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can I make son go an live with his dad?

(25 Posts)
tich31 Mon 16-Mar-15 21:17:58

My son and I have had a difficult relationship. From a toddler he was controlling and difficult but generally only with me. I separated from his dad when he was young and he's always resented that I think.
He's had years of suffering from 2 debilitating illness' which were very difficult and really I was the only person to support him.

He is verbally abusive and this of course is worse now that he has become a teenager and he behaves with such hatred and anger towards me. I've told him to go and live with his dad but he hasn't voluntarily made that move.

Am I able to push for that to happen? There was no residency order or court agreement over custody. I am ill with stress and off work and he contributes every day to my stress and low mood and I feel I have done my best and don't see a way forward. I've spoken to him and asked him to make more of an effort but he is full of spite towards me. he makes my daughter's life stressful as well.

My counsellor is concerned about my further long term health. I have the chance of an appointment with a psychologist from CAMHS but son refuses to see her.

Any thoughts would be good. I just can't keep going with it.

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Mar-15 21:26:47

Would his father have him?

tich31 Mon 16-Mar-15 22:03:53

He would I think as long as he got his maintenance back and he would probably argue for other financial things.

If I'd reached the point I couldn't have son in the house any more then would his dad have a choice?

If this was my partner/husband abusing me everybody would be telling me to leave him but when it is your child what do you?

He's been downstairs tonight for less than an hour and already my stress levels have gone sky high and he's wound my daughter up with lots of little things. He's hell bent on causing trouble and aggravation.


QueenQueenie Mon 16-Mar-15 22:51:44

He's probably very unhappy too. It sounds like you need help to try to improve your relationship. If you 'make' him go to live with his father when he doesn't want to he is going to feel very rejected. Can you ask to see the CAMHS psychologist on your own to talk about how things are?

You haven't said what sort of relationship he has with his father....

tich31 Mon 16-Mar-15 23:01:37

That is what I'm worried about - him feeling rejected. I don't want him to go deep down but I know this can't carry on - the years are taking their toll on me now and my 'bounce back' isn't happening anymore.

He idolises his dad and spends most weekends with him but seems reluctant to go permanently which I don't understand.

I saw the psychologist but obviously we can't move on unless my son will go. We've been involved with CAMHS for a few years but we keep getting let down and nothing much happens.

He is so full of anger and that's all I get from him. And it's not just a teenage thing - he's been troubled for a while and then I've been ill on and off and not handled things well.

There is just no give though and I am worn out emotionally and physically.


however Mon 16-Mar-15 23:14:55

It sounds like you've run out of options to help him. Maybe his Father can. It sounds like the obvious thing to pursue, if he has a good relationship with his father.

BrowersBlues Wed 18-Mar-15 00:27:08

I was in exactly the same situation as you about 7/8 months ago. It became dangerous to have my 16 year old son in my home and apart from going into care going to his fathers was the only other viable option. My son had never lived full time with his father and his father is not the best father in the world.

My son left my house and went to his father's and said he wasn't coming back. I don't know how the conversation went with his father went next thing I know I signed off the child benefit for him and he now lives at his fathers.

7/8 months down the line I think it was the best option for him and for me and surprisingly for his father and certainly for his sisten. I now see my son regularly after a period where he didn't seak to me for months on end because he hated me so much. I felt a complete failure for not living with my son and for him hating me so much.

I have to admit that after the stress of living with my DS I have finally managed to get some calm in my life. I try to speak to him every second day at least and we go to McDonalds or have a bite to eat a couple of times a week depending on what's on. We chat a lot and I drop him off to school some days, pick him up and drive him here and there on weekends.

He hasn't come back to live with me but I 100% believe that this is for the best. He has resumed a relationship with his father and the world hasn't come to an end.

It was completely awful to begin with but now I think it is for the best.

I would ask him if he would like to live at his father's for a while and if he says yes, I would contact his father and see if it is an option. If it isn't an option fulltime I would press for part-time. My health was precarious to say the least and I had taken lots of time off work due to the stress of my son's behaviour. You need help and he has a father who should be helping. I feel for you because I have been there. I hope he goes so that you get a break.

Johnny11 Wed 18-Mar-15 13:48:19

Im glad I found this site and this thread in particular. My wife and I are in exactly the same position as this and we are at the end of the line and the only light we can see is her going to live with her Dad. She is telling her school (she's 15) things which are not totally true, and we asked woulod she be happier if she went to live somewhere else and she said she would. She told the school we are throwing her out. Child protection and social services now involved. This is taking its toll on our marriage and our other two children. CAMHS have been involved for a while now but how many times can you have your house smashed up and put doors back on hinges. My wife is having counselling and on depression tablets and feels like walking out. We cant see any light apart from her leaving, she will be 16 next week

Ratbagcatbag Wed 18-Mar-15 13:55:02

We had similar last year, school contacted dss mum saying they were concerned about her welfare if he stayed there. Actually when it came to it he was really shocked that the adults made the decision for him that he would move in with us to give everyone time to calm down (he has a fab relationship generally with all of us). He was upset to start with but we made it very clear it was his actions and behaviour that had forced the issue. Six weeks later he went back to his mums and although we all have our moments with him (he is after all a moody 16 year old) things improved greatly by him knowing he couldn't behave how he was.

