'My Son Wants To Live With His Dad': How To Handle Joint Custody

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How to maintain your bond with your child while satisfying everyone's needs.

Having said this, it's important to point out that it's just this potential for modeling that keeps many woman from recognizing any positive aspect of a relationship between father and son. As one woman asked, "How can I protect my son from my husband's "modeling"?

Indeed, it’s unnerving to even entertain the thought that a person with whom you have conflict or even animosity towards could be in any way a role model for your son. Study: Women Gain Weight After Marriage, Men After Divorce

 

In this case, it's advisable to examine the relationship that you have with your ex-husband and begin to separate that from his abilities as a father. There are certain aspects of his personality that attracted you at one time. Perhaps these should be addressed so you can form a more non-emotional view and not allow the conflicts that may still be present to cloud the relationship your son could build and enjoy with his father.

Determine The Reason Behind His Request
A boy's needs are different as they age, and his request to live with his father may, in his mind, meet those needs more readily than what you can provide him as a woman. Children—even 6'2", adult-looking children—live in the moment. They tend to feel, act, and think in their own best interest. This is necessary developmentally to become their own person. Although, it carries its own hazards, such as hurting others, even unconsciously. It's important to consider the reason for your son's request to live with his father, and this takes communication. So, what are the possible avenues to explore?

Perhaps it's a surface type of desire like the almost vacation-like atmosphere of part-time living that he may experience with his father currently. The time frame that most fathers have custody of their kids is Saturday and Sunday, two days of fun in anyone's week! Once the reality of a Monday through Friday schedule, along with school, chores and after-school work is experienced, the novelty of being in a different environment may begin to wear off.

Another important aspect of weekend custody is that everyone is on their "best behavior" — easily accomplished when there is such limited contact. Behavior changes though, when contact is more regular and prolonged with discipline and expectations becoming more of a factor. So, perhaps it's more freedom from "rules" your son is seeking, or perhaps the promise of the use of a car, etc. Whatever the reason, try to listen. 10 Tips To Re-Bond With Your Child/Children

Then there are the deeper needs he may be seeking. Perhaps he needs to establish a bond with his father as he has with you. This is a good thing. Whatever conflicts and emotions that may remain or may still be in play with your ex-husband, your son has one father, and in all circumstances, a strong, loving relationship with both parents is the best situation for him.

Your Ultimate Goal
Taking your own feelings into consideration is just as important as those of your son and his father. Spend some time to think about the following questions and consider reaching out to friends, support groups, or a therapist to discuss the following:

This article was originally published at Mary Kay Cocharo . Reprinted with permission.
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Mary Kay Cocharo

Counselor/Therapist

Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT, Certified Imago Relationship Counselor and Master Encounter-centered Couples Therapist

11340 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 210, Los Angeles,  California 90064 310.828.2624 www.mkcocharo.com

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Credentials: LMFT, Other
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Dating/Being Single Support
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