General chatter - Help me, how do I repair this?

View Full Version : Help me, how do I repair this?

12-24-2006, 02:45 AM
My 'husband' (he's not technically my husband because we're not technically married, but we've been together for 16 years and have a 7-year-old-son) has been a real *** lately. Last night he totally went off on me (not physically) screaming about this and that and I don't know what the heck else and I've been dealing with his crap for the last month or so. We've even spoken lately of splitting up because he loves to run those, "Well if I'm not good enough for you, then go find someone else!" guilt trips on me. As well as the, "You don't pay enough attention to me in bed! You don't compliment me enough! You don't **** my brains out on a regular basis!"


Well tonight was the last straw. He was in the back room wrapping presents and our son happened to walk back there and looked in the room, not meaning anything by it, just wanting to see what daddy was up to. He (dad) got all p'd off because our son walked in on him wrapping gifts and told that child he wasn't getting anything for Christmas. Told him that Santa wouldn't leave him anything now since he walked in on "daddy" and "disturbed" him while he was wrapping presents.

My son was pathetically in tears. He was crying and said, "Mommy, daddy said Santa wouldn't bring me any presents."

I was so upset that I went and talked to him and told him you NEVER say those things to a child. A child who has been talking about Christmas for the last month straight and making beautiful things for mommy and daddy in school and decorated the Christmas tree himself and has a countdown to Christmas hanging on the fridge and went to the holiday shop at school to buy his loved ones gifts and asks me every day how many days there are until Christmas. A child, like most children, who LIVE for this kind of thing. My son has spent the last month talking about, planning for and waiting on, Christmas. And his own father tells him tonight he's not getting anything.

I'm so blasted mad right now I could spit nails. Damn him anyway. I spoke with him and he went and hid in the bedroom, running his usual, "What can I say, I'm a bad person!" bullcrap on me and told him that, once again, I was going to have to be the "peacemaker" and fix things with our son. Which I did. I held him as he cried and tried to sound chipper and told him daddy didn't mean what he said and that Santa knew he'd been a good boy this year and would bring him plenty of presents. Again. As always. I'm always having to 'repair' the damage that boy's father inflicts upon him. No, his father has never physically abused him. But I happen to know, from experience, that verbal and emotional abuse hurts just as much. And when my son's father tried to run excuses on me for his behavior, I said, "I don't care what your problem is right now or what excuse you have, you NEVER say that kind of a thing to a child." And when he tried to apologize (to me, not our son) I said to him, "Sorry, but the damage is already done."

And, of course, his apology wasn't heartfelt. It was your typical, "I'm sorry, okay?! What do you want from me!" type of things.

I'm not looking for relationship advice, that part I'll handle myself. But how to do I repair the emotional damage my 'husband' has done to our son? That was a horrible HORRIBLE thing to say. And it broke my heart to see my baby standing there in tears because daddy told him he wasn't getting any presents this year.

Thanks, everyone, for listening. I have to go to bed now, it's very late. But I'll check back tomorrow and I'd love to hear advice or even similar stories of maybe other mommies that are going through or HAVE gone through the same thing. I'm just heartbroken right now, for my baby. I can't even describe the heartbreak I'm feeling. Until you've seen a child in tears who has been told by his own father that Santa wouldn't bring him any presents (after the very night before he was so good for grandma because he wanted to make Santa proud of him) you haven't felt THAT kind of heartbreak.



12-24-2006, 04:03 AM
Explain to him that as long as he knows that he has been good, then he knows that Santa is going to bring him presents. Tell him that things are going to be okay! I would just give him lots of love and help him keep the spirit of Christmas with the count down. *HUGS* I hope that things get better!!

12-24-2006, 04:32 AM
How freakin' depressing!

I would be so livid....these times are stressful for everyone on one level or another...but to steal a child's magic in such a minor incident is so sad....

I would just continue to make as much magic as you him, hug him, read to him.....and distract him....tell him that it is his dad's problem and not his....that his dad was in the wrong and carry on...

try to make peace with your SO.....the best gift parents can give their kids is to love each other...if that is not an option...your new year's resolution my be obvious.

Hang in there!


