When dealing with a difficult ex-spouse who interferes with your parenting, you may start to worry about your relationship with your children.
Parental alienation is a serious concern among divorced couples who share custody, but there are ways to tell when it occurs.
Wariness and confusion
According to Psychology Today, many children feel caught between two relationships after a divorce. Although you may have joint custody, your children may be closer to one parent more than the other.
When your ex-spouse manipulates or lies to your children about what you feel toward them, what you are doing or any other piece of information, they may feel confused about what to do. This rift can cause them to treat you with a certain level of wariness.
Lack of communication and contact
Alienation can happen when your children stay for longer than agreed upon at their other parent’s house or your ex-spouse drops them off late when it is your time alone with them. This lack of communication is one way to fracture your relationship with your children, especially when they are young.
An ex-spouse may screen calls their children get or even refuse to allow them to call you. Some people even take children over the state lines without warning in more extreme cases.
Children often repeat what they hear without understanding the implications of it. If you notice they are talking about you in a way that appears to mirror your ex-spouse’s attitude toward you, it may be a sign that alienation is occurring when you are not present.
Dealing with an interfering parent can be stressful and complicated, but noticing these signs early on may help you prevent worse issues from happening.