Rhetoric and Agenda

I had an interesting conversation with one of my kids recently about their relationship with their dad (the ex). The rhetoric that was coming from my kid was not his own, so I knew that someone (narcissist ex-MIL?) had bent his ear about how he needed to still love and accept his dad for who he is. And I’m ok with it because their relationship is between them and not me. Also, I have always wanted them to have a healthy relationship with their dad, but it hasn’t been that way for years because the ex lies about everything! Even though the kid sees it, he has a tough time matching that version of his dad with the one he wants him to be.

But his dad lied to him about a story over the weekend. He told two completely different versions on two separate days and neither was the truth. Only partial truths. The kid realized the first version couldn’t be right (and I confirmed it) because it didn’t make any sense. The kid said he was going to ask his cousin if that was what happened, but he never did. Then Sunday, the kid came home from seeing his dad with a totally different version of the event.

I looked at my kid and reminded him of Saturday’s rendition and bluntly said that they were totally different. While the kid did admit that his dad told two totally different stories, he told me that his dad lies a lot and that he has come to realize that you can love and accept someone for who they are because it’s your dad and that you’re here because of him. The kid went on to tell me that while he understood that I have had major problems with the lies and deceit his dad has done to me, he feels that I am not being understanding of his (the kid’s) predicament and that he needs to continue the relationship with his dad as it is.

I pulled my chin off the floor because my jaw had dropped and simply said that I wanted him to be at peace with his relationship with his dad and that it was his business and not mine. I have a completely different view of his dad’s deceit and that I was simply pointing out the obvious, but that I will no longer speak about it. But I added that he needed to keep the relationship with his dad on a healthy level and not a toxic one.

Talk about drop the mic (I don’t know if that phrase works here, but it felt like it). I’m done listening to and helping to process the lies when the kids come home trying to figure out what’s the closest version of the truth from their dad.

This happens occasionally, but they always come back in a month when the lies become hurtful and sting and then they are even more upset because they’ve been super-duped into their dad’s muck of lies. It’s cyclical here. But I don’t need to be on the Merry-Go-Round anymore. This is their lesson to learn now. Their relationship to manage. Their impressionable choice to accept versions of the truth for the sake of ‘having a father’ when it’s convenient for their dad to even give them any attention.

Yes, I was a bit more than exasperated, but I’m over it. I cannot save them from learning the lessons the hard way, nor will I put my relationship with them at jeopardy when they’re obviously listening to someone else’s rhetoric who has an agenda. I have no agenda except to have them open their eyes, but apparently they’re not ready.

And it has nothing to do with me.

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12 Responses to Rhetoric and Agenda

  1. Beth W. says:

    It is so challenging to stand back and watch, knowing that there will be heartbreak to follow. Unfortunately, that’s all you can do for now. As moms, we want to swoop in and make things good for our kids, so I completely understand your dilema. Hang in there!! Hugs ❤


    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Beth! Yes, I wanted to swoop in, but I’ve done it before and it’s time for me to let go and allow him to learn as he’s supposed to so here I sit…hanging in there. Yes! Hugs to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wynneleon says:

    I’m so sorry. I used to have a narcissist for a business partner and had similar struggles with the amount of BS that was told to the employees. While that is many layers more removed than an ex and your children, I do understand the merry-go-round. It is so hard to hold your own ground and own sanity but it sounds like you’ve done a great job of doing that. Sending lots of support and encouragement because goodness, consistency and love will eventually win.


    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you so very much for your support and encouragement. I am sorry that you understand from your own experiences with a narcissist. They are difficult no matter what role they play in our lives but I have found them to be a life lesson for sure.
      Yes, I agree, love will eventually win…it just takes time…have a great day. Nice to meet you.


  3. scr4pl80 says:

    So tough to keep the kids safe and let them grow.


  4. LA says:

    Thinking of you as you go through this…


  5. TJ Fox says:

    It seems like he was just looking for you to validate his thoughts and opinions on this situation and was upset when you couldn’t do that. Does he not understand that it is incredibly difficult for you to try to sit in a neutral position in this situation? You simply cannot be an impartial observer and he shouldn’t expect it. It is so incredibly frustrating when the evidence of all those lies sit right in front of your kids but they refuse to see the reality of it. I hate that you are going through this. Remember to find your calm and peace as you need it.


    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you for understanding TJ! It amazes me how he can seesaw from one view of his dad to another. I’m not quite sure how this will play out except that I have chosen to remain peaceful and calm as he seesaws because that’s needed. Someone who’s reliable, centered and who speaks truth, even when it’s hard to hear. That’s me and I have been that way. I know that in time, with more experiences, he will learn and perhaps the hard way, but it is his time to learn as we go. Thanks for reading and commenting as it’s hard to go through this alone sometimes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ainsobriety says:

    The challenge is to ensure your kid knows you love and support them,but that you cannot be part of this relationship.

    I occasionally find myself trying to convince Cleo she should contact Craig because he is her dad…she always points it out and says stay out of it.

    In the end, I just let her know he is always another source of support if she needed it in the future. And that he was an ass. Lol.

    It’s not an easy place to be. Hugs



    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Anne. I’m sorry you understand as well as you do, but it helps to know someone else understands and supports you, so please know I am here for you.
      Hugs are a daily medicine here. I think they are so vital to our lives, especially right now when life is messier than normal.
      Hugs to you too my friend! 🤗


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