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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Sympathize with kids about their mom
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm sorry I've been monopolizing this board so much lately. I'm trying to post less, but The Princess keeps driving me crazy. This time it is more parenting issues. Some texts from 13:

13: I just hurt my foot and I dropped 2 f-bombs and cried for 5 minutes before mom actually noticed that I was hurt! She was too busy texting!

13: And it's not like I did something bad, so she's not pissed at me.

13: I carted all our food and drinks from the car for when K (a friend) and her kids come over. I got the ice for her. I emptied ice into the cooler, I put all the drinks into the cooler and filled up a thermos of ice water! WTF?

Me: That really sucks dude. How is your foot now?

13: A little better. But I'm sitting on the couch and rubbing it and she's just sitting there looking out the fucking window.

Me: :-(

13: Mmmhmm.

Me: What time does K arrive?

13: Anytime between 2 and 3. But once she gets here, Mom'll turn into the lady that's mean to her kids anytime there's company. K will be nice, but mom won't.

Me: That sucks too. I'm sorry you have to go through that.

13: Yeah.

I just don't know how to respond to these things. In the past, The Princess and I have always worked hard to present a united front, so that the kids knew they had a team working with them. But now that we're separated she has decided she wants to be an arse to our kids.

10 keeps quiet about it, but 13 just loves his mom so much, and can't believe she would treat him this way. Y'all have told me before that I shouldn't approach her about this, so I'm actually sticking with that plan.

It wouldn't help anyway. She never does anything wrong, and gets super-defensive when someone tries to suggest otherwise. So I'm just doing my best to sympathize with 13, while not taking any obvious pot-shots at his mom.

My big questions for you: Were my answers okay? Were they enough? Is there something more I could be doing or saying?

FUCK! I hate her.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Couldn't stand it anymore. I had to send him one more text.

Me: I wish I could make this better for you.

13: Me too.

My heart is breaking.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
lostmommy
♀ Member
Member # 33440
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I haven't had to cross this bridge yet as J is under 3, but I think you responded really well. He knows that you're his "person". He trusts you. He can still love his mom and have you as his person. I think the only thing you can do is respond the way that you did. Because honestly, you don't want him not speaking up when something is bothering him.

(((pass))) It's so hard sometimes, especially when we see the littles hurting.


Me (BS): 32, Mommy to J: 2 1/2 Divorced: 4/10/13
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself

Posts: 485 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: NY
numbandnauseous
♀ Member
Member # 34525
Default  Posted: 1:54 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You are doing a great job!

You son can confide in you and he doesn't feel all alone. Just having someone to talk to and have empathy about what he is going through is a HUGE help. He is not suffering alone or in silence.

Think of all the kids that went through something like this with NO support.

You are doing a great job.

(((((((((pass and 13)))))))


BS (me) - 41
WH - 48, EA with HS GF x 2
M: 10 years, T: 20
2 small children
DDay#1 - Christmas 2011 (OW#1)
Confronted - 4/6/12
DDay#2 - July 9, 2012 (OW#2)
He is an SA (Oct 2012)
Divorcing

Posts: 827 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: the other side
nowiknow23
♀ Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((((13)))))


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams


Posts: 25386 | Registered: Aug 2011
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

13 and I are both very huggy guys. He would love all these hugs. Thanks for the love.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

13: And it's not like I did something bad, so she's not pissed at me.

13: I carted all our food and drinks from the car for when K (a friend) and her kids come over. I got the ice for her. I emptied ice into the cooler, I put all the drinks into the cooler and filled up a thermos of ice water! WTF?


Sounds like your son is trying to "nice" his way into his mom's heart; unfortunately this leads to co-dependence. Make sure he knows *your* love is unconditional.


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sounds like your son is trying to "nice" his way into his mom's heart; unfortunately this leads to co-dependence

That was my first thought, too.

I think you responded okay, but I also think you could be a little more supportive without undermining your STBX. It's okay to ask him how certain actions on his mother's part make him feel (as long as you're not leading him to certain feelings). It's okay to point out that he's not responsible for how his mother behaves. It's okay to let him know that he's not responsible for putting out food & drinks for guests. He should still get to be a kid.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9685 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 2:39 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ladies_first and Nature_Girl, thanks! I will definitely work on getting those messages across. I didn't even think about it, but he's doing the exact same thing that I did for 17.5 years - trying to nice his way into her heart.

She used to have me to treat like this, and now she is doing it to the next oldest set of testicles in the house. I will have to make sure he comes out of this with better esteem, and coping tools, than I did.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sounds like you've got a handle on the caring Dad role, pass. It's hard, but you are doing a great job.

Careful with the message(s). At age 13, when home from school from the summer, children should be expected to help out with light chores around the house, and make their friends feel welcome with food and drinks. Manners (again, great job!) will never serve him wrong.

Serving his mom hand and foot will set him up for problems with women further down the line.

Entitlement is a bitch! (And so is The Princess)


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 4:49 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((((pass and boys))))

This kills me. We can't protect them from this shit. All we can do is show them we love them and are there for them.

You ARE making it better for him. He is able to share his feelings with you. He is able to reach out and hug you. You are not pushing your feelings ahead of his - you are supporting him through this.

Its not what any of us wanted for our kids - I never thought I would be doing cleanup for the damage the man I chose to have children with was doing to them. Never.