12-24-2006, 07:36 AM
I'm so sorry that your son and yourself are going through this. Thank G-d your son has you to love him and cherish him and recognize the importance of this special time. I think I would tell my son that what daddy said was wrong and sometimes daddy gets angry and says things that he doesn't mean, but nevertheless loves you very, very much. I would just keep reinforcing what a good boy he is and how very, very proud you are of him. :hug:

12-24-2006, 09:08 AM
I'm so sorry that your son and yourself are going through this. Thank G-d your son has you to love him and cherish him and recognize the importance of this special time. I think I would tell my son that what daddy said was wrong and sometimes daddy gets angry and says things that he doesn't mean, but nevertheless loves you very, very much. I would just keep reinforcing what a good boy he is and how very, very proud you are of him. :hug:

Ditto to this. Or you could try saying that daddy was doing some work to help out Santa and got angry because he thought that your son was spying on him (which every child knows you're not supposed to do). But reassure him that Santa knows it was all a misunderstanding and that he's given daddy a good telling off for being so harsh!

Sorry you're having to go through with this. If you do decide to split up, PM me if you need to talk. I was about 9 and my brother was 6 when our parents split up.

12-24-2006, 09:20 AM
The Christmas part is fairly easy. Reinforce that Santa knows if a person is truly good inside, and no matter what, he's a good boy. The magic will likely be reinforced the moment he wakes up to see what Santa brought him.

As far as the rest of the emotional damage, that's not so easy. It's hard to explain to a child that one of his parents was very wrong and said some things he shouldn't have. Kids look up to their parents and it's hard for them to see that they're anything less than perfect at that age. No matter what you say or do, he will likely still blame himself because that's how children deal with things like this. From what you've said about your relationship with him, I think that the love you give him and the support and reinforcement of positive behaviors will be his saving grace. Sooner or later he will realize his dad isn't perfect, and has said/done some bad things. And he'll also realize that you've been there for him through it all.

12-24-2006, 09:48 AM
i Say Comfort The Child And Keep Him Focused On Christmas The Best You Can At The Moment ~~

I Would Not In Any Way, Shape Or Form, Tell Him That Daddy Didn't Mean It ~ To Me, It Sounds Like He You Have Said You Always Have To Be The Peacemaker....if His Father Is Truly This Way, The Sooner The Boy Finds Out The Better...if The Father Is Really Sorry Then I Would Think He Would Be Comforting The Boy All He Could...i Know I Would.

12-24-2006, 10:23 AM
I agree with Gary, don't make excuses for his Daddy. Let Daddy make the apology and make it right.

Let your son know how much you love him and comfort him by talking to him about Christmas and being excited about the things he made at school. My kids were so excited when they did the Christmas shopping thing in elementary school and they had a wonderful art teacher that did a craft with the kids to give as a gift every Christmas. They are 21 and 19 now and they still get excited about buying gifts and I still proudly display their creations they made.

As he gets older, your son will see what a jerk Daddy is to both you and him and neither of you did anything to deserve it. Lookout Daddy when that son is big enough to yell back. My father was a yeller and my brother has had nothing to do with him at all for a very long time. They got in a huge fight when my brother was 17. I make attempts with my Dad because I too am a peacemaker, but I always end up being hurt almost every time. My husband tells me not to keep trying.

12-24-2006, 10:46 AM
I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that daddy was indeed WRONG, that sometimes even parents make mistakes, but nevertheless he loves you very much. And that he didn't mean it. That it was said out of anger. And yes he most certainly should not have said those things. I don't agree (just my opinion, certainly not fact) that he should know about his father the sooner the better. Beleive me if he continues on in this way he'll figure it out soon enough, if he hasn't already, without his mom bad mouthing his father. Good luck. And with you on his side, your little boy will be just fine. He's lucky to have you. I really, truly hope you have a Merry Christmas indeed.

12-24-2006, 11:13 AM
HEY ROCKIN ~ The point I was trying to (and if I may speak for my pal JULES) is that LLV said she is "ALWAYS" having to repair what dad said to the boy ~~ I think it is wrong to continually "lie" for him. If it was a one time thing because dad was stressed out for something, then fine ~ but as I said before, if that were truly the case then dad would have found time to comfort the boy himself. I do agree that the boy will eventually see it himself, but that doesn't make it right for mom to always cover for dad...she just needs to comfort the boy through these times.

Tara D
12-24-2006, 11:29 AM
If this is new behavior for dad, maybe he is going through some emotional trauma or depression (hopefully not substance abuse). Have you talked to him about whether something is bothering him? Is he really stressed out right now? Does he feel like he can communicate with you? Needless to say, this is not an excuse, but maybe have a conversation where he has a chance to talk openly without the premise of him being told he's doing something wrong. However, if his behavior is an old problem, then maybe you need to think about what is truly best for your family, and I have no right to tell you what that is, because only you know your family situation.

