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RebeccaRN 03-16-2013 08:03 PM

Hi everyone,

This is the first time I have posted on here...I usually just read and really love this forum. I am hoping to maybe get some insight and advice from all of you on here with an extremely difficult situation I have found myself in.

My husband and I have been together for 11 years, we met when my now 16 year old son was 5. My husband is the only father my son has known-his biological father has not been in his life since before my husband and I met. I also have an 11 year old daughter, who has the same biological father as my son. My husband and I met when I was pregnant with her, and he is also the only father she has ever known.

My son has ADD and has always been somewhat difficult-troubles with school, etc. Things have always went fairly well, however, and my husband has been patient with him and tried his best to help and support him. As my son became a teenager, things got much harder, as they often do. School became more difficult-missing assignments, failing tests, not participating in gym and other classes. My husband had become harder on him-he sometimes expects so much from him and is dissappointed when he doesn't meet these expectations. This has led to a lot of arguments and my son losing a lot of priviliges.

My husband and I waited a long time to finally have a child of our own, and I had a daughter last October. At the time I became pregnant, things seemed to be going ok in our family. Since right before her birth, things with my son kind of took a turn and it led to where we are today. We found out that my son had (at a friend's house) created an online profile on a dating site and met an 18 year old girl in Kentucky. Among other things, and to make a long story short-he invited her up to our house without asking until a couple days before, he has become much more disrespectful, he had a secret Facebook account we discovered where he had said some very rude and mean things about my husband, and me to a lesser extent, he has snuck 2 iPods into his possession from friends so he can text his girlfriend all the time, etc...so he has not been an angel by any means.

These issues have really worn on my husband and he has blown up a couple times with my son-yelling at him and getting really angry. He has never hurt him physically, but I am afraid it could go there. He feels my son is deceitful and disrespectful and basically wanted him out of our house. He feels he has done all he can.  My son is now staying at a friend's house until we can figure things out-and he does not want to come home. He does not want to be around my husband because of the fighting and yelling-he feels he can't live up to his expectations and never will be able to.

My heart is completely broken, and I don't know what to do. I love them both and feel at this point like I am going to have to make a choice between my son and husband. I feel like my son is just doing some things that are "normal" teenager things-I don't like them by any stretch, but I don't think my son is "bad" or "beyond help" by any means. I know he can be a good kid-but I think he's losing direction and needs help and support. I know right now he is safe and doing ok-he is still attending school everyday and doing what he is supposed to do. But, he can't live there forever, and I feel like the situation is just in limbo right now. I miss him so much and feel like I am letting him down. We still talk, and he said he knows I love him and he just needs time away right now.

This situation is so hard because of the fact that my girls love and need their dad-and he is a wonderful father to both of them. It tears me up to think of breaking our family up and taking away the bond they have with their dad. He is also my best friend and we have always had a wonderful relationship-the issues with my son have really been our only problem.

I feel like I need to help my son and he needs to be with me, but then if I choose this, am I hurting my girls? This is the worst, most difficult situation I have ever been in in my life. I really feel like my son and husband will never be able to co-exist in the household, so I can only have one or the other there. I feel frustrated and angry that my husband can't just let things go and start over being a little more understanding and reasonable with my son-I am a lot more able to do this, but my husband thinks I am a push-over who doesn't do enough with discipline with my son. He feels my son manipulates me because he knows I will give in-maybe this is true, but it's hard for me to see it. I have suggested counseing for all of us, but my husband doesn't think my son will be very cooperative with it if they are both there-that he won't be honest and open. He is fine with my son and I going, but I think it would help for all of us to go-they need to repair their relationship, too.

I am sorry for going on for so long....I don't have many people in my life to talk to, so it feels better to get this off my chest...I am hurting terribly inside and just need someone to help me work this out...I was hoping maybe your words would help at least get me on a path instead of just sitting in limbo...

Thnak you for your time and help....


Triniity 03-17-2013 12:47 AM

Hi, 

I didn't read your post indepth, but I wanted to answer you. 

 

What I think is you guys need counseling. Is that an option? As in family therapy with all family members included? 

 

And I read a lot about "Celebrating Calm" for families with this kinds of problems, esp with teenager kids. I personally never used it, because it's rather expensive and we live in germany, where we have similar but cheaper programs (We did the gordon family training, which helped alot - but my kids are much younger) - but you might want to look into it. 

 

Did you read books like "How to listen so kids will talk"? Or the Gordon books? 

 

I firmly believe that pressure in these kind of kids only produces pressure, as in basic physic, you push, they push back. So you need to get the pressure away (english is not my first language, so this might sound odd Sheepish.gif)

 

There is another school of thinking the "How to transform the difficult child" way, people used it and were happy, it' s not my approach though, to much manipulation for my liking. 

 

I really hope you'll find a solution that is acceptable for everybody for you guys! 

 

Hugs,


k x s 03-17-2013 12:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaRN View Post

Hi everyone,

This is the first time I have posted on here...I usually just read and really love this forum. I am hoping to maybe get some insight and advice from all of you on here with an extremely difficult situation I have found myself in.

My husband and I have been together for 11 years, we met when my now 16 year old son was 5. My husband is the only father my son has known-his biological father has not been in his life since before my husband and I met. I also have an 11 year old daughter, who has the same biological father as my son. My husband and I met when I was pregnant with her, and he is also the only father she has ever known.

