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My 14 year old has decided to live with his dad am so angry with him Help

(43 Posts)
beau14 Tue 01-Feb-11 05:40:53

My son has decided to live with his dad, been separated from ex for 2 years and me and my son have had it quite hard money wise, dad earns lots an buys son everything an now son sees dads as a better option, also ex wants me to sell jointly owned house so this is just great for him. I just feel so upset and betrayed by son worked so hard for us over last couple of years, feel I dont want to talk to him!! need advice please

OP’s posts: |
gillybean2 Tue 01-Feb-11 07:44:30

Oh Beau that must be so hard for you to hear

Of course the grass must seem greener to him. But in all these years I bet he knows it is you he can turn too when he really needs someone.
His dad probably gives him more freedom too I should imagine (like not being at home when he gets back from school - which may seem great until you end up having to get your own dinner every night).

Is there something specific that has brought this about? It must be difficult for your ds to voice this opinion (assuming not said after an argument) knowing it will upset you

How often does he see his dad right now? And is it fairly close to you? Why not start by having him go there a bit more often so your ex gets to see what the school responsibilities etc are and your ds can see a bit more of the reality of living with his dad.
So if he only sees his dad at weekends at the moment then perhaps you should try doing 4 nights at you and 3 at dads, the swapping the other week. So it's more of a shared care thing. Or a whole week and weekend each and then swapping. Assuming you are within a reasonable distance of each other/school.

And what will happen about school? This is important re his GCSE's etc. You don't want to be swapping and changing too much these next couple of years.

Perhaps agree to it for a trial period of a few months (make sure this includes say the easter hols and summer so your ex has to arrange childcare for his half and don't be helping him out with it, he has to take on thw whole responsibility if he wants it - thoguh obviously be happy to take your half of the holidays!).

Even if you have half the nights each you will keep the Child Benefit for now until a permanent situation is agreed.
Now is the time to get some training or look at your job situation if you're already working.

Now that your ds is 14 he can tell a court what he wants, should it get that far, and they will listen. It won't happen overnights, even with court, hence why I suggest you agree a trial period of 50/50 care moving to ds living more with your ex should he decide he still wants that.

Big hugs to you

Truckulente Tue 01-Feb-11 08:10:54

If he's 14 I don't think court is the answer.

And I don't think 14 year olds need much child care. My teenager goes out during the holidays round friends houses or stays here on his own. So I don't think childcare comes into it.

beau14 Tue 01-Feb-11 09:05:15

Thanks for your answer, helps so much, my son was seeing his dad 10 days a month, never stopped him, when he wanted extra time it wasn't a problem for football or holidays, I have been really fair, he has now gone to live there now haven't seen him for a week just 1 horrible conversation with son telling me he will see me 1 afternoon a week and maybe an odd weekend, he just seems to have no feelings for me, an I really believe his dad is filling his head with rubbish about me, we were always sooo close, his dad just wants my house, an will do anything to get it. Solicitor said courts will not do anything because of sons age understandable, but what I cant work out is how to talk to son I'm so angry for his lack of feelings for me,

OP’s posts: |
beau14 Tue 01-Feb-11 09:17:54

Sorry for the long threads just need to add, Im a student nurse been living on bursary, paying mortgage, ex wont talk to anyone about this because its what he wants, just don t get why he would take my son from me! its cruel, but at the end off day its sons decision thats why I don t want to talk to him anymore, and this is my problem, I think this is not the best thing to do I dont want to hurt my son, but so angry.

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wirral Tue 01-Feb-11 10:32:23

Oh Beau, I couldn't read this and not reply. My daughter is 11 and went to live with her Dad, girlfriend and her daughter last October and I know how much it hurts.

I am not too sure why she decided to go, I just wonder if he can provide the "family" that I can't as I work fulltime and am on my own.

I also felt / feel angry and very betrayed. A bit of me wonders if I will ever feel the same towards our daughter again.

If there is any advice I can give, things do start to feel a bit better as time goes on. I see daughter sometimes and I think we have a good time. I've tried to start doing activities that I enjoy - reading group and yoga. I cook more etc.

