Wife won’t accept teenage son

by Rod Smith

“I have been married for 11 years. I have a teenage son born before I met my wife. My wife has not accepted my son. I sent him to boarding school to avoid creating an unbearable environment. Now, she is refusing to have him visit. I am at a loss when he asks me when he is coming to visit his siblings. This is causing a rift in our marriage.” 

Your wife wants a husband, your son wants a dad. The boy wants to come home to his siblings. None of these unique, distinct, overlapping relationships, needs to impinge on or overtake each other. It’s possible to have them all. 

While your wife’s issues dominate you will live on egg-shells, your son will live in growing confusion, and your marriage will deteriorate. Until you provoke a healthy confrontation your son will lack a dad and your wife a husband. 

I will suggest your wife’s resistance to your son has nothing to do with you or son. His presence in your life evokes something within your wife that predates you. Her apparent inability to embrace your son (and now you) is deep, deeper than you and your son. She needs help from “outside” the family.

Tell your wife the boy will visit regularly. If your wife is willing to learn to be a mother-figure to a boy, he will help her find whole new avenues of growth and love. This won’t happen while you help her by hiding him from her. 

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