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#1091212 09/16/03 12:30 PM
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H had agreed to do counseling with Steve during one of our talks prior to reconciliation. I have not asked him about doing counseling with Steve again. I did ask him about going to the MB Weekend and he said NO last night.

Steve thinks, though, that he is presently not in LEARNING/STUDENT MODE. I guess he is not ready to face his demons.

He just called me and asked me how I am doing. I said "Just hanging in there". He said "What's wrong?", sounding concerned as if he does not have a clue that I would be struggling today. You see what I say about emotional insensitivity.

Bellevue:
On second thought, he does act as if he is in love with me again 80% of the time. I feel that he sincerely came back to be with ME. I don't get the sense that he cares about OW anymore and being the PROUD man is real EMBARASSED right now about the A.

#1091213 09/16/03 12:32 PM
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OW's 13-year-old was right not to defer to your H or respect him. He was a temporary feature in her life, and he has ditched her and her mom by going back to you. Her gut feelings were right.

Perhaps your son feels the same.

In any case, maybe you need some counseling to keep yourself OUT of this situation. Especially since the other parties refuse to come to the negotiating table. Apparently, your H has a history of no compromise.

The idea of your son going to someone else's home sounds superficially okay, but in its implications appalling. Your SON should lose HIS home because your philandering H wants back in?

This is a tough one, but it is, beneath all the issue, the struggle of two alpha males over you. You can't be the go-between. You'll get squished.

#1091214 09/16/03 12:39 PM
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I'm liking the idea of staying out of it and doing what I feel is right.

I'm in counseling with Steve H. and will be scheduling with him again.

It's of no use to beg either of them to go into counseling if they have no motivation to change.

#1091215 09/16/03 12:41 PM
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OK Mimi .... here is my advice:

Everytime there is a "I get no respect" tone or complaint from your H .... bring the conversation back to the hurt your son is experiencing.

Say something like:

"I believe (name of child) is really sad and hurt by your decision to leave the family, and this is how (child) is expressing his hurt."

Repeat like a broken record.

Your H might say: "Yeah, but he needs to respect me as head of the house."

"Yes, I agree, but he's hurting and this is how he expresses his hurt."

Redirect away from respect and refocus on hurt feelings.

Pep

#1091216 09/16/03 01:18 PM
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PS ... If there was a prior agreement between you that recovery means joint or individual counseling, it is not an option to drop out of that commitment. He is frightened. He is embarrased. he has to WORK through this and not be able to bully his way out of his commitment to recovery work. Recovery is tough Mimi .... I trust you to be tough. Don't back down from recovery therapy, or this will all come back at your face again.

Pep

#1091217 09/16/03 01:33 PM
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Magnification of the normal vs the abnormal...??

normal teenage angst/rebelion vs extreme acting out...
attention seeking behavior because negative attention is better than no attention???....

who knows??

Well the only real fact about this whole situation is that your husband is the adult of the two....

and he stands at a great turning point in his life and the lives of his sons...
he stands at deciding that what communication tools he has used in the past have not served him well at all...and he (and YOU) can continue on this path of a man of few words..that has served no good..yet stands to serve the teaching of great damage to males under his type of rule...
OR he can use this whole thing as a postive catalyst of great change...reaching way beyond his own guilt and pain....and past that in to new waters of a peaceful family unit...

And if he believes that people can change...for the good or the bad...then surely he should believe that he can change the way he interacts with his own sons...and seek the path that serves them the best...

is continuing to express "pain over not feeling like a man in his house".

quite a myopic view of a man in my opinion....real men that want their children to grow up to be decent men..need to teach them more than the commanding of respect...even more important are the lessons of seeing our parents say they are sorry...and really mean it
or see that our parents also can do wrong...and can fix those things...and teach our children about forgiveness...and all those other warm fuzzy traits that serve humankind much more than how to demand respect...

Mimi...you are already taking to much of this on...

speak to him more globally so that it helps him see how a leader in a family assists their children in many types of lessons..

I would play the CATS IN THE CRADLE song for him as well...

