Delayed reaction by 8yr old to divorce

(10 Posts)
weimymummy Mon 26-Apr-10 21:29:30

I wonder if anyone has had the same experience as me. I don't quite know what to do. My ex-husband and I separated in February 2008 - we have two boys who were 6 and 3 at the time. The boys coped pretty well and have regularly seen their father who has a flat close by (they spend every other wknd with him but live with me.) Everything has gone pretty smoothly until recently when my eldest boy - now 8 - has suddenly become terribly distressed stating that he misses daddy and he can't stop thinking about him and will we ever get back together...etc. He keeps telling me he is 'miserable' because daddy doesn't live with us. His distress has manifested itself with my son lying and stealing worthless little objects - which he then shows me lying about where he got from. This is very distressing for him and me, as I was congratulating myself at how well the boys had adjusted to our new life.
Is this delayed reaction, and has anyone else experienced this...and will my 5 yr old go through the same reaction when he is 8???

Pls help, someone.

jasper Mon 26-Apr-10 22:28:33

I am sorry I have no wisdom or experience in these matters but have you discussed this with your ex?

Have there been any other major changes recently?

weimymummy Tue 27-Apr-10 20:04:34

Thank you for replying, Jasper. I have discussed it with him and he just blames me for "breaking up the marriage." He has agreed to have Son1 for an extra sleepover on his own this week...have there been any other major changes? No. not really. We went for our first sleepover with the boyfriend two wknds ago,but the children really like him. We've been on holiday with him several times and they have known him for 18 months. Ho hum. I feel awful knowing the boy is so unhappy.

EndangeredSpecies Tue 27-Apr-10 20:13:36

Sorry to hear about your experience WM. His age might have something to do with it, eight is old enough to start understanding things without really understanding them, if you get my drift. My parents went through a very acrimonious divorce when I was eight, there was a new step-parent on the scene and I can vividly remember the "before" and "after". That's probably what's happening to your DS.

This is of course only my opinion and other people's experiences may be different.

The only advice I can give you is to reassure him 150% that his mum and dad still love him and make him feel totally secure. Try to suppress any animosity you may feel towards your ex and tell your son what a great dad he has. None of this happened in my case, the exact opposite in fact, and it has left me with scars that have been very slow to heal.

chubbasmum Tue 27-Apr-10 20:22:00

Poor boy he sounds confused i dont think its got anything to do with the divorce i think he thinks that by spending more time with your boyfriend he is betraying his father my daughter went through the same thing when her dad started to spend some time with her and his g/f ( he decided it was too much for him and stopped contact with daughter), i think its up to your exh to assure him and tell him its okay to have fun with your b/f it doesnt help the blame slapping. I had the same talk with my daughter not being judgemental or anything i think the problem is your exh. Or maybe have a word with your gp if he or she is as good as mine he will maybe open up and say wants bothering him good luck hun

chubbasmum Tue 27-Apr-10 20:24:30

and i agree with End.... as well

weimymummy Tue 27-Apr-10 20:24:45

I'm sorry you had a horrid time. I teach and work with children some of whom have the same thing which has happened to them. You're right I do tell them what a great dad they have (even tho' it sticks in my throat!) because of just that. This is the mystery - everything has been so civilised between the x-h and me. He does need a lot of reassurance right now, and I'm trying to give's still tricky tho'. Guess I thought we'd got off likely. I just worry that on his father's part it'll be all or nothing. He'll pay him lots of attention for a short time (xtra sleeps etc) but then the novelty will wear off.

Thank you, ES anyway

weimymummy Tue 27-Apr-10 20:31:21

Well, CM, thank you but there's no way that the xh will encourage no1son to have fun with my bf. Xh blames bf for break up (despite the fact I was on prozac, my hair was falling out and I was getting 20 mouth ulcers at a time) b4 the marriage broke up. The boys innocently talk about him and the exciting things we all do together, and get the brush off from the xh who clearly isn't interested. What a mess. I'm not spending anymore time with bf than b4, but I suppose things are a bit closer to home. Gulp. I haven't told the kids yet but we are supposed to be all moving in together come August. Sleepovers were supposed to lead into this!!

EndangeredSpecies Tue 27-Apr-10 20:41:26

He can probably sense that his dad's not happy which makes him confused. I hope your xh is doing as good a job of praising you to the skies...

weimymummy Tue 27-Apr-10 20:45:27

Huh...I doubt it, but who knows...I'm certainly not quizzing the children about what daddy says about mummy or Charles...You maybe right about the xh. He's had 4 different women in 18months, all of whom were introduced the children very early on...grr! but that's another story!

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