Am I a Meddling Mom? Sorry it's long

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FlowerGarden, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    difficult child son is 17 now. He spent the beginning of Nov, all of Dec, and a week of Jan. in the Children's Crisis Intervention Unit. Both times he was hospitalized, was within 12 hours after having his girlfriend break up with him. There was one other hospitalization earlier in the year and one trip to the ER but got sent home, all right after having her breaking up with him.

    difficult child made the varsity soccer team as a freshman. He enjoys soccer tremendously and in Sept. the coach made a comment to him that he felt difficult child would be one of the captains in his senior year. Junior year started well. He was having a great time playing.

    About 3 weeks into the season, difficult child was talking on the phone with his girlfriend. He had it on speakerphone. I could hear the whole conversation. She was upset that he had practice or a game after school Mon thru Fri and that he didn't get home until between 6 & 6:30. She kept telling him that she wanted to see him right after school. He kept saying that he could see her after soccer and that soccer would be over in Nov. She wanted to break up with him because of this but she then relented. A couple of days later I heard another conversation in which she told him that she was going to be taking dance lessons and her mom was going to let her take them every night of the week. He asked about what time and she said 7 to 9. His response was, now we will never see each other during the week. She replied, well you do soccer and don't care that you don't see me right after school. I guess we will have to break up. So he asked if he gave up soccer would she give up dance. Of course the answer was Yes.

    It seems she constantly likes to break up with him to have him cry over her and beg her to take him back.

    She is good to him as well. She does try to talk him into calming down if he's upset over something else, etc.

    In the most recent hospitalization process, we found that he started self medicating with pot to help cope with stress. During the hospital stay, he told me not to get a phone card for him because he was afraid that he would call her, get upset again because of their breakup, and go into a rage. He did manage to get some minutes from someone else and called a friend. Girlfriend was there and when asked if he wanted to talk to her he said no that he better not.

    A couple of days later, she winds up real sick and she's texting me on the way to the ER. Her dad starts texting me and mentions that she is very upset that difficult child won't speak to her and that she is so sick (ulcers that she had before meeting him). She acted like she was the victim.

    Because of the self medicating issue he has to attend a dual diagnosis program 4 times a week after school thru 7:45 (one of the nights is until 9). He just started Monday. On our way there yesterday, she breaks up with him because her dad will only let her see him 1 time between Fri, Sat, & Sun and she can see him after school Mon thru Thurs. She felt that seeing him for only an hour after the program wasn't good enough.

    difficult child became hysterical crying and telling me that he was not going to the program and wanted to go home right away and talk to her. I explained that he was court ordered to be there. He text messaged her and she still wouldn't budge. He kept crying that she didn't understand and I, myself, could not understand everything because of his crying. I had it and asked to speak to her. I asked her what was going on. When she stated that with the program 4 nights a week she won't get to see him, I said and you just got a job you start soon, right after school for 5 days a week so what's the difference? I said and what about the weekends? She said that she could only see him one time. With that I said OK then and hung up.

    Now she went and told her parents that I yelled at her and had an attitude. So they said that she can't come here anymore and that I am a horrible person. My son is mad at me because I meddled and he'll never get her back. I admit I was frustrated when I spoke to her but she pulled this while we are driving there. I needed to know what exactly was happening so I could calm my difficult child down enough to convince him to go to the program. This program is to help him cope plus it is court ordered. She knew full well that breaking up with him would upset him. I felt like she was deliberately making him upset because she wanted her way and she wasn't getting it.

