Following a high-conflict divorce, it can be difficult to maintain a good relationship with your former spouse. Unfortunately, when you have children, you still have to work together for your children’s best interests. If you fear that your spouse may be telling your children too much about your breakup or spinning lies to disrupt your relationship with your children, you may be the victim of parental alienation.
Parental alienation requires one parent to alienate the other by drawing sympathy from the kids and turning them against their other parent. Often, parents will overshare to turn the kids against the other.
Your children reject you and sympathize with your former spouse
Your kids may not sympathize with you at all. They may only show you anger and hatred with no sympathy. Instead, they feel guilty when they have fun with you and look to their other parent as if he or she has no flaws. Under alienation, children identify strongly with one parent and reject the other without remorse.
Your children echo sentiments your former spouse has
Sometimes children will try to give you a reason as to why they are upset with you. Kids under an alienating parent may echo stories that the parent fed them. They may have information about your relationship that only your spouse should have. Additionally, the kids may repeat lies that you know your former spouse tells about you.
Parental alienation can be a form of child abuse. To children, it can feel similar to losing a parent due to death or illness. Identifying alienation early can help reduce the impact.