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Feeling devastated. Would like support please.

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GraceLove posted 9/14/2018 20:35 PM

Just a warning...this is a long post. And I haven't gone back to edit it cause I just don't have the energy to. Thanks for those of you who can respond.


Yesterday I asked my DD (24yrs) if I could have a chat with her. She said yes. And I spoke to her about a few things that had bothered me recently.

One was that she had told me how 'hard it had been living with you'. I felt that these were her dad's words. And I also listened. I said to her that she didn't know what had been going on behind the scenes.

The long and short of it is, I told her how I felt about some things she had said.

(She almost minimizes what he did. She says she knows that it was wrong and a good reason to leave, yet I get the sense that she is siding with him. He feeds her all sorts of psychopath/ narc information)

For me, whenever she has contact with STBXWH she seems to blame me. It's very subtle, and it's there.
She ended up telling me that she now has a 'beautiful, vulnerable, relationship with her father' that they are closer than they have ever been.

I have told both my adult DD's that they are free to have whatever relationship they want with their father.

And now that she is making that choice, it is soooo painful. Because of the manipulation!

I have gone NC for 8 months. And that was working. However, now he is getting to me through the kids. And I realize that I'm allowing that .... it's really hard not to be furious.

I had been overseas for 4 months (went back to my homeland cause I couldn't deal with things here) and this all happened while I was away.

I'm hurt because it feels like a betrayal...I know that she needs to figure this out for herself. I feel that I protected her from him all her life and now he reaps the rewards.

Also, the other big thing that happened yesterday is that DD told me her dad had told her (when she was in Gr. 6) that he was thinking of separating and getting a divorce from me!!! How inappropriate! He had never said that to me! And he told his daughter? That is soooo sick and wrong. (In the meanwhile I thought everything was pretty good in our marriage).

After she told me my DD also added: "it might just be a false memory though". I told her calmly that I wouldn't think so, and to trust herself that that is what happened. This really triggered the way X made me doubt myself when I would see things that he was doing, and when he was showing himself. I felt so much rage towards him.

So, I asked my older DD (27 years) if she had recollection of this. She said yes. When X told her, she told him, "if you divorce mom I will disown you" And then she told her best friend. Neither of the kids told me this until now.

I spoke to my older DD today and we had a long talk. I am devastated because I'm being triangulated by my STBXH. He is an addict and very narcissistic, plus psychopathic.
If you can imagine, after talking to my kids I began to doubt myself! After all the work I have done on me, I started to doubt myself.

I don't know what is best. To just not talk to them about things, because then they get his side. OR to calmly give them the facts. I hadn't been talking to them much about things, I had left the door open and encouraged them to ask me questions. Which neither did. So I told them a bit about how I felt.
My older DD said that because her dad is being kind, etc. her younger sister will tend to blame me because I am coming across as bitter etc. And that it will be easier for her (and both of them) to essentially want to be with him more than me??? I can't recall. I kind of froze while she was saying all this.
I only know that I am very, very sad. I feel like a tsunami wave of grief has hit.

It bothers me because the excuse he uses with them is that 'your mom and I weren't intimate' That is wrong on so many levels. First of all sharing that with your daughters, but then it puts me in a position to have to defend myself. I told my older DD well, intimacy isn't just about sex. It's about being faithful, and loyal and connecting etc. And your dad wasn't able to be intimate with others. Something like that.

I cried alot while talking to her. And she said if it's more helpful I can write it down and then show her everything.
She also said she just wants it all to be over and things to go back to how they were.

I am feeling like a complete failure as a mom. And I am feeling like I so wasted my life with STBX. I feel cheated and betrayed on so many levels. Then there is this thing that feels like betrayal from my daughter. THat she was having this 'great' relationship with her father (of which I had said to go ahead and have whatever relationship she wanted wtih him). It's just so confusing. Just when I think I am making progress, there he is again messing things up.

I feel like I have had to take the highroad with all this, and then he turns around and sabatoges everything.

The other thing that bothers me is that he is a true narc in that he has to feed off of someone. And he is choosing my youngest daughter to do that with.

It makes me so sad. And so very hateful. How is it possible to feel soooo much rage and anger towards someone?

