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Son goes and tells ex what happens

Sunshine2019's picture

My son 15 is very close with his dad because dad is his buddy. That said he only goes there every 2nd fortnight . 

My ex has no issue bad mouthing me in front of the kids

when i I have an argument with my son and I overreact or give him a hard time he goes and tells his dad straight away 

it happened just now and i told my son how it makes me feel - and he can’t see it naturally and just says he wants to vent and why would he vent to someone who would agree with mum ..... ( reinforcing even more that they just bitch about me ) 

i know it’s dumb but it makes me so upset . Anyone else feel similar ? How do I manage my emotions over this ? 

ESMOD's picture

I know it can be really hard to explain to kids the nuances between discretion and keeping secrets.  I know we got a screaming call from BM once that said we are not to tell the children to keep secrets from her... She is the mother.. she is entitled to know "everything".

But, we should all feel that we have a certain amount of right to the sanctity and privacy of our own lives and what is said within the walls of our own homes.

I think you should try to sit down with your 15 year old son and have another go at explaining how venting to your EXHUSBAND isn't an acceptable outlet.

Does he reciprocate and tell you every time he and his father have a disagreement? 

"Son,  I know you are very close to your father, but when there is a conflict between US, It is not an appropriate topic to discuss with your father.  I don't expect or want to get involved in conflicts or things that go on in your father's home and I do expect the same courtesy from you.  Obviously, your father and I are no longer together and there are things that we both can point to to blame the other but discussing the other parent with a child is not appropriate.  I am not asking you to keep secrets from your father but neither is it necessary for him to get a blow by blow of everything that happens while you are in my home.  I am your mother and sometimes I am going to have to say things that you don't like, sometimes I will need to set limits you don't think are fair, but as your mother, it is my responsibility to raise you and that means that I won't always be your favorite person.  In the future, if you have a problem with something that has gone on between us, I expect that you are old enough and mature enough to come to me to discuss and not run to your dad to have a "btch fest" behind my back."

Your son needs that message, but if you think that perhaps you are overreacting or taking things too far.. maybe working on your own temper might help reduce times that get out of control?

Sunshine2019's picture

If only my son would listen to me long enough to say that - that is exactly where I’m coming from thankyou for that clarity 


advice.only2's picture

There is a difference between venting frustration and telling on a person.
In this case it does sound like your son is telling on you. He does it because he gets the positive reinforcement from his father that you are a bad person.
Which is not mature of your ex to be encouraging that behavior at all.
If anything when you son runs to your ex to whine or complain your ex should be telling the kid good bad or otherwise you are the adult and he needs to listen to you and follow your rules.
Same goes if your son ever came and wanted to tell you how awful his father was.

Sunshine2019's picture

Sadly my ex absolutely revels in this conversations and has bad mouthed me since my son was 5 when we split. My daughter hasn’t stayed at my ex’s for over 5 years and they barely have a relationship . Like I said in my first post tho my ex is not a parent to my son he is a buddy. Again not appropriate 

my son very occasionally tells me about stuff at dads but never calls me righr after to have a vent ! 

Rags's picture

Sadly we can't control the conversation or behaviors in the home of the blended family opposition.   

Don't even try.  The only thing you can control is compliance to the CO and how you deal with the players and behaviors in your own home.

I would sit your DS down, explain to him that you are his mom, you will parent in your home and his dad nor DS have a say in that.   Clarify with DS that he can speak with his father about anything he wants to speak to his father about but those convesations have zero bearing on the behavioral standards that are in effect in  your home.

Don't over complicate the situation or dicussion with your DS.

One message I would give to both DS and XH is that they have broken the seal by having the critical conversations about you, that the facts will be delivered regarding the entire situation including court records, the complete facts regarding XH, and DS-16 is going to know it all and have to deal with that knowledge.  Then roll out the comprehensive information and introduce DS to it in total.

Keeping kids fully abreast of the facts in an age appropriate manner limits the oppositions ability to manipulate.

singledadsgf89's picture

My boyfriend's daughter (7) spills tea like it's free for everyone.  Fmily members take liberties and ask her all kinds of stuff and she pours out like a damn pipe.  Not much we can do about it except watch we say around her.  She's a keen listener too and she's interested in gossip.  When I was growing up, I was taught not to leak family business like it was a mantra - but I wasn't in a blended family situation so it was easier to keep my mouth shut when there was nobody else to tell.

Rags's picture

Kids can be included in discussions of family business.  However, they should be held to the same standard as everyone else in the family to keep their mouths shut and discuss it only within THE family.  

If they violate that trust, they are now out of the circle of trust.  Done.

THE family does not include the blended family opposition.


GreenEyez's picture

This is the approach we take in our family. Right now SD9 has lost privileges due to her sneakiness. So she's out of the ring of family discussions. Poor SD7 can't hold onto a secret regardless so we've always had to warn her about family discussions and how they stay in the family circle (excluding BM as she is not part of this family circle - we explained that we do not ask about her business or about things that go on within that family circle and therefore she doesn't need to know ours) and the consequences about spilling family business. Sd9 thought that didn't apply to her (although we made this clear that it applies to all of us) and is now seeing the consequences to those actions. 

ESMOD's picture

My YSD, who I love dearly, is also incapable of keeping a secret.  She called me one day.. just bursting.. she had to tell me that both her cousin and her sister were pregnant and that her uncle's wife had been unceremoniously kicked out of the local bar.  She is also incapable of keeping her OWN secrets either.. we know virtually everything she has done.. she tells on herself.  she can't help

We all know this and know that if you want it a secret.. don't tell her.  In fact, I am fairly certain her sister told her about the baby coming because she wanted it "out there".. but didn't want to break the news.

ESMOD's picture

just to be crystal clear.. the cousin was a girl too.. pregnant by her husband.. my OSD.. also pregnant by her own husband.  It looked weird.. I know.