More threads by Debra


Hi all...I have written to this forum before and it did help me. I will try to make this a short and to the point as I can. I have been seperated and divorced for about 5 1/2 years, have an 11 yr old son. I have been living with my BF for about 1 yr and have been seeing eachother for about 2 yrs before. My son likes him, my family loves him. My problem is that although my ex and I have been divorced we still remained close friends. My son seems fine, we talk alot, we are very close. My Ex has kept the door opened for me and will mention off and on that he wants me to come back. I tried once before but it didn't work. I have recently relaized even more of my mistakes in my marriage and for any relationship that I would have including the one I am in now. My BF is great but my problem is I miss my home, my family life, my son 24 hours a day, being a normal mom, even my ex. I love my BF but day to day I am going through this struggle of where I belong, where I should be, where I want to be. It would break my BF's heart if I moved out and we work together so I would have to leave my job also. My BF changed his life to be with me, as I did mine for him. My Ex and my Son need me and I want to be there for them. My fear is making another huge mistake as I have in the past. Its been about a month now and the nerves and knots re: this decision have not subsided. I cannot talk to anyone about this either. I need to make the best decision on my own. Please do not suggest counciling. Been there, its not for me. My son, 11 going on 30, asked me if I could ask my BF if it would be okay for me to stay at the house at least one night a week so I can be there all night and for him in the morning. He comes by me but not as much as I would like and since his father, my ex, works at night 3 times a week, I will go to the house and stay with my son until his father returns from work. This arrangement is what it is to make my son as comfortable with the divorce as possible and not having to drag him back and forth. Any help will be appreciated...

Thank you, Debra

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I understand the wish to make your son as comfortable as possible (and I'm sure to relieve some of the guilt you feel at having left the marriage) but I don't think you are helping him, yourself, or even your husband by doing what you're doing.

Spending time at your house for an 11 year old could be an adventure -- like going camping. Or it could be a second home if you and/or he wants to set it up that way. I don't think in the long run you are doing your son any favors by pretending or giving him false hope -- unless you are truly prepared to sacrifice yourself on the altar of guilt and then be left looking at the pieces of your life in 7 or 8 years when he leaves home.


As a divorced mother of two, I agree with David. I know my divorce was difficult for my children, and I didn't have the cooperation of my ex-husband in making it any less difficult. However, we tend to underestimate how resilient children really are. They bounce back from adversity and learn to cope with the hard things in life. We cannot shield them forever, nor should we.

You need to decide what you want for you. In all likelihood that will, in the end, be what's best for your child. An unhappy mother, grasping at straws, does not lead to happiness for a child no matter how well-intentioned that mother may be. Really, it doesn't.


Thank you for your responses but believe it or not my Son is more than fine with everything. He comes by my apt once in awhile but he is more comfortable sat the house. His friends come over and we (he) has a dog that needs to be taken care of also. His father is not there when I am there. He is either working or out. We all have an understanding of why the arrangement is what it is. As I mentioned my son and I are very close and we have talked about everything including the arrangement and the divorce. He does not want me to end my relationship with my BF, he is happy and loves me and his father very much. He says I should relax more and not worry about him so much that I should worry about me more instead of other people. He is such a great kid. So don't worry about him, he is fine. Its me, not him. I feel I have to worry about everyone and help and take care of everyone. I'm the one that is having problems disconnecting from my past. I also have spoke to my BF about how I am feeling. He is so supportive and wants to help me in any way he can. I just feel sad for my EX and want to help him as much as possible and I miss my son when I am not with him but I guess thats something I have to learn how to deal with. I just want to do the right thing for everyone. I want everyone to be happy. We only live once. Also my son told me that he doesn't want to leave his Father alone alot of the time. He said I have someone and he doesn't and my son feels bad. He has a big heart!!

Thanks again,
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