Q Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I am a 46-year-old male who is about to be remarried. My fiance is divorced with an 11-year-old daughter. The court has awarded joint custody to my fiance? and her ex-husband (one week with one, the next with the other). My problem is that the ex-husband is threatening the child with loss of love if the daughter chooses to live with her mother. The daughter has said that to both my fiance and me. It appears now that the daughter is being used as a pawn against my fiance.
Q: I am a divorced father with three boys. My youngest is 11. He is the subject of this request. My girlfriend has two children, the youngest of whom is also an 11-year-old boy. My girlfriend is a wonderful, caring mother. I feel I am a caring father. My son is very small for his age, so I am not used to him being a bully of any kind. My girlfriend's son is bigger and more physical than my son and tends towards being very active. My son says mean things to him, like that he's retarded, or that I really don't like him, just his mom.
Should we Stay Together for the Sake of the Children? We posted the following letter and asked how the rest of you feel about staying together in a bad marriage for the sake of the children. We are reposting the original question together with readers' reactions. If more of you wish to contribute, write us at: email@example.com Q"I've often heard that people, including psychologists, believe it is important for parents to stay together, even in a bad marriage, so the kids will benefit from having two parents, two role models.
Q: Dear Dr. Sylvia, My brother is raising his four-and-a-half year old son on his own. The boy sees his mother and sister every other weekend. My brother loves his son and is struggling with patience to deal with a child of this age. My parents do what they can to help. My nephew is in Head Start every day, and then, stays with my parents until his dad gets home from work. My brother's job is very frustrating, and many times when he gets home, he is not in the best frame of mind.
Q Dear Dr. Sylvia: I am a mother in the middle of a divorce and a vicious custody battle over my 12-year-old son. My son's father is brainwashing him against me, but my son's therapist has been telling him not to say anything negative against his father. How can I get these awful ideas about me out of my son's head? -- Victimized Mom
Q: Dear Dr. Sylvia, I have been the residential custodian of my 15-year-old son since he was born. During that time, his father has maintained a responsible and regular presence in his life with weekly visits, weekend sleepovers, and vacations. During the past four years, however, the day-to-day responsibilities of raising my son became more difficult. He was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability in fifth grade, and trying to find the right combination of medication and behavior modification combined with pre-adolescent hormonal changes took its toll on both of us.
Brandon, 6 1/2, comes home one evening to discover his Daddy is leaving home. He can't understand why his parents can't solve their problems without his Daddy moving out, and he's wondering if he is to blame. I don't understand. Why did Daddy move out last night? I came home from school and he was taking out a suitcase.
More than half of the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. So there's a good chance that either you or a friend of yours has parents who are splitting up - or who already have. Your Stories (Children of Divorce) Divorce hurts. I don't need to tell you that. You might feel a lot of pain and be very sad. You also might feel like you're going through this all alone.
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