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It wasn’t about the phone

Caroline2b1211's picture

So after a great analysis of the situation, i helped DH to come with a solution about SS holidays. 
DH called BM to tell he agrees for the phone during july (whitout explaning the plan to block MIL).  
BM said it was great, and that she will tell SS tonight. 

DH had SS on the phone, and SS talked about the fact that BM asked how much time he wanted to spend with us this summer, and that he wants to come one week. DH didn't answer to that. 

Then, tonight, she sent a message to DH, and if i sum up : she talked to SS. But SS said that he didn't want to come the entire month. Actually, he only wants to come for a week. BM said that she doesn't want to force SS to spend the month, or even 2 weeks because he is physically sick of the idea. She said that SS was really mature for his age, and mature enough to decide what's best for him. She says that she doesn't want to private DH from his son, but that the well-being of SS must be prior to adult desire. That she would adore the idea to let SS spend the month, but that he doesn't want. That it's not an easy decision for her to take, but that they both need to "listen to little SS opinion". 

DH is just shocked, and doesn't process the BM text yet. 

For my part, i have the impression here to see MIL deepest desire becoming true : SS rejecting his father. The impression to hear her words "in a few time, when SS won't want to see you, you will only have your eyes to cry". 

No comment on BM analysis. If my son didn't want to see his father such deeply, i would try to discover what is going on in his mind, try to help him with those feelings, but i would never assume that he is capable of knowing what's best for him at 10. 


stepmomnorth's picture

Well you're definitely right, it wasn't about the phone that was all just some kind of excuse to hide behind what she was really trying to do. She's wrong about him being mature enough to make that decision at that age, he is too young and she's alienating. 

Cover1W's picture

Parental alienation in action.

Your DH must insist on the month as agreed. If he gives up it'll make it so much the worse later.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Look into Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS (sorry, don't know what it's called in French). That's what is happening here. My guess is that BM, MIL, and SIL are mad that you had a baby AND that you have given your DH courage to stand up against them. They're going to make DH suffer by making SS hate him. What they don't realize is that they're also going to damage SS in the process.

I know your DH doesn't want to get the courts involved, but he's going to have to decide really quickly if he wants to fight this or not - and the fight will be a legal one. Good luck, and I'm sorry this is happening.

Winterglow's picture

I agree. 

These women hate OP's husband much more than they love SS. 

Winterglow's picture

Time to see a lawyer. Visitation AND child support. This is alienation at its finest. Your poor husband, I am ANGRY for him. 

Please tell him to go for the jugular from me. 

ESMOD's picture

If I were your DH I would insist on the time.  That sometimes we do things that might be scary but can be good for us.. and while he understands that a month away from his home may seem like a lot.. that his relationship with his FATHER is very important and he needs to be encouraged to be open to bonding with dad too.. and at 10.. no.. you are not mature enough to make these decisions.

TrueNorth77's picture

Kids do not know what is best for them, or what they truly want at age 10, no matter "how mature they are". He spends the majority of his time with BM, so that's where his comfort level is now. It doesn't mean that's the best thing. Chances are, he would get to DH's and after a few weeks settle into a nice routine and be happy he came. But he doesn't know that now. Because he's 10!! DH definitely shouldn't let this decision be made by BM or SS- he should claim the time or it will only get worse. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I agree. I think he should insist on the month and call BS on the age thing. It's clear alienation. I would see lawyer. And at minimum demand that time. If they refuse even that one month I would go after it with a lawyer. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Thanks all for replys ! 
Of course SS is in his comfort zone. During COVID lockdown, he spent 2 months entirely with us (BM worked) and was so happy to enjoy time with his father. I try to let DH doesn't take it personnaly as a full reject. 

Sure, he is not mature enough to understand why it's so important for him to bond (i will even say re-bond) with his father. 
I red back BM text "listen, he is not 6 anymore but almost 11, we need to understand that he knows what's best for him". 

I absolutely know the PAS syndrome. In france we call  it "SAP". However, nowadays this syndrome is hardly questioned in France and the word in court is not appreciated at all. 

For now DH didn't answer cause he needs to calm down and to process what happened. 

