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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess this is a vent/advice seeking post
. We have only been living under the custody order for a little over a month. DS (6yo) and I are currently out of state visiting our old hometown where my parents live. X called my cell this morning, wanting to talk to DS. I told DS that Daddy was on the phone and wanted to talk to him. DS said "no". I tried handing him the phone, I tried holding it up to his ear. I told him his dad really wanted to talk to him. DS was adamant that he didn't want to talk to Daddy. I told X that DS wasn't taking the phone and said he didn't want to talk to him right now. X started on one of his "it's all your fault" tirades then hung up on me. DS then told me that he doesn't want to talk to Daddy b/c it will make him sad
. X calls again. I explain to him that DS will not take the phone and covers his ears when I try to hand it to him or even hold it close enough to hear X's voice. X starts to escalate and I calmly tell him, "I can't force him to talk on the phone." To which X replies "You can't force him to do anything!!!"
, then hangs up on me again.

I talked with DS several times today about calling Daddy, about how he wants to talk to him and hear about all the fun stuff he's been doing with his friends, etc. He maintains that talking to X will make him too sad, and starts to tear up talking about it. I know X wants to hear from him, as I missed DS when he had his recent uninterrupted almost-three-weeks with X. And I admit that part of my own selfish personal motivation in getting DS to talk to X is so that I don't "get in trouble" or give X even more ammunition for the anger cannon he has pointed at me. We are only on temporary orders, so I need to dot all the i's and cross all the t's and not do anything that could be construed as impeding their relationship. I am committed to honoring where DS is emotionally, but at the same time I don't want to "get in trouble."
 

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I don't know what to say. You can't force him to talk to his dad, but at the same time I know how much it must hurt ex to have DS refuse to talk to him. All you can do is talk to your DS about it and let him know it also makes daddy sad when he refuses to talk to him. Did he elaborate on why it makes him sad? Maybe you could talk about that and go from there.

Is it possible that he knows you are angry with your ex and he is rejecting ex to please you? Kids do funny things like that sometimes. I hope you find a solution soon, sorry I don't have any real suggestions.
 

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Rather than phrasing it as X wanting to hear all about his day, and how his dad really wants to talk to him (he might feel pressure to make his dad feel better) maybe say "I know it makes you very sad to talk to your dad, you miss him and wish you could see him more. Maybe talking on the phone will make you feel better. It makes me feel better when I talk to someone on the phone who I miss [grandma, friend who lives far away, etc] and I close my eyes and pretend we're togther. Is there anything you did today that you want to tell him about? What about when we did__________? Maybe your dad can read you a story. If you get sad while you are talking, you can tell your dad you are sad, that's ok."
I would tend to stay away from telling him that it makes his dad sad when he doesn't talk to him, and rather focus on that is might make your son feel better to talk to him.
When you are at home, is your ex close enough so that your son can see him frequently enough?
 

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I several things are important at this time - being sad is ok. it's good that he can articulate these feelings. It's important that he's allowed to have all of his feelings.

I wouldn't talk about how his actions make his dad feel. Your son is not responsible for his dad's feelings. He has his own feelings to deal with. As long as he's not yelling and being mean - then it's ok to not talk to his dad.

I would chill out on the phone conversations for a few days or so to get everyone in a calm place. Could you email your x regarding what your son is doing on a daily basis? just to keep him in the loop?

QUOTE]Did he elaborate on why it makes him sad? Maybe you could talk about that and go from there. [/QUOTE
I agree with this - it's just important to keep the communication lines open.

We love - "Dinosaurs Divorce" - this is a great book to talk about all of the aspects of divorce and the feelings that go along with it.

Loyalty is hard for them. It's so important for us as parents to keep it together and let the kids have their feelings without the kids getting any vibes from us.

I have more to say but I gotta go.
hugs to you mama - it's hard to see your little man hurting. hang in there.
 

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Maybe if you tell him how important it was for you to be able to talk to him while he was with x. Tell him how important he is to both of you. Tell him that you need to be able to touch base with him. I don't think I agree with avoiding telling him that it makes his dad sad. I think he needs to know how you feel. But maybe turn it around and say, "Daddy is sad when he doesn't get to see you, and it makes him feel better when he hears your voice. Just like it did me."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses, I really appreciate them
. I again encouraged DS to call X yesterday. He would take the phone from me, but not do anything with it. Then tell me it made him too sad to call Dad. When X brought DS home from the almost-3-weeks stay, DS came in my door with tears in his eyes. Evidence, intuition and knowledge of X's ways leads me to believe that X had laid some heavy trip on DS about how much he misses him. I believe X and I can both express to DS that we miss him when he's not with us, but X tends to not pay attention to what might be TMI or what makes DS uncomfortable or bring up feelings of guilt.

Quote:
Did he elaborate on why it makes him sad? Maybe you could talk about that and go from there.
Is it possible that he knows you are angry with your ex and he is rejecting ex to please you?
DS is a tough nut to crack. He says it makes him sad b/c he misses Dad. We made this same trip last year, while the family was intact, and he missed X then, but it didn't last this long. I try really hard not to let on to DS my feelings about X. I encourage him to talk to him, let him know he can call him any time, help him look forward to their time together. I save the leftover venom for when I'm talking to girlfriends
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I had told him Dad is sad he won't talk to him. I'm going to lay off on that. I've also told him that talking to Dad might make him (DS) feel less sad. Now I'll illustrate that with my own example (thanks, fek&fuzz).

X is a technophobe, so emailing updates is out. He doesn't even have an internet connection anymore (though he kept the "family" computer). We live only 8 blocks from X, so there's plenty of opportunity to see each other.

I dread dealing with the fallout from this once we're back in court. But I'm staying the course and honoring where Ds is emotionally.
 

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Does ds have a law gaurdian? If so I would make sure he/she knows whats going on. And I would definitely let your lawyer know, so when he/she gets a phone call from the other lawyer, he/she knows what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There isn't a law guardian. A guardian ad litem is supposed to be assigned (at my request) but the ball was in X's attorney's court to get that finalized, and I haven't heard anything. My attorney hasn't contacted me in a while. I had emailed her to let her know I was going on this trip, but didn't get a response. I'll be sure to let her know what has gone on with this.
 
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