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Question
Posted by: WTHell | 2012-06-20

Kids

My Husband''''s ex wife refuses to move on and at the moment she is using the kids to get attention. a normal flu will result in seeing a specialist and she want''''s the child to be admitted to ICU, stomache cramps or pms symptoms for the girls will result in going from doctor to doctor so see who will operate them, They are starting to become very sickly sometimes they wont go to school for 6 days or more, the little boy of 10 years is using all these little illnesses she thinks up to stay at home, he will phone on the thursday before a visit that broke his foot , toe or what ever comes to mind and then the weekend he is fine and runs around like no once business.
She is engaged but will phone hubbie excesive for little things that does not pertaine the to kids, We care for them deeply but at the moment she makes life difficult. The medical aid is depleted but she will phone and insist on monies to be paid over because she want''''s to take them to a doctor, when one is sick I fully understand but to visit the doctor four times a week is ridicilous, The fiance moved to Durban for work and she stayed behind and she has the nerve to phone hubbie to tell him the kids is unhappy they must rather move back in together. She never had time for his familiy when they were married all of the sudden she visits them like crazy etc. I only met husband 3 years after their divorce but she tell everyone that want''''s to listen that I stole him from them, the kids are 15 13 and 11 and they have phones etc, but she will phone like 6 times a day on his phone for stupid little things, she even told the kids they dont have to follow rules in our home and that they dont have to listen to me because I am not their mom, now that I have withdrawn myself from her games, now I dont give a hoot , what is her problem , he told her he is not coming back, the poor fiance knows nothing about this, the only time she does not phone is on weekends then he is at home, She left hubbie and the kids for another man and he divorced her because of that , she saiid that everyone make mistakes and he must forgive her and come back, it is becoming excesive at the moment, she took the kids for belly rings in december and when hubbie had a fit regarding that she quickly removed it. The girls is difficult at the moment because they are allowed alot of things at their mom''''s and see dad as the atm dad at the moment. Any advise for us as a couple to support these kids. My hubbie even told her she is becoming to hectic regarding the kids, and does not need to phone so much but she still does, he is scared if he does not pick up the phone that their might really become a problem, her brother in law is a paramedic and these days she will ask him regarding symptoms and when he gives her answers she phones and rant and rave to see a specialist but he is not a medical doctor. The little one and the oldest one is starting to become hypchrontiacs and dont want to go to school and love visiting the doctors, she manage to get a asma pump for the oldest and she does not have asma , she was just out of breath after runing at her school''''s camp, IIt become worse now that the fiance is not at home, she even said that She has something I dont have kids with hubbie and she will not rest until they are togehter as a familiy.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Guys in general - the questions posted lately have been getting very long, and some personal editing to a shorter length would be appreciated.
I think it very important for people to recognize that for any parent, after a divorce or separation, to use the kids in any way as a weapon to act out their bitterness against their former spouse, is wicked and IS child abuse and should where possible be treated as such.
If she ever succeeds, though, in getting a child admitted to hospital, let alone ICU, for mere flu, it would require a foolish and naive doctor to fall for that and give inappropriate treatment.
This sort of excessive focus on giving the children attention mainly when they are deemed to be ill, and focussing on illness, can be highly damaging and may set up long-term famaging illness behaviours. As you have already observed, they learn that claiming illness can be rewarding as a way of avoiding anything unwanted.
Maybe the court that granted her custody, and child welfare, would be interested in examining her perverse and damaging behaviours and excessive fears for the children's health, and excessive use of helath care for them. Maybe she is not fit to have custody if this is how she abuses it.
Your husband needs to put his foot down, firmly and consistently. In your home they MUST obey the house rules and respect you, and recognize that their mother has no authority or right whatever to tell them to do otherwise.
If she calls him about ANYTHING unnecessary, and not related to something significant about the children, he should hang up after telling her that she chose to leave him and must sort out her own life problems and not refer them all to him.
Its of course nonsense for her to use the "everybody makes mistakes" excuse and expect to be forgiven and welcomed back. He has made a new life for himself, with you and she may need to be told repeatedly that she will NEVER be welcomed back nor allowed to damage his new life.
If she feels unable to cope with the kids, he should consider agreeing to have them come to live with him and you ( WITH a binding legal agreement that this is to be a permanent arangement and not subject to her whims again ). But there is no package deal to include her return.
He must refuse, consistently, to behave as an ATM Dad, and insist on being a genuine father that considers their welfare and best interests rather than trying to buy their affections with Stuff.
He should tell her that the bro-in law paramedic is not qualified at all to assess or diagnose kids ( and could get into serious trouble for behaving as a doctor ) and that his opinion about her health scare fears is going to be ignored.
I like Liza's idea that next time she calls about a sick kid, your husband refuse to pay for it or agree to it except if you and he take the child to a doctor of your own choice, and discuss your concerns about excessive abuse of medical facilities.
As Liza says, this sounds very much like Munchausen by Proxy ( I knew and worked with the doctor who first described this condition ) in which a pathologically anxious mother creates phoney illness in her children to get attention through them.
As Liza says, this should be reviewed by Child Services / Social Worker and reviewed by family court as grounds for him to take over custody of the kids for their own safety, with at most only limited visitation by her, maybe with supervision, and with no medical visits except by and through their father

