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Any advice about dealing with a son copying father's disrespect?

(31 Posts)
Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 07:33:19

Posting here for traffic.

Just wondering if anyone has dealt with a teen boy starting to copy his father's disrespect.

I know there may need to be a longer term solution, so I'd prefer it if you didn't focus on that as I'm wrestling with it at the moment.

An example is that he is away atm and I rang him and he acted bored to speak to me on the phone. Not just that his attention was elsewhere but that he appeared to actively be showing me that he didn't want to speak to me. He's never done that before but it's the kind of behaviour dh does but more face to face than on the phone. I know it's a small thing but it's a drip, drip effect as it's one example among many.

Has anyone dealt with this successfully?

We've always had a really good relationship. It's been tougher in the teem years and I expect that and try not to get into battles although he doesn't like being disciplined and is quite argumentative. Dh has never done any discipline, that's always been my job. He just moans about their behaviour (to me and them)but no consequences or follow through. He's never backed me either when I've tried to discipline the children and quite often sabotaged it by telling me I'm overreacting in front of them or arguing with me about it in front of them.

I'm terrified of losing my son to his father tbh (I don't mean I want to win but just not for my son to turn against me). DH is very charming - not in a smarmy way but in a funny way. Everyone thinks he's the loveliest person ever as he seems so kind, amusing and laidback. I'm the only one that gets the criticism and negativity. My other son is more balanced but this son seems to side with his dad whenever we argue: he tells me not to be mean or not to shout. I'll admit I do shout at his dad but only because he's said or done something unkind. He never tells his dad not to be unkind when he storms off at family events or says something mean or critical.

Has anyone dealt with this?

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 07:35:36

Stop his dad from disrespecting you.

Whatififall Fri 05-Apr-19 07:39:01

Apart from leave the father????

Teens do pull away, they need to sever that bond a little to become independent. Who is he away with? If he’s with friends then it’s not cool to talk to your Mum.

If you feel it’s more serious than that then you need to address it with his father. son disrespects me because he sees you disrespect me, what are we going to do about it? And be honest about you shouting at his dad? There sounds like a lot to address other than your teen’s attitude really.

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 07:39:50

Stop his dad from undermining you.

Stop his dad from being mean and unkind.

Why is your thread titled how to stop your son from copying your dh, rather than how to stop your dh from behaving like that!

Notwiththeseknees Fri 05-Apr-19 07:44:41

Why don't you try acting bored back? When he gets home, with his washing that you probably do, when he asks where his favourite stuff is, give him the yeah, well, maybe it's around. Food? Yeah, yeah, maybe. Lift? Yeah, yeah..... then when he gets all what's wrong with you you can explain how his disrespect makes you feel and how he now knows that feeling isn't nice

theWarOnPeace Fri 05-Apr-19 07:45:24

You say you don’t want a long term solution.... but a short term one doesn’t really exist. He’s learned this over time, and will continue to do so while you put up with it. This is why people are so quick to say LTB, including me. It’s because staying with someone shit has such a long reaching effect on everyone involved, and staying for the kids can actually end up having a negative effect on them. Your ‘D’H sounds like a pig. Why does your son have to change his behaviour, if you’re ok with your husband doing the same things?

LovingLola Fri 05-Apr-19 07:45:33

The whole family dynamic sounds unhealthy. Your son is reaping the rewards of how you and your dh inteact.

Ellenborough Fri 05-Apr-19 07:47:09

You are still with his father.

This is the one biggest stumbling block to finding the solution to your problem and the answer to your question.

SandyY2K Fri 05-Apr-19 07:52:13

My response to him would have been "It sounds like you don't want to speak to me." Then say bye and hang up.

Rather than shout at your H in front of them...if he's unkind get up and walk away. Don't engage in arguments in front of them.

Or if you could respond in a calm voice something like... " I don't think it was necessary to say that. Or .."that wasn't very nice."... then walk away.

Children are a product of their environment and they see their parents as role models.

They will end up seeing their dad's behaviour as normal and your acceptance of the behaviour as normal... then wonder why a future girlfriend or wife finds it unacceptable, when his mum put up with it.

If you are getting direct disrespect (the phone thing is what many teens could do), then it comes with a consequence.

No screaming or shouting...just lay out the facts and why you found it disrespectful.

Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 07:54:10

Sorry, I didn't mean I'd ruled out a longer term solution, just it's not happening today for a number of reasons I can't give as too outing. So I wondered if there's anything I could do in the meantime but seemingly not.

I've tried to tackle my husband's disrespect. I've tried all sorts of things and it doesn't change, or only for a while.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 05-Apr-19 07:55:41

You can't. He'll mirror the behaviour of the people around him, and your DH is a major figure in his life.

