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Divorce/Separation :
How do I deal with ex trying to rewrite history to my children with

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 MotherOfDragons (original poster New Member #76078) posted at 8:53 AM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Struggling today. Would appreciate any advice/input. I’m now 3 years from D-day and coming up to a year from divorce. Husband suddenly abandoned me and children, found out next day he was cheating with much younger colleague. Lies, betrayal, theft of family savings, threats, psychological abuse followed.
I’m just about holding it together- I’m really only still here because of my children. Diagnosed with PTSD and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Have had some counselling and taken meds - but feel scared, worthless and terrified of my ex.
He did the usual thing of blaming me, rewriting history etc and that was so damaging to me. My two children (19 and 22) have little contact with him. My youngest has had a huge row with his father recently and has started to talk to me about his feelings. He said his dad keeps trying to blameshift and minimise what he did. Eg ‘l could throw some dirt about your mum’, ‘I was already planning to leave before I started seeing OW’, ‘I’ve been unhappy for years’ etc. I hate to think about my son having to deal with this. It’s so damaging to his sense of self. He tells me he knows ‘it’s all bullsh*t’, but I’m so worried as he suffers from depression and I know the effect that rewriting history can have.

I’m angry that he is doing this to our children. He has never been honest or humble and accepted that he hurt us. It just feels like the pain and damage will never end. I’m worried that my children will start to believe him and his nasty manipulations will damage the relationship I have with them.
Really, really hurting and struggling just now.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2020
id 8687370
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Walkthestorm ( New Member #72157) posted at 10:14 AM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

OP your ex-husband is in a special category of nasty on his own. One of the worst I have ever read about on this forum. No manipulation from his side will ever alter how you children view you and what ge has done. His actions speak loud and clear. Your kids want to find something good in him (I mean who wants to have a parent that is capable of such nasty behaviour towards them and their mother?). But the truth is your kids see him and are greaving and comming to terms with that he is not who he claimes to be. They are traumatised just like you. Get your kids into therapy.

Your kids are old enough so you don't need to have ANY contact with him. If I was in your shors I would move far far away from him. Not to run away but to distance myself from him physically. Correct me if I am wrong but you live in close proximity to him and OW? Your PTSD is triggered constantly just by the idea that you might run into him. That is no way to live. For your own mental health, please consider relocating. I know it's not right or fair to you or your kids but perhaps it is the right choice to save yourself and allow yourself some peace.

posts: 28   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
id 8687373
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 1:55 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Two oldest don’t speak to him. He cannot poison them.

Your youngest knows the truth and is discussing it with you. Explain that some people don’t want to be the bad guy and face reality. Tell your youngest that sometimes married people fall out of love or cannot stay married but there is a right way to handle things. But sadly the XH did not do the right thing.

Tell your children you won’t talk badly about their father. It’s not the right way to behave. But they should come to you to discuss how they feel about him and you will always listen.

Over time people figure out the truth. It will be obvious and your kids are not stupid.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 1:55 PM, Tuesday, September 7th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10526   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8687383
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HeartFullOfHoles ( Member #42874) posted at 4:10 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

My ex also falls in this category of special. It does get better with time, but living with your children at least partially believing the lies really hurts. The high road is not for cowards!

At least your kids will talk with you about this. My ex manipulated mine into believe whatever she said was fact and anything I or anyone else said that was counter to her statements was either putting them in the middle or outright lies. I've had to resort to using other teaching moments to get them to think about things with an adult mindset and then just hope this eventually trickles down to dealing with her lies.

BH - Tried to R for too long, now happily divorced
D-Day 4/28-29/2012 (both 48 at the time)
Two adult daughters

posts: 674   ·   registered: Mar. 24th, 2014
id 8687405
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barcher144 ( Member #54935) posted at 4:17 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

I’m angry that he is doing this to our children. He has never been honest or humble and accepted that he hurt us. It just feels like the pain and damage will never end. I’m worried that my children will start to believe him and his nasty manipulations will damage the relationship I have with them.

