Son doesn't want to live with me

Elisabeth - posted on 11/29/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Please help if you can. I am still in shock and sad and want to do what is best for my son but so hard to separate the feelings. My son told me yesterday that he does not want to live with me. He is 15. We have always been very close so this is not expected. I raised him primarily myself until, well his father decided he wanted to be involved, which I encourage. I have been going through a very rough time, financial and health problems for several months. I am just now in a place where I can turn things around but it will take some time. He even told me he would be ok if I moved to another city. I have asked him to think about this carefully and asked him to consider other options, change in schedule etc, Right now it is 50/50. One week on one week off. Is this just teen age stuff? My home is not as convenient for him . . he has just started dating . . . The thing is I don't think he realizes that if I move away, which would provide me with better financial/career opportunities it will be hard for me to come back. I don't think he realizes how much he would miss me. He confides in me, not his father. We are meeting for dinner tonight and I was thinking of suggesting a different schedule but another part of me just feels like giving up. I have just been through so much to be part of his life. Brutal custody battle etc. I do want him to be happy. I am just limited right now in providing him with the material possessions he wants, and I dare say feels entitled too. Honestly I am really just barely holding back the tears to write this. Also how do I get to the post page just to read with out posting? don't see where to click Thanks

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Lynn - posted on 11/30/2013

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My son is 13 and also considering this. I too have health issues and we have 60/40 custody. I think boys are more sensitive to the financial problems in our homes and need to feel like they are making a difference. They identify more with their dads at this age. He feels I am not providing enough and its not acceptable. I think you are doing the right thing by listening and going slow, out to dinner. Its so hard not to react. My heart is being torn out of my chest. I have fought and fought for him to have everything, but because its a tough season, he wants to go where there is more structure and more money. I am thinking he may need to experience that, and see how he misses our connection. But on the other hand, when he gets married and has financial stress I don't want him leaving his wife or vice versa. So right now, I am saying... we are family. Families stick together. I am will communicate more about our budget and progress and job search and he has to respect me. He can also get a job and help. Be the man of the house. I don't think I've helped you , but I was so thankful to see your post because this is exactly why I came on! Thanking God for you today.

LalaBoom - posted on 12/02/2013

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I can feel your pain as I read your post, but I'm going to be very direct. I hope this helps:

Your son is 15, he is growing into a man. Well, he IS a young man. You say yourself he's entering the dating scene. I think your son is just trying to find himself as a man. Simple. This isn't a criticism of you, or your ability to provide. This isn't him loving his father more than you, or appreciating you any less. Even if you are the one who could shape him into manhood, your son doesn't see it as such. There's certain things us women cannot provide them with- only a man can. I can almost bet that he is acting out and "bullying" you because he feels misunderstood by you. The more you prevent this, the bigger his resentment toward you will be and your relationship with him will deteriorate faster than you can say "what happened."

You say that you and your son are close. I say rely on that bond and let him go even if it breaks your heart. He will love and appreciate you all the more because you were able to identify and meet this basic need.

I hope you feel better soon sweety!

Mandy - posted on 01/06/2015

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Sadly, this sounds ALL too familiar. My ex and I had 50/50 placement when my 15 year old decided he wanted to live with Dad. It was horrible - it ripped my heart out. I didn't want to give in, so my ex took me BACK to court, which did not end well for me. The year that I fought to get my son back, I ended up having to reimburse my ex the child support that I was paid during that time. And NOW after I finally decided that I needed to just let my son go (we only live a few miles apart), instead of insisting we keep the placement schedule the same, I am paying my EX child support. It completely sucks and now my son will be 18 in a few months and can't WAIT to move out of his dad's house because he can't stand it there! I do believe in Karma. And because I let my son go live with his dad, our relationship has never been better. My dad assured me that all 15 year old boys "don't need their moms" (as this just broke my heart). Well, now that very smart, intelligent, grown up (straight A student, graduating from high school early, already enrolled in college where he's also already earned a dean's scholarship) young man has realized how difficult his dad is (and HAS been and understands why I divorced him). Just sad that he had to see it firsthand. His dad had no clue how lucky he had it. He thinks he "won" because he got primary placement and was receiving child support, but it certainly didn't make him a better father and my son sees that now. I do believe hormones play a big part in it! Good luck! I know it's hard to let go - have faith that it will all work out in the end.

LalaBoom - posted on 12/02/2013

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One more thing:

Even if you let him go, he has been living with you for 15 years! He will not forget the values you taught him just for the heck of it.

Ana Maria - posted on 08/06/2016

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I went through what you're going through. It's the hardest most painful situation, and I live with it everyday. My son did this to me last year. He was 12 years old. I can not even explain to you how painful and sad I've been, and it's been over year. Some days are better than others. Rejection, bitterness, sadness, lawyers, a bitter and horrendous custody battle. I was bullied by my ex. I was emotionally abused for years, and to see my son go with his dad just tore me apart. I was taken for a ride by two lawyers. I pray he comes back to me. I only have one son. I raised him on my own. The tears pour everyday... thank you for sharing because it gave me the strength to share my story.