12-24-2006, 11:30 AM
GARY: I understand your point - 100%, but no matter what we think of the dude, do you really, really think he doesn't love his son, do you really, really think he meant what he said - I think he DOES love his son, although he's gotta lousy way of showing it and I DON't think he meant what he said. And therefore I think it's okay if his mom says so.

Tara D
12-24-2006, 11:33 AM
I would consider that he might not have meant it, too. It seems that it may have been a moment of frustration (not handled well) because he wanted Christmas morning to be perfect and a wonderful surprise for his son.

12-24-2006, 12:02 PM
Nobody is saying that the Dad doesn't love his son, but what I think Gary and I are trying to say is he is the one that should make it right not the mom. If Mom is "ALWAYS" making excuses for the Dad's outbursts, it is justifying the bad behavior and making it acceptable when it is not. The Dad needs to be a grown up and admit what he said was wrong and apologize. Nobody is saying that the Mom needs to badmouth the Dad either, that would be just as wrong and confusing to a 7 year old and just make the situation worse.

12-24-2006, 12:28 PM

12-24-2006, 12:29 PM

12-24-2006, 12:41 PM
The Dad needs to be a grown up and admit what he said was wrong and apologize. Absolutely agreed - 100%, but unfortunately I don't think he's capable or willing to do this, and therefore it's up to his mom to make that child feel loved, wanted and special. Without making excuses - just telling him like it is - that his dad loves him and makes mistakes sometimes, yup he should be doing this himself, but again it's probably not gonna happen and for the sake of her child's well being she needs to step up to the plate (in my opinion, that is). Everyone has to decide for themselves what they think is best. We are not living in her situation and it's up to her decide what she thinks is best. I just wish her a lot of luck

12-24-2006, 01:07 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies, I appreciate them.

As for making excuses for dad, somebody's got to. I'm not going to let my son sit there alone in his room crying because he thinks he's not getting anything for Christmas.

Now, I agree that the optimal thing would be for dad to sit down and apologize to his son for what he said and tell him he didn't mean it. But trust me, that's not going to happen. So it's up to me to fix the situation. Again. This is NOT a new thing going on.

I don't lie for him, I simply tell my son that what he said isn't true. I sat with him last night and gave him plenty of hugs and kisses and eventually had him laughing again. I can't stand to see him heartbroken and I'm not going to let him fester in those thoughts waiting for dad to come forward and apologize. Because it's never going to happen.

Here's another example....

He said something else to him just this morning. Dad asked my son to pick up his cereal bowl and take it to the kitchen. My son (obviously not wanting his own father to tell him what to do) said, "You're not the boss of me!" And dad said, "Oh yes I am, according the law and if I don't carry OUT my job of being the boss of you, they'll come and take you away and put you in an orphanage."

Do you see what I'm talking about here? And yes, I've talked to him and have told him he needs to sit down and have a talk with that child, but he never does. He won't. So I'm not expecting it to happen.

Again, thanks for the replies and a special thanks to someone who PM'd me some links to read. I could go on about the things dad has said to my son, but it won't do much good at this point. I think you all get the general idea.

And I need to add something here: he's (dad) is going out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. He came up to me and forced himself on me, kissing me and trying to make me kiss him. I didn't want to. He did this a couple of times, trying to hug and kiss me. My point here is that he knows how upset I get with him, but then he blows it off and acts like nothing at all happened. Why does he think I want to be intimate with him AT ALL right now? It just makes me so damned mad.

So this is why an apology to my son is never going to happen. And why it's UP TO ME to make things right.

12-24-2006, 01:31 PM
:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: to you and your son--I feel your pain. I am glad your son has a mom who can make him laugh and feel special. It's so good to make him aware that it's his Dad's problem and not his without making it seem what Dad did was okay and can be ignored.

BTW what craft did your son make in school this year. I have painted wooden Christmas trees, reindeer made out of papertowel rolls standing on cotton balls for snow, several stocking and ornaments. The kids tell us we are tacky to put them out but I love them and it always makes them smile that we still do.

12-24-2006, 02:03 PM
LLV, I know you don't want relationship advice so I'm going to say this without sounding too much like that's what I'm doing...

