SS playing hardball

nikemamaMay 11, 2009

Well last weekend SS didn't want to come on his EOW. He said then that maybe he would come this past weekend instead. I didn't like the idea but I am sure I would have gone along for my DH to have been happy.

Not only did he not come he didn't call or return any of DH calls or Texts since Thursday til Sunday night. He said that he only had one bar on his phone and no pockets, he spent the night with his friend so he didn't want to take his charger. BULL!! These kids are city kids and live and breath their cell phones. They have to have the coolest newest thing on the market they show them off like a big diamond ring. I don't believe for 2 seconds he left his phone home.

DH and I got new phones and carried the old one all weekend just in case SS didn't have the new number. I would hate to guess how many times DH tried to call him. These two talk at least once a day most day more. Then SS wanted to know if DH had bought a Mothers Day gift for him to give his mother ie. The Ex-wife.

I feel like SS is punishing DH for staying with me after he decided he didn't like me. He told DH he wanted it to be just them and no other non-blood family. It will be a year in June since we married. The closer DH and I and my kids get closer the more SS pours the salt. I wish I knew what to do for DH to help.

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I don't remember how old your SS is, sorry, But since he has a cell phone and hangs with friends I am going to assume he is a teen. Has you dh sat down and had a man to man talk with him about the whole situation?
He sounds really immature if he really said that he just wants it to be him and his dad and no other non blood family.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 1:43PM
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I don't think he sounds immature. He's a kid, even if a teen. I can understand how child, even teen, resents that Dad now spends more time with SM's kids than he does with him.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 3:52PM
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SS is 13, he will be 14 in Aug. He said all that back when he was living with us and started talking about wanting to move home. Now he is slowly backing out of visits and this weekend cutting off phone calls.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:08PM
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kkny read nikemama's post. SS refuses to come over, not the other way around. He cancelled last weekend, then didn't come this weekend and didn't even call back. And it is not the first time. DH pretty much is forced to spend more time with stepkids since biokid refuses to come over.

And saying that I want just us and no nonblood family is not only immature, it is rude. Cannot imagine DD saying it to neither me nor her father. And no normal person is going to divorce their spouses because their kid doesn't want non blood people around. Yes it is very immature. DD wouldn't say at 4 (that's when we got divorced), let alone at 13.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:16PM
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It seems like there's a whole lot more to the story than what's been said here.

SS used to live with dad and was talking about moving 'home'? If he was living with his dad, then dad's house is home... or am I missing something? What were the issues when he was living with dad? If he was talking about moving back to his mom's before it happened, then this has been brewing for a while. In my opinion, from what's been told, there's a big problem with SS and his dad's relationship which is probably lack of communication or some sort of disconnect where SS probably feels like his dad doesn't care much... maybe dad works too much, spends time on other things and hasn't taken the time to get to know his son... or isn't good with maintaining a relationship on an emotional level (lots of guys have intimacy problems) and the son sees dad having an emotional relationship with nikemama... could cause jealousy/resentment.

Also, I believe dad moved further away to be with nikemama... maybe he sees dad is less committed to being 'dad' than he is to being with nikemama.

There's a lot more going on that probably needs professional help. nikemama can't fix the problems between father & son. Dad needs to fix this one. SS is throwing out all kinds of signals, red flags, to let dad know there is a problem. If dad sticks his head in the sand, SS will eventually cut off all contact. It's a mistake for nikemama to take SS's comments and actions personally, even though it may seem they ARE personal, he'd be doing that with anyone his dad is with. (Unless nikemama has given SS reasons to feel the way he does, which I don't think is the case but only nikemama knows what SHE has done to make SS feel welcome or not)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:51PM
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At 13 I think this child knows what he is doing.

Moving from one home to the other...the whole "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome.

Now he wants sm out of the picture so he can have daddy all to himself?? Normal feelings for a younger child...but not a 13 year old.

And he is emotionally blackmailing his father at this point.

I feel sorry for your dh that he has to deal with this. Maybe time for a big boy talk where he tells his son how much he loves him, but that he is not getting rid of his wife because he loves her too. And that he is not "choosing" one over the other because it is perfectly reasonable to have both.

