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13 Oct 2006

Mom of teenage boy
Thank you for your previous response.

My son's father and I have been divorced for 10 years (he was 5 when we separated). I've been married again for 9 years to a gentle soul who accepted my children as his own (we have a third child together). I've always had custody of my children and have had them to a psychologist before about sibling rivalry, which she said is normal. However, she did say that my teenage son has unresolved issues about the divorce.

Their father recently got married for the 3rd time and both our children feel very disappointed in him, our daughter is quite vocal about her disappointment in her dad, but my son never speaks about the things that bother him, especially concerning his dad. Dad sees them every 2nd weekend, pays maintenance and is a very caring dad, but inconsistent.

My ex took the children on holiday after he met his third wife (he left his 2nd wife for the 3rd one). My ex always professes "no sex before marriage", but he doesn't practice what he preaches and this confuses the children. He's lied to them on numerous occasions.

The problem with my son started when both our kids refused to visit dad if the 3rd wife (who was then his girlfriend) was present. Reason being she's an alcaholic, falls all over the place, is nasty to my son in particular, parades around my children all day, wearing a skimpy negligee, cheated on their dad (before they got married) she tried suicide 3 times, and the once she took an overdose while my kids were there for the weekend. When the kids told my ex that they don't want to see her at all, he turned on me with a vengeance and blamed me for everything. He then proceeded to tell our children that I (their mom), was 'n "los meisie" before he met me and there's something that I did as a youngster which he'll tell them about when they're 18 because they're too young for this shocking news (I have no idea what this secret is, I can only assume it's another attempt at discrediting me as their mother). Since this conversation, my son has turned against me, and against females in general. I took our two kids to a psychologist again, my son had only 2 sessions with her, and refused to go back. The psychologist said that he has a lot of anger but cannot express himself, and because he's assured of my love for him, he takes it out on me (unintentionally).

The ex and I do not agree on many issues relating to the kids upbringing. When I discovered that my son visited porn sites on my PC and on his cellphone, I had a talk to him and even offered to subscribe him to the FHM Magazine - I understand that youngsters are curious about this, and explained that I'd rather he doesn't look at porn, because that's not what love is about and it's never like that in real life. My ex had a fit when he heard about it, and started on his "preach mission" again.

Thursday night, I said to my son I think it's important that we get him to see a psychologist again and he asked why. I said I can see you're unhappy, you have many unresolved issues and I don't seem able to help you. He had a tantrum of note, accusing me of saying he has "issues". He walked out the room and immediately "reported" me to my ex, who promptly sent me a shocking sms, accusing me as a no-good mother. I didn't even respond to the sms, but this is the way things are going. If my son doesn't like it when I reprimand him about his language, or when I say he can't watch TV because he hasn't done homework, or when I tell him he can only go out 1 night a weekend, etc., he reports me to dad, who then vicously attacks me via e-mail and sms.

My son is very cross with me because I'm taking my ex to court for the first time since our divorce, because his maintenance covers only about 20% of our children's expenses. Now my son is saying that I want to destroy their dad etc etc (this comes from the ex).

My son is adamant not to see a psychologist, and I can't force him, he just won't co-operate. I've made an appointment with a pscyologist now, for the four parents, to help us help our son. I realize that doesn't solve my son's issues, BUT at least my son cannot continue manipulating me (which he does and I feel sorry for him, and allow him much more than his siblings) if all of us agree on how to guide our son.

This is such a long and complicated story and I really only wanted to know if these "notes" he wrote, are normal. I'm not cross with my son for having written this about me, on the contrary, it broke my heart that he has so much hurt and anger in him. I want to help him, but my hands are tied.

What do I do?

Apologies for the long posting.

Answer 406 views
Teen expert
teen expert

01 Jan 0001

I think you are coping well in a very difficult situation first of all.

If your son will not see a Psychologist it is a very good idea for you as parents to do this.

If your ex-husbands new partner is inappropriate around them you may want to consider contacting your lawyer as whilst it is important that the children see their father, it may be advisable for them to not see him around someone who cannot care appropriately for children because she is either drunk or actively suicidal.

If your ex continues with the abusive sms-ing you should also seek legal advice on this. It is a criminal offence to threaten or abuse someone even if it is via sms.

If you finally get to a point where your son will see a psychologist I would ask you to consider sending him to a male psychologist. He may immediately denegrate a female psychologist, and shut down the therapy before its even started.

You are taking the right steps and in a case like this it is about persisting, but also being a consistent parent. If your son says things to you that are unacceptable then it is important that you point this out and take appropriate action. Maintaining boundaries whilst trying to resolve the problem is a very important way of showing you care.

I hope you have a useful meeting as parents.
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