My son has ADD and has always been somewhat difficult-troubles with school, etc. Things have always went fairly well, however, and my husband has been patient with him and tried his best to help and support him. As my son became a teenager, things got much harder, as they often do. School became more difficult-missing assignments, failing tests, not participating in gym and other classes. My husband had become harder on him-he sometimes expects so much from him and is dissappointed when he doesn't meet these expectations. This has led to a lot of arguments and my son losing a lot of priviliges.

My husband and I waited a long time to finally have a child of our own, and I had a daughter last October. At the time I became pregnant, things seemed to be going ok in our family. Since right before her birth, things with my son kind of took a turn and it led to where we are today. We found out that my son had (at a friend's house) created an online profile on a dating site and met an 18 year old girl in Kentucky. Among other things, and to make a long story short-he invited her up to our house without asking until a couple days before, he has become much more disrespectful, he had a secret Facebook account we discovered where he had said some very rude and mean things about my husband, and me to a lesser extent, he has snuck 2 iPods into his possession from friends so he can text his girlfriend all the time, etc...so he has not been an angel by any means.

These issues have really worn on my husband and he has blown up a couple times with my son-yelling at him and getting really angry. He has never hurt him physically, but I am afraid it could go there. He feels my son is deceitful and disrespectful and basically wanted him out of our house. He feels he has done all he can.  My son is now staying at a friend's house until we can figure things out-and he does not want to come home. He does not want to be around my husband because of the fighting and yelling-he feels he can't live up to his expectations and never will be able to.

 

 

-He's only 16. How would your son support himself while attending highschool? It sounds like you would be throwing him out to the wolves.

-But on the other hand I could not stand living in the situation he is living in. No one deserves to live somewhere they feel unsafe or have to sneak around to avoid fights.

 

My heart is completely broken, and I don't know what to do. I love them both and feel at this point like I am going to have to make a choice between my son and husband. I feel like my son is just doing some things that are "normal" teenager things-I don't like them by any stretch, but I don't think my son is "bad" or "beyond help" by any means. I know he can be a good kid-but I think he's losing direction and needs help and support. I know right now he is safe and doing ok-he is still attending school everyday and doing what he is supposed to do. But, he can't live there forever, and I feel like the situation is just in limbo right now. I miss him so much and feel like I am letting him down. We still talk, and he said he knows I love him and he just needs time away right now.

This situation is so hard because of the fact that my girls love and need their dad-and he is a wonderful father to both of them. It tears me up to think of breaking our family up and taking away the bond they have with their dad. He is also my best friend and we have always had a wonderful relationship-the issues with my son have really been our only problem.

I feel like I need to help my son and he needs to be with me, but then if I choose this, am I hurting my girls? This is the worst, most difficult situation I have ever been in in my life. I really feel like my son and husband will never be able to co-exist in the household, so I can only have one or the other there. I feel frustrated and angry that my husband can't just let things go and start over being a little more understanding and reasonable with my son-I am a lot more able to do this, but my husband thinks I am a push-over who doesn't do enough with discipline with my son. He feels my son manipulates me because he knows I will give in-maybe this is true, but it's hard for me to see it. I have suggested counseing for all of us, but my husband doesn't think my son will be very cooperative with it if they are both there-that he won't be honest and open. He is fine with my son and I going, but I think it would help for all of us to go-they need to repair their relationship, too.

 

 

-Your husband wants to kick out your son but won't go to family counselling. He doesn't sound willing to repair the relationship.

 

I am sorry for going on for so long....I don't have many people in my life to talk to, so it feels better to get this off my chest...I am hurting terribly inside and just need someone to help me work this out...I was hoping maybe your words would help at least get me on a path instead of just sitting in limbo...

Thnak you for your time and help....

 

Wow it just sounds so tricky. I don't think you can reasonably kick either of them out but I think you should push for family counselling. Its a good step because it would give you someone else's reasonably unbiased perspective on the situation and hopefully that would be enough to help you all see whether you were really being reasonable or not on particular issues. TBH it sounds like the issue strongly revolves around your son and husband rather then you or the other kids. So I think unless you can get them both to commit there really isn't any point in it just being you and your son.

I have not been very helpful but I hope there are some better ideas.


Mummoth 03-17-2013 01:44 AM

I agree that counselling is a good idea. Just start going without your husband, you only see the therapist one hour a week, and the real work is putting their suggestions into action the rest of the time (and then you go back and report the results, get feedback and tweak your plan if necessary) You will probably be able to make some positive changes without his direct involvement. Once he sees a bit of progress, he'll probably willing to hear ideas on how to handle your son's behaviour. My kids are in therapy, and the therapist quite frequently sends home booklets of reading material for myself and my husband. Is your son willing to go to therapy? 


RebeccaRN 03-18-2013 10:31 AM

Thanks everyone-I appreciate the feedback and the honesty. I, too, feel much of the time that my husband is not really willing to work on the relationship, even though he will say that isn't true. What I think is that he would be willing to IF my son were to change dramatically and do what he wants him to. It's like it's his way or the highway-and that is what bothers me the most. I honestly think he has tried to do his best with what he has, but he just gets frustrated way too easily and I feel often tries to find things wrong-like he just wants to be "right" all the time.

My son has said he is willing to go to counseling, so I still think we should pursue that-but, like has been mentioned, I feel like if my husband doesn't attend, it will be somewhat pointless. I want to continue to maintain my relationship with my son, and right now I don't think it is really damaged. But, I am afraid it could be if I don't step up and support him and be there for him. I am afraid he will feel I abandoned him and didn't stand up for him. That thought hurts so much.

