More Manipulation from My Son’s Father

manipulation

My ex’s cousin called me last night as I was leaving work.  I haven’t talked to her as much lately, because she’s been spending a lot of time in Boston to be near her kids.

She told me that my ex-husband called her sister in Florida on Easter, and wanted to know how he could get closer to my son. Also, called his sister, asking the same thing.

This is interesting, because neither of these women EVER talks to my son. The cousin has never met my son. My ex’s sister, who lives 35 miles away, has not talked to my son in 10 years. Just a lack of interest. So why he would think either of these people could offer any useful advise I don’t know. But then, I know my ex. He is doing it to build sympathy for himself, with the few people who will talk to him. It is not a case of wanting to know, really. Because he knows. I told him.

I told him that my son said his father should write him a letter. I explained to him, clearly, that he has to remember and acknowledge that he was brutal to my son. He was extremely emotionally abusive, and became physically abusive as well, though it was kept secret from me until my son came to live with me. But it was one reason my son walked from his father and never went back.

I told my ex that his son needs to see him go out on a limb for him. To write him a letter, that he can read over and over, that he can hold on to. Address the issues. Become vulnerable, to take a chance. I told him it may not work, but it may. If he doesn’t try, there is no chance. If he tries there is some chance that they will reconcile. My ex wants to find some for sure way that my son will respond positively to him. He doesn’t understand that it will take a long time for my son, even if he writes the letter.

I don’t know why he refuses to write to my son. Well, that’s not true. Because when words are written, they are recorded. They make him accountable. Another reason is because I’m the one who told him that’s what to do, a message I was relaying from my son. As with most people who are abusive, he doesn’t trust the people who he most should. He trusts his alcoholic cousin or his very aloof sister, more than me, who would love nothing more than for the two of them to reconcile, at least to a level where they would talk.

If the situation were reversed, I would have written a letter every day. I would have filled the mailbox til the post office asked me to stop. I would have taken that doorway, and run through it toward my son.

But my ex, instead, is simply trying to manipulate the emotions of anyone he can into feeling sorry for him. “Oh the poor man, he’s all alone. His ex-wife must be influencing his son not to talk to him.” Because he still thinks we are competing for my son’s affection. Even though he himself used to complain that I was absolutely non-competitive (he was a nationally ranked swimmer at one time, and was raised on competition, not only in sports but among his two siblings, who competed for their parents love.) I know my son loves me, and I would love if my son could love his father, and have a real father in his life. But with my ex, it’s all about manipulation. It’s not about the real business of healing and rebuilding his relationship with my son.

I have told my son that I’d really be happy if we were all at least speaking to each other before we all moved. He has promised me that he is going to tell his father that he’s moving before he goes. That’s something. That’s my son, once again, going out on a limb for his father, and speaks to the fact that my son still loves his father, even though he can’t bring himself to talk to him right now. That the abuse, and the chaos his father brings to his life is still hurtful, is still there. My son lived for his father as a child. He did everything and far more than his father ever asked him to, but he could never please him. He could never meet a constantly moving bar that had to be met for his father to love him. His father has done nothing to alleviate that pain.

I couldn’t meet the bar either. At some point, I realized that that moving bar was just a tool of manipulation, to feed his ego. My son knows it too. My son has found his way. I believe that the last 8 years of living with unconditional love, and none of the chaos, have allowed him to find himself.

I have been wondering, since last night, if I should call my ex and talk to him again about writing his son. But….no. His ego would be boosted to know people have talked to me concerned for him. And would do nothing to resolve their relationship, because as long as his ego is being fed, there will be no movement toward reconciliation. As long as he is the center of attention of his cousins, his sister, and me, he will have enough ego boost, that just complaining that he is so sad that my son won’t talk to him is all he will do. He won’t make a move toward him.

I know the man well, after 40 years.

I used to think when my son was small, that a 2 parent family is infinitely better than a single parent. And of course, that’s true if both parents are normal loving people. But if one is dysfunctional, and abusive, and so damaged, it is far better for a child to have one parent that can love him unconditionally than stay in the middle of the chaos a sociopathic, narcissistic, abusive alcoholic can cause.

I hope my ex can see the light some day. But my hope for him is slight. He has lost everything, his marriage, his son, his house, his business, his yacht, and lives in a 500 sq foot rented cottage with no heat now. You’d think at some point he’d rethink the way he lives his life, and maybe do a little soul searching. If it hasn’t happened with all that loss…I can’t imagine what, if anything, could change him.

