Going through divorce is very hard on everyone involved. If you are reading this, you probably already have experience in this area. When children are involved, it is especially difficult. This is especially true when one of the parents do not take into consideration the children’s feelings over how they are personally hurting. Unfortunately, many things can be done and said that are not in the best interest of the children. What happens when your ex lies to your children?
What can you do you to prevent your ex from lying to your children either about you, or about the situation that was played out between the both of you? The truth is, there isn’t much you can do. You have no control over what the other person is going to say or do. You can only control the yourself and how you react to the situation. The best way to combat this is to plan now what you would say, if your children come to you asking about what your ex has told them.
First and foremost, it is always a good idea to stick to the truth. The tricky part is sticking to it while making sure your conversation is age-appropriate for your children. It is never a good idea to talk bad about the other parent. Even if what they’re doing is wrong. Rather, it may be a better idea speak in generalities. For example, you can explain to them that sometimes adults do not always make the right decisions, and they let their feelings get the best of them. Explaining to your children that adults also make mistakes may help them understand that people are not perfect. It’ll also help them realize that what your ex is doing is wrong without directly pointing the finger at him/her.
However, if your ex is doing something blatantly wrong, that needs to be addressed with your children, do not hesitate to correct the situation. You do not want your children under the impression that the damaging lie is true, so make sure the lines of communication are always open with them. If you have a relationship with your ex where you can discuss this with him or her, then take full advantage of that. Unfortunately, if your ex is lying about something, that usually indicates that the relationship is not one where you can address issues effectively with them.
It is also helpful to realize and explain to your children that people who are happy in their lives and with their relationships do not spend their time lying and causing problems with other people. When people are so bitter about the past, it’s usually a symptom that they still care or are still heard and have not worked through their issues. Understanding this allows you to have a little more empathy and pity for your ex rather than engaging them in a fight of trying to correct their lies.
Everyone has a choice to make in how they live their lives and how they want the quality of their lives to be. If your ex chooses to be bitter and spiteful, there’s nothing you can do about that except to live your life well and happy and make sure your children feel that. It will be all too soon before your children see the difference between yourself and your ex and figure out who is really acting out negatively.
Source: Amber J. Cabrera
Inspiration from: Using Divorce Mediation : Save your money & your sanity / by Katherine E. Stoner.
Berkeley, Calif. : Nolo Press, c1999.