Divorce is tough enough on families, especially children, since they have no power over their situation. It’s even worse if one parent engages in parental alienation, the act of depriving children of a parent deemed to be the “bad guy.”
More than 22 million American adults suffer from the effects of parental alienation. If you suspect you’re a target of parental alienation, here are four signs to look for.
Your ex demonizes a whole gender
Many disgruntled spouses negatively generalize a whole gender due to their bitter experiences. For example, they might say something like “All men are abusers.” or “All women only marry for money.”
There’s little to no contact between you and the children
You’ve left phone messages, sent emails and texts and either received bounce backs or no answer. Alternatively, if you get a response, it’s in the form of insults from the other parent or strange canned answers from the kids.
Your ex appears offended if the kids say good things about you
After dropping them off at the other parent’s house, the children speak excitedly about their visit with you. While they’re talking, your ex frowns at you or rolls their eyes.
The other parent does everything possible to be the “good guy”
They say something along the lines of, “Oh, Mom (or Dad) is so mean for not letting you stay up late and demanding you eat dinner before dessert. Next time you visit me, you can stay up as late as you want and have cake for breakfast.”
Parental alienation doesn’t only hurt parents; it also hurts kids because they will likely grow up with trust issues and other problems. If your ex is attempting to alienate the children from you, consider seeking experienced legal guidance for assistance.