I have a son from my first marriage who is now 35 and has moderate learning difficulties. His father and I divorced when our boy was 12.
We have both since remarried and I moved to Wales, 200 miles away.
My ex has never been a hands-on father, but his wife seems to think that she can tell me what to do with my son, even despite the fact she has never had children herself.
My son has recently been diagnosed with melanoma and has had surgery to remove the cancer, and is now taking medication.
The other night, I got a phone call from my ex-husband to say that our son had been missing taking his tablets and asked when I was coming to see him.
I explained that my husband and I had both had health problems recently and, obviously, because of the latest lockdown, we couldn’t travel.
My son has always played us off against each other, and still does.
I have now been told by my ex-husband that I’ve never been there for my son, who has texted me to say that I care about my husband more than him. It’s so hurtful, especially as I’ve just arranged to travel to see him.
When people are under stress they can say things they don’t mean, but I think it’s good you’re going to be seeing your son because it’s easier to talk and resolve things in person.
I think it’s also important to say to your ex that it’s not helpful to start throwing blame around when the important thing is your son’s wellbeing.
You can’t do anything about a national lockdown or the fact that you live 200 miles away.
I also think it’s important if you can agree with your ex to be united when it comes to dealing with your son and make decisions together, otherwise the pattern of him setting you up against each other will continue.
Try to put whatever differences you had in the past aside and just focus on working as a team to help your son.
And if you can do that, then perhaps your ex-hubby’s wife won’t have the same leverage.
Just let your son know how much you love him and that you want to support him in his recovery. He’s going through a scary and uncertain time, and is probably just looking for some reassurance from you. Good luck.