Reader’s Commentary Regarding a marriage that requires finding a safe place to land (May 14):
“My ex-husband to whom I was married for 27 years, left in 2009 after blurting out one evening that I wasn’t making him happy. We have two sons, now in their early-30s. There’s also the “back story” including threats of physical assault.
“He’s continued to badmouth me since then to our boys, and to his live-in girlfriend whom he’s been with since soon after he left.
“Last year he told our sons that I’d done something when they were children that’s untrue (that I slept with a man I’ve known for more than 45 years). I think that’s what he said, as he’s been spouting that lie for 20 years.
“He’s also still blaming me for leaving behind a dining room light fixture that we got from his parents, when we sold a house about 18 years ago, though he left it behind too.
“His parents were evidently angry with me for this egregious oversight. One of his brothers also told me five years ago that it was very stupid of me to forget the light fixture... it’s too ridiculous, quite sad really.
“The result is that one of my sons banned me last July from visiting my young grandson in person. This I heard not from him but from my ex-daughter-in-law.
“I’ve asked him for the third time in over a month when I can see the boy, without a response. I will see a lawyer.
“The situations in your column (on alienated parents) were a tremendous help to me. I’m now happy, in my own home, have a job I love and am blessed with great female and male friends.”
Reader #2 – “My mother alienated me from my father when I was a child.
She told me horrible things about their sex life, told me my father and uncle would watch me in the shower if I didn’t lock the door. She even stopped calling him "your dad" and referred to him as "the sperm doner" along with many crazy things that were all lies.
“I stopped talking to my father at 13 and started using drugs and having sex with strangers that same year. Eventually I went to a juvenile facility where I was rehabilitated and then I reconciled with my father.
“We are very close now. Aside from my husband, my dad is my most trusted advisor. Age and time bring perspective.
“I believe that while being alienated from him was traumatic for me and him, my mother hurt herself the most in the end. Today, she’s a lonely, mean drug addict and the rest of us are living our happy ever after.
“I still visit her occasionally but I’ll never believe another word from her mouth for the rest of my life. I send my love to all the families living through Parental Alienation. Be patient. The truth always comes out.”
Ellie - What a difficult journey the children of parents who are targeted for alienation experience when the other parent enforces ongoing fear and mistrust through lies.
There are no winners in this terrible power-play by alienators, unless reconciliation and trust are somehow achieved over time between the parent and child/children.
They are victims of their other parent’s meanness, selfishness, and cold absence of caring about the long-term impact on their children and grandchildren.
Those children need professional therapy, if at all possible.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who wants to find someone to love and marry but won’t use dating apps (June 4):
Reader – “The email from this writer sounds very much like my son. He’s 42, never married and isn’t into dating apps.
“He’s good-looking, well-groomed with impeccable manners. Is there any way we can get them at least talking together?”
Ellie - I assure you, because you are a caring mother, that your son will only be happy if he meets someone on his own or through a close, trusted friend. Or a match-maker, if he considers that specialized route.
Aside from the fact that he needs to want to marry (does he?), he clearly wants/needs his own agency regarding choice. He avoids dating apps for his own reasons which have to be accepted by you as valid for him.
Show your love and respect, but not your choice for his future.
Tip of the day:
Parents experiencing alienation should seek both professional therapy and legal advice, and keep reaching out gently to the children involved.