Tue. Sep 27th, 2022
DEAR DEIDRE: DIVORCE has driven a wedge between me and my only son.

He is 13 and I am his 45-year-old dad.

I’m scared that if things do not change we’ll have no relationship at all

I’m worried that we’re becoming so distant he barely knows me, and won’t want anything to do with me when he grows up.

His mum and I split up eight years ago.

It was very acrimonious and she tried to stop me seeing him, to punish me for hurting her by having an affair.

Eventually, I was able to get access visits, but only once a week and on alternate weekends.

I’ve always made it clear to my son how much I love him.

However, lately, he seems less and less bothered about seeing me.

When he does come, he barely speaks to me, and looks bored.

He’s lovely to his mum though, and I fear he’s taken her side against me.

He only brightens up if I buy him a McDonald’s or let him stay up late watching films.

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We don’t have anything to talk about and very little in common. He backs away from my hugs.

I’m scared that if things do not change we’ll have no relationship at all.

DEIDRE SAYS: Bitter divorces can have long-lasting repercussions for children.

My support pack, When Parents Fall Out, explains more.

Some of your son’s behaviour could be due to his age as he’s going through puberty.

But he also feels divided loyalties and protective of his mum, who still bears a grudge.



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Please continue to try to engage with him. You could try to make watching films your thing, so you have common ground to discuss and share.

Contact Family Lives (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222) for advice, too.

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