had (books, podcasts, seminars, etc.) that anyone who truly wants to dial into them can access them--just as we all found this site through Michele's books. I never looked for this stuff when I needed it, now its my favorite reading. New things to aspire to, more things about myself I'd like to improve.

You truly cannot change other people unless they want to change (so it is really them changing themselves); but if you so desire, you can change almost anything about yourself. Just like eating an elephant, you take it one bite at a time.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 06:54 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
She actually said to me the other day my opinion doesn’t matter. It was about the baby napping. Her reason was she is home all the time with the baby and she knows what’s best for him.
Originally Posted by kml
mansplaining
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Also, how can you say she doesn’t need me mansplaining? I don’t have a voice when it comes to my baby? Granted she is the one with him, I have also done this twice already.
Trust her, if you've entrusted her with caring for the baby during the day. I get you're passionate about the best way to do things. Apply these when it's your job. Apply these when you're asked for advice. Be sparing with unsolicited advice on how others do their job. With respect, lead by example. Show her you respect how she does the role you entrusted her to do. Obviously, unless she's doing something that borders on criminal neglect, abuse, etc.!!

Big picture, Criticism is one of the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
She needs to listen to me once and a while, I don’t mean just take my suggestions or advice into consideration.

Consider this advice from a therapist--

Originally Posted by "Sharon Martin, LCSW"
Repeatedly giving unsolicited advice can contribute to relationship problems. Its disrespectful and presumptive to insert your opinions and ideas when they may not be wanted. Unsolicited advice can even communicate an air of superiority; it assumes the advice-giver knows whats right or best.

I have homework for you! Would you consider giving NO advice or opinions for a month EXCEPT when requested OR when talking to dependents (children, employees)?
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 07:02 PM
While I agree Own that bad counseling is worse than no counseling at all, I still think that there are some good ones out there, and any counselor worth their salt would probably call each of them on some of their stuff, which could be useful. Having a therapist tell her that expecting him to put his kids from his first marriage behind her and her kid would have a lot more useful impact than him saying it, if she can hear it.
Posted By: OwnIt Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 07:35 PM
So part of the problem I have with that is that it turns the counselor into a judge, weighing in on the wants or needs of the parties, and delivering with weighty authority the verdict about who is right and wrong (or even worse brow-beating one party into agreeing with the other). We'd never let a lawyer represent both sides in a transaction, why do we let counselors? At least with mediators there is an understanding that it won't be a "right" position and a "wrong" one, only a mediated one. There is no correct answer on most of this, only people's positions, perceptions, and yes, the dreaded feelings. (So perhaps find a mediator trained as a marital counselor or a counselor who specializes in mediation).

If someone thinks the kids from a first marriage should come first or even on the same plane as subsequently born children, that is his position, and a reasonable one. If he isn't sure and can't get there through self-reflection, or doesn't feel strong enough to self-advocate, then maybe individual counseling could be helpful in problem solving and self-advocacy (but the internal resolution should still be his own). I think we forget how little training these folks actually get and that most of them try to hold themselves out as specialists in every possible issue (read some of their profiles on psychology today if you doubt me). Every case is different and trying to bring together two people already in conflict would take the most skilled person imaginable. While I'm sure such a person exists, most are never lucky enough to find them. Even Gottman has been married more than once.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 07:58 PM
Originally Posted by OwnIt
So part of the problem I have with that is that it turns the counselor into a judge, weighing in on the wants or needs of the parties, and delivering with weighty authority the verdict about who is right and wrong (or even worse brow-beating one party into agreeing with the other).
OwnIt, I've worked with four relationship counselors and never experienced this.

It sounds like you had a terrible therapy experience!
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/17/22 08:11 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Second her behavior is very childish and immature. I’m also going to speak with her father. But like I said earlier he is the only person she might listen to, besides hopefully the counselor.
What if you turned this around and focused on what you control--your behaviors? "Hey Dad, our relationship's gotten rocky lately. You've obviously been married for a long time and are clearly doing some things right. This is my second rodeo and I have blind spots. If there were 3 things I could do, to be a better husband, what would you suggest?"

Originally Posted by Wolfman
I have expressed to her my love language is touch, but all I get when I say anything which is rare, all I care about is $ex and that she is emotionally not there.
Did you clarify that TOUCH means handholding and not sex?

