Yet another example of my impulsiveness and reactionary personality. I just don't get it. DS17 and DS10 haven't 'aligned' with me, and they were there for the same conversation. I asked whether it might have anything to do with DS15 snooping on his mom's phone and finding evidence she's having an affair several months ahead of us telling the boys? "well, that may have set the stage, but your reaction makes it look like she's the bad guy and you're the victim."
So lying, betrayal, and going outside of the marriage when things aren't going well doesn't make you a 'bad guy', but my reaction while talking to the boys does? And, i also learned i should have let DS15 know it's unacceptable to snoop on his mom's phone.
I feel like i'm at the end of my rope. I really do. GOD, the last thing i want is to Fuck up my kids lives. Yet, here i am.
No "Father of the Year" nomination for me.
I mean, HOLY SHIT! I've done the best i can with what i've had to work with. Found out STBXW had a PA in September with a coworker. Basically, i looked into how i've failed in the marriage, forgave her and worked my ass off in counseling to address my culpability in the deterioration of the relationship. I've been freaking meditating, for goodness' sake! She attends counseling, blames me for everything and then i find out, in December, she's in some kind of long distance EA (maybe PA) with a different guy she dated 25 years ago. STBXW even told me she has NO REMORSE FOR WHAT SHE PUT ME THROUGH!
AND i never told any of the three kids anything negative about their mom. I've stuck to the party line, that both mom and dad love them very much and although we may not be together, we will always be there for them.
i'm done. just done!
[This message edited by Coraline at 2:00 PM, January 30th (Wednesday)]
I got teary-eyed when we were discussing the divorce with the kids and said, "You boys are such good kids. Nobody could ask for anything more. It's not fair. It is bullshit, and you don't deserve this."
I completely fail to see how this is throwing your STBXW under the bus at all! It's not about her. It's about them, and you're right, it does suck and they don't deserve to have to go through this all.
I gotta say, not impressed with the counselor's line of thinking
If you want them to quit stabbing you in the back, then you need to quit handing them the knife.
Only thing you can do now is crisis control. Just hold your head high and be the best father you can be, let her show her true colors and your kids will figure out what's right.
I've said the SAME words to my kids and they have gotten the SAME unrepentant attitude from their father. Only difference is that he's kind of bowed out of parenting.
Protect your kids at all cost. I still say allow your D15 space and security by not making him go over there is he's not ready.
All you can do is tell your kdis that you're not perfect, you're trying to do your best in this very difficult situation and you want them to be a team and you love them more than anything. It'll all be okay.
starting D summer 2013
I asked whether it might have anything to do with DS15 snooping on his mom's phone and finding evidence she's having an affair several months ahead of us telling the boys?
Why yes stupid fucking worthless therapist, YES IT DOES. IT'S THE WHOLE REASON.
And, i also learned i should have let DS15 know it's unacceptable to snoop on his mom's phone.
Um. What about mom? Why can't she do this? Oh, that's right, because her credibility is blown.
Plus, "snooping". That's a mighty charged word when you're talking about kids who likely pick up parents phones to play games etc.
Ugh KOM. Please find another therapist. The one you're seeing sucks.
First off, it is commendable that you are attempting to address your DS' issues in this manner. That tells me you're a good dad.
Secondly, I agree with everyone else. That counselor is just plain wrong. On what planet is it okay to chastise you for "throwing your STBX under the bus" (I disagree with this assessment wholeheartedly, BTW) but not have the expectation that your DS could, I don't know, form his OWN opinion of his mother's actions independent of your feelings, and that the anger is just a consequence of his mother's actions in the first place?
What I'm saying boils down to this: where is your STBX's culpability in this? Your "impulsiveness" and "reactionary personality" is being blamed here, but no mention is made of STBX's actions.
And, I think the counselor should be figuring out ways for you two to jointly help alleviate your DS' anger rather than blaming. The blaming in and of itself is counter productive to what you are trying to accomplish- helping your DS.
Let's frame this another way:
My mother stares at her great-grandson with a angry look. I sweep into the room, pick him up and hug him. Therefore, I'm the reason my great-nephew does not like my mother.
Seriously, get another therapist.
Me: FBS (no longer betrayed nor a spouse)-62
D-day: 2007 (two years before finding SI)
S: 6/2010; D: 3/2011
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"
Continue to love your kids.
Continue to show your kids through your actions that you are the parent they can trust.