The good news is that you have adult children who can make their decisions on their own.

The solution, because your ex is being a bad person, is to be a good person.

Eg ‘l could throw some dirt about your mum’,

I suggest that you openly agree with your ex on this matter. You aren't perfect and you have made mistakes too. Admit that you are a flawed person trying to be better.

DO NOT CRITICIZE YOUR EX IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN. Instead, encourage them to have a healthy relationship with him (which, unfortunately, likely includes a tough conversation on how to establish their own boundaries with him).

My current GF is almost 50 years old. Her father was a raging alcoholic and she openly describes him as a complete asshole, although she also loved him dearly (he passed away about 20 years ago). She is still injured when her mother (who had an exit affair prior to divorcing her father) criticizes her father. Give your kids the space to love both their mother and their father.

You simply have to trust your children to be smart enough to know the asshole (him) from the decent human being (you). It sounds like they already understand the difference.

Me: BH, age 47
Her: WS, age 44 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5098   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8687407
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 MotherOfDragons (original poster New Member #76078) posted at 10:23 AM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

Thank you so much for the support and advice. Like everyone in this position, it’s so heartbreaking to see our children having to deal with all this. So, so unfair - and my ex literally said they had ‘dealt with it all’ the morning after he left us! Are these runaway husbands deluded?

posts: 27   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2020
id 8688048
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Walkthestorm ( New Member #72157) posted at 1:03 PM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

I would go so far to say that your ex-husband has traits of a psycopath. He does not apprar to have any empathy. Look it up. I bet he fits the description like a glove.

[This message edited by Walkthestorm at 1:04 PM, Saturday, September 11th]

posts: 28   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
id 8688049
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 10:33 PM on Saturday, September 11th, 2021

Your cheating XH is not living in reality.

He is delusional when he says "we dealt with all of it" blah blah blah. That is what he has to tell himself to be able to look in the mirror and absolve his guilt.

This is a never ending "deal with it" situation. He walked out in his family - too bad he doesn’t realize the trauma he inflicted on his family.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10526   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8688104
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Charity411 ( Member #41033) posted at 4:31 PM on Sunday, September 12th, 2021

MOD, I'm a lot further down the same road that you are on. My EXH left for his best friends wife when my daughter was 6. I experienced all the same things. Bullying, rewriting history, him stealing from me and constant lying and manipulating. Since our daughter was so young she had no choice with regard to spending time with him. I had all the same fears and worries about what she would think of me as well, because he and OW trashed me every chance they got. I was resolute in never speaking ill of them in front of her, so I often wondered if she just bought into their narrative of why our family broke up.

My daughter's birthday was this week and I went to see her and my son-in-law and grandkids yesterday. She's 35 now. I got to spend some time alone with her and we had a long conversation about this very thing. Out of the blue she said "My dad's a real a--hole. Don't get me wrong, I love him because he's my dad. But he's a lying, cheating, manipulating bully." Once I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming this, I asked her why she felt that way. She said even when she was young she knew when they were lying, especially her dad. She wanted me to know that she knows how much I endured and she wonders how I stood it as long as I did. Growing up she never talked about it, for fear of being disloyal to either of us.

Your children absorb what they are seeing, and are smarter than we give them credit for. Yesterday my daughter said about 4 months ago something made her think about the time many years ago that I told her that her dad and I wouldn't have lasted with or without the OW. She thought about it from the standpoint of who we are as people and realized that I was right. She couldn't figure out how her dad and I ever got together in the first place. She said we are polar opposites when it comes to our value systems. She never believed anything they were saying about me or our marriage because she knew what she was seeing.

So hang in there. If they want to talk, let them, and just listen. Every time you don't speak badly of their father, you grow in stature in their eyes, because they know you have every right to, but you are shielding them from it. Which is the exact opposite of what he's going. The more confident you become in that, the less whatever your EX does will affect you.

posts: 1530   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8688159
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