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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
hoʻonani i ka makua mau
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Not really sure what else to say... - January 16th 2012, 06:56 AM

This is advice for a friend, not for me.
I'm kind of at a loss of what to tell him already, so I'm hoping you guys could maybe help a bit?

A little bit of background:

My best friend, pretty much. He's also a senior in high school and a few months younger than me (meaning he'll be 18 soon). His parents have been going through a divorce for several years now and it finally got finalized at the beginning of the month. I don't know the exact details of all that happened, but I do know that the dad has full custody of my friend and all of his siblings (he's the oldest of 5, 2 boys and 3 girls), and the mom has no visitation rights.

My friend is a total momma's boy. His mom is basically his world. Every time I used to see him outside of school, it was usually with his mom or his sister. I've met his mom several times, and she seemed pretty nice. I've never met his dad before, but from what he's told me, they DO NOT get along. He hates his dad, his dad hates him. That's how it's always been, ever since he was born.

Like I said, I don't know all the little details about the divorce, just what my friend has told me.

So basically yeah, he's pretty much totally heartbroken at this point. And he was basically pouring his heart out in the best way he knows how to do. It was pretty sad. He was telling me how the other day his youngest sister came into his room crying and he didn't know what to do so he asked her what was wrong and she said, 'I miss Mom.' And then he started crying too. And he was saying how it's kind of hard to explain (his youngest siblings are 8 and 5) the situation to them. And he's just frustrated with the situation too. He really doesn't want to be with his dad and living in that house. So I told him, 'Well, you're almost 18. Just wait it out a few more months.' And he told me that he wasn't going to be okay until all of his siblings were out of the house.

Anyway, this weekend his mom came to his basketball game and after the game I saw them walk out of the gym and she was holding him and they were both crying and it was pretty much the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life.

I guess he kind of tells me these things because I've been in a very similar situation. But as similar as it's been, it's also completely different. So I really don't know what else I can tell him at this point. I don't have siblings. I played the waiting game, but it was just for me. I didn't have anyone else I needed to worry about after myself. He does. What else can I tell him? It's not an easy situation to be in, I know that. Living with someone you don't feel comfortable with and can't get along with sucks. Not being able to see a parent sucks. I just wish I had better advice to give.
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Re: Not really sure what else to say... - January 16th 2012, 07:06 AM

There really isn't anything else you can tell him but what you already did. Unfortunately the court has the final say - and unless his mom tries to fight for a 'unsuitable living condition' for the house then there stuck there.

All I can say is just be there for him - and listen to him, and just be a friend. It will be hard for him, and his siblings - but sometimes we get stuck with situations or people we really don't want to be with but thats life, and we go through it the best that we can. I really wish I could tell you that he can take himself and all his siblings out of the house and go with the mother - but I cant. Its illegal. Now, as you said, once he turns 18 hes free - but he wont be happy knowing that his siblings are stuck in that house, so that really does him no good. The only other option he has is to stick it out.

Best wishes,

I hope you know that you deserve it all. The best, the most honest, the most beautiful purest love in the world. Not only to be loved by others, but to be loved by yourself. To look in the mirror and think "Yes, I'm exactly who I want to be". To speak up and be proud of yourself. To be brave and open. You deserve the nicest and most caring people to walk into your life. You deserve it all, you know. The whole world...
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Not really sure what else to say... - January 17th 2012, 03:53 AM

I second what Chris said. As his friend, you don't need to have all the answers or a "cure" for the problem. All you can do - and really, the BEST thing you can do - is to be there for your friend. Lend him an ear when he needs to talk and a shoulder when he needs to cry. Offer him some positivity while remaining sensitive to the struggle he and his siblings are enduring. If possible, allow him to spend the night at your place every now and then - when my parents separated, there was nothing I wanted more than to just get away from it all for a little while.

As far as the legal aspect goes, you have to leave it up to your friend's mom. I don't know why she lost ALL visitation rights, but there may be some things she can do the change the court's decision in a few months/years. Offer your friend support and encouragement, so that he can be strong for his mom and offer her support and encouragement while she tries to battle the legal system and her ex-husband for custody.

I wish your friend and his family members all the best.

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