    Am I a meddling mom and a horribe person? Do I owe her an apology since she feels I yelled at her?
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    It sounds to me like your son is pretty open to you about his issues and knows he needs help?
    In that case, with you driving and trying to calm him down, no, i don't think it was out of line at all to talk to her. If he were 25 and the same scenario was taking place, including your driving him to his program, I woudln't see it out of line to ask to speak to her, then, either, just to ascertain what is going on so you can deal with the person in your car...
    And from what you posted here, it sure sounds like she's not a great catch. Dance lessons just to get difficult child to quit soccer? She sounds a tad spoiled and has found a way to get what she wants from difficult child...manipulator, what it sounds like to me.
  3. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Did you yell at her? or was it just her interpretation? I would say no, you don't owe her an apology. I would also say she is a self-centered, immature difficult child herself and is not thinking what is best for your son, but only what she wants. If she truely loved him, she would. I don't think you were meddling either, just trying to explain to her the reality of the situation, and all she heard was "no you don't get your way" so she threw a tantrum for her dad. My first thought was "good god boy, you're barely 17, the odds of her being the final true love of your life soul mate are so slim, please let her break up with you and find someone else who cares enough about you to sacrifice a little time so you can get better". Of course, you can't say that to him because he wouldn't agree since he thinks he loves her. Anyone who would break up with him and hurt him so often doesn't really know what loving someone is about. He's probably better off not being able to see her, and hopefully he'll find that out by meeting someone else who treats him right.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I may have wanted to tell her off, but I know better. It only makes things worse.
    This is my interpretation.
    Your son has problems independent of this girl. She is a catalyst, but not the cause. Maybe they aren't good for one another, but most people can handle a breakup without threatening suicide. His self-medication of pot could be a lot more. My daughter used drugs and while many kids will admit to pot smoking, usually they are doing more and won't admit THAT. I was talking to her about that just today (she has gone straight and is my "expert" on drug use). It's very unusual for heavy pot smokers to only be smoking pot.
    Your son isn't acting right and my main concern would be helping him, if he'll let you, rather than trying to change the behavior of his girlfriend (which you can't do). It's really up to your son, at his age, if he wants to get help or go out with this girl. Obviously they are toxic to one another, but they are almost eighteen. There is nothing you can legally do to prevent it. Has your son had problems all of his life?
  5. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Yes, dance lessons to get difficult child to quit soccer! And yes, being a teen, he feels she's the one. The doctor and clinician in the hospital tried to work with him on realizing that it's a vicious cycle that the two of them have going.

    My difficult child has had problems since he was 4. He has a tendency to get attached. We had a lot of deaths in a short period of time and the doctor feels that impacted him. I had a hard time getting him to go to preschool. Luckily through attending his brother's ball games, he made friend's with a boy who was going to preschool in another town, & difficult child asked if he could go to his school. Even signing up for sports, etc. he needed the support of having that friend there until he was 10.

    I didn't yell at her. I was talking over his crying that "he needs her in his life" and "she's the only one that helps me", "she doesn't understand that we can see each other when I get home from the program" and "take me home now so I can talk with her. I can't do the program because I need her in my life". Her opinion is that I yelled at her. I'm driving on a highway during the beginning of rush hour, have difficult child crying so that I couldn't even understand everything he was saying, and trying to talk to her to find out what was going on and why.

    His girlfriend does have her own issues. Her mom is an alcoholic. They fight constantly. She was thrown out of the house and told to go find another place to live for a week but then they let her come home that night. She is a manipulator. I believe she was embarassed that I got on the phone to speak to her and afraid that I would talk to her parents, so she went running to say that I was yelling at her. She's the "victim" and runs to daddy.

    He is very open about things and knows he needs help. As most teens his age, he doesn't want to be there. He has been making very good strides since he came home from the hospital. He is becoming more aware of how to deal with situations and his responsibilities. He has wonderful support at school from the staff.

    I try not to cross the line and tell him what to do. What I do try is to get him calm and present different choices/outcomes. I do make mistakes by crossing that line sometimes but that I'm working on it!
  6. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Hi, flower garden. I am mostly on the 18+ forum because my son is almost 18,but I was looking over some of these posts.I noticed you are from NJ and mentioned the childrens crisis intervention unit, I think I am familiar with that one. Just wondered what good services you have found in our lovely state of NJ, if any!!!!!
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member


    I have found services hard to come by in NJ. We are dealing with Youth Case Management right now. I'm not too pleased with them. I do find FSO to be very helpful. The person there has given me questions to ask, names of counselors, a name of someone to talk to at CMO when she didn't know an answer to something I asked. She even sent me literature and a book about medications.

    We are fortunate that difficult child has a wonderful case manager at school. She is a true advocate for him. Most of the teachers are wonderful, too.

    When he was in CCIS this past time, the doctor and clinician really worked hard at keeping him there as long as possible to stablize his medications. He gets strong side effects from medications so it's hard. I was pleased with the team he had. Even difficult child thought they worked well together.