I'd really appreciate some positive stories if you can share with me today. I'm feeling so devastated that I just didn't matter. And that he's going to turn them against me. OR if I don't defend myself, then he will feed them lies, yet if I do defend myself, I end up hurting my kids by telling them things that would be painful.

This post is all over the map today.

Also I feel that I am being pretty codependant with my children today and trying to manipulate outcomes. I don't want them being influenced by him! Sigh.

I have been crying in that horrible deep crying that I thought was over. It hasn't happened for a long time, and it is back as of yesterday.

Days like this I just feel like I can't do this anymore. It's just too much. My kids don't realize how much my life changed and how much I have worked at staying well. I put on my smile, and positive attitude and lean on my friends and family. I don't know how much to expect from them even though they are adults.

Thanks for listening. I am a certified mess today and really need to get some support.

Puglife920 posted 9/14/2018 22:29 PM

Grace, your post is pulling at my heart strings. I see my own mother in you. Although I am now a BS myself, I was your daughter 10 years ago when my father left my mom for his OW. I was 25, naive, and finally saw a side of my Narcissistic father that I had never seen. He was a changed man, and their 30 year marriage was so terrible, it made him be an alcoholic and do all of the terrible things that he did. He was finally happy, and he finally decided to play the doting dad that I had always wished for.

Well, let me just tell you, the rose colored glasses fade, and your daughters will see the real side of him eventually (it took me until I was thrown into infidelity myself). You will be hurt by the "close bond" they now share. (He's love bombing them now to show that he's not the bad guy) And he will throw all the crumbs along the path to keep them coming for more. He'll probably give them lavish gifts that you think nothing you do can compare.

But there is also this. My mom doesn't need to embellish half truths, she doesn't need to spend loads of money on gifts, she doesn't "NEED" to do anything because she has always done it. It's always been there, it's not shiney and new like daddy's new found persona.

my solid advice to you, is hurt. Feel the hurt because you know that he will eventually break their hearts like he did yours. But the sad truth is, that you made those children together, and that will always be their father. It will be up to them to take off the rose colored glasses and see that he hasn't changed. It will take a while. It took me almost 9 years, and the NC I've had with him for the last 6 months has been probably the most peaceful 6 months of my life.

Your daughters are adults, and they need to be treated as such. You are their mom, and always will be. Be the stable parent. Don't bash their father. Speak truths. They will eventually see through his narcissistic faćade.

GraceLove posted 9/14/2018 23:09 PM

Puglife920
Thank you for taking the time to read my long post. I have been sitting in front of my computer waiting for a reply and how perfect that you picked up this thread.

I really appreciated hearing your perspective and I am so so sorry to hear that you are on this site. My heart goes out to you.

You will be hurt by the "close bond" they now share. (He's love bombing them now to show that he's not the bad guy) And he will throw all the crumbs along the path to keep them coming for more. He'll probably give them lavish gifts that you think nothing you do can compare.

Yes, I can't believe that I am feeling this way. Especially after making it clear that they are free to have any relationship they want with him. And he is totally love bombing them. I know that the lavish gifts are next on the list. The same thing he did to me for years. And I also know that I can't compete with that although I have been determined to make lots of money so that I can provide for them and help them financially. He makes a ton of money but he is not a good financial planner. However, if he wants to he can afford all sorts of things for his kids.

Feel the hurt because you know that he will eventually break their hearts like he did yours.

I know they are adults but as a mom, I also know that this is coming and want to protect them from him. Yet that's not possible because they will need to go through their own journey.

Don't bash their father.

I have tried my best on this. It can still come out at times though. I have tried to stick to the facts and not bash, although I'm imperfect at this.

My one daughter said that each time she talks to him I'm the monster and vice versa.

You said it took you 9 years and it seems that it was mostly due to being a BS. If possible, I would like to know the thought process you went through...

For example, did you maintain contact with him because you craved that love from him? Were you able to have glimpses of who he was during that time? Did having a relationship with him damage your relationship with your mom in anyway? Would you feel angry towards your mom after you spent time with your dad (it seems that is happening with my DD's) I don't understand this well, however, I think that he feeds them 1/2 truths or lies and then they are appalled at me.

I also said to one of my DD's that it seems easier for her and her sister to get mad at me than their dad. (They are closer to me historically as he was among other things away on 'business trips' alot--I considered him a workaholic although in hindsight I don't think that was the case..not sure) She replied that she had vented some of her feelings and disappointments to him, which I am glad she did.

