DSS now lives with us, doesnt want to see mum, and vice versa!(24 Posts)
Long story which some of you know but anyway... DSS came to live with us some months ago after deteriorating relationship with his mother over the past couple of years. He is nearly 15 and well-balanced and mature.
He's been happy (well, as happy as a teenaged boy can be, I think!) since living with us and he is thriving at school and in extra curricular activities etc. He still sees his brother (who lives with the mother).
Problem is DSS wants nothing much to do with his mother and vice versa. He seems quite happy to see her for, literally, about half an hour each weekend when he calls in to go out with his brother. He says anything more is terrible as she spends the little time they have together complaining at him for deciding to leave and then saying what a terrible person he is and how he has hurt her and is selfish etc... I can see why he doesnt want to be exposed to more of that, tbh!
He hasnt spent a night there since he left, nor has she offered or asked him to come and stay overnight nor to spend any of the summer holiday or half term with her, so he has been with us 24/7.
We're happy to have him of course (debated the principle for many months in advance of the crisis that forced him to leave). And whilst we dont want to press him to spend more time with her if he doesnt want to, somehow it doesnt feel right. I'm worried that in the future he may regret not having a relationship with her. Equally though, she is not making the environment conducive to a relationship, and she's supposedly the adult.
Any thoughts, comments or suggestions?
hmm, thanks mjinhiding. Sounds pretty much the same situation. In fact his mother has literally told him she expects him to do all the running in the relationship.
She texts him to complain that he doesnt phone or text her to ask how she is, when she is the one who in effect forced him to leave. She has also said she is not going to invite him over to spend time with her - she would like him to ASK to go. Which of course he wont.
So yes, as you indicate, the loss will be hers. She's pushed him far enough and he is simply not interested in running around after her. She's so inconsistent as well that he is tired of it (as are we all!).
Ironically though, now that she knows he is going to stay with a friend whilst DH and I go away on a trip, she has donned the martyred mother cape and is creating havoc because she wasnt "asked" if he could stay with her. The bottom line is he doesnt want to, and nor does she want him either, to be honest, she just wants to make a scene....
This boy sounds as if he has a good sense of self protection and survival and he has chosen to be where he gets love and support and respect.
You sound like a great stepmother and are providing an escape from a mother who sounds properly toxic. You are doing him a favour and he's lucky he has the choice.
Lady - I don't know what more you can do under the circumstances. You're encouraging him to see his mother, but he's not keen. I think you should have a clean conscience, no matter how this pans out in the future.
my dd(9) hasnt wanted to see her dad since june and i have not forced her to.i feel at her age she should not be made to spend time with someone she doesnt want to even if he is her dad.in the past when she was younger i have made her see him when she said she didnt want to.with your dss i would not force him to see his mum any more than he wants to.
I can see that it doesn't seem right, as you say, to you. It seems that he doesn't agree though! He has made a decision and you are respecting it - he sounds quite old enough, sensible enough to make that decision for himself. It sounds unlikely that he'll regret the decision he has made, and presumably you haven't and don't push him to leave her alone. I am sure he knows that you would have nothing against him seeing more of her if he wanted to, so I really don't think you have anything to reproach yourself with.
I suspect it's just that in an ideal world, everyone would want to have a loving, kind and trusting relationship with their mum; it feels wrong that he doesn't that - of course it is wrong that he doesn't have that, but it's not his fault, nor yours. It is sad but you are giving him the best possible alternative, and the freedom and respect he needs to make considered decisions.
thanks everyone for your thoughts and support.
I do feel that we are doing the right thing, and it is good to hear of others' experiences.
I feel sad for DSS because my own relationship with my both my parents (and my MIL) has been lovely and enriching, and I feel it must be such a hard situation to be in when your own mother actually doesnt appear (it seems) to care about you, especially at this crucial time in his life. The awful thing is the way she tries to blame him and make him feel guilty for her and her loneliness.
Luckily he can see through the emotional blackmail and also has an understanding that her behaviour is not "normal".
My youngest ds is 19 and he doesn't see his father, and hasn't done regularly for years.
