Let her have it

Malta Independent - - News - Miriam Cas­sar is a So­ci­ol­o­gist and LEAD par­tic­i­pant Miriam Cas­sar

There is a new, or per­haps not so new, breed of men out there. Th­ese men are not young care­free studs or play­boys

(as we used to call them). Rather, they’re older.

T hey were once mar­ried but are now ei­ther separated or di­vorced and usu­ally in their early to mid fifties. They are the fa­thers of ado­les­cent or grown up chil­dren. I’ve com­piled their pro­file af­ter lis­ten­ing to some women’s sto­ries. I’ve heard their pain. I’ve seen the sadness in their eyes and the sense of ap­a­thy and help­less­ness de­riv­ing from their sit­u­a­tions. Th­ese women have been ‘played’ re­ally well by the fa­thers of their chil­dren.

Their ex es are se­cure and sta­ble. They would have worked hard in their ca­reers and are ei­ther em­ployed or self-em­ployed and there­fore fi­nan­cially ok. Be­ing male with an un­in­ter­rupted ca­reer tra­jec­tory, th­ese men would have suf­fered lim­ited set backs af­ter their sep­a­ra­tions (or di­vorces) so they would have sprung back on their feet in no time at all un­like their once mar­ried fe­male coun­ter­part. She would have con­tin­ued to suf­fer fi­nan­cial losses long af­ter her sepa­ra­tion or di­vorce and for a much longer time than he. Be­ing a woman she would have sac­ri­ficed her ca­reer for most part of her mar­riage to care for and raise her chil­dren which she did with­out bat­ting an eye­lash. Which she did through un­con­di­tional love. As most women do.

At this point in her life, if she did not work she would have had to find a job to help sup­port her kids or con­tinue to work in her job which would not leave her with the amount of cash as he would have. So she would not be able to buy her kids as many things as he could and def­i­nitely she couldn’t and wouldn’t dare to buy her kids’ love through money. He, on the other hand, would. Daddy would play the power game of be­ing able to splash out and win his kids hearts through money.

The cru­elest sort would even in­vent ways to dam­age the bond be­tween the mother and her chil­dren. Through name call­ing, ly­ing and telling of un­truths, twist­ing of facts and de­lib­er­ately us­ing as many tac­tics as he could to un­der­mine the mother’s author­ity and sta­tus to the point of de­stroy­ing all re­spect a mother could and should have from her (grown up) chil­dren. By then, the chil­dren, es­pe­cially if they are male, would have for­got­ten all the love and time their mother would have in­vested in bring­ing them up and through care­ful ma­nip­u­la­tion only come to be­lieve their fa­ther’s ver­sion of what their mother is like. And if she was the one to leave the mar­riage then her ex hus­band would en­sure that her kids would treat her as un­fit­tingly they could.

If the game is played well by the ex-hus­band/fa­ther, he would make sure that the mother be put in such bad light (even if that means in­vent­ing ‘stuff about her’) that ul­ti­mately the kid/s would end up leav­ing her and mov­ing in with him. Ahhh re­venge ga­lore. For there is no bet­ter way ‘to let her have what she de­serves’ then by mak­ing her suf­fer the cru­elest most en­dur­ing pain of all. And that is for the kid/s to leave their mother - the mother who doted on them from the mo­ment the were born - and ‘de­cide’ to go live with their ‘lov­ing’ dad. A mother who has ex­pe­ri­enced this form of ‘be­trayal’ is a bro­ken mother. A bro­ken woman. A bro­ken per­son who has fallen prey to a ma­nip­u­la­tive, re­venge­ful man who wears two masks and plays the vic­tim very well. This man has made it his busi­ness to de­stroy the love, re­spect, fond­ness and close­ness there once was be­tween a mother and her child/ren. If the child/ren no longer speak to their mother then bet­ter still for he can sit back in sheer de­light and pat him­self on the back know­ing how well he play his game and... won.

In con­clu­sion, I’d like to add that while I write this from the per­spec­tive of a woman, I also ac­knowl­edge that a fe­male can do this to her ex hus­band or part­ner too.

Not­with­stand­ing this, who­ever does this, it is ev­i­dent that parental alien­ation is abuse a sick form of child abuse.

From a le­gal point of view, much more should be done post sepa­ra­tion and di­vorce to en­sure this does not hap­pen to any par­ent and child.

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