Johnny11 Wed 18-Mar-15 14:22:47

I think that is what is needed here. Some shock treatment

CalicoBlue Wed 18-Mar-15 16:25:40

As pp have said this could be just what you both need. You are not rejecting him, just relocating him, you are still his Mum.

I had a situation with my DS when he was 14. He was awful and becoming violent towards me.

He swore and spat at me in front of his father, so I told him that he could stay with his father and was not coming back to mine. I packed his stuff and dropped them off. I did not have any contact with him for 3 weeks. Then we met, he wanted to come home, agreed to change his behaviour, so he moved back. That was 3 years ago, still get the odd teenage moment, but we have a great relationship.

tich31 Fri 20-Mar-15 20:40:07

Thank you all for your messages which have given me some strength in knowing that other people are in or have been in a similar situation.

I had a good chat to my counsellor and have decided that I will give him a chance to improve but I would like him to come to see the psychologist.

He's tried to be more pleasant this last couple of nights so I will see what happens.

He idolises his dad but think he's conscious that his dad may not want him full time or even that he wants to live with his dad full time himself. But I have told him that I cannot continue like this and he needs to change. I need to start thinking about myself and my health which the counsellor is concerned about.

tich31 Wed 22-Apr-15 17:43:05

Hi everybody,
I thought I would give you an update on this. My son agreed to see the psychologist last week and I was putting a lot of hope on this but she cancelled right at the last minute. I felt as if all hope had gone and it coincided with my son's behaviour being particularly stressful.
I'd been pushed too far and text his dad to say he would need to live with him. His dad didn't take it too seriously though and son came home but was obviously not happy.

I think things have spiralled so far down for us both that neither of us knows how to get out of this vicious circle. I spoke to his dad last night and as long as they can sort school transport my son looks set to move out this weekend.

I am devastated and heartbroken that it has come to this and can't help but wonder if only I'd handled his behaviour differently whether it could have been prevented.

But I also know something needed to break the circle and my son must feel so unhappy and sad especially when I keep telling him he has to go. I feel so bad that I have caused him to hurt and feel rejection.

Maybe this way we can salvage something of a relationship and he may forgive me for failing him as a parent. I also wonder if I had gone onto anti-depressants a couple of months ago whether this wouldn't have happened. I now plan to go to the dr's and ask for them as I now feel so very low.

smileyforest Thu 23-Apr-15 22:08:59

Please dont feel bad.. I know its heartwrenching....I havev a 19y and 17y son...last year, terrible time with 19y son...moved out with gf.(another story) My 17y has kicked off ....doing AS ...trying to wean off weed (horrible..tried everything to prevent) Had real rant this morning ...not been in college...all sorts etc etc...Told him the him but cant put up with his foul mouth and lies..I work full time + and it makes me feel ill....but will not go though another Summer like last year..He will be taken to his Fathers if it does not improve.... You haven't failed're doing your best and being honest x

tich31 Fri 24-Apr-15 17:09:47

It is heartwrenching and I can't help but wonder about what ifs which I know are pointless as this is the situation and nothing can change it now.

I think the truth is he's never been happy living with me but until now has never really had the opportunity to do anything else.

I've never been able to deal with his behaviour and never had any support and now it feels like he hates me for it. We have had terrible arguments over the years and I feel that I have failed him as a parent. Maybe if I wasn't ill I may have coped better but then it was his behaviour that fed my stress levels.

He is leaving and seems so cold and distant about it.

Heartofgold25 Sat 25-Apr-15 13:31:35


I was the hellish teenager you are describing, my father threw me out on several occasions. But please listen to me. I grew it out of it. One day the fog lifted, the hormones subsided and I became 'normal' again. I can not believe now I did those things.

My mother did stand by me, throughout it all, and I have never stopped being grateful to her even now thirty years or so later. Even if you can't have him at home at the moment, he can still be told he means the world to you, and that you are having a break because you are ill and worn out, but at some point you hope he will come back.

Will you consider taking him out for dinner or a film in a few weeks when he has settled down? Tell him you love him, the door is always open and that you are, as you have always been, will be there for him.

