My son started living with his father since the beginning of this year. He was failing in his classwork, becoming withdrawn into his technology (not socially, just gaming), lacking any motivation in any way, and he and I were beginning to fight constantly. I know he has always truly needed a male role model that has been lacking for him, and I hoped since his dad was trying to step up more that it would be a good move.
He also started therapy.
I’ve always felt I had a pretty good, open relationship with my kids. I allow them space, but also have high expectations.
Today we have a session with my son and his therapist so he can address his trust issues with us (my ex and I both). His issues with his dad started long before his dad left due to the divorce. His issue with me surrounds the most recent move to his dad’s place.
I truly did not want him to feel that I was trying to ‘get rid of him’ in any way. I honestly hoped that a tighter bond (if it was possible) with his dad may help him find some direction and purpose. I was feeling extraordinarily hopeful I suppose. His father is still who he is at his core. But I think I also felt that if it didn’t work, at least my son knew who his dad was and what he could expect from him without ever feeling like he ‘didn’t really have the chance to know’ his dad.
So here we are, four months in, and nothing has changed for the positive except that we’re not fighting constantly as we were because we don’t see each other as much. His motivation is still slack and his grades are worse than ever for an honors student. He’s a junior in high school now, during the year that counts the most when colleges look, and he’s showing his worst abilities.
I want him back with me. If he’s not going to do better, then I want him back. I miss him. I feel his absence. But I also realize that is about ME and not him.
I don’t know how to read what he wants. I want him to decide, without feeling like he’s ‘choosing sides’…or feel guilt over his decision. But I also want him to ‘want’ to come home. I don’t want him to not come home because I have disappointed him by ‘sending’ him in the first place.
I hate that I have helped to perpetuate a feeling in my son that he is somehow not wanted.
I don’t know how to fix this.
I’m not looking forward to sitting on a couch with my ex and a therapist discussing my son inbetween us.
Mainly because I think I blame my ex for breaking him to begin with…and now I’m supposed to work with him to help my son forgive what he did and move forward so my son can be healthy.