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#2215628 - 01/25/12 08:30 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
I need some advice.

My 14 year old son......he got mad at me and went to his Mom's about a week and a half ago. If he didn't get his way, he'd say "I'll just go to mom's", or if I told him 'no' he'd say "I'll just go to mom's", or if he was questioned or grounded he'd say "I'll just go to mom's"...so he did. He's only done this one other time, when he got grounded. And she let him do immediately the very thing that I grounded him from. It prevents him from learning that there are consequences to his behavior. It only teaches him to be manipulative.
He has lived with me exclusively for 2 and 1/2 years. He has been torn up bad, emotionally, since the separation. My life has revolved around him since then. I've been loving and compassionate towards him throughout. He's struggled, and still is. His counselor tells me she's never dealt with a child this hard. He vents his anger toward me, at the drop of a hat, over the smallest thing.
I've had to walk on eggshells myself with him. He's capable of incredible meanness toward me. It's heartbreaking. We had a great Christmas. But afterwards, he started drawing his mother like a gun. Using her as a weapon against me. I would just respond with "OK son".
Anyway, he's been there for nearly 2 weeks. I haven't heard from him. Yesterday I sent him a text that said simply "thinking about you. Love you." That's been the extent of communication between us. Last time he left, I asked him to come home after he'd been gone for 3 days. He saw it as a weakness and told others that I begged him to come home. He made some derogatory comments before he left this time about me begging him to come home. I haven't and don't intend to.
I'd like him to come home. But only if he treats me with the same love and respect that I show him.
This has been very disheartening, in the midst of the things I've been doing, and putting forth so much efforts to create moments of love with him.
And I'm also concerned that she'll take advantage of the situation legally.

I'd appreciate any feedback.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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#2215645 - 01/25/12 09:17 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
SunFunOne Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/09
Posts: 2408
Antlers:

This one is really hard. I totally get it. I think you have to give him some space. He really needs to be able to choose. I feel for him, truly. It is difficult enough growing up these days without having your Mom walk out, your parents fighting and your sisters living elsewhere. No doubt he is torn.

My daughter was 12 when her dad walked. My L and C both told me she was old enough to choose who to live with. She would never have gone with her dad - she has never accepted his OW and won't have her in her life - so that was not the problem. The problem was that she was devastated - just as your son is - and took out all her frustration on me. It was extremely difficult to live with her and it never really got easier.

Daughter had to get her own apt last Spring when I moved away. Our R has never been better as we are now apart. But it took years of strain, understanding, frustration and LOVE.

Your son probably does not know how to handle the situation any differently. Give him some time. I'm sure you can see how that is working with your daughters. Time and space and unconditional love has helped create a new R with them.

Don't worry about the courts. It is what is best for your son that counts. If you fought to have him stay with you against his will - how would that end up in 5 years? And trust me - those 5 years will go by fast.

The part that worries me here is that wife will side with him against you. I think you really need to try to communicate to her from a co-parenting standpoint. And I DO understand how hard that is because my ex was unreasonable and irrational about EVERYTHING to do with our daughter after he left. Luckily - I had sole custody - but still - she is OUR daughter.

So - my best advice is to NOT guilt him into coming home just yet or ask for some time with him. He obviously needs some space for a bit. Just letting him know you're there and the door is open is enough in my opinion.

Barb

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#2215667 - 01/25/12 10:07 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
Mach1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 3689
Originally Posted By: antlers

My 14 year old son......he got mad at me and went to his Mom's about a week and a half ago. If he didn't get his way, he'd say "I'll just go to mom's", or if I told him 'no' he'd say "I'll just go to mom's", or if he was questioned or grounded he'd say "I'll just go to mom's"...so he did. He's only done this one other time, when he got grounded. And she let him do immediately the very thing that I grounded him from. It prevents him from learning that there are consequences to his behavior. It only teaches him to be manipulative.


Part of this is his age, part of it is because that is what he has seen from his Mother.

I try to address the things that aren't "learned" behavior. Those are the things that are disrespectful towards you or any other person that shows authority.

The things that are normal teenager behavior? well they are normal for a reason.

That is a tough spot buddy. I don't envy you at all. Although I do understand what you are dealing with.

