My son doesn’t speak to me ever since we separated with his dad. He lives with me in the same house, but he doesn’t want anything to do with me. He looks so angry, and I feel like he hates me, but I don’t know what I did or what to do. Please help.from a concerned member
First off, I understand that you’re feeling anxious and confused about this situation. Parental alienation after divorce can leave you feeling desperate.
You’ll find more about this answer in our article “How Divorce Affects Children’s Mental Health“.
Here are a few reasons your son may be distancing himself from you:
- He may be blaming you for the divorce
- Feels unwelcome in your home
- He feels the dad was wronged and therefore sides with him
- Bond with the father who is unavailable due to unmet needs
One thing to note is that boys are more likely to react to divorce with anger, truancy, and aggressive behavior than girls. Boys also pass a stage of destructive male violence, which often needs the father’s participation to minimize it. Boys need limit setting, nurturing, and role models, which is hard to provide as a single mother.
While women can single-handedly raise boys into wonderful men, it’s hugely difficult to discipline an angry son during conflict. This narcissistic aggression needs both parents, and the father is the best buffer for the boy’s expression of this rage. You might need to work with your ex on this area. If you can’t work with your ex for whatever reason, it’s best to seek help. Other than counselors who will help you learn how to live with your son, it’s crucial to find healthy men who’ll act as mentors; teachers, relatives, clergy, coaches, etc.