Has his mother remarried?? If so that should also be brought into light that he has a nonblood relative living with him! LOL

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 6:08PM
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I did read all the posts, FD, and while SS might have been rude -- I dont think necessarily immature. I would suggest he and DAd get some counseling. Some people are more sensitive to problems than others. SS may see a SM who cares about her kids, and he is left in the cold. In any event, calling him immature isnt likely to help anthing. IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:02PM
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There is nothing YOU can do about it. Its your DH who has to put his foot down. STop calling 5-7 times a day out of desperation for his kid. What he needs to do is what my DH did. He walked away and ignores them when they behave like this. For a week or so. He does this when they are unreasonable. You ss has to learn that dad is remarried, his parents will not get back together, that you are his wife and you are not going anywhere. That he loves you both and he wants you both. THat he may not like youbut has to respect you and nto use you as a weapon against his father. HIs father has to learn to stand his ground. Give a hard dose lesson to his son and say accept it. This is reality. I know you feel jipped, i know you are angry but i am married and i love you both and i'm not changing my mind.
My dh did this with his daughter. I even spoke with her at one point and told her i'm not your mother, i will not replace your mother but if you don't like me, that fine as well. coem see your dad and be with him like you are eow, but i'm not going anywhere and the only thing i ask is you treat me iwth respect. If you have nothing nice to say to me, say nothign at all. If you disrespect me, i'll shovel it back, dont care who you are, Dont care if you father gets upset over it. We can be civil or not. Its up to you.
So. We are civil. In fact over the last few months she has proven to me she does honestly like me. She is angry at both her parents and at times just takes it out and uses me as a weapon for her father. Its the only thing she can use in the last few weeks i've really stepped back and just let go. Even last weekend was very respectable to me, but snotty to my husband. I dont like it for him but i have ot admit, he does deserve some of it. And she needs to vent. SHe's human.
So, you ss is angry. Let him vent. Let him steam. It may takes years. but dont fret over it. Its your DH that has to talk to him, i knw its gonna be like a broken record but he alone has to stand and set the lines and be strong about it.
I'm not saying it wont hurt your dh. It will. ITs bad enough he gets to see them eow. THey feel guilty ALL the time.So the last thing they want is confrontation. BUt they need to stand up to the plate and the best thing for you do to for your husband is to be there for him.COnsole him through his pain and reassure him that his son does love him and that he is angry and its normal. But that he has to stand his ground and this also means he has to stop standing by the phone like a love sick puppy. Let a week go by. Casual phone call and let ss come to him for once. Dont chase him. Keep in touch , reassure the love but he needs to know he cannot pull strings like this.,
p.s. The mother's day card is not for your dh to do. SS was with his mother that day? Yoru dh should say did you do a card for your mother? He has not sunk in that his parents wont get back together.

When did they divorce? you have been married for one year. How long did you date yoru dh? How old was ss when they divorced? Has your dh had the talk with him that mommy and me will not get back together?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:35AM
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Is your kids father active in their lives? Do they spend EOW with him?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:53AM
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I do think that Dad and his son need to get some counseling together.

Sorry this is going on, nikemama! (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:40AM
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My boys dad is active with my boys, they go EOW but my oldest does not go most times. That has to do with my ex's mental health and the abuse that my oldest witnessed and was sometimes part of. He is better with the two little ones. I am pretty sure that will change as they get older. My Ex calls all three boys from time to time. Oldest did go this past weekend because he had got his permit and BD promised to take him driving. Even when he is home he is hardly around. He has friends and a girlfriend he would rather be with then us. So when we do things he never wants to go with us.

My oldest is close with me and likes his SD but the two little boys are the ones who have really taken to my DH the most. My youngest is almost 8 will sit on the couch on top of DH shoulders saying he has the best seat in the house. DH is a very loving person and spends tons of energy fussing over everyone all the way down to our dogs.

I have been very nice about things with SS. When SS lived with us I tried very hard to make things as even as I could. My kids were a little put off because they felt like I was better to SS then them sometimes but that was just the adjustment and making sure that he had what he needed to feel at home, they understood. DH took more time then any one person ever could and then more with his kids even before. He isn't the kind of dad who the kids come to see and they spend the weekend watching him sleep in a lazyboy. We are out fishing and going to bike parks or walking our dogs going to the mall it is always something.

I agree about counseling, Me and the boys do but DH and his children turn up their nose at doing anything like that. I am all for it. Even more so with the strong history of mental illness on my Ex's side of the family. To bad people don't come with warning lables or ingredence or something.

I do think what SS is doing is emotional blackmail. I don't think he is imature, I feel like he knows exactly what he is doing. He is punishing DH for not doing what he told him to do (divorce me).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:56PM
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I think family counseling is a good idea -- I suspect SS may feel he has to share his dad with you and your sons. You talk about "We" do this or that. Even though he may be seeing his mom, he may say to himself, my dad spends more time with her kids.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 7:43PM
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Me and mine are getting counseling. The kids do their own and then we do family. DH and his do not and are firm in not wanting too even turning their nose up because we do. That is fine with me because at the end of the day I know I did all I can to make my sons the best that they can be. I can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do but if they see the boys are doing well then maybe they will soften to the idea.

