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Old July 23rd, 2015, 10:32 AM
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need help dealing

BG: DS is 16, and spends every other weekend with my ex. I've been the responsible parent & ex. has been the fun/irresponsible parent

Right now I need a way to cope with feeling .... oh ... I don't know how describe it. I just don't rate.


Anyway - DS will do things/activities with/for his dad that he won't do with me.

ex. - go get his drivers permit, things he tells me he's not interested in, he'll do with his dad. I wanted to plan a family trip for next summer - DS could chose the location (DSD got to do that). DS wasn't really into discussing it with me, but talked to his dad about it AND CHOSE A PLACE BASED ON HIS DAD'S INPUT! (for OUR family vacation)


When I took him driving last night and asked for feed back on how instruction was working for him - he said well my dad..... I'm used to the way dad does it. When he was done I said something like "how is what I'm doing working?" Then he said it was fine.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 11:30 AM
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Re: need help dealing

(((hugs)))

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I know it ALL TOO WELL and it is a very sad thing. The only thing there is to do, though, is keep going. Your DS doesn't appreciate things about you at 16 that he will appreciate at 26.

Your DS has a different relationship with his dad. From everything you've posted about your ex, he seems to act like a teenager which makes him almost a peer for your DS. Try to see the good side of that. There are probably things that he doesn't want to talk to YOU about (girls, drugs/alcohol) that he may feel comfortable talking to your ex about. It hurts because you know that you are the more trustworthy parent, but the important thing is that he has an adult he can confide in.

Your DS loves you. He knows he can count on you. He is, unfortunately, a teenager. He has to start flapping his wings in preparation of leaving the nest.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Re: need help dealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
Right now I need a way to cope with feeling .... oh ... I don't know how describe it. I just don't rate.
I'm very impressed that you recognized that this is something you have to cope with. Reaching out for help is very brave.

Quote:
Anyway - DS will do things/activities with/for his dad that he won't do with me.
...
When I took him driving last night and asked for feed back on how instruction was working for him - he said well my dad..... I'm used to the way dad does it. When he was done I said something like "how is what I'm doing working?" Then he said it was fine.
This is absolutely normal! My children all prefer their dad for some things. I feel left out. But they prefer me for some things, too, and sometimes DH feels left out. For us, still being married, it is a matter of communication, reassurance, and support, and a lot of internal dialogue reminding myself that we aren't in a competition and we have the same goals.

You have the added complication of being divorced. As KayKay said, remind yourself that he loves you, that he's a teenage boy, he still has his dad in his life... Do not let the green-eyed monster and the empty nest pull you down!
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Old July 24th, 2015, 07:16 PM
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Re: need help dealing

I don't think empty nest is bothering me, when DS is with his dad I'll text him a few times (maybe 3-4 days over two weeks).


I think I feel a bit .... humph .... I know he's growing up and I'd like to spend a little more time with him - I feel that I missed a lot of time to do fun stuff with him as he spends half the weekends, holidays, and summer with his dad.
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Old July 24th, 2015, 07:47 PM
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Re: need help dealing

But that's what empty nest is, snafu! It's not only the physical aspect of your child not being in your house (which you are accustomed to because of the custody arrangement you have). It's the emotional aspect of life never being the same again, the realization that your kid will never move back home, the disappointment that those "fun" moments you didn't get to have will never happen.

Even as your DS went to his dad's house on weekends and for vacations, you knew he'd come back and that you were his "home." Once he goes off to college, that will not be true anymore.

And he's starting to loosen that emotional connection at this point as a teenager gaining independence. It's necessary for him and painful for you.
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Old July 27th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Re: need help dealing

argh .....


I think I'm getting empty nest in a big way


I always thought it was just missing your kid(s) - kind of like being home sick, but just for your kids
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Old July 27th, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Re: need help dealing

It's tough. I have moments of it too, and I know it'll get worse in a month when DD goes off to college.

All we can do is tell ourselves it's better for our kids for us to let go than it is for us to hang on.
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Old July 27th, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Re: need help dealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
All we can do is tell ourselves it's better for our kids for us to let go than it is for us to hang on.
And pretend you're newly weds on your honeymoon.
ETA: In all seriousness, if you find that the empty nest impacts your ability to get your work done, your sleep, other relationships, go to the doctor. Empty nest may be a trigger for a depressive episode. It's best if you get ahead of it.

Last edited by LucyVanPelt; July 27th, 2015 at 02:32 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:24 PM
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Re: need help dealing

update on this .... DS loves tanks ... tried to set up a trip to Tank museum on the east coast a few different summers .... he complained about how long the drive would be, etc....


Guess where he went with his dad ("the friend") this past summer?
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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:39 PM
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Re: need help dealing

Ugh. That must really hurt.

I think your DS is looking to bond with his father to teach him how to be a man. This was a painful stage for me, too, but the boys came back to me because they know that Mom is also necessary.

Your situation is a little more complicated because you aren't married to his dad anymore, but if you give DS the space now and support the man he's becoming, he'll come back. He knows that you are reliable and loyal.
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