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August 31st, 2008, 05:21 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
This is a very difficult situation. Your kids are a little younger than my daughter is although she was 10 when my ex and I divorced so she's spent many weekends with her father over the years. HOWEVER, I know him and I know his temper and how incredibly ugly he can be to his children so I have always let it be known that if it got bad, I was just a phone call away and would drive however long I had to to pick them up. (He used to live in Jacksonville which is over 100 miles from me but now lives across town) I never had to do so when he lived in JAX but since he moved nearby, I have picked up my daughter on many ocassions because he was being abusive. Now at 16 almost 17, she will go out of her way not to visit him because she frankly doesn't like him much. Who can blame her? He has verbally abused her since the divorce as a way of getting back at me for leaving his sorry a**. He has called her vulgar names and told her she's ugly and fat and never going to amount to anything. (Now of course, you understand why I don't force her to go see him) In fact, she is beautiful and although she has proportionately larger hips she is not fat. As far as her not amounting to anything, she's bright and has dreams of becoming a pediatric endocrinologyst! I think that's something! Personally, I think if an otherwise "normal" child--i.e. not exceptionally immature or needy--starts acting like they don't want to visit a parent that they have gotten along with up until now, you are right to wonder if there is a rreason. I am a firm believer in instincts and trusting what you HONESTLY think...not just an excuse to keep the child away from a parent but if you HONESTY fear something is not right it is your DUTY to your child to at least invesitgate a little further. Yes there are kids who simply don't want to be away from mommy. Yes there are kids who will try anything to get mommy and daddy together again but there are also kids who are being abused who've been told NOT to tell anyone and who are afraid! I speak from personal experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I stay very tuned into my childrens non verbal messages at all times--no I am not paranoid nor do I think that every divorced father is abusing their children. I just know that it is a terrible thing for a child to endure physical, sexual or verbal abuse and to feel that no one is on their side. Maybe I baby my kids too much or let them call too many shots. I do what I think is right for THEM. I must have done something right though because my oldest is a Special Forces Marine, my middle one is in college studying pre med and my daughter wants to be a doctor also. I'm very proud of all three of them and I feel that knowing I was on their side through their entire lives has helped give them the self esteem and feeling of security that they needed to go out and follow their dreams.
Is Alex's mother remarried or dating? It could be that he doesn't feel comfortable around the new guy if she is. Or if she is bringing different guys around he may feel very uncomfortable with that. Does she have a temper? My ex has a horrible temper that gets worse when he is unhappy with his life--pretty much all the time now. Are there other children in the home? He may be reacting not so much to his mom but to her stepchildren or other biological kids tht he doesn't really know. There are so many reasons why this could be happening--and of course, it could be that he just prefers being with you to being with his mom..in which case he does need to learn to separate from you. I think you need to talk to your DH about it and perhaps he needs to talk to her and see if there are any other problems that might be causing this behavior--especially if it is new. I wouldn't just ignore it because there could be something more to it than just immaturity and manipulation. Also, she may be saying things about you to him that make him feel disloyal to listen to and thus, causing him to feel uncomfortable around her. If she is jealous about you raising her son instead of her, she may be saying some really ugly things! Either way, I do think you need to get to the bottom of it all.
Good luck! Let us know how things turn out.
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