I am afraid that if I suggest the possibility of us separating tempororarily, while I try on my own to help and support my son, that my husband will take it to mean that we are over forever, and that we may not be able to mend things and keep our relationship. I am thinking that this may be the only solution, but it will be an extremely hard choice for many reasons-the girls, money, logistics, everything we have built together, the possibilty of losing the relationship all together.

This is so very hard....sometimes I just don't think I can physically do it anymore...I wish I could just give up, but I know I can't-my kids all need me and they are what keep me going!

Thanks for listening!


rainface 03-18-2013 09:48 PM

I am so sorry. You are all in such a rough spot. My husband was in your son's spot 14 years ago. His mom shipped him to his dad's (where he didn't particularly get along with his stepmom) and he never moved back except to visit. 14 years later, he gets along reasonably well with everyone in his family but holds himself separate and still feels unlovable and like no one could possibly want him around. This has a major effect on our marriage and his parenting. I think counseling (and generally, open discussion of the situation) would have really helped him at the time so I agree with others' suggestions.

jmarroq 03-18-2013 10:17 PM

Being that I don't have any personal experience with step-families, and hearing so many horror stories of parents choosing new partner over child, my first reaction is to side with child. OK, so maybe parents don't literally choose new partner over child, but that is how the child sees it.

 

Your son is still a a child. He needs you. It speaks volumes that your son is so willing to go to counseling to salvage what is left of your relationship, and your husband is not. 

 

Honestly, what your son did sounds like typical things I would have been doing at his age...I just didn't get caught when I was sneaky! 

 

As far as the rude comments about your husband and yourself on FB....it's a cry for help in my opinion. He knew you would see it. 


limabean 03-20-2013 10:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post

Your son is still a a child. He needs you. It speaks volumes that your son is so willing to go to counseling to salvage what is left of your relationship, and your husband is not. 

 

I agree. I would start counseling immediately with whoever is willing to go. 


LLQ1011 03-20-2013 12:11 PM

I might sound weird but youbare describing normal rebel teenage behavior. Your husband is way out of line. Some kids are harder than others.

OrmEmbar 03-20-2013 12:35 PM

I also see your son's behavior as being very much within the range of normal for teens.  It really is a time when teens feel like an insect under a microscope, with friends, with their own self-judgements and especially with high parent expectations.

 

Rather than counseling for you and your son, I would say this is a time for you and your husband to go to counseling and come together as parents who can support one another as well as your son through this rough time.  Once mom and dad are on the same playing field the children can be brought into the game.  (so to speak)  


kblackstone444 03-22-2013 07:03 PM

Two things came to my mind upon reading the original post.

 

#1.  Your Husband is unwilling to work on fixing the problem with YOUR CHILD, child being the key word here.  I'm not saying your son does not need to put an effort in, too, but he's a CHILD, he hasn't had all the years of experience with dealing with emotions and problem solving, and basically, "being a big boy about things" as your ADULT Husband has had.

 

#2.  Your son needs to know you have his back and didn't "choose" your Husband over your own child.

 

#3.  Your daughters love their Dad, yes, but they're not gonna lose their Dad, even if you separate (NOT suggesting that you do unless no other way, of course).  But... your daughters also are looking to you in a very crucial way right now.  They see your son's "Dad" rejecting him.  They need to know that their Mom is not gonna reject their brother as well, or maybe they will eventually get rejected.  They need to know their Mom has their (and their brother's) back, like Mother's should.  (Not saying that their brother shouldn't be making an effort- they also need to know that relationships take effort from two.)

 

Speaking from experience from a similar situation from my past life with my Ex-Husband and my son and his daughter.  greensad.gif


RebeccaRN 03-23-2013 02:46 PM

Thanks again for all the advice...I really appreciate the insight and support.

Here's the latest update here-

Yesterday my husband and I discussed the situation again and I told him how I was feeling-he was pretty much on the verge of leaving. I ended up leaving the house with the girls as I didn't want to talk about it anymore with him. At some point, while I was gone he went over to the house my son is staying at and had a talk with him for about an hour. It sounds like they talked about things in general-my son's new job, school, etc. They also talked about this situation, and my husband told my son we we might be splitting up and of course, my son got upset and feels like it's all his fault. My husband told my son I was upset that he wasn't home and my son said he didn't understand why-he was fine there and if he hadn't left now he would have when he was 18, anyway. He told my husband, and he's told me that he doesn't feel like I have abandoned him or don't love him. I talked with the mom of the friend he's staying with and she said my son was very upset- I talked to him on the phone. He said he didn't want us to split up and that he never thought it would get to this. He said again that he felt like it was all his fault, and I spent quite a bit of time assuring him it is NOT his fault-we are adults, and if his dad wants to leave, that is HIS choice. I told him it was not and never would be his responsibility to keep us together.

I was upset that my husband had went over and talked to him-it sounds like it was just to talk, but I am still upset that he even brought up us splitting up and that he made my son feel the way he did. Of course he would take the blame! I don't think this was my husband's intention, but it's what happened. Maybe I am wrong, though...

