• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel
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Sep 6, 2005
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I am going through a bitter divorce. My ex has filed a petition for an order of protection. Though it has not be granted my lawyer has recommended that I make no effort to see or talk to my children until we have this thrown out of court.

Today my almost 4 year old told me "Mommy said we can't see you because she is afraid of you" Of course my wife knows I would never hurt her and does not think that but denies saying that to my son. And says he came up with that on his own. There have been 3 occassions of my wife hitting me multiple times and throwing things at me in front of my children. There has also been one occassion of us wrestling over a phone in front of the boys.

Should I believe her or not?
 

Lana

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Hi Wonder;
I think her concerns (or fears) may be outlined in the order of protection. Perhaps speaking to your lawyer would offer better explanation as to what is casing her to feel that way.
 
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Lana,
Thank you for your reply. Though you didn't respond to it, you helped me to realize that I know she has no reason to be afraid and the order of protection is not just inaccurate but mostly false, she is angry, hurt, and irrational in regards to me which may cause her to believe what I can't even imagine possible.

My lawyer and I have talked in great length about the things which is why though she can not keep me from seeing or talking to the boys it is best for me not to until we can get before a judge. The order will be thrown out no question and we expect my wife will be reprimanded by the judge.

You helped me to realize that regardless of the validity of her fear it is possible that she is afraid. But my question is would my 3 1/2 year old make up "mommy says we can't see you because she is afraid of you" without having been told by her or someone that she was afraid. From what I understand children tend to internalize so why would my son just off the top of his head decide the reason is "mommy is afraid".

She has clearly stated to me that he absolutely made that statement up off the top of his head. That seems like an advanced lie for a 3 1/2 year old

Thank you for taking the time to respond.
 

David Baxter

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Two possibilities:

1. the child may have overheard his mother saying something like that and she may not realize that he heard it (e.g., if it was said in a phone call in an adjoining room)

2. he may have heard something else his mother said about you and interpreted it in his own 3 year old mind
 

David Baxter

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Or, to reiterate, something else he heard that he misinterpreted... just to keep an open mind which I know isn't always easy to do with vindictive ex-spouses.
 

Lana

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Hi Wonder;
I'm glad that we were able to offer a different perspective of the situation. I agree with Dr. Baxter as to where the child may have picked up such ideas. Children don't have as many filters like we adults do, and they're like little sponges, picking up all that is before them. He could have just interpreted it the way that made sense to him.

One other possibility is that the boy saw his mother upset and asked her if she's alright and she may have innocently told him that she's afraid, instead of telling him she's angry. There are so many possibilities.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2005
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lana,
Thank you so much lana and Dr. Baxter. The idea that an innocent "I'm afraid" could be interpreted and represent by a child never occured to me. I'm sure my wife is afraid as am I.
Thank you,
David
 

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