Wolf, it must be terrible feeling another situation slipping away. A year without sex is serious, but you are not to BD yet, and maybe the baby buys you some time. This is another chance to put validation into practice, make 180s to improve your relationship and find happily ever after while staying strong for your son and daughter.
Posted By: OwnIt Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 01:09 AM
To be clear, I was in no way describing a personal experience, rather challenging this statement: "Having a therapist tell her that expecting him to put his kids from his first marriage behind her and her kid would have a lot more useful impact than him saying it, if she can hear it." The therapist's job is not to decide who is "correct" and then communicate that to the other party or get them to agree. Hence if an inability to communicate one's positions to the partner is the issue, then individual counseling is likely more helpful to learn effective techniques for doing so. The therapist who takes sides in a couple's conflict is acting more a judge than a counselor.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 05:00 AM
A therapist isn’t going to judge her but a competent one would ask her whether she thinks that is fair, to ask him to choose between his kids from his previous marriage and her. They would also likely work on them finding better ways to meet each other’s needs. Counseling with a WAS is usually a waste because they aren’t genuinely interested in fixing things when they’ve got an AP in their sights. But a situation like this is different - and even if the relationship isn’t salvageable, it might help improve their co-parenting communication going forward.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 10:00 AM
I think it’s simple if she is interested in going and putting in the work it is worthwhile. If she is not then it’s a waste of time and I would start getting my ducks in a row and contemplate an exit strategy.
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 02:09 PM
You are receiving great comments, Wolf. I totally agree with OwnIt's overall point that it is NOT the job of a therapist to decide which person is right then convince the other person. Therapists should be impartial and help both parties find a middle ground. If someone has a therapist who is trying to tell someone they are right and convince the other person, that just sounds like bad therapy to me...but that is my own personal opinion.

I really just wanted to say a couple of things that a few others have already said too. First, you say, Wolf, that physical touch is your love language, but gf accuses you of only wanting sex when you mention that. While sex is obviously physical touch, physical touch can also be a wide variety of things from hand holding to hugging to just being near enough to put your hands on each other in a reassuring, affectionate way, but not a groping, need sex now kind of way. It concerns me that you've not had sex in a year, because honestly Wolf, I have lived that life in a relationship and it takes its toll. To me, all of this says more about the lack of communication you have with gf than anything else, so maybe counseling would do you both good in helping you learn to communicate more effectively. Having said that, though, I completely agree with LH's last comment. If your gf is interested in counseling and working on the relationship, it will be a good thing. If she's not interested, well, it would really be a waste of time and money. You can't help someone who isn't willing to help themselves so if you are willing to work and she's not, it is kind of fighting a losing battle and you might be better off to cut your losses.

I think it was kml who kind of laid out your situation that your gf is much younger than you and you were questioning whether you even wanted to stay in it with her and then she got pregnant "accidentally" (there are LOTS of ways to prevent that!). That her own father asked how you deal with her is telling of how she is and what it tells me is that the men in her life have always catered to her and she's done whatever she wanted.

You seem to criticize her parenting a lot, but again, I think it was kml who pointed out that SHE is the boots on the ground when it comes to raising your child so yeah, she probably does have a little more skin in the game, so to speak. That doesn't mean that you aren't also the child's parent and that your feelings aren't valid. Just try to see it from her point of view. She's in a high stress situation, you are in a high stress situation, and y'all need to learn how to work through it together. It seems unreasonable to me that she would expect you to prioritize her child differently than your other children, but as unreasonable as it seems, I can also kind of see where she is coming from. Now, I don't think she's right, but I just kind of "get it" so to speak.

What it all boils down to, in my opinion, is y'all need to communicate better.
Posted By: BL42 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 04:49 PM
Wolfman,

Sorry about your situation. It must be stressful to deal with drama on two fronts.

Quick question - why do you see (have partial custody of?) S12, but not D14? What's the background?

Lots of good discussion and advice from others, so I won't reiterate everything, but this jumped out...

