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    • #11177
      mixed-up mum

      My son is leaving school at summer and I got a phonecall from his father wanting a ‘meeting’ with me “to discuss our sons future”.

      That’s all very well and good, but in the past I have asked him to support me re my sons behaviour/attitude, getting him to go to bed, and getting him to help around the house etc, and his father never takes on the parental role and actually has a word with my son – no – rather than be his father he chooses to be his ‘friend’.

      I’ve stopped asking him for support now for I just know he’ll do nothing and say nothing to help me.

      He’s only a parent when it suits HIM – now deciding he wants to discuss our sons plans on leaving school.

      How long do I have to keep him informed of our sons future, ’til he’s 16,17,18,21……when does it stop…?

      This is just another means of making me meet with him to talk, another way to get my time, and attention.

      I’m the resident parent, so can’t I make any decisions on my own – do I still have to keep him informed of the plans?

      It’s not so much that I mind telling him things – its the way he does it – suddenly deciding HE wants a meeting and demanding to know what’s going to happen next, when he takes on very few ‘parenting roles’.

      I have a feeling it’s his sister ‘egging him on’ – she’ll be saying he’s your son too, you have every right to know what his plans are and have a say in his future…..

      But does he? He doesn’t take on an equal share of the parenting – cos he lives with me and sees his father once a week – I get all the bad jobs – the disaplin, the washing, the tidying up after him, feeding him – where as dad turns up once a week takes him to see a film, or our for a meal (things I never do) and do he’s ‘Superdad’ and can do no wrong – my son defends his father and won’t have a word said against him.

      Surely my son is old enough now to keep his father informed himself and surely he can decide himself if/when/what he tells his father?

      As I say it’s not so much that I mind telling him – it’s the way he does it – deciding HE WANTS a meeting – ringing me up and TELLING ME we need to talk – surely it should be up to ME if and when I decide to involve him in it all.

      I’d rather handle it all myself – I’m left to deal with everything else on a daily basis – so what gives HIM the right to suddenly jump in to the picture as and when it suits HIM. He offers me no support at any other time – so why now…..

      Does he actually have a RIGHT to be kept informed of what’s going on, or is this just a means of controlling me stll??

      He knows I never say no to him, he knows I never have the courage to speak up and say no I’m not doing this – he knows I always do what he wants.

      I just canna cope with shouting,fighting, and arguments, and so I just go along with whatever HE WANTS and whatever HE says goes – full well he knows that.

      He always takes the upper hand, he calls the shots, and it never enters his head that I might not be comfortable with what he is suggesting – or that I might not be entirely happy with HIS plans…….
      Surely if I wanted him involved then it would be ME arranging the meeting – and me keeping him informed.

      When will we ever be FREE and not have to involve him in decisions made about our son – I think he feels because he pays maintenance for our son this then somehow gives him some parental rights??

    • #11178

      Hi Mixed-Up Mum,

      I have no contact at all with my ex.

      He is meant to contact my mum if there is anything important to ask, but he doesn’t.

      My eldest is teenaged, and my youngest nearly so, and they generally deal with things and relay things to me at times. I am trying to encourage my eldest to make his own decisions, in an effort to shake off his dad’s unhealthy control (my ex is that sick that he actually tries to encourage my son not to achieve).

      I would say that this is just another one of your ex’s tactics to be in contact with you- as you realise. as any contact with these abusers is toxic, I think the only option is for you to encourage your son to make independent decisions, but invite him to talk about things freely with you beforehand, and tell him to talk about it with his dad too, if he wants to. X

    • #11179
      mixed-up mum

      My son is immature for his age – and really has no interests, or ambitions.
      He’s not capable of making sensible choices and decisions on his own.

      He’d quite happily leave school now, and spend all day everyday sleeping and then up all night on Xbox and chatting to girls on Skype.

      We had words last night – I cought him up still at almost 1am, on Skype – on a school night – he should know better – he DOES know better!!!

      I give him trust and don’t enforce at set bedtime (not at his age) and yet he abuses my trust time after time by making bad choices and staying up so late.

      He knows he will be tired at school, he knows he will have no energy and poor concentration – but he doesn’t care – he has no interest in school – can’t wait to leave.

      Then he comes home from school and he’s tired and grumpy with me and his sister, can’t utter a civil word to us – giving me backchat and being argumentative, and being aggressive towards his sister.

