Difference between Alienation and Estrangement

I thought this post was extremely helpful.  (See Link at Bottom)

“It isn’t uncommon for a parent who is estranged from his/her children to blame the other parent of PAS. It is easier to blame others for bad behavior than to accept and acknowledge bad behavior.”

I have to be honest.  After reading this, I was a bit concerned.  Maybe I was doing this?  Maybe I was really estranged from my children — through my own fault  — and I was blaming my ex-wife for this instead of taking my own responsibility.

I was relieved to see the later information in the post:

A parent who has been alienated from his/her child will continue to pursue a relationship with the child. The parent will attempt to communicate on a regular basis, will send emails and cards. The same parent will use the court system to fight the alienating parent and retain their legal rights to a relationship with their child.

It was good to hear that my actions shouldn’t be construed as anything negative.  I just went through another series of negative texts from my daughter this weekend — one completely unprovoked as I hadn’t even texted her.  She was upset that she’d heard from her mother that I was at her brother’s soccer game.  Apparently, in her view, I’m not allowed to attend any games. I didn’t respond.  I will keep coming to games.  I will keep texting and emailing, I will fight in the courts for access to my kids.  That’s what Dads do.



5 thoughts on “Difference between Alienation and Estrangement

  1. Home

    Society, family courts must empower, not limit, fathers

    By Glen Gibellina Published: May 6, 2013 Bradenton Herald, FL.

    Where have all the fathers gone?

    Family courts and feminism have stripped men of their ability to be authority figures. Men who express any type of authority are labeled as mean, uncaring, and even abusive.

    Their role as father has been reduced to nothing more than that of a helpless bystander who can no longer parent with any authority.

    We are headed for absolute disaster if we do not start changing the message now and start teaching fathers that it is OK to be authoritative and teaching them to lay down the law with their children.

    We need to let men know that being a father is OK, and that having their child cry or be punished for acting badly does not make them some sort of monster.

    Fathers have lost their place in the family and are now left confused and powerless while their children walk all over them and become the misguided leaders of the family. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    It’s time to give fathers back their power as parents. Society and family courts need to wake up and see the irreparable damage being done to our children. Family courts have hindered a father’s ability to parent effectively.

    Children need rules, direction, and authority in order to thrive. Children need to fail, to fall down, to get hurt, to cry, and to see consequences to their actions in order to be healthy and well-adjusted.

    Third-party “experts” who are not qualified to control their own family life have no place in our family lives. Jury trials would assure that.

    If society and family courts would spend as much time and money putting the family back together instead of separating them we as a nation would be better off.

    Glen Gibellina


    Never Give Up, Never Retreat and Never, Never Surrender


    Congressional Testimony: Glen Gibellina to Bill Windsor of Lawless America

  2. Anne

    Here’s an example of estrangement (with the father of my own children). During our marriage, he never showed much interest in his children, particularly our two youngest sons. He didn’t change a single diaper and paid them hardly any attention. He never took them to a single birthday party. He was not interested in what they did or learned.

    When I left him, he decided that he should have joint custody of our three youngest children. I have never kept them from them and send them to him three weekends a month. He calls me names to them (he has referred to me as “the bitch” and “pigface”). Our eldest son moved back in with him after I left, because we were staying with friends who had little space, and became a nervous, unhappy wreck and rejoined me soon after I moved into a new apartment. He tried to pressure our son (who is officially an adult) not to let me or my mother attend his musical gigs at a public venue, and when our son refused, he disowned him. Three times.

    He has twice kicked our daughter out of his house at weekends after she protected her younger brothers when he was verbally abusing them. My youngest son told me that he was spending as much time as he could in the upstairs bathroom because his father doesn’t go there much. Our second youngest gets stomach cramps every Thursday night before the weekends he has to go to his father.

    He wanted them to stay with them for six weeks during summer, but none of the children wanted that. We agreed on 2 weeks and he suddenly decided that it should be during a period on which my birthday was in the middle of the second week (a Wednesday). I insisted that I wanted to see them on this day and they arrived at the door that morning, suitcases in hand, saying “Daddy said he’ll see us again at the weekend”. Then they let slip that he had actually gone to work every day except one of the one and a half week period they had been with him. Now he is going away overseas on vacation for three weeks with his girlfriend, and has told me that I have to keep them for his weekends during that period. I can see that if he gets joint custody, he’ll likely get bored with them and the weeks that they are supposed to be with him will fall away, especially when he realizes what an inconvenience to him it is.

  3. Robin

    I just found your blog, so maybe you’ve discussed this before. It’s not just dads who are alienated, moms are too. I’m a prime example. I disagree with “The same parent will use the court system to fight the alienating parent and retain their legal rights to a relationship with their child.” I have been told by lawyers, the courts will not touch PAS cases, as they are a grey issue. Courts deal with black and white. Not getting your alimony from your ex? The courts can help you. It’s a black and white issue. PAS is not. It falls in that grey area, and you’re spinning your wheels, wasting your money. I send cards, I send texts. Honestly I don’t really go to school functions anymore. They’re just too hard. And teacher conferences…when the teacher says “Did M show you the project he’s working on? I hope he’s been working on it at home.” And you have to explain, you have no idea, because he doesn’t live in your home. In fact, he’s never been to your home, and the last time you’ve hugged him was over 2 years ago. Nope. Way too painful. I have to move on, I have to live, and these are just things I can no longer do. But I love my kids, and I long for the day – and hope it comes, because it may never – where they will understand, and I can be in their lives again.

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