Stepchildren's mother a 'professional' manipulator!
My husband's ex-wife is a "professional" manimpulator! Literally! She works for a company that has trained her in how to manipulate people and control situations in negotiations.
Unfortunately, she is using (or at least trying to use) these same techniques with my husband and me! She is being successful with her kids - sad to say!
I am widowed, and I met my husband several years ago. This was two months after his divorce from his first wife. We believe that many family members think that I was involved in the divorce, but I had NOTHING to do with it.
My husband's children where 16 and 17 when we met, and married. Since then, they have graduated high school, received college educations, and are working in the 'real world' at good jobs. You would think things would be fine, but they aren't. Why should the ex-wife be a problem still?
The main reason my husband divorced his ex-wife was because of how much she changed after her 'training' in how to manipulate people and situations. She became a control freak in their marriage. The children were young when she got her training, and have grown up under this most of their lives, so they don't see that it is going on. The daughter mimics the mother in her techniques, but you can tell she really doesn't understand that how it is being done is inappropriate outside of the 'negotiation room' of a corporation.
One technique used is to make the other person feel they are special and heard by saying "Yes,yes...that's right." to everything they say. It helps them feel they are intelligent and listened to. This makes them trust you and more willing to bend to your will.
In using this technique in the real world - my husbands ex-wife does this ALL THE TIME! No matter what the topic is in a conversation, and no matter who is talking, she is continually saying, "Yes, yes...that's right." This can backfire on her if she isn't careful when she says it. If someone is talking about a subject where it is obvious she has NO knowledge of, or experience in, she will still say, "Yes, yes...that's right."
The problem is that the kids don't seem to realize how strange this is, or that it is happening! On several occassions my husband's daughter has used this technique and it is very obvious she doesn't realize that she is contradicting herself, or that she has no clue what she is agreeing to!
The ex-wife makes very good money and uses it to "bribe" the kids. She has encouraged and pushed them to live a champagne lifestyle - even though they are making a beer (imported beer) income! Now the daughter is in serious debt. She is having to go back to college (community college) to get a two-year degree so she can get a better job with more pay in her area of interest. It seems that her four-year degree isn't enough. Sounds strange, but it is true. If she had listened to us and gone the two-year degree in the first place, she wouldn't be in this bind.
Now, the son is engaged to a girl that has a college degree that puts her in a position to make very good money of her own, but she seems to be a 'gold-digger'. My stepson is a CPA and works for a very good firm, and makes very good money. His live-in fiance has made statements like...
-"It has taken me three years to work on "A" to get him to ask me to marry him."
-"I LOVE to shop"!
-"After "A" gets his bonus, I am going to go shopping with it."
-"I am not good with budgeting money."
-"I collect Coach purses." (which cost hundreds of dollars)
-"I don't like to cook, so when we are both working, we can just eat out alot."
These statements cause us concern!
Whenever my husband tries to have a meaningful and honest talk with his children, they SEEM to listen and agree/understand, but they are obviously very uncomfortable. They are used to operating as "social chameleons" and want to appear to get along with and agree with everyone. They go out of their way to 'get along' and then lie and manipulate behind the scenes. Their mother is like this, and when my husband and I got married, the first thing he told me was that he felt he could REALLY be himself with me, for the first time in years! He didn't feel he had to put on an act - like his first wife kept pushing him to do.
I guess I should get the to the point.
My question is will this hopefully change as the kids mature and get out of their early twenties? It seems that this younger generation takes more time to mature. They are pretty self-centered, narcissistic and feel 'entitled'. From what I have read, a new term has been coined to describe them..."Emerging Adults". They take their time to actually become adults emotionally - unlike previous generations.
Is there anyone out there who can encourage us that this can turn around? That the kids will come around and realize that their mother is a master manipulator?
We can't compete financially with the ex-wife, so we try and create memories with the kids that don't cost a lot of money, but the kids seems to not really appreciate it unless it cost money and WE pay for it!
My husband's mother died very recently, and she was a good influence on the kids. She would confirm for us that the ex-wife spoiled the kids too much. Now that she is gone, we worry that there won't be her healthy influence there anymore and that the kids will really turn to the "dark side" as time goes by.
Thanks for reading this, and I greatly appreciate a place to get some support and insight from others who know where I am coming from.