How To Determine Parental Alienation (Family Counseling)


It was about three months ago since my husband and I finally got divorced. Honestly, even though the whole process was too exhausting, I am glad that we came up with an amicable settlement. I am so thankful that despite the hardships of constantly trying to figure out what to do, we are now able to move forward with our separate lives along with the kids. But the previous happiness I once felt so good is now turning into a series of confusions, doubts, and heartaches. That is because I somehow felt that parental alienation is currently happening. It seems like my ex-husband has manipulated my children and that they unjustifiably reject me even though I didn’t do anything. How did I know? Here’s how.

Contact Resistance From Children

Before my husband and I finally called it quits, our understanding children offered us a solution to our family problem about spending time with whom. That is how we all came up with a solution of dividing everyone equally so that each of us can still have time to bond with one another. But a few weeks after the divorce, all my kids manifest contact refusal or resistance. I noticed the changes because every time I tried calling them from their dad’s home, my kids would often make these weird excuses that left me hanging. Some of those are “I’m not finished eating,” “I’m too busy on my homework,” “I’m not feeling okay right now,” etc. I understand that these things can happen. So as much as possible, I never thought negatively about it. But these excuses went on for the last couple of months until now. My kids won’t even agree to spend time with me and don’t go out with me. So I know for sure, something is not right.


Unseen Parental Efforts

The whole situation of this marriage fall and divorce got into my kids smoothly. In fact, I didn’t entirely hear them complain about their parents getting into a divorce. I assumed that my children are well- knowledgeable and mentally and emotionally intelligent enough to handle the family pressure. And since my kids are always appreciative of their parents’ limited capabilities, I didn’t pay too much attention to my mishaps. However, again, after a couple of weeks from my husband and I’s divorced, my children changed so suddenly. Usually, when I get to pick them up at school, they would feel happy about it. They would thank me for at least trying to become present in their lives and still care for them as their mom. But everything turned different now. I sometimes felt like they do not want me to get close to them, not anymore. I can see that my kids were detaching themselves gradually without trying to offend me. But, unfortunately, what they are trying to do hurts a lot.

Confused With A Blaming-Like Actions 

As a mom of four, I know the struggle to keep up with my family’s needs and balance them with my career. Therefore, I understand how difficult it is for my ex-husband to do the same. I am not bitter, and I still consider my ex a good person despite the many challenges and indifferences we went through with our marriage. The decision was mutual, and we ended up calling it quits because my ex-husband and I knew we weren’t meant for each other. But with all these issues with our kids, I felt like I was the one who made the whole situation complicated. My kids are somewhat making me feel that it was my fault that their parents got divorced. With all these pent-up confusions, I went straight and asked them about what they think. But the children shrug it off. Now I am more confused about the parent-children relationship because I felt like I pushed them away with that unnecessary question. And it scares me. I might lose the children because of that.


Final Thoughts

I felt like my kids do not consider me a parent who provides safety, availability, care, and love. The children do not treat me the same way like before this whole broken family thing took place. Honestly, even if I am not that sure about what is happening, I can tell that my ex brainwashes my kids to unreasonably create a negative perception towards me. I know there is no proof to support that overthought idea. But as a mom, I can feel something is off. And that even though that fed information is a distortion from reality, my children view it as their truth. I wish that these heartbreaking experiences I am dealing with right now are just part of the family adjustments that my kids and I are going through. I really hope.