I think for my youngest DD she sees it as forgiving him. And both DD's may see it as 'moving on' or something.

I would appreciate any perspectives and feedbacks you have to offer.
Thank you.

Tripletrouble posted 9/14/2018 23:29 PM

Like Pug I am also the adult child of divorce. My dad had an LTA (at least 12 years) and eventually divorced my mom and married the OW. My dad is both an alcoholic and a gambling addict, and life with him was highly unstable. My eyes have always been open to all of this, but he is my only dad so we do have a relationship although it is minimal. For a good ten years after their divorce my mom resented this, and made both my brother and me feel like we were doing something wrong by so much as talking on the phone to him. It has been a very difficult situation. My mom seeks her validation through us, and saw our relationship with him as a betrayal. It's unfair to us.
Now let me fast forward to my own young adult children. My divorce due to infidelity has made me more compassionate to my mom's feelings. Sometimes, if I'm being honest, I want them to "choose" me. But because of what I experienced as a daughter, I have disciplined myself not to put my kids in the same position. They are younger than your kids, but are already seeing the light on who their dad is - a manipulative bully. Your DDs will also come to see their father for who he is, but it may not happen on the timeline you would want. Continue to take the high road - the oxygen can get very thin up there but you will not regret it. I highly recommend IC if you are not already going. My IC was awesome at helping me keep focused and doing the right thing. It's in the human condition to want to feel heard and understood and right now your daughters are probably not going to be the right source of those feelings for you.
I am truly sorry you are hurting. After the pain of infidelity and divorce started to subside for me, the worst pain I continued to experience involved my kids and the highly complicated dynamic between all of us. Wishing you peace as you navigate this painful time.

nomudnolotus posted 9/14/2018 23:52 PM

I am also a child of divorce. My dad was a serial cheater and and alcoholic but my mother hid this from me.

I worshiped my dad because he was always the "fun" parent. For a time I even hated my mom because she was so "mean"

As I had my own family, I came to realize the truth. I also realized my mom handled everything with grace and dignity. She never bashed my dad, even when I was singing his praises.

Meanwhile he bashed her all the time. I love and respect my mom more than anything now. It took some time, but she is my hero.

I love my dad, but I see him for what he is.

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 00:13 AM

TripleTrouble
Thanks for sharing.

My dad is both an alcoholic and a gambling addict, and life with him was highly unstable.

My X is a process addict so it's harder to 'see' a sex or work addiction because they can be covered up a bit more than alcohol.
So, my kids were surprised to say the least, as I had covered up for their dad and minimized and justified everything to them. Not recommended

This part resonated with me:

It has been a very difficult situation. My mom seeks her validation through us, and saw our relationship with him as a betrayal. It's unfair to us.

My kids were the world to me as with almost all parents. And I hate to admit it but I too see their relationship with him as a betrayal. Yes, I would like them to be on my side even though just writing that is immature and I know it's not who I really am nor what I want for them. I am really listening to what you wrote: that it is unfair to the kids. I feel that I am so centred around my own grief that I can't see what it is like for them. And because I have ALWAYS put their needs first, how things will affect them etc, for me to not consider their needs is very different for me. It's like my give - a -damn broke, big time. I don't always have the capacity to care about their perspective. ANd if you knew me, that is a really hard thing for me to even write. But it's how I feel in this moment.

Reading your perspective can help me be a better mom. To understand what it is like for them.

[/quoteContinue to take the high road - the oxygen can get very thin up there but you will not regret it. I highly recommend IC if you are not already going. My IC was awesome at helping me keep focused and doing the right thing. It's in the human condition to want to feel heard and understood and right now your daughters are probably not going to be the right source of those feelings for you.

I had to laugh at that...yeah, the air is thin up high. I go to IC with 2 different counsellors, as well as other things, although I have backed off from the full time job of daily counselling and programs. I appreciate the reminder that my daughters are notn the right source for my feelings. I need to remember that. See, for the past 6 or so months I had been making sure that I was getting most of my support from others. Then maybe I was testing the waters and went back to my kids to see if I can connect with them about what happened as it has been over a year since D day. It's very hard to not want to be the chosen one. I do. I need to really let that go.

worst pain I continued to experience involved my kids and the highly complicated dynamic between all of us

This makes sense to me. I realize this has been the reason I have been crying my eyes out the past 2 days. Because this new dynamic is complicated. I soooo want to have my relationship with my daughters be easy and flowy like it was. And we were doing so well up to yesterday when I found out about STBWX gas lighting them and my DD having a relationship with him. It was too much all in one day. And it felt like ...wow...I have a seriously dysfunctional family! I just never thought I would be in this situation and had tried so very hard to have a stable, loving, warm functional family.

