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KimJ
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12 Aug 2008, 8:56 am

AFter so many years, I never thought he'd be like this. never Even last month when he broke up with me then, he wasn't like this. I just don't know what changed.

The "look it up" argument for him is actually a trap because he thinks psychologists are stupid and if you use any trade terms with him, he'll get angry and shut off. Unless there is a different source than psychology.

I pretty much email him all of Pop's activities and behavior. He doesn't do the same but he will report if Pop has some kind of change. I don't like it. He also downplays Pop's actions and events like this weekend. First he told me he'd introduce Pop because "she'd be around". That turned into 2 meetings. The second one was "going out for pizza" which turned into a whole evening affair at this woman's house, swimming, playing video games with the daughter and staying late.



Tortuga
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13 Aug 2008, 11:08 am

I would let go of the husband and stay out of his parenting style. I would also stop emailing him and having phone conversations with him. You can't control what he does during his visitation time. If he asks you for advice, that's one thing. But, I would not give unsolicited suggestions.

You don't agree with how he's handling the girlfriend. What you think is best for Pop might be worlds different from how the dad views it...but, unless dad is an abusive father, you can't dictate what goes on during visitation times.

It is horribly painful. Your soon-to-be-ex sounds fairly reasonable to me though and you should take comfort in that. My ex is a big jerk-o-lah. He actually will do the opposite of anything that I'm doing, so I only talk to him in the bare minimum. It's better that way. Our son has learned it's one way at dad's house and another way at mom's house.



kitty-kat
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13 Aug 2008, 3:16 pm

I'm going to post from a different perspective - I'm a stepmom to an autistic child and have many years of watching my husband and his ex fight and I've seen how hard it can be on my stepson.

First off, your ex should not have introduced the new girlfriend so early, that shouldn't come until much later. (I don't think I met my stepson until about 7 or 8 months into our relationship). My guess is your soon-to-be ex did it primarily to piss you off and to prove that you can't control his parenting time. Bad on him.

Second, (and I know this is hard), you're just going to have to realize that what happens on his parenting time is not in your control. You guys might have agreed to things in the past, but now you're two separate homes. I know it will be hard but the sooner both homes can establish routines the better it is for Pop. The rules at our house are very different than the rules at my stepson's mom's house and he does just fine when he goes back and forth. My husband and I totally disagree with the other parent's style of parenting but we know we can't control it so we just have to let it go.

Someone else suggested a communication book going back and forth - that's a great idea. Another thing you can do is set up a website to do the same thing.

Even though you want to wait until your finances are in better control you really need to think about filing for divorce now. It's not just a divorce, this will also have your parenting plan which will dictate your sons schedule - as soon as you can get something written in stone you can get Pop a calendar and write down his schedule so he will be able to feel like he has more control. He'll also see the patterns and it will make visitation easier. There are a ton of websites that can help you out on this and most counties/states have general guidelines online you can look at for free to give you an idea of what the standard is where you live. If you and your ex are still on decent terms then you guys might be able to write the paperwork up and just pay a filing fee at the courthouse and avoid all of the drama.

Unless things are hunky-dory between all parties I wouldn't insist on meeting the new girlfriend. If you insist then your ex and the girlfriend are probably going to pull back even more and it's going to cause a lot of problems for everyone and Pop will sense this and that will make him feel even worse.

I missed how old your son was (sorry) but if he's still in grade school I would recommend getting the Amber Brown books - her parents are divorced and she talks a lot about it. It's opened up a lot of dialog between my stepson and husband. They read them out loud together at night. We also really liked Ginny Morris: Mom's House, Dad's House.

I know this probably isn't the advice you wanted but I've been actively involved in my stepsons life for about 4 years now (IEP appointments, evaluations, medications, special diets, etc) and I've seen how the conflict between his parents effects him. There are times when the parents get so wrapped up in one another they forget that there's a child watching and hearing all of it.

One last thing: You're Pop's mom. NO ONE will ever take that away from you. My stepson loves me and I love him. But I'm his stepmom, not his mom and we've never, EVER tried to tell him otherwise. A good girlfriend or stepmom will respect who you are to Pop regardless of how she feels about it.



KimJ
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13 Aug 2008, 7:47 pm

Part of me is still in denial about the pending divorce. I mean, we were reconciling and then he had a girlfriend. It's only been a few weeks and I'm in a real state of shock.
I still have his stuff in my place, despite asking him to take it out over the past few months.

