Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Personalities Clash

I have teenagers - twins in college - and therefore it should come as no surprise there is a communication gap.

My difficulty lies in the fact that because I do NOT have a communication gap with Daughter, I feel slighted by Son. Instead of looking at the glass 1/2 full, I seem to be feeling the glass is 1/2 empty.

My head tells me my relationship with my Son is probably the "normal" one, and my relationship with my Daughter is just a crazy gift.

I suppose if I were still married that would be easier to swallow. Instead, I wonder. Does Son talk to Dad? Would he rather be with Dad than me? Does he complain to Dad about me the way Daughter complains to me about Dad? The secret stalker in me is dying to know.

OK the answer is obvious probably. I do try to keep communication open with the Son. I text him, call him, email him (not obsessively but enough once or twice a week to let him know I'm alive. And if he calls, no matter what time, I ALWAYS take the call, even if it means hanging up on a client). He is coming home tonight from college for Thanksgiving break. Es is picking him up this time (I picked him up from fall break). Part of me is sad about that - Ex arranged a ride through someone he knows at work. Ex has lots of connections to Son because it's Ex's alma mater. I can't help but feeling that Ex is smuggly content in his "leg up" on me. He refuses to communicate with me about anything. He has made lots of trips down to see Son this fall and I think he must have connections that get him hotel rooms in a town where you have to book at LEAST a year in advance on football weekends. He has lots of ticket connections, too, I think. I know he makes nasty references about me when I am not around. And so, I let the stress of a relationship with my Son - a normal stress for any parent of any college teen - be compounded by the interference (perceived or actual, who knows?) of the Ex.

I made some definite plans with Son to do things on Sunday. I let him know that he is free to bounce between houses but that I need to know if he's planning on being here because I care that he is safe. I let him know that he's spending Thanksgiving with Dad and that Mom would like to spend time with him, too. Not all his time - he wants to see friends and do stuff. But Mom wants to Do Stuff, too. Ya know?

My head gets it. The Heart is the one that needs some convincing.

Edited to add: Thanks to all for the comments and to Mom for calling me up personally. You are all right (well except for that last "Anonymous" one who is too chicken to give a name and too shallow to know what this blog is about.) I think most of this was angst over my current personal situation with the Captain and some things I have come to realize, along with the incredible and overwhelming love I have for the kids and the desire to be what they need me to be that is best for them. As it turns out, Son and I had an AWESOME weekend, a great day Sunday, and he has been in and out a lot thus far over break. He went with me Tuesday to pick up Daughter. He is an amazing child. I know he does love me. I underestimated him, too, about Thanksgiving. He said to me the other night, "I want to spend some time here because I'll be with Dad on Thanksgiving." My Dear, Sweet Boy. Amazing.


yogurt said...

It's fairly typical for sons to be less communicative with their parents. I doubt he's all that communicative with his dad either. Boys are just notoriously closed mouth. And boys grow into husbands who have wives that complain he doesn't "talk to me."

Your Ex doesn't sound like the kind of guy it would be easy to open up to. But what do I know from reading blog posts, really? Just remind yourself you've done a good job, your son knows it, and he's going to be true to you (if Ex is bad mouthing you). I figure, even in a marriage, my husband occasionally gripes to my kids about me (I know this, actually, because I've heard the kids rag on me about something that I know they heard from him). I don't like it one bit. It really rubs me wrong. But again, they're allowed to complain occasionally, right?

And this may be some paradoxical advice, but every once in a while do not answer the phone when son calls. Say, when you've got a client. It's possible that when you're so readily available he files that away (subconsciously) and knows he doesn't have to put that much effort into contacting you. I don't know, just a thought that popped into my head.

Now will I be able to follow my own advice in future when my son calls? I doubt it ; )

Gigi said...

I can state that Yogurt is right. My son doesn't communicate with either of us - at all. And he's got a great relationship with both of us. In fact, we are having a sit down tonight to discuss a few things - because he absolutely refuses to share. And while I don't want to know everything - we need to know he's not hiding anything.

I seriously believe that boys (and men) just aren't as communicative as girls (women) and as moms - that is something we have a hard time understanding.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I don't have a boy, but have many friends who do. I think the lack of communication is normal.
Also, you should not worry about what HE is saying about you. (I know that you know that) Because, your son has already formed his opinions on his parents many years ago....I guarantee his Mom is on a pedestal. He just does not verbalize this now....but one day, he will.

DF said...

It is not just boys that do not communicate.

K and I get at least one call per day from our A. She will tell us virtually everything that is happening, in almost too much detail. I enjoy those converations with her.

Our C on the other hand, calls, texts or generally communicates only once or twice a week, tops. Generally to let us know she is still breathing or wanting help/money. It is frustrating to us as we would like to know what is happening in her life.

Cuz', you are not alone.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Boys just really don't talk much at all. I agree with what yogurt says--let him come to you a bit more. Now that my son is a junior in college we talk a lot more--he calls when he's got a long walk between classes or he's on a long drive. And I never try to keep him on the phone if I call and he's got something going on.

I think this probably growing pains--and your ex just rubs you the wrong way.

Jason, as himself said...

I'll say, "what they said." Good advice from these people.

ModernMom said...

I have 2 girls and they are younger then your kids, BUT I also have a nephew 20 and niece 19..they might as well be twins. I know for a fact that wee girl is just naturally a better communicator then her brother. I think boys just really don't have a lot to say! I'm sure he's not talking to the Ex any more then he is talking to you.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving break:)

Anonymous said...

just relax......get about your life and let him get about his. It will all be fine. Unless, of course, you continue to make every little feeling and doubt that you have about your relationship with him open to the entire world. So, get this crap off the internet....NOW!