The following question has been asked by a reader:
What is shared parenting like when one parent is already controlling?
What most people do not realize; is that when they go to leave a controlling person the control does not stop there. Especially in regards to a divorce with minor children. Often the children are used as pawns. They are bribed, manipulated, and in some cases completely brainwashed.
In today’s court systems; shared parenting seems to be the most common agreement reached in regards to custody. In some cases, it should be named shared chaos. I don’t find these agreements to be appropriate in cases where there have been control issues. It is only setting up the stage for a show that the children will never forget. “If the two parents couldn’t agree and cooperate married, odds are they never will. There will always be hiccups.”
The controlling person may not show up when they say to pick up or return the children. He/She may not return their child’s calls. And often times, he/she uses mind games with the children to get his/her digs in on you. It is a sick game that they play, and often feels to those being controlled as though they are imprisoned. They got away from the environment, and away from the person. Yet still today, that person manages to control them with the children they share.
Examples of control issues post decree:
You have planned a day with the children. The other parent is fully aware. He/she decides you can’t have the kids that day at the last-minute. Now he/she is in control again.
He/she knows that you have a busy day. It is his/her day with the children. Suddenly you get a call from your child/children asking if you can keep them on the other parents parenting time. Of course, you say yes. But then find yourself wondering how you will ever get everything done now, who will babysit, etc. The controlling person has just caused you to get worked up, and he/she wins!
He/She tells the children things such as : “NO, you can’t go see your mom/dad it is MY week!” Or better yet,” NO, you can’t call your mom/dad!” I have read in countless books that this is the absolute worst thing for any parent to do. Interfering with their relationship with the other parent will cause deep seeded issues. They need to figure out who is who, themselves. Nine times out of ten the child as an adult will resent the parent that interfered.
When a person has issues with control and their partner walks away; they begin to lose control themselves. The children this now divorced couple share are the controlling person’s only way left to control their former partner. Whether it be mind games with the kids or you; the control does not typically stop just by filing for a divorce and divorcing.
In time the intensity of the control may cease but time is the key factor. It is usually when the children are grown and have finally find their voice to speak up for themselves. This typically does not bring favorable results for the parent with control issues. SO meanwhile, just bite your tongue whenever necessary and bide your time.
Until a controlling person discovers who they are and solve the issues that turned them into a controlling person in the first place; things will be as they have always been. Stressful and overbearing.
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