I’ve been happy for many years in a second marriage for me, a first for my bride. I brought along my five-year-old son whom she was happy to look after.
My ex had left me three years prior to live independently and didn’t want to keep my son away from me. She said there was nobody else but wouldn’t say where she lived.
Nine months later, I discovered that she’s been living and involved with another man for over two years.
I started separation/divorce proceedings. She wanted neither a divorce nor our marriage. We had joint custody with me having care and control.
She’d frequently make abusive telephone calls to us. I accepted an opportunity to move to another province which allowed my wife to be a stay-at-home mom plus reduce or eliminate my ex’s regular abuse. I requested a change in custody to allow this move. My ex disagreed.
Her lawyer recommended that she let us move. The change worked well for everyone.
After three years, my son returned from a weekend visit with his mother and said he never wanted to visit her again because there was too much fighting there. I told him he’d have to speak to her about that. She told him that she’d try to be better for him.
Six months later he returned from a visit saying he wanted to move in with his mother. I was devastated but didn’t want to keep him against his will. He moved in with her at the end of the school year.
At 13, after a summer visit with us, a week before he was to rejoin his mother, he wanted to move back with us. I told him we couldn’t do it without her consent, which she denied.
My son’s now 40. Lately, he’s treated my wife with hostility. I suspect that his mother has poisoned his mind with lies and rewritten history. He seems to have no memory of his earlier life when he lived with us.
I wish to set the record straight, as I’m sure she’s spread malicious lies about my wife and me. I’m considering writing my memoirs in a blog. I’m wondering how much detail I should put in e.g., his mother’s abusive phone transcripts.
What’s your advice regarding a truth-revealing memoir?
Ask yourself if you’re doing this for your son’s sake or whether “setting the record straight” is a way of getting back at your long-ago ex.
It matters and here’s why: 1) Your son’s forgotten the early years and only knows a past that included his mother’s accounts. Trying to disrupt that memory can be perceived by him as emotionally abusive and distance him further from you and your wife.
A different way of trying to reach him, for example, would be to simply state in a non-confrontational personal letter (not a blog) how much you and his stepmother loved him, wanting him to be happy even if it meant that he had to let you choose to live with his mother.
That statement alone shows your caring instead of your wanting to be proven right about your ex and her estranging him from you.
But if you’re determined to go ahead, I urge you to first get a lawyer’s thoughts on this. If your ex is as combative as you’ve described, she may retaliate with a lawsuit. That would put a public spotlight on your family and likely distance your son even further from you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose boyfriend wants her to marry him secretly and at 65 give him all her pension money (March 2):
Reader – “Since she’s been living in the house for over ten years, they’re already considered “common-law” married and she’s entitled to half the value of the house (especially if she can prove she did some maintenance and cleaning).
“She should definitely leave. He’ll have to pay her (half share) or sell the house and she gets half. She should speak to a family-law lawyer who’ll tell her not to leave until he pays her.”
Reader #2 – “This happened to my aunt. Her husband of 20 years died, and his sister inherited the house, as my aunt’s name wasn’t on the house. This woman needs a lawyer now.”
Ellie - It matters where she lives as laws on common-law unions and house ownership at break-up vary between Canada and the United States.
Tip of the day:
Past child-custody issues are best put behind you rather than distance the adult child further.