Do not beat yourself up for showing emotion in front of your kids. How else are they going to learn it's okay to be sad when sad things happen?
oh, and did I mention, fire that fucking idiot who's pretending to be a counselor?
ps. it's true, your kids may blame you or be mad at you too, but it'll be for other reasons. My ds17, who was 14 at the time his dad left, was mad at me for 2 years because he felt I talked about private things to too many people. He got to have his own feelings about the shitstorm that our lives became. I let him be mad. For 2 freakin' years. He learned I'd still love him anyway.
Why does it seem like your DS is being manipulated by his mother?
Keep your head held high, remember something... YOU (for all your faults) did not destroy your marriage... YOUR wife leaving the marriage destroyed it.
The only control you have in a situation like this is damage control. Show your DS by your actions that you are still his father, and you won't abandon him the way your wife did the marriage. It sucks to be the parent that gets to pick up the pieces of their hearts... but the sane parents are the ones who stick around and help the kids do just that. Be the sane parent.... her actions will also speak loudly to him. Just have patience.
I think the counselor needs a crash course in dealing with a manipulative parent. Your wife sounds like my X... funny once X left the kids therapy sessions... things got better between my kids and I.
NOT her fault. NOT your S15 fault. D15 did try to tell her to respect her dad's privacy, but I interjected WH has done nothing to earn respect or privacy. We're deeply flawed and deeply hurt. It's alright for your kids to know we are vulnerable.
A friend just pointed out there is more than one meaning to the term 'bullshit'.
i had not thought about what i was going to say ahead of time. When i said, "it (or this) is bullshit", i was using the term "bullshit" to mean nonsense as in just a big mess. i.e. you kids are the victim of Mom and Dad failing to preserve the family you deserve.
If the counselor interpreted "it (or this) is bullshit" to mean a big lie (and the counselor did know what STBXW did, and that she is a liar), then i can see how this could be interpreted as an attempt to undermine their mom and align my kids on my side. That thought never occurred to me.
I had the idea that DS15 knew something, but did not know what he knew until Monday evening. STBXW and i had agreed to tell the kids that we have tried and have exhausted all methods to resolve our differences, and that mom and dad both love you and always will...
Or maybe i'm giving her too much credit, i don't know. She's supposed to be a specialist for kids going through divorce, so i'm sure she's seen a lot. (this is my first time, of course)
I have not and will never attempt to put my kids in the middle, make them choose, or use them as any type of leverage. And i have told DS15 it is not his job to protect me, and he should be able to go to mom's house and not worry that he is somehow betraying me. i am taking care of myself.
STBXW, OTHO, asked DS17 to please stop by on the days he's supposed to stay with dad to 'check on her'. Counselor did agree with me that can be seen as an attempt to align him on mom's side.
What i do know is it will be up to me to be the stability in the family and lead my kids through recovery. It is sort of difficult when you have not fully recovered yourself, so i am doing my best. I honestly think the truth would help me get closure in my relationship with STBXW. She hasn't come clean about anything at all with me. A bit of tt, only. MC admonished us NOT to discuss the relationship out of session. STBXW told me that she can not, and will not, help me get past the infidelity.
Oh. MC identifed STBXW as failing to maintain healthy boundaries in our relationship. That is her culpability in the marriage failure.
This is a tough crowd down here where protecting the kids is concerned, and these folks call people out on parental alienation if deserved. In your case, I think your counselor sucks!
Even if she misunderstood - she should have clarified before going further. My guess is your son is going to get even more pissy at this point. The only person who has done something wrong is the one the counselor is defending and protecting. Makes me wonder about your counselor's personal background...
[This message edited by Take2 at 4:52 PM, January 30th (Wednesday)]
Just because IC hangs out a sign that says she specializes in D does not mean she is any good at it. I would find another IC for your kids because this one is not neutral. In addition, she seems want to pin blame on each parent because a child feels a certain way. Kids are thinking human beings. They are capable of having opinions even as young babies (ever try to feed your baby that second bite of the thing they just scrunched their face up for?) Teenagers especially have opinions and make up their own mind about things. No one is to blame because you DS15 feels betrayed by his mother. And no one is to blame is your DS17 wants to please his mother.
I am sorry that you feel so beaten up.
MC admonished us NOT to discuss the relationship out of session.
Better hurry up and book more sessions then
Seriously, find a new counselor. A good one will give you perspective and guidance, not admonishing, finger pointing, and restrictions on how to talk or feel. Also find a few review websites and share your experience. With peoples reluctance to seek counseling, nothing irks me more than a quack.