Don't know what to do about this... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-29-2009, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't sure where to post this. My 8 yr old spends a few hours after school everyday with his dad. After he got home, we were preparing dinner and my son says, "Mom today is a big day for the Smith family (ex's last name-fictitious)." I said, "Why Honey?" He said, "Well, I can't tell you". I said, "Why?" He said, "I promised my dad I wouldn't tell anyone."
I said, "Well, I'm your mom." He said, "Well, you're not part of the and my dad divorced." I said, "I AM part of the family. I'm your mom. It's same with your dad. He's part of our family because he's your dad. We are part of the same big family."
We went back and forth and it ended with me saying that he didn't HAVE to tell me. But he continued to push it, saying he would give me a hint and so forth. I could tell he wanted to talk about it.
Finally, he came out with it. Today his dad told him that Grandpa has cancer. That his doctor told him he has about 2 years to live.
I felt ill. I feel so sad of course for my ex, my son's grandpa and his grandma too. My little boy didn't know what kind of cancer or where it was.
I realize this is probably really hard for my ex to talk about right now. And it must be hurting him awfully, so I feel inclined to have pity on him and what I believe was a horrible lapse in judgement.
I am feeling anger because I am thinking, WHY IN THE WORLD would he share that with our 8 yr old and tell him not to talk about it? This is very big and scary news to confide in a little boy and then ask him to hold inside (obviously, he couldn't). My 8 yr old went into remorse last night saying, "My dad can't trust me. I can't be trusted".
I and my dh explained that he IS trustworthy, but this is very big scary news and he had to let it out and we're glad he did with us. We told him that we think the reason his dad said not to talk about it was because HE isn't ready to talk about it. I told him that I really believe his dad would realize that it's important for him to talk about it. I promised that we would not bring it up with him.
This is so awkward. I don't know what to do. I'm going to continue to talk to my son about it. I think he needs to have an outlet. I don't believe there is any way I can broach this with my ex and I promised my son I wouldn't. Gosh. Complicated. And so sad.
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#2 of 3 Old 10-29-2009, 02:57 PM
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Well, I think you have the right idea by allowing him an outlet but not letting on to your ex that he said anything. Of coarse it seems that your son may actually tell him that he told you.... it is awkward, and how frustrating that your ex has no sense of judgement in regard this HUGE piece of information that was given to your son.

My focus too would be to find out why your son thinks you are not part of his dad's family, and also why he shouldn't tell anyone about the info... maybe he misunderstood his dad. Either way, I think this could form a pattern and if you can be viewed as trustworthy and 'in' the familly by your ex maybe this can be avoided in the future.
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#3 of 3 Old 10-29-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure he understand my ex clearly. He was definitely asked to keep it a secret, including from me
I called my ex a bit ago and played it this way. I told him that my 8 yr old seemed down last night, is there any reason he's aware of because son didn't want to talk about it.
He told me right way.
His dad has prostate cancer. They originally diagnosed him with stage 4, saying it was in his skull and bones....2 years to live.
They've since gotten better news. It has not spread as far as they originally thought. He'll need to have surgery and chemo.
Either way, I did tell my ex that it obviously weighed HEAVILY on our son and I am part of the family too, as he is part of ours. With big issues like these, we need to support each other and our child.
I am sorry these last weeks have been hell for him...but I still feel it was necessary to address the fact that he would even think to lay these bricks on our son and ask him to keep it a secret.
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