Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this serious and frustrating situation.
Could you please tell me more about the core reasons why your husband does not want your son to keep participating of these school activities?
Has this been the only serious problem affecting your marriage? What you report is very concerning, since it does appear to show very irrational and abusive behavior against you and your son. You pointed at his lack of communication skills and how misunderstandings do happen, but this issue seems very clear; on one hand there is your 15 year old son, who is an excellent student, with great academic performance and who is actively involved in healthy activities, enjoying and also performing very well, which uses to be the ideal scenario for most children and families in your shoes. On the other hand, your husband directly fights against these activities to the point of damaging your marriage and family, and now threatens to leave if you do not follow his irrational position.
If this is the case, then I'd have to say that your husband may have serious mental health / personality disorder deeply undermining his ability to act as a rational adult, showing basic respect and understanding, and obviously deep difficulties to keep and promote healthy communication and relationships. Here the issue should not be about pleasing anybody's ego, but doing the right thing, what s reasonable, accountable, healthy and assertive, otherwise you would end enabling destructive and abusive behavior, which would go against you, your son and marriage too.
I am sorry, but it seems that there is no fault at all in your son's behavior, but that your husband has serious issues triggered by these circumstances, and that unless he happens to acknowledge and take full responsibility for them, getting necessary professional support to work on himself, these and other issues would continue to happen, and time would only lead to more serious problems.
If your son happens to be spoiled, getting things and benefits he actually does not deserve, ten I would agree such is not a wise approach, but if your son complies and performs this good, excelling academically and at other activities, is respectful and responsible at home in consistency with his age and abilities, and you do not provide excessive money or material things to him, then I would never say that your parenting has been wrong or destructive, bu that your husband's vision of reality is very distorted by his serious personal issues, which do not only undermine his parenting role, but his abilities to communicate, cope, share and function as a spouse and parent, and perhaps at other areas too if triggered by anything not matching his perceptions of reality, challenging his ego and fears.
I understand your frustration and concern, but only you know how painful and overwhelming this could feel, once you nor your son can control the distortions and dysfunctions your husband presents, which directly affect your lives and well-being.
The best approach would be for you to get family counseling or psychotherapy in order to work on finding solutions to these conflicts with adequate professional support. My fear is that most times, people presenting such serious issues as your husband does, would not even behold the possibility of counseling, would disregard it as non-sense and would be unwilling to take responsibility for the destructive conflicts rooted in their own dysfunctions, leaving spouse and children without many options but to focus on trying to improve coping with such serious distortions-abuse.
Then I'd suggest you and your son getting counseling support by a marriage and family therapist, who could support you coping with this very serious situation as much as possible, since that's the only thing you could truly control in order to promote some improvements in your reality.
Then it is clear your husband does have serious issues that unless they get confronted and eradicated, the would continue to undermine your children and family well-being. These behaviors are obviously dysfunctional and abusive, they distort children's personalities since do not allow healthy and assertive parenting, good affection, communication nor intimacy and trust between parent and children.
Your first responsibility is to take good care of yourself and of your children's integrity and well-being, since they do totally depend on you, and everything you do does powerfully shape their personalities, lives, literally shaping not only their present lives but what would become their reality as adults, and that's why it is so important to take a very proactive approach now in order to avoid further damage.
Your son needs and deserves to be treated with real respect, affection, understanding, compassion, discipline and support. When these are not present, children get neglected and abused in subtle or obvious ways, and that leads to poor and unhealthy development and growth, so to mental health and personality disorders just like the ones your husband seems to present. Obviously your son does not deserve nor need to be exposed to and suffer because of your husband's dysfunctions, and that's why professional support is so necessary. He would not go, but you can, and from there you would work on how to better cope, heal and grow from it as much as possible with the best tools you could get.
Then please do get necessary professional support as soon as possible, it's very good to know you have a place where to get these services soon. I would not suggest you not to allow your son to continue doing all those healthy and necessary activities, specially because he obviously deserves and benefits from them. Again, the best approach is to address and confront concrete behaviors that happen to be destructive, abusive or unhealthy,no matter if it is a child, a parent or a spouse who presents them, otherwise you would be enabling further abuse, which would go against yourself and children. Please get all the support you can from your support system, namely caring and healthy family and close friends too, since this is a tough situation for all of you.
You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust, and please take gentle care, consistent action and feel free to contact me for further support.