It's of no use to beg either of them to go into counseling if they have no motivation to change.

your sons acting out is proof of motivation of wanting something from his father...
again it is your husband who is the adult...
do not lower your expectations on this...

sorry for this mess..mimi...
not sure any of this helps..
ARK

#1091218 09/16/03 01:49 PM
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THANK YOU. THANK YOU. This is to all of you from the bottom of my heart. I think all of this is going to work out if I remain tough. Just talked to H again. He seems to be listening to me. It's going to be a long road though for all of us. The story continues to unfold and to unfold. H is happy now about an old family friend praising him about coming back home. What's crazy about it is , "How did she know that he left and now is back?" We haven't seen her in months and she is not a good friend. It made my H feel good though. Remember, the proud man.

Please keep the thoughts and suggestions coming.

<small>[ September 16, 2003, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: mimi1254 ]</small>

#1091219 09/16/03 02:31 PM
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Remember Mimi .... when someone has had his head up his butt ... for a long time .... he is not going to be the most clear-headed thinker ..... for awhile.

Stand your ground Mimi .... you are his light of truth. Your strength and personal integrity will be a guide.

#1091220 09/16/03 03:08 PM
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PS ... If there was a prior agreement between you that recovery means joint or individual counseling, it is not an option to drop out of that commitment.
My thoughts exactly! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

This is one of the main problems I see happening when a ws returns home. Either there is no plan for counseling (we'll just "work it out" when they return <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> ) or if it was discussed, the bs tap dances around the ssue and it doesn't get done.

<small>[ September 16, 2003, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Chris -CA123 ]</small>

#1091221 09/16/03 03:28 PM
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Mimi, I'm really really worried about this situation. I don't see your H as Proud but rather as manipulative and controlling, and as weak rather than strong.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that your H laid down a set of conditions that you had to meet before he came home? What conditions did you set for allowing him to have another try? What has to change about his attitude?

His issue here is not really whether or not your son (HIS SON!!) respects him. How does he define "respect?" Total unquestioning allegiance and obedience is not respect. He knows in his heart that respect has to be earned, and he doesn't respect himself so why should anyone else?

Mimi, why is your H setting himself up as your son's rival? As other posters have said, your H is the adult. Why is he so jealous of your son - who just happens to be his son too?

This kind of possessiveness and outrageous demands are nerve-wracking. Yup, BTDT. My XH was incredibly jealous of our son and so possessive of me that he wouldn't even let the cat sit on my lap! He said more than once that our son was invading "his territory." Mimi, please get yourself and your son into family counselling. Please. My son is in prison - he acted out his rage and feelings of helplessness, got involved with drugs. Don't put your son at risk.

#1091222 09/16/03 03:32 PM
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Keep thinking about a book I read that talked aobut roles in Marriage. The King/Head of the Household/Father role can be commanded by a man that doesn't feel confident in his role...feeling he doesn't deserve it, or has to command it to get respect.

He is a proud man, but it is a well-respected leader that gives his troops the same respect.

I think son has been hurt...very badly...and this can be H's opportunity to apologize to son. I know, Dad doesn't want to look bad, or humble himself in this power struggle, but it is a REAL man that admits when he's done something wrong and apologizes for it... He will shine in son's eyes...

#1091223 09/16/03 03:37 PM
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In my experience, your son's attitude towards his Dad is not at all unusual or unexpected.

While I never left home, my youngest teen treated me with trememdous disrespect after my affair. I struggled with this...after all, I was still her father.

At first, my own guilt kept me from standing up to my own kid's bad behaviour. I felt as if I had no right to expect her to do right since I couldn't seem to do it myself.

This was a huge mistake

I could not shrink from my responsibility as a parent, no matter what she thought of me. By cleaning up my act, then being consistent with my expectations of her, we began rebuilding our relationship and she began to recover trust in me. This is a very slow process. Today, I believe she doesn't question the fact that I love her.

I believe your husband has to be the OWNER of this issue. I also believe that it's possible your son will not forgive his dad for a long time. If your son cannot respect the house rules that your husband and you mutually establish because of this, then I believe you have grounds to put him out of the house.

I disagree with some of the other posters here. While your husband is being hardheaded, your son is plenty old enough to be accountable for managing his feelings as well. He has no excuse for his behaviour.

LowOrbit

#1091224 09/16/03 03:48 PM
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Loworbit .... thanks for sharing.

Mimi's WH has been home only one week.

