I’m Losing my Son through Divorce

Question: Dear Luise: I am 52 years old and separated from my wife and in the process of divorce. We have a son 13 in August and our daughter 17 from her previous marriage that we raised together since she was nineteen months. My relationship with our children was fine until a few months ago when my son stopped talking to me and blaming me for the divorce and the financial problems we are having. I am very worried about him since he is in a difficult age and bad circumstances of our divorce and possibly loosing our home. Please advice. M.

Answer: Dear M.: The only thing I know of to do in the circumstances you describe, is to continue to love your son, even though there is no contact at the present time. And if there is any way you can manage to get him counseling and he will accept it, he really needs a non-involved advocate.

Most children don’t care if their parents are happy or not. They want the comfort and security of a solid-appearing home life. It usually doesn’t have to be personally satisfying for either parent, or even minimally compatible…as long as you are both there in the context that they are used to.

Growing up is hard enough; children usually are not interested in what’s going on at home beyond that. They can be pretty self-absorbed and ruthless. Even when things are going really well at home, children can be pretty critical of one or both parents, as a way of shoring themselves up.

Divorce is someone’s fault. That’s the logic. Someone has to be blamed and often…hated. If there are dire financial consequences, then that’s all the more reason for acting out. That’s why it’s often called a “broken home.” There are usually casualties.

You probably can’t expect logic to play a very big part in your son’s attitude. He may come to miss you and reconsider or he may not. In later years, he may benefit from his life experience to the degree that he may eventually see your point of view…or he may not. The ball is in his court and he has very little idea of how to play the game.

As I see it, your only tools are love, an open heart, support (if and when it is accepted) and endless patience. Blessings, Luise

4 Responses to I’m Losing my Son through Divorce

  1. D. November 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    We’re losing our beloved son-in-law to divorce what should we do? D.

    • Luise November 22, 2009 at 6:46 am #

      Whatever you do has to be a joint effort. If you want to stay connected it has to be supported by everyone involved. It happened to me twenty-four years ago. And it is happening to me again now. Losing my DIL back then was unthinkable and we decided, together, not to “get divorced.” She was divorcing my son and he totally understood our bond. Since then, they have both remarried and now they all come to family gatherings. I know this isn’t going to work for everyone but it has for us. When it’s time for me to leave this life, she will be the one sitting with me and holding my hand.

      Now I am losing a beloved SIL and without getting in the middle, I have let him know that I will always love him…and I will. How much we will see of each other remains to be seen. Their divorce isn’t a hateful one…it’s a “we give up one.” Love is love. It doesn’t start with a legal document and for me, it doesn’t end with one. Blessings, Luise

  2. B. June 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    our daughter walked out on our beloved son in law. Our daughter was the cause of the divorce. Ran up bills and then said she did not love him. Small children involed. Now she wants us to divorce our son in law also or she will not be our daughter any more she says. some of our other children who are not around very much says we should forget him because it looks strange. We do not feel like we want to give in to our daughters spoiled demands any comments B.

    • Luise June 26, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      Yes, my comment is please come over to my Web-forum at http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com It is for women with issues with adult children and extended families and you will get some perspective and support there that may help. I can only speak for myself. When my son divorced his wife…I did not divorce her and we are still close. Now 15 years later she is divocing her second husband and I am not divorcing him, either. I get to take others into my heart and that’s where I keep them. When we have family get togethers, my own “ex” is there with the gal he once had an affair with and has now been married to for over 30 years. Life is too short to hold grudges. No one is totally “right” and no one is totally “wrong.” We are all just making choices and learning from the consequences. Your beloved SIL needs all the love you have to give. Who cares if it “looks strange.” I’m sure I do, too, but it’s not our job to live up to the definition of “stange” that others may have, our job is to live up to who we are.

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