I agreed he should and must insist and not giving up on the holidays. However, i already know the answer : it will be bunch of insult about "you get what you deserve" and "in my opinion you should think about what leads to this situation because you are 100% responsible of that". 
Remember we are facing a BM that let his 9yo son choose between a COVID test and a christmas without his father. 

I also agree with court option. 
I will encourage him to see our layer BUT hope that he won't dishearten DH.

I 100% agree that's the best for SS is to bond with DH, even if a court is needed to. BUT, i'm wondering if it will work and if it's the best solution. 
I'm just thinking. 

First, because in france, when a mother doesn't show up with the child, it take about 4 to 5 years to be punished by the law. And the punishment is not exemplar : law recall. Point. 

BM in france doesn't risk that much to not sending they children to their father. And the time it takes to be processed by the court, children are old enough to hate their father, even more when they are victim of PAS. 

Second, i'm not sure it will pacifiate SS relationship with DH. If we are in front of a BM enraged by an exemplar court humiliation.

Finally, i'm freaking out about what MIL and SIL could invent to try to make BM win "free visitations" (ie. the child comes when he wants) : DH violent, me abusive etc, etc, etc... i'm not sure I'm ready for the battle. 

And in France, we says "better have a bad agreement than a good court order". 

But of course, it's just my first thoughs of the court idea. And the best of the best would have been a court order during DH and BM separation. Thanks DH to have listened to his mother, and don't make his own decisions. The worst it's that It's on HIS entire falt.  

Winterglow's picture

What would happen if he told her he was going for full custody seeing as she was alienating SS/wasn't respecting their agreement/was farming out babysitting when his father would have taken him? In other words, that she didn't seem capable of parenting with her ex 

Caroline2b1211's picture

I think she would laugh because we live in France. And in France, only physical evidence of abuse could make a BM lost full custody if she doesn't want to give up on it.
Since many months, i'm active on a french law forum and learned everything about CS. 
That's why i know what DH pays for support is higher than a court will decide. 

That's also why i get that it might be too late for DH to work on this option. Because SS is almost 11. And at 13, a child is listened by the court, and if he does't want to see his father, the court will order "free visitation". 
By the time DH wins the battle, SS will be old enough to ask for it. And by the time french justice will setence BM to not send SS to DH, SS would have spend years withoud seing his father, brainwashed by MIL, SIL and BM, and he would hate DH, me and DS. 


That's how i'm seeing the situation now, BUT i might be  defeatest, because i'm depressed of the today talks with BM. so let's see how our lawer will analyze the situation. 

Winterglow's picture

The point is to threaten her with losing control of her son to try and get her to parent like a decent human being. Remember, she doesn't have the knowledge that you have. Scare tactics 

lieutenant_dad's picture

If she's going to go back on their agreement, then I say DH at least gets his CS adjusted downward. It's not a full win, but be damned her getting more money than she should if she's going to keep SS away. If she wants SS to get that monetary benefit, she can send him for visitation. If DH doesn't like SS not benefiting from a reduction in CS, then he can put the difference into a bank account that he can give to SS when he is an adult.

If she wants to play stupid games, she can win stupid prizes.

Caroline2b1211's picture

Yes but the relationship with SS would be worst, isn't it ?

"I'm sending you to your father because he threatened me to send less money for you if i don't do so" or "your dad sent me to court because he doesn't think you are good enought to deserve the financial support he was used to give".
Or worst "dad isn't sending you money because he prefers invest on your half-brother future". 

The_Upgrade's picture

You're acting from a place of fear, not logic. Your DH's son does not want to see him, it can't get any worse. They're already lying to him, sending money won't make them tell the truth. All they want him for is his wallet and he's opening it up and holding it out in hopes they will see reason. From experience, the only way to move forward and have any real relationship is to maintain proper boundaries. Pay the right amount, not the guilt amount.