See it as temporary change, it does not need to be permanent. Perhaps you could say to him that you would welcome him home at some point, so he does not feel rejected and still feels he has choices.

He is cold and distant because it is hard to deal with, even he doesn't show you, he DOES love you. Leaving home is a big deal for anyone. He is going to his father's and not into care, or on the streets, he will be safe and hopefully you will have rest and time to get better. I think you will both be in a better place soon.

After sixteen years of love and care, you could never say you have failed him, to me you sound in desperate need of a rest and a break, you can have that and still love him dearly, and hopefully in time you can repair your relationship, as I did with my parents.

tich31 Tue 28-Apr-15 14:11:51

Dear Heartofgold 25,
Your reply has really touched me and given me some hope that this is not the end and that things may improve in the future given time and space.

He just seems so angry at me and is quite vindictive and cruel which makes me feel like he hates me. I know he must be confused and hurt himself but of course doesn't want to listen to anything I say.

I was shocked last night about the fact he doesn't see this place as home but just a convenient place to stay. Things got out of control last night and things were said by both of us that wasn't helpful.

He really sees life at his dad's the ideal life that he craves.

I was thinking of writing him a letter to say how I really hope he comes home at some point and that I just want him to be happy....if that isn't here with me then I just have to accept it - what does anyone think?

It feels like I am grieving but I just don't see how I could have carried on with it all.

Heartofgold25 Thu 30-Apr-15 10:49:17

Tich you sound so tortured. I think you are blaming yourself a lot, but you mustn't. All you can ever do is your best, and there comes a time when you have to take care of yourself. It is impossible to look after anyone unless you are in a good place. I have never heard someone sound so tired and worn out. Maybe you could take a few days out? Maybe by the seaside or somewhere calming and completely stressfree and re-centre yourself, please try and take some time out. It is impossible to think clearly and make good decisions when you are so worn down and stressed out.

It is easy for me to say this, as I don't have teens of this age yet, so I am on the outside looking in. At some point you will both get over this stage is what I do know, most kids come out the other side, and your son will be one of them. I nearly gave my parents a breakdown, honestly I did. I look back and recall the anger and fury I felt. It was not really with them that I was angry with. I was just really really angry! I felt unbalanced, unreasonable with the whole world. I just took it out relentlessly on my parents. I think you should not be taking his anger personally. It is about him and not you. I don't think he is especially angry with you...why would he be? I know it is hurtful, but you do need to distance yourself a little emotionally. It is not you ~ it is him. The reason you are on the receiving end of his anger is because you are the closest person to him.

I would write to him definitely. I would buy him small gifts and tell him every day you love him, that you are there when he is ready. He will forget your words or your love.

Heartofgold25 Thu 30-Apr-15 10:50:03

PS correction: he will NOT forget your words or your love. One day it will be okay. I am sure of it.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Apr-15 11:05:07

It must be really hard for him if he really wants to live with his dad but knows deep down his dad wouldn't want him there. He knows he's behaving badly with you and will feel guilty for that.

I think it sounds as though a couple of months of living with his dad may a) stop him idealising that situation and b) make him realise that you weren't as bad as he thought before.

Whatever happens, if he's in school, I'd try to have him stay at his dad's throughout the summer holidays.

BettyCatKitten Thu 30-Apr-15 20:50:26

I'm sorry you're going through t.hisflowers no words of wisdom to impart.
I just want to say that he will come through the other side eventually, and then you can establish your relationship with him

Heartofgold25 Mon 04-May-15 18:47:50

Any updates Tich?

tich31 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:58:59

I feel ready to give an update after a few very distressing weeks. I have been so dreadfully sad and numb but much calmer and my stress levels have reduced massively. I now wonder what came first - my stress levels or his behaviour?

My son sounds happy and content but I've only seen him once which was just after he left. For some reason he won't commit to seeing me - not sure why. I've not pushed for anything definite and am trying to leave it up to him but it is so very hard and I miss seeing him.

He does speak to me briefly a few times a week and will reply to some of my occasional texts.

I see his friends that he grew up with out in town and it's difficult and makes me ask where/why it all went so wrong.

Work is keen for me to get back (understandably) but I just don't know that I can - I keep getting what I call my switch-off days when I just stay in bed totally not here.

I have really appreciated your replies and support.

Travelledtheworld Tue 02-Jun-15 23:12:03

Thanks for the update. Sounds like you are doing well. Can you go back to work part time or in a flexible hours basis ?

tich31 Wed 03-Jun-15 00:16:47

I wouldn't say I was doing well. But life is easier stress wise but just full of sadness & loss.

I would love to work part time but just can't afford it. I'm thinking of cutting my hours slightly but that of course has a financial cost which of course also my son moving out has had so it's all difficult.

I hope at some point he may want to see me.

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