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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5428
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My ex-wife and I have been on and off together for the past

Resolved Question:

My ex-wife and I have been on and off together for the past 4 years, I recently moved out out approx. 5 months ago. I have met a wonderful woman 3 months ago and in a relationship that has become very caring and loving. I also have a son almost 10 years old. My ex and I maintain good communications between us and our son, he is our priority...we all talked one day together (my ex, my son, myself) that if mommy or daddy ever had a friend would it be 'ok' with him and it was understood as yes...through conversations, my son realized that I had a friend and he wanted to meet her, and we did so...he liked her and they were friends right away...when I brought him home to his mother (his mother said he cried and did not know why he was crying...he explained)...My ex and I discussed the meeting and quickly concluded that it was a shock for him...the following weekend my son asked if my girlfriend would be with us and that he would like it...again when he came home he was overcome with sadness and he cried.
I'm concerned and so is my ex (possible longterm effects etc...) what can we do to remedy this situation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your son has displayed these symptoms of sadness, I can imagine how distressing this is for you and your ex to see him like this, but also distressing for him as well.

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a few questions to get some more information, so that I can better assist you today

Dr. Z :

Would you say that your son is a very sensitive person?

Dr. Z :

Also does your son have difficulty adjusting or adapting to new situations? Like does it take him some time, but after awhile he does start to adjust slowly?

Customer:

Thankyou

Customer:

he is somwhat sensitive. not overly

Customer:

it takes some time, but if it is positive he gets on with any situation

Dr. Z :

Well I think your son has an Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood as he may be having a difficult time adjusting to this new situation with the new woman in your life. But usually Adjustment Disorders are temporary. I think it would help him to process things better if he was more honest with his thoughts and feelings about this issue because it seems like he is not sure why he is crying either

Dr. Z :

If he talked about it openly with you and your ex, then possibly it can be cathartic for him and help him process this better

Customer:

understood...what would you recommend as far as asking questions for him to open up

Dr. Z :

Well I would ask him what are positive thoughts about this woman being in both your lives and what are negative thoughts that he has too. I would focus on the negative thoughts and ask the appropriate follow up questions. The most common one that I see is that "will you forget about me now that you have her and may want to start a family with her?"

Dr. Z :

You want to be non-judgmental with your questions and you want to use the terms "we" and "us" a lot to show that you are all a team working together too

Customer:

you also mention depressed mood...is this temporary? he is typically very upbeat and happy all the time

Dr. Z :

Well there are different types of Adjustment Disorders. Like there is one with Anxious mood, which means that the difficulty of the Adjustment Disorder causes Anxiety symptoms, but this one causes your son Depressive Symptoms. Usually the sadness that he gets from coming home can be caused by a lot of things that his subconscious controls, so he may be unaware of it, which is why he is so happy most of the time, but when alone it becomes too overwhelming for him

Dr. Z :

The Adjustment Disorder could also be caused by that he misses you and this other woman and enjoyed his time with you both so much that he did not want it to end.

Dr. Z :

At his age it is difficult to process his emotions as he is still gaining that emotional maturity

Customer:

understood thank you...we realize these points...we will talk it out with him, and hope he can slowly articulate his feelings...do we push the issue?

Dr. Z :

Do not push the issue too much, let him come to terms with it, but providing an open dialogue will make him feel comfortable to talk to you and your ex-wife about this issue when he wants to

Dr. Z :

Most likely this will pass though and he will adjust/adapt to the new situation

Customer:

meaning what is the approach...casual, structured...what enviornment...we are a bit frazzeled this just happened last night again and only want the best for him and us

Dr. Z :

Oh I understand, I would approach it casually with him. You should do it in a community living space like the dining or living room and just ask him about the crying/sadness episodes and if there is anything he wants to talk about.

Customer:

i agree with your thoughts...so this evening might be too soon...he let us both know....i drove him to school and he told me what went down last night,,i asked him to explain, he said he did not want to talk about it just then...

Dr. Z :

Also you may want to help him focus on the thoughts that are causing these negative feelings and I think this thought record may help with that too.

Dr. Z :

Then give him maybe till tomorrow to help him gather his thoughts and then he will be ready to talk about it, but do not let time pass too much on the issue as you want it to be fresh in his mind too

Customer:

ok...thank you kindly...i feel confident that our bonds are strong enough to help each other..if you have any other thoughts please let us know

Dr. Z :

Of course, and please feel free to keep me updated on the situation as well. I think your son will be fine and will adapt to this in time. I wish your son and your family all the best. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

thats great..thankyou again Dr.

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :)

Customer:

how can I print this dialouge..sorry first time

Dr. Z :

Its okay, it is a common question. Well you can select all of the dialogue to copy and paste it in a Word document and also when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference. In addition, this chat will be saved in your JA account under My Questions so you can always go back to it when you need to

Customer:

thanks agian

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5428
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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