My husband and I talked again after all this and he explained that he feels like I don't provide any discipline to the kids and that he feels left to do all of it alone. He thinks I am totally lax when it comes to this, and that I just want to "be their friends." He said he "doesn't agree with my methods." He seems to think that if I had put my foot down more with my son that he wouldn't be in the situation he is in, and that he wouldn't have to have been so hard on him. This makes me upset that he's basically blaming me for this situation when I don't think it is me at all. He feels like he has "put so much more effort" into raising my son than I have-he still calls me a pushover. I just absolutely don't agree that yelling at, constantly punishing and  making huge deals out of little things are acceptable, either, and I feel like they have led to many of the issues we have now. I refuse to parent that way, and I don't understand why he thinks it is ok? And it's weird because he doesn't do that with the girls-I have never seen him yell at either of them, and he lets my older daughter do things that I don't think he would have ever allowed my son to...I don't really get where he's coming from sometimes. He can be a loving and caring father, but I think he has issues with anger. I can't see him getting angry at the girls, but from everything I have heard and read-is in unrealistic to think that he wouldn't treat the other kids the same way eventually?

I guess I just still don't know what to do at this point-my husband sounded like he might be willing to go to counseling, but he also says he doesn't know how it will help, and that he doesn't think he needs it. Maybe if he went he would start to see why it is a good idea?

I am at the point where I almost think it would be good for us to separate, but it breaks my heart either way-he has always been my best friend and I can't imagine life without him, either-this is so hard and it has me feeling so sick and drained.


LLQ1011 03-23-2013 05:24 PM

Woah your husband went to your son and told him you were splitting up over the situation? OF COURSE HE WANTED TO PUT THE BLAME ON HIM! Why else would he do it. Your husband is our of line and blaming you for everything that is obviously his issue is a type of abuse. Sorry you have to deal with this mama.


RebeccaRN 03-23-2013 08:00 PM

That's what I have wondered sometimes, too-that in some ways he is not only abusing my son, but me as well. In the sense that he does always blame me and my son for his outbursts and such-that it's our fault he gets so mad and he wouldn't have to be that way if we would only do things differently. Isn't that what people who abuse usually do? I hate to look at it this way, but I am really wondering...

I also feel scared when I even bring up these issues and the possibility of us separating comes up-he will get mad at that, too, and start telling me he's just leaving and taking all his stuff and I better call a realtor because I can't afford the house. Yesterday he said "I hope you don't screw up my daughter." He acts like he would never see us again if we were to do this. I know he is upset and I know he loves us and doesn't want us to split up, but I feel guilty all over again and feel like I am doing the wrong thing...it is so confusing.

On a positive note I had a long conversation with my son today and again tried to reassure him not to blame himself and to let him know I love and value him. He told me he feels really guilty for this and blames himself. I feel terrible that he feels this way-but I think our conversation made him feel better. I told him I want to see him on Thursday for lunch-I miss him terribly. He was happy at this prospect. My son assured me he is happy to be where he is now-he feels safe and comfortable there.


swede 03-24-2013 12:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaRN View Post

Thanks again for all the advice...I really appreciate the insight and support.

Here's the latest update here-

Yesterday my husband and I discussed the situation again and I told him how I was feeling-he was pretty much on the verge of leaving. I ended up leaving the house with the girls as I didn't want to talk about it anymore with him. At some point, while I was gone he went over to the house my son is staying at and had a talk with him for about an hour. It sounds like they talked about things in general-my son's new job, school, etc. They also talked about this situation, and my husband told my son we we might be splitting up and of course, my son got upset and feels like it's all his fault. My husband told my son I was upset that he wasn't home and my son said he didn't understand why-he was fine there and if he hadn't left now he would have when he was 18, anyway. He told my husband, and he's told me that he doesn't feel like I have abandoned him or don't love him. I talked with the mom of the friend he's staying with and she said my son was very upset- I talked to him on the phone. He said he didn't want us to split up and that he never thought it would get to this. He said again that he felt like it was all his fault, and I spent quite a bit of time assuring him it is NOT his fault-we are adults, and if his dad wants to leave, that is HIS choice. I told him it was not and never would be his responsibility to keep us together.

I was upset that my husband had went over and talked to him-it sounds like it was just to talk, but I am still upset that he even brought up us splitting up and that he made my son feel the way he did. Of course he would take the blame! I don't think this was my husband's intention, but it's what happened. Maybe I am wrong, though...

My husband and I talked again after all this and he explained that he feels like I don't provide any discipline to the kids and that he feels left to do all of it alone. He thinks I am totally lax when it comes to this, and that I just want to "be their friends." He said he "doesn't agree with my methods." He seems to think that if I had put my foot down more with my son that he wouldn't be in the situation he is in, and that he wouldn't have to have been so hard on him. This makes me upset that he's basically blaming me for this situation when I don't think it is me at all. He feels like he has "put so much more effort" into raising my son than I have-he still calls me a pushover. I just absolutely don't agree that yelling at, constantly punishing and  making huge deals out of little things are acceptable, either, and I feel like they have led to many of the issues we have now. I refuse to parent that way, and I don't understand why he thinks it is ok? And it's weird because he doesn't do that with the girls-I have never seen him yell at either of them, and he lets my older daughter do things that I don't think he would have ever allowed my son to...I don't really get where he's coming from sometimes. He can be a loving and caring father, but I think he has issues with anger. I can't see him getting angry at the girls, but from everything I have heard and read-is in unrealistic to think that he wouldn't treat the other kids the same way eventually?

