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DS's anger toward bio dad is making us all miserable

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My DS will be 11 next month. His dad has been in and out of his life all along. He's been present just enough to have a bond, but gone enough to create lots of anger and resentment on DS's behalf. Over the summer, he went to live with him (against my better judgement) because he was convinced he could change their relationship if he was around him more. He came back home after a month.

For the next several weeks, life was fabulous. He realized what he had at home and that he couldn't change his dad no matter how much he wanted to. Now, we're back to the same old crap. His dad will tell him he'll take him to ball practice or some such, and then not do it because of some really lame excuse. Then DS goes into a spiral of emotions, mainly being mad at his dad but taking it out on us. He won't ever till him how he really feels. He just acts out, gets mad for no reason, and then finally just tells us that he's mad, angry, frustrated, etc with his dad. It is driving me and DH (who is a wonderful step dad to him, filling in the gaps constantly) CRAZY!

Any advice to make this situation better?
post #2 of 4
my close friend had the same situation with her daughter's father. A supreme flake.
They had to write a list of Expectations generated by father and what he would probably accomplish. They worked long and hard on what is real and what is hope.

eventually daughter set down some rules of expectation with father and he promptly flaked again. the good news was she did learn to not personalize it. she could see how he flakes on everyone's life. My friend (girl's mother) never sugar coated the father's behavior with "he doesn't mean it." etc.. at the same time she didn't beat him up. She really was very measured about it... she said things like, "This is what J does. People get hurt when they expect differently from him. It would be nice if he was different. And some days it is fun to hope and wish..but this is just who he is."

there are bumps but she is 19 now and I think so much better because of her mother's measured approach.

eta
I was front and center for a lot of this stuff... and it seems to be it really started to kick in when daughter was about 10.
post #3 of 4
Man, reading your post was like looking into my poor DD1's(14) life. She has that kind of relationship with her dad. Now when he hurts her I just hug her and tell her it's not her fault. That I'm sorry she is hurting. My DH and I go out of our way to make sure she knows how much we care about her. Just reassure him it is not his fault.
post #4 of 4
to your DS and you and the rest of your family. That's crazy-making and painful, the way BD is treating your DS.

I'm sorry to say, I don't think there's a way you can make this better. There are some ugly truths about his dad that your DS is learning, and it's gonna hurt. My kids go through it at times, in a different way, and their dad's eldest son, A (who I've only met once), had a really hard time with it throughout his adolescence, since his dad (my ex; yes, our family tree is insane) totally abandoned him. According to A's mom, the worst was during the tween-early teen years. By 15-16, he was coming to terms with the truth and now he's 19 years old and doing well, having felt his anger and moved on. It still hurts him, but he's not controlled by it.

Your son will be OK, especially if he knows that you honor his feelings and give him room to express them. Sad to say, lots of kids grow up in this kind of emotional bind.
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