Divorced moms and dads can hurt their children by badmouthing the other parent. Consciously or unconsciously wanting revenge on their former partners, they seek to discredit them in the eyes of their youngsters. Sadly, the kids become unwitting victims because of it, losing faith in the discredited parents and not wanting to spend time with them.
Countless fathers have written to me, telling me that this happened to them after getting divorced. They wanted to stay connected to their children, but the mothers poisoned their kids' minds against them and made it nearly impossible to do so. In the worst cases, dads got so frustrated and heartbroken by the situation that they gradually drifted out of their children's lives. They never intended for their girls to become fatherless daughters, but that was the result because they felt so powerless and couldn't take it any longer.
Therefore, you need to think critically about this situation and ask yourself why your mother is telling you these bad stories about your father. What is her intent in doing so? Is it information you truly need to know in order to stay safe or is it just gossip to make your dad look bad and create a wedge between the two of you?
Even though my mother stayed married to my father, she badmouthed him throughout my teen years. She told me that he was having affairs with women at his office that, decades later, I realized never happened but was imagined due to her deep-seated insecurities. Looking back now as a parent myself, I see how destructive her behavior was and how it sabotaged the relationship between my dad and me. Knowing she was maligning him, he simply gave up trying and emotionally disconnected from me.
I think it's time to have an honest conversation with both your parents. Ask your mom what's her intent in telling you these bad stories about your dad. If they serve no purpose other than to undermine the relationship, ask her to please stop. Perhaps, she needs to talk with a friend or even a therapist to resolve some of her anger toward your dad.
Then talk to your father about your concerns so he knows what's going on in your head. Be open with him about your fears. Communication is essential to keeping the relationship healthy, strong, and flourishing. Best to you!