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My divorce and its impact on our son: need advice

I am looking for some unbiased thoughts. My husband is doing everything possible to drive me crazy in the house while we are going through a divorce: yes we still live together. He has also been verbally and emotionally abusive for over the past year, in front of our son. I have not been responding to his verbal attacks because I didn't want to make matters worse by fighting in front of our son. But then I hear from my son "Mommy you are a bad mommy...because daddy always yells at you." Now I cant take it anymore and have been fighting back (verbally).

Last night when putting my son to bed, we were of course yelling and srcreaming. My husband believes he "has to" lay in my son's teeny twin bed and lull him to sleep every freaking night. That process takes about an hour. I think it's ridiculous. When I'm home alone with him I put him into bed, read one last book, say I'm stepping out to brush my teeth but will check on him in a few minutes, then when i'm back 5 minutes later my son is asleep. So...we were fighting about how he puts him to bed. About shutting off the light, leaving it know, simply ridiculous stuff. At which point my husband gets up and declares to my son "I'm leaving now...your mommy will put you to bed since she is so smart!" Then our son is in husband comes back screaming at me about how I dont know how to put a child to bed....blah blah. My son goes to sleep with this in his head.

he wakes up not wanting to be around me at all, only wanting his dad. i ask what's wrong. He says "Mommy you scare me." I asked, "Why?" he says, "Because you fight with my daddy." I feel like there is no winning here. He sat and watched TV with his dad this morning, skipped the breakfast I made for him, then got dressed and ready to go. Daddy then gives him 2 girl scout cookies for being "such a good boy this morning." My son is almost 4....and I feel like everything my husband is doing is NOT in the best interest of my son, it's just to drive me nuts. Any advice? I dont want my son growing up hating me, but cow-towing to his every whim is insanity. I think we are agreeing to split our time with him 60/40...with majority of time going to mom. I fear he is going to grow up hating me becuase of regular mom-kinds of things. Like having rules about eating at the table, or feeding him something good to get started for the day.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:37 AM on Jun. 15, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (14)
  • First step, one, or both of you, needs to move out. It sounds like this situation isn't good for anyone, and it's hurting your son the most.
    Then you can make your own rules, and kids are good at recognizing different rules at different places, and will even act different in each place.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 10:41 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • I know what you're going through must be very difficult. Make sure for your son's sake that you continue to be there for him, and try to talk to him about how he's feeling. It might also be beneficial to get him some counseling. It's unfair that your ex seems to be playing you up as the bad guy, but eventually your son will see through it. Hang in there :)

    Answer by tspillane at 10:42 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Honestly, as long as you stay there with your son there will be problems. Do you have somewhere you can stay with him until the divorce and custody are finalized?

    Answer by other_mother at 10:42 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • You need to get you and your son out of the same house as your ex and take him to a counselor. Your ex is using parental alienation and you need help.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 10:46 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Your husband is underminding you at this point. I went through similar things with one of my boys during our divorce. Hold your ground and IGNORE the verbal abuse by your husband. Do NOT give his words power. In fact just the opposite. Smile, laugh and ignore his attempts to get under your skin. Take your power back and just see it for what it is. He is an immature bully who is using his own son to hurt you. Stay logical. It will probably fuel him, but it needs to be done. Your son will love you and be fine. The problem is that your husband is trying to turn him against you. The only thing you can do is to change the way you deal with it. Why argue back? That is his attempt to control and right now he is winning. Act as if you don' t hear his bullying ways and words. Hold on and just keep loving your son. If your son sees you are OK then he will be OK. GL :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 10:51 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • At the beginning of my divorce my ex was doing the same thing. My son would come home from seeing his dad and tell me that I am a naughty mommy and he would misbehave because his dad said if he was bad he could come back to his house. I have set rules for things like bed time, nap time, lunch, dinner, snacks, and tv time. The first few months were hell until my son starting realizing that just because daddy said mommy was bad didnt mean she actually was bad. It has gotten better but it will still take some more time. I think the best thing you can do is to try to find somewhere else to stay or have your ex move out and just let your son know that you love him more than anything and that is why you have the rules that you do. The rules are there to make sure he is safe and happy and healthy. Just stay strong, it will all get better/easier with time.

    Answer by logansmommy711 at 10:53 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Your soon to be ex is using your son as a pawn because he is pissed at you and that is not right, it is not about what is right for the child, but about him vindicating that he thinks he is right and you are wrong. I think you really need to figure out what is best, if you must leave sooner than do so for you son, if you need counseling then seek it. It does not sound like a bad idea for mom and dad to partake in some counseling to help him adapt.

    Answer by 2boysnaprincess at 10:55 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • My honest assessment is that you and your husband are using your son to get at each other, and this should never be. It is evidenced by your use of "my" son. He belongs to both of you and it should always be "our" son: even if you go ahead with the divorce, it should always be "our" son. By using the mes and the mys, you are forcing your little boy to choose between you and his daddy. What is wrong with your having your way of putting him to bed and your husband having his way of putting him to bed? Why do you have to fight over whose way is better when the child goes to sleep either way? Herein lies a huge clue as to why there are problems in your marriage. Marriage is about learning to allow some indivduality and there still being "we", "our" and "us". You can marry a dozen times, but unless you learn that one valuable lesson, you will never have a successful marriage. It takes time, and it takes work. Your boy is losing!

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:58 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Your husband is setting you up just like he wants to. Stop arguing with him. He knows how to push your buttons and your giving in to him just like he wants you to...what difference does it make how he puts the child to sleep? As long as the child goes to sleep it, shouldn't make a difference, right? And with all the fighting going on in your house, your son does need extra attention and guess what, Dad is the one giving it to him, in your sons eyes...wake up! Marriage is about compromising..its not about which person is right....good luck...

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 11:06 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • It will all work itself out and the child will be fine.

    Answer by admckenzie at 11:22 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

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