    • #11187
      mixed-up mum

      Im just so fed up today – I expect due to lack of sleep after having an argument with my son trying t9 get him to understand it is not acceptable to be up at 1am chatting online.

      That combined with my exes recent request for a “meeting” with me – that’s praying on my mind as I’m annoyed with him making those demands and uncomfortable with the situation (he want me to go up to see him some evening) I don’t like being alone with him.

      I want to be on decent speaking terms with him and I want to keep channels of communication open, BUT he doesn’t seem to see when he has ‘gone too far’ and is asking too much of me……

      It’s a beautiful sunny day out there and I hàve no work today, I should be out enjoying it – but instead I’ve spent all morning sleeping or eating. I’m not even showered or dressed yet…..

    • #11198

      Hi M.U.M,

      My son went through a stage of not caring and losing ambition.

      I had to try to do things cleverly: I went to talk to his school, and they gave him some mentoring about the importance of exams, his future, job choices etc.

      The best thing I did was arrange for him to have a few days’ work experience doing a job he claimed to want to do, but I knew he would detest. He did it for a few days- then directly applied to do A’levels! Baptism by fire!

      I gave him the talk about how I have had jobs where I’ve been so bored and depressed that I have clock-watched. How discipline leads to more freedom etc.

      However, if all of these things would or have fallen on deaf ears with your son, then you can’t twist yourself into a pretzel over it. Some people learn late in life: others don’t learn at all. But one thing I believe is, we can only give our kids the basics: the rest is up to them.

      He may need to go through the painful process of getting a boring job, hating every minute of it, watching his friends getting college certificates. And doing jobs they enjoy etc, before he gets his a** into gear. Maybe this is a necessary rebellion for him. All I know is, you can’t take responsibility for his attitude or let it ruin your life. You can only be there when he needs you at the other end, or is willing to listen.

      There is a sense in which the more we speak, the less teenagers listen. My eldest is like that. He needs to think things are ‘his idea’ or he won’t do them! (I think it’s him rebelling against a dictatorial father, plus male testosterone.)

      I only qualified later on in life.

      You need to show yourself self-compassion, not beat yourself up about your son and let him find out the hard truths about life.

      Plus, please don’t fall into the trap of letting your ex dangle your son over you as a weapon to keep controlling, meeting and manipulating you. Your son is obviously an Achilles heel in this situation, and abusers will use any weakness to their advantage.

      You say you wish to be civil. Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean being a sitting duck for his covert games. Be alert to them. You can be civil whilst setting up thick walls around you, which means not divulging your vulnerabilities of letting him sway you into things you aren’t happy with. Be firm in your own stance.

      Hugs X

    • #11205

      PS : I think we spent so long with our abusers ( and maybe even our childhood family ) being made to feel that we were at fault if things weren’t perfect, especially with our abusers who are parasites with a never-ending need for us to be perfect whilst we ignore their glaring faults, that we blame ourselves for everything that’s not right.

      (Removed by moderator) parenting programmes, and the message is to parents is to not aim to be perfect, but to be ‘good enough.’ We can’t carry our children. We are only preventing them from growing up and finding out their own truths, and they only learn by their mistakes, very often. You can be there in the background as a point of unconditional love and moral reference, but he needs to learn through consequences. The more we protest, the less they will listen, yet don’t give him perks if he’s not earned them!


    • #11227
      mixed-up mum

      Hi Serenity – thank you so much for reading my posts and for taking the time to reply.

      I honestly feel like his school just don’t care and want him out, and off of their hands.
      He is Dyslexic and so does struggle, and because he finds school hard, he’d rather not try than try and fail – he puts zero effort into his school work, doing the bare minimum required to ‘get by’.

      I honestly don’t feel in a position to ‘lecture’ him I was nothing fantastic at school – but I had a job/apprenticeship to go to, so I wasn’t worried – I had the necessary qualifications for my chosen career – and couldn’t wait to leave school and start doing what I’d always wanted to do – and 30+ years later that’s still what I’m doing!!!!

      I’m not naturally clever person, but I do think looking back I could have tried harder – not that I didn’t try – but I could have revised more – I did always do my homework and I did revise – but I do offer wonder if I could have passed more exams …..well that’s all ‘water under the bridge’ now – and we will never know…..

