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H in pieces, how does it affect DS?(46 Posts)
As per my other threads, left my EA H of 27 yrs 3 weeks ago.
H is devastated, in pieces, his world has ended he says, he has changed totally in 2 weeks he says. Why couldnt we have talked he asks, when i have told him many times i cant talk to him because he doesnt want to hear what i say or he criticises what say.
He has now emailed me to tell me our 14 yr old DS, who is with me, is so upset because we are not together anymore and just wants us back together etc...
My DS seems to be ok, i have asked him how he feels, and he talks to me as much as a 14 yr old does. He has said its a bit odd being with just his dad when he sees him and that things are different but he is now with his friends and near his school so is happy with that.
I have asked H to try to be a little less emotional when he sees him, that this is not DS problem but H doesnt seem to be able to control his emotions. This is a man that 3 weeks ago was cold to the way he treated others. That was always their problem, not his.
I am very confused, i dont want to adversely affect my DS who is a lovely boy, but dont want to be with a controlling H anymore : (..
How do you know if a 14 year old is suffering if they dont say??
I agree. You have as good an insight into this man, his behaviour and his motivation than anyone. There is no harm in helping your son understand how his dad operates, provided you stick to the facts rather than using insults or value judgements.
"I am trying to help DS see reality without badmouthing H."
Don't hold back. 'Badmouthing' means criticising someone unfairly. I think your DS deserves honesty. If helping him means he discovers a few unpleasant truths about his Dad... and I can't imagine it will come as that much of a surprise... then so be it.
I don't know if it helps, but DS contacts his dad via Skype.
Sometimes I have had to cut the conversation short, as ex was being a pain and sometimes making DS cry or umcomfortable.
Basically, it was in my hands, so that DS doesn't feel that it's his responsibility.
As yours is older, he can be helped to develop a thick skin regarding your ex.
You can tell him he is allowed to walk away from such emotional blackmail.
It can, of course, be a double edged sword, because he may use it against you too.
But I think he'll see through your ex soon enough.
Oh Cat, you do seem to be stuck in the middle don't you. It must be so hard not to want to thrash it out every conversation you have. Don't suppose you can lay it on the line to H. Trouble is its the attention he wants isn't it. I suppose the best is to try and deal with what you can help. Hope you have a good walk and shop. I found building new memories is a good way of healing. Have a fun shop and do something silly or out of the ordinary, then when ds gets low later he'll have other things to replace Hs words to him in his mind. Every time he doesn't have to think about it he will be able to become stronger to cope. You are doing really well (hope that doesn't sound condescending - its not supposed to)xx
Today DS tells me that DF told him yesterday he would have given him his IMAC if we were together!!
I asked DS if he thought that would really happen and he admitted it wouldnt..
He seems to be struggling today as am i, weather doesnt help and nor does it being Easter weekend and his mates away.
Im going to drag him out for a walk with the dog and hope that helps a bit and then go do some shopping with him.
I feel caught between devil and deep blue atm but a relationship with H based on all this would be awful. I am trying to help DS see reality without badmouthing H.
I think you have called it right so far. It's not easy. Your ex is bang out of order and even more reason to know you're doing the right thing by separating. Imagine having to live with this bleating moron!
If you can, let your DS know that his DF has other people to turn to - friends, parents whatever - he will be worried about his dad. You're right telling him that he can't deal with these things. His dad should see a doctor or counsellor. You giving your ex 'another chance' wouldn't help. Your DS might find that difficult to understand though. The kids can feel responsible for their parents.
I've told my kids that their dad is fine, that he blows things up, throws his toys out of the pram and has everyone running round after him when there's nothing wrong with him. Is a drama queen. Up to you how far you go but my ex threatens suicide, claims to be ultra depressed etc and the kids were worried so I stuck my neck out.
Emotional abusers are such a one-trick pony i.e. derive a perverse satisfaction out of making others feel bad. Took you, a grown-up, 27 years to realise what he was up to. Emotionally bullying a kid is like shooting fish in a barrel. I'd tell your DS that he doesn't have to spend more time with Dad if he doesn't want to and that it's OK to take a rain-check until the man is more stable.
I cannot believe he tried to put the guilters on his own son, on a child for his state of mind for not having called him. That is cruel, manipulative and abusive.
He's a disgusting and selfish man, bullying his son into saying what he wants and trying to persuade him he is depressed about his parents breaking up, shame on him the nasty asshole.
I'd get Ds into the docs and off for some counseling ASAP. Poor kid.
ok, so DS came home in tears after evening out with H and older DS. H brought him home and the trouble started. H was telling him how devastated he is, hes living in a black hole, cant see a way out, nothing to live for anymore etc. H told DS he had waited all week for DS to call him but he hadnt. I didnt know he was meant to so hadnt reminded him, but i did point out to DS that H could always have called him...
