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My 8 Year Old Sides With His Abusive Father

by Pamela
(Connecticut)

Hi. I'm divorced from my abusive husband, thank goodness, but I have an 8 year old that's caught in the middle. My ex is very verbal abusive and still disrespects me.


He talks about me to my son when they're together and puts my boyfriend down in front of my son, etc. He has big time issues and I choose to stay in a relationship with him (not sexually- dear God) but just as "friends" so I can follow what's going on in my son's life when he's with his dad.

Believe it or not, this psycho really does loves his son and plays like a kid with him which is super for my son, but when he starts in on me with his swearing and horrible verbal abuse screaming at me with vulgar language, calling me an f-en prostitute because my boyfriend is wealthy, my son takes his side.

He blames me for getting his dad upset! I guess I'm the "safe" one, but if I tell his dad to leave the house because of his vulgar outbursts at me, my son wants to go home with him and I just don't know what to do or think!

It makes me cry so hard and wonder how to handle it. He'd rather be with him, after he just witnessed his abuse towards me. I just don't get it. I need help understanding this and need to know how to handle it. Please help.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Pamela, and thanks for telling your story here. What you're going through is very painful. I have helped other good folks such as you through these types of challenges, and I assure you that this will pass.

Meanwhile, you just have to keep doing the right thing, no matter what. Your ex is unfortunately turning your son against you, and creating sympathy for himself. Your son is pretty much helpless to resist this at the age of 8.

I encourage you to trust your son's wisdom and maturity to reveal the truth over time. He is seeing everything...his father's abusiveness, and your good behavior, and he's registering it all. His sympathy is going where he sees the most weakness, and that's with his father.

Your son is not old enough to decide which parent he is with, so do not let him control that. It just wouldn't be good for him to have that much power. He needs you, your stability and objectivity.

You might find it helpful to journal about your emotions, to express them in healthy ways, and to keep a positive focus. The journaling processes described on this page will help you with that.

Believe in your son, Pamela. Every time you think of him, picture him making good decisions and doing the right thing. You have to be strong during this difficult time, and you can do it. Hold to what you know is right for you, and for your son, and time will reveal what is true and healthy.

Keep the faith.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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