#1091225 09/16/03 04:27 PM
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Mimi -- Maybe you'll want to throw in your 2 cents in my post, inspired by your recent one.

#1091226 09/16/03 04:30 PM
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I think Mimi's H has to swallow some of that egotistical pride and sit down to talk with his son. Apologize, admit his betrayal and take his licks.
He needs to be reassuring to his son of his love, rather than just living until son is gone from home?
Mimi, you said he came home to YOU! Sorry, but if he isn't man enough to face he has a son, a family and not just a woman to cater to his whims, then he is no man at all!
How horrible to wish his son gone for good. And to even consider moving son out of house?
Sorry, but if my H came home with that attitude I'd drive him back to the OW and dump him on her curb!Permanentely!
I hear all this going on like son is old enough to contain his feelings? Deal with it? How about the rat that created the mess! He's a hell of a lot older than his son and he hasn't set any good examples.
I hear a man who is still very selfish, self centered and demanding. He hasn't learned yet that it is his place to eat a lot of crow! RAW at that.
Son desperately needs counseling and not for H benefit, but for his own self worth and health mentally and emotionally.
Teenagers have a very rough time without the added stress this has brought to his life.
Teenagers have not yet learned the coping skills that many adults never learn either.
He's confused, feeling worthless/unloved in dad's eyes, and that he now has two people ganging up against him. HIS FEELINGS NEED VALIDATION.
We expect our youth to behave with wisdom and control when we aren't even capable of it ourselves at times.
Have you set family time to sit and talk of these feelings for all? And for H not to start out thinking his feelings matter most, completely ignoring that this son is a human being with all the feelings others have.
I say set time and make it strictly about son's voicing his feelings. Another time it can be about yours or H. There is a responsibility here to bring this young man to adulthood without feeling dysfunctional. And adulthood is not set in stone that it's arrived at 18 or 21.
Son should feel safe, loved, and supported by both parents. You still can have your own time alone as I'm sure son has many activities with his friends.
As long as H refuses counseling, thinks he needs none, they you, Mimi, will be the middle person always.
Sorry, if this sounds harsh, but I'm really feeling for this young man and what he is dealing with. Yes, he does need to at least be respectful enough to talk with family, dad especially and give a chance to the family. But his feelings must be considered and worked out as well.
Lou

#1091227 09/16/03 05:16 PM
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I continue to truly appreciate all of your advice and consideration of my issues.

PEP seems to be on the right track about what I need to do.

I need to remain assertive and clear with my H about my position and how I will not cater to his demands. That was the old me. I am no longer like that. I find that I am continuing to gain his respect.

Steve H. said that RECOVERY will be another rollercoaster ride and it certainly is.

So with the support of you guys today I have remained steadfast in my position of how I will not go along with my H's desire for harsh punishments for my S. I will continue to stress the need for both of them to do the "right thing". I will expect, as some of you have said, for my son to be respectful of my H. Also son will need to comply with the house rules. If he does not, he will have reasonable consequences-not being kicked off of the football team! I will continue to expect H to go to counseling which may come in time. Really, Steve H. did not think counseling would work at this point for some reason. Maybe so early in RECOVERY! Maybe some theory he continues to have about my H.

Tonight at the gym FWH was a totally different person, attempting to cater to me. He mentioned how we will be going to my son's football game on Friday and the other son's game on Saturday. I did not bring this up in conversation. He did.

Off to do dinner. Will keep you posted.

A. M. and SHUGAH: I will post to you guys soon.

<small>[ September 16, 2003, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: mimi1254 ]</small>

#1091228 09/16/03 05:57 PM
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Mimi

With your boy ... you may want to sit with him and give him a chance to vent .... privately without his dad. Maybe 2 or 3 times a week take him to lunch just to be alone together.

You don't need to take sides, but just listen.

If you get either one (dad or son) pulling on you to take his side and spew venom about the other, say:

"The old Mimi would try to fix this for you. The new Mimi trusts you to be able to fix this yourself. I'm here to listen. Talk to me."

Give him your ear and your hugs.

Your son is a young male ... and those guys have such a difficult time expressing hurt in ways that don't look and sound like a tornado. (trust me, I KNOW)

Your WS is going to be lost for awhile, don't expect much from him right now.... just be true to your principles.