My DH tried paying whatever they asked for to keep SD happy. She was perfectly happy to take but then disappeared again once the funds dried up. Read my old posts, the grand finale was over asking DH to pay for a 21st party because "she deserves the best" while telling him of course he isn't invited. Nowadays DH catches up with SD once or twice a year outside our home. He admits this dynamic was not what he hoped for but understands it's more real than anything they had back when she was nice just to get free things (like a freaking car). It took a lot of counselling to DH to come to terms with the fact that it is what it is and he can't control the outcomes, it is what it is. 

strugglingSM's picture

Isn't it funny that children of divorce (especially those with HCBMs) are all so mature enough that they can make their own decisions about schedules and what they want. BM in my case does this all the time - DH will ask for an extra night or extra day for some specific reason and BM will say, "I have to ask SSs, because I will only approve if it's what they want to do."

Compare that to DH telling SSs that if they don't want to come to our house anymore, they don't have to (this conversation has happened repeatedly because a) BM has told DH they hate coming to our house and b) they are miserable and rude when they are here). In response, BM tells DH that he's a terrible father who doesn't care about his children...but isn't he also just giving SKids permission to do what they want? 

BM also loves to tell SSs that she's offered other time and DH never takes it...yeah, she's offered time when she wants to go away without SSs or when she needs a break, never time that DH could actually take. It's all a game...

I'm so over the HCBM drama...and the fact that all HCBMs are only ever just doing what's "in the best interest of the children". 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Super mature, the idea makes me crazy. I feel bad for him to have this decision on his shoulders. 

In an another world, i would love DH to answer "Sure dear BM, SS is super mature to take decision. So i guess you will agree if tomorrow he asks you to give up school next year right ? When SS goes to school, he has stomac ache, exaclty the same than he has when he comes to see me.  
Because it's the same type of decision than the one you made him take tonight". 

Winterglow's picture

I worry when I read about children who are SO mature because I wonder whether that doesn't just mean that their mother thinks they are mature enough to listen to their (adult) problems. And that's wrong on so many levels 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Yes ! Super worring. And i'm sure it's how she sees him. So do MIL who is willing to talk to SS about what her disturbed mind imagine about our couple and family situation. 
(Of course if it's not SS lies, but this new event - stomac ache when he comes - makes me think most of his confidences were true). 

strugglingSM's picture

So true! BM always tells one SS all about her relationships. She recently went through divorce #2 (to former stepdad, whom SSs were referring to as "dad" when I met them) and told SS all about how he "wasn't the man I thought he was" and a bunch of other things. She also told SS all this stuff about DH, most of which wasn't even true, but was usually along the lines of how sad BM was and how mean DH was because he wouldn't be her "friend". BM has also told them things about other friends that she's has conflicts with, including a former friend of hers who added SSs as friends on FB. BM told them they had to block her because she (the friend) told BM's sister all about how BM was abusing prescription drugs...not sure why she told them that rather than make something up, because she did have a prescription drug habit at one point (and maybe still does). She repeatedly asked DH to "fake an injury", so the doctor would give him painkillers. 

SS tried to tell DH he wasn't paying enough child support. DH told him that finances were none of his business. He told DH that he was now 14, so he was old enough to get involved. Um, okay. Both of my SSs are going to have such dysfunctional relationships as adults. They've only ever watched BM totally emasculate any man that has ever had the misfortune of coming into contact with her. They have also seen her repeatedly have histrionic meltdowns in order to get what she wants. 

Mamabearof3's picture

My Mil helped alienate my SD and around age 9 is when we had these same conversations with BM. She's 16 now and we're virtually no contact. Very low contact anyways. 

Rags's picture

"My COd visitation with my child starts on Date X and I will return my son on Date Y.  Neither you nor my child will stipulate my time with him. If you fail to provide my son as stipulated, we will immediately take you before the Judge so you can explain why you are violating my COd time with my child"

Though you may only have two years to beat the shit out of BM in court, you can also go after reduction in Child Support.  Time to start making the baring of BM's idiot ass your fondest hobby for the duration of your SS's childhood.  Drag her ass to court for anything and everything. If I were your SO, I would.

Have fun!


Caroline2b1211's picture

Thanks rags, 

This is really tempting. However i'm not sure it's the best way to maitain a relative peaceful relationship with SS.

