Dear Amy:

I chose to end my marriage of nine years last year. It was an ugly end.

My soon-to-be ex-husband and I have an adorable, smart, all-around wonderful son. He is 6 years old. Our son has adjusted to the divorce pretty well, much better than his father.

His father continues to be angry with me and does not understand or accept our divorce. He feels that I have robbed his life from him. He could not afford our home and has cut himself off from mutual friends. He has done some positive things, such as let me buy our home (probably because he needed the money). However, everything about our son is a battle.

He won't let me take our son to a child psychologist to make sure he is adjusting well. He won't make any adjustments to our ludicrous custody schedule (one week with each parent). He sabotaged my family vacation that was supposed to include my son this summer. I could go on and on.

When I try to talk to him, he ends up accusing me of yelling at him and hangs up on me. He won't see a family mediator, even though we have agreed to that in our settlement agreement (because we could not sort out all of our child-related issues).

I try to acknowledge his anger and understand that all of this was more upsetting to his life than to mine, because I was primary provider and I have confidence in my own ability to run my life and raise my son.

It seems like all of my husband's "bad" features have just been hugely magnified because of the divorce. He uses our son to get back at me, but I can't respond in kind because I don't want to do that to our son.

What are your magic words for me?

Worried Mom, Happy Divorce

Go back and reread your letter. In it, everything having to do with your husband is negative. You paint him as an angry loser.

I point this out because you have a part to play in this. Everything you do and say rains down on your dear boy.

I don't know if your custody schedule is "ludicrous" (it doesn't sound it to me), but you agreed to it. Your separation agreement is legally binding, and you need to accept this arrangement and make the best of it, for your son's sake.

I'm sure you'd like to think that your son is adjusting well, but I simply don't believe it, mainly because he's 6 and his parents are living apart, shuttling him back and forth, and battling over everything.

I don't know how your soon-to-be ex can deny you the ability to take your son to a psychologist, but if you think he should be seen (I do), then you should take him.

Find a therapist who can also work with both parents to teach you about your son's emotional development and to guide and mentor you in your parenting choices.

Your ex also needs help, and I hope that you (or a family court judge) can get him to attend mediation meetings with you. A mediator will coach the two of you to work out some of these very important details peacefully and respectfully.

Dear Amy:

As to the mother who assigned odd and even days for chores and privileges for her daughters, this is blatantly unfair because there are 186 odd days and 179 even days or a 3.9 percent advantage in a normal year and a 4.5 percent advantage in leap years.

You said it was a "brilliant" idea. I disagree.

CPA in Virginia

I think it's safe to assume that future CPAs affected by this arrangement would have already figured the angles.

Kids are brilliant in that way.

That's when a brilliant mom makes sure that the arrangement switches every six months.

Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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