This is my first time, but I really need some advice. I'll try to keep it short, but my husband and I have been having problems with his ex-wife for 2 years ( the total time we have been together). My husband took his ex-wife to court to get joint custody of their three children ( 13, 12, and 10) in june 03. They've been in a court battle ever since. She "manics" quite frequently, is a heavy drinker, and uses marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine. She is constantly on and off her meds (lithium). She hates me and my husband ( although she still has never met me). She's constantly pitting the children against their father and me. The courts are some help, but it's slow going. The children are so confused by all this and are actually the ones suffering. It's impossible to convince her that she is doing anything wrong and she is constantly using the bipolar disorder as an excuse for he behavior. Any advise? We just want a stable, adjusted family. How do we deal with the children, the exwife and the courts ( she's very good at putting on a different face in court and the 13 year old daughter is completely convinced that mom never does anything wrong)? Please help. Thank you
Wow, you do have problems, the kids ages don't help either - problem years & years when they're testing anyway much less with all this going on.
Seems like some individual & family counselling or even support groups (for kids separate to you & your husband) as you all have a need to vent & say things that shouldn't be said in front of each other or the kids especially!! No point you doing the same as the ex. Talk (if possible) to the cousellors at the kids schools so that they're aware of what's going on & can be on the look out for behaviour changes & know to also let you know not just the ex.
Be there for each of the kids, separately & as a group - give them time & things (things aren't just expensive stuff) & let them know you'll listen but be firm -0 it sounds like thier mother wouldn't really do any of that especially not be firm or give her time - much less actually listen to them.
As to her putting on a good show in court - if a private investigator is out of the question cost wise - is there a friend the ex doesn't know who would follow & take some photos/video of her behaviour?? This may not seem right but where kids are concerned I don't care about right only what is best. I was a child welfare officer & a probation & parole officer so I do have some idea of what i'm talking about.
Thank you for your response. The kids have been seeing a therapist, and it seems to help some. I've thought about talking to him myself, as i've been having trouble getting past my husbands old mistakes that present themselves every time we have to deal with the ex. It's very frustrating when the ex's husband admits that she's doing meth. And the courts know, but since she doesn't do it around the children it seems to be ok. I've been doing research on these drugs and the affects are frightening. I have been considering using a friend as a p.I. I never thought about the school couselers, that's an excellent idea. There doesn't seem to be any support groups for families who have to deal with the bipolar parent, just support groups for the one who is bipolar. I would love to talk with people who have had to deal with similliar situations, exspecially who have had success. There is no reasoning with her. We just want the courts to see that she could potentially hurt the children with her drug use and drinking; although there has already been damage from the mental abuse and immoral messages she gives them.