But I will do it as much as it takes and for as long as it takes. You will too.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5560 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Griefstricken25
♀ Member
Member # 29183
Default  Posted: 7:46 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think your answers were fine. As you know he's probably having or will have a bad day, I'd keep texting him the odd text, making it light, so you know he's smiling or laughing on the other end. Tell him a joke. Send a funny photo.

You're a great dad. He knows who his security is.


Me!
3 amazing kidlets
To WXH "Now you're just somebody that I used to know." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
D-day and separation - June, 2009
Divorced - December, 2011

Posts: 2518 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: A better place
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I couldn't stand it anymore, and had to email 13 about this stuff. I think I kept everything appropriate, but here is a copy of the email I sent him.

Hey 13,

Was wanting to talk to you about the challenges you sometimes have with your mom, but wasn't sure we'd get a chance on the weekend. This isn't normally something I would discuss via email.

Here are some possible reasons that you may be experiencing this stuff:

#1 - She is under added stress now that she is taking care of a big house without another adult.
#2 - She has often had moods like this, but I was there to block you guys.

Option 2 may be the biggie. Sometimes your mom feels overwhelmed and gets in a bad mood. When this used to happen, I would say, "Why don't you call up a friend for a night out?" or I would take you guys with me some place, so that she could have some alone time. Think of all the times the three of us used to take off in the car for shopping or whatever.

However, I'm not there anymore.

And these moods also often strike when she is about to have company. I think she feels added responsibility at that time.

I'm going to share something with you that I have learned from reading lately - and probably should have learned during 17 years of marriage: You can't "nice" her out of a bad mood.

It's important to be helpful, and to make sure that you are doing everything you can to make your mom's life easier, but you can't make her feel better by doing extra stuff. Do extra stuff to help (and especially if she asks you to), but don't think that it will buy a nicer mood.

When your mom is in a bad mood, the best thing you can do is to stay away from her. I know that sucks. You love her and want to be around her, and you want her to be happy - but sometimes you just can't win. And it sucks.

This is just the way she is, and it drives me crazy. If I thought it would help at all, I would speak to her about it. It wouldn't. We have a pretty good relationship for a couple that is headed for divorce, but that's because I know not to stick my fingers in the open car door of her moods.

Also, your mom is having a little more alone time now - every weekend - and is getting more accustomed to spending time hanging out with friends and being on her own. I don't know - and don't want to know - what she does on weekends, but she probably has some times in the week where she wants to have less responsibility again.

It's not that she wants to be away from you guys. She just probably thinks back to how easy and fun life can be on her weekends.

This all sucks. It doesn't mean she's a bad person; it just means she is a real person with real moods.

This does not mean that she doesn't like spending time with you guys. She loves you both as much as a mom can. She just doesn't have as much support as she used to.

And dude, there's nothing you can do about that.

Of course, you shouldn't let anyone see this email. If your brother has questions about this stuff at some point, I will discuss what I think is appropriate for his age.

I love you, and I am always here for any concerns you may have. I can't always do anything about them, but at a bare minimum, I will listen and hug you.

Dad

Here is the response I got from him

Thanks, dad. I love you too.

13

Please advise. Did I step over any lines? Did I say enough? Did I say too much?

Thanks.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 1:40 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah, you stepped over quite a few lines & said too much. I know your heart is in the right place, and trust me, we've all stepped over the line & said shit to our kids we now regret. Welcome to the club.

Tip: That email was all about your STBX, and almost nothing about your son. That's why it was too much & over the line. If you ever feel the need to share information like this again, I implore you to do so in the company of and with the guidance of a family counselor.

((((HUGS))))

This is all new to you. We understand that here. It's hard to figure out WTF to say to our kids about their messed up other parent.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9685 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

God damn it!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I really am trying hard not to screw up, but I'm not good at middle ground. I tend to be an extreme person. Spent our entire marriage assuming everything was my fault, finally came to the realization that a large portion was her fault.

Thanks, Nature_Girl. I'll keep trying.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You'll get it right, brother. It takes time.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9685 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 6:07 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm with NG friend. You are making excuses for her as well.

You have no idea why she does what she does. Just like in your M you are rationalising/reasoning with the irrational/unreasonable. You are teaching your son to do the same.

Maybe post drafts here for a little while. I don't think you did the wrong thing or that you did any damage. But it is a habit you do need to break.

I make excuses too. I try not to but its difficult when you see your baby hurting. I have been trying to stop myself from explaining it and instead focus on hearing her out and asking her how she feels about it, empathising and reaffirming my love for her. I also encourage her to talk to him about it. Fat lot of good that will do but again, I am not responsible for the kind of father he is. I'd be lying if I said I don't still feel guilt for choosing so poorly - not because of the infidelity but because he is such a shit human being.

You are not responsible for what kind of mother she is. You never should have been, you certainly are not now.

((pass))


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5560 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 8:44 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sigh. You're right.

I thought I was doing so well. I still have more to work on.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1942 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

YOU are doing well. You're learning more and more each day and you are keen to keep growing.

Old habits are hard to break. We're all learning.

Your heart is in the right place and you love your boy. That is abundantly clear to him.

Please take the time to give yourself kudos for that. Guilt has no place here - it does not good.

As NG said we all struggle with what to say to our kids about their messed up other parent. I don't think I'll ever stop struggling with that - even when I am doing all the 'right' things.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5560 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Topic Posts: 20

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