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Dear Confused

From what you write I can think that there may be some positives for your son in this situation. It sounds like that despite the fact that your ex is a partier/heavy drinker, he is establishing authority over your son as the boss. And it seems as if your son is accepting his authority and not bucking him. I think this could well benefit your son. It sounds as if he has been bucking your authority and defying you.

That your son is acting better with his Dad does not diminish your importance or you. Many of us who have been single mothers of teen boys who grow into young men, have to deal with this.

This could be a honeymoon period and in short order, your son will tire of his father being the boss, and begin to buck him. Or he could tire of the "party" atmosphere. Or in a best-case situation, to my way of thinking, your son could begin to accept authority, so in time, he is better able to regulate his own behavior.

If "ex" is having some success in getting son to conform, to focus on positives, to settle down, this isn't a "win" for ex. It's a "win" for your son and for you. Because you've been the one who raised this boy.


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I see everyones points. On a couple issues yes good for better for now hopefully perm better. Dont know if honeymoon or what.

But that justifies allowing your teen to drink with a few other serious issues?

Oh, ok. I shouldnt worry.


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Are you sure he lets him drink? You'd need proof or your son would have to say so.

Unfortunately the bar is very high once kids get older.

Hang in there.


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Ex and son already told me what he will and wont allow.

This is all so confusing...painful and just nothing i can to UNTIL something happens i hear. 😑

Alcohol is a crutch in most cases. I agree at any age and with anyone, it can happen. Just why would you want your child/children to be like u, knowing this has caused/added issues in their own life, I dont!

I want my kids and others to put down any mistakes i made, and be better/wiser, stronger, healthier. I take no offense, im not close to perfect. But, just, wow. How can some say its ok to do this or that and not want better for their kids or others?💁‍♀️


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Just why would you want your child/children to be like u,
Unfortunately, I think this is not uncommon where parents who drink or use drugs or are in gangs, etc. induct or indoctrinate their children into their aberrant lifestyle. At an extreme, I knew a man whose parents who were drug lords raised their son to be the same. I think the reasons these parents do this are always self-serving. To not have to question their own choices, for example.

I don't think that "why" questions are that helpful. I think "what" and "how" questions are more helpful. Like "what am I going to do now?" "How will I do it? What do I need now? How will I do it?" "What does my son need now?" "How will I support him?"


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Makes sense Copa. Never really thought of any of what you just said that way.

I feel like im spinning in circles on what to do or say anymore. To anyone, incl son.

Its like, I know you all said regardless what happens with son, to improve myself. Move forward. But every time i even start to try that (mainly just thinking of a plan or goal) I stop and say whats the point? Or, ill do it tomorrow. Its like im drained. I either sleep and have nightmares(yes even b4 son left and not all about him), dont sleep enough or sleep too much.

I been on and off this otc anxiety medication, it does help a lil.

I have a dream career invisioned that wont happen. Basically just overall better relationship with kids, family.


New Member
Ok...please . Im so confused.

Im not understanding how im trying not to say much about things, esp the situation with his dad. He texts me telling me all this stuff going on.Did his dad change he asked me. I said" how does HE feel, what does HE see? "He says "apprently not". He continues to say im at fault for something his dad might say , and i did give examples of what we did and he didnt.

I said what do you want, he said in the end he wants to come home when can i pick him up.

He texts back lil later asking if he should get to know his dad like he she said and stay longer...AFTER HE is telling me all this illegal stuff, drinking, belt threats, etc! And that he wants home.

Im not understanding whats going on here. Did his dad just talk to him and told him more lies?(no i didnt say that but asking you all) what the heck. It he sees what his dad is doing than takes it rite back...

Things are bad but cant say..i got to get a lawyer somehow...
(I try keep changing subject but do clarify this was a visit only as he said)
Maybe the ex is texting from the phone?


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But every time i even start to try that (mainly just thinking of a plan or goal) I stop and say whats the point? Or, ill do it tomorrow. Its like im drained
You're not the only one. I bet almost all of the mothers here have felt that way more than once. I'm going through a tough patch myself right now. The same as you. Today I spent in bed, with Netflix. That's all I did. I binge-watched a show the 2nd time. It's great actually. The Cook of Castamar.

Why be so hard on ourselves? Every life has downtimes. We need downtime in order to have uptime. Can you look at it as a pit stop? Time to refuel.
I have a dream career invisioned that wont happen.
How do you know? It certainly won't happen if you believe it won't and say it won't.