I would stay consistent , and whenever he chooses to come back, hold him to your rules still. Things aren't always going to be rosey there. And he will want to come back at some point. When he does, then I would have a talk with him about that. That in the future, running from one parent to the other if he gets upset, will not be allowed. And he will have the very real choice he has to make.

Explain about the manipulation, and that you will not deal with his disrespect in your home.

That is part of the parallel parenting thing I was talking about the other day. That we expect the same standards to be held in both homes for our kids. And that most of the time, in reality, that there ends up being two sets of standards. One for each home.

We fully expect that the best interest of the kids will be held in each home. The difference is, that what our version of whats best is, and our whacked out spouse's version of whats best is, usually ends up being at the opposite end of the spectrum from each other.

That is also the part that angers us so much. That we fully expect the other parent to enforce our rules , the same as we try to enforce theirs.

A couple years ago, I grounded my daughter from her cell phone for a week. It was on a Thursday night, and she was going back with her Mother for the next 7 days. She THOUGHT that she was free and clear , because the next week, she was going to be with her Mom.....

Imagine her surprise, when I picked her up the following Friday afternoon, and my first words were. " Hi baby, I love you, and I need your phone, this is day one "

That set the tone for parallel parenting for us....

Don't walk on eggshells with him. He will sense that in you. And try to take advantage of that. Being a teenager, that is his job.


You are the parent....nuff said






Quote:

He vents his anger toward me, at the drop of a hat, over the smallest thing.
I've had to walk on eggshells myself with him. He's capable of incredible meanness toward me. It's heartbreaking. We had a great Christmas. But afterwards, he started drawing his mother like a gun.



THIS.....is the hardest thing to understand. I struggled with this one too.

From what I have been through...

You are the "safe" parent. You are the one that he knows will be there for him. You always have, and he knows you always will be. He may feel safe venting that anger toward you, because he knows-without a shadow of a doubt- that you will be there. No matter how much anger he shows you.

What he doesn't know, is that his Mother will always be there. And he may fear that if he shows the anger he has toward her to her, that she will walk away from him, the same way she did you.

He doesn't feel "safe" in that relationship, and needs to protect that, by acting out in a way that will draw him closer to her. That is the bond that they form, or try to form.

She is more of a friend than a Mother right now. In time, he will see this too.

I had to go through this part very slow and consistently with my daughter. She needed to learn what was true on her own. She needed to see what was real, and what wasn't, on her own.

I didn't force anything on her except that I loved her , and I was there for her.

The only thing I would suggest is, that you hold him to whatever agreement that you have regarding custody. That he WILL spend time with you. I don't know if that is possible for you.

I thought many times about sending my Daughter to my ex, and letting her go. I felt that if I let her do that, that my ex won. And I was not willing to let her become the kind of person that would just walk away from her issues. And it has been a rough road. I held my daughter to a higher standard in my home, regardless of what standard that she had with my ex. She was free to express herself, but only if she could contain that to being respectful.

She had chores and responsibilities, she earns an allowance ONLY if she adheres to her chore schedule. I always thought that kids tend to gravitate towards discipline and rules, no matter what they think they want.

What we have now, is a really good relationship. In time, she did see things for her own, and she knows the difference between my relationship with her, and her relationship with her Mother.

When she needs guidance, she always seems to come to me first now. She still has things that she will only have with her Mother, and I accept that, hell, I WANT that for her.

I think the hard times, are what make the good times even better though...

I hope this helps you some. I know it's hard stuff ..

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#2216018 - 01/26/12 09:47 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: SunFunOne]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
Originally Posted By: SunFunOne
Antlers:

This one is really hard. I totally get it. I think you have to give him some space. He really needs to be able to choose. I feel for him, truly. It is difficult enough growing up these days without having your Mom walk out, your parents fighting and your sisters living elsewhere. No doubt he is torn. I don't disagree with anything you've said here. He has been an emotional wreck since his mom walked out. I know that he's torn. But he's so fickle. I didn't contact him for 13 days, and I didn't hear from him either. Then that night I sent him a short text that said simply "Thinkin' about ya'. Love you". I still haven't heard anything from him. He was really pissed when he left.

