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How old is your son? How is he handling your split and the new situation in general? I have a 14yo son and he would play xbox all day if he could, and all night. I could definitely see this as playing you two off each other. He's mad at mom, displaying it by doing what he feels like doing and disrespecting or ignoring her wishes. He's taking advantage of a situation where dad's in a different house and at mom's he understands they'd like him to stay out of their way and be quiet...time for xbox!
Talking to him is good no matter what. Let him know you care, find out what's going on with him and how he's feeling. Give him a chance to express what he's feeling. Find out if he thinks it's a good idea to fill up his time with xbox or if he has other things to do there. Separately, maybe talk to W about whether S might be feeling ignored there and see if there are activities she could try to do with him. In our house, grocery shopping gets S14 out of the house and "connecting", and we try to get him outside with friends whenever possible.
Definitely the issue of S being disrespectful or playing too much xbox is for his mom and dad to figure out. It's good she's not enlisting OM in the issue. She doesn't seem to have the confidence in her parenting, or ideas for tools to work with, to modify his behavior while he's with her. I'd suggest maybe a coparenting class, so S14 doesn't get the idea that there are two sets of rules or that you aren't both capable of parenting him.
I'd suggest not letting mom's request for help on this distract you into thinking she's trying to get back together. Give the problem with S attention as a standalone and let whatever plays out with her play out. You don't lose, no matter what, by being a caring and effective dad.
Adinva 46 H47 T22 M19 S15 S12 6/15/11 IDLY (S but living together) 12/16/12 H left (1 week after informing family of S) Working on S agreemt ____ Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)
Loc: somewhere out there...
I also don't believe she is using that as an excuse to maybe try again. Maybe she just wants you to make things easier for her, by asking your S to behave better for her. Which if he is being disobedient or disrespectful, you should tell him he needs to act right. However, if he is using Xbox as a distraction when om is in the house, if she is allowing him to play video games to keep him quiet and out of the way, then that is for her to deal with. Your S seems bright enough to know the difference. She should not use you to make things easier with om. And her getting you to babysit (yes, I know they are your kids) while she goes for a night on the town, is just plain using you. I would not be so available for her on those occasions if I were you. Talk about being walked on.
OM has gone back away, and my wife has found out he has been emailing another woman for months!!! They have never met by the sound of things, but he's been flirting in emails to her for quite a while, they have spoken about meeting but haven't yet?
Wife is really upset, she has told me its not because of him, but the upset and lying She told me that he's a nice guy, but she could never trust him again, he's trying to wiggle out of it, but she seems firm that it's over
She has had 2-3 hour conversations with me each night since she found out, told me everything about them, I have listened and been a good friend
We have spoken about us, again she has told me that it was only the drink that split us up, and how much she loved me, it was all past tense, but I know how we both feel
Last night she came to mine for dinner with the kids, I cooked and it was really nice, kids loved it, they were really happy and relaxed
So now do I just keep my distance, no pressure and be there for her, or go a bit dark??
Loc: somewhere out there...
Wow, that is news. I guess it wasn't so serious for om after all. He wasn't such a good guy as she thought, was he?
I would tread very carefully here, though. You don't want to rush into any sort of R talk that might make her back off. Definitely no pressure. She could let om back in, but knows she can't trust him, so even if she did, it would most likely be short lived. Take it really slow, have the dinners at your home, let her come if she wants, let her have the opportunity to see what she could have every day.
I think she will eventually see the one she left was, in fact, the better man after all.
So now do I just keep my distance, no pressure and be there for her, or go a bit dark?
Well I came to read about your son but thought I would start here. IMHO mirror her, let her control all contact. Yes no pressure, validate, no pursuit at all. Treat her like a friend that you would meet on the street, she really is no more than that at this point. Do not get involved with her an OM, that is none of your concern and you could not possibly help anyways.
As far as you son goes, yes be his DAD. Whatever that might take. Love him unconditionally no matter what he does. Including tough love if that is required, but for right now I would suggest being a soft place for him to land and maybe some TLC, hugs, whatever is needed.
VC, you have always been very supportive, thank you
The weekend has been great for me, I have seen loads of the kids, had some great contact with my wife, and its all been very easy.
Even my son has said that mum and I have been speaking more and she seems happy?
We have not spoke about OM since Friday night, she hasn't mentioned him so I haven't
She has been in touch a lot, mostly about the kids, but I'm being helpful if she asks for some help, I'm not offering anything, but just being there for her, and its gone very well, but really it always has?, just OM got in the way of things.
The conversation we had on Friday was total honesty from both of us, I thanked her for leaving me, it took that to happen for me to see the mistakes I was making, and to stop the drinking.
She told me OM was a nice guy, but that was it, she didn't think it was for ever, but was only living each day at a time, we spoke about holidays, and she said that although she might have went away with him, she would not go away with him and our kids?, not sure why, I didn't ask, but that does not sound the basis of a serious relationship?
My son has told me he didn't really speak to my son when he was around, so I'm not sure how serious this guy was either, although he told my wife he loved her and had never felt like he did right now?, so why was he emailing another woman!!
I'm just being there for her, and just mirroring her, I don't call her, I don't ask anything, I'm just there for her when she wants.
But as a big positive to me, we laugh a lot together, we talk a lot, and she has been very open to me, she even said that nobody knows her like me, and that we are good friends.
We even spoke about our marriage and our relationship, how we were best friends, enjoyed each others company, found each other attractive, and the physical side was always great, it was only the drink that was an issue.
She knows I'm not drinking anymore, so I think little seeds are being sown, slowly!!
Whatever happens, happens, good, bad, or indifferent, but its nice to have her as a friend again, I have really missed that, she has said the same to me.
Hopefully OM is out of the picture, and maybe, she can now see I'm not the drunk I was, but the man she loved.
Loc: somewhere out there...
I am glad your weekend went so well. Your W no longer has this glorified image of om to compare with you, so maybe the reality of her situation will hit her. Maybe, eventually, om and his memory have faded away, she might consent to have a date with you, and who knows what could happen in the future?
And, at least if om wasn't exactly friendly with your kids, they didn't get attached to him.
Thats a great point that I never thought of, they were not attached to him, so if he has gone from her life, there is no real hardship or pain to them, if anything my son would be happier if he wasn't involved anymore!
She called a few times yesterday, about the kids, but nothing else, I think she has gone back into her shell for a while, at least I can see whats happening and not think about the whys or reasons for things now, they just are!!
Whatever happens with OM there is always going to be a doubt in her mind, and thats nothing to do with me.
I'm just the smiling, happy, helpful, "ex-husband", who also happens to be her best friend!!
Sounds like really good work, well done! Every long-term deeply satisfying marriage has a core of friendship, it's essential. Keep in mind that the "shell" is always about safety - it's not unusual to have a "heart-to-heart" conversation followed by some "shell time". When you stir up some good feelings within her, it will be accompanied by some fear for a while. Respect the shell, she'll come out sooner and stay out longer if you do! Hang in there, you can do this!
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