Manipulation of the Children – Abusive Fathers

Manipulating our Daughter

I think I am getting better at not reacting so quickly.  It seems crazy to me that we have been divorced for over 7 years and he still carries on like he does.  Throughout the entire school year he seemed to be rather quiet.  We found a lot of peace in that.

Recently my husband and I noticed my daughter was not acting like herself.  She was at her father’s house for a week and a half during Spring break.  We noticed she was texting on her phone constantly and mentioned a few times it was her father.  My husband decided to look at her phone to see what conversations were taking place and noticed she had deleted all her texts.  I do not blame him for looking and in light of all that was taking place I am glad he did.

When I checked our history on our cell phone carrier it turns out she was sending over 1700 text messages each month.  Just last year she rarely turned her phone on and clearly figured out texting very quickly.  At least 300 of the messages were between my ex-husband and her.  All these text messages had taken place in four days from early in the morning until right before she went to bed.

I showed my daughter the number of text messages she was sending and we discussed that 1700 was very excessive.  So she and I came up with a 200 text message limit per month which gave her probably less than 100 she could send with incoming texts factored in.

She told us that her dad, step-mother, grandmother and aunt have been telling her for the past few months when she turns 13 she can choose where she wants to live.  It sounds like they have been harassing her pretty good about this for a few months.  Plus they probably combined it with the ‘Disneyland’ visitation whenever she was there.  So my husband and I told her she did not have to worry about it because that law went away.

You do not get to choose where you want to live when you turn 13, so you do not have anything to worry about.

First of all, the law that allowed children at the age of 12 to choose where they wanted to live went away years ago.  Apparently it was putting children in the middle of litigation all the time being pulled from one or both parents.  Her father has really made his household one of ‘no rules’ what-so-ever.  So that might seem like an excellent idea to a 13 year old to do whatever you want with no consequences.

I sent a message to my ex-husband telling him she had gotten the idea that she could pick where she wanted to live and wanted it to remain exactly the same.  My attorney recommended I mention that in the email for his family to stop harassing her.

Good Afternoon,

I hope you are doing well.

Recently, our daughter was under the assumption that she gets to choose where she wants to live at age 13.  She has told me she wanted things to stay exactly as they are.  However, I have informed her that the law that allowed children to decide where they wanted to live at age 12 went away a long time ago.  I know she feels peace knowing that fact.

I asked her where she heard that and she told me you, your wife, grandma & aunt keep telling her that.  So I thought you might want to know the information is incorrect as well.

Thank you for all your support, have a great day!

His confrontation came through another path a few days later with his summer visitation request:

I will have our daughter for summer visitation on June 29th and returning her on July 13th.  I will also be picking her up on July 27th and returning her on August 10th.  Please note that we will be doing some traveling this year so that may or may not affect your decision to pick your weekend during these dates.  As I am sure you are aware if we are out of town during that weekend you will have to pick her up and drop her off where we are at.

Every year he tries to make this difficult.  He has even sent me emails telling him I cannot select my weekend (which is in the decree) after he has already picked his summer visitation.  So I sent my reply:

Good Afternoon,

Please tell me which weekend you will be traveling so we can schedule accordingly.  If you do not have plans at this point I will let you know which weekend now so you can schedule your travel around that time.

Thank you for the notice.

He replies:

I’m not scheduling my summer visitation around you so pick your weekend.

This is getting ridiculous, so I reply:

Good Evening ,

I would like July 6th -8th  or August 3rd -5th.  Please let me know which one works better with your travel plans.


He replies with this, stating he is ‘not trying to make this complicated’… um yeah…

I’m not trying to make this complicated but its way to early to plan the details for our trips and I can’t pick a weekend for you so choose one.

So I decided I am not going to keep dragging this on and it is clear he is being difficult.  Plus our daughter is visiting with him during this time and I do not see any reason to carrying on while she is there.  Besides I have two weeks to give him my answer, my reply:

Good Morning,

Why don’t we table this issue for another time.  Enjoy your weekend with our daughter while she is there.

Amazing how he tries to drag on conversations like he does.


3 thoughts on “Manipulation of the Children – Abusive Fathers

Add yours

  1. I am living the same story and it is very difficult each day. This morning I’m off to meet my ex to discuss coparenting issues. I’m reading your blog to gear up and get ready to “not react” to the crap my ex throws my way. Thank you for sharing your story. Check out mine whenever you need to know you are not alone.


  2. My ex is insisting both my kids love with him- he’s got my oldest a place in a school near him, 200 miles away from me for next year and my younger one will follow. My kids are more than agreeable to this and believe their father when he tells them it’s their life and their choice. They are now well and truly manipulated and our relationship is under strain, and is heightened straight after contact with him. They have now been manipulated to ‘hate’ my partner and are refusing to live with him when we marry. I am beyond broken and feel that I am losing the battle. I know it’s right for them to live with me but struggle with them every day.


  3. I am having the same situation with my 6yr old abusive father… he use to abuse me but to make the story short we got our case closed a long time ago, I have been letting my son father see him often but I feel as tho I’m not ready for my son to live with his father do to manipulation and abuse from back whe, he took my son from school and made a transfer without my say so I’m really confused cause I feel in my heart that he’s still be in emotionally abusive between me and my son.. he’s not trying to understand that I have still been letting him be in my son’s life after the abusive relationship… I really need help cause he won’t let me see my son now… I have to wait to go to court for custody in Nov… I’m really upset rite now.. please help


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