My daughter was 12 when her dad walked. My L and C both told me she was old enough to choose who to live with. She would never have gone with her dad - she has never accepted his OW and won't have her in her life - so that was not the problem. The problem was that she was devastated - just as your son is - and took out all her frustration on me. It was extremely difficult to live with her and it never really got easier. My son is and has been devestated too. I have been on the receiving end of tremendous amounts of anger and meanness from him, and he's been very difficult to live with.

Daughter had to get her own apt last Spring when I moved away. Our R has never been better as we are now apart. But it took years of strain, understanding, frustration and LOVE. His mother communicated with my brother 2 nights ago via text and she told him that my son "is doing real good over there and she hasn't had any problems with him at all, and that he's gone through so much emotionally with the crap he's had to hear and still hears, and that he needs time to be in a happy, positive, peaceful, truthful environment". That was a direct attack on me and the environment that he's in when he's with me. Her response was SO disingenuous. Incendentally, since he's been over there, I've received 2 very distressing letters from 2 different teachers at his school telling me that his behavior and schoolwork has deteriorated markedly and they really don't know what else to do with him at this point. Ironically on Jan. 5th when he was still at my house I got a very complementary letter from another one of his teachers telling me how good he was doing and how good his attitude was.

Your son probably does not know how to handle the situation any differently. Give him some time. I'm sure you can see how that is working with your daughters. Time and space and unconditional love has helped create a new R with them. He's lived with me exclusively for over 2 years. He knows how I am, and he knows how I treat him. He's lied to his mother and told her that I was mean to him, because she mentioned to my brother that my son told her that I was mean to him. All I've done is tell him 'no' when it was appropriate, I sometimes don't let him get his way, I sometimes question him when he's done something wrong, and I've grounded him a couple of times over those 2 years when it was warranted. That's been the extent of my being mean. I'm giving him time. I'll reach out again in about a week and just let him know that I'm thinking about him and love him via a short text. My oldest daughter still will not even communicate with me. My youngest daughter and I have been spending a good deal of time together. She's been contacting me often.

Don't worry about the courts. It is what is best for your son that counts. If you fought to have him stay with you against his will - how would that end up in 5 years? And trust me - those 5 years will go by fast. Unfortunately I have to worry about it when dealing with her. It's basically a situation where he got mad at me and went to his mom's. And instead of her seeing it for what it is, she'll take advantage of the situation and try to get custody of him by taking me back to court, and to try and get even more money from me on a monthly basis. I don't mind him staying over there for a while...but I certainly don't want another custody battle in court. She hired a GAL (who was also a lawyer) during the divorce (and I had to pay for the GAL also) to try to get custody of the kids. This GAL recommended, after her investigation, that custody of my son go to me. All of those parameters upon which the GAL based her recommendations are still the same! Certainly the court wouldn't change custody based upon the whims of an adolescent boy? Certainly they wouldn't change custody because he got mad at his dad because he didn't get his way so he went to stay at his mom's?

The part that worries me here is that wife will side with him against you. I think you really need to try to communicate to her from a co-parenting standpoint. And I DO understand how hard that is because my ex was unreasonable and irrational about EVERYTHING to do with our daughter after he left. Luckily - I had sole custody - but still - she is OUR daughter. She will always side with him against me! That's because it's not about him with her...it's about her being able to hurt me and get more money out of me! I've begged her over the years to work together for the benefit of these kids, and she's refused. I'm between a rock and a hard place here.

So - my best advice is to NOT guilt him into coming home just yet or ask for some time with him. He obviously needs some space for a bit. Just letting him know you're there and the door is open is enough in my opinion. I don't intend to guilt him at all. I haven't and I won't. I don't mind giving him space or time, I really don't. I'm concerned though that she'll take advantage of the situation like I mentioned. I intend to let him know that I'm there and the door is open...but sparingly. I don't want to overdo it.