My dad was much like this. When you didn't "obey" his wishes or when you just annoyed him for whatever reason kids annoy parents, he'd try to say the meanest most hurtful thing, to try and make us small and him feel big. Even just the small daily things of being called "stupid" and "idiot" for basic things children do, really hurt.

But the part I remember most is wondering why my mom let him do this to me. As early as 10 years old, I started telling my mom I hated her, every single day, usually multiple times. Yet she had never been the one to actually say anything mean to me. But deep down somewhere, I knew she was the one who let this happen to me. As an adult, I will still often have dreams of actually physically beating up my mother in anger over her sitting back and staying with this man who treated me & my siblings so poorly.

Eventually, my dad cheated on and divorced my mother. And although the divorce was confusing to me and rough at times, I think the emotional scarring of watching a very unhealthy relationship go on and on day after day, was MUCH worse. It took me YEARS of crappy relationships to finally realize I didn't have to carry on my mother's torch and be with some jacka$$ who didn't respect me.

That is of course, just my own humble experience. But children aren't as ignorant as we may hope they are. I think it's VERY good for you to sit down with your son and say "daddy gets angry, and when he gets angry, he says mean things, and it is WRONG for him to say that. You are a wonderful boy and I love you no matter what you do, even if you are naughty sometimes. That's what boys and girls do. Their mommies and daddies still love them, even if they get mad and say bad things sometimes."

I don't think that is letting the dad off the hook as some other posters seem to think. Your son will truly believe he DESERVES those comments, if you don't tell him otherwise. He isn't old enough to just "blow off" dad's comments for himself. Kids worship their parents and believe what they tell them. You don't need your son believing he's worthless and about to be put in an orphanage at any moment.

This post stirs up a lot of old emotions for me, so sorry if I've typed a bit much.

12-24-2006, 02:47 PM
BTW what craft did your son make in school this year.

Oh, all kinds of things! My refrigerator and the fireplace are shrines to all of his Christmas decorations ;)

He'll bring them home and say, "Look what I made in school today, mommy, do you think it's pretty?"

And I always say, "It's beautiful! Let's hang it up somewhere!"

So yep, have little decorations of his all over the place. And to me they're the most beautiful ones of all.

This post stirs up a lot of old emotions for me, so sorry if I've typed a bit much.

Not at all, and I appreciate your comments very much.

My 'hub' went through years of verbal abuse by his own father. Which is why I'm doing my best to understand him. And I've sat down with him before and have said, "You just can't be SAYING these things to our son, you just can't. Remember how you felt because of the way your father talked to you; don't make the same mistake with your own son."

And he'll sometimes say, "I know, I know, I don't know why I say those things and I'll stop doing it."

"I'll stop doing it."

I can't count how many times I've heard that.

His father used to call him "dummy" all the time. And to this day, despite how intelligent and ambitious he is, he still believes he's an idiot. And I'm SO terrified that these things he says to our son is going to scar him for life. I don't want my son growing up feeling inadequate because he was told he was by his own father. I'm trying my best to raise a good kid to care about other people and instill values into that child. And I can't help but feel that when his father comes along and says these horribly demeaning things to him that he's undoing all that I'm trying to do.

My hub grew up miserable because of the things his father said to him. And I DON'T want my son going through the same thing. But I can't always catch him (hub) ahead of time when he says these things and by the time I intervene, it's already out of his mouth and the damage is already done.

12-24-2006, 04:49 PM
I also just noticed your weight loss, LLV. Congratulations!!! That is awesome!!!

12-25-2006, 04:25 AM
I don't have any advice or opinions that I feel haven't already been shared by others on this thread. I just want to thank you for sharing your story and wish you well and good luck in your journey..

you have opened my eyes to something in my own life, and I think I needed that. thank you.

12-25-2006, 11:13 AM
I also just noticed your weight loss, LLV. Congratulations!!! That is awesome!!!

Thank you :)

I don't have any advice or opinions that I feel haven't already been shared by others on this thread. I just want to thank you for sharing your story and wish you well and good luck in your journey..

you have opened my eyes to something in my own life, and I think I needed that. thank you.

Sometimes it takes seeing it from the other side to realize your own situation ;)

12-25-2006, 11:35 AM
Linda, I don't know how it went XMAS morning, but I hope your boy is alright.....

12-25-2006, 11:33 PM
LLV - so true...

I hope your holiday went well.

12-26-2006, 01:39 AM
I also could not stop thinking about you and your little boy. I hope you guys had a marvelous holiday. And that your son was pleased with what Santa brought him......and everything else as well.