    Have you come across any decent services?
  8. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I work in the system also(in addtion to being in they system personally) and have not heard many good things about YCM workers. Not too crazy about CMO either, but,believe it or not, I actually worked very well with our DYFS workers and had my son in 1 excellent residential and 1 ok one. It was relatively easy to get him inot the hospital when he was young, but now that he is 17+, I can't get anywhere, He is just too old for the adolescent system and anyway, he knows what he should be doing for himself so I believe he has to hit rock bottom before learning. The YMCA family support program provided us with a wonderful in-home therapist and I liked Catholic Charities programs also.
    Good luck!!!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't think you are meddling. I think she is a spoiled brat who, being raised by an alcoholic, is a far distance from knowing what a healthy relationship is.

    It is such a nasty cycle, her "breaking up" with him, then not, then, then not.

    Has anyone ever worked with your son on why he wants to be treated this way? He has to be getting something out of it.

    I would be worried about the pot. Glad he is in a program, maybe going to narcanon or alanon would be helpful. Or jsut AA or NA. Living with an alcoholic means you just don't understand healthy relationships or boundaries. If he wants this relationship, he is going to need some Al-Anon training to help both of them be healthy.

    Sorry your son is caught in this cycle and is so stressed. It isn't fun for moms, is it?


  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Flowergarden, I do not think you did anything wrong. But I would write her a letter of apology, and deliver it via her father. I would write something like, "I am sorry you felt I yelled at you, that was not my intention not did I feel that I raised my voice. However, I was a bit distracted at the time as I was driving difficult child to hospital."

    This is only an apology if she things it is. You are thereby not apologising for anything you actually did, just saying, "I am sorry you feel this way."
    An example - difficult child 3 might be upset with me because he went to eat the last of the cooked chicken and there's nothing there. He might shout at me, "You ate the last of the chicken!" when I know it wasn't me. So instead of shouting back, "I did not!" I would simply say, "I'm sorry you're angry with me because all the chicken is gone. I don't recall eating any, there are other possibilities. But I can buy more chicken and cook more for everybody in the house who likes chicken."
    It's not an apology, it's not an admission of guilt, it's a way of saying, "I can see you're upset; but let's move on."

    And for all those of you who say that at 17, difficult child has to stop being so melodramatic because she can hardly be the love of his life at that age - can't you remember how you felt about your first boyfriend/girlfriend when you were 17? They say that first love is the love we never get over. And there are reasons for people saying this - it is t rue.

    First love is really intense. It's also often unhealthy, because both partners have a lot of growing up to do. But their immaturity doesn't make the emotions any less intense.

    difficult child 1 broke up with his first girlfriend when he was 16. Actually, she broke up with him - she was a lovely girl but had been doing all the work in the relationship and needed a bloke who was maturing at the same pace she was. And that someone wasn't difficult child 1. They had been an item for two and a half years.
    He was suicidal. I kid you not. He was cutting himself, leaving scars, tattooing her initials onto his arm, carving into his own arm, he stopped looking after himself, he was slovenly in his appearance, he stopped washing, he would talk of suicide.
    I got him to the doctor who put him on large doses of Zoloft, which helped ease the worst of it.

    It took two years for him to get over her enough to ease back on the Zoloft.

    Then he got another girlfriend. This one was a girl he met while they were filming a mini-series - the girl was an actress, a uni student studying psychology, a very bright girl. But when filming was over, the relationship was floundering. About all they had in common was intelligence. I suspect to a certain extent, he was a fascinating subject for her, as a psychology student. Distance was a problem - it just got too much. She had issues of her own, too - I strongly suspect she was anorexic, or at least a potential anorexic. She resisted going to dinner with us, but had to for difficult child 1's 21st birthday. I watched discreetly, she kept passing food on hr plate to difficult child 1, who happily ate extra without thinking. She was very slim and constantly referring to her need to stay slim for filming work. She would refer to herself as 'fat' and easy child 2/difficult child 2 as the sort of slim she wanted to be (easy child 2/difficult child 2 was so skinny you could see her spine, from the front). They had only been going out for three months when she broke up with him - the week after his 21st.

    difficult child 1 was suicidal again. I rang the doctor, who said to double the Zoloft again. We got him through it, it didn't last so long this time.

    Each time, I also talked to him about the relationship to show him where things went sour. I also worked with him to stop him from feeling resentful, but to see that each relationship had positive things to it and had something good to teach him.