DS says he wants to see him but every depressing word he says is like having a knife stabbed into him, he is not used to spending a lot of time with H anyway. He says he wants me to give H another chance, or rather that is what H is telling him.
This is just awful, I hate to see DS in such floods of tears, he has done nothing to deserve this. I keep telling him his father is an adult and needs to get help from an adult (counsellor) and that DS must tell him to stop pouring out his soul to him.
Selfish man, everything always was about him and still is. I couldnt go back to that but feel so bad for DS.
I would also stop communicating with your H. The only communication you need is about when he is going to collect DS and return him, and this could be done by your son at his age.
If you stop listening maybe he will stop trying to manipulate you.
"DS is out with H today so I am going to talk to DS when he comes home or tomorrow about it all again."
I really wouldn't. Ask him about his day out & judge if he seems OK or not but don't press the point about reconciliations if he doesn't raise it unilaterally. Nothing worse when you're a kid than the grown-ups urging you to 'share'... <brr>
Thanks for support.
I am in touch with his school and his friends parents and everyone is keeping an eye on him.
H is now saying that DS is telling him that he wants us to talk and sort it all out so we can all be together again.. but he has only said this once to me right at the beginning. H says this is because DS is telling us both what he thinks we want to hear..
DS is out with H today so I am going to talk to DS when he comes home or tomorrow about it all again.
H is also now saying that he thinks we should all sit down and talk about this as a family... why???
Lemondrizzled please can i borrow your daughter!
Lemondrizzled your daughter is ace, wish I'd used that line myself. In the end, if my dad carried on crying, I just used to put the phone down. The best thing about the divorce from my perspective is that my dad has to behave nicely to be in contact with me and part of my family, he can't cry/sulk/say nasty things/be moody because I don't have to see him. It has improved things no end (although we will never be truly close).
If your son is anything like me, he will be quite relieved that his dad and you have split up even if it is all a bit stressful. Watching your mum being emotionally abused and having to suffer the moods of his dad is difficult, but you setting up a stable loving home away from his dad will probably do more do help him than any damage from watching his dad cry a couple of times. My dad cried, threatened to kill himself, the whole works, but as someone else said, he then picked up with the OW and went off quite happy into the future, so no long-term harm done. I think your son will be fine, keep talking to him, don't say anything bad about his dad (he will see it for himself) and know that you have probably improved his life dramatically by leaving.
Do talk to you DS's school. The form tutor/head of year can keep an eye on him, they may even have someone for him to talk to on site.
But if your son doesn't seem excessively emotional at home or school, and there isn't a deterioration in behaviour or work at school; then I doubt there is anything to worry about.
My EA Ex did this too - sitting sobbing at the table while DD2 tried to comfort him
The oldest DC said bracingly "Dad I'm sorry but I'm your daughter not your psychiatrist!" She doesn't take prisoners!
He even went to my hairdressers and cried there. They were very worried about him!
Two months later he met his soulmate.... thank goodness!
The only way to not overthink is to challenge yourself - Where does that thought come from do I need it ? No . let it go. Itshard to start but as time goes on you will find you've done it and changed how you live. Concentrate on the moment you are in!! There Done!!
"All ideas on how to not overthink appreciated!!"
Fill your head with other thoughts. Find something far more interesting and absorbing to do and think about than Mr Glum and his Pity Party. Rehearse a few blocking moves .... 'whatever?'.... 'and this affects me how?'.... <gallic shrug> ... 'you're mistaking me for someone who gives the furry crack of a rat's behind'
But despite H being 'devastated' he never phones DS to talk to him.
That's another one for ex-bingo.
Basically, ignore him as a matter of principle.
There is a book for help with depression called 'stop thinking start living' I remember that often!!
There's nothing deep and subtle about what he's doing. He's telling lies, that's all. He says your DS is devastated when the kid is standing right next to you looking perfectly well and cheerful. All the evidence is against it, and yet you can't help thinking "but maybe...?" You've spent nearly 3 decades believing that he must have a point when he swears that black is white; well, now he's gone you can revel in its glossy blackness and stop trying to convince yourself there might be a hint of white somewhere, or ought to be. The man is a liar as well as an abuser. It's simple when you see it from the outside...
Keep coming to MN, of course
DS as a small boy had a good relationship with H, more recently not as DS could never be right either, H would tell him not to argue with him as he could never win..this has all been forgotten in the fall out of course. And i am not stopping him seeing his dad or as much contact as he wants. But despite H being 'devastated' he never phones DS to talk to him.
Cogito - brilliant idea, in fact i think i will read it myself!
Eggy - you are right, i overthink everything, thats why its taken me 27 years to leave!! All ideas on how to not overthink appreciated!!
Yes, Mole is genius! And sooo deflating for Mr My-World-Has-Ended.
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