When we initially split the boys stayed with him (their choice as I left) and then shortly after ds2 came to live with me. Ds1 was having too much fun at 14 living the life of riley with no boundaries!! Since ds2 came to live me his father seems to have totally rejected him. Ignored him, intermittent contact etc etc. Ds tried, and I tried, but once he got to 15/16 I felt he was old enough and mature enough to make his own decision. Ds2 and I were just talking about this the other day actually, he hasn't had a birthday card since he was 13....
He does on the other hand have an excellent and very close relationship with me and dh .
I think you ss sounds very mature and like he wants to protect himself from such a toxic woman and you can't really blame him for that. I honestly think all you can do is to encourage him to maintain some kind of contact - the odd visit, phone call or text.
Poor lad. He is old enough to know he doesn't want much to do with that relationship and he is very lucky to have the support from you and your dh. You sound like a lovely step mum! I know what a nightmare stepfamilies can be, I think the Mum is being such a fool. I feel ultimately it will be her who has regrets later on, not him.
Oh dear now she is creating havoc by getting solicitors involved (husband received letter this morning) demanding DSS stays with her during our absence as she "feels she has the right to have this access to him as she has PR", demanding to see the school head, writing to the school saying she does not agree with the arrangements that we have made.
Also stating that as she has PR and hasnt been consulted in any of our plans, she intends to "take action" - whatever that means?
Get yourselves and son a solicitor. I do not think courts will force a 15 year old to go to his mothers (unless the alternative is unsafe). Sorry she is costing you so much.
DSS (13) lives with us and has major behavioural issues stemming from years of her toxic parenting. I wish she would back off and let us get on with it as every time DSS sees/speaks to her things get worse. She has actually agreed (with SS) not to have direct contact with him but goes against it constantly, so I know something of what you're going through.
Don't worry about spending a bomb on solictors just yet, but suggest family mediation and see what her response is. It sounds like a lot of hot air tbh.
I'm pretty sure no court would force your DSS to have contact at that age against his wishes.
Thank you. Do you mean mediation about this particular topic only or in general about the situation?
I'm not sure if ther is anything to mediate about?
She has in fact suggested mediation in the past, "so that someone can decide which of us is right"!
I think right now we're tempted to wait and see if anything comes of it - she often sends ranting and aggressive emails and DH just ignores and then another one comes along after a while about something else... For now I think our conscience is clear. DSS doesnt want to go there, court cant force him given his age and his wishes, and someone is lined up who wants to look after him.
I might be wishful thinking though.....
DSS lives with you and you have made appropriate arrangements which everyone except her is happy with.
I would just let her threaten all she likes. After all she is the one paying for the legal letters. I can't see it getting to court before the holiday unless she really does follow through with it.
Even if it does go to court, considering the background and your DSS's age they are not going to force him to go to his mums. After all if he went there and then ran away to stay at his friends, social services and the police would not make him go back to her due to his age and the fact that he is safe.
So I would say she is fighting a losing battle and is hardly going to help any future relationship she has with him.
Mediation in general. If she's as barking unreasonable as DH's ex, you would be wasting your time though.
As SQ says, let her waste her money. It probably gets her goat that another woman can do a better job of parenting her DS. The issues are not always the obvious ones IYSWIM.
Interestingly she is harping on about her rights as a parent to be consulted about arrangements relating to him.
But I absolutely know that if DH had said to her, we're going away, therefore can DS come and stay with you? (not that he would ever suggest that), she would have taking great pleasure in refusing point blank.
She actually doesnt really want him there, imo, it's just to create a scene.
sigh,... but yes agree, we will sit tight. Even if she goes for an emergency court hearing, I cannot see he would be made to go there.
My other concern I suppose is that she may approach the family who will be looking after him and create problems for them.
I'd check that tbh.
Parental responsibility does not give the absent parent rights/control over minor stuff.
When I split with DD's dad, he tried to object to who I had babysitting. Court told him to butt out!
It's just the big things like religion, schooling etc that she can stick her oar in with.
thank you. I didnt know that. She is insisting that she does and is kicking up a fuss so we will ignore.
so difficult trying to do the right thing!! thanks.
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