    He is now engaged. There are problems with her, but together they seem to be a cohesive unit. This girl is very insecure, at times mothers him but at other times is very needy. But she isn't manipulative in any way. They support each other and work well as a team. As time passes I see the relationship making them both happier and stronger - as it should be.

    Your son's girlfriend sounds like a basket of problems for him. He doesn't need that. And all the time she is mucking him around, he is out of circulation and a thoroughly nice girl could be slipping past him purely because he is so preoccupied with a dead loss.

    She is being passive-aggressive in her crying demands and especially in her response to your conversation. "Crying to daddy" is a very bad sign - "Daddy, please make it better," is something she has learned to do.

    Your son needs someone stable who can stand emotionally on her own two feet (even difficult child 1's girlfriend can do that much). With everything else going on for him, the last thing he needs is a girlfriend who pushes his buttons, just to get an ego-stroking reaction from him. She sounds like she's manufacturing crises with him, just so she can feel good about herself when he gets upset. "He must really love me, the thought of breaking up with me has him suicidal," she would b thinking with some level of satisfaction. "I am lovable after all."
    And of course, she shares the drama with her other GFs. I had a friend who used to do this too - "My boyfriend needs to get a job, I really should break up with him because he is a bit of a no-hoper, but when I tried to break up with him he took an overdose, then rang me to tell me. I stayed on the phone and talked him down, I went over to see him because I was worried about him, I made him some chicken soup. He seemed drowsy but OK, I don't think he had taken as much as he thought, after all."

    Drama, drama, drama. For its own sake. Very unhealthy, very immature.

    She's a little girl playing at being grown-up and in love, but if she really cared for him she wouldn't be threatening to break up, over him not being able to see her more than once a week. I mean, good grief! Get a life, girl! A relationship that has legs, will survive a week or two (or even a month or two) with them not being able to physically meet. If the relationship is so weak that she wants to break up with him because he cannot see her as often as SHE wants, then it is no relationship at all. But she has to manipulate to get him to do what she wants - and if he does it too readily and hasn't suffered enough, then she worries that maybe he hasn't shown her enough how he really loves her, and she has to find another test for him.

    What about her love for him? In what ways does she show her love for him? Ask him. Ask her, if you get the chance.

    I would be talking with him, also getting his therapist to talk with him about her. But in all this, do acknowledge that for him, this is the real thing. NEVER belittle his love for a girlfriend, or any other advice you have will be discredited ( he will be thinking, if you clearly don't credit how badly he feels, how can your advice help?)

    Good luck with this one. Time heals all wounds. And Time wounds all heels.

  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have to completely disagree with Marg.

    Saying "I'm sorry YOU feel this way" is smarmy and not an apology at all. If you feel that you need to apologize, then apologize for what you did. If you don't feel like you did anything wrong, than by all means, do not apologize.

    People need not apologize for how other people feel. We don't MAKE them feel that way. They choose to feel the way they want to feel. She chose to take what you said as yelling at her. It is HER problem.

    What you COULD say is "I'm sorry if my words hurt you". But that is up to you. You could also leave well enough alone.

    I DO completely agree with MWM. She is a catalyst, and his issues are most likely WAY deeper than what you are seeing now. Yes, puppy love is all too real to teenagers, but most can handle a break up without threatening suicide. This girl is toxic and controlling, and in her defense, she probably learned that behavior growing up. But your son does not need to be a part of it.

    Nor should he be self medicating with pot. That is your gateway drug. And what it leads to can be very dangerous.
    There are drugs out there that I never even heard of when I was out there being stupid on drugs.

    Gentle hugs, you have a lot on your plate.
  12. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    As I mentioned, my first thought was I wished I could tell him that she probably wasn't "the one". And this is from first hand knowledge. I dated ONE boy before I met my husband at 17, and that teenage love he's the one and only kicked in, and I married him 3 days after my 19th birthday. We've been married 28 years and I do still care about him, but after about 2 years I knew the love wasn't the same as I thought at 17. Why we're still married is anyone's guess, other than now we have the kids and debts LOL. So yeah, I understand the teenage angst of being in love, and why I said you couldn't tell him anything different.

