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#58185 - 10/18/05 08:29 AM father suspicious of mother
Ishmail Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 2
Loc: mid-Atlantic
I hope this is an OK topic for this forum. If there is a more appropriate forum please let me know.

I am the father of a 13 yr. old boy and my spouse does things with him that unsettle me. I am looking for comments on whether my fears are based on my uptight upbringing.

The specific incedent that really unsettled me was family movie night, when my wife, my 13 yr. old son, 10 yr. old daughter, and my self sit on the couch and floor to watch a movie together. My wife and son usually try to sit together. One time I noticed that my wife put her hand on my son's thigh while they were sitting side by side. Later, while we were engrossed in the movie, I noticed that her hand was casually dangling in his lap, actually resting on his crotch. This greatly upset me. When I angrily confronted her about it she became defensive and said she wouldn't let me stop her from being effectionate with here son. At a more recent movie night she pulled a blanket over everyones lap on the couch. I couldn't see if anything was going on but her decision to do that seemed a bit suspicious to me. I reached over my daughter and put my arm around my wife which seemed to startled her.

My wife panders to (spoils) my son continuously. I may be a bit more restrictive then most of the parents in my very liberal neck of the woods but I don't think I am off the scale. We fight all the time over what he should be allowed to have and be allowed to do and see. He is 13 and she has been arguing with me for at least 2 years that he should be allowed to see R rated movies. She also is very involved with the most intimate parts of his personal life. She gives him no personal space.

My wife and son have become a team against me and to a lesser extent my daughter. They wisper to each other infront of me. I have caught them conspiring in lies to me many times and many other times I have good reason to suspect I am being lied to but cannot prove it.

My son, for his part, is very disrespectful to me. But I remember what it is like to be a teenager. So that, by itself, doesn't shock me. Other then the arguing we do he seems happy and self-confident.

My wife has not showed interest in sex with me in about 5 years. Up until last year she was complient with my requests. This year she started actively avoiding me.

My question is should I be worried about incest? I know no-one can give a difinitive yes or no I am just looking for a "you'd better look into it" or "there is nothing unusual here".

#58186 - 10/18/05 06:57 PM Re: father suspicious of mother
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

It's very difficult to know what exactly to say on the basis of one post. But in general it seems crystal-clear to me that it is NOT acceptable for a mother to dangle her hand in the crotch of her son, and certainly not a boy of 13. He is developing physically and socially, and he needs to be setting himself clear boundaries for how he expresses these feelings within the family and outside it.

Put more bluntly, he definitely needs to see a difference between where his girlfriend's hands can go and where his mother's can go. Again being a bit blunt, if your wife can't see the reasoning here, ask her what she would think if she saw you behaving this way with your daughter.

It is also no good for a child to disrespect a parent as a matter of course, or to be encouraged by one parent in lies against the other. I have a pretty liberal attitude toward what my kids (21 and 17) can say in front of me, but I draw a line in the sand at disrespect towards me or my wife. I don't talk to them that way, and I don't accept that from them. My son can tell me that my view of something is "fucked up man", but he can't tell me "fuck you". Others will not agree with where I have set the boundaries, but if your son badly disrespects you that sounds like there are no boundaries at all.

Ishmail, can I suggest that all this sounds like fallout from a larger problem? It looks to me like your wife is very unhappy and angry about her relationship with you. She doesn't know how to express how she feels, or maybe she is just so frustrated over whatever her issues are. She is using her boundaries with your son, her power over him, and marital relations with you, all as ways of signalling to you that she is mightily aggrieved. If that is the case, then taking up the issue of boundaries without addressing the larger problem will just be a red flag for her; she will take it that you are ignoring or dismissing the real problem.

Should you be worried about incest? I have no idea. But yes, my amateur view is that there is most definitely a serious boundaries problem here, and one that could be VERY harmful and confusing to your son. A boy needs a balanced and safe relationship with both his parents.

Take care,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#58187 - 10/19/05 01:59 AM Re: father suspicious of mother
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Ishmail, I don't have much more to add to Larry's excellent observations. I think a mother's hand on or near a 13 yo son's crotch is hugely inappropriate. It sounds like you and the whole family need counselling. I sense a lot of anger and mistrust. Peace, Andrew

there is no courage without anxiety

#58188 - 10/19/05 04:04 AM Re: father suspicious of mother
Ishmail Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 2
Loc: mid-Atlantic
Thanks Larry, Andrew, and everyone else who responded to my message.

I realized that most of the other things could be within the normal range of actions but the hand on the crotch went too far.

Larry, you are correct that my family has a lot of other problems. My relationship with my wife is at the core of it. I am not sure about cause and effect though. My suspicion is that what she is doing with my son and me does not originate with our relationship but with her upbringing and the reasons we got married.

From before we even talked about marriage I talked about how important child rearing was to me. I also talked about my religious beliefs with respect to how I wanted the children to be raised. She laughed this discussion off and implied that she would be flexable and she was sure we would be able to work things out. What I have come to realize is that she extreemly underplayed her zealous realigious/ethnic beliefs and how import they would be to her in the children's upbringing. Basically she lied to me to get me to marry her. And lying, half-trueths, distortions, exagerations and manipulation has been the basis of her communication with me ever since. This mainly revolves around our children. She constintly brings them into arguments we are having. Particularly when we are arguing about them. That usually is the situation were I am putting some restriction on them and she doesn't want. So of course I am the bad guy all of the time. She will give one of them something that she knows I don't think they should have. Then I am in the position of letting them have that thing, or having to try to take the thing away. She is constintly rubbing their noses, and mine, in every mistake I make. I can't imagine doing that to her. The way I was brought up, the parents are a team. They support each other. They make decisions about the kids together out of their earshot and then they both enforce it. For her, apparently, the kids' loyalty is the prize possesion that the parents are fighting over. And no holds are barred.

I know she has had a difficult childhood. She tells everyone how her father is a very manipulative and controlling person. Having to spend time with him myself I will attest to that. What she wont say is that she is at least as bad if not worse. She said that the police had to come to her home several times because of fights between her mother and father. And that when she was about 10 her mother started sleeping in her room. When I asked her what the fighting was about she says she doesn't know. Knowing her father as I do makes incest, or at least a relationship with few or no bounderies, seem more likely not less.

We have been in marraige counciling several times. It has not helped mainly because she is unmotivated. She lies and distorts and tries to manipulate in counciling also. I believe she is content at some level with our marraige. She knows she wont change my mind about a lot of things but she can manipulate and lie to get what she wants most of the time. And she is doing a great job of turning the kids against me. The last marriage councelor said we should get divorced. I probably would if I thought she was an ok mother or if I could get custody of the kids. I can't bear the thought of leaving them with HER. Even if there is nothing wrong with the intemacy aspect of her relationship with my son, if I am not in the house I can only assume she will so turn the kids against me that I will become totally estranged from them.

I could go on and on. I am seeking counciling for my self. I am stressed. This is the most stressful thing by far but I have a number of other things that are adding to the mix.


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