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Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 1
A Childs HeartPage 1 of 1    
I know this may not be the norm for this forum, and I apologize if I am breaking the forum rules, but it's still a broken heart(actually 2) no matter how you look at it.

My son is 7, and I have him every other week. Over the weekend, for a short time, he was a little distant from me. So I ask him what was on his mind. "Nothing, Daddy." Ok. a more direct approach: Are you sad about something? "Yes Daddy." "You and mommie are not in the same house" and he started crying. All I could do is listen to him and hold him tight. Now it has been 2 years since we were in the same house together, and his feelings are now coming to the surface. It is more than likely because his mom is seeing someone new and they have been introduced, But that's not the point here. My ex is the ex for a reason, I'm past it and do not want to go back, but he is not over it. The point is: My heart breaks, and it has me in tears when he is sad like this. At the end of my week with him, it's very much the same feeling on my part. I miss him so much when he is not around. We are so close, and I give 110% towards being the best father I can, but there are some things we just can't fix and it hurts. I sometimes feel like I failed him, that I let him down(even though it's 'we' that let him down). I hope he does not look at me that way in the future, but nevertheless, I feel that way now.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 2
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/3/2011 10:36:00 AM
Do you and your ex wife share parental custody 50/50?

I know when I split with my son's father
I immediately signed myself up for counseling,
As I am a FIRM believer in getting the help you need
before problems start.

I then found the name of a wonderful individual
Who dealt with children's behavioural problems.
As I figured my son would need someone to talk to
She worked wonders with him.
He was able to let out his feelings in a safe environment.
There was one time where she had both my husband at the time
and me come in, so that my son could ask us questions as to why.
She was there to mediate, and put him first and formost,
As this session was for him, and him only.

I would suggest this to you.
For your sons benefit.
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 3
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/3/2011 11:16:55 AM
Yes. We have a 50/50 arrangement.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 4
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/3/2011 11:24:52 AM
Then I really think the counselor idea will help you out.
He needs someone that he can talk to.
As he is only getting info from the both of you.
And he doesn't know what to make of it.

I commend you on doing the 50/50 split.
I've seen a lot of divorced couples who are making it work.
But the both of you have to be on the same page
with the same discipline
and the same rules
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 5
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/3/2011 11:43:10 AM
Thank you. 50/50 is the least I would accept.

I give him every opportunity to express his feelings, and try remain emotionless so it does not affect his willingness to talk, but I do not have the skills to help him open up like he needs to. I agree, a counselor could help him.

vvvvv: I do console him, and let him know it ok to feel that way. But If I were to get too emotional, he may think he is hurting my feelings and clam up, so I limit it. Thanks.
Joined: 11/11/2009
Msg: 6
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A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/3/2011 11:55:00 AM
I'm not going to disagree about taking him to a counselor, but I disagree that you should remain emotionless. Share his feelings with him. Tell him that you are sad too, and that it's ok to be sad. I think the instinct is to want to fix it, but emotions are normal and healthy. Help him learn that he can be sad and he'll still be ok.
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 7
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A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/4/2011 9:15:30 AM
Would you consider switching parenting time more often? Sometimes for little ones, 7 days between seeing one parent or another seems like forever. It can get hard on Mom and Dad too.
Perhaps 2-3 days on and off until he relaxes a bit?
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 8
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/4/2011 9:22:29 AM
I should have elaborated: the arrangement is 3-1-3 every week, for that very reason, starting on Monday's.
Joined: 5/12/2011
Msg: 9
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/4/2011 6:13:04 PM
You haven't failed anyone .

You're still his father. You still spend time with him. You still communicate with him.

You're just not living in the same house as his mother. This is not failing him.

On the bright side, he will grow up free of the delusion that marriage is forever.

You're still his dad. Once you stop being his dad, then you've failed.
Joined: 8/24/2010
Msg: 10
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/4/2011 7:17:04 PM
It's very common for this age to want mommy and daddy together.

