I have just started researching advice to help my husband find a positive way to connecting and having a reasonable relationship with his two children 13 yrs and 10 yrs. He left the UK family home when they were 7yrs and 4yrs and has tried to be a dad to them on a part time basis. He was seeing them every other weekend but then we married and he moved to Australia from Britain. He hoped that he could keep his relationship healthy through Skype and telephone and visits maybe twice a year. It has not been a good 18 months. Their mother has symptoms similar to those of Borderline Personality Disorder and this is very much a part of the problem.
She is very manipulative and can fill their heads with all sorts depending on what her agenda is. This summer my husband visited the UK and had a family holiday booked to take the children away but she manipulated the situation to the point where initially they were happy to go away with their dad but ended up saying they didn't want to go and we had to cancel their trip.
Things seem to be getting worse and their mother is not consistent in her attitude about their dad. Sometimes she'll act like his best buddy and the next is a victim accusing him of all manner of irrational things. She involves the children in all her negative thoughts and decisions. She has no reasoning ability. He is desperate to stay involved in their lives but at this point in time the 13 yr old Tom went through a stage recently refusing to speak to him over something that appeared on the surface to be very minor and had been acknowledged. This is hurtful and worrying and with the limited communication no resolution in sight. 10 year old Millie blows hot and cold with him and the explanations vary from mum depending on the mood of the day yet when he visits, Millie is relaxed and happy with him and Tom is happy to be with him. Their dad is planning on returning to UK very soon as a result of the worsening situation and we have put our marriage on hold for the time being it may well be years.
He has very little say or influence and his ex wife has let the children know on countless occasions that they don't have to do anything they don't want to do regarding their dad.
My Out-of-Control Teen