This is a post for all of those single parents out there (particularly moms) who have to deal with an immature, manipulative, victim-mentality person for their child's other parent. What a card to be dealt!
The big problem with these people is their lack of ability to see reality for how it is. They always see a skewed version of reality, mainly one that paints you as the bad guy in every episode and them as the honest, loving person who is victimized every time they turn around. How do you deal with that person? How do work around their lies and manipulations and still protect your child?
This is a topic that is so large that I could write a whole book on it, literally. However, I will give you the extremely abbreviated version and hopefully, a few pointers that will help you in the future.
Please keep in mind, when dealing with these people, that you CANNOT change them. No one can change another person, that is something only the individual and God Almighty can do. Stop stressing yourself out on how you can make them see things your way, it will not happen. One thing I hear parents say over and over is that they are sick and tired of being the bad guy and trying to argue their point. If you're so sick and tired, stop trying!
Another big problem with these people is manipulation. They generally hold no qualms over lying, cheating, stealing, or using any other means to get what they want. This can be extremely frustrating for a parent going into this who holds values such as honesty and integrity close to heart. The thing I hear most frequently from parents in this situation is that they feel bad having to resort to the same tactics as the other parent to come out ahead, or they feel they're just being walked all over because they won't resort to those tactics. What if I told you that you didn't need to use either option? What if I said there's a secret third option C? Instead of lowering yourself to their level, or being walked over, get smart! Many times these difficult people are often very predictable. Knowing this, a wise parent should be able to predict what they are going to do ahead of time and start safe guarding themselves. For instance, if a parent is frequently forcing you to reschedule visitation just to irk you or because they are pursuing less than the most honest pursuits (frequent dates, drinking, etc) you do not need to move your schedule around for them! Parents who are frequently shirking duties for dates can be taken to court and given a lecture by the judge, go ahead! Parents with drinking problems will also be punished for the idiots they are, get proof (conversations - in California - can be recorded secretly without consequences as long as they are in a public place, or there is another human - no matter the age - within a certain distance). If they have an internet account where they catalog all their exploits, print up the pages and take it to court. If they lie and say they have to work, call them at their work number to make sure they're actually there.
There are so many more issues and solutions to discuss, but this blog is limiting. All I can say is that there are solutions and if you have a particular problem, let me know! Remember, where there is a will, there is a way and most of the time it's God. Have faith and keep trucking for the kids' sakes!