Will you be able to leave soon? I'd be concerned that too long around this behaviour would make it harder to "reverse"

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 07:58:50

Seems there are no consequences for anyone.

Have you spoken to your dh about consequences and how to manage your children’s behaviour and agreed upon it?

Have you spoken to your dh about how he speaks to you etc? And agreed upon it?

Next time he breaks an agreement, simply say we agreed upon this, we will speak later (when kids are not about). Then later wtf do you think you are doing! How dare you!

Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 07:59:35

Thanks SandyY2K that's really helpful and useful advice. I suppose I've got into a cycle of it. One of the things is my husband storms off if there's something he doesn't like (I don't mean if I'm shouting I just mean if I suggest something he doesn't want or just because he's in a bad mood) and I didn't want to replicate that passive aggressive thing by leaving the room rather than talking things through. But when you say it it sounds assertive not passive aggressive.

Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 08:03:08

Claw I've talked about it endlessly. He says he understands and won't do it again but then it happens again.

I've tried standing up to him. I've tried withdrawing. We've been to marriage counselling. I guess it's too ingrained.

LemonTT Fri 05-Apr-19 08:11:20

You need to challenge the behaviour in a constructive way. If he is disengaged on a call, a very difficult thing to establish btw, just ask him if everything is ok. If he continues then say you no longer want to continue with the conversation as it not going well. Give him reassurance but be firm that the conversation is over if he is not going to engage.

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 08:17:25

What do you do when it happens again?

Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 08:25:05

Claw, we have the same discussion again. There doesn't seem to be any way of stopping someone's behaviour when they won't acknowledge it's hurtful. The only option is leaving and I suppose I've not .been able to do that up to now because we do have good times and I've always hoped it would improve. It's not easy to leave a long term relationship where you've known the person as long as you haven't known them.

Financially he earns massively more than me, and he's the one everyone loves. It's hard but I'm coming round to the idea that it's the only solution.

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 08:32:58

tixy if he doesn’t acknowledge it’s hurtful, then it is never agreed upon. He is just telling you what he thinks you want to hear.

Have you told him you are considering ending your marriage if it doesn’t stop?

Fiveredbricks Fri 05-Apr-19 08:40:12

You haven't tried all sorts of things OP. Because at some point you've let it slide again and he has started up (your DH). Every single time he does it, be as cool and firm as you can and ask him if he'd speak to any other women or person like that, would he speak to friends or work colleagues like that, and if not why on earth should you, his wife, tolerate it.

And be clear with him - if he does it again, he is out on his arse. No ifs no buts.

And stop shouting. Learn to control it. Grey rock him if you have to. Get your shit in order and be prepared to follow through and boot him out. Your son is copying him because he can see you let his father.

Tixylixy Fri 05-Apr-19 08:45:17

Yes Claw and Five. I can see what you're saying.

You've hit the nail on the head about saying what I want to hear.

I don't want to threaten to end the marriage unless I really mean it. So I would have to get my act together financially and emotionally. But yes that's the next step, I guess.

MsPavlichenko Fri 05-Apr-19 08:56:31

Your DH is abusive. Your DS has lived in this enviroment, so it is unsurprising it is impacting his behaviour.

Your DH is not going to change. It might be there is still a chance for your DS. Otherwise you probably won't be the only woman he behaves disrespectfully towards.

The Freedom Programme is the way to go.

Claw01 Fri 05-Apr-19 08:56:37

Every time he is disrespectful don’t let it slide. No need to shout or argue, just a simple I am not ok with you speaking to me like that.

MsPavlichenko Fri 05-Apr-19 08:57:59

freedomprogramme.co.uk/avs.php?search=+&Submit=Submit

Obviouspretzel Fri 05-Apr-19 09:01:20

The Freedom Programme? How has th3 husband abused the OP? And I'm sorry, but if your son is bored speaking to you, why should he pretend he isn't? If he is doing it to be hurtful then that's a different story. But if he's doing it to purposefully signal he is bored, then that's a shame but it's how he's feeling.

PolarBearDisguisedAsAPenguin Fri 05-Apr-19 09:03:40

I’m sorry you are getting a hard time on here, OP. It’s clear you know your DH is the real issue and I hope you are able to find a resolution that works out well for you regarding your marriage.

I think that each time your DS behaves in a way you are not happy with, you need to disengage with him and tell him you’ll continue the conversation etc when his manners have returned and in the meantime don’t do anything extra (laundry, cooking etc) for him. If he wants to be disrespectful then he needs to learn that there are consequences because I imagine that so far he hasn’t seen that when growing up with his father.

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