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Old 11-07-2019, 03:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Son resents me


I'm really getting sad about my son. His dad constantly breaks promises, cancels his supervised visits, and straight up lies to him about everything under the sun. Yet it's me he holds a grudge against. He has so much anger toward me. It's so frustrating that I'm doing everything I can to give my kids a good childhood, but their dad can do the bare minimum (not even, really) and they think he walks on water. He straight up refuses to pay child support and instead buys them fancy gifts. Well, wouldn't I love to show boat like that! Instead I'm stuck buying all the necessities and can't afford the fun stuff. Sometimes I feel so exhausted just keeping things afloat that I almost envy him for being able to get high and just shirk all his responsibilities. People keep telling me that my kids will see the truth someday, but I know that's not always true. I've heard so many grownups complain about their mothers, who raised them on their own. A lot of times they express resentment when their dads tell them the "truth" about what "really" happened. It seems they're so glad to finally have a father figure that they take his word as gold, when let's face it- if he wanted to be in their lives he would have at least petitioned the court- at least tried! I guess I'm just feeling like they'll always want to believe in him, and the nonsense he tells them. I'm so afraid of violating our court order I never speak ill of him, but he has no problem telling them all kinds of lies about me. And I know better than to take him to court. I fought this hard to finally get my children safe, I don't want to rock the boat one bit. So frustrated!
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old are you kids and why is there no child support enforcement?
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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They're twins, 9 years old. Veterans disability can't be garnished.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I completely disagree with those that have said that they will see the "truth" some day. That's not necessarily true. They will see what they see!

I don't know all of your story but what I do know is that if you don't speak up, further on down the road (and in fact right now, as you are experiencing) you are going to be the bad guy.

Why is that? Well first of all I'm guessing you left him. For years you probably had the alcoholic in the house. People walking on eggshells, making sure he doesn't hurt himself - Dad has a problem. The alcoholic/alcoholism is the center of the house, the drama, the cleaning up after.

Then YOU decide to stop it. You leave or ask him to leave and now what? YOU have abandoned the very person you have all been looking after all these years.

That's the start.

I did read in your posts that you have an agreement not to speak badly of the other parent. Fair enough, I actually agree with that.

What you seem to be doing though is confusing that with the facts. The fact is he doesn't pay child support the fact is he did all the things he did (and I'm sure there were a lot of things that lead to the divorce).

The truth is he is an addict and your Sons are becoming his co-dependents (from what you have described).

You can be the martyr here or you can tell them the truth. Tell them you can't afford to do all these fun things because Dad refuses to pay child support. Tell it in a matter of fact way, write it out, put it on a spread sheet.

Explain alcoholism and addiction to them (in an age appropriate manner). Explain codependency to them. Explain that they are not on this earth to care for their Father. That they are independent people.

If they are in therapy, perhaps this is something you could do in a meeting with their therapist (or find a good one). Think of it as a codependent intervention?

Buy them a copy of Codependent no more by Melody Beattie and make it required reading. Discuss it.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. If you step in now there is hope that this will all turn around.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When I was about that age, I thought my dad hung the moon. Despite the fact he left me and Mom to be with another woman who loved to drink as much as he did. When I was with them, we kids (she had 4) were free to do whatever we wanted. No rules except to not bother them too much. I thought it was great!

At home, I had rules and chores, and Mom always wanted to know where I was...not allowed to go certain places. You know her just being a good Mom. I remember we got into an argument once about something I can't even remember, but I blurted out...You don't love me! I want to live with my dad!

Looking back, I feel awful for saying that and realize how much that hurt her. She was, and still is, a great mom. I realize also, that I loved my dad because he was my dad, but, he was really a lousy dad and husband. He died from alcohol at the age of 56.

Your son will, hopefully, realize at some point that you were the one who provided a home and cared for them when they were sick, and were the loving parent. I'm sorry you are going through this. Sending you a hug.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
I completely disagree with those that have said that they will see the "truth" some day. That's not necessarily true. They will see what they see!

I don't know all of your story but what I do know is that if you don't speak up, further on down the road (and in fact right now, as you are experiencing) you are going to be the bad guy.

