Once again finding DSS's mom's priorities bizarre.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-10-2011, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DSS's mom has just bought plane tix for his friend to join him in visiting her for spring break.  For some reason, she emailed DH a copy of her receipt for the friend's tix - almost $900.  She also offered to take them on a cruise to Mexico (but they're not doing it because of the fathers' reservations about safety in Mexico these days).  What she paid for the friend's tickets alone (much less what she would've spent on the cruise) is way more than enough to cover another visit (i.e., her coming here to see DSS, which she does progressively less, every year).  It's nearly enough to cover two of her visits.  Doesn't she wonder whether DSS will someday ask, "If you had the money for all this other stuff, why didn't you come and spend more time with me?  Why was showing up Dad at every turn the most important thing?"  Why doesn't DSS already wonder that?  Nothing new.  But grrrrr....


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#2 of 6 Old 03-10-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

 Why doesn't DSS already wonder that?  Nothing new.  But grrrrr....


Honestly, he probably does.  Poor kid.

 

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#3 of 6 Old 03-17-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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... or he expects, as she does, that he'll being back living with her soon and there's no point in having her involved in his life on the East Coast, since that's not his "real life" but rather a temporary interruption. It would be a pretty serious shock if he DIDN'T think that, given the circumstances of the custody change and the way his mom has acted since then.  Of course she's not going to legitimize his life with you. In  her eyes, her ex and his new wife stole her kid. And that is the message she communicates to said kid. 

 

I've said it before, I'll say it again, this woman is a real piece of work. Self-centered doesn't begin to describe it. But part of me wishes the axe would fall already and your DS was back with his mom, since that's the only way the cemotional tug-of-war is going to stop. Because I know that your DH is not going to pull this same crazy stuff in reverse, you will not have the daily stress of dealing with it,  and that your DS will be able to enjoy his visitation with you. Right now, it seems like he never gets to uncomplicatedly enjoy his time in either place. 

 

 

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#4 of 6 Old 03-17-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

I've said it before, I'll say it again, this woman is a real piece of work. Self-centered doesn't begin to describe it. But part of me wishes the axe would fall already and your DS was back with his mom, since that's the only way the cemotional tug-of-war is going to stop. Because I know that your DH is not going to pull this same crazy stuff in reverse, you will not have the daily stress of dealing with it,  and that your DS will be able to enjoy his visitation with you. Right now, it seems like he never gets to uncomplicatedly enjoy his time in either place. 

 


Except that her DSS's mom wouldn't ALLOW visitation in the first place, and her DSS isn't old enough to go by himself and make it happen, especially not from 3,000 miles away. 

 

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#5 of 6 Old 03-18-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Smithie, I always love reading your posts because after my initial, "What!?  How can she think that!?!" reaction, I recognize the quality reasoning behind your opinions.  I cannot simply dismiss them, even when I disagree.

 

If I try to detach myself from all the details, personalities and emotions, I see your point.  It may not seem "fair" to take custody from a father who's behaving well; and give it to a mother specifically because she behaves so badly that no one can have peace, unless everything is exactly as she wants it.  But if the best interest of the child is the highest goal, would he have more peace if his Mom DID get what she wanted?  After all:

> Losing custody of her only child has not persuaded her to behave better.  So nothing ever will.

> In some ways, she's more effective at manipulating the child when she doesn't have custody, since he misses and idealizes her and feels responsible for her emotional health.

> The Dad can be relied on to put the child first, even if he's broken-hearted and angry about losing custody.  He won't try to ruin the mother-child relationship, despite how he feels about her.  And he won't resist visiting, to intensify how much the child misses him.

 

I don't expect to convince you, Smithie.  But I still don't think changing custody back is the right answer.

 

When DH's ex had custody, every visit was a battle.  If she regained custody, I'd expect that to worsen, not improve.  DSS is older and now his Mom nakedly pushes the idea that HE should decide how much contact he has with his Dad (and, of course, DSS's wishes must match hers, or he'll upset her...).  It's hard enough for teenagers to agree to sacrifice time with friends and summer job opportunities, to visit an out-of-state parent.  But if every visit is also a struggle between going along with his Mom and saying he doesn't WANT to see us; or defying her and saying he does, he will have less peace during his time with us, not more.  And if he sees less of his Dad (and brothers), he will feel more guilty, if he's the one owning the choice not to visit.  Before, someone else decided whether he visited or not, and for how long.

 

Also, the same selfishness that governs her positions about DH... and her wish to be DSS's best friend...affect other areas of her parenting.  

> DSS needs a lot of guidance with school work.  But she has always prioritized being the parent he can turn to for unconditional praise, and ensuring all their time together relaxing and fun.  

> She teaches DSS - overtly and by example - how to sneak, lie, manipulate people, cover things up and sidestep rules.  

> Instead of gently curbing his poor eating habits and making the time for him to participate in sports and just get outside to play; she takes the more convenient route of providing endless sedentary, indoor activities and being the "nice" parent who lets him eat whatever he wants, as much as he wants.  And he gets obese.  

> She acknowledges DSS is asthmatic, but she smokes indoors and in her car.  Before he lived with us, he had recurrent bronchitis, pneumonia, you name it.  It was more normal for him to have a cough, than not to have one.  Once he'd lived here a few months, all of that went away.

 

I think DSS's better parent is his father and it's in his best interest to live with us, for a host of reasons.  I think the benefits of living with us outweigh the considerable negatives stemming from his Mom's anger over the situation.  I know there are reasons DSS might wish he lived with his Mom.  But given all the intense factors at play, I don't think he's able to determine what's best for himself, separate from what his Mom wants, or what he thinks he must do, to preserve his relationship with her.  I think a responsible judge should overrule him, if he says he wants to move back with her.

 

But I know your opinion is well-thought-out and I value it, because it makes me think hard about mine and do more than just emote and react.

 


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#6 of 6 Old 03-22-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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"I don't expect to convince you, Smithie."

 

Oh, I don't hold the strong opinion that your DSS should go back to live with his mom! Based on what you've shared, I feel conflicted about it. I'm glad you got something good out of my post, but very sorry that I seemed to come across as saying "send him back!!!" rather than "this conflict is awful for him, and you, and I wish it could be resolved."  hug2.gif

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