I guess I just still don't know what to do at this point-my husband sounded like he might be willing to go to counseling, but he also says he doesn't know how it will help, and that he doesn't think he needs it. Maybe if he went he would start to see why it is a good idea?

I am at the point where I almost think it would be good for us to separate, but it breaks my heart either way-he has always been my best friend and I can't imagine life without him, either-this is so hard and it has me feeling so sick and drained.


Your husband definitely needs counseling.  Why wouldn't he be willing to do whatever is necessary to try and repair/salvage these relationships??  I am sorry for you, REbecca.  You are in a difficult, but not impossible, situation.  Please do not choose your husband over any of your children.  When your husband is willing to seek professional help, only then can you all move forward as a family.  I do think, in the meantime, that counseling would be good for you and any of your children.  It can't hurt, and will most likely help and give all of you some skills needed for dealing with conflict.


LLQ1011 03-24-2013 10:07 PM

Honey those are abusive things to say to you and your sons overwhelming guilt shows signs that he has been told many times these things are his fault. If he truely was the uncontrollable rebel your husband points him out to be he would not respond this way. I understand he's 16 but soon your daughter and other children will be that age. Will they have to move out too? And if not then why does he?

Get the book "why does he do that" it was eye opening to me.

RebeccaRN 03-25-2013 11:59 AM

Thanks again for your honesty...that book does sound like it would be helpful, and even the pages I previewed were pretty eye-opening. I guess I am a little hesitant now about the next step...I honestly feel like I can't really talk to him about this face to face-I know he will get upset and start either making me feel guilty or wrong or just flat out say he's leaving. I am wondering if it would be ok to write out all of my feelings in a letter and maybe leaving it for him while I go somewhere else for a few days? This would give him time to actually hear me out completely and process what I have written? I want to tell him that he needs to admit there is a problem that needs help, and if he is not willing to do this, then I don't think we can stay together.

I just think it would be better for me and the children not to be present when this comes out-I am afraid of his reaction. I am sure I can find somewhere for us to stay for a few days if need be.

This is so hard and it will be the most difficult thing I have ever done-but I can't just sit back anymore and do nothing-I have felt "stuck" and I need to move. I have to do what is best for my children, no matter what-they are the most important thing in my life. I honestly think he is just ready to move on with life like nothing is wrong and be happy go lucky that my son is gone...that is how he is acting. He wants me to do the same and I can't.


LLQ1011 03-25-2013 12:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaRN View Post

Thanks again for your honesty...that book does sound like it would be helpful, and even the pages I previewed were pretty eye-opening. I guess I am a little hesitant now about the next step...I honestly feel like I can't really talk to him about this face to face-I know he will get upset and start either making me feel guilty or wrong or just flat out say he's leaving. I am wondering if it would be ok to write out all of my feelings in a letter and maybe leaving it for him while I go somewhere else for a few days? This would give him time to actually hear me out completely and process what I have written? I want to tell him that he needs to admit there is a problem that needs help, and if he is not willing to do this, then I don't think we can stay together.
I just think it would be better for me and the children not to be present when this comes out-I am afraid of his reaction. I am sure I can find somewhere for us to stay for a few days if need be.
This is so hard and it will be the most difficult thing I have ever done-but I can't just sit back anymore and do nothing-I have felt "stuck" and I need to move. I have to do what is best for my children, no matter what-they are the most important thing in my life. I honestly think he is just ready to move on with life like nothing is wrong and be happy go lucky that my son is gone...that is how he is acting. He wants me to do the same and I can't.

I totally feel your pain. im so sorty you are affraid. I think its a good idea to go somewhere for a few days. Just don't be surprised if its still all your fault and he gets a little hostile. Sorry mama. I agree do what's best for you and the kids. He should be doing what's best for those kids too and hrs not.

lisagirl 03-27-2013 11:32 AM

I'm sorry you are in this situation. Please reassure your son that a good man would never ask a mother to choose between her child and him. That he is not to blame for any problems in your marriage. Your husband is an adult and should be able to deal with any of the problems your son is throwing at you without resorting to kicking him out of the house. 

 

From you son's perspective, he was already rejected by his biological father and now his step father, two of the most important male role models in his life. Do not be the next person to reject him. Get him home, under your roof immediately and start counseling. Don't make it YOUR choice, force your husband to make the choice, he can either stay, man up and go to counseling or he can walk, but that is entirely up to him. 

 

He was also way out of line going and talking with your son, he was being manipulative to both you and your son. He didn't go there to patch things up, he went with the intention of guilting your son into submission. Not okay. 


RebeccaRN 05-21-2013 09:07 AM

Well, here's the latest update here...wish it was better news...

I did end up writing a letter outlining how I felt about everything, left it for my husband and left the house for a little while to give us space. This pretty much backfired, and he ended up really upset. He wanted me to come back and talk over at our friend's house, which I did, but it didn't help resolve much. He ended up talking to both of my best friends (he has been friends with them, too), as well as some of his own friends, and pretty much convinced them that he is in the right and I am being totally off base. So, I felt like they all thought I was being completely unfair and unreasonable. In the letter, I told him I thought his actions towards my son had been controlling and abusive and that things need to change. I told him positve things, too-that I love him very much and want our family to remain together-but that these things can't continue. The next day, he ended up going to the emergency room because he felt suicidal and he even brought the letter with him to show them...I was a little surprised, as I really didn't write anything that was terrible or negative-it was basically just outlining how I was feeling and what I thought needed changing.

