Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

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Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby mbxdad » Wed May 02, 2012 6:51 pm

My NJ has been making a series of bad financial decisions and generally is very agitated and stressed about her financial situation (though she has cash in the bank, she won't touch it). This rubs off on S13, who is with her half the time. He sees me doing reasonably well, we want for nothing, live in a nice house, eat well, and bills are paid, and I can take him out to do fun things. This is partly because I actually work (NJ is still looking) and partly because I've made more sane financial decisions. The atmosphere at my place tends to be optimistic and happy, but I can't say the same at NJ's place.

S13 is anxious when with NJ, worries about money a lot, and he seems to pick up a lot on her blaming me for the mess she's in. It breaks my heart to see how stressed he becomes. NJ of course is trying to guilt me into increasing spousal support due to the mess she's in (but that's a separate topic).

Anybody else been in a similar situation? How do you help your kids feel better about the disparity in living situations? How do I help him without caving in to her guilt trip?
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby Trevor » Wed May 02, 2012 7:00 pm

Frankly, the courts analyzed your total financial situation, both parents, and ordered what they thought was equitable. It is each parent's responsibility to take that situation and make the best of it that they are able. For the kids and for themselves.

You are not responsible to do that for his mother. You are no longer married to her. Therefore, her arguments that "you" caused "the mess she's in" is 100% bogus.

Dunno of your kid is old enough to hear that, or that your X has access to the way she can remedy that situation (i.e., the courts), but it is the truth.
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby happier_now » Wed May 02, 2012 11:00 pm

same situation with money, but not done with the paperwork yet, my kids are younger than yours, but when it comes up about money and/or lack there of, i make it an object lesson (as i love dave ramsey)....case in point, gave the kids some cash for spring break....daughter blew it on stuffed animals, son saved it....and got tackle box, new reel and such last week.....he mentioned glad i saved it and got something good........POOF, son the best thing you can EVER do is save money, keep drilling in the non NJ lessons that we learned the hard way
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby defaultuser » Thu May 03, 2012 4:53 am

I reinforce to my kids at every opportunity that they are not responsible for their parents. Its the other way around.

Tell your kid he's not supposed to worry about those things, and that he's always going to be taken care of because you'll be there for him.
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby Bubba Seal » Thu May 03, 2012 8:13 am

When my son was 13 he said some things along this line to me, I just said Son dont worry I will take care of you, I did and hes fine.

Dont let her manipulate you into anything you dont want to do, or more importantly cant afford to maintain doing. This is one of the hardest things in divorce is getting unshackled from a manipulative ex, you have some sort of agreement about money, just stick to that when pushed.

Good Luck
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby mbxdad » Thu May 03, 2012 12:17 pm

The support agreement was something we came up with ourselves, and the courts approved it. Who knows if the court would have forced me to pay more, or pay less. Any more on my part would have caused me to go into debt more and more each month. I get the idea of standing firm - an agreement is an agreement, and she does need to start standing on her own two feet.

Sending my son off to a dark/depressing environment each week... dang. More money wouldn't fix that situation, though - she is a dark/depressing person in general. More money would decrease her anxiety, but increase mine. And given her history she would just dig another hole.

I'll double down on telling him that he's not responsible for his parents. He definitely feels that he is responsible for the NJ and it's way too much for him to bare. I wish I could talk sense into her but we're not exactly on talking terms.

He knows I'll be there for him, but he can't help but worry about his mom and stress about it especially when he is with her.

This s.u.c.k.s.
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby mbxdad » Fri May 04, 2012 10:25 am

Had S13 over last night. I asked him if he was still on a growth spurt this week and eating more than usual - he said yes but he was trying to eat less when at his Mom's place because he didn't want it to cost her too much money.

:(
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby mexico123 » Fri May 04, 2012 2:16 pm

I understand your protective feelings about your son, but I feel he is not as fragile as you suspect.

He appears to have a personality which is good at identifying problems. That he has the resources to identify others' problems may mean that 'he' is actually doing well and functioning normally, since he has no pressing major problems of his own.
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby Chris A » Sat May 05, 2012 6:13 am

mbxdad wrote:Had S13 over last night. I asked him if he was still on a growth spurt this week and eating more than usual - he said yes but he was trying to eat less when at his Mom's place because he didn't want it to cost her too much money.

:(


Pack him some snack food to go along with him. Your not helping her your feeding him. A box of granola bars or cans of Pringles in his go bag.
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Re: Feeling sorry for my S13 when with NJ - any advice?

Postby hanzblinx » Sun May 06, 2012 1:10 pm

Considering my ex did the leaving and the cheating, I would not entertain any requests for increased alimony. She did ask once, that was a long time ago. I told her to go through the court if she wanted an increase, but that she would not win because it had only been 2 months since divorce and there was no change in circumstances.

And my son is 12, he hasn't said much about her finances, but he has commented that I am rich. Unfortunately not, but I can pay my bills on time.
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