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Monique - posted on 10/20/2016

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Teenagers go through a lot of changes, and boys really do need that male role model around to help them through the changes. I went through the same thing, I have for children and I am 38 years old, so about two years back my son was almost 17, his father barely came around, I received no financial help, worked my fingers to the bone, and all my four children seemed to do was complain and fight about video games. He decided he hated his siblings and wanted to move with his dads parents. I cried and felt very betrayed, but I took a step back and realized he was suffering living with me and plus I was not very financially stable and found it hard to balance the four. So I let him go. We barely communicated when he first left but last year he started to visit and complain about his grandparents as well. Lol my son is now 18 going on 19 , and we communicate even less because he joined the military. It hurts to lose a child but I think back and realize he actually made something of himself because of my decisions to trust what he and I both felt would be more suitable for his living arrangements as a teen. Trust in your feelings about letting him go or not and try not to be selfish, because no one wants to let go of a child. Besides sometimes they find out the grass is not greener on the other side and they come crawling back to their momma😀

Kathy - posted on 10/06/2016

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If by some off chance you do see my post, please email me at krynmarie@gmail.com

Kathy - posted on 10/06/2016

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Elisabeth - not even sure you'll see this but I'm curious how things are today.
I'm going through the same thing - I'm devastated and my heart is utterly and completely broken. Just wondering if there's a light at the end of this dark and scary tunnel?

Ana - posted on 12/03/2013

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Im in the same boat ... except my son is 13 ... and really dad isn't someone I want him to go live with ... but what do I know right? According to my son he has it all figured out .. I do feel your pain .. I cant imagine when my son turns 19 .. omg!

Faye - posted on 12/02/2013

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My son decided last spring he wanted to move out of my house. He was a Senior in HS and taking college classes. His birthday is in Jan so he will be 19. In August 2013 he moved in with dad, stepmom and half sister.

Long story short, he and my step son do not get along. In fact for about 6 weeks in the spring, son lived at a friend's house. Stepson has the mentality that it is his way or no way. Stepson is 27 and still lives at home (with no job). Step son is the reason both my kids left either shortly before High School graduation or the day after. Maybe I should thank him for them being productive members of society while he is not.

Fianace` can not understand why I am angry. Both he and I were on our own by the time we were 20 at the latest and starting our families which are now blended.

Elisabeth - posted on 12/01/2013

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Yeah me too Lynn, was hoping for more of a response. I googled and this is of course a subject that comes up frequently. So I got some help there but . . . yes it is all part of growing up but well it is very very complicated. I am not taking it personally at all anymore but the truth is . . . changing his placement schedule is not a good idea at all. And at what point do you hold them accountable for maintaining their part of being a family? Doing what is best for the family, even if they don't see it is best for them(which I am starting to think is a lost cause at this point)? I was actually almost working at his age(well close enough). I cared for my siblings, helped maintain the home, bought almost all of my personal possessions, in addition to walking ten miles to school uphill in the snow- lol. Yeah I am told I coddle him too much that is when I am not "pushing" him too much to succeed. I private messaged you Lynn. Thanks for responding.

Lynn - posted on 12/01/2013

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I was hoping more people would post here for us:)

I agree that they are modeling behavior. Someone mentioned to me that hormones play a huge role. That entitlement shows up because they are navigating female/male dynamics and we were the emotional provider up until now. The separation that is happen is part of the "leaving" and standing on their own feet... and trying to get emotional needs met other than with mom.

I don't take comfort in this, but I am going to continue to read on and ask people who have had teens. Our kids are going to turn out okay. They will move out. They wont need us in the same way, but they will need us. I dont know what that will look like. I feel confused about all of it. This is not what I expected. How are we so close for so many years and then ... this? Maybe I did coddle him. Maybe his dad was right. lol

Elisabeth - posted on 11/30/2013

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So just an update and I would appreciate any feed back. It has all been helpful and I am taking bits off all offered so far to come up with a plan to move forward. We did meet for Dinner. I offered him some alternatives to exclusively living with his father. He declined. We were only able to agree on meeting again this evening to discuss further. After thinking about it almost non-stop I have realized that there are some contradictions in what he is telling me he wants. I have also had to admit that he is not just being a bratty teen, he is in fact treating me the way his father treats me, well not that bad but it is starting. And I will not be bullied by anyone anymore. I will be confronting him on these things. The hardest part of all of this is separating my feelings from this in order to make the decision that is best for him. Very hard when your heart is broken. It is not in his best interest for me to leave. It is not in his best interest for him to finish growing up with out me being more involved. He will suffer if those things happen. So I just have to be stronger than I ever thought possible again . . sigh. I know that it will all work out. He does still need me and I will be here when he is ready to treat me with respect. I just have to somehow figure out how to tell him that his plan of exclusively living with his father is NOT an option. Any ideas? Peace and TIA

Elisabeth - posted on 11/30/2013

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can we share email addresses here? I am having a lot of problems with this site.

Elisabeth - posted on 11/30/2013

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Actually you helped me a lot. Really having a rough day. My heart is broken. You make a lot of sense though. I really am not sure what to do. I may have to just do what is best for me and that may mean leaving for a while for greener pastures, but then it will be complicated coming back. I know he will suffer with out me emotionally but maybe that is just the way it will needs to be. I do think that tough love is in order to some extent. He doesn't see it now.. At least not completely. I just wish it had not come on so suddenly. I need more time to prepare what ever it is I do.We have always been so close I just did not expect. Thanks Lynn. Hang tough.

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