My son is 16 and won’t talk to me. He’s always been pretty quiet (so was I at his age). But, now my husband and I are getting a divorce. My son is staying with his dad as I was forced to leave. I share a large house with two others whom I rarely see, and have a large bedroom that serves as my living room and office and bedroom. He has come to visit a few times over the last four months.
But now he’s stopped.
I understand he probably feels uncomfortable, and I told him I understand, but would still like to see my son.
Our divorce is not going well, so I can’t talk to his father about this. I just want to see my son. Can you pray for us? What should I do?
My heart hurts with you. Before I say another word, let that soak in.
When our teens stop talking, we might look at our own hurt. That makes sense, but what we should look at is “why?” and what can we do about it.
Why is it hard for your son to meet in your new living quarters?
Is there a neutral place where you can meet your son. A place he loves or a place that is peaceful? A place where he can share what he’s feeling and going through right now. A place that doesn’t remind him that things are so drastically different.
Why is he not talking?
If it’s because he’s nonverbal, drop a note in the mail. One that says simply “I love you and I know this is hard. I am always here for you.”
Don’t involve him in the details of the divorce when you are together. He may ask, and he has that right, but how you answer is important. He’s torn between his parents, a hard place to be, no matter whose fault it is or how poorly or how well either parent has responded.
I feel privileged to pray with you and your son, and I’ve added a few resources below that might be helpful.
Father, I pray with T today. Lord, you promised that if we asked for wisdom you’d give it to us willingly. Thank you for this mom and for this son. I pray that you bridge the gap between them. Give T the words to say, and gently halt the words that only divide them further. Comfort her heart in this broken place. Give her peace that is so tangible that her son senses it and feels You instead of the pain and hurt of the divorce. Thank you for wrapping this son close in Your love. Divorce isn’t what he asked for, and yet he is caught in the aftermath. Give both parents wisdom on how to love him and protect him, while working through this conflict. Open the door to a loving relationship as this mom nurtures her son as you nurture her. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
These are some excellent articles on how to parent during a difficult divorce:
Divorce Considerations (Focus on the Family)
Helping Children Heal After Divorce (several articles in this series that are excellent!)
My Son Won’t Talk to Me (my article at cbn.com)