“My ex-husband spoils my son, and it’s making my life miserable!” Show Notes

Friday, March 02, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Dear Dr. Bill,

I have a 4-year-old son named Nicholas. His father and I divorced when he was two, and now Nicholas visits him every 2 weeks. When my son returns home, he cries for his father. This really hurts me because I’ve raised him alone and have all the hard work, like discipline. I also think he spoils him. I would appreciate your help on this — because after these visits I end up crying and feel emotionally devastated for days.
 
--Rebecca

 

Dear Rebecca,
 
It's normal for a four-year-old boy to bond closely with his father and to miss him when they’re apart. 

It’s certainly possible that your ex spoils him--it’s not uncommon for non-custodial parents to spoil their kids a bit.  It’s understandable that you’d be annoyed if he’s letting your son get away with murder.

If you have a good relationship with your ex, discuss how the two of you can get on the same page when it comes to discipline. 

If your relationship is strained and this isn’t possible, you’ll need work to put your anger and resentment aside. 

You mentioned that you’re emotionally devastated for days every time your son comes home from visiting his dad. If that’s the case, it’s likely you’re looking to your son to meet your emotional needs. That’s not healthy for you—or for him.

It’s critical for you to find supportive relationships with other women. One good place to start would be to join a MOPS group at a local church. You can find one near you by going to mops.org.

Thanks for writing Rebecca.

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, just click on "Questions" link on the Culture Connection page.
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