    The best you can do is have his therapists talk about the relationship, because they can say things to him about it that he would not accept from you as him mom. If you feel the need to, explain to her dad what actually happened from your side. I agree with BBK, don't offer apologies for her feelings. I've been told that saying I'm sorry you feel that way is another way of saying you shouldn't feel that way. It's better to let them know you understand why they feel that way, and then share what your feelings are.

    I hope your difficult child has calmed down, and that the situation for him is improving.
  13. fosterparent

    fosterparent New Member

    Maybe I'm missing something, but your primary concern is your difficult child. She doesn't sound like she is very good for him even though he disagrees. She sounds like a master manipulator. You are his mother, you were looking out for your son. Once your son gets over her (and it willll take some time. Young love is the hardest to get over.) It might be the best thing for both of them. Everything happens for a reason. Hope everything works out for the three of you.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    What I can see - while it may be true that this girl has her own problems your focus needs to be on him and what can be done to help him establish better coping skills, a wider more diverse range of new friends (including young ladies), and have him focus on why his self esteem is shot.

    It sounds like he's quite the soccer player - and that is great. He has a lot of self-confidence, but without self esteem he's going to continue to spiral out of control, use, and make poor choices. If he had self esteem - he wouldn't choose young ladies like her and in the same manner - if she had any self esteem - she wouldn't be choosing to target a young man like your son. So she's not totally to blame here. (get a bunch of CD moms together about a girl that's hurt one of our kids and WOW)

    I would seek out a therapist and upon the first meeting maybe tell him that your son is suffering large time with a problem that is causing him to continually make poor choices, and choose pot as a coping skill. I would further tell him that you don't want to meddle in his affairs so after the initial meeting you really don't feel a need to talk to him unless there is an exercise or problem solving skill you both can work on to benefit your family.

    IS it meddling? Is it love? Is it maybe an enmeshed relationship? The reason I say that is because it was me....always ME that rode in on the white horse to my sons rescue. In part he became very dependent on me solving things,and I did - I did solve them, better than him - and also because it was less time consuming to ME to just fix it. But I can't have that our whole lives. The more I solved things for him or carry the load in calming him down - the less he was learning on his own - about how to calm HIMSELF down? If you always are there to tie his shoes - he'll never tie them himself. Sometimes the best thing you can do in these situations is just smile and say "I'm here if you need to talk." Then let it go.

    And as far as future contact if any with this young lady? Honey - I wouldn't do A THING without her Father and Mother or a good camera video being there. You can't fix her - but you can help your son to learn better coping skills. And let him do it on his own except for driving him to and from therapy - my son has learned some exercises on how to help himself when he's angry and I see him using them when I am not around - and I'm just glad.

    Another Mother of a 17 year old boy trying to fit in somewhere
  15. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    All of you have contributed such wonderful advice. Thanks so much. To update you, difficult child's counselor at his program really helped him. She said to him, in front of me, "she's not being very supportive, is she?". He replied with no. So, she said that they would talk about it in group sessions.

    Well, difficult child and girlfriend made up and decided to go along with plans they had to go out to eat Friday. They were supposed to go out for an early dinner. He left here to go get her but she decided that she wanted to take a nap and wanted to go out later for dinner. Now, her whole issue the other day was that she'd only get to see him one day. If that's the case, why did she push back the time the were to go out?

    husband & I had just gone to bed last night when girlfriend came upstairs all upset and wanted to go to the hospital because he couldn't take life anymore. I tried to reason with him to take the medication he has to help calm down. He felt he was too out of control and the medication wouldn't help him fast enough. His phone was going of like crazy and he ignored it while talking to us. I got out of bed and he ran down to answer his phone. I could only hear his end of the conversation. girlfriend got into a fight with her mom and her parents called the police. girlfriend told him not to tell me what happened and that my husband & I hate her! She told difficult child that it was all his fault that she had the fight with her mom and they had to call the police. She had the fight with her because he didn't answer the phone when he came to wake husband & I up!

    difficult child told me that he'd take his medication to try to calm down. girlfriend wound up being taken to the police station. difficult child kept trying to calm her over the phone and was doing a decent job of it. She kept telling him that she was going all different places, hospital, a relative's in New Hampshire, etc.