I can totally understand how you feel that it is easier not to talk to son but I suspect that you will also know that this is not the correct thing to do. I feel that it would be easier to have no contact than feel the pain every time she goes back to ex's house. But you do need to keep the contact going. You are his Mum and he will need you at some stage - or at least that's what I keep telling myself

Chin up!

houseproject Tue 01-Feb-11 13:30:34


This must hurt so much and maybe find someone who you can talk to about this - being angry with your son will cause him to move away from you further. Boys often need to be with their dads, especially at this age so try to understand that that this is what your son wants rather than a rejection of you. You haven't lost your son - you can still be there or him.
Not sure I understand the house situation - guess you are still in the martial home and your ex is asking for it to be sold? Is this part of a financial settlement and have you had legal advice? If you haven't had legal advice then I would recommend you see a solictor. Ending a marriage can be so stressful but it can also signal the start of a new exciting life. There is life after a marriage has ended and a lot of women here will be glad to share their very positive post divorce stories.

beau14 Tue 01-Feb-11 13:59:50

Thanks so much for your replies, I know I am going to have to rise above the pain and be there for my son, At least he knows I did my best for him. I think I will wait for him to call me, I dont want to be to pushy, but already miss him, I know his dad will look after him we were together for 18 years, I just feel doubly betrayed but maybe he does need his dad more now being a boy haven't seen it that way. Just waiting for court documents from him now!
wirral, so good to hear from somebody that has been through this, I completely agree about the family thing, ex has girlfriend so it must feel like a proper family unit for my son,
I will carry on at uni an try to get through it for the future just doesn't have the same meaning anymore,

OP’s posts: |
chocoholic Tue 01-Feb-11 14:06:11

Can you arrange for him to come to you at weekends?
My DSS now lives with us during the week, rather than his mum, but gets lots of quality time with her at weekends(she works full time during the week).

wirral Tue 01-Feb-11 14:25:18

Actually Beau, it is good to hear of someone else going through this too although I never would wish it on anyone. To an extent I've been embarassed to talk about it. I feel a failure as wife (divorced) and Mother (daughter won't live with me). Makes me wonder how awful I must be!

Good days and bad days Beau. Try to keep the lines of contact open. I try phoning - sometimes she'll speak to me and sometimes she won't. Sometimes I think she's having such a good time that it hurts her to remember about me!

Can you email your son? Talk on Facebook? Skype?

I find work helps so keep on at Uni. It will give you something else to think about rather than mope at home.

Take care

beau14 Tue 01-Feb-11 17:48:39

wirral, I suppose at some point we have to let go, I get the fact that it might hurt her to think of you when shes having a good time, but I remember when I was young an you just think of yourself not out of selfishness but the world seems to revolve around you and you dont realize until you grow up that you hurt your parents, its their age, at 11 I would have lived anywhere rather than at home, not because home was bad but anywhere that was more fun. Im trying to see it through their eyes. Have you got the only child?

OP’s posts: |
GetOrfMoiLand Tue 01-Feb-11 17:51:23

I am really sorry beau and Wirral - I have no experience of this but you both sound so upset by this all. I really hope you come out through the other side.

UnlikelyAmazonian Tue 01-Feb-11 18:00:06

I can feel your pain and want to give you a big hug and a large cup of tea or glass of nice wine.

Others have got very good advice about the emotional pain of this and how to deal with you son.

But it occurs to me that the sale of the house issue is very important too (putting a practical ruthless-ish hat on)

I think you should get some legal advice on this as to where you stand. It has been the marital home and your son's home and what happens if after a few months your son decides he does not want to live with his father anymore and wants to come back to live with you?

Is there some kind of legal tried and tested time-frame for this in terms of being forced to sell the house?

It must feel a terrible betrayal but while you are struggling to deal with the anger and sadness do try to have a thought for yourself - can your ex actually force you to even put the house on the market after only just a couple of weeks of your son making this decision?

Who's name is the house in? If joint names, your ex needs your agreement to sell it too.

Does your ex pay you child support as well? This may make any financial settlements a bit different. I am no expert at all but I think you need to search out some practical and legal answers.

