Author Topic: new member  (Read 1768 times)

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Offline elsieshaye

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« on: April 15, 2010, 08:29:07 AM »
Hi.  I've been reading on this board for a little while to get familiar with it and just joined.  Wanted to post my story and hopefully get some other perspectives on it.  Please let me know if this isn't the appropriate site or forum for this.

My difficult relationship is not with a DIL or MIL, but with my XH.  We have a 16 y/o DS, who is the only reason that I am still in contact with XH. XH has some severe emotional issues and can often be unpredictable and emotionally/verbally demeaning and abusive.  DS and XH have always had a very contentious relationship, and DS frequently expressed a wish not to see his father.  Because of the joint custody, I had to keep sending him to stay with his father during his custody days, but a little over a year ago, DS flat out refused to go and would come back to my house instead, because his father was having some serious problems and was constantly aggressive.  He also has an extremely chaotic living situation, an un-housebroken dog, and problems keeping his home clean, so DS's things were often ruined and there were roaches everywhere.  At that point, I stopped forcing him back to his father's during his visitation days, because it seemed that to do so would hurt my son more than it would help.  Very shortly after that, his father moved out of state and DS stayed up here with me.

In the year that XH has been gone, DS has become a different person.  Much happier, grades have gone up, active in sports and a good social life.  No problems with school or court, and no angry explosions.  Now, his father has gone to court to get DS to come spend school breaks with him.  There is a chance that this will happen, and that DS will be court ordered to spend at least a week over summer, plus Christmas and possibly Spring Break with his father.  DS adamantly refuses, and we have a mediator set up to help negotiate something that works, which will then go into the court order.

I've gotten better over time in dealing with XH and finding ways to handle some of his more disruptive and hurtful behaviors, but got kind of spoiled over the last year and am finding it very difficult to go back to some of the things that worked in the past.  Mainly because I am resentful that I have to keep dealing with the chaos, paranoia and aggression that XH brings with him wherever he goes.  My hope in coming here is that I can get some ideas on how to support DS in a balanced way, while keeping his situation separate from my own discomfort with his father.   

Thanks for listening.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 08:31:57 AM by elsieshaye »
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Orly

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Re: new member
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 09:10:25 AM »
Hi elsieshaye,
Your son is old enough now to tell the judge who he wants to visit or stay with.   You might want to get a guardian-ad-liteum to represent him in court.  Yes, I know it is an added expense but,  it may show the judge that your son is serious about his wants and needs.  Your son can also write a letter in his own words and hand to tell the judge why he is not keen on staying with his dad.....the health concerns  because of the roaches, dad's aggressive behavior,  the chaotic living situation, etc.  You can get it down on paper too on how your son's demeanor has changed for the better.  Get some feedback in writing from his school counselors and teachers to back this up. 

Really, in two more years your DS is going to be a legal adult....if his dad wants a relationship with him....dad needs to LISTEN to his son's statements.  I hope it turns out ok for you and yours.

Marilyn

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Re: new member
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 09:26:01 AM »
Hi elsieshaye and welcome,Orly gave you some really good advice.I dont know what else to suggest,but i do know what Orly said will really help you.And your son is old enough to decide where he wants to live.

Wishing you a good out come with this!

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: new member
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 09:30:18 AM »
Thanks, Orly.  We do have a GAL, and DS is working on a letter to the judge.   It's only a year and a half until he's 18, regardless of what happens, but I know that how I handle it can make the difference between it being a relatively easy time, or hellish.

Unfortunately, XH doesn't see it as needing to understand where his son is coming from.  He sees it only in terms of what his rights as a parent are and whether DS is paying him adequate respect, and doesn't see the problem inherent in trying to force a relationship with his son.  The judge is very, very pro-dad, and pretty much sees this as the bitter, spiteful ex-wife trying to influence the kid and exclude the dad, so regardless of what the GAL report shows, he may very well rule that it's reasonable for DS to stay with his father several times during the year.   I'm trying to prepare my son for that outcome so that he can deal with it if it does happen.  I don't think it's realistic for him to expect to have no contact with his father for that whole year and a half, despite that being what he prefers. 

Part of it is that no contact is definitely what -I- would prefer, and absolutely what will happen for me the minute my son turns 18, so I'm trying to make sure I don't confuse my son's wishes with my own, or influence his view of his father.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Orly

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Re: new member
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 09:34:53 AM »
Day visits?  Or does the Ex not consider those to be worth his time?

Offline elsieshaye

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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 09:36:53 AM »
Thanks, Mominwaiting.  I hope it goes well too.   I think the main reason I'm concerned is that this is the same judge we've had since DS was very small (when we divorced), and he is extremely pro-dad.  In the past, he hasn't followed the GAL recommendation, so I'm not really trusting that he will in this case, even if her final report supports DS's wish for no contact.  I'm not confident that it will be as easy as DS expressing his wishes, and the court following them.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline elsieshaye

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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 09:42:22 AM »
Orly, XH wouldn't consider those "enough," even if DS would agree to them.  Also, XH lives an 8 hour drive away now, so the logistics would be hairy.  I'm willing to make that kind of drive on a weekend every now and again, but we still bump into DS's essential unwillingness to deal with his father at all.  I'll bring it up to DS, and see if he'd consider that as an alternative to asking for no contact.  Thanks for the suggestion.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Orly

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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 09:54:43 AM »
IF DS has to go visit....and Dad's home is still a sty....would/could DS call social services for an evaluation for his own benefit? 

Offline elsieshaye

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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 10:01:47 AM »
That's a good idea too.  Yes, I believe DS would do that.   He is actually planning to ask the GAL if there could be a home inspection and a psych eval mandated by the court.  I really doubt they'd do that ahead of time (especially since it's a completely different jurisdiction), but we can look into how DS can get in touch with CPS in his father's jurisdiction as a backup. 
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline elsieshaye

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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2010, 10:09:20 AM »
Found out the Social Services/CPS contact information for XH's county.  If DS has to stay there, I'll make sure he has the information with him.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Marilyn

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Re: new member
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 10:18:14 AM »
Orly is soooooooo smart :)

Hope

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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 02:37:19 PM »
Orly to the rescue again!  It all sounds like great ideas.  I wish you and your ds all the best, Elsieshaye.  I know you only want what is healthy and best for ds.  You sound very reasonable.
Hugs, Hope