This is a letter from my heart. You are newly 16 years and making adult decisions. It is what I have raised you to do, taught you those life lessons so that could you make your own place in this world. Now I have to live with the decision that you have decided to go live with your dad. I understand you want to spend more time with him–I think as a young man that is essential to your emotional health. As close as you and I are, there are things I can’t teach you to understand from a male’s perspective, because I am not one. You and I have bonded, now you want that time to bond further with your father, I honor that.
What I am struggling with is my feeling of betrayal. It is my feeling to deal with and assess. This impacts me financially in ways that you can’t imagine. I have worked hard to provide for you and your sister. Your father is now expecting me to pay child support, on some level I understand, he paid for all these years since he left. It will impact me, the money he has always provided, has done that, provided a three-bedroom house for your sister and you and a comfortable living. With that support gone and having to pay him, the future looks very different for me: a possible house sale and moving into a less expensive apartment so I can pay the child support to your father that he clearly doesn’t need. I feel betrayed as you are making this decision without any thought of me. “Different house, smaller house, apartment?” You don’t understand the reality–just shrug your shoulders and say, “okay.” So I feel betrayed and I feel guilty that I feel that way. It’s not your job to protect me; it is the other way around. These are my feelings and I have to deal with them.
I don’t feel this is the right decision for you on so many levels. I know things about your dad that you don’t: he is making this a business transaction and if I don’t agree to his terms, you can’t live there. The time he is spending with you now is to entice you but the lure of work and his workaholic mentality will pull him back and your time will be limited again. He can’t commit to spending time with you on his one night a week now, his adult league basketball league is more important. When you come from holidays and extended periods with your dad and his new family, you are hyper because you have had to hide your true silly self there. I know you have to sneak snacks because they don’t understand that you are a growing teenager and could eat constantly. Those late morning sleep-ins won’t happen because they don’t believe that you need all that sleep to grow. Your father is a good man, I wouldn’t have married him initially if he wasn’t, but he will disappoint you.
I will honor your choice, I will always be here for you, and I will always love you unconditionally. This is the first of many adult decisions you will make and I have to let you make it even if my heart is saying it is the wrong one. There comes a time in every young adult’s life when they realize their parents are human. I wish I could protect you from that. Good luck my baby, my son, my young man.