Big hugs and that cup of hot tea and a chelsea bun to you. xxxx

wirral Tue 01-Feb-11 18:21:15

Sorry Beau, I should also have mentioned the house. I'm not in the same situation but similar. I kept our marital home and bought my ex out - now I pay him maintenance. It is a real struggle. I would echo the idea of getting legal advice before you agree or do anything. I have learnt that however well meaning people are they don't necessarily know what is legally the correct thing to do.

Yes I only have the one child. It hurts like hell not to be with her.

But good days and bad days Beau. You will have good days! Take care x

Megancleo Tue 01-Feb-11 18:21:45

teens and LP seem to be an extremly difficult mix don't they, my dd (15) was always so understanding of my lack of money and suddenly seems so ruthless in her desire to get extra money/freedom out of lousy dad. I wouldn't go in for courts though Beau, rather "accept" situation and see what happens-it could be the reality of being full-time parent gets too much for ex after a month (..thats what happened in my sisters case when her son left home at 16 to live with dad)Obviously your ds can't consider all consequences and any good parent would have at least talked with you about possability of move in advance so big hug and try not to hold it against your son, hes confused and emotional at moment, try to give him time and alwys the possability to talk to you or come back.

want2sleep Tue 01-Feb-11 18:31:29

try to get some counselling on this it is a huge trauma for help you refocus your anger into positive plans of actions for your future. I would try and phone your son if you feel you can otherwise wait for to talk it through and let the anger subside...start with once a week like ds requests, keep it casual like 'hope you settled in' 'are you sleeping ok' ' come over anytime' or 'lets do lunch on sunday etc keep it on his terms...he will come more to you as he needs you.

I do see where you are coming from though with dad having other reasons. However if he does then he does...their is nothing you can do and be ready to welcome your ds back with open arms at anytime

Anger is a bad energy that can take up all your time...get some counselling, get your nursing degree and look forward to an exciting career...I was a sister in community before my disabled ds was born...I loved the job and would love to return as did it for 18 will be able to work shifts easier and travel on courses and do something for you now! You will build up your finances slowly over time and I am sure ds will miss you...stay neutral don't discuss the other family unless he mentions it and let him talk. You will always be his mum, no one can replace you and I agree he wants to be with dad as he does have it easy/more money/bloke things all combined...keep incontact with school any problems to call you asap just incase he is falling behind in studies if allowed to do more i.e stay up late etc

You have not lost him he has ?persuaded/decided to opt for dad as possibly more soft on him being a teenager he wants that independence. Now it is dad's turn and you are their for your ds.

maybe your ex wants you to he can say 'see son told you what your mum is like' don't rise to it prove you are the best mum and get help for the anger if you are finding it hard to control.

Reverse psychology is always the best option!Hang on in there

spidookly Tue 01-Feb-11 18:46:20

I think it is quite normal for teenagers to move between parents if they are separated.

When my cousin was 15 she moved in with her Dad for a while. My mum was quite worried, because she thought (probably correctly) that the new arrangement was attractive due to my uncle being easier to fool than her mother.

In the end I think (although there were times my Mum had to drop in to make sure cuz was OK) she and my uncle were the better for it.

I know how harsh this is going to sound, but you need to get over your hurt feelings. It's no betrayal of you, or statement of preference, that he wants to live with his Dad, any more than it will be a vindication of you if he chooses to move back.

The relationship between a teenage boy and his father is a very important one, and it's not surprising if he wants to spend more time with his Dad now.

It's not nice of you to put this down to
money - can you really not think of any other reason why a young man might want to live with his Dad than material comfort? What does it say about your attitude to your son that this is what you assume to be his motive?

Whatever the practical, financial considerations here for you, you need to shield your son from them. 14 year olds should not have to bear the pressure of responsibility for their parent's financial stability.