He ended up seeing a counselor a few times on his own after that, and he told me that the counselor and his friends really think everything he was done has been perfectly reasonable for dealing with an "out of control teenager." I was pretty shocked to say the least-I find it really hard to believe that if they REALLY knew what happened, that they would find it perfectly ok! He makes me feel like I am crazy or something-that I am seeing things in some wierd warped way and that he is behaving perfectly normal. This makes me feel so terrible and confused...why, if it is so ok, does it make me feel so sick and awful?? Why am I the only one who sees it this way? Well, me and my son....

I have only talked to openly to two people about this-I did talk to someone at the local women's center and she confirmed that I was right, and after I decsribed to her what has happened, she was actually very concerned and offered me a lot of help if I need it. She at least made me feel like maybe I wasn't crazy...I also just over the past weekdn, talked openly with the mom of my son's friend (who he is STILL staying with) and she also assured me I am not crazy and that the things that my husband has done are wrong. She is being very supportive and helping a lot. I just needed to talk to someone who didn't already think my husband was the right one here...

We talked about the possibility of me having to leave...I am afraid of this prospect for a few reasons. Fisrt of all, he has mentioned a few things that scare me in the past when this has come up. He has mentioned once that if he had to leave, he told my son he would "kick his ass." He has also mentioned that he would "like to just take (our infant daughter) with me and leave." He has also mentioned killing himself. These three things scare me a lot, as, even though I think they are just threats, I really don't know if he would really do them. I don't want him to hurt anyone or take my baby.

I am afraid that even if we split up somewhat amicably, that he would try to get my daughter-that he would try to convince the court or whomever that I am menatally unstable or something and take her away. :(  He can be VERY good at convincing people he is right-he has been able to do that with me for a long time-making me think that what he is doing is right and that he knows best. It scares me that he might try to do that in a way that would hurt me and cause huge problems.  

We have went to counseling a few times now, but I don't feel like it's helping...the counselor wants all three of us to come next week and I am actually afraid to go through with this...I am afriad my husband will get mad if my son or I try to explain why we feel the way we do and then what will happen after the session? I really am feeling like my husband believe he has done NOTHING wrong and that he does not have a problem. This is so incredibly frustrating....then he will act all sweet and nice and spend time with the girls and talk about our future together...it is so confusing and makes me feel sick everyday.

Another instance I thought I would mention- about 2 weeks ago, my son had his student led conference at school. I was planning to attend, and that day my husband asked if I was giving my son a ride to his friend's afterwards and I said yes. He told me not to-that he needed to figure out a ride. His explaination is that my son wants to be on his own and "be a man", so he needs to see what the real world is like. He ended up going to the conference with me, I think just to make sure I didn't give him a ride. After it was over, he told my son "you said you want to be a man, you can figure it out." So, with hardly any notice, my son had to try and find a ride. I found out later he had to wait for over an hour and that his friend's dad had to leave work early to come get him. This made me sick. I was crying when we drove away and he kept telling me I need to" stop helping him out so he will see what it's like."

Why is he doing these things??? Why does he try to convince me that he is doing the right thing and that I am the one doing things that will hurt my son? I just don't get it at all....apparently the happy family I always wanted is not going to be a reality...I feel like I have no choice but to leave. but I am afraid to do that, too. I am so tired of feeling alone and stuck.

 

Thanks as always for listening....any advice or words of wisdom appreciated... 


LLQ1011 05-21-2013 05:51 PM

Your husband is abusive. I think it is time to start thinking if you want to live like that and your other children not jsut your son. Also start documenting this stuff. like the ride thing and the making you seem crazy thing. Everything you posted here are huge huge red flags. Get the book "Why does he do that"
 


RebeccaRN 05-22-2013 07:15 AM

I know you are right....I have been writing down the incidents over the past 6 months or so and did write down the conference incident also. Also when I visited the women's center they documented everything I told them. My son's friend's mom told me she told my son he needed to speak with a counselor at school, too, so they would know what was happening and there would be further documentation. I just worry that because it has been mostly emotional type abuse and threats, that it would never be taken very seriously and that no one would do anything about it.

 

I need to get that book, but I guess I will either have to look for it at the library or buy it at a store, as I don't want to get it online-I am afraid he might see that I got it...

 

Do you think he would be able to take my daughter away-like in court? I am so afraid of him trying to do that....I have never been through a custody hearing or anything like that before...


LLQ1011 05-22-2013 08:57 AM

If you are her primary care giver i doubt it. The super power of abusive men is that they make us doubt our selves but most people can see through it after a few encounters with the person. Those women shelters and so on have such great resources. Also judges see it a million times. They are pretty good also. I think he will he allowed to have visitation. But also document anytime he threatens to take her from you if yourbcan get it in text or email or reccorded that is awesome because they really frown on that behavior. I am so sorry you are going through this.

singin'intherain 06-10-2013 09:56 PM

I just finished reading your story. I hope things are moving in a positive direction- do you have any updates? Hugs for you and your family!

