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danny541, Parenting Answer Team
Category: Parenting
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my partner has a 13 year old son who refuses to speak to him

Resolved Question:

my partner has a 13 year old son who refuses to speak to him after my partner left the marital home 8 months ago. This situation has deteriorated since the mother found out he left for another woman, me. Please help him help repair their relationship. H.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  danny541 replied 8 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

Does he try to visit with his son ? Are they divorced with a visitation order ?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No, not at the moment but it's only really got bad over the last 10 days. They are not divorced. They also have a 17 year old son who has accepted the situation, though not me, which is understandable.


2 weeks ago my partner attempted a reconciliation with his wife but it failed. As a direct result of her rejection by him she has turned their 13 year old against his dad. My partner and the youngest son were extremely close before he left the marital home in August last year. His wife has continually used the children to get him back saying if he didn't 'dump' me he would never see them again. The older son has made his own decision but the youngest is influenced by her and her hatred.


My partner used to take his son to football practise on a Wednesday evening and then to the game on a Saturday. This has now stopped as his son won't return any calls or texts. My partner wants to stand on the side lines of the match this Sunday which I think is a good idea as it shows the child his dad still cares. But we're not sure if this will make things better or worse. My partner continues, as he always has, to text both sons every morning, his love and hope they have a good day.

Expert:  danny541 replied 8 years ago.
Its unfortunate that a wife would use the children to hurt the father, but her pain is so great, she isn't looking at the long range plan, for these children.

Your pardner is doing a good thing texting the boy's and letting them know that he is there. Eventually the 13 year old will turn back to his dad, if they have this wonderful relationship, he will see through it all, but your pardner needs to tread carefully.

I think its a great idea for dad to still attend his son's game, it lets him know he is still supporting him, and he needs to do this everytime there is a game, or something special that is going on with his children.

Hopefully, mom will get the idea, its about the kid, not the two of them.

Also you will need to be careful too! You don't say if you will be attending the game also. At this time, its probably not a good idea for you to be there also, because the sons resent you and blame you for the break-up.

After the boy's get used to it, then dad can add you but again be care not to push. Or you can go, but be sure to stay in the background if dad goes over to tell his son he loves him or he did great.

Hopefully, soon the boys will understand marriages just don't always work, but they will always be his sons.

I welcome any thoughts you have on this to discuss it, if not,

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

His son text him a reply for the first time yesterday afternoon. Although the reply wasn't very nice at least the 'stand off' has hopefully finished.


I won't be attending any of the football matches I wouldn't put the child in such a difficult situation.


I suppose I was asking for some sort of guidance as to how long the son would refuse any contact with his dad - days, weeks, months. I suppose there's no answer to that is there?

Expert:  danny541 replied 8 years ago.
Your right there is no answer for that!

But if they had a good relationship before this happened, there is every chance that the relationship can be saved. Its just a shame that we have parents that put their feelings above that of the kids to turn them against the other, in the end we have children that are hurt emotionally. I wish you both much luck in this situation and both of you hang in there!