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Help needed please with ds and dh

(8 Posts)
kiddiz Sun 29-Jun-08 21:12:34

I feel at the moment that a job as a united nations peace keeper would be easier than trying to keep things civil between my dh and our ds2 17.
Ds2 is a rather obnoxious typical teenager. While I do sometimes get very frustrated with him, I have accepted that it is typical teenage behaviour and hopefully will pass. Dh on the other hand, isn't handling it at all well. He has other stresses at the moment..He is 3 years post cancer diagnosis (he is now recovered and at the moment cancer free) and in a stressful situation at work. He also had a terrible relatonship with his dad who was and is a crap parent. However he seems intent on repeating history with his own dss (he doesn't have a great relationship with ds1 either)He no longer talks to ds2 other than to argue with him and every discussion inevitably ends in a full blown disagreement.
I've tried speaking to dh alone about it but he has such a huge chip on his shoulder its impossible.
Tonight a conversation about ds2 wanting a lift to football descended in to a full blown name calling session. After ds2 had gone I said I was struggling to see which one of them was supposed to be the adult and asked why he was intent on having as bad a relationship with his son as he did with his dad. They didn't speak for about 10 years and things arn't great now. Dh's answer was "I won't be here in 10 years, I'll be dead by then so it won't matter".
Since Dh's treatment finished I have tried allsorts to try and encourage a positive outlook on life including suggesting he go for counselling. He has had the best possible outcome from a cancer diagnosis and his consultant has told him he has an 80% chance of still being cancer free at five years. Dh still insists on looking for the worse. I have suggested he could be depressed too but he won't entertain the idea.
It dawned on me tonight that Dh could be actually jealous of Ds2. He is very like dh was at his age, But is, of course, younger and healthy.
Sorry this is long. I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I have a stinking cold and now Dh has stormed out and, I think, gone round to a friends house (female which isn't improving my mood).
I know Dh has had more than his fair share of crap but I can't understand why he insists on adding to this by destroying any relationship he has with his kids.
Dcs have actually said that their Dad is more interested in some stupid on line adventure game than them ( he does spend every spare moment on the computer..e.g. he has been on it today since 7.30 am and only came downstairs at about 6.00pm. If he hadn't stormed out he would be on it now and this is fairly typical)
Goodness this is long so thank you and well done if you are still reading!

Hassled Sun 29-Jun-08 21:19:36

I don't quite know what to say except poor you - what a complete mightmare. The thing is that whatever issues your DH has about his life-expectancy, his father, his work etc, his behaviour is very unfair on you and will have a long-standing effect on your sons, who could well go on to have iffy relationships with their children. He's behaving incredibly selfishly and I agree that it does sound like he could be depressed.

Is there anyone else (his mother? a friend?) who could help pile on the pressure re counselling? He might not take it from you but hearing from someone outside the family how badly he needs help might spur him on. Failing that - how about writing him a letter spelling out quite how unhappy the situation is making you?

kiddiz Sun 29-Jun-08 21:40:55

I was thinking of letting him read this tbh. I have never written it down before.
His mum has been great. She is divorced from fil.Un fortunately Dh thinks she fusses, plus she is in her 70s and lives the other side of the country.
He thinks I should back him in arguments with ds which I won't do if I believe he is beng unreasonable. I have when I think Dh is right.

Hassled Sun 29-Jun-08 21:50:01

Let him read this - a good idea. And good luck - you sound like you deserve an awful lot better than this.

mumblechum Sun 29-Jun-08 21:52:38

Hi, it gets a bit hairy here sometimes, mostly because dh is on ds's back to get vv good grades at school (like he did) whereas I'm more laid back and mostly Bs are fine with me.

I was interested by the words you used re. dh's condition, describing him as 3 yrs post diagnosis, at the moment cancer free. Is this the way he sees it, too? Thing is, I was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago and on chemo for 6 months post op, during which time I had just one day off work and have considered myself "cured" the day I stopped the chemo. It sounds as though your dh still, all these years on, sees himself as a cancer sufferer. That's important, as in my opinion, if you consider yourself fine (in the absence of any contrary evidence), then you're fine and you don't waste any energy on feeling like a victim.

I do sympathise, don't want to sound harsh, and I agree that you dh may benefit from some sort of counselling to help him see things from a more positive point of view.

(btw if it's World of Warcraft he's on, maybe you should treat him like a teenager and limit his use wink)

kiddiz Sun 29-Jun-08 22:20:43

Mumble Yes you're right. have tried to be as understanding as I can and being faced with mortality like that must be so hard. But when he's been so negative for so long it's hard. Every positive thing I point out to him I wait for the "but". None of us know what's around the corner and it just makes me sad that he can't see the positive side in anything. We have three lovely dcs and although ds2 would try the most patient person, he's not on drugs, drinking on street corners, etc.etc. He's just a typical mouthy teenager who thinks he knows it all.
As for limiting internet time... he's unbearable if I suggest he spends too much time on it. Which he does. I'm sure he uses it to escape from rl which seems to include me and our dcs.

missingtheaction Sun 29-Jun-08 22:28:13

lots of dh and ds seem to go through this horrible stage in late teenage. It's probably evolutionary - encourages ds to leave the tribe and find a tribe of his own. Not viable in this day and age.

So it may be that there are two separate things going on here
1) dh continuing pessimism and fear of return of cancer
2) ds and dh locking horns like stags fighting for alpha status

Sorting one probably won't sort the other.

You have the right to live in peace and not to be caught in the crossfire of their relationship. They have the responsibility of paying you some respect in your home.

I am so glad I wrote that. My teens are at war all the time, and I am going to tell them the above separately. Better think up some consequences for if they don't.

kiddiz Sun 29-Jun-08 22:38:05

I'm off to nurse my cold in the bath now and then bed. Thanks for your replies and support on here, it is very much appreciated. smile

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