Slam the Gavel

Trish and Barry Guise Talk About Their Family Journey Through Family Court, Coercive Control And Parental Alienation

August 12, 2021 Trish and Barry Guise, Canada Season 2 Episode 81
Slam the Gavel
Trish and Barry Guise Talk About Their Family Journey Through Family Court, Coercive Control And Parental Alienation
Show Notes

     Trish and Barry Guise joined us on Slam the Gavel to discuss their families journey through Family Court and Coercive Control.
    Barry, born and raised in Calgary, graduated from the University of Calgary, and has had a career in the finance industry – the last 15 years with a local Bank where he ran the Treasury and Finance departments.
      After divorcing his first wife, he found himself the target of alienation which resulted in being abruptly ripped away from his young son’s life. Realizing that the legal system had failed to protect the relationship with his son, he resigned himself to the fact he may never see his son again. However, his parents were “allowed” to see their grandchild. This was because the ex-wife had carefully coached their son to think that he was “scared” of his father and only “partly scared” to see the grandparents.
     After receiving information about his son from his parents it felt like he was only deserving of a “report card." There were days when it felt like not receiving any information about his son was the least painful alternative.
     Trish and Barry had dated when they were teenagers. A few years after being the target of alienation, Trish and Barry reunited. All seemed to be going well between with the two of them and Trish’s two children. What nobody realized is that under the surface, Trish’s ex-husband was carefully planning and executing a targeted alienation strategy of his own – with Barry as the target.
     His situation of twice being the target of an alienating parent, one female and one male, is hopefully unique. However, his experience brings to light the fact that, although the stats may not reflect it, men are also the victims of coercive abuse.
     A reason this may not be reflected in the stats is that many men don’t report the abuse as a result of the shame associated with the abuse and fear of a negative reaction (concern that others may think he did something to deserve to be the target of alienation).
     Historically men are in a quandary when understanding and processing their feelings. Far too often men are rewarded for not crying, being tough and displaying anger and labeled as soft or weak when they display true feelings (other than anger).
     After countless hours of counseling, Barry was able to start being honest about his own feelings. This opened up a world with much less weight on his shoulders. He realized he didn’t have to “like” everything, not everyday was “great”, some things were awful, and some days did really suck.
    Amazingly, some 12 years after having his son abruptly ripped from my life, his son reappeared back into Barry's life – almost as abruptly.
     It is difficult to describe the roller coaster of emotions Barry experienced in each situation. However, if he had to come up with 1 or 2 words to describe how he felt, they would be as follows: 1) Being the target of alienation by the ex-wife: Anger and resentment. 2) Being the target of alienation the second time, this time from Trish’s ex-husband: Anger and guilt. 3) Being reunited with his son: resentment and anxiety. Barry is grateful that he spent all those hours with his counsellor. Being able to honestly acknowledge and process his feelings was a tremendous help during this time and still is.

To reach Trish:  trish@trishguise.com

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