Is My Job Now Done?

Jean Marie - posted on 08/20/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have 2 adult sons. My older son is 33 and lives in Arizona. My younger son is 30 and lives in Milwaukee, Wi. I live in north eastern Wisconsin. It was important to me that my sons grow to be well adjusted and independent adults. I don't hear from either of them very often and I see them even less as they seldom come home and when they do I still don't get to see them much because their father and I are divorces and married other people. Their father wasn't around much when they were growing up because he worked away from home, and when he was around he always had other places to be, and other people to be with, and when he did manage to be home, it became a war zone. He spent most of the time criticizing, Loudly, In short, he was in no danger of ever winning any father-of-the-year awards. 90% of the time I was raising them by myself. Parent/Teacher conferences, school and athletic events and practices, home work, meetings with teachers when there was problems, doctors appointments, dentists, orthodontists, surgeries, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, yard work all done by me, while I was working full time and going to college. their dad got the house we built together and paid me off, but I got 1/4 of what the house was worth because he said, that I didn't put as much into as he did. Now that our sons are grown and live their own lives, now their father wants ALL their time. He plans all kinds of activities; cook outs, boating, visiting his relatives, parties, and expects them to be there for all of it. He does not consider my having equal time with our sons of any importance. The boys do what he wants because now that he is giving them the attention they didn't get growing up they don't want to risk losing it again. If I say anything, then I am "putting a guilt trip on them" and they don't feel like coming around at all. Is anyone else familiar with this heartbreak? I feel like I'm no more important to them than any other extended family member. Like the main reason to be home is to see their dad, and they "stop by" to see me in between their family activities. Their dad gets a feast and he throws me the scraps. If there are other moms out there like me, I would like very much to hear your thoughts.

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Dove - posted on 08/25/2015

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They are adults... it is up to them to decide who to spend time w/ and when.

I am sorry that it hurts you, but it actually makes a LOT more sense for you to plan w/ your sons to go and see them where they live when you want one on one time w/ them.

Candie - posted on 08/25/2015

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I'm sorry, I truly understand your feelings. I do think that you visiting them is a great idea! They will always remember those special times. Praying for you and your family. *Hugs*

Jean Marie - posted on 08/21/2015

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Hi Candie,
Maybe didn't express myself correctly when I wrote my post. It was late so I was tired and not in the greatest mood anyway. I really have no problem with my sons spending time with their dad. I want him to do things with them, and I'm so glad that he is finally giving his sons the attention that they were deprived of as children. It's not his parties, cook-outs or exciting friends that bothers me. What is upsetting to me is that when my sons come home I feel that we should share EQUAL time with them. They should be able to spend half their time with me and half their time with their dad. That is not what is happening. I get 3 days out of 8 and their dad gets the rest of the time. Especially with my older son, who lives 2000 miles away and only comes home about 2 weeks out of the year. My former husband is very manipulative and without ever talking to me, makes sure that he tells our son to plan his visits home around activities and events that he has planned. He also makes sure that he has alot of things planned before I even know our son is planning a trip home so even if I want to plan an activity or 2 for us to do, it has to happen on days when something isn't already planned with his dad. You see, the problem is that my former husband does this deliberately so that our son spends more time with him than with me. My son always stays with his dad because he has the house and that house is the boys home where they grew up. It's a beautiful, new, large house. My husband and I live in a tiny log home with 4 basic rooms. We do have an extra bedroom but my sons prefer to stay in the house where they grew up. They are grown men and make their own decisions. They could decide to spend equal time with us both, but their father is an over-bearing personality, he is very demanding and they finally have his attention and they aren't going to risk losing it. So, I've decided that I will no longer press for equal time. I can't change the situation. It is what it is, so when I want to see my son, I will go to Arizona to see him, so I don't have to deal with the competition. When my son comes home, he knows I love him and he knows where I am if he wants to see me. It will still hurt when they spend most of their time with their dad, but at least I can focus on a positive way to see my sons and not just focus on feeling pushed aside. Thank you for your feed back. I appreciate it. Jeanie

Candie - posted on 08/21/2015

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I know it's hard to see them having fun with their dad when he was never around, but he is their dad. My DH grew up with a mostly-absent dad; now he craves that relationship. It's human nature; we all want to know where we came from, and that means having a relationship with someone who wasn't always there.

Rather than comparing yourself to their father, have you planned activities and invited your sons? Can you try to make your own plans with them? Maybe focus on yourself with your sons versus concentrating on what they do with their father? You want them to enjoy being with you. What they do with their father is probably best not to discuss or even know about if it's making you feel bad.

If these feelings are really bad, it might be a good idea to talk to a counselor. We all struggle at times in our lives, and there's nothing wrong with seeking help. Your feelings are very valid, but their need for a father/son relationship is one they need. So sorry, sweetie. *Hugs*

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