Monday, March 4, 2013

They Will Want To Live With Him

A few years ago when K and I were seeing a therapist, the therapist told K something that made her blood run cold.

"Eventually the boys will want to live with Jim.  I see it all the time.  Boys want to live with their dads."

A lot of divorced parents with kids have some kind of sharing arrangement with the kids.  A common arrangement is the kids live with one parents during the week and other on the weekends (or alternate weekends).    Sometimes, parents alternate full weeks, with the kids at one house one week and the other then next.  

K and I talked about this when we separated.  We felt that having the kids bounce back and forth between houses would be confusing.  We both think that it's important for them to have stability and a home.  Finally, we decided that the kids home should be with her.

It is inconvenient for me to be there at K's house all the time, but it is something I have gotten used to.  It is a hindrance in me developing my relationship with T and developing other friendships.  But I do it for my kids.  I do it because I refuse to let AJ raise my kids.  It's my responsibility to raise my kids and I am not going to cede that to him or anyone else.

Tonight, my youngest son is sleeping at my house tonight.  One of the things we talked about tonight, is his desire to spend more time at my house with me.  This is the second time he mentioned it.  It came up once before a couple of weeks ago.  He is thinking that the idea of spending one week with me and one week with K sounds like a good idea.

I am all in favor of any of my kids to come and stay with me as often as they want.  It's part of the reason that I keep my house.  I mean, it's not like I need a four bedroom house for myself.  I could be just a happy in a one or two bedroom apartment  and I might even save myself a couple of bucks in the process.

The younger kids spend a few night a month at my house now.  The older boys could if they wanted to, but they have not indicated they want to.  (Yes, I have specifically invited them, but also said I was not going to force them.)  K never offers any resistance when they has to come to my house.  I also do not ask her.  I simply inform her they are coming home with me.

I am afraid that might change if I told her any of the kids, wanted to spend an entire week, every other week, with me.   I worry if the prediction of the therapist that caused her to much fear comes true, there might be a change in her level of flexibility.   If were to happen that my son would want to to live with me full time, she would be crushed and I worry about what might happen.


Anonymous said...

Jim, there's a time in the growth of man, usually adolescence, when he turns to an older man to teach him how to be a man. If that man is the boy's father then the bond is especially close. Your son wants you to model for him the way that he will be when he grows up. He needs to know your values, your life skills, when you share your emotions, when you refrain from showing your feelings.

K needs to understand that this is not a rejection of her love but the next stage in your son's maturity. She cannot teach your son the lessons he needs to learn. She needs to know that this turning toward you is normal and healthy. One of the things that happens at puberty is that the boy recognizes that some day he will become a man and he seeks out someone who cares about him, loves him, and who he admires, to teach him how to be that man.

Your sexual orientation has nothing to do with this. Your sons need a father to teach them how to move into the next stage of their life.

In the hero's journey, he must turn to the wiser, older man-the Obi wan kenobi, the Merlin--to impart wisdom and model what it means to be a man. They turn from their mother to the wise man to learn who they must be.

Buddy Bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buddy Bear said...

I fully support the comment by Anonymous; I think he's very wise and seems to have some experience in this area. In the two years since I've been separated, our son (now 16) has mainly lived with me.

It is written into our divorce agreement that he can live where he wants at any time and it is working beautifully. He was with me 100% of the time from April to November last year but now spends a few days occasionally with his mother. We split the cost of major expenses such as driving lessons, ski memberships and school clothes but otherwise, each of pays for his daily expenses such as food. (a big expense!)

If your son wants to spend more time with his father, then it should happen. This isn't about your needs nor your wife's needs..... it is what is best for your son and that is to be decided by him.

Your wife may be upset temporarily but she'll get over it! Eventually, our children will leave the next. Anyway, won't she be really busy with your younger children and when the baby comes?

the island guy said...

My parents are divorced. I get along great with both of them and see them both regularly. I wish the same for your kids. Maybe your kids feel the same way... maybe they would love to live with you but they wonder how it would affect their mom.