Step child lying to ruin my life and our marriage

Postby TheBigCI » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:16 am

My 8 year old step child has now spent 2 years lying about me to friends and family, including their birth father, grandparents, and just about anyone who will listen because being told no, being punished, and being told to clean their room and do homework are all "unfair". I have been investigated by child protective services, and have dealt with personal attacks, harassment, and threats because of it. I have been slandered both in and out of court, and because of these lies and allegations, the father, who has not only not had a job since the child was born, but also forced the child to get naked in front of him and denied the child the right to change in private, (the investigation was dropped because the child cried hysterically when the investigator asked the child if they missed their father and lied to protect him) has physically, mentally, and emotionally abused the child and the mother, now has more custody thanks to my mother in law hiring an attorney.

My wife doesnt seem to think the lying is that big of a deal because its just a child. I disagree, at 8 years old, especially after seeing all the damage that has been caused (not just mentally or emotionally, but to familial relationships that have been utterly destroyed) they should at least have been awakened enough to stop, but it hasnt. If anything they are doubling down. Its ripping apart my marriage, because I am just waiting to be arrested because of the wrong lie, and my wife is acting like its not that big of a deal. Just today I made the child listen to a recording of their mother crying hysterically as a result of all the damage that is being done from the lying, to help get the point across because they at least care about the mother even if not about me. My wife went off on me and sparked one of the worst fights we have ever had. I don't know what to do about the lying, or why the kid thinks its ok to do because they get mad about me being an adult in the house. Its unfortunate, but due to disability, I am the one home all the time with the kid while the mother has to work, so I'm left to be the sole parent most of the time. So I guess the question is: am I overreacting to a minor issue, or am I right to be concerned and what can we do about it?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:32 am

TheBigCI wrote:...what can we do about it?


You need to be on the same page with the mother.

Stop focusing on the 8 year old and start focusing on the relationship with your wife. It is not only counterproductive, but is a major, major problem for you to create whatever discipline you think appropriate just to have the mother send the 8 year old the opposite message. It is not the fault of an 8 year old lashing out and lying when two adults are sending two different messages.

If you two adults can't get on the same page regarding how to emotionally support this child, including discipline, then you need to seek counseling by professionals that can get you two on the same page.
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#2

Postby TheBigCI » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:35 am

Other than this particular issue, we are on the same page about discipline. In fact I only do what her mother tells me. And when required, she supports me. We are in disagreement about how big of a deal the lying is, whether or not it needs to be addressed, and how to handle the damage its causing.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:50 am

TheBigCI wrote: We are in disagreement about how big of a deal the lying is, whether or not it needs to be addressed, and how to handle the damage its causing.


Until the disagreement is resolved with your wife, the issue will remain.

The main point here is that the title of your thread blames an 8 year old. The initial post you focus on the 8 year old, as if the 8 year old is the problem.

An 8 year old is 0% of the problem. Adults in this equation are 100% of the problem. You and your wife being in disagreement, regardless if it is only this issue is a major problem. It doesn’t matter if everything else is great. Disagreement leading to CPS being involved? You need to get on the same page as your wife.
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#4

Postby TheBigCI » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:56 am

What you're not understanding is the disagreement has nothing to do with it. The child dislikes that I punish her, and that I have to tell her no, and that I tell her to do her homework and clean her room when she doesn't want to. All things that are expected of me by her mother. And supported by her. Because she dislikes this, she makes up terrible stories about me to other family members whenever she is away from home. Explain to me how we, the adults, have caused this. The disagreement we have is as a direct result of how to handle this particular situation. We only found out she was doing it the first time CPS knocked on the door. Up until then we were in tandem on all discipline.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:42 am

TheBigCI wrote: Because she dislikes this, she makes up terrible stories


And what do you and your wife do about it?

Explain to me how we, the adults, have caused this.


Read the above. What are you and your wife doing about it?

The disagreement we have is as a direct result of how to handle this particular situation.


Exactly. It is causal. It causes the 8 year old to recognize that making up stories is fine.

If it was once or twice, okay. But it sounds like it has been repetitive and you and your wife can’t get on the same page. The longer it takes, the more the 8 year old will see making up stories as a perfectly acceptable and functional coping mechanism. That is the fault of the 8 year old? Or is that the fault of the adults?

An 8 year old will resort to whatever they can. They will cope by using the mechanisms the adults make available to them.

I’m not sure what answer you are searching for? You think it is the 8 year old to blame? You want a way to punish or modify the 8 year old?

If I was in your situation my partner and I would be having a very serious meeting of the minds.

You seem to think it is acceptable for your wife to believe the 8 year old making up stories is okay. You said she doesn’t think it a big deal. You don’t agree with that, correct? So your focus should be on your wife. Your energy should be focused on your wife. 110% of your energy needs to be on coming to an understanding.
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#6

Postby TheBigCI » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:54 am

Believe me, i've been trying. And I'm not looking for punishments. I'm trying to figure out how to fix it. I don't know how to get on the same page. And unless she can understand that its an issue requiring attention and intervention, nothing will be fixed. This is where my problem lies. I don't know how to reach my wife, or the kid.
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:12 am

TheBigCI wrote: I don't know how to reach my wife....


It sounds like you have mostly come to agreements in the past. Yet for a couple to come to an impasse is normal.

Let’s say a couple can’t come to agreement on an important issue. How is it resolved? For thousands of years, the couple seeks out a 3rd party. This can be a respected elder, spiritual leader, counselor, family friend, therapist, mediator, etc.

Couples sometimes need outside help. There is nothing wrong with that.
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#8

Postby TheBigCI » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:16 am

Thank you. This was partly seeking counsel, partly checking myself before I move forward. I appreciate your time and responses. I will suggest seeking the help of a third party to her.
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