Mom of teen feeling like an afterthought

Avatar for hd112596
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Mom of teen feeling like an afterthought
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 4:23pm

My son is 19 and a high school Senior. His dad and I have been divorced for 9 years. Dad is remarried with a 3 yr old and I'm still single. For a while now I've felt like my son would rather be with his dad vs me. We all have a great relationship and when my son and I are together we have a good time. We've never followed a traditional custody agreement. It always been a 50/50 schedule each week; even after our son started to drive.

I have asked my ex and my son if there is any reason why he tends to be at dad's more and neither of them say that there is any reason why. We pretty much follow the schedule, but if he has a choice, he is at his dad's. Logically, I know that teens really don't want to be with either parent and would rather be with friends, but its just little things. Like, for example, I was out of town for 2 weeks for work (very unusual for me). I picked him up on Friday and we spent time together Friday, and Christmas shopping on Saturday. Today he did Christmas with his gf's family and he's headed back to his dad's. Why not just be here after? As I said, I've talked to him and he swears there is no reason why.  I really try to not take it personally, but I do. I feel like I make little comments and I hate doing that to him.

Is he just being a boy and would prefer to be at dad's? Is he not giving it much thought at all? Is there something I'm doing? Or am I overthinking this? 

I feel terrible and have been crying about it a lot lately. I really want to know how to handle this and move on from it.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 5:47pm
He is a 19yo BOY. He wants to hang with his dad, not his mom. Even if you were still married, he would prefer hanging with his dad, watching sports, talking cars, whatever. He is going to college, or moving out after he graduates HS, so don't make a federal case out of his choices, or you will end up never seeing him.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 12-28-2013 - 9:37pm

I think the more you mention it, the worse things are going to be and you're going to drive him away.  I have an 18 yr old son but we probably get along better than he does w/ his dad because he's gay and can relate more to me.  I technically had physical custody--we could never do 50-50 because his dad & I live in different towns so until he could drive how would he get to school--but his dad lives only about 20 mins. away and he'd see the kids prob 2 nights a week for dinner and every other Sat overnight.  Ok so now son is a senior in high school--he has very hard classes plus a part time job.  During the week he's mostly busy with school work (oh he also belongs to some after school activities).  He doesn't always go to his dads twice a week because it depends on his work schedule but he does try to go there if he can.  He doesn't sleep over as much because he'd much rather be with his friends doing fun stuff on a Sat. night than with his mom.  I just think that at that age, it's not about you any more--they are growing up and need independence.  So instead of counting how many nights he stays at your place, why not try to arrange with him to at least have one night a week where he'll be over for dinner or one thing you can do together a week--do you & he have the same interests?  Like my son & I developed this routine where on Sat. mornings I'll go out & buy coffee and bagels and we'll watch some TV shows that he taped during the week that we both like.