We've had this question sent to SWK from a single mom needing advice
Eight years ago I found out my partner of 16 years was cheating with a very close family friend 20 years my junior. I took him back twice after false promises and lies for the sake of my 2 young children (aged 3 and 9). He saw the children when he wasn't busy for a few hours a week. When deemed acceptable by him he went public with the relationship and consequently moved in with her. The contact with the children improved slightly only because I insisted he was either in their lives or not. After the CSA got involved he agreed to have the children overnight which gradually increased to every other weekend this lasted approx. 18 months. Last year my ex and his gf split up, she ended the relationship. Since then my children have had very little contact. The eldest has a rapport with his dad the youngest has always been pushed to 1 side. As a result my youngest son (now 11) is very insecure and his behaviour has steadily got worse resulting in numerous meetings with teachers and ending with counselling. The counsellor spoke to myself and my ex spelling out his behaviour was due to the absence of a father figure. My ex agreed to take more of a part in his life. This basically ended up me texting his dad everytime he was naughty (daily) his dad would have a word over the phone if he wasn't busy and it. I've grounded my son, taken away his favourite toys I've done everything and nothing bothers him 😞 Last night after another row he told me everything was my fault, its my fault his dad doesn't see him and my fault he has no dad because I ended the relationship. My mum stepped in and asked if he knew why we'd split up which he said yes its because his dad cheated and lied but I should've ignored it. I've told him he's really upset me and shouldn't comment on things he doesn't know enough about, I asked why he hurts me he said he doesn't want to upset his dad! I'm no psychologist but this suggests to me he takes all his feelings out on me but doesn't want to hurt his dad for fear of losing him altogether. I'm really stuck what to do, life is awful at the moment with the constant battles, all he's going to remember from his childhood is punishments and rows 😞 Has anyone else experienced this?