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Problems for DS - quite long, sorry!

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velveteer posted 10/9/2013 07:49 AM

In the main my S from WXW has been fine. Sure there has been the usual ups and downs of dealing with her ways, but its pretty settled.

DS (9) has been a bit unsettled of late though. He says he is missing me a lot when he's at WXW's place and we've spoken a couple of times.

He doesn't know the details of the A, or indeed that this is what it was that led to our S. We judged them both too small to know about that (7 and 4 at the time).

First he wanted to know if it was something he had done (he has been consistently and frequently reassured over the last 2 years that it wasn't anything to do with him). I again made it clear that it was nothing that he or his sister did wrong - nothing at all. He asked what it was. I was a bit taken aback but told him that we had grown up problems and that some of them can be sorted out and some cant. The problems between me and WXW could not be sorted out and we took the very hard decision to S - we didn't do it lightly. He seemed OK with this.

Then he asked why it was me that stayed in the marital home and not his mum. Did mummy want to go somewhere else? I told him no - that me staying was the only way we could keep the house in the family so that is what we did (which is true). Again he seemed to understand this and agreed that it was good that we kept the house - it means a lot to him.

He also said he was pleased that we didn't fight (me and WXW) and that childcare was properly planned.

Then last night we spoke again and he tells me that he is worried that he and WXW don't get along very well. She is always shouting at him and doesn't listen when he says his piece. She often takes his sister's side when the two of them quarrel (I have seen this consistently and know it to be true). He is worried that they will not get on well when he is older. He feels angry quite a lot when he is with her. I rarely ever see him angry.

I spoke to him a bit about the times his mum is shouting at him and what was happening. I also suggested that he speak to her about this. He said he has tried but she ends up shouting at him again. I reassured him that his mum loves him (she does) and that they can sort this out, but that they need to talk to each other. He said he will speak to her again.

So - a couple of things here. The first is that I am wondering what is going on here. It feels like he is asking roundabout questions about his mum and her role in the S. I always felt that he knew at some level, maybe not consciously, but knew nonetheless that this was something WXW had done. This almost feels like that semi-awareness is starting to bubble up, which I did always wonder if it might.

The other thing is that while he may talk to her, I doubt it will go that well for him. She is so wrapped up in her own guilt and the trials and tribulations of the life that she chose, that she struggles to really take anything else on board - even the valid concerns of her own kids. He is also only 9 and does not always express himself clearly.

Now her and I do communicate quite well about issues concerning the kids and I could intervene a little here and make her aware of this. She actually does listen to me when it comes to the kids.

But I am undecided as to what to do, if anything. On the one hand I do think this is a problem of her own making and I am certainly not in the business of rescuing her. On the other hand, this is my boy we are talking about and while I know I can't solve this, I could at least have a positive influence.

What do y'all think?


StrongerOne posted 10/9/2013 09:10 AM

I suggest you contact the school counselor. Share with him or her what you've said here. Ask him or her to work with DS on how to talk with his mom, and also, obviously, his fears about his relationship with his mom. Maybe he is coming to some understanding of his mom's role in the breakup. More likely, I think, is that he fears he is going to lose her. She left you, she left the house -- when she shouts at him, or (seems to) take his sister's side (maybe that is because his sister is so much younger?), then she seems to be leaving *him*. Was there shouting between you and his mom before the S?

Just some thoughts. School counselor is a good place to start. You could also talk to his pediatrician for advice and perhaps a referral.

Hugs to you and to your boy. This is the most heart breaking part of As -- how much pain it brings to our kids. You are doing a great job with him -- and it's good that he feels safe asking you his questions, especially since mom clearly is not safe.

Nature_Girl posted 10/9/2013 09:49 AM

I do not try to explain Daddy's choices or behaviors to the kids. This is under the advice of my lawyer, my counselor, two children's counselors and the parenting evaluator. I listen to my kids. I validate what needs to be validated (not everything does). I ask if they want me to suggest coping strategies OR if they're just venting and simply want me to listen & give a hug. Sometimes we have good talks about human psychology and motivation.

I do not explain Daddy to them. I truthfully cannot. Only one time have I had to intervene when he & one of the children had a huge, public, violently verbal blow-out. Luckily I have an excellent child/family counselor that we see regularly so I was able to get impartial assistance in the matter.

I think that having a good child/family counselor on your team is critical.

Pass posted 10/9/2013 12:16 PM

I've had similar issues with The Princess and our oldest son (who is 13). The advice I've been consistently getting here - as well as from my shrink - is that I am not responsible for the relationship she has with the kids.

Of course, I'm really shitty at following advice.

I ended up telling him that his mom can sometimes be very difficult, and when she is, there is no way to make her undifficult - not being nice, not doing things to help her, nothing. That was a rare time when I'd finally had enough. Most of the time, I just commiserate with him (which I think is the main thing he wants).

A statement of "That really sucks. I can understand why you would feel that way" can go a long way, and is sometimes all they're looking for.

HopeImOverIt posted 10/9/2013 16:23 PM

More likely, I think, is that he fears he is going to lose her. She left you, she left the house -- when she shouts at him, or (seems to) take his sister's side (maybe that is because his sister is so much younger?), then she seems to be leaving *him*.

I agree with this analysis and I recommend you get counseling for your son.

velveteer posted 10/10/2013 02:15 AM

thanks all - will consider some counselling for him and will keep a close eye on him meantime.

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