RebeccaRN 07-08-2014 11:33 AM

Well, it has been over a year, and I wanted to update on this situation-a lot has happened, I wish I could say it has improved...
Shortly after this happened, I decided to leave. I took my girls and went to my best friend's house and left him a note that I was no longer going to do this unless he made some serious changes. At first, he totally lost it and was very angry. He came over to the house I was at and took the car I was driving, telling me was going to disable it so I couldn't use it. He then went to our house, put all of the things that were "his" in the garage and changed the locks so I couldn't access the garage. He turned off the phone service and said he was going to cancel the electric and gas. He told me he was going to call my ex-husband (who was also abusive-go figure) and tell him to come here?! He also told me he was going to take my youngest daughter and go to Florida with her. When I told him she needed me for breastfeeding, he said she would be fine without me. He was posting things on facebook about how he hoped I was happy and was basically getting his friends and family to think I was crazy and terrible. I called the local women's shelter and they had no place available. I was afraid to go home, and stayed at my friend's.
This lasted about 2 days, then all of a sudden it changed. He told me how he knew he was wrong-he was texting me over and over-at first I didn't want to talk, then I responded. He ended up going to visit family for a weekend, then came back again apologizing and begging me to take him back. He convinced me that he was going to do everything he needed to in order to change and he agreed that he had been wrong. He had me write him a list of the things I was not happy with and he took that to his counselor. He went and saw him for a few weeks, and even attended anger management classes for a while...then, he thought he didn't need to be there, because "all those guys are crazy-they beat their wives, they have been in jail-I am really out of place there." My son returned home as he convinced him things would be different and that he was sorry for hurting him.
Things went pretty ok until about the last few months. It has slowly returned to the way it was before. On the night before my son's graduation from High School-an incredibly important day, as my son really struggled all through High School-my husband found an electronic cigarette and a screw off bottle cap in my son's room. He was upset about it-I was too, of course! When my son came home from work that night, we both confronted him about it and were discussing it. My son told several inconsistent stories explaining it, which of course made my husband upset. He mentioned more than once that if my son kept lying, he would make him sleep outside and he would take him phone so he couldn't call anyone to come get him. So, after one more instance of him not being truthful, my husband got up and walked over to my son saying "give me your phone"-I was standing behind my husband, in the living room, so I couldn't see my son very well. I heard my son yell "I'm not giving you my phone-this is f-ing BS" My husband states that my son then raised his fists at him and looked like he wanted to hit him. My husband grabbed his forearms and pushed him back against the cabinets and held him there. My son was still yelling and kicking him. I freaked out and ran over between them, screaming and pushing my husband back-after what felt like forever, he let go and stepped aside. I screamed at him "look what you are doing!" and pointed at our youngest daughter, who stood in the living room looking at us and crying. My son then bolted out the front door and ran away into the night. I stood in the living room and just screamed as loud as I could-I am surprised no one called the cops, as I sounded crazy I'm sure-I just felt like my life was totally spinning out of control-it felt like a nightmare. My husband kept telling me that my son came at him ready to fight and he just stopped him from hitting him.
After a while, the police actually did come to our house, as my son ended up at his friend's house (the one he was with last time) and his friend's mom called the police on my husband. I was in the bedroom trying to lie down my daughter to sleep when they arrived, so he talked to them without me there, but he told them the same thing-that it was actually my son who started it and that he was going to hit him. The police office simply stated that my son described it as "much more violent." My son's friend's parents told me afterwards that they had never seen anyone so scared as my son when he came to their house. They feel like he may have looked like he was ready to fight, but it was because he was scared and trying to stand up for himself. He is staying there again and said he is NOT coming back home this time.
There are some things here that make this whole situation even more scary and worrisome for me:
-My husband is friends with several of the police officers in our city, so he talks to them and has already told them his version of the story and how my son is out of control and tried to hit him. He has also suggested to them and others he knows that my son was probably drinking or on drugs that night since he found those items in his room. He even went and told the dad of the friend my son is staying with this same thing-that he thinks my son is drinking and using drugs. My husband did find some twitter posts from my son that referenced drinking and electronic cigarettes, so he got fixated on that. He has talked to his friends, family, even neighbors, and has them all convinced that he has done all he can and that my son is just out of control.
-My husband is very smart and he saves EVERYTHING that he sees online or texts from my son. I am afraid he would use these as evidence against me if anything happened to prove my son is terrible and out of control.
-He has told me that unless my son "apologizes" to him for what he's done, I need to tell him not to contact anyone in our family. He got pretty upset a couple days ago because my son has been talking to my older daughter, and he said "it's pretty funny that you say I don't like him, but it looks like he doesn't like me, since he talks to everyone but me!" I told him it is not right to tell her she can't talk to her brother, and he said he's worried he will be encouraging her to do bad things. He was upset with me yesterday for saying I wanted to send my son a birthday card-he feels that we should give him nothing, as he has "hurt the entire family" so much.
-I am still terrified that if I try to leave, he will do something really crazy, like take my daughter, hurt me or my son, or the like. He said yesterday, "why don't we just split up-I am ready to move on with my life and get away from this." But, I know it won't be that simple if it really happens. I am truly afraid of what he might do. I have told him that my son was afraid to be truthful with him, and that I am too, because of his reaction-he now keeps using that against me-he says he can't trust me because I am probably lying because I am afraid of him. He acts as if he is totally clueless as to why either of us would be afraid of his reaction. I feel like he's making fun of me at times about things like this...like it's so ridiculous.
-I have no family in this entire state, and few friends. I really have no one to help me, and nowhere to go that he wouldn't already know about. He keeps saying things like "I am expecting to come home to another note from you and you running away and hiding."