I’m so grateful that I got out when I did. And got my son out. Just so grateful.

Love and light.

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9 responses to “More Manipulation from My Son’s Father

  1. Wow, your ex is really missing out, choosing not to rebuild his relationship with your son… how tragic. But, you ar right… some people will never change. I hope he does wake up some day and realize what he must do, before it gets too late.. Glad your son has you though! Hugs

    • That’s my prayer S. I hope he figures it out before he dies. Better yet before my son moves to Colorado. Will be what it will be. It’s up to the universe as far as I’m concerned. To resolve it to everyone’s highest good. Xo

  2. Your poor ex, wah, wah, wah. That’s all he’s getting from me.
    You make your bed….you lay in it.
    Losers’ been a bit more successful. He used his fake charm and lies about me to work his way back into my childrens’ lives…and it worked.
    You son sounds like a wonderful person….willing to open the door to his father after everything he did and said. I hope he doesn’t end up getting hurt.

    • His father couldn’t do use his fake charm etc in my son, because son was smart enough to go no contact on his own. When he was living with his dad, and then would come to my house, he could feel the difference. I just kept telling him “when you’re sick of it you know where you can come”. And eventually he did on his own. With the clothes on his back. When she told me that he called his cousin In Florida I just wanted to laugh. It’s so obviously apply for sympathy and has nothing to do with trying to rebuild a relationship with his son.

      Once an asshole always an asshole. You got a feel for him he’s just an idiot. What a cold sad life to live. You’d think he’d choose otherwise wouldn’t you? He sent my not Learning his karmic lessons, lol.

      • Exactly! It’s a ploy for sympathy. I hate to say it but if he truly cared about his son, he wouldn’t have waited until he had “lost” everything before he ever reached out.
        And you’re right. Once an asshole, always an asshole. I can see him (your ex) drawing his son in with hollow promises and tears and then, when something more interesting comes along…..bam! No time for son.

        • My ex just thinks he had to bribe him with something. That love is not enough. That it’s things that are important. He grew up thinking love had t be earned, not just given. He totally doesn’t believe he is worthy of love and belonging just because he exists. He wanted to instill that in my son as well, A gift from his own father he wanted to give to his own son. It’s sad. Son knows now that he is worthy of love and belonging by his parents just because he exists on this earth. Everyone deserves that. Which is why I can say I love the men in my life unconditionally, because I do. That sure doesn’t mean that I want them in my life. It means I wish them well I hope good things for them I hope someday they find some joy in living.

          But my ex , and the other one m, I think are determined to believe that they don’t deserve it and so if you give it you’re stupid or you want something from them. Whatever it’s their loss.

          Off to work. Later gator

  3. “I used to think when my son was small, that a 2 parent family is infinitely better than a single parent. And of course, that’s true if both parents are normal loving people. But if one is dysfunctional, and abusive, and so damaged, it is far better for a child to have one parent that can love him unconditionally than stay in the middle of the chaos a sociopathic, narcissistic, abusive alcoholic can cause.”

    Thank you. I needed to hear this today. In this case a “broken” family is far better than an abusive situation. It’s been 3 months and we are starting to feel the freedom of LIVING. So thankful. The kids are coming out of their shell. There is peace and happiness. I guess I am coming out my shell too. Finally starting to feel there is maybe safety for us. Thank you for sharing this.

    “You’d think at some point he’d rethink the way he lives his life, and maybe do a little soul searching. If it hasn’t happened with all that loss…I can’t imagine what, if anything, could change him.” This too hit home. What could possibly mean more to him than his family and business and everything else? Himself. So sad.

    • It’s incredibly sad, and I’m so sorry you have had to live the nightmare too. But honestly, you will find yourself happier than you ever dreamed you could be eventually. Please know I am here to help. I’m 9 years out, I think I have a little perspective on it now, lol. Still didn’t pick men well, but it’s a lesson in progress. Lol. Take care of you and your kids now. That’s all you need to do. Xo

    • Oh, about safety. Omg yes I do remember this. The song by Celine Dione and Josh Groban, The Prayer, was my theme song for years. “Lead us to a place, Guide us with your grace, to a place where we’ll be safe. “. It is my prayer for you too.

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