Originally Posted by Wolfman
I am having problems with my current gf. She is having a hard time “sharing” me with my s.
The reality is you have two children from another marriage. That will never change. If your girlfriend can't accept that, it's a major red flag for her and should probably be a deal breaker if it persists. S12 and D14 are always going to have to be a top priority in your life. Not that they're more important than your new baby, but they should be equally as important. Do not let your GF push them aside and out of your life. Your children (all of them) should be your #1 priority, not your GF or ExW.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/18/22 06:01 PM
Originally Posted by BL42
Quick question - why do you see (have partial custody of?) S12, but not D14? What's the background?
A quick recap of what may be painful for Wolfman to repeat--

Wolfman had a bitter divorce. D14 refused to visit Wolfman after a) expressing he was forcing his GF onto her and b) seeing her mom and Wolfman get into a physical altercation over a laptop. They now do handoffs at a police station.

Wolfman's custody was limited to therapy sessions. Wolfman feels his XW's anger towards him alienated D14, and points to D14 making a big deal about his GF, but not making a big deal about his XW's new BF. Also, anything he'd done that had physically scared D14, other family members had done worse and D14 wouldn't talk about those. He spent therapy trying to prove parental alienation. The therapy sessions ended without improving relations between Wolfman and D14.

He temporarily ran out of energy and $$$ to fight for D14 given the newborn.
Posted By: Wolfman Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 04:14 PM
Wow Thank you all for the advice and questions, I really appreciate it. I am going to try and address a lot of the comments and questions, If I miss any, I apologize.

LH you asked how can i connect with her. She has expressed to me that she needs time to heal and that a lot has happened a it takes time. I do understand that to a certain extent. She brings up things from a year ago. i ask what can i do to help heal these wounds? She said it just takes time and not make any of those mistakes again.

Some of you brought my comment about my love language as being touch. i express to her that she used to randomly sit on my lap, just give me a random kiss and she doesnt do those things anymore. We do hold hands when we go out, even when we are sleeping in bed. But that is it. If I do initiate $ex forget it, most of the time there is something that is more important. Some examples: At night she will say she is too tired or would rather just watch tv. I understand her being tired. So during the day when the baby takes a nap, she will say she either has to clean, make food or some sort of chore. A lot of times i will come up behind her and put my arms around her and give her a kiss on the cheek. I either get she is busy and a little annoyed I am bothering her or just seems disinterested, she wont even turn and hug me back or kiss me back. So, if at night you are too tired and during the day you are too busy, when do I fit in? Im not looking for it everyday, but man once and a while would be nice. I want to ask you all. Am I asking for too much? Are my expectations too high? Maybe I am wrong but One of the issues in a relationship is a $exle$$ marriage (relationship). I am getting very frustrated feeling "no love".

Her love language is time. At night she just wants to lay in bed together and watch tv. Which i do most nights. The one thing that is hard is for me to stay awake. Back in September i started a new routine. To go to the gym before work. So, I am up at 4:30 am and go to the gym for an hour, then go to work. So by 9pm, i am exhausted. Thats usually the time we have our down time, so a lot of times we will start watching tv and i will fall asleep, and she gets annoyed with me, that is supposed to be our quality time together. One thing, I am trying to fulfill her love language, even though I fail sometimes because I fall asleep. But its like she doesnt have to fill my love language. Also, it would be nice to me intimate once and a while. Just to clarify, i might have said it wrong we are intimate once every other month, THATS IT!!

Counseling: she is open to it. She wants to try. But something very interesting happened the other day. She said she had a telahealth appointment with her OBGYN and asked me to watch the baby. I said no problem. The appointment went for an hour. So, I knew immediately it wasn't. When she came back to the room after the appointment, i said that was pretty long (she explained to me earlier that the OBGYN was just following up with her because she had a c section). I said what did they ask you about the c section? You started to stutter, which she never does and i knew right away it was a therapist. So, I asked did you speak with a therapist? She hesitated and said yeah. I asked her why did she lie to me? What was the big deal. Her response was, I don't know with you. Side note in the last year there have been some things that have happened i have not spoken about. I do apologize, i need to include that info, it is a lot i will include it in another post soon. I said to her that i thought that was good that she was speaking to someone. But in my mind a little confused why she didn't try and get a relationship counselor. Side note through our insurance they are supposed to provide one, but my insurance says the person retired and have not replaced them with anyone yet. Her insurance is different so maybe they same happened to her, i should have asked. Also, wanting a relationship therapist, I am not looking for someone to tell me who is right and who is wrong, but how we can compromise and figure things out. Not looking for a judge, looking more for a mediator.

