How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask proexpert37 Your Own Question

proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
49595756
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
proexpert37 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Going through a divorce. Ex is not speaking with me. After

Resolved Question:

Going through a divorce. Ex is not speaking with me. After 5 months of living separately, I met someone and after another 5 months, I moved in with him. My 17 year old son is hating everything. He was withdrawn and had his misfits circle around him. He's now being mean to me because I made him move in with us. He hadn't seen his dad for months but after 9 months, I am making him live with him for 4 days (school days) and 3 days with us. He's still unhappy. I don't know what to do. He's refusing counseling, he's refusing everything.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having with your son. How was your relationship with your son before the divorce? How was his overall temperament as well? Are you able to talk to him at all about the situation? Does your son have a good relationship with his dad? Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For the first 5 months after we moved out (I told him he had a choice but that I'd prefer him with me because I am more stable), he was a part of the decision making process of what we bought (new tv...etc) and he functioned fine as long as no boundaries were imposed. I let him have his girlfriend over and overnight, his friends came and went and stayed...etc. school was OK, never great.
I met my fiance and about the same time came to my "senses" about what kind of a parent I was being. No more overnight stays w/girlfriend (no need to imagine what I was saying OK to), I stopped giving him everything. He always disrespected me but I was so used to it that I no longer saw it. So, attempting to put a stop to it.
My fiance pushed him a while toward a "happy" new family. Soon to figure out that is not going to happen. We pulled back on that. My son is more mature in some ways and immature in terms of dealing with drama..etc.
The divorce - he knows I had to leave. He agrees. But, now that he is with his dad, he's having issues separating. Situation is exasperated by his dad refusing to talk to me. He is constantly put in the middle by him and sometimes (I really try not to cause I know that is not where he wants to be) by me. He's having to keep things from dad such as my fiance. He's also having issues separating such as asking me for money to buy groceries for his dad, or asking to be reimbursed for his dad's b-day gift. I was hoping by going over there, he'd figure out how nice he has it with us but it kind of backfired to "poor dad". Him and I went to a training for keeping kids first while getting ready to divorce. They gave him a paper of "rights" and we sat afterwards. He agreed I am doing everything right about this paper. For ex> "you have to right to love either or both parents without pressure". But, he is still very angry about the separation.
The usual teenage stuff is stressing him too. He's a senior so he has a lot to do...
He is not one to lash out (rarely) but he knows how to hurt me. For ex. the other night he said good night to everyone but walked right by me, not turning, a few steps later he said "good night mother". Deliberately trying to hurt me. He says he is happy for me but he doesn't want to live with my fiance and me. He says he is a great guy and a "friend material" but doesn't want him imposed on him.
Relationship with dad always has been precarious. He was and is afraid of dad and his temper. Not in a violent way but dad was in the army so he knows how to instill a fear of disapproval while I instilled "love". Seems dad was right - right about now. :(
Dad seems to also adopt a parenting method of the 'good' dad too. He's now letting his girlfriend stay overnight as long as she cooks dinner. He never allowed such a thing when we were together.
My son has a steady girlfriend who does give him support but she's only 18 and how much maturity I can expect out of that is questionable.
We sat him down and so did I separately - about not to stress about some of these things. He needs to have his eye on the big picture, we love him, we want his success, what can we do to help you...etc. each time it is back to square one.
Question 1 - My fiance says "absence makes the heart grow fonder" cut all relations. Don't pay for his school lunches, don't take him to work, cut off his cell phone...etc. until he becomes respectful. I pay for everything. His dad does nothing other than feed him. He doesn't even have a bed there. I think this is too extreme but I am tired of being so miserable too.
Question 2 - He asked for going back to his martial arts classes and punching bags. Is this enough? He refused counseling but I could 'make' him go. Should I?
Question 3 - I feel like I am choosing between my only child and my love for another man and his children. Am I choosing?
Question 4 - Likely he is jealous of these children and how much I am attached to them. What do you think?
Question 5 - Is leaving him be during the time he is with us a good idea? I want him to integrate. Mind you...his kids are gone while my son is with us so it's just the 3 of us.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for being so thorough in your explanation.

Answer 1: Do not cut all relations now. When your son turns 18 and has graduated from high school, then you might try this tough love approach. If he refuses to live by the house rules, then he must find another place to live.

Answer 2: If the relationship between you and your son and is overall emotional well being are that important to you, then you should make him go to counseling. Additionally, you and your son should go to several sessions of family counseling because he seems to have several unresolved issues with you.

Answer 3: You should not have to feel like you are choosing a man and his children over your son. Your son's emotional problems have become your own. He must accept the fact that he will be part of a blended family. Life for him is very difficult. Besides the issues at home and being a senior, he is also struggling to find himself as he enters adulthood. He is fighting the feelings and actions of still being a teenager along with the responsibilities of being an adult. Then having a girlfriend is pulling him in all directions as well.

Answer 4: Your son is really hurting deep down inside because you and his dad are not together. It seems like your actions with your fiancé all happened in less than a years time. Usually, children are not introduced to a new partner until nine to twelve months of dating. Your son may feel like your partner is a complete stranger trying to take you away from him. You were all that he had left to provide for his needs and another man and his children invaded that sacred space. You can not go back and change things now though.

Answer 5: Your son should try to get to know your fiancé. It is fine to allow him to stay with you as it seems like the boundaries are too loose at his dad's house. Try to do things together...all 3 of you...at least once a week. Your son may be very resistant at first. Maybe have his girlfriend come along as well. Then slowly see if your son will take on outings with just your fiancé. If he wants to then great! Do not force the issues though.

Nonetheless, your son needs a neutral third party to intervene like a counselor or psychologist. He is harboring too many negative feelings about many things inside himself. One day, he may have a serious breakdown or explode with immense anger if he will not release his feelings in a healthy manner and discuss the issues that are not going to disappear.

Hope this helps. Have a great day.
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg NormanM's Avatar

    NormanM

    Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.

    Satisfied Customers:

    19
    ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
 
 
 

Related Parenting Questions

Chat Now With A Parenting Counselor
proexpert37
proexpert37
Educator
702 Satisfied Customers
Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor