Hello. My BF and I have been struggling with his ex-wife's continual lies to my, for lack of better term, step-daughter, Liz. "Liz" is 12, and a beautiful, smart, brilliant girl who has enough issues as it is with the usual almost-a-teen issues and has adapted quite well to the whole extended family thing. The problem has been that for the past 3 or 4 months or so "Liz" has been exceptionally moody, miserable, and spiteful. My BF and I at first thought it was a kind of playing both sides kind of thing for more freedoms, spending money, etc. but then, after a while we had the sense that this was not the case (entirely). My BF and I learned that "Liz"'s mother, my BF's ex, has been filling my SD with horible and hurtful lies. The ex has always been a bitter, just plain mean woman, so her bahavior is not surprising and nothing new to my BF of 2 years and I. The problem is that the lies she fills my SD with have become horrendous and quite damaging to ALL of us. She has said, among other things, that I hate my SD and want to "get rid of her and have my BF to myself", that my BF was cheating on her mom with me and that's why they split, and things along that line. We all know these lies are ridiculous, but each week that we have "Liz" with us (it's a one week us, one week with the ex arrangement) there is a new lie that takes us a week to figure out, then she returns to the lying, mother. We expect that Liz is confused and we struggle very much with being patient and understanding, but the strain is at times completely draining. The ex has become more viscious since my BF and I decided to move out of our rental appartment into our own home but that SHOULD be her problem if she is jealious, but now she is hurting an innocent child in an effort to hurt my BF- and it is working. Anyone have any advice? How do I know when Liz is being a typical pre-teen "brat" or seriously hurting? How do I talk to Liz and let her know I care about her? How do I combat the lies without bad-mouthing the mother? Does anyone else know what I am going through and if you do, please tell me when it gets better!!!
The best thing I can tell you to do is to just sit her down and explain that what her mother is telling her about the two of you is simply not true. That you do care about her, love her and aren't trying to get rid of her. Maybe planning more "family" outings would help or a special father/daughter night twice a month or so.
I realize this is an old thread but I'm kind of in a similar situation.
My fiance's ex-wife is a compulsive liar, she lies about the silliest things right up to serious issues. Unfortunately we don't get to spend a lot of time with my fiance's children as they live in a different province with their mother. When we do spend time with them, they're very well behaved but very introverted and it takes us quite a while to get them to open up...but once they do...we're shocked with what we hear. ONCE, my fiance asked his ex-wife about some of the things the kids said and unfortunately, the kids paid for it once they went back to her. She was vicious with them for telling their Dad stuff. So now he's in a precarious position where he hears things from the kids...but can't talk to their Mom about it because she'll take it out on the kids.
So....what we do is...try to talk to the kids and get THEM to talk to their mother about stuff. We comfort them, tell them the truth and tell them that if they have an issue with their Mom that they need to talk to her about it (as well as talking to us.) In the end, it would seem that the kids recognize that their mother is off the wall. When they're with her, life is chaotic and they can put two and two together to realize that she's telling lots of lies, not to mention that she asks the kids to lie for her. When they're with us, we have a very calm home life and I think they can see for themselves that we have a more "normal" adult relationship. All we can do is be here for them, support them, listen to them and show them what a loving family truly is like.
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