Son Doesn’t want to see his Father

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  • #50477 Report


    I’ve been going through a lengthy divorce and finally managed to move out of the family home with my 9 year old son recently.  My son’s father has about 35% custody, agreed through mediation.  However, recently my son has become increasingly distressed about going to his father’s and cries so much on the day he is due to go and stay with him.  He even vomited over himself recently where he literally couldn’t stop crying.  He has started to admit to me that his father has been telling him horrible things about me and that he has a real go at him if he doesn’t understand his schoolwork (my son really struggles academically).  He also told me yesterday that his father has recently told him that he’s going to try and get our son full-time so that he doesn’t need to be with his “bad” mother.

    My son and I have always been close.  Only until I finally made the choice to separate from his father did he suddenly start showing an interest in spending time with our son.  He has been emotionally and psychologically abusive to me throughout our marriage and I feel that he is now doing this to his own son.

    I feel heartbroken now every time my son goes to his father’s, knowing he’s so unhappy.  I feel like I’m failing my son and I don’t know how to deal with this situation.

    #50495 Report



    that sounds like a very difficult situation. If he is saying bad things about you then he is damaging his son. you could carry on and encourage your son to see dad. Have you tried contacting your ex about these issues?

    #50496 Report



    Sorry to hear of your situation. Hope you dont mind me being blunt but he sounds like a narcissist. Ive dealt with one for many years and still have to occasionally. Check out the symptons online and see if they apply to him. Always,always,always bear in mind that your son KNOWS what life is like with you and even at 9 years old is highly likely to spot lies and deceit from his father. It may hurt his Father if his son doesnt want to go visit him but thats life.  Your in no way failing your son !  Also he wont be able to get full time care of your son due to the childs interests being put first and he doesnt even want to visit his dad let alone live with him. I realise some fool somewhere has given him 35% custody but he doesnt even deserve that. Sorry to be harsh but as i say,if hes a narcissist you will need to be harsh too. For all your sakes.

    #50497 Report


    I am sure your son doesnt want to see father. Perhaps though he isnt enjoying it all the time due to you saying he is running you down and speaking negatively about yourself. I think things would improve if u were able to email your ex and agree that adult issues shouldnt be discussed with your 9 year old son and that both parents dont say nasty things about each other

    #50509 Report


    Thanks so much for your replies.  Unfortunately my ex will not communicate with me at all unless he really has to.  He is one angry man because I am the one that made the decision to leave the marriage.   He has threatened me in the past saying that if I left him he would go to court and try and get my son off me!  This is not a man that you can negotiate with or come to a middle ground  with.

    mstime – yes I’ve often thought my ex has narcissistic characteristics.  That is becoming more and more evident to me now.  I can’t tell him that my son gets upset about going to see him because he’s already had a go at my son about this, telling him that he must tell me he wants to see him and that he misses him.  I feel I have to protect my son. He is terrified of his father knowing that he doesn’t want to go there.

    I have always tried to be positive about my son going to see his father and even now still try and talk him round and get him to see the positive side of staying at his father’s but he just says there’s nothing good about it and he never wants to go back there again.

    So far I have still taken him to his father on the agreed days as I’m worried that I’m going to get into trouble if I don’t.  I end up spending the whole time he’s at his father’s feeling heartbroken and worrying about my son and wondering if I should have kept him with me.

    #50512 Report


    I’m in a very similar to position to you. My child completely refuses contact and is adamant my ex is scary and bad. Teachers have become involved. But the courts have ignored all this and said my child is fine with him. But my child still won’t go to contact. How do you force them?

    My ex can’t see any issue and continues to fight me in court.  He has no empathy and cannot see the harm he is causing.


    #53693 Report


    So sorry annieoh, just seen your post from last month! Not sure how I missed it.

    So sorry to hear you’re in a similar position. It’s so hard isn’t it? There doesn’t seem to be much help from the authorities on this type of thing I agree.  I can’t understand how the court can take that stance especially when the school have got involved. It’s shocking really.

    #53727 Report



    I have the same problem with our son’s mother. He just doesn’t want to stay at hers. She makes him feel very uncomfortable. Last weekend he was due to visit her but because they had a bad argument the week before, he just didn’t go. As he is 11 now, I can’t just force him so I gave my permission for him to stay. On Saturday afternoon his mother turned up and wanted him, but he stayed put. After long palaver and a lot of door banging she left. I managed to convince him to stay over at hers from Sunday to Monday. Her comment to him was, I will slowly burn you. I don’t think he will go back again.

    So we will find out how the system works very soon.

    #53918 Report


    I feel for you so much. This is an agonising situation. Do you engage with or see a third party in regards to any of these issues. For example,a counsellor. The reason I ask is that if this goes further and you feel that you want to stop your son being forced to stay at his dad’s until there’s a change in his behaviour,      ( which I sense you want to do) , then a third party may support you emotionall as well as with any legal implication.

    This is a very lonely, frightening experience for you and just talking to a professional, in my view and experience, has been life changing. If the ex knows a third party is aware of what’s going on you may find he suddenly improves his behaviour. This is what adults thrown to tantrums often do when they’re found out.

    You could also look into arranging mediation and put this to the ex.

    #53975 Report


    Sirtobi – that sounds awful.  No wonder your son doesn’t want to stay with his Mother!  Really hoping you get the result you want through Court.

    #53976 Report


    I think that’s a really good idea and, in fact I am currently trying to find a counsellor that will deal with children.  I’m really hoping this will help my son.  It is a horrible situation to be in.

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