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Different perceptions

May 9th, 2008 at 08:08 pm

Last night, I asked my 17yr old son if he would help me move at the end of the month when I sell my equity in the house and move out. He responded by saying he would help only if I already had everything packed up in boxes and ready to go. He finished up with the statement "I heard about how you move".

He is not going with me but staying in the house (his dad will be moving in). The agreement to sell at the price I sold was with the understanding that our son and two cats could continue to live in the house.

The last two times we moved I was still married and we had sold our home and moved into a rental while waiting for the contractor to finish this house. It took 10 months.

Many things were packed up and remained that way during the 10 month stay. At that time my ex was out of work on disability due to stress. It was his third episode in 8 years. Financially it was a disaster. I tried to protect my son from the worst of the effects. I tried to be loyal to my spouse and supportive, I did not complain or gossip about the financial and other difficulties he and I faced. Instead I made do.

One example was boxes. There was no money to buy them or use professional movers. I got as many boxes as I could for free. It wasn't enough so I packed as much as I could and then those boxes were unloaded first, I quickly unpacked them and then rushed back to the rental to repack them for the next pickup truck headed for the new house. It was only a slight hinderance but any hinderance during a move is noted and commented upon. I did the best I could. Even though he was home all day while I worked, he packed nothing.

Now, seven years later, old memories come back as unpleasant comments. Do I explain to my son? I am divorced so I no longer owe my ex loyalty, especially as I suspect he is the one making comments to our son. Do I leave my son with his incomplete information? If I say nothing, is it protecting him or being dishonest about the past and perpetuating a lie?

I'll have plenty of boxes this time and I plan to move alot of things on my own before the furniture is moved. I have been decluttering, donating, recycling and giving away to friends and family for months now. There really isn't that much left.

6 Responses to “Different perceptions”

  1. joesbaby Says:

    I would tell my kid. My son is almost 17 and he knows how his father is and what part I played in our divorce. I'd rather he know from me, than to hear later and feel I'd hidden something from him. I don't think its fair for you to take all the heat for that. But that's your choice. Either way, I wish you luck.

  2. mom-sense Says:


    I'd be honest about the situation. Your son is old enough to know there are two sides to every story, and it sounds like he had a poor role model as a father to treat his mother with disrespect with a comment like that. I can just imagine how your ex was to you.

  3. aevans1206 Says:

    I think there's a nasty way to be honest and a forthcoming way. You just make sure to tell him the truth without all of the emotion involved. He'll appreciate it.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for all the feedback! I will definitely think hard about wording/saying it in a way that is honest and forthcoming without sounding nasty or like sour grapes. I want to be respected without disrespecting others, even a mean ex.

  5. luxlivingfrugalis Says:

    From the tone of your son's answer your ex has had his ear alright! You don't have to be rude or nasty about explaining that there is information missing in that particular event.

    Why are you asking a teen son if he's going to help you move? Why isn't that a given?? I mean, I would give my sons warning that I was going to need their help on so and so date, but I wouldn't be ''asking'' them if they were still at home. It would be more a factual statement that they WERE helping. Period. No questions asked. I'd also be there to help them when they need to move.

  6. klbb90 Says:

    You're right lux. However, I might have to move mid week which would mean he has to take the day off work. He has a 7-3 job M-F so I would be asking him to give up a days pay or compensate him. I don't know if a weekend move will be possible.

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