      All I know is that I could never do it NOW – its too late for me now at my age…..

      My son just has never really tried all the way through his school life at Secondary school – never doing homework ( or if he did it was the bare minimum, with zero effort put in to it) He has never revised for tests – never wrote homework in his diary, so I never knew if/when he had a test.

      I have asked his father to take him to the place where he wants to work so that he can get some work experience in the line (which at the moment) he thinks he wants to work – but once again he has let me and his son down and never did anything about it.

      I had hoped he could get a few days in the Easter holidays, but I doubt if that will happen now, as his father obviously couldn’t be bothered to help us out.

      His chosen career is in a totally male dominated job, and I as a single mother would not free comfortable going in to that environment alone, hence why I asked his father to do it for us – as he actually used to work in that trade too, and still knows people in the trade.

      I just know now with his lack of qualifications that he will end up just like his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather – they all spent their lives in low paid, hard labour jobs…..

      I’m not kidding myself that my son could have gone on to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer or the like – and he would most likely not have been able to go to Uni – but I just hoped he wouldn’t have the hard labour jobs that the men in his family have all had.
      When the 3 previous generation went to school I have no doubt in my mind that they all had Dyslexia too (knowing them like I do) only it had not even been invented then still.

      The thing is – I cant MAKE my son want to learn, I can’t make him want to 0pass exams -it has to be his choice, and his decision – HE has to want it…..

      My son is not a ‘great talker’ he spends hardly any time with his sister and me – as I say all his evenings are spent on his Xbox or chatting online – and I can’t truthfully say he spends 10-15 minutes a day in our company – he just doesn’t care about anything othet than his own interests.

      Im powerless to make him care about his future.

      So we’ll just have to attend this ‘meeting’ his father has ‘called’ and see what comes from it – see if I get any support…..

    • #11228
      mixed-up mum

      I sitting here thinking about what I just said – and as I said the 3 previous generations were all Dyslexic too – and all three have been controlling abusive husbands – there must be some connection between being a ‘low achiever’ and then feeling the need to control and dominate their wives – as possibly this was the only area of their lives they were able to control… think I’m right???

      They were never in good paid jobs where they had any responsibility or control – and so instead they all took it out on their wives…….

    • #11229

      It is very interesting that you say that, Mixed Up Mum: my ex is not British and claims to have been top of his year group academically etc and went to university but he dropped out ( or was he chucked out? Who knows ) and had ended up in a job which is in the normal scheme of things, not massively paid unless you make a real business if it, and it is quite physically taxing.

      However, he does well by over-charging people, likes to work for those who will cough up more, and uses his employees for all the hard physical stuff, underpaying them whilst he swans off to ‘price other jobs’ ( plays truant ). Plus, he earns loads cash in hand and doesn’t declare it, even denying it to me.

      So he never achieved what he could have done by working hard at his studies, so instead plays God by bullying others. He is trying to get my eldest to not achieve, too.

    • #11236

      This is tough for you M.U.M. If your husband is not reliable enough to sort out the work experience, could someone else do it for your son? Or could you make a phone call to the place so you don’t have to visit it? Serenity has given you some verygood advice, I hope it helps.

      Thinking about fathers, my Dad was/is definitely abusive in some ways and he had a reasonably good job, at least he had some authority. It was still a place where there was a lot of industrial stuff going on, but because he was ,’staff’, he could boss people around. The thing is, that’s what made him feel important, that power, so thinking about it, he would come home and do the same. He must have the need to do that because somewhere inside her off insecure, even though he’s clever and shows off his knowledge whenever possible. Apparently his Dad was a bully too and none of his sons dated say boo to him. I wish my Mum had had the strength to leave him, but that was much more difficult years ago. I know she wanted to though.

      • #11242
        mixed-up mum

        Sorry Eve – thank you for your reply – just seen this it now – have to work, but will get back to you as soon as possible.


      • #11306
        mixed-up mum

        Hi Eve – thank for your reply – sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you – wasnt on last night.

        Im going to have to attend this ‘meeting he has called’ and so I will give him one last chance to sort out the work experience for our son – if he lets me down again then I won’t be asking him again – he doesn’t do much for our son, and so I hope he will at the very least do this, I don’t ask much of him.

