“Dear Dr. Eve
I am going through a very bitter divorce.
I am so angry and so upset with my soon-to-be-ex. I really loved him
and thought we had a good life together. Until I discovered that he has
been having an affair with a colleague for the last 3 years. I have been
totally consumed in uncovering all the facts so there has been plenty of
screaming and shouting in the house. Of course, I kicked my husband out
of the house and I won’t let the kids see him.
I write to you as I found marijuana in my 13 years old’s bedroom and my
16 year old is sneaking her boyfriend in to have sex. How should I
manage these kids of mine?
Infidelity is a shocking discovery that has left you shattered. It upends
your life, gets you to question your whole life, and asks who you are and
who is this person you once called “husband”. I’m sorry for your pain.
I would say that you, like everyone who has ever gone through a
divorce, are suffering from trauma. And in turn so are your children,
evidenced by their acting out behaviour.
Let’s unpack the reality of divorce .
Divorce bankrupts people, tears children from their homes, and is a
billion $ industry.
However, the full cost of divorce destroys families and children.
Every 60 seconds a child loses contact with one family member due to
divorce: a parent, sibling, or grandparent, from nuclear and/or
Post-divorce a child is left with one parent and one visitor. That is a
parent who visits regularly or irregularly via visitation rights accorded by
the courts. Or is left with a parent who is completely erased.
And dads are the easiest to erase. There is a lot of discrimination against
dads due to stereotypes that exist. Some of these include :
– Dads are “deadbeats “
– Their primary role is providing and protecting
Then the stereotypes about mom’s include :
– Mom’s who work are not good moms
– Mom’s are better parents than dads
You are a typical example of how quick and easy it is to erase a dad
from children’s lives. As stated I have compassion for her tremendous
current heartache post betrayal.. yet erasing their dad from their lives
is not the solution to your heartache.
And there may be other ways that you are erasing their dad from their
lives.. more subtle, nuanced ways. For example, you may be discussing
the affair with them which immediately is going to make them
question their dad and create distance and judgment.
Brainwashing your children into hating their father, makes your
children fear him .. and erase him from their lives.
In this way, you are creating Parental Alienation. Any behavior that a
parent does, either directly or subtly, alienates children from their
father. Even your tone of voice when you talk about him, you’re facial
expression and body movements will lead to your children eliminating
their father and alienate them from him. How tragic! it is like a death
– your children lose a dad and a dad loses his children.
This is a massive human rights issue and will create mental health
problems for your children.
I urge you to manage your anger and your pain of intimacy injustice,
before signing a custody agreement. I urge you to push for joint
custody, shared parenting. Children are better with both parents.
Go on Lebo, do it, get the professional counseling needed to get you
to a place where you can think clearly and make positive child custody