12-26-2006, 12:09 PM
Linda: I'm so sorry you keep having to be the peacemaker. That can get so tiring sometimes.

Would your "H" be agreeable to counseling for himself? If he truly wants to stop the cycle, he needs professional help. It sounds like his childhood was pretty crap, and I know that he does not want to intentionally inflict pain on your son. He needs some new tools to work with to get rid of the crap tapes in his head and get some new ones playing so the cycle can stop.

Hope your Christmas turned out okay!

12-26-2006, 12:27 PM
Linda: I agree with Jen. You're husband needs to work out whatever issues are making him bring this on to his family. You and your son don't deserve it and you know what? Neither does he. Maybe it's some sort of mid-life crisis or relationship 'itch', but he sounds unhappy with life and HE needs to work that out with or without your and/or a counselor's help. I know, you didn't want relationship advice, but I think your relationship with your husband is the root to all the strife. This not being YOUR fault, but what I see as your husband's unhappiness. This may even be a Christmas thing...the holiday season can either be an exhilaratingly happy time or a devastatingly depressing time. Maybe he's got something going on that you don't know about...problems at work...a financial situation that he doesnt' want to bring to the table. Work it out, sistah! I know you can!! And you'll all be happy for it in the end.

Oh...and kudos to you for sticking it out and sticking by him. Lots of women would have left by now. I'm like you...for better or for worse. Even though you're not married, I think you know that working it out and sticking together is what's best for your son...and you and your 'husband', as well.

Good luck and keep us posted!!

12-26-2006, 03:34 PM
All I have to add is that empty threats will eventually catch up to your "hub." Your son will eventually learn that his Dad makes outlandish threats to scare him, but rarely follows through with them. He will learn that he can get away with anything because he has you to lean on.

I have always adhered to the notion that if you threaten, you have to follow through, otherwise the child wakes up to the fact that you are nothing but hot air. For example, say your son refuses to clean his room. You threaten to not allow him to watch his favorite TV show that night if he doesn't clean it. If he doesn't clean it, you hold onto the threat and do not allow him to watch the show. Conversly, if he does clean the room, you then thank him for following your request and make sure he gets to watch his show. But, it would be wrong if he were to refuse to clean his room, to threaten him with an outlandish threat that neither you nor your "hub" have any intention of following through with (like selling all his toys and his bicycle and not allowing him to have any friends over for the next year). Maybe it's a stupid example, but I think you get my drift.

My DH would occasionally make outlandish threats to my DD and I finally had to sit him down and tell him that he cannot threaten to do something that even I would not allow him to do. There was a time when he would threaten to take her out of school and move her to another school district. I felt that it would do no good to move her and refused to let him use this as a threat. These threats were generally over simple chores that were left undone. I sat him down and made him realize that the threat has to match the infraction, and that he has to intend to follow through with the threat. Your "hub" saying that your son will be sent to the orphanage is a good example of how his threats do not match the actions of your son.

I hope you are able to make your "hub" understand how wrong he is to do this to your son before your son starts really acting out.

12-26-2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks, everyone, and yes, our Christmas went wonderfully. What my 'hub' said to him didn't go in one ear and out the other, though. Even on Christmas he came up to me and said, "Mommy, when daddy told me I wasn't getting any presents, he was just kidding!"

So he didn't forget. That boy forgets nothing. Not that I expected him to, you don't forget something like that overnight. It's possible he never WILL forget it. But I just mean that because he holds onto just about everything said to him (he still brings up things said to him 2 years ago) that I'm even more worried about the things daddy says. Because my son doesn't forget.

As for counseling for dad, I don't know. I've brought it up to him before but he's one of those men who never wants to discuss anything and flies off the handle and walks out of the room.

And that's usually the end of that.

I also agree with alinnell. This WILL catch up to him one day.

Again, thank you for all of the replies. I'm hoping I can get things sorted out.

12-27-2006, 10:21 AM
I just keep thinking of your little boy....he almost sounds relieved to resolve in his mind that "daddy was only kidding". Kids are amazing aren't they....very forgiving.

But speaking as an adult child, there will come a day when your son WON'T forgive him. And then his father will be filled with regret. That is why I STRONGLY encourage counseling. I know your "h" does not want to regret his behavior towards his son one day. HE CAN STOP IT--IF HE CHOOSES.

Linda, stay strong, sister!!