Had the good fortune to experience my final court hearing in my divorce yesterday. Apparently the steps from here are all paperwork and the divorce will be finalized within 2 weeks per our normal county system.
During this final appearance, there were several lawyer to lawyer conversations finalizing the last details. At one point the two attorneys and my ex and I ended up in a hallway “discussing” the parenting situation. I say discussing, so it ended up as it always has, with my ex angry about me “forcing the kids” to have a relationship with me and how there is no way she is doing this.
My lawyer tried to explain that there is a huge difference between telling the kids that they are being forced (by the court or by their dad) to go to counseling and helping them understand that whenever we face huge adversity in our life, it’s very wise to seek independent, neutral advice.
My lawyer then got an earful from my ex about how she will not be told how to parent by someone who hasn’t even met her kids. She then went back into all the old talking points she has leveraged for years about how horrible a father I am and how could she make her kids reconcile with someone who has created so much damage?
It seems to be the most successful tact in these situations to just let the Volcano blow its top and wait until the lava cools. I have gotten pretty good at not letting lies sit out there unanswered, however. When a lie comes up in her rant, I calmly disagree and explain that this is not true. Once. She will always retort with a “you know it is true.” or something like that. My reply is usually a simple, “No, it is not.” and I leave it at that. I think maybe erecting pillars of truth will allow her or maybe the kids to find their way back over the lava flows at some point, no?
Now we get to the crux of the question — how did all of this help me know for sure that I’m in an alienation situation? My lawyer took me aside after this blast of venom in the court hallway and said that in her experience, any person who is wiling to explode like this in the court hallway has a problem turning this off when they get back with their kids. “There’s no way the kids are NOT picking up on her anger and derision toward you at home.”
So, if you’re constantly dealing with a very angry ex, there’s a good chance that is spilling over on your kids. If your ex cannot control their anger in a public courtroom or hallway or in front of attorneys, there’s a pretty likely chance that they cannot control it in front of the kids.