You can also tell your son that you are struggling yourself, and that anything that increases the tension in your home hurts you and distracts you from your healing. Ask him to cooperate with the house rules even though he is angry and hurt .... ask him to help make home peaceful. (but, your son may be MAD at you for taking your WS back .... so be careful) If it doesn't work .... keep asking.

Pep <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

#1091229 09/16/03 08:19 PM
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Hmmm I posted about this issue at the end of your last thread, just saying it might be good to talk to son one on one.

I really like what Pepper has suggested. Focusing on the fact that your son is reacting this way out of hurt. Also remind H that it does mean alot to S to have him at the football game, even if he won't acknowledge it.

I would also suggest, in a subtle way, working on promoting family feeling. One point to make to both H and S, independantly, is, people make mistakes, we are family, we can not let our family ties be broken by mistakes.

With your H, feather in some comments promoting that father- son tie. Obviously, H is proud of son's prowess on the football field, whether he admits it or not. Feather in some stuff like- "S is so determined to succeed in football- he's just like you in that regard" type stuff (in other words, emphasize the genetic link) or comment that you think some quality of H has been an excellent role model for S.

then you can throw in a few comments, like, these teenage years are so tumultuous, thank god you are home to set an example for S. I know it will take work, but eventually he'll settle down...

You need to get H thinking- his children are his legacy to this world. When he is old and gray, doesn't he want to be the patriarch, surrounded by his children and grand children, loving him and looking at him with respect. But he has to create that respect and that relationship. Try to find some other families to reference in terms of those kinds of relationships.

Don't get in between the 2, but you can work on each individually.

Remind your H that he is the adult here. Stand up to him if he is being unreasonable.

#1091230 09/16/03 10:08 PM
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You do not demand respect, respect must be earned. What has your H done in the last year to earn his son's respect, or yours?
It is the curse of the BS that in our desire to have the WS return home we turn a blind eye to their faults. While WS is in the A the BS uses Plan A/B to become a new, improved version. But the WS returns basically unchanged, often with no remorse. They expect to return home and step back into their old position.
No one feels much respect for your H right now; I doubt that he really feels much respect for himself. That is a hard thing for a "proud" man to accept. So he tries to demand respect when he should be trying to earn it by showing understanding and compassion for his son and you.
I have asked before what conditions you gave your H for his return and what compromises you are willing to make. Mimi, you know you are a better person than you were before, you have earned someone who is willing to work to become a better person in return. You have earned respect.
Stay strong.

#1091231 09/17/03 02:55 AM
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Mimi

Here is my take on it. Children, probably especially in the teen years, look to their parents as role models. One of the major difficulties they encounter in the teen period is that they recognise the imperfections of their parents as human beings. As they mature they will experience many of the same faults and failings themselves and will 'grow back' to the parents but now in a more adult relationship. However to do this they need to maintain a basic level of respect for their parents. What I think has happened is that your H has lost that respect from your son. Your son has probably now transferred most/all of his allegiances and aspirations to you as a role model. He has also learned some harsh lessons about life. He will no doubt have seen or sensed the tough times you have had and will see himself as having a role to protect and help you - you are the wronged party here.

Fundamentally I think this is about rebuilding trust. Your H needs to earn the trust of your son again. Until that happens your son will probably be angry because, amongst other things, he is fearful of you being hurt again.

I think you have got a lot of good advice from the people here. You need to let them work it out, and you need to be queen of the house for a while. You have a role as a mediator of sorts, an ear for each of them to talk to. Your son has a right to know what is going on, but he will not listen to your H at this stage. You need to talk to your son, especially if he won't go to counselling. Explain how the marriage is yours (you and your H) and it is a decision that the two of you have to make. Let him know how you understand his feelings. Your H has made a very big mistake and is in the process of atonement, but it is a very difficult process. Your son needs to have this made clear to him. His feelings are normal and justifiable, but he has to try to show some patience, for your sake.
Equally your husband needs to be made aware of exactly why your son is so angry and what he needs to do to regain this trust. At this jundture it is unlikely they will be able to do this in a face-to-face conversation. Maybe you could encourage them to write their thoughts down - if only to share with you rather than with each other.

Just my 2c. I think you are doing great. Keep up the good work. You inspire us all.

S.

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