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How much of our story do I tell DS?

(9 Posts)
Itsgettingbetter Sat 18-Feb-17 22:26:34

DS is 11, me a lone parent since his birth. Today for the first time he said wished he had a "real dad" and cried a little and asked if I could get married
sad. I cuddled him and I talked positively about what we have, which in truth is a peaceful happy home and a great relationship between us two. But while tucking him in for the night he asked me "why I left his dad" confused - I said we could talk about it tomorrow.

The truth is I didn't leave. We had a very brief fling when I was 23 and once I told his father I was pregnant he lost interest in me straight away and asked if I could have an abortion. But I'd already had one a few months earlier, felt terrible about it afterwards and resolved to make this work on my own if I had to. He has a few other children from previous relationships but has since married and had another child.

DS had been seeing him one day a month on average (his father's choice, I have asked him to be more involved). DS was used to this rhythm and seemed content. But last September his DF travelled abroad with his wife and daughter and hasn't returned when he said he would. The last time I checked - last month - he was still there trying to sort out "visa and passport issues."

His father has video-called him a couple of time early on in his trip but has now fallen silent. It seems now DS is beginning to see the true picture, his lack of 'fatherliness' and is now asking these questions. I want to be honest with him without tarnishing his image of his father or making the way he came into existence sound horrible.

No child deserves this and I accept my share of responsibility for bringing him into the world this way. But of course this can't be changed. What can I say to him to answer his questions without causing damage?

NotTheFordType Sat 18-Feb-17 22:29:50

Are there other male role models in your son's life? Your dad, brothers, uncles, cousins?

It sounds like what's upsetting him is his (shit) dad's happy abandonment of him, rather than lack of an actual dad.

Bluntness100 Sat 18-Feb-17 22:32:41

Just tell him how much you love him and how much he was wanted explain that people parent in different ways , and families take all different shapes and both his parents love him, even though they interact in different ways,

Starlight2345 Sat 18-Feb-17 22:39:07

Do you expect EX to be back in touch? Does he still have contact with other children.? these things would depend how much I answer.

I think it is fine even at 11 to go through the how much you wanted him. How you approach from the dad sides depends on how he deals with all the other children.

My ex hasn't seen my 9 year old since he was 3. . He has another DS he doesn't see. He will not be in touch so I have told him some people are good at sticking at been parents some aren't. .. I don't want him to grow up angry at his dad but equally I don't want some fantasy figure of his dad in his head either.

Itsgettingbetter Sat 18-Feb-17 22:45:19

Thanks for your responses and sorry for long post, no one to talk about this in RL.

I will and have on many occasions assured him that his dad loves him. But I guess he is trying to make sense of the apparent 'abandonment'. Do I tell him a child friendly version of what happened or focus on reassuring about the present situation?

Itsgettingbetter Sat 18-Feb-17 22:49:29

Sorry to hear about your sons experiences star and I think that's a good honest answer about how some 'parents' are.

I'm sure he'll be back at some point and he does maintain relationships with his other children. Just a bit haphazard in how he goes a about it shock

ginswinger Sat 18-Feb-17 22:52:33

Maybe a bit of both? Reassurance and love are wonderful but perhaps he needs a context too. Something along the lines of that his Dad still loves him but it's complicated and that adults aren't perfect.

noeuf Sat 18-Feb-17 23:35:40

I told my dd when she was little that some people aren't very good at being parents, like some people can't be great at sport or art. confused it worked while she was little and actually right up to late teenage years with more 'sad because he's missing out' conversation. Of course now she's an adult she's not stupid so pretty much knows.

jeaux90 Sun 19-Feb-17 00:49:47

My dd is 7 and at no time ever will I try and explain that her father loves her because he doesn't.

Stop trying to make up for his fathers shit behaviour and just focus on your relationship which sounds super strong.

On the rare occasion my dd says "I wish we had a dad" I worked out it's because she wants to spend more time with me and thinks that if we did I would not have to work so hard and I could do the school run etc. I told her that mummy would work no matter what the circumstances were.

I tell her that she is the person I love most in the world.

Work on your strengths with him and stop worrying about the weak link (the father) he will work it out himself eventually anyway


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