I’ve been divorced for 15 years, our one child lives with me.
Prior, we had joint custody; I had extensive visits most weekends, all summer, and all holidays.
The mother wasn’t on speaking terms with her parents. They asked me to see their grandson. With my son’s approval, I shared my access. I felt it’d be wrong not to.
His mother accused me of several things, including sexual abuse of the child. That resulted in a lecture from the Family Court Judge, about false accusations and her being responsible for all costs of transportation for access.
When my son moved with me (he’s now 20), he wanted no further contact with his mother.
I advised him, despite the problems, that he stay in contact, that he’d regret his decision in the future, so he continued contact.
Now, she wants to visit her son at home.
I’d be okay with that, except I fear she’ll again make up stories, as happened numerous times in the past, that end up with me being arrested.
Her entire family doesn’t speak to her, nor will see her, saying she has extensive mental illness problems.
I cannot wish her away. My son says I’m not to worry, it’ll be like in the past.
They (i.e. the police/courts) will say she’s crazy, fine, but I fear that, even a few minutes alone with her is problematic.
But this means no contact at all with her, no chance of her and I being civil.
It all gives my son great stress. He’s my concern, he’s had far too much stress in his life.
I’m lost for an answer.
The answer has to be your son’s, not yours.
At 20, he has the right to choose or reject his own stress. He said when he moved to you that he didn’t want contact with his mother… you told him he’d later regret that decision.
That’s a common response to children of divorce but he’s now an adult. He can drop contact to avoid stress, and/or resume contact later if he feels he can handle it.
Your ex made a false accusation against you in the past, which could’ve gone the other way if she’d been believed, and you convicted of a serious crime.
Having her in your home with you and your son is like supplying matches to an arsonist.
Ask your son what he feels is best for him now. If he wants to see her, ask if he’s able to do so on his own.
If not, ask if he’d consider talking to a counsellor experienced with post-divorce anger, false accusations, and re-connecting with the “other” parent.
Let him find his own answers.
A mother from my son’s class asked me to share the class rep role. I like her, but she’s very opinionated, and can become hard to take.
I’d like to avoid this situation without offending her because our boys are friends.
Parents with a volunteer role in their child’s school have the chance to contribute to its betterment.
Parents bring vision and voice to situations that might otherwise be missed by a busy teacher/school official, all currently dealing with their own and parents’ Covid-based concerns for children and staff.
Set ground rules with this mother to define the timing of meetings regarding issues.
If differences of opinion and/or discussions keep being repeated, call a full meeting of all class parents.
Thoughtful parental involvement in classroom issues is especially needed, now.
FEEDBACK Regarding mental health (August 15):
Reader – “There’s no such evidence that people carry a gene for mental health! I’m a mental-health sufferer who’s read the research which you obviously haven’t done. I’ve spoken in-depth to professionals.
“YOUR make-believe “fact” is incorrect/misleading, and rude!”
Ellie - I appreciate your personal experience and resentment about non-researched statements.
“There are different types of personality disorders, from the unstable and risky behaviour associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, to aggressive, violent remorseless Antisocial Personality Disorder.
“Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences: i.e. genes may make someone vulnerable to developing a personality disorder, and then a particular life situation (e.g. chaotic family life during childhood) may trigger the actual development of PD.”
There’s nothing rude in solid, non-blaming information.
Tip of the day:
Let adult children of divorce decide about contact with the “other” parent.