DH does spend more time with my boys because they live with us and SS skips his weekends. SS and SD have spent a whole one night with us in 6 weeks. SS wanted so bad to live with us and then he came for the 5 months or so that he did and then returned to his mothers(the only house he had ever lived in). SS lives with Mom and her boyfriend and his sister. When he was with us he had tons of alone time with his dad but he wanted to move back. I think he expected the whole week to look like the weekends. We don't go fishing or to the mall after work. We come home cook dinner do homework clean up a load of laundry watch a little TV or get in an hour or so in the gym if we have time and hit the sack like everyone else. At least that is what I am doing. DH and SS would hit the gym and I stayed out, played Madden FB, did his HW, and DH would sit with him alone in his room and "tuck him in" for about 20 minutes every night. DH would go in and wake him good bye in the morning before he would leave and I got all the boys ready for school.

I have never been bad to SS, I was a step child too and I know what it feels like to not belong with your own dad. I had siblings that lived with my dad I had no connection to. I have been very in tune to the way my actions and my boys actions and words sound to my steps.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:42AM
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Nikemama, with all due respect I think that using the term "emotional blackmail" is a bit much to describe the predictable behavior of a 13 year old kid in a blended family situation wherein his Dad moved away from where he lives along with his gaggle of new stepchildren. It's also not likely going to be a very productive way of viewing this situation. I ask you, what good do you really expect will come from you adopting that perspective on it?

I do see where it can FEEL that way to you, and I think you're correct that he probably has enough awareness to see that by withdrawing himself or refusing visitation he can express his displeasure. But the key point here is that at his age it's likely he can't even fully understand or articulate WHAT that displeasure actually is. I know I sure couldn't at 13 or even 18, and I am a female (we tend to have more insight into our emotions) and a psychologically aware one at that (have always been very interested in the subject). If *I* did not have the insight and guts to be vulnerable to openly say---even to myself--- "I am hurt and angry that my Daddy went away and has a new family", I doubt this 13 year old boy could fully express or comprehend that. But it's true, nonetheless. Boys are taught that they have to be tough... there's not a lot of open acceptance of a boy older than a certain age "needing his Daddy", but it doesn't mean they don't. Then you add in a situation where the kid knows he has zero control over his Dad's choices to move away, etc. and he responds with the only way he knows how to have any control: over himself and his own reactions, and he also learns that he can't count on anyone to stick around so he better keep himself at a distance so that the sting of abandonment is less. But this is automatic, it's not fully conscious. This is because full consciousness of just how powerless he is over the changes happening around him ---which, by the way, have created very real geographical distance themselves--- and the perceived loss of a previously close connection is just too painful. Humans learn to adapt and to be self-protective as a way of getting on in an unpredictable and sometimes cruel world. And sometimes they over-learn self-defense and need to be shown alternatives. This is not rocket science and you also don't need to be Dr. Phil to understand this. (Though it does help if you're Pavlov.)

As others have said ---including me--- it is wrong and unhealthy for SS to deal with his feelings by refusing visitation. And even more wrong for that refusal to be allowed by his parents and/or step-parents. I do believe that under a certain age the visitation should be more or less "forced" unless there are genuine reasons the kid should be kept away from the parent, which there aren't in your case. I believe this ultimately helps not only the kid but the parent and other blended family members to have a "stick to it" commitment to working thru problems, talking thru emotions, instead of just running from them. If the parents run from the problems and keep their distance, they are essentially training the kid to do the same, it's kind of a catch 22. So by my refusal to call your SS an "emotional blackmailer" I am in no way condoning the current status quo. Things MUST change, for sure. But everyone ---including and ESPECIALLY SS--- needs to learn how to understand what feelings are going on beneath the superficial surface of his outward behaviors. I can practically guarantee you that as soon as SS is told that it is genuinely okay for him to express his feelings and as soon as he learns a more creative/constructive way of doing so and the first time he does so without being censured or judged for it, his rough edges will start to soften and he will eventually come around and want more to do with the family. It won't happen overnight, but with enough consistency and positive encouragement, it will happen.

People innately want to connect with others, especially family. Teens do go thru some years where they explore their own lives and friends and distance themselves from family because they also need to learn independence, but overall, people naturally want to have good close relationships. Nobody starts out wanting to distance themselves, it is a learned behavior that develops in response to a perception that they will not get their needs met or feelings understood any other way. If circumstances can be such that SS sees he doesn't have to withdraw to express himself, and that he is loved and welcomed unconditionally, there won't be any need for him to play "keep away". It's perfectly valid for you to explain to him that his distancing behavior HURTS others, and that it COMES OFF as emotional blackmail, and that this is the danger he will run into all his life with people if he keeps up that behavior and it will hurt HIMSELF most of all. But as a parental figure in this situation you just have to have more insight than that if you're really going to help him unlearn that behavior. Otherwise you're not helping, you're just judging (and rejecting and thus reinforcing the distancing behaviors) because it takes genuine empathy to provide genuine help.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:03AM
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