Online Parent Support Chat

26.11.07

This will be a long email...

Forgive me, as I know this will be a long email. I found your site and I am hoping you can help me somewhat as I am desperate. I want to tell you as much detail as I can hoping you can help me. I am 42, married for 21 years and have 4 kids with my husband. They are 18, 13, 11 and 9. The oldest a boy, the next a girl, boy, girl. I have been a stay at home Mom for almost 18 years. I work part time now, but from home mostly. My husband is an airline pilot and is gone about 14-18 days a month, broken up into a mash of days with each month being different. There is no rhyme or reason to his schedule. He makes decent money, but I hate his career, needless to say. I have known my husband since I was 18 and have basically sacrificed any other career of my own for him to have gotten his wings and for me to raise a family with him. I have a degree, but haven't used it much. Our problem is our 18 year old, J. When he was 5, I lost our third baby at a full 9 months pregnant. So our 9 year old is really my fifth child. We were all devastated, it was very very hard. At that time, my husband was a pilot in the Coast Guard and we lived in Tampa, Fl. He went away every few weeks for about two weeks. So his deployments and regular work schedule left me alone with the kids a lot. I became Mom and Dad and the disciplinarian. Things weren't too bad with the kids til J turned 8. Around that time he started to really rebel against me when I would tell him to do something. He started breaking things and basically telling me "No, make me" to everything. I, in turn would punish him, usually with writing sentences, and or a spanking. As the years went on and the other siblings came, it got worse. It got to a point by the time he was 11 or 12 that he would call me a F---ing Bit--, all the time and put holes in the walls with his fists and break doors etc... He just always defied me. Now he is 18, and it still happens. I bet you ask "What does your husband say about this?" Well, our marriage has been on the fence for a good part of 3-4 years big time. We have basically disagreed on almost every aspect of J's discipline for a very long time. Just lask week, J punched 4 holes in my walls, broke a door and an office chair, all while his Dad was out of the country. He put me in tears and depression. The other kids see this a lot. Last month I had cake and icing all over the kitchen that he threw. He has also had a brush with the law regarding pety theft. He has no regard for us as parents, mostly me, or really anyone that is not a friend of his. My husband calls me "The Gestapo." He says I have no authority anymore because I am too "rigid." I tell him J doesn't listen because he as a Dad has failed to lay down the law and put his foot down. He says I give him "strings" of punishments instead of appropriate ones. When J calls me horrible names and busts doors, I think he should have serious consequences. A judge gets more strict every time a criminal keeps breaking the law doesn't he? My husband gives him a consequence that lasts a week, and then J just does it again later. He wants to me basically let him do what he wants while he is gone (because I have no authority), and when he returns from work he says he will enforce the rules. I tell him that he basically "gets away" with what he wants while Dad is gone and that isn't teaching him anything. I tell him that he hasn't put his foot down long enough consistenly for him to learn. That up and down with the foot isn't what works. J is vindictive, rude, failing school, (as we can't make him do his schoolwork), and my husband basically feels he can't make him stay home in the wee hours because he is 18....and he just doens't care about anything or anyone but his girlfriend and friends. He towers over me, yelling at me making demands when I won't give or do something he wants or something I don't think he deserves because of behavior. If I don't do it, he breaks up my house. It is usually in the $100's of dollars when he does it. If I call the police, my husband threatens to leave me if I get him arrested. Well, he threatened me once, and since then gives me a look and now tells me "You will not have him arrested, not our son." I think my husband is protective, why is he doing this? Why can't my husband see that in my opinion he is enabling our son to act this way? He seems to be "supporting" his dispresect toward me. I am at a loss. We have been going to a counselor, but J refuses to go. By Dec. 13, he has abide by the D.A. to do a few things to avoid prosecution for the petty theft. They include counseling, a writing some papers and a drug test, non of which he has done yet. I see no signs of drug use, and once I had a drug test done on him that he didn't know about and it was negative. He is a very angry indidvidual and I truly dislike my son and want him away from me. I also fear divorce and do not want one. I also worry about the other three kids. Please help me.

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Online Parent Support

1 comment:

maof2 said...

Your son reminds me so much of my younger sister who used to resent my mother. She used to call my mother similar names to what your son calls you and used to wish she were dead. She used to believe my mother had no other business in life but to make her life miserable (I am sure- though she never told me- my mother had the same feelings!) My sister did not care for anyone but her friends. Luckily, with the help of some family friends and a counsellor, my sister managed to "grow out of it" and realise there are more important things in life than be bugged by my mother such as finishing school, finding a job, etc. I am not sure if she turned up (now 33 years old) to be a happy bunny, but then who is?

I am definitely not the right person to give you advice, but have you considered involving a third person, an outsider- we did!!? Perhaps a family counsellor or even a family friend? It is not enough, in my opinion, to hold one side of the string and release the rest. It is not enough that you search for help whilst the others (including your other children) are kept out of it. Your conflict does not only involve you, your husband, and son; but also your other children- all of you as a family. Someone needs to sit with you all and individually to hear each one's side of the story and try to help you get through this before you lose each other.