Giving my input about the baby: I want to make sure that i am always involved. My ex threw that in my face when we were getting divorced that she made all the decisions for the kids and made me feel like i was a bad father because i wasn't involved in all the decisions. I don't ever want to feel like that again. Even though I did everything with my kids, when It came to making decisions ex: Dr.'s, medicine, nap times, clothes to wear, etc, I left that too my ex. Then in divorce she threw that in my face. Thats why i feel I need to be a part of every decision now. It really stinks to feel that way.

Traveler thank you for explaining my situation.

i hope I was able to address a lot of questions and comments. Thanks again everyone
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 04:30 PM
I'll wait until you post more until I comment.
Posted By: kml Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 04:40 PM
I remember having babies and feeling like someone wanted something from me every moment of the day, and at times sex felt like just another thing someone wanted from me (even though I was not in a sex starved marriage and our sex life was good).

The answer to that, I think, is date night. Get a good reliable sitter and start having regular date nights. She needs the space to get away from child rearing. You need to woo her.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Her love language is time. At night she just wants to lay in bed together and watch tv. Which i do most nights. The one thing that is hard is for me to stay awake. Back in September i started a new routine. To go to the gym before work. So, I am up at 4:30 am and go to the gym for an hour, then go to work. So by 9pm, i am exhausted. Thats usually the time we have our down time, so a lot of times we will start watching tv and i will fall asleep, and she gets annoyed with me, that is supposed to be our quality time together.
Ok so what did you learn after your divorce? Apparently nothing. If you love someone you WANT to fulfill their needs without expectations. What are your priorities? Her or the gym? Why don't you try fulfilling her needs w/o falling asleep for six months and see what happens?
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Thats usually the time we have our down time, so a lot of times we will start watching tv and i will fall asleep, and she gets annoyed with me, that is supposed to be our quality time together.
That's because when you fall asleep she doesn't feel loved and valued.
Originally Posted by Wolfman
But its like she doesnt have to fill my love language.
Pretty sure this attitude got you divorced the first time.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by kml
You need to woo her.
WTF?
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:10 PM
Originally Posted by Wolfman
So, if at night you are too tired and during the day you are too busy, when do I fit in? Im not looking for it everyday, but man once and a while would be nice. I want to ask you all. Am I asking for too much? Are my expectations too high?
Wolf, she's probably not attracted to you just now. Yes, it's too much to expect someone who's not attracted to you to have regular sex with you. Work on the long game of attraction.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
So, I am up at 4:30 am and go to the gym for an hour, then go to work. So by 9pm, i am exhausted. Thats usually the time we have our down time, so a lot of times we will start watching tv and i will fall asleep, and she gets annoyed with me, that is supposed to be our quality time together.
Wolf, problem solve. "Her love language is quality time, I get up at 4:30am to go to the gym, so I'm too tired to watch TV in bed at 9pm." A few ideas--(1) watch TV outside your bedroom. I've never as an adult had a TV in my bedroom. You'll be less sleepy if you're in the living room. (2) Get home gym equipment and/or videos and/or online fitness group, which saves time and costs less than going to the gym, (3) Sit in a chair next to the bed instead of laying in the bed.

I'll also ask--do you ENJOY watching TV with her? I don't watch TV with most of my GFs because I'm not a TV person, with few exceptions where our tastes 110% aligned. Hopefully, you are watching TV with her because vegging in front of the TV does something for you, and cuddling up with her gets you touch, so it's only the staying awake you're doing for her.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
So, I asked did you speak with a therapist? She hesitated and said yeah. I asked her why did she lie to me? What was the big deal. Her response was, I don't know with you.
Uhoh. She sounds afraid. Given this has been a pattern in your life if there's ANY merit to her fears, taking concrete actions to address whatever led to those fears should be your focus.

