How can I unravel all of the lies my ex has told my son?

Sam - posted on 07/12/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I don't know a short way to go about this. My ex and I broke up when my son was a baby. My son is 9 1/2 now. I tried to let him be in my son's life because he wanted to be, and I thought it was the right thing to do. I also always thought it would be wrong of me to talk crap about his dad to him. I save that for my husband. :) He has been in and out of jail and my son's life ever since. He is also a compulsive liar. Every time he's been in jail he has fed my son lies and excuses as to why it wasn't his fault.

He even did time for manslaughter and completely fabricated a heroic story about it to my son. The truth was, he was drunk, acted stupid, and someone died. He tells my son that he had to do what he did because he was the 'unofficial bouncer' and he saved this old man's life. My son has a golden opinion of his father because of lies like this. He was a construction worker for a few months, and he told my son that he DESIGNED the buildings.

When he went to jail for a probation violation in January, I decided that enough was enough. He is no longer going to have the privilege of knowing my son or being in my son's life. But my problem now is how can I or should I even let my son know the truth? Every time my son says, "My daddy does this (lie) . . ." I have tried to GENTLY correct him. I'll say, "Are you sure that's what he said?" or "I think he may have exaggerated." My son breaks down in tears. He tells me he doesn't understand and doesn't like to hear lies. Is he talking about from me or from his dad? I just don't even know. This whole thing is a mess. Any advice from moms who've dealt with psycho lying exes would be appreciated.

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Louise - posted on 07/12/2012

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Krista is right.We all want to believe that our parents are the best. If you are stopping contact then he will stop talking about his father soon. I think he has a right to know that his father is not a good man because his past will come out to haunt him at some point in his life. If he knows the facts about his father before he goes to high school he will be prepared for what could be said about him. He needs to know everything then. You are the best person to tell him if his father is not. He is going to be upset but at least he will be fully aware.

Krista - posted on 07/12/2012

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I would let it go for a little while longer. Kids want to think of their parents as good people, so by you pointing out that his dad lied, no matter how gently, it crushes him.

As your son gets older, he'll start to figure things out -- especially once he becomes a skeptical teenager.

But for now, go gently, and let him have his fantasies about his dad. It's probably a big comfort to him right now. The blinders will fall from his eyes soon enough.

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