Here are some interesting observations we’ve come across dealing with ending a relationship with a family member:
“Sharing DNA means there is an obligation to take special care in your relationships with your family, not that you are obligated to tolerate a parent’s, sibling’s or child’s abuse because he or she swims in the same gene pool at you.
The questions I ask in every case are, “If this person weren’t your mother or father or sister or brother or daughter or son, but were a colleague, acquaintance or friend and they treated you like this, would you have anything to do with them?”
When blood isn’t involved, it’s a no-brainer. You avoid abusive jerks, but when the abusive jerk is your mom or dad or your son or daughter, most people freeze like a deer caught in headlights at the thought of walking away.
If your child is being alienated from you, you MUST do your best to intervene as soon as possible. The seeds of lifelong alienation can be sown in a very short time.
It’s not unusual for otherwise healthy adults to have some bitterness during and shortly after the divorce process, which oftentimes spills out onto the children. Healthy reasonable adults realize that a child deserves both a loving mother and father, set aside their differences and get on with the business of co-parenting their children.
But there are many individuals who do not move past divorce bitterness and embark on lifelong campaigns to deprive their former partners of loving relationships with their children. Approximately 20% to 30% of divorces and custody disputes are considered high-conflict. It’s no surprise that this is approximately the same percentage of the population that suffers from some form of personality disorder. It is also a fact that both men and women engage in parental alienation, but alienation is much more effective when conducted by the custodial parent, of which 82% are mothers.
Parental alienation does not end at the age of 18. Alienated children often become lifelong foot soldiers in the alienating parent’s campaign of hatred and destruction. I suspect that, if some form of personality disorder is at play with the alienating parent, that it may become manifest in the alienated child — either through genetic heritability, modeling or both.”
It may be too late for my husband, but we hope some of the information we share here might help someone else in the same situation. He obviously made a big mistake in not talking to his children, while they were young and the alienation was taking place. At the time, that was what most people thought was the best course of action: don’t talk badly about the other parent in front of the children. But years of studies have shown that the best course of action actually is to intervene, and as quickly as possible. Wish we would’ve known then, what we know now.