There are plenty of things that I let slide on his watch. My current issue has to do with the sudden change of mind concerning this woman, including introducing our son to her. This is something I believed we both agreed on because that's what he told me-even when we were "two separate homes".

I email him about Pop if he doesn't see him or talk to him that day. He asks for a report and I'm just in the habit of doing it. I know he feels badly about not living with him and misses him. I do it so he can feel a part of his life that much more. For instance, he missed my email about the first day of school and so called me and we chatted for a while.

I appreciate the points of view and will consider them.



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13 Aug 2008, 10:09 pm

If you were the one with someone else already, wouldn't you just be thrilled if your ex (current, but really ex) told your son..."well, we're not together because your mom found someone else..."...I very highly doubt it. Therefore, adult issues are exactly that, adult issues. At 8, he can probably figure things out and any questions he has about who this other person is should be directed at his dad, not at you...ie. if he asks you, tell him she's a friend of his dad and that he can ask dad more about it...simple.

No child likes change, much less kids on the spectrum, but unfortunately many times things don't work out for whatever reason...it is not up to either of the parents to tell the child, especially at this young age, what happened between them to cause the split. Your only concern is to ensure that your son understands that he will see both you and his daddy as much as he wants, that you will not interfere with their relationship, just as his dad won't interfere with your relationship with your son...and that you both love him.

It's as simple as that.

Now, whether you like it or not, this other woman is already a part of your ex's life...therefore, I suggest you have a heart to heart with her "not related to your relationship with your husband and her role in that", but as someone who WILL, whether you like it or not, play a part in your child's life...therefore, explain to her what you believe in, how you want your child raised and that you will not tolerate him disrespecting ANY adult, including her. The best way to ensure that she cares for him is to ensure that you do not bad mouth either her or his father...

The breakup was a choice between you and your husband...as they say, it takes two to tango...therefore, no blame game should go on and as much communication between all of you as possible to make this easier on your child...

I know divorce is hard, don't get me wrong, but you now need to think of him and I think you are doing that by asking here...



KimJ
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13 Aug 2008, 11:31 pm

Hi, I know you mean well but you've misunderstood something here.
I'm not the person who brought up the new girlfriend with my son. My ex did. He dated her about a week and decided to inform Pop that he had a new girlfriend that would "be around". I requested that he wait a while and he refused. We have agreed to ask Pop how he feels about this and if he is comfortable going to visit this woman. If Pop is unduly upset by the turn of the events, Ex has agreed to hold off on including him with his girlfriend.

Personally, I think a week is really soon for me to be discussing parenting with this woman. I'm sure Ex has been discussing our son for a while but that doesn't negate the fact that they just started dating.

Just to make it clear. I never blamed this woman for breaking up our marriage, to our son at least. In fact, I made sure that he doesn't get that vibe from me. I wanted time to absorb this information before Pop knew about her so that I don't even accidentally give that impression. Really, the connection she has to our break up is Ex's fault. He made the choice to switch partners in a week and include our son in that information.
As for how I'd feel in my husband's shoes, I feel really strongly about not introducing new girlfriends/boyfriends/dates and I believe that wouldn't even be possible.

And we're not even going into my personal hurt about the whole thing. Like my son talking about her, wanting to know why I can't go to her house (omg) and how dad doesn't love me anymore. Or my suspicions about her based on nasty things Ex said before.
It's just a mess and I can't do anything about it but pretend it's all good.



Nan
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14 Aug 2008, 2:17 pm

KimJ wrote:
As I announced a few months ago, my husband and I separated. We attempted to reconcile (I thought) but apparently he was just doing it because this woman he liked was unavailable and he was angry that he was "losing his son". That's the past 3 months in a nutshell. Two weeks ago, he broke up for one last time and I asked him if there was "someone else" and he denied it.
Suddenly today, he announces he's been seeing that woman and wanted to introduce our son to her. I got mad and we debated a variety of stuff and I didn't think to stay on topic. Upon thinking about it, I asked him later in email if he'd hold off on introducing her so soon. He replied that he had already told Pop about her. I guess that means he told him that he was dating someone and he'd get to meet her this weekend.

So, my question is. Any parents of autistic/Aspie kids go through this? I wouldn't do this with an NT kid because of attachment issues but do ASD kids have the same thing? I'm completely new to this whole thing and I'm an unwilling participant. I'm kind of freaking out because he's in such a rush to introduce this whole thing to our son. He's only 8 and still hasn't grasped the idea that Mom and Dad are separated. We were "seeing" each other throughout the separation. He got the impression that it was temporary.

