Editor’s note: Lovefraud has received another question from Andrea, who wrote in a month ago. If you have any suggestions for her, please share them.
I am looking for some strong advice on how to help my children deal with their father … my ex … who is a sociopath. We have been divorced for 4 years and I have been terrified of this man. Not so much physically, but more just afraid of his bullying and threats. Even though people have told me that his threats are just words and he cannot follow through on them, it is still hard when he is so confident that he is so right and I am so wrong. I have tried very hard to take the high road through all of this and he falls in this gray area between legal and illegal, but suffers no consequences. I have been told that once I stop letting him get to me, he will get bored and move on to someone else.
Recently, I have broken free of his hold and I don’t care anymore. I’ve started living my life and doing what I want. I’ve met a new man who was in the Marines and is an avid hunter. My son has expressed interest in hunting and went with him one day. My ex found out about it the night before and went insane. He told my son that he forbade him to go, but I told my son that he was with me and I was allowing it. My ex started calling the house at 1:15 in the morning and called for about an hour. I tried to talk with him one time, but it was ridiculous. He told me he would stop paying child support and would fight for sole custody if I let him go. (Wish I had that all on tape). Anyway, I let him go because there was no danger, he had an apprentice hunting license, and he was with me that weekend. Now my ex has decided to bully my son. It has been horrible. He is now threatening him and scaring him with things that he can’t possible do. Even though I try to explain to my son what he’s doing, it’s too hard for a 12 year old to comprehend. My son is withdrawn, angry and scared. He won’t talk to me very much, so I don’t exactly know what he’s thinking or how to help him.
How can I help my son (and daughter eventually) not suffer? Has anyone had any similar experiences? My biggest fear is that my son will just give in to my ex and do what he says to keep the peace … to get positive attention from his dad. The worst case scenario would be my son moving in with him when he’s 14 (something that my ex is working on because he knows it will hurt me). How much should I tell my children? How can I help them? We already have a pact that anything that happens at our house stays between us … terrible, I know … but it’s the only way to keep them safe (emotionally).
Thanks for any advice I can get.