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 Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Elliott . Can I please have guidance, now that you know my

This answer was rated:

Elliott . Can I please have guidance, now that you know my story can I ask advice. My daughter is 16, Great girl I can guide her, but now that my son is almost 14 I am finding it more difficult to do right by him. Only because I am mum and not dad. my son is great not a bother and growing into a fine young man. My problem is, because I cant depend on his dad I am afraid I will get my sons needs wrong. At present I have a tendancy to get really cross with his dad ,I tell him ( BY SHOUTING) what my son needs and I have to say, that usually gets results. However that leaves ex and son happy and me exchausted. Ex is smiles all round, pats himself on the back then waits for me to guide him how to be a dad. Son is aware I do give dad a little shove ( he dosnt know I get to to point of wanting to hit him, but I dont )( hit dad I mean ) . To ensure I remain sane in this process could you give me pointers to use re both of them. Anything that leaves my son happy isnt an issue. Re my ex, I am fed up helping him, but it is an necessary evil. Bunny boiler is still in the mix, but I ignore her because both kids are great, they love their dad. They are well aware they dont have to deal with or love her. But I can not go on this way, only because I am exchausted, there has to be an easier way. It was suggested praising my ex. I have done that in past, that only works for a while. ( Maybe I just get feed up praising ) .SHOUTING GETS RESULTS IMMEDIATLY ( I READ BECAUSE OF ARMY BACKGROUNG SHOUTING HELPS AND IT DOES) but that is not in my natural personality so I end up worn out. Ex then goes of to bunny boiler all smiles,son happy and me ready to pull hair out. Please help V
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear V,

Thanks for getting back to me. I can sense your tremendous frustration with your ex and his woman.

He seems to be amenable to your direction whether you bark it out military style or just guide him gently.

Guiding him gently is a better approach for two very important reasons.

The first is because you are the primary teacher of your children. You teach by modeling - by example. Let them see that calm reason can prevail. This will teach them a better life approach.

Secondly, when you put all of that emotive energy into barking out orders you are releasing stress hormones into your own body, and possibly into your children's who witness your actions.

I would take the gentler path as you seem to get the same results. You also have to direct a lot less energy towards ex, who may be all smiles when you see him but probably runs to BB for consolation.

Give him the minimum of energy, guide your son, and make suggestions to him. He follows your directions well. He seems to be weak but pliable.

Save yourself.the stress. It seems you can manage things with one hand and in whispered tones. You seem to be in control.

Take the calm and easy road and you will fare best.

I keep you in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes I do think he runs to BB for solace. I Just want to make sure you know my son never sees the barking.( I do that when he is not around). He only sees the gentle nodges the smiles and thank yous. Despite all I do have respect for my ex because I understand his amy background. But I cant let myself be walked over. My ex is easy lead, at times I feel sorry for him. If I had to shout at him in front of my son to get him to do something it dosnt acheive anything.

But by talking to u I can see where bb comes in. I do get so frustrated with both of them. At the start of the break down both of them sailed in to take over, as if they were heading to control the war. I had to be very stong to push it back and I did so . Now my head is clear I can see that my ex wants me to guide him re kids, and I will. Also by talking to you I realise that I am not silly for just wanting the best re kids, despite bb. Now I realise why she is behaving the way she does,

. I know my ex loves his kids and she can only cope if he has no contact with us. Thats her problem, not mine. My kids need their Dad and if I can help all of them I will. I know my exs past and all I can say, is when I slept in my bed, he lay in damp, cold scary places. What I do feel sad about, is that he got mixed up re love and sex. Love is what I am now doing for him and kids, I feel he gets army and sex from her. At present I need to do what I have to do re kids. Thanks V

Dear V,

You are very welcome. I understand where you are coming from. He will have contact with his kids and she will suffer in the corner. That is her problem. Let her deal with it.

I believe that you are very capable of managing this situation and continuing to be a great mom, and contiuing to guide and your somewhat weak-minded ex.

He was probably so much better off before he got involved with someone else, but that is already water under the bridge.

Keep up your good work. You will succeed. If you need further advice, just get back to me.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes he was better off and i can see in him he knows that. Re me, I am actually happier now, I couldnt cope anymore re his controlling nature. I can feel in myself the true person I am. I feel I can breath again. Re kids, so far so good. Re the furture that will be gods will. But for now I know my job is to lead. Not only my kids in showing them that you live on despite trials but to lead my ex, who I know in my heart feels very unhappy. At times I feel I have three kids , my ex ,my daughter and my son. If in the long run if I can leave this earth knowing I made it better for all three, thats not a bad thing. In this world where everyone tells me to move on, get another man!!!! its good talk to someone that realises that its not that simple . Good nite V

Dear V,

Yes. It is easier said than done. When you love someone you can't just throw them away, although some people believe that is the solution and the cure to relationship problems.

I admire you nurturing approach and it will bring good to you and will teach your children well.

God bless.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Related Relationship Questions