    A coping skill that difficult child uses is to go somewhere to keep busy. Well, at 1 in the morning with it snowing out, there's not much you can do. So, I took him to a diner that's open 24 hrs.

    girlfriend & family got very upset when they found out that we were at the diner. Her dad text messaged difficult child saying that difficult child just wanted attention and that girlfriend was no longer to see him. Well, girlfriend still kept calling and texting difficult child that she never wanted to see or talk to him again. Well, stop calling him then, duh. He told me that he kept answering because her parents & police had told her to contact him at times to try to calm her down. So, he wouldn't turn the phone off.

    Wondering what set this whole thing off last night? She got mad at him for not staying up and talking on the phone with her the night before!!

    difficult child did realize last night what she has been doing to him. I told him that I was glad he did come around and take his medication & use his coping skills. I was proud of the way he handled all the phone calls.

    Today we are going to have to work on not talking about her in a demeaning way. He's already called her a few cuss words to me.

    This girl can be very sweet and helpful in calming difficult child and motivating him. Unfortunately, she really knows how to manipulate him, too.

    Also, I found out that she has been taking things of his. difficult child kept thinking it was one of his brothers taking some of his clothing. He told me that he realized it was her when she went into her purse to get something and he saw that she had his hoodie in it!

    Please keep your fingers crossed as I feel the next week is going to be a lot of name bashing between the two off them. Hopefully, they stay parted.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a very eventful night. There is a simple answer to WHY she keeps doing this. She only knows how to thrive on chaos. When there is an alcoholic parent life is very scary and unpredictable. She probably never knows when her mom will act in a caring manner and support her, or will be angry or cold and unsupportive.

    This is hard on a teen.

    As for your son, he sounds like he has made some breakthroughs. Star has some good ideas.

    Sending hugs and extra rhino skin for your Warrior Mom Suit!! (ps. The hugs go INSIDE the warrior mom rhino skin suit - otherwise it chafes.)

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I must admit, I'm thinking of a few bad words about girlfriend as well. "Manipulative little cow" comes to mind. EVERYTHING is about her, so entirely - can't difficult child see this? She changed the time for dinner, because HE didn't talk to HER for long enough (by her definition) the night before. Then she blames him for the problems SHE is causing. What really gets me - her parents are buying into this, also blaming difficult child (and you) for the chaos girlfriend is manufacturing.

    She is sounding more and more like a potential stalker. She needs his emotional instability as a measure of how lovable she is - if she can push him into meltdown/breakdown, then (to her mind) he cares about her so much that he is literally driven insane by his need for her. Again - it's all about HER.

    I went through the "I hate her for breaking up with me, it has all been a total waste of my time and my energy" with difficult child 1. We workshopped it together. I pointed out that the relationship had continued for x number of weeks/months/years, and for much of that time it was a successful relationship. I made a point of pushing him to describe the good things they had, especially in the early stages of the relationship. This is important, because when she tries to wheedle him into getting back together, she will use those good memories (maybe distorted out of proportion) and if he has been ignoring the good memories, she is more likely to succeed in talking him into getting back together.
    So YOU bring them up. "What was it like in the early stages? You had fun together when you went bowling," or similar. Talk about it. Then move to, "When do you feel things began to go wrong? What do you feel might have contributed? What did she do? What did you do?"
    Work to make him see that the success and failure of relationships always involves both parties. Also work to teach him that sometimes, especially with early relationships, things just have to be allowed to run their course. This girl needs to learn to look inside herself for approval and validation. She needs to learn to not be so selfish, and to learn to value other people, to respect their space and their needs. She is NOT respecting difficult child's needs at the moment. Did she ever?

    This relationship was a necessary experience for difficult child and he needs to see this. Without this relationship he might have made different mistakes in his next one. Every relationship teaches us something about ourselves and also supports us in improving how we relate, next time round.

    He needs to see this, too. She has done good things for him - even if it is to teach him what is NOT appropriate in a relationship.

    Don't bag her too much and don't let him bag her too much. Of course he will be angry, he needs to work out exactly WHY he is angry and deal with that. Don't deal with the girl, deal with the emotions.

    Why does she say that you hate her? Either he has fed her (in the past) things you might have said about her (which is another reason to not bad-mouth her in his hearing) or she is jumping to (probably correct) conclusions in her attempt to drive a wedge between you and difficult child (so she can control him a bit more).

    If she really cared about him, she wouldn't put him through this. I really wonder if she cares about him at all, other than as an ornament for her ego.