The Control Monster
If you are re-married and have kids from a previous relationship then you have fought the control monster at one time or another! Let’s take a moment for honesty here and say you have fought the control monster and you have also been the control monster! (There! That didn’t hurt so bad, did it?) I had a friend confide in me the other day about some problems they are having while going through a separation. The friend was basically driven out of the house. Whenever they try to see the kids they are magically busy and the ex denies any time with them. Whenever the friend tries to call the children, the ex will not let them talk and starts an argument about other issues. It is so bad that the children have tried to sneak calls to the friend while at a neighbor’s house. I would go into more detail but am afraid that I will infringe on privacy, but you get the picture. Clearly that friend’s ex has become the control monster! Another friend of mine has been fighting his ex for a few years now. He is only allowed to see his children very little and the children are being brainwashed by the mom against him all in the name of control!
Right after my ex left he decided that what we had agreed on was not good enough. He started talking to others and decided that we were going to trade-off our son every seven days. He was still in pull ups and just over a year and half old. I felt like that would be way too difficult for him at such a young age. I told him that he could spend as much time with him during the week that he wanted but that it would be best for him to sleep in the same bed he had slept in since birth as much as possible. My ex took him and withheld him from me for 5 days. He would not let me see him or talk to him (I would typically call and sing nursery rhymes and songs to him over the phone even though he was so young. I just wanted him to hear my voice so he would know I had not left him.) Anyway, the ex also enrolled him in another daycare as well. Those were the longest five days of my life! I was forced to get an emergency court order granting me custody until our case could be heard. I remember it was Saturday when he was withheld and it was Wednesday afternoon when I got him back. When I showed up to pick him up, he jumped out the door. I scooped him up in my arms and he wrapped his chubby little arms around me and kept patting my back saying mama over and over. He literally would not let me put him down for two hours! It was like he was afraid I would leave him and not come back again. When we got to court instead of hanging my ex out to dry before a judge I decided to settle. I ended up giving him 4 nights every other weekend instead of the standard two. I decided it was best for my son to not have his parents in an all out war! I felt that revenge and hurting my ex was far less important than what was best for my son. That’s just one example of fighting the control monster.
There were also times when I was the control monster. I had my daughter’s time decreased with her father when she started school because it provided a more stable, consistent routine. However, for the longest time I would not deviate from our court order. I would not give extra time because I wanted to stay in control. Now she is old enough to say when she wants to go and so we listen to her, both of us. We work hard to communicate with each other on what’s going on with her and if she says she needs time with the other parent, we now work hard to make that happen.
So, why does the control monster come in and take over in some form or another in most cases? I think the number one reason is the ex wants to hit you where it hurts! They don’t want you to be happy or move on with someone else. If they feel they “hold the cards” then they can do whatever they want and what they want is to hurt you but what they don’t realize is they hurt those children FAR more than they hurt you! In a game of tug of war the rope in the middle is able to withstand the tugging. But if you were to tug on it constantly back and forth over a long period of time the tugged part of the rope becomes weaker, frayed and worn out. Your children are that part of the rope! They will become frayed, weak and eventually broken! If you are in this situation and the monster is trying to take over, stop and ask yourself is this the best thing for my child? Or is this just a way I can get back at the ex? Pray for wisdom to see through to the heart of the situation. Pray for peace and wisdom in this very difficult situation and then let God take care of it and let Him give any revenge to them if needed.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Donna Mott is known as the “Blendermom” thrown in the mix of a blended family on her blog www.blendermom.me. She has a fourteen year old daughter and a nine-year old son, as well as a ten-year old bonus son. Together with her wonderful supportive husband, she is trying to teach her children the truest Christian values of loving God and loving each other through compassion and service. She is a 2009 graduate of “She Speaks” through Proverbs 31 ministries and has written for www.upliftingfamilies.com. She enjoys writing personalized poetry. She also writes and composes personalized songs for special occasions. She loves snuggling with her seven pound fur-baby, Maltipoo, Brady. You can follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram @blendermom3.