The more matter-of-fact and helpful you can be about this move the better for your son, and for your relationship.

fridascruffs Tue 01-Feb-11 18:48:01

My DCs are still young, but if they ever suggest they want to go live with their dad (who lives abroad), i'd be angry and upset, but I'd hold the door open for them.
I'd then sell the house, buy a wee flat, and go find myself in India (again) for a year or two wink.
I know someone whose teenage daughter- about 14 I think- wanted to live with her dad as she clashed with her mum. Off she went, after a few months she wanted to return to mum. When she came back they got on better, daughter was more respectful, mum had less need to nag etc. so it turned out to be a good thing. I'd suggest you'll have to let him go with a good grace, and when he does come to see you, do fun stuff together. YOU get to be the Disneyland daddy for a change, his dad can do all the hard work.
I know it's still hurtful though.

wirral Tue 01-Feb-11 21:08:37

Spidookly, I have to stick up for Bleu here.I am sure that the financial implications of this are worrying her but am also sure that she is feeling very upset and hurt by her son. It is so difficult.
From personal experience I thought my daughter and I were a team. I thought I was setting her a great example by working fulltime and looking after her as well.
I was and am fortunate that I won't lose my home by my daughter moving in with her Dad. That would possibly be a problem too much for me at this time.
But I also have my concerns that I shouldn't have worked fulltime but should have spent more time with her and this is why I am in this situation now.
I am SURE Bleu would rather have her son back and lose her house than be in the situation she's in now

calmandserene Tue 01-Feb-11 22:14:27

My 13yr old son decided to go and live with his dad back in November last year after a row at home (not allowed to go to firework display at local pub with his mates...serious stuff). I let him go. I was heartbroken but I didn't let him know. He was at the point where every time there was a disagreement it was becoming an option for him to threaten decamping to dads. Guess what, five weeks later he was back home with me. He was bored, lonely and didn't like being privy to conversations about me. His wanting to come back was a complete surprise and I'd almost become reconciled to the fact that he could be happier there. If he was happy then I was happy and no matter what, I would always be his mum.
The best thing you can do now is be strong and positive and above all supportive of his decision, it would be terrible for him to feel guilty, and concentrate on making a success of your life. As lone parents, its all so tough at times, that its easy to forget that you are entitled to a life of your own, and your son can escape to his confident, happy mum when his dad is getting on his nerves.
Take care of yourself.

pinkstarlight Tue 01-Feb-11 23:43:23

aww hes a teenager and teenagers are fickle and selfish, you must be heart broken.

my best advice would be to let him go find out what its like not having mum running round after him.its going to be very different living with dad so with a bit of luck its going to be a very valuable lessoned learned for him that money is not everything.

i know your hurt but make sure you make it clear the doors open for him to return.

spidookly Tue 01-Feb-11 23:47:28


I'm sure she would too, and I hope it didn't seem I was suggesting otherwise.

My point was only that she should shield him from that possible consequence of his decision, not that it was her primary concern here. It comes across as the least of her concerns, but seems to be mixed up with all her pain about this. I think it's worth separating out the various issues.

Unlike might have a point about legal advice. IMO it would be very unfair, not just on the OP, but on her son, to force her to move house anytime soon after he moves in with his Dad. It will be obvious to the boy what has happened, and will unsettle him if he thinks he can't go back should he choose.

But that is an issue that should (ex permitting) be handled by his parents, without his knowledge or involvement.

spidookly Wed 02-Feb-11 00:00:53


probably a good lesson for a 14 year old to learn how to survive without his mother running around after him, don't you think?

Of course there is no reason to imagine the op is coddling him.

Hopefully the "important" lessons he'll learn from this won't be about how one parent is preferable to the other, but an improved relationship with his Dad and something about what it means to be a man in the world.

Hoping that he will see living with his father as a mistake or that it won't work out is awful. The best thing here, regardless if how long he stays with his Dad, is that as a teenager he knows he has two homes where he is loved and wanted and that he can't play his parents off each other by threatening to move if they piss him off (which they both will if they are doing a good job).

fridascruffs Wed 02-Feb-11 15:06:07

Good point spidookly.

elastamum Wed 02-Feb-11 15:14:35

Spidookly I dont agree that OP can or should hide the consequences of her son moving out.

If her ex is going to force the sale of the familiy home then son needs to know it is going to happen and how it came about. Otherwise he may feel his mum sold up of her own accord just because he left. Or may not realise until it is too late that he doesnt have his mums place to go back to.

Too often mums go too far to shield their older kids from what is really happening with the absent parent, with the consequence that the kids think the mum is a hard, tight, unreasonable, parent rather than someone working really hard to do the best for them.

He is 14 not 4.

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