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.