I have a 17 year old son. His father and I divorced when he was 5. It was not a pleasant divorce at all. I at one point had to get a restrained order. For the first part of his life he spent most of his time with me. In the last 6 years he's been with his dad more often due to my work schedule. He has always been a kind hearted good child. At one point almost nerdy. Well six months his behavior was changing and he was pushy the rules. I also heard that he had a girlfriend from a mother of one of his classmates. She was instructed not to tell me because of her cultural background and I would be angry. But she told her mother to tell me anyway because she was concerned he was lying to me. When he came over questioned him about it and he lied. So, I blew it off and thought maybe it was just gossip. We pretty much got back on track after that. I was even wandering why he wasn't going to prom. I've encouraged him to date and that someday I'm looking forward to grandchildren, after college of course. He still continued to say he didn't have anyone to take. Fast forward to school starting, he has become more scarce and saying he is just hanging out with friends. So, I asked him again, no girlfriend. I proceeded to say really it's ok I'd like to meet her if there is one. Still lied. I turn to his BFF's mother, whom I've know both since he was 8. She spoke with her son and yes in fact there's a girlfriend and it's been going on since the original problems occurred, 6 months. I confronted his father, by the way not the first time I've asked him as well, and he finally admitted to me. They have both been lying to me about where is and with whom. He even allowed him to go out of town with her family without checking with me. I am by the way the primary custodial parent. In hurt on some many levels. First, my son will not call or text me back on the phone I pay for. Second, the enormous amounts of lies and deception. Lastly, the fact that he has lied to my whole family and hurt his grandmother as well. How can hi POS dad hold a grudge for this long? He is actually loving this and says I deserve it! Help please I love my son more than you can imagine and up til this were very close....

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    Ignore the Dad, he is just trolling for a reaction. I would sit your son down, tell him you know everything, and the only thing you are disappointed about is that he didn't feel he could tell you. Do not get angry. Let him know you are sad because you want a close relationship with him. Beyond that, you have to keep being open (and not getting angry) and accepting it when he chooses not to tell you. Leave the Dad out of it, he really has no part in achieving the results you want.
    – Jeff.Clark
    Sep 1, 2016 at 22:52
  • @WarrenDew Watch your tone, in keeping with the Be Nice policy of the site.
    – Acire
    Sep 5, 2016 at 13:58
  • The question is very confusing. Might be clearer if you replace all the he and she with who they actually refer to.
    – hkBst
    Sep 5, 2016 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


Do you have a problem with the cultural background of his girlfriend? Do you speak disparagingly about other cultures or races in the household?

If you hold those kinds of views and espouse them on a regular basis, and it seems like you might if that's the reason he's hiding this from you in such a determined fashion, then it is understandable that if he starts to feel affection for a girl who you indirectly disparage, that he would (A) be reluctant to share that with you, and (B) act out emotionally against your authority in the home. It's also understandable, if that's your attitude, that his father might be on his side in this.

Instead of trying to paint yourself as the victimized saint and them as problem children and nefarious exs, perhaps an evaluation of your own behavior will be necessary if you want your son to feel he can share these kinds of things with you, and you can re-establish the bond between you and improve his general behavior.

Note - "improve," at that age, might not just mean obedience to you. He's almost an adult and a man, in his own right. You might have to find a way for both of you to acknowledge each others' identity as individuals.

  • Or were you saying that the cultural background of the mother who told you was such that she was expected to keep quiet upon being told? That would make my answer pretty worthless. Sep 2, 2016 at 16:48

I gave him his space. We talked and I accepted my fault in the situation as did he. At the end of the day I will have to be careful of my opinions in the future now that he is dating. As for his dad I'm not speaking with him, he is and always has been a liar. My goal is eventually when he marries is to gain a daughter and not lose my son. Thank you for the advice other than Warren.

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    When both can acknowledge their own contribution to a tense situation, as opposed to worrying about being the one who is "right" (I have stubbornness-related problems doing this, myself), that's a very big step towards mutual trust. Best of luck to you as you move forward together! Sep 6, 2016 at 20:06

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