Since yesterday, i'm searching for testimonial about father who didn't see their children since many months (sometimes years) even with a court order. 
Fact is that, even if BM are penaly reprimanded by the law, nothing more really happen. 

For child support reduction, it's temptating too. I it was suggested, to take the difference into a bank account and give the money to SS when he is older.

However, i'm not sure it's the best idea for encouraging SS to see his father. 
It might be worst because BM could alienate and PAS even more. 

The only thing BM is right is that it's DH 100% falt. If 10 years ago, when he was 25, he did what he has to do to secure its father rights, nothing would have happend. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Finally, DH anwsered to BM this morning, here is the translation : 

"I'm really concerned and worried about the way you are dealing with SS maturity and wants. 
Of course i don't deny the fact that SS isn't thrilled to visit me this summer, however i have an opposite analysis of the reasons why he is acting this way. 

Since you seems perfeclty convinced about SS maturity to take decisions about his future, and about what is best for him, i'm worried. 
How would you react if SS doesn't want to go to school anymore ? Or doesn't want to bath, brush his teeth ? If he doesn't want to take medication when he's sick ? How would you react if SS wants to eat junck food all day long ? Quit sports ? 

I'm really concerned about your real habilities to deal with SS education, moreover now that he is 10 and almost a teenager. Educate a teenager takes lot more than listening all wants and needs and being his best friend.
Your management of the situatuon is really worring. 
I give you some days to think about your initial position. And if you dont change your mind, i'll do my best to ensure SS a good education based life, even if it means you won't be the primary custody parent anymore"

Winterglow's picture

I can just imagine her pooh-poohing all the way through this message and then reading the last phrase. The shock effect must have been huge.

OTOH, this is also a declaration of war. I wish him all the luck in the world. Has he ever contacted any of the associations for divorced fathers? I ask because they might have ideas that none of us here has come up with yet and also because they have experience of the difficulties that fathers meet in France. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Yes, for now it's bluff and tactics because DH doesn't know what next steps he will take (or won't). 

We are wainting for threats and injure. 

Next week we see the layer, and we will work on pro and cons.

Good idea about the association, i'll talk to DH about it

stepmomnorth's picture

That was an amazing response, very well thought out!! That was worded just right. My advice is stick to your guns in this (stick to what he's written there and don't deviate). He's right on all points. It's a turning point right now for how things might be in the future. Thats why it's important to act now and fight for this time, which is what you are doing. It's good he stood up to her. She cannot allow a 10 year old to make decisions, especially as bio mom doing this in a manipulative way to meet her own agenda. 

Winterglow's picture

With an association behind him he might find that he has more clout. As for their reactions, let them go to voice mail. Make sure to keep them if they contain threats. 

ESMOD's picture

that was a good response for sure.  It gives her some things to really think about and puts her on notice that he won't just roll over.

Tried out's picture

visitation going down:

BM: Do you really want to visit your dad this summer?

SS: Yeah, it'll be f (catches look on BM's face) ok I guess...

BM: It's okay if you don't want to stay the whole month.

SS: Okay...

BM: So how long do you want to stay?

SS: Ummm...

BM: Maybe just a couple weeks?

SS: Okay...

BM: You sound like you don't really want to go at all. Maybe just one week would be better for you?

SS: Okay...

BM: Don't you miss me when you're at your dad's? I miss you soooooo much.

SS: (knows the answer to this one!) Oh, yes, Mommy! I miss you the whole time!

BM: Then that's what we'll tell your father - you only want to stay a week.

SS: Okay...

BM: Because that's what you want, right? Because you'd miss me too much?

SS: Oh, yes, Mommy!

End of Round One. Conversation to be repeated multiple times in the upcoming days.

stepmomnorth's picture

I agree. And really it should be that bio mom encourages their visits and speak highly of his dad. And how important it is to spend family time together. And how  much she knows that his dad loves him. Thats what a decent parent would say, unfortunately its often not the case. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Hi winterglow, 

No she is not ! She has partner, and they have together a 5 yo boy. When she was pregnant, she was yealling at DH because he couldn't take SS on a last minute request on HER time to let her have a break.

That makes me laugh