I worked very long and hard to reach a career goal, a field I worked in successfully over a 28 year period. I've been trying to go back to work but I am afraid. I am having the same self-doubt as you.

I won't say that this has to do with my son, 100 percent. But it has something to do with him.

He's gone back to the metro area north of me. He's homeless. This time, he doesn't have a phone. Yesterday a couple of letters arrived from the liver clinic--he's got an illness.

Even though I've been through this so many times, it takes a toll. And this time, I didn't put 2 and 2 together until I began to respond to your post.

Confused. Can you give yourself a break? If you cut yourself some slack, I will too. I may even binge-watch the series a 3rd time, or find another one.
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I don't think you should try to analyze the texts. It's crazy-making. It's hard to make sense of what is going on. I agree with Fifi and you, that there is a good chance his Dad is pressuring him, or even manipulating the texts.

Your son is going to school. I don't know if this is the right or wrong thing to do, but if he wanted to go home to your house, he could tell school. After all, your ex did not have the legal paperwork necessary to enroll him. If you wanted to you could call the school and alert them to this. But you need to think this through for yourself, what you feel you can handle, and what you feel safe with. I don't want to pressure you.

The thing is, if his Dad knows he wants to leave and return to you and his Dad isn't letting him come home, and that continues over a period of time, I feel that could be breaking the law. Isn't that child abduction? You've told your ex you want him home, haven't you? And son has said he wants to come home?

The thing is I worry about pushing this. We here on the forum don't really know what your ex is capable of. And I know what it's like to not have a lot of backup or support.

Maybe somebody will know a safe way to handle this.


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You would need to go to court. You were the one who gave him to the Dad and I don't believe that, unless the parent leaves the country, a parent can abduct a child
.Everything you want to try will end up in court. Custody is handled in court.

Have you been able to locate a lawyer?

Family court, which I wish I had not seen, is not specific. And it is court where decisions are made. And my sisters have been through a lot. I am not trying to discourage you. But court is where these things are decided especially since Dad did not just take him from school and run off. There will be a presumption that you, as a fit adult, gave him to his father expecting him to be safe. In no way did Dad just take him from his home. It was planned out.

Nothing is easy about especially teens and custody. Your son will be assigned a GAL that both of you will have to probably pay. Money is involved. Do you have a family member who can help you? We helped both my sister's as they did not have the funds. We have no regrets and they don't need to pay us back. Do you have parents or siblings who would help?

Honestly your son does have a say and you need to gather any info to show his dad has a drinking problem. These are things my sister's had to do yet their proof did not give them fill custody only 50/50. But that's still pretty good.

This kind of custody stuff happens all the time. Cops don't do it. Lawyers do. It can be done. Please don't beat yourself up. Try a lawyer if you can....and also think about whether or not your son will be better or worse for you or himself if you make him come home. If it happens.

I feel for the divorced parents with difficult children. In the end, he will always be your son. He is talking to you. That is good! It doesn't always happen. He clearly WANTS you in his life on this level, at least.

You can talk to a lawyer one time for free. He or she is the best person to tell you what your best options are. They truly know. None of us really do. Get that free hour!!!

Love and prayers. You sound very kind.


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All of the things Busy writes make sense. The one thing I wonder about is this: you didn't "give" your son to your ex-husband. You consented to a visit, under terms that you could live with. It was always contingent upon your son's welfare and consent. Now those two things are in question.


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You would have to prove it was just a visit. What you allege is not proof. You did not make it official in court. Hub could say it is forever. There will be disputes...that is what lawyers are for !Furthermore often these things still turn into custody battles. If I had known you in real life, I would have told you NOT to open this can of worms. Don't send son.

If Son SEEMS to be doing well and wants to stay that puts you on the defensive. Remember...son will have an attorney now. His needs and wants will matter. It's not so cut and dried once they are 13.

If you want to fight Dad it will be in court. Likely you would share custody. When you first got divorced maybe women always got majority custody. Not so now. Not at all. The default is 50/50.

Child support changes too if you go to court.

It's a hot mess for all. But since parents always call one another abusive and unfit, Judges get immune to those charges unless there is ironclad proof. They still often stick to 50/50. That's not bad by the way. Kids have two parents and the court wants them to know both.

See a lawyer for that free hour!