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Blended Families - dealing with the feelings between the exes...

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FightingChance posted 5/22/2013 09:37 AM

we're having a crisis with our 10 DS - my stepson. We have a meeting tomorrow with his mother to discuss our options. Problem is, she and my WH HATE each other. WH is much better at controlling his feelings than he used to be and certainly much better than his XW.

We HAVE to get together - found out late yesterday afternoon DS is having suicidal ideations - we need to discuss a safety plan. XW doesn't see a need for a safety plan. WH tried to talk to her last night on the phone and she insists that since the thoughts happened at our house, the threat is only at our house and therefore, she doesn't need to watch him, alert the school, etc.

Here's my question - I know they both have reason to dislike each other, but this is THEIR child - he is hurting bad enough to think of suicide, how do I get them to set aside their individual feelings and focus on their son? Has anyone hated their X so much and yet, been able to put that aside for the child?

FWIW - the therapist he sees isn't worth sh&t - she can't see him again for 2 weeks! She issues this suicide warning and says, see you in 16 days. XW likes her so she won't change therapist, WH has the legal right to change but wants to be in agreement with XW, but he says he wants to wait to talk to her, WH and XW will not go to the therapist jointly to talk about this. XW refuses, not WH.

I'm at my wits end, watching this child suffer. I agreed to participate in the meeting tomorrow but I fear it will turn into a huge, it's all your fault blame fest and my son will be no better off....any ideas?

TrustGone posted 5/22/2013 10:26 AM

Unfortunately there is little you can do to make them try to be cordial and concentrate on their son. Even though you are his step-mom and care about him, you have no say so in how they handle this. WH#2 and I both have children by previous marriages. We had an understanding that he was to deal with issues for his children and I would deal with issues with mine. I can be supportive of them but it is not my place to be their Mom. They already have a Mom, maybe not a good one, but a Mom none the less. I guess I think of it like this. If we divorced, where would I be in their lives then and who would be making those decisions. It would not be me then and so it should not be me now. Be supportive of the child, but don't put yourself in the middle of their parenting issues. I know that is hard to do especially when you love them and only wants whats best for them. (((HUGS)))

FightingChance posted 5/22/2013 10:46 AM

Thanks TrustGone!

I have always spent more time with his children than either he or his XW do. I am usually the one who is more attuned to what is going on with the kids because of this. However, WH and I are not in the best of spots and I'm backing away from everything concerning his children. I have encouraged him to spend more time with them, parenting them, etc. I truly feel like we're heading for divorce and he and his XW need to handle the parenting on their own. I had not wanted to be a part of this meeting at all. However, WH begged because he thinks I'm better at wording things than he is.

We have MC tonight so I am hoping our MC will be a voice of reason as to the meeting. WH will see me not attending as a betrayal - me not being willing to go - as me giving up on our marriage and on his children.

However, I do have quite a bit of say about having a pre-teen suicidal child living in my house - that is for sure. I have my own 13DS to consider. If WH and his XW cannot work together to ensure this child's safety and mental well-being, I cannot allow that child to be around my child. They might be willing to allow their own child to go down this dark and dangerous path, but I will not allow my son to be on the sidelines of it, or put in any danger because of it.

Dare2Trust posted 5/22/2013 19:03 PM

Fighting Chance,

I just feel very sorry for this young boy....
But, if I was in your situation: I'd have to make SURE that my WH was home whenever this boy was visiting; to make sure his father was there to personally watch after him until/unless there was a firm safety plan in place.
It's highly unfair for YOU to be the care-giver for this boy - while your WH is working until this situation is firmly under control.
It's really time for these TWO parents to step up and be responsible for THEIR son's well-being.
That's my opinion.

How do you believe the Ex-wife is going to respond to you being some type of "mediator" at the meeting tomorrow? It appears this mother wants to believe her son only has "suicidal thoughts" while he's visiting at his father's home.

Bluebird26 posted 5/23/2013 05:44 AM

Is there a school counsellor and a trusted teacher, that might be willing help him in between psych appointments?

My DS is also 10 and recently admitted he was having suicidal thoughts too. I got him to his psych asap, he was having issues with his father, xwh refuses to listen to his concerns or mine. It's so sad when all you want to do is help them.

[This message edited by Bluebird26 at 5:44 AM, May 23rd (Thursday)]

damncutekitty posted 5/23/2013 09:14 AM

I know some parents who lost a son to suicide that would have given ANYTHING to have advance notice that their son was suicidal, but instead didn't find out until a police officer knocked on their door with the news that their son was dead.

Your WH and his XW are being idiots.

veritas posted 5/23/2013 09:22 AM

The entire situation just sounds nuts. I could see if you were setting up a meeting with a counselor... but if I'm reading this correctly, these two supposed grown-ups have scheduled a meeting to discuss that their son wants to kill himself? Call me a helicopter, but if I knew my son wanted to kill himself, I'd be on him like a tick on a bloodhound instead of scheduling times to fight with the ex. I don't think your WH and his ex hate each other as much as they say they do.

FightingChance posted 5/23/2013 09:37 AM

Thanks everyone!

we went to MC last night and discussed this. Tonight's meeting was already set up PRIOR to this suicidal ideation thing coming up. We needed to discuss the problems we were seeing and talk to the XW about changing therapists - WH will do the talking, I will be there only to provide him with emotional support. We are basically just going to inform her of the things we've been seeing at our house, the changes we've noticed, etc. to make sure she is in the loop - and boy what a list. She will most likely say that it doesn't happen at her house and we won't argue. We will merely be as informative as we can be and encourage her to put safety plans in place, and then hope she does. We can't control her.

Meanwhile, WH has already phoned a new psychologist to see about getting an ASAP evaluation and referral of 10DS. Under the advice of our MC, he is to do this without telling the XW. He has joint custody and he has the authority to do so, but since XW doesn't agree it is necessary, just do it and then tell her.

My position is clear - until he's been in regular therapy and evaluated, he cannot be in my house without his father. My priorities lay with the one child I have legal authority over. END. OF. STORY.

To be fair - this has woken up my WH. He is completely and totally on board that his child needs help. Especially after our MC told him that 10DS was showing psychopathic tendencies and needed to be evaluated and treated quickly, perhaps even inpatient - if what we were saying was true. WH knows it is true.

Veritas - the situation IS nuts. XW is very strange - she's not protective at all - I don't understand her and never will.

I've wondered how much their "hate" hides lingering affection. WH seems disgusted by the idea of XW, and XW seems disgusted by the thought of WH. However, WH has changed an awful lot since I have been in his life, and XW's life has fallen apart lately. I've often wondered if he'd move into her house since her renter left, if I left him. It would be the perfect solution for all of them. He says no way...but who knows?

crazyblindsided posted 5/23/2013 17:56 PM

I am surprised the therapist didn't have him agree to go to an inpatient program.

I had suicide ideation before I attempted it. Thank god I didn't cut too deep. Inpatient therapy saved my life!

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