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20 Nov 2005

Affect of seperation on child

I am dating a woman that is seperated and who has a young son. Her ex (to be) phones on a fairly regular basis and talks to his son. If the son should make mention of my name or mention that he and his Mom are at my house, he appears to get upset and then shuts himself off from even his son. It seems quite obvious that he is struggling to come to terms with the seperation.

My question is to how to minimise the negative impact on his son as obviously he will not understand that his father now puts distance between him and his son. His son is 5 years old. I would like to ask his son not to mention me in the telephone conversations but this might be confusing to a 5 year old. Is this a wise idea ?

I just want his son to not be negatively affected by the seperation.

Is there any specific place I can get more literature on this subject ?

Thanks and Regards

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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Morning, AR,
Sorry to hear that this man is handling the separation so badly. In general, children are not necessarily affected badly by a separation ( and if the marriage was really ocky and unhappy, they may even benefit from it ). But they are influenced by how their parents handle it, so the kids may be upset by HIM in so far as he is handling it badly.
Shouldn't his mother perhaps speak to the boy, or at least both of you together. Much will depend on how she explained the separation to him in the first place. After reviewing what she has already said about why she is separated from his dad, she can explain that his dad is not managing this very well at the moment, and that we hope he will soon be feeling better about it --- but in the meantime, it would be kind of the boy if he would not mention you when talking to his dad, simply because this seems to upset dad right now. You'll need to think through what the boy is to say if they're at your house, and he is asked where they are.
And maybe she should also have a quiet, calm chat with her Ex, explaining that it is important for her, and for him, to gety on with the rest of their lives, and this will include, for each of them, new relationships, and that they ned to try not to upset the boy unnecessarily.
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