Why is that? Well first of all I'm guessing you left him. For years you probably had the alcoholic in the house. People walking on eggshells, making sure he doesn't hurt himself - Dad has a problem. The alcoholic/alcoholism is the center of the house, the drama, the cleaning up after.

Then YOU decide to stop it. You leave or ask him to leave and now what? YOU have abandoned the very person you have all been looking after all these years.

That's the start.

I did read in your posts that you have an agreement not to speak badly of the other parent. Fair enough, I actually agree with that.

What you seem to be doing though is confusing that with the facts. The fact is he doesn't pay child support the fact is he did all the things he did (and I'm sure there were a lot of things that lead to the divorce).

The truth is he is an addict and your Sons are becoming his co-dependents (from what you have described).

You can be the martyr here or you can tell them the truth. Tell them you can't afford to do all these fun things because Dad refuses to pay child support. Tell it in a matter of fact way, write it out, put it on a spread sheet.

Explain alcoholism and addiction to them (in an age appropriate manner). Explain codependency to them. Explain that they are not on this earth to care for their Father. That they are independent people.

If they are in therapy, perhaps this is something you could do in a meeting with their therapist (or find a good one). Think of it as a codependent intervention?

Buy them a copy of Codependent no more by Melody Beattie and make it required reading. Discuss it.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. If you step in now there is hope that this will all turn around.
I wish it were that easy. I finally did break down last year and told them that their father uses drugs. I did it in the most compassionate way I could think of- I bought book written for children about parental drug abuse and I just told them he loves them but is struggling with the disease of addiction. My son mentioned it on a phone call with him that night, and since he always records phone calls (which is illegal in CA) he took that recording and filed contempt of court. It was a huge circus and he eventually dropped it. I could have sued him in a civil court as he had openly admitted to breaking the law, but taking a narcissist to court is just not worth it.

Thank you both for your stories and advice.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just one other thing.

When I said you will look like the "bad guy" if you are not open about what is really going on, that almost sounds self-serving.

What I was really talking about is about them, not you. I know you are throwing yourself under the bus here thinking it is the right thing to do.

In doing that and allowing your children to have growing resentment, you are pushing them away to him. He really couldn't plan that better could he?

Even if that isn't his main objective (maybe he just likes making you angry and uncomfortable, but his motives are beside the point).

If you don't address this now, you run the very big risk of having no relationship with them later on or just a distant/mostly negative one. That hurts them as well as you. It's not allowing them to be close to you, to depend on you for honesty.

Being stoic here is not in their best interest if you want to be close to your children.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I do agree with you. I just need to tread carefully. I'm already in debt for having to pay an attorney to defend me in that bogus contempt case. I really think sometimes he's antagonizing me just so I will slip up. I do agree with everything you've said. Thank you.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a friend in this situation. Her XAH makes $0 on paper, but works under the table and literally flies in on a helicopter to take the kids out of school and take them to lunch. Nice eh? Yet he has not paid a single dime towards any expense of theirs, nor a dime in child support.

While it took a while to see it, both of her daughters did see it when they hit high school, about junior year I would say. I just want to send you a hug and let you know that you are a great, strong mom. You are the safe one. Your sons may be taking things out because they know you are safe, will be there for them. Their father has only shown them unsteady behaviors, so they don't have that same comfort level.

You can do this. Vent here, we totally get it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Their father has only shown them unsteady behaviors, so they don't have that same comfort level.
Hopeful, thank you so much. This really put things into perspective for me. I think you are right that his unsteady behaviors cause them to tow the line a bit more with him. I think he also really did a number on their psyches when he said the reason they couldn't go to his house anymore was because of what they told me. Must feel awful.

Thanks again
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Glad to help! It really was an eye opener watching these girls come to their own realizations. I saw them take a lot of things out on their Mom, for the simple reason she was always the safe one. Their Mom is my dear friend and I know it was really hard for her, but now that they are older, they are very close. I know she hates what they have went through, but they all realize it's not her fault.

It will come friend. Big hugs!
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