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012-06-20

To the other Liza who posted - could you please choose another nick? I''ve been using Liza on this forum for years and wouldn''t want others to get confused.

Thanks in advance
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Liza | 2012-06-20

Research Munchausen syndrome by proxy - it''s a condition in which a caregiver fabricates or exaggerates illnesses and is actually a form of child abuse. This can be dangerous or deadly for the children involved and is definitely grounds to have her declared as an unfit mother (without even going into her irrational behavior with obsessive phone calls). You will need your husbands'' support on this, but would it be possible for your husband to get custody of the children? All your husband needs is proof of the excessive doctors'' visits and unnecessary medical expenses. The family court will view this extremely seriously and will probably assign a social worker to assess the situation before making a decision on what would be in the best interests of the children. In my personal opinion, she should not only lose custody, but also only be allowed supervised visits. The childrens'' lives are definitely in danger. Your husband should do something now - before it''s too late.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Liza | 2012-06-20

The next time she calls and says the kids are sick, maybe tell her that you and hubby will take the kids yourselves to the doc.
Has hubby had a heart to heart with his kids? They are old enough to know right from wrong.

How often do the kids come stay with you? maybe try a group therapy session with the kids.

It is extremely dangerous for anyone to use an asthma inhaler when they are not asthmatic. You and hubby should seriously have these kids checked up by your own doctor when they visit.

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-06-20

Guys in general - the questions posted lately have been getting very long, and some personal editing to a shorter length would be appreciated.
I think it very important for people to recognize that for any parent, after a divorce or separation, to use the kids in any way as a weapon to act out their bitterness against their former spouse, is wicked and IS child abuse and should where possible be treated as such.
If she ever succeeds, though, in getting a child admitted to hospital, let alone ICU, for mere flu, it would require a foolish and naive doctor to fall for that and give inappropriate treatment.
This sort of excessive focus on giving the children attention mainly when they are deemed to be ill, and focussing on illness, can be highly damaging and may set up long-term famaging illness behaviours. As you have already observed, they learn that claiming illness can be rewarding as a way of avoiding anything unwanted.
Maybe the court that granted her custody, and child welfare, would be interested in examining her perverse and damaging behaviours and excessive fears for the children's health, and excessive use of helath care for them. Maybe she is not fit to have custody if this is how she abuses it.
Your husband needs to put his foot down, firmly and consistently. In your home they MUST obey the house rules and respect you, and recognize that their mother has no authority or right whatever to tell them to do otherwise.
If she calls him about ANYTHING unnecessary, and not related to something significant about the children, he should hang up after telling her that she chose to leave him and must sort out her own life problems and not refer them all to him.
Its of course nonsense for her to use the "everybody makes mistakes" excuse and expect to be forgiven and welcomed back. He has made a new life for himself, with you and she may need to be told repeatedly that she will NEVER be welcomed back nor allowed to damage his new life.
If she feels unable to cope with the kids, he should consider agreeing to have them come to live with him and you ( WITH a binding legal agreement that this is to be a permanent arangement and not subject to her whims again ). But there is no package deal to include her return.
He must refuse, consistently, to behave as an ATM Dad, and insist on being a genuine father that considers their welfare and best interests rather than trying to buy their affections with Stuff.
He should tell her that the bro-in law paramedic is not qualified at all to assess or diagnose kids ( and could get into serious trouble for behaving as a doctor ) and that his opinion about her health scare fears is going to be ignored.
I like Liza's idea that next time she calls about a sick kid, your husband refuse to pay for it or agree to it except if you and he take the child to a doctor of your own choice, and discuss your concerns about excessive abuse of medical facilities.
As Liza says, this sounds very much like Munchausen by Proxy ( I knew and worked with the doctor who first described this condition ) in which a pathologically anxious mother creates phoney illness in her children to get attention through them.
As Liza says, this should be reviewed by Child Services / Social Worker and reviewed by family court as grounds for him to take over custody of the kids for their own safety, with at most only limited visitation by her, maybe with supervision, and with no medical visits except by and through their father

Reply to cybershrink

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