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DEAR ABBY GETS IT!
Man pestered by ex must help son
Dear Abby: Parental alienation is a topic I have never seen addressed in your column. It is a problem with many divorces involving children. I think my brother is a victim of it. He lives in a different state than his little boy but pays child support.
His ex continuously harasses him via text messaging and late-night phone calls, accusing him of things she thinks happened when they were together. You'd think she hasn't moved on, but she has a new husband!
She agreed my brother could call his son twice a week, but she rarely answers the phone during these scheduled "visits." She is now trying harder to keep my brother out of his son's life. She even told my nephew that the presents my brother sent him for Christmas came from her new husband!
My brother can't afford a lawyer right now; I would like to help him resolve this issue. What are your thoughts?
- Frustrated Sis
Dear Frustrated Sis: The kind of anger, selfishness and vindictiveness you have described is unhealthy for everyone involved. Obviously, your former sister-in-law has not moved on. She's still stuck in trying to retaliate against your brother. She's expending the energy and attention she should be devoting to her new marriage and new husband to punishing her last one.
And as for your nephew, when a child grows up believing his father thought he was unimportant and expendable, it can negatively affect his sense of self-worth.
There is an effective resource available to your brother: the Children's Rights Council (CRC). For many years this organization has worked to prevent children from being victimized by their parents' divorces, something which happens all too often. The CRC has 57 chapters in 37 states, and its Web site is www.crckids.org. Please advise your brother to contact this group.