So, to sum it up, I was duped-big surprise! He made it sound as though things would be great and wonderful and he was going to change-he didn't-he is exactly the same person he was a year ago. Again, he makes me feel crazy and as if I am totally out of my mind. I feel like I am the only person who feels that way I do, and then I wonder what is wrong with me?? I don't get why I can't seem to find anyone to have in my life that isn't mean and abusive-I just went from one to another....and my kids are the ones paying the ultimate price. I feel like a total failure as a mother and am so very sorry for what my son has been through. I wish this were simple, and I could just say yes, I have had enough, but I am so very afraid of what might happen if I do that.


If you made it this far, thanks for hearing me out-I really need someone to talk to, and I don't have many in my personal life. Thank you for any suggestions, encouragement or whatever else you might have...I have seriously thought about ending it all, but then I think of my kids, and I know I can't leave them...they are all that keeps me going.

One_Girl 07-08-2014 12:02 PM

If you are ready to end your marriage I suggest contacting legal aid or contacting a divorce lawyer, whichever is in your budget, and fiing for divorce and also a temporary custody agreement. After that I suggest doing what you can to become self sufficient if you aren't already in a position to be. He can't just take your child and it's unlikely he'll get more than 50\50. I would also use the communication he has with you after separating the first time to get a temporary restraining order.

Ratchet 07-08-2014 12:07 PM

5 Attachment(s)
What you are describing is th exact cycle and feelings and fears of women in abusive relationships. This is not really about your son- I mean, it is, but that's a piece of it and fixing that won't fix the situation. He is abusive and it is rare for that to change. Women often find themselves in several of these types of relationships, and unfortunately children growing up in relationships like this have a higher risk of being abusive or becoming abused. It's not like you choose to keep being in bad relationships- as much as you'd think being in one (either a spouse or a parent) would teach you to stay away, it just doesn't work that way. Identifying these patterns is important, and getting help for everyone is necessary. Get involved again with the women's center. They will know exactly what you are going thru and they will know you are not crazy b/c they have all been there. It takes a few attempts usually for people to get away. Not staying away for good the first time is not a failure- it is a necessary step in the process, you could say. Leaving sometimes takes time and thinking and planning but you have to start moving in that direction. All women in your shoes are afraid. Because (in no specific order) he is a good 'salesman' and has convinced you you should be scared, and because probably there are some really good qualities to him, or good potential, or security, which you will have to give up, becaus it actually might be dangerous, because it will be hard, because you don't believe yourself. But you are being abused, you need to break the cycle of abuse. Read your own post. What advise would you give that woman? WomenSafe and similar programs exist because it is possible to leave, and you will need help to do it, and there is life on the other side if this all. You don't have to have the answers to all the points you bring up here. They will help you but only if you go to them and ask for help. Many abused women are very isolated either by chance, or by design of the abuser, or perhaps because of their past history of abuse in previous relationships. That's why these groups exist.

I was in a physically abusive relationship. I'm embarrassed to say that he left me (he found another woman). I had wanted to stay with him for the above mentioned reasons. This was before I was a mom so the stakes were different. I look back now... How did I let that go on for so long? Why did I think that was the best I could have in life? I have a great DH now (who actually doesn't know everything that happened). I understand some of the complexities of all this. But abuse is abuse.

sillysapling 07-08-2014 03:59 PM

I agree, this is a very common pattern. It's also quite common for abuse to start during pregnancy (horrific, I know).

Has your husband adopted either of your elder two? Especially if he's adopted your eldest, you may want to look into what it'll take for him to be emancipated.

RebeccaRN 07-08-2014 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sillysapling (Post 17765522)
I agree, this is a very common pattern. It's also quite common for abuse to start during pregnancy (horrific, I know).

Has your husband adopted either of your elder two? Especially if he's adopted your eldest, you may want to look into what it'll take for him to be emancipated.

Thank you everyone so far for your support and insight...
Luckily no, we never did an adoption, although we had talked about it. So the two older children shouldn't be an issue.
I guess I just don't get it-it's so odd to me how people who abuse do the same things-I read somewhere that someone said "they all have the same handbook" and this seems so true! It's just really weird and hard to wrap my head around...

OrmEmbar 07-08-2014 05:22 PM

I was thinking about you that other day and wondering if I could find your old thread. Thanks for the update. Sending hugs.
Can you go to a therapist to talk about this? Does the women's shelter have resources to point you towards even if they don't have room? Can you talk more with the family your son is staying with and start building a circle of support? How is CPS in your area? Calling them and saying you are fearful for your children's safety should initiate interviews with the children. They will have their own views of what is going on. Did your middle child witness the violence? Your husband will provide a slick story, but the more you can get this pattern out into the open the more power you have. Very scary, I know. He will try to make you look crazy. And you will probably feel crazy, but stick to a simple story: it is not okay for my children to grow up fearing for their safety.
Is there a police officer that the local women's shelter trusts? Get in touch with that officer and show them what you wrote here. (Don't show them it's on mothering or your user name!!)
Have the friend you stayed with make a statement about how he took your car and bullied you while you separated last time.
I have a friend who is going through a similar horrendous time with her ex. He has turned his abusive attention to the children to get at her. He is upstanding in the community and lies without hesitation. Having the children in counseling triggered a CPS report by the therapist. For a short while it looked like the creep would get away with the abuse but the children finally started telling more and more to the therapist and a criminal case was opened. Hang in there and gather yourself. You are awesome and clear-seeing. Sending hugs and hugs!


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