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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hello- I have been dating a man who has two sons for almost

Customer Question

Hello-
I have been dating a man who has two sons for almost three years now. The sons live with him as their mother ran off and didn't care for them for a while. Now they visit her for about four days a month. She's just had another baby as well.
I was never over the moon about the father and I's relationship. I held off moving in together for that reason. Now I have made up my mind (it wasn't just me being fickle. It has a lot to do with his dishonesty and his ex and the sad connections I've been made to see between those two things.) In any case I have moved from RI to NYC to live with my sister for a few months. I quit my job and signed up for a class and it was just to get away and stop thinking about 'us' and our problems. Now I see I cannot continue with him.
However his two children I miss, and I know they miss me. Their father tries but he isn't the most affectionate person. I gave them that and I loved them. The father has told the 12 year old boy- something, I'm not sure what. The 7 year old one he has avoided saying anything to. They've already been traumatized by their dad and mom fighting terribly in front of them. Their father never speaks badly about their mom, but she has definitely talked badly about him, and me, and even once got them both to say that he "abused" them after they were at her house for a long weekend. Later they cried and said they didn't know why they said that.
The kids met my family and felt, I think, a reality that was calm and pleasant with me, one they hadn't known before. Their mother lives with her new boyfriend, who is an alcoholic and mean. That is her new baby's father.
What can I do for these children? I'm not even sure I will move back to the area I used to live. What is the best way for them to hear the news, and what kind of contact can I offer?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about these overwhelming situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No doubt it is very unfortunate the way things have evolved in your relationship, but you are being wise and responsible when facing reality and coming to terms with the fact that it was not working but mostly wounding you, undermining your health and life, and when there is not real reciprocity around respect, honesty, affection, understanding support and commitment, there is no way a relationship could develop and grow as a healthy and fulfilling experience, and as hard as it is, children become the helpless victims in scenarios like this.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

As you described here, their mother not only abandoned them, but has been using them as a way to control, manipulate and undermine your relationship with them and with their father, and unhappily he has been enabling it the whole time by being this dishonest, codependent and neglectful about the children.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You do have a unique bond with these children, it sounds like you truly care and have felt and taken care of them as your own, and the grief you are now experiencing is just very painful, as well as your concerns around their well-being.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please, be fair, gentle, patient, understanding, compassionate and unconditionally supportive with yourself, since it is from there that you would be able to heal and cope with the unavoidable pain and challenges your situation presents, which do not depend on you, but on the children's parents. It is very sad and overwhelmingly frustrating, but the end of your relationship would not promote your relationship with them, but this is something you cannot control.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is time for you to focus on doing your best to take good care of yourself and to keep as much contact as possible with them, as much as allowed by their father. If he has enough insight and healthy affection towards them, he would not retaliate limiting your communication as possible, but I am afraid that based on the tenor of your message, he lacks much maturity and assertiveness, which could easily literally deeply limit your relationship with them. The only way to know would be through experience itself, doing your best to keep a respectful, healthy and friendly relationship with him, in order to be able to share with them. Again, this is what you could try and promote, but it will be him who chooses what would happen with them at every level, including your relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe you have the right and responsibility to talk to them and make sure you express to them how this is absolutely about your relationship with their father not working, and nothing about them, showing them how sad and frustrated you feel because of it, and that you hope you could continue sharing as much as possible. That you would always be there for them as much as their parents and your circumstances allow it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The contact you would offer would depend on what their father allows, and what you were able and willing to offer based on your reality, needs ad expectations. Does it make sense?

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
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 these overwhelming situation.

No doubt it is very unfortunate the way things have evolved in your relationship, but you are being wise and responsible when facing reality and coming to terms with the fact that it was not working but mostly wounding you, undermining your health and life, and when there is not real reciprocity around respect, honesty, affection, understanding support and commitment, there is no way a relationship could develop and grow as a healthy and fulfilling experience, and as hard as it is, children become the helpless victims in scenarios like this.

As you described here, their mother not only abandoned them, but has been using them as a way to control, manipulate and undermine your relationship with them and with their father, and unhappily he has been enabling it the whole time by being this dishonest, codependent and neglectful about the children.

You do have a unique bond with these children, it sounds like you truly care and have felt and taken care of them as your own, and the grief you are now experiencing is just very painful, as well as your concerns around their well-being.

Please, be fair, gentle, patient, understanding, compassionate and unconditionally supportive with yourself, since it is from there that you would be able to heal and cope with the unavoidable pain and challenges your situation presents, which do not depend on you, but on the children's parents. It is very sad and overwhelmingly frustrating, but the end of your relationship would not promote your relationship with them, but this is something you cannot control.

It is time for you to focus on doing your best to take good care of yourself and to keep as much contact as possible with them, as much as allowed by their father. If he has enough insight and healthy affection towards them, he would not retaliate limiting your communication as possible, but I am afraid that based on the tenor of your message, he lacks much maturity and assertiveness, which could easily literally deeply limit your relationship with them. The only way to know would be through experience itself, doing your best to keep a respectful, healthy and friendly relationship with him, in order to be able to share with them. Again, this is what you could try and promote, but it will be him who chooses what would happen with them at every level, including your relationship.

I believe you have the right and responsibility to talk to them and make sure you express to them how this is absolutely about your relationship with their father not working, and nothing about them, showing them how sad and frustrated you feel because of it, and that you hope you could continue sharing as much as possible. That you would always be there for them as much as their parents and your circumstances allow it.

The contact you would offer would depend on what their father allows, and what you were able and willing to offer based on your reality, needs ad expectations. Does it make sense?

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