Our prior post brought up an interesting aspect of our situation with our alienating parent: Obsessive Ex Syndrome.
Here is a person who, just because she had children with a person, feels she is entitled to control certain aspects of his life. And don’t scoff, we have plenty to back this theory up. Control is a big part of our alienating parent’s life. She no longer has control over her ex’s life, so she has to attempt to have control over his family history, his wife’s hobbies, etc.
That loss of control is obviously not sitting well with our alienating parent.
Here’s some information we’ve discovered about Obsessive Ex Syndrome:
“Revenge obsession occurs when the obsessive ex wants his/her partner to be punished for causing him/her pain. Although the obsessed ex may not be in love with their partner anymore, they want to make sure he or she is just as miserable as they are.
Attachment obsession occurs when the ex will stop at nothing to get their partner back. Often times, the obsessive ex wants things to be just as they were before the break up. Although they know that things may never be the same, they want to keep the connection they once had in order to feel in control.
Some people with obsessive ex syndrome exhibit both of these characteristics. Although they want their partner back, they want them to suffer just as much as they have for severing the relationship in the first place.”
It’s difficult to determine exactly which form of Obsessive Ex Syndrome our alienating parent might be suffering from. Revenge certainly seems to be a good choice: she wants him to be just as miserable as she is. But then we can’t ignore the hours that our alienating parent spends looking at photos of her ex. How do you explain that behavior? Maybe she wants to keep the connection she once had in order to feel in control?
Control is something our alienating parent may feel she lost when she endured abuse at the hands of her own father — which is completely understandable. Allowing that loss of control to continue to affect her life 50 years later, however, is not quite so understandable.