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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.
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Hi Elliott, if your on, I have a question. Good day

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Hi Elliott, if your on, I have a question. Good day
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear Dawn,

I have a little work to finish up, but I will be available soon. Please ask your question, and submit it and I will answer as soon as I can, a bit later this morning.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I should worry more about myself since my kids no longer live here. however my older son came back from college for three days in a row to help my husband paint the house.

The first day it was just him and I and we were talking while he was painting and it was pleasant.

The second day, my husband was painting with him for hours and my husband did not speak, it was complete silence most of the time.

The third day, it was only talking on my husband's side by telling my son what to do intermittently.

Besides the tension between my husband and I, I could see in my son's face unhappiness as soon as he walked in the door on the third day. I said to him how are you doing because I noticed he was dejected and he said I would prefer to be left alone and I said you got it.

Although he attended therapy for four years, is it possible that he was looking for some type of positive affirmation from his father that he didn't receive?

What I also found ironic, is that he was avoiding eye contact with me most of the time. Maybe he was trying to conceal his emotions. He did not speak to Dad unless Dad said something to him. I texted him later on telling him that we will pay him for the job and that I noticed something was weighing on him and perhaps he was happy to get out of this crazy house. He did not reply. I do not want to over identify with the situation with Dad, because I don't want to look like once again I'm trying to point out Dads flaws and turn the to kids against him. the way he acted towards me was probably a response to stress in the household and maybe a lack of affirmation from Dad, but that's just a guess. But does he really blame me for the situation ? Or am I Just a soft target for him to show his negative emotions and conceal his emotions from Dad. Thanks

Dear Dawn,

It seems most likely that there is a cause and effect relationship between your son's behaviour towards you, and his father's presence.

Your son loves you and enjoys your company. However, he is unable or intimidated to reveal his true feelings (which he showed on the first day) because of his father's presence. He wants to control your son's very emotions and your son has to stifle them in the presence of his father.

I imagine that the atmosphere is heavy in your house when both you and your husband are there, and it must be very uncomfortable for your son.

He DOES want out.

I suggest that you see your son by yourself, without your husband's presence. If your asks you why, tell him the truth in a tactful manner, that you and your son like to have your mother son time together and you find it more enjoyable to see him on your own. Tell him that he is likewise able to have father-son time with his son. That is his prerogative, as it is yours.

If he tries to engage you in negative talk, don't take the bait. He is a controlling man and treats you and your son in a similar manner.

I would not be surprised if other people that he deals with do not see this side of him. He may be cultivating a different and false image, but those who live with him know better.

You don't have to appease him; just don't engage in negativity with him. As soon as he sees you look hurt, defeated, cowed, or annoyed, then he is encouraged. Don't encourage him.

I wish you the strength and wisdom to define your relationship with him and with your son, and not let him do it.

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, good call, he was trying to control my sons emotions by extreme silence on the second day and being overly directive on the third day. My son stifles his emotions with him, correct.

Additionally, I'm working hard on not taking the bait and not showing it in my words or body language, while interacting with my husband and developing stronger boundries.

I just gotta finish reading another book called... Whos pulling your strings, and its quite good.

it's interesting how you talk about meeting my son but without my husband because that's exactly how I feel that I should see him without the presence of my husband.

Lastly, is my son aware of this manipulation since he has been in therapy for the last 4 years