Help – advice needed

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    Hi, I’ve not been on here very long.

    My ex husband has announced that he’s moving in with his girlfriend. We have shared parental responsibility to our 2 children, daughter 17 & son 12. Our daughter lives with me & our son shares his time between us.

    My ex has an arrogant attitude towards me & he feels that he doesn’t need to tell me or ask me anything

    Our son suffers from mental health issues & he’s had a really tough 6 months. He’s recently turned a corner which is a massive relief as it’s been so hard for us all.

    My son has told me that he doesn’t want to live at his dad’s girlfriends house. He doesn’t mind staying there occasionally, as he wants to spend time with his dad, but he doesn’t see it as his home. He sees my house & his dad’s house as his home’s. The girlfriends house has 2 bedrooms, so this would mean that my daughter wouldn’t have a bedroom if she wanted to stay with her dad. She also lives out of the area.

    My son has told his dad he doesn’t want to live there, but his dad won’t listen to him. I feel that my son isn’t a priority to his dad & he’s being so selfish. My son needs stability. He loves his dad & he wants to spend time with him, but he feels that he’s not being listened to. There’s also the issue of getting my son to school when they eventually go back.

    I’ve told my ex that I want a face to face meeting with him & the kids so that we can discuss this.

    Does anyone have any advice on what if anything I can do?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.




    #38897 Report



    I am in quite a similar situation in terms of the kids ages  – the main difference is that I have : 18, 16 and 14! Another similarity is that my son also had some (significant) mental health issues at this age – it was when he transitioned to High School.

    Similarly to you my children as they grow older do not always want to go to their dads. And just like you my ex is pretty arrogant. Since the day the first one got a phone he, rudely in my opinion,  cuts me out of communication and just tries to make arrangements with the kids directly.  His error, as is mine on too I’ll admit , is to ‘listen’ children with his mouth and not his ears.

    Anyway my view is this – a huge caveat is that you may need an external and more expert perspective than me to finally sort this out. I think that the kids are old enough to express their preferences and that you, me, and our Ex’s,  as the adults who have rocked their stability, for whatever reason, in the first place need to be the flexible ones. It’s great that your son is still keen to be in touch with dad but if he needs time to adjust to new living situation then so be it. Unpressurised time with dad on his terms to carry on sharing good times and having opportunities to talk can only contribute to this important father-son relationship growing stronger into the future. You have remained constant and hence will probably always be’home’. But that doesn’t preclude him and dad still having a great bond. The important thing for all of us is to keep the lines of communication and love open.

    A meeting  for you and your ex sounds like a great idea but even if this goes pear shaped (if your Ex is anything like mine!), time with your son and dad, however they arrange this is the important thing. It’s not longer a traditional family set up  and your children are now taking steps towards being young adult. Your Ex has no pre-determined right to expect traditional rules to apply anymore.

    Hope you are surviving lock down and lots of best wishes and luck with everything.

    Becky x

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