Originally Posted by Wolfman
But in my mind a little confused why she didn't try and get a relationship counselor.
You said it was "good", so don't undermine that by asking her to justify it.
Posted By: Traveler Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by Wolf
The answer to that, I think, is date night. Get a good reliable sitter and start having regular date nights. She needs the space to get away from child rearing. You need to woo her.
Yes! An escape from the children and enjoying romance and dates together could help dramatically. Pick things you both enjoy. Have fun, bonding times. Date days. Date nights. This is something concrete you could ask her father for help with. One warning--NO EXPECTATIONS. Most single people don't expect a dinner date to lead to sex, but some married people do. The moment you add those expectations, the moment you've completely undermined the point.
Posted By: LH19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by Traveler
Most single people don't expect a dinner date to lead to sex, but some married people do.
WTF?
Posted By: Dawn70 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:32 PM
People are so interesting in how they view things differently. My H and I have a similar night-time ritual to what you describe with your gf's love language. Our ritual started out of necessity kind of....my H had a job that required him to get up and leave our house really early, and it was a very physically demanding job, so he would need to go to bed early to rest. In order for us to have much time together in the evenings, we started going to bed early and watching tv and he'd fall asleep before me (which neither of us minded because we were still there together). I had never had a tv in my room as an adult, but both my XH and my current husband insisted on it so here we are. Anyway, even after Sparky changed jobs, we still kept that as our little night-time ritual, just pushing the time back a bit. So, now, we usually go to bed and watch tv for an hour or so, cuddle, chit chat, whatever. And, now I'm usually the one who falls asleep. Neither of us are bothered by that, but your gf clearly is so you need to figure out how to stay awake. Maybe you aren't a tv person so you could suggest something else y'all could do (NOT SEXUAL) like playing cards or just talking or reading together or something that you might both find relaxing. Just a thought. I like the time my H and I share with our little ritual, but again, neither of us mind if the other falls asleep so it isn't an issue for us like it is for your gf. Traveler suggested staying out of bed and watching tv, but if you are anything like me, I can fall asleep just as easy watching tv on the couch, so that wouldn't really solve the problem. LOL Maybe I'm just old. LOL

As far as her talking to a therapist but not finding a relationship therapist. Why can't she/you do both? I mean honestly, if she wants to talk to someone herself and then wants to seek counseling with you as well, I don't think that is a bad thing. You keep saying she didn't find a relationship person like you are accusing her of doing something bad. It doesn't seem bad to me. She just wanted to talk to someone. Maybe she's waiting for YOU to take the lead on the counselor for your joint sessions. TALK TO HER about it and don't just assume. You said you were good with her talking to someone on her own so be supportive of that. Don't go in and accuse her of talking to someone on her own but not getting someone for both of you. That might really backfire on you.

I think those who mentioned date nights are on to something. Scheduled nights where you go do something you both enjoy outside of the house with no pressure or expectations of anything. I would disagree with Traveler in that I wouldn't ask her father a d@mn thing because he clearly isn't terribly supportive of her, but otherwise, I agree with what he posted above. Plan fun bonding date activities, day or night. Start with something she really likes to do to get her engaged.

And please, please, PLEASE stop trying to keep score. You keep talking about how you are trying to fulfill her love language but she is ignoring yours. Keeping score NEVER works out well in any of these scenarios, so just let it go. Either you want to connect to her in her love language because you love her or because you want something from her. Figure out which of those you fall into then work from there accordingly, but don't keep tally. That's honestly not fair to either of you or your relationship as a whole.
Posted By: Valeska19 Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/20/22 05:54 PM
Wolfman,
It seems like you are walking a very fine line. If you do things for your g/f you don't want to do - you will build up EVEN more resentment & Anger. It's time to look inward - figure out what's important to you.. and to be honest with yourself. I ask these questions without judgment.

Are you hesitant to give up some gym time? Why? What does it provide for you? What are you perceive will happen if you give a few days up a week?

What do you think quality time of watching TV means to your g/f?
Do you want to love your g/f the way she is asking? Is it important to YOU to fullfill her needs in this way?

Once you have some of these answers - are you able to communicate it with her. If there are answers you don't like - are you able to work on them within yourself?

For example: Substitute your g/f with you son. Would you stay up an extra hour to spend time with him. Answering this question would reveal alot about how you are feeling about your g/f


I totally get the exhaustion. I work very demanding hours (17 hour shift on Monday). It's important to me to make time for my partner when I get home from work. Time is her second love language.. and it's important to ME that I treat her in that way. Some days I just don't have it - and that's okay... it's about the motive. I'm not just doing it because it's important to her.. I'm doing it because it's important to ME to treat her that way. Doing it for me eliminates my need to be angry at her.. because it's not about her. I hope that makes sense...


Looking forward to hearing the answers to the questions posted above. Hang in there... Rough Seasons of life are never easy... but you can do this.
Posted By: job Re: Wolfman moving forward2 - 05/21/22 01:43 PM
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Wolfman moving forward 3
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