You have not failed him by not staying in an unhappy relationship, better he grow up witnessing a happy healthy relationship, but most of all a happy you.
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 11
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/5/2011 6:48:54 AM
Thank you for the kind words.
Joined: 8/9/2011
Msg: 12
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/5/2011 8:30:34 AM
I think there's no need to put an age to emotions, or how one's feeling; if it hurts you to see him sad, you could share that feeling with your kid. I'm positive he'll understand that you care a lot about him, and you don't want him to feel blue about your divorce.
Most likely also, he'll end up understanding (with age) the reasons why it didn't work between his mom and you.
If there's anything to retain about this, is that kids also need to see their parents' feeling. Nobody's always in control of all emotions, sometimes we lose it, we're sad, and children will feel compassion towards us, just the way we do with them :)
Joined: 5/16/2011
Msg: 13
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/6/2011 5:24:51 PM
I have to say that I agree with all the thoughts expressed here.I've personally known people who have "stuck together because of the kids", and NOBODY was least.not really, anyway.I always tell people you do what's right for you in every given moment.......but there's no way,no crystal ball to gaze into..... to see if that's the right choice for the next moment. Even a blind man can see how very much you love your son .........he reciprocates the same amount of love right back to you. Don't feel bad.......the only thing that backfired was that two people who loved eachother fell out of love......that's all. It's nobody's one's to blame. It happens. You did NOT fail him. I know it hurts you to see him cry,but know that having YOU as his Dad gives him all the strength he needs . You sound pretty terrific to me. Don't sell yourself short.Talking to a couselor sounds like a wise may help you view things in a different light,maybe even a softer hue. Let your son talk to you when he feels he needs to........but,don't forget, it's okay to express your feelings,too. By doing so,you'll teach him compassion for others. Keep your chin sounds like you're on the right track with your son. You know him best. Just stick to your guns,know that it's okay to set limits when need be....and do what you've been doing since the beginning.... what you've wonderfully done all along. Love him. Show him HE's the best thing that's happened to you! Good luck.hun!
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 14
A Childs Heart
Posted: 10/7/2011 10:45:30 AM
~OP~ It's tough for sure. And yes, more than one heart is broken when these types of conversations happen. When I left my son's sperm donor, my son was a teeny/tiny infant. Fast forward to pre-school years and the question was this, "Why doesn't my Daddy pick me up? Where is he?" After conversing with my parents, who were the other "primaries" in my son's life at that point in time, we determined that the best answer was simply, "He's at his house." That seemed to answer his questions, for a little while. Then as he aged, it became abundantly clear that the only answer was the honest one. No gruesome details, just a simple, "He lives at his house and we live here. Would you like to know more about him?" Of course, we didn't have a shared situation, in fact, we spent a good deal of time making certain we didn't cross paths (as he was NOT someone you'd like your child/ren to know.) It took 17 years before he wanted to "know more" and when he did, we did just that. My husband and I called the donor, we made arrangements for our son to meet his bio-father (that had signed off rights when our son was 8.) It took a year or two, but that meeting did not produce a loving-missing-parent that I think my son had hoped to meet. Add to my son's broken heart, mine and his adoptive father's and you had a slew of broken hearts to deal with. We got through it, and thankfully, fairly well adjusted when it came to facts vs. the donor just living elsewhere. I don't think there is ever a good time for the heart-break a child feels when they realize something is just "different" or "off" compared to their peers who are in homes with both bio-logical parents. BUT? My son was raised by me and a father-by-choice and a very loving group of extended family members. Although there will always be pain associated with split families, there are ways to ease the ache that our children feel. You did the exact right thing. Hold him, let him know he's treasured and validate his pain by being there for him. That's just about as good as it gets when we talk parenting. Hopefully as he sees you both moving on, he'll understand there are more than just two parents who love him ~ he'll be blessed with enough love to take that ache away. Good luck to you All.
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