Please help.


YIKES! Change is Bad used to be my mantra, and my kid's as well (we're both Aspie). Incremental change was always better.

Your son is in for a rough road here. I'm not sure that your soon to be ex's moves are going to be helpful. But exes tend to do unhelpful things, sometimes. All you can do is damage control at this point. You're his mom, you'll always be his mom, sometimes grownups do things that they do without thinking about how others feel, etc., etc., etc.

You won't be able to control your ex, or what happens in the time your son is with your ex, not without a court order and probably not even with one. All you can do is make your time with your son the best you can make it.

Ick and good luck!



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15 Aug 2008, 11:33 pm

I'm an aspie, the verdict is still out on my son...but I've went through a very similar situation.

My ex was (unknown to me) taking my son on outings for some time with the new girlfriend and her 2 kids before I even had a clue as to what was going on.

Honestly he adjusted alot better than I did...although the anger over his dad leaving was pretty intense for awhile, and most of it was vented at me. "It's your fault he's gone...you did this, you told him to leave."

Then he would come home from his dad's and tell me how much dad "hated" me and how much he liked dad's new girlfriend, how much dad loved her (more than you, mom), and then he would ask why I couldn't come with him one weekend and spend the night. :lol:

I tried talking to his father about things concerning our son countless times...I don't anymore, simply because I am always "wrong" and he is always "right", everything becomes an issue, he gets angry at me and my son usually ends up having a crappy weekend as a result. Unless of course he is on the outs with the girlfriend then he's a totally different person towards me. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. He has become someone I don't know...and I'm still coming to terms with the fact 2 years later that I probably never did know him in the first place. I make copies of my sons report cards, give him drawings and class pictures, let him know if he's sick and help my son pick out a present and cards for him on the holidays. There's not much comunication, and actually for us, it's working better that way.

I know it's hard, and I just want to say it does get better, but it's a dreadfully slow process some days. I think for that first year I just wished I could crawl up into corner somewhere and vanish. I felt like I was walking around with a knife sticking out of my back...and every now and then someone would give it a twist.

He'll cope, probably most days better than you will. I've just tried to be as honest with my son as I can, and not to talk negatively about his dad, and let him know I'm always there.

Keep your head up.

{{Hugs}}


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KimJ
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16 Aug 2008, 2:59 am

thanks so much. such an awful story.

I'm still hoping for the best.



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16 Aug 2008, 10:24 am

Lousy story, but it has a good ending.

I'll second what Nan said though...

Quote:
You won't be able to control your ex, or what happens in the time your son is with your ex, not without a court order and probably not even with one. All you can do is make your time with your son the best you can make it.


In fact, anything I had "thought" we had both agreed on my ex seemed to turn around and do the exact opposite. :roll:

I don't blame the girlfriend, in fact, some days I actually feel sorry for her because I know how he is...he was a grown man, and he made his choice.

His girlfriend has been a positive influence in my son's life and he likes her and her two girls quite a bit. I deal with her most of the time when picking up or dropping off my son, it's been easier. My ex is NT and unfortunately his hatred of how I am, why I am, seems to run pretty deep somedays. He was an occasional binge drinker on the weekends and has now been sober for over a year now, another plus, because he wasn't exactly rainbows and buttercups when he wasn't.

My son and I have more quality time together now, and I'm not stressed out and upset 95% of the time anymore. I spent far too much time (wasted time) wondering were my ex was, who he was with, or what mood he was going to be in today, when I could have been enjoying spending more good times with my son.

There are still issues that crop up once in awhile, but the good far outweighs the bad now...and that's how it should be. :D


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poohter
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20 Aug 2008, 3:02 am

I spent the first 11 or so years of my life with my mother, with no father figure in the house. As an aspie, I turned away from other children for the most part, but at the same time, i was a sponge for information, like most aspies. This made me overwhelmingly like my mother in the long run which makes me slightly effeminate as a 15 year old boy. It sucks, so f**k broken homes. f**k indecisive spouses. My advice: Think it over before you f**k up your spawn.



ster
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20 Aug 2008, 6:57 am

oh my, poohter...sounds like you had it rough.....but don't blame the victim here....kimj attempted reconciliation.
you can't force someone to stay with you. it just makes things worse. my hubby's parents stayed together for a long time before seperating- honestly, they should've seperated years before they did.....it all came to a head when hubby's dad came after mom with a frying pan trying to hit her. and , oh yeah, racked up all the credit card bills after mom had just finished paying them off.....