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Separation Anxiety

Started by Mellybug, Jan 15, 2004, 03:59:30 PM

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The basic facts: in November, my boyfriend was awarded 50/50 custody & legal of his two children: Son-6, Daughter-3. No Child Support was requested, and none set.

In January, BM began working in her business again. She has seen the children 1 time since January 2nd, and doesn't bother to call most nights. She tells them she'll see them and pick them up (without us knowing about it), and when we pick them up they are angry and disappointed that it was us and not her.

The other day when she finally called, I asked her when she was going to see her kids again. She blew up about me to my boyfriend, got nasty, and hung up.

Two days later she apologized, said I was right, and picked the kids up for a visit the next evening. Then gave them back, and that's been it. She said she'd pick them up last night - and didn't. WE get to be the bad guys when we pick them up and tell them Mommy isn't getting them like she said.

So, I guess my concerns are:
1) His daughter has become EXTREMELY clingy and insecure. She has to constantly be physically next to/touching myself or my boyfriend (if I'm busy). She needs constant reassurance of our love, which we give her.

2)  His son, on the other hand, has become distant to my boyfriend, yet more loving to me. He acts like he's depressed a lot, and has gotten to the age where he now challenges his mother. "You said you'd pick us up, WHY didn't you?" (YAY).

Both kids have become more close to me and are bonding with me more. They'd rather be with me than him (which would hurt his feelings if he ever knew), but with me trying to keep the house clean, everyone fed, homework done, laundry, etc. I'm afraid I don't have as much time as they require.

Can you give me some suggestions on how to handle this? Talking to their mother is not an option. What kinds of things should I talk to them about? I already tell them how much we both love them and how special they each are. I'd really appreciate any suggestions - I'm new to this.


Dr. D

Dear Mellybug,

It sounds as though you are going to get the best end of all this.  Continue to reeassure the kids of your love.  It is not uncommon for kids to gravitate toward the female (mom or sm).  The softness of the voice, is one reason.  Teach the kids to respond politely, yet honestly to others.  Your ss has every right to be angry with his mother - allow him that.  Try to direct the anger however.  Let him know his feelings are normal and that you love picking up where she cannot (for whatever reason) fill.  Sounds like they are seeking evidence they you won't leave them.

Be honest with them.  If MY own kids were clingy, I'd tell them I need some space....but don't quit hugging.

Keep us posted.
Dr. D