Barb

Thank you for responding.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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#2216024 - 01/26/12 10:01 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: Mach1]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
I know he's got a lot of other stuff going on too with school, his peers, puberty, etc. But this separation and divorce has done a number on him. He is very disrespectful toward me. I just hope that he chooses 'to' come back! I know things won't always be rosey, even though his mother says they are 'perfect' when he's with her. How can you enforce "running from one parent to another if he gets upset will not be allowed"? I can discourage it, but I don't see how it can be enforced? I don't like walking on eggshells, it's an awful way to live. What you've said about being the 'safe' parent is something I've heard before. I don't know if that's the case with him but it's certainly possible. Even though I'm his primary custodian, I can't make him stay. I really anxious about the situation, because I've dealt with her for several years now since she left, and I'm concerned she's gonna have me back in court. I do not want that. I do appreciate your response, and it does help.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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#2216044 - 01/26/12 11:07 AM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
Rick1963 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 2498
Loc: Piney Land
Sorry you are going through this Antlers. A couple of months ago in our divorce care group we had a speaker who spoke about his parents D. He is an adult now.He also lived with his dad and said that every time his dad set limits he would run to his mom. He said he did that because his mom let him do whatever including smoking weed. He said that later on he recented his mother for this. So hang in there and continue being a good role model and dad
_________________________
M 51
W 50
D 17
Separated 6/22/11 moved out 11/12
Together 26 yrs
Married 16
W Filed for D 7/21/11
Served 9/6/11
D final 8/28/12

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

John Wooden






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#2216088 - 01/26/12 01:33 PM Re: Forgiveness [Re: Rick1963]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
Originally Posted By: Rick1963
Sorry you are going through this Antlers. A couple of months ago in our divorce care group we had a speaker who spoke about his parents D. He is an adult now.He also lived with his dad and said that every time his dad set limits he would run to his mom. He said he did that because his mom let him do whatever including smoking weed. He said that later on he recented his mother for this. So hang in there and continue being a good role model and dad

It [censored]. I would like it for her to co-parent these kids with me. They love and need both of us. But whenever he's over there, she feels like she has the upper hand, and she operates from that position. It's less about my son and more about hurting me and getting more money from me.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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#2216089 - 01/26/12 01:36 PM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
If anybody is familiar with my thread and my situation and is willing, I'd sure appreciate a sample communication to her requesting that we co-parent these kids because they love us both, and they need us both.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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#2216101 - 01/26/12 02:00 PM Re: Forgiveness [Re: antlers]
2thepoint Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1692
Originally Posted By: antlers
If anybody is familiar with my thread and my situation and is willing, I'd sure appreciate a sample communication to her requesting that we co-parent these kids because they love us both, and they need us both.


Hey Antlers - I don't think it is going to be as easy as a single communication that get you two to discuss this matter in a constructive way. It is probably going to take the form of several positive interactions between you and your W before she will be open to hearing and changing.

A friend who is D had a very strained R with his ex. Then one day he stopped by to pick up his son and when his ex answered the door, he said hello and simply shook her hand. That one simple gesture of respect opened up other doors for him and his ex to have conversations about what they wanted for their son and how they would achieve that together.

Just something to consider.
_________________________
Me48 W50 S15 S11
M20 T23
Bomb-9/11; A-11/11; I move out 11/11

It's easy to find our bottom, it is our top that requires cultivation.

Every rough spot adds to our emotional constitution. -Barney Fife

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#2216110 - 01/26/12 02:23 PM Re: Forgiveness [Re: 2thepoint]
antlers Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 3041
Originally Posted By: 2thepoint
Originally Posted By: antlers
If anybody is familiar with my thread and my situation and is willing, I'd sure appreciate a sample communication to her requesting that we co-parent these kids because they love us both, and they need us both.


Hey Antlers - I don't think it is going to be as easy as a single communication that get you two to discuss this matter in a constructive way. It is probably going to take the form of several positive interactions between you and your W before she will be open to hearing and changing.

A friend who is D had a very strained R with his ex. Then one day he stopped by to pick up his son and when his ex answered the door, he said hello and simply shook her hand. That one simple gesture of respect opened up other doors for him and his ex to have conversations about what they wanted for their son and how they would achieve that together.

Just something to consider.

Agreed. Just something to get things started though would be nice.
_________________________
"Always go straight forward, and if you meet the devil, cut him in two and go between the pieces." - William Sturgis, clipper ship captain, 1830's.

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