        It’s interesting how your father had power in the workplace, but had to have it at home too.
        I feel so much for your poor mam – she is in the exact same position as my ex mother-in-law and in the days they married it just wasn’t the done thing to separate – you married and you married for life, and you just had to put up with whatever treatment he dished out, be it physically abuse, sexual abuse, or metal abuse. I know she is so unhappy living with him, but at her time of life would never leave him.

        Thankfully attitudes have changed and we no longer have to put up with that kind of life, and we were free to leave our husbands, and it is possible now to get a house and bring up your kids by yourself.

        She was always too scared to leave him and so she lived her entire married life scared OF him. She just had to stand by and watch as he abused the kids, she dare not speak out against him, and she dare not speak up for herself, and she remained a quiet submissive wife all her days – and he still at almost 80yrs old treats her the same.

        Their son, my husband, is a carbon copy of his father – and although I lived with it for WAY too long – I’m out now and we are free …..

    • #11237
      mixed-up mum

      Hi Serenity – well as you say you have no idea how your ex REALLY performed at school – you had to take his word for it that he did what he said he had done!!!

      If he is self employed he will have power and control over his own future – and if he has employees then he will have power and authority over them.

      This was not that case with my ex father-in-law – he was never a boss and always had to do heavy work jobs.
      So because he is a very small man in stature, and craved power to overcome his insecurities, he had no control/power in the workplace – he so he had his ‘authority’ at home – ruling his family with ‘a rod of iron’ – he hit his wife and kids, and laid down the law in the home – his word was the final word – nobody dared argue or stand up to him…..

      And so it carried on to the next generation – my ex – his father bullied and controlled him all his life – he had poorly paid jobs – hard labour jobs with no authority – and so once again – the cycle continues – he abused me, and controlled me and the kids – that was where he got his ‘power’ – we were the only ones he had any authority over…..

      Obviously not ALL men with learning difficulties go on to be controlling and abusive husbands and fathers – but this is certainly the pattern in my exes family.

    • #11244

      My ex was earning a lot of money about 8-10 years ago when there was a boom, and then the recession hit and even though he earns ok, it’s not anything like he earned before, I imagine.

      I noticed that as he lost his power at work ( and specifically, when he lost one big contract), his cruelty and dictatorship towards us increased. He had to feel that power somehow. X

    • #11250

      Hi Hun

      I dont bother telling my ex anything, he offers no support and any support is just to try and get bk in my life or tell me how much he hates me and would never have me bk, i used to always debate i had to keep him updated , most people just say why would u want to keep him updated, i just ask for support on here , kids are a constatnt challenge, best thing u can do is ask surviviors for tips and guidance as most of us struggle with kids, i never get through to my kids i feel, but i repeaat the saem constant message with breaks in beween for all of us, i constatly tell my son he will not be given no privileges till he works, he has chosen not to work , it is hard work but we just have to persisit and persisit

      • #11309
        mixed-up mum

        Hi Confused123 – thanks for your reply.

        Well if it were left up to me I’d tell my ex nothing either – we are out of his life now and I just feel like I no longer should fee forced to run past him every single detail!! BUT he insists I tell him things and keep him informed and up to date – I’m sure it’s not that he really cares – its just a means of keeping in contact with me, and a means of still ‘calling the shots’ in our lives.

        At the end of the day – he does NOTHING to support me with our son anyway – on the ossasions I have asked him for help nothing has ever come of it.

        I will say he is never nasty to me – but then I go along with everything he says and wants, and so I keep the peace and never make him mad with me.

        It is hard work with teenagers sometimes – they appreciate nothing you do for them and yet expect you to do everything for them!!!

        I just wish me and my son had a closer relationship – he just won’t spend ANY time with his sister and me – he’s in his room all the time on Xbox or social media – or Skype chatting to girls.
        He only comes out for food – and even when he is out won’t talk to us and can barely utter a civil word to us.

        Yet he goes to see his father ever weekend and will be there for 6-8hrs (with no internet!!!!) and he seems to manage to be civil to his father – and yet who is it who does everything for him on a daily basis…..

        I don’t expect him to sit with us all night, every night but it would be nice if he could at least spend an hour a day with us – and have a civil conversation.

        He helps with nothing around the house – and does nothing without me ASKING him to do it, and even then I have to ask 2-3 times.
        As you say we have the same ‘battles’ time and time again…. and it is exhausting…..

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