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 00:15 AM

nomudnolotus

How long did it take for you to see your dad for who he was?

Tripletrouble posted 9/15/2018 00:31 AM

You are so clearly doing the introspection on this that will allow you to be the best mom you can be. It's hard to process all these feelings. Forgive yourself if you think you may have overshared or put them in the middle and just do better going forward. I've been honest with my kids that I'm not perfect but am doing the best I can, and they have both been very understanding. Your girls will too. It will get better :)

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 00:53 AM

Thanks Triple. The self forgiveness is something I need to work on. As a recovering perfectionist, I'm usually very hard on myself, which is quite annoying! I need to remind both them and myself that I'm not perfect and that that's ok.

tessthemess posted 9/15/2018 02:15 AM

My uncle recalls hating my grandma growing up because my grandpa would come home from work all cheerful and loving and she'd have this awful scowl on her face at him every time. Only as an adult did he realize every time he was so cheerful he was shitfaced drunk, and she had been alone with four children all day and he was gallivanting at the bar.

fadedrainbow posted 9/15/2018 03:40 AM

GraceLove first of all hugs to you. Our situations are very similar. I have 2 DD's about the same ages.
I have been D now for nearly 9 years. I still struggle with the relationships my DD's have with their Dad. It is as if I know the truth about him and they don't. Sometimes I feel jealous. He has done hurtful things to them since our D but they seem to forgive it and move on. They do not ever discuss these things with me for fear of me saying something negative about him. Early on I said things that were inappropriate. I do not do that now at all. My XH has all the characteristics of your X, addict and narc, and I agree it is infuriating. For me things got
better when I went NC with X. Stay NC with him, it will really really help.
The anger, hate and hurt you feel will pass, and you know sometimes I feel that too, still after all this time. Remember you are the stable parent, you will survive this and be strong. In time your girls will see that you have integrity, grace, and you have moved on. They will respect you for this, and if your XH is still bashing you they will not like it. You asked if you should set them straight on the facts. I would say no. In the very least, just say 'well, that is not true' or 'that was not my experience'and leave it at that. They will learn the truth about his character in time, but by then you will most likely not care. Keep taking the high road.
Like my girls, yours at least have a father in their life, though you may not think he is great, they do. It is a fact. It is so hard not to feel like it is a competition.
I can so relate to your every word, and I get it. In the end I know that I am a good mother, like you, and I am doing the best I can given the circumstances. Deep down they know that you are the parent who will always be there for them no matter what and that is something precious.

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 04:37 AM

Fadedrainbow:

It is as if I know the truth about him and they don't. Sometimes I feel jealous.

I can really relate to this. It's frustrating to know the truth and not be able to let them know because they have to figure it out for themselves. Otherwise they might resent me later.
I too feel jealous.

but they seem to forgive it and move on.

Mine do the same thing and I'm not sure I quite understand it. However, I was thinking about this some more and maybe the reason they are able to forgive is because it must be very different when it is your father cheating as opposed to your husband. I don't know because my dad and mom were married for over 50 years and dad wasn't a cheater. So, maybe they are able to forgive easier as it doesn't affect them in the same way.

Early on I said things that were inappropriate. I do not do that now at all

For me, I find that overall I don't say things that are as bad as before, however, when I get anxious or am not grounded, I can go there. Any tips on how you manage to not do it anymore?

THe other thing is, my X doesn't bash me. Because he has the capacity to not feel much, he is able to manipulate it so that he seems like the kind one. It's infuriating! He actually was complimentary about me to my oldest DD. So then it really makes me seem like the unforgiving bad one.

In the very least, just say 'well, that is not true' or 'that was not my experience'and leave it at that.

That is good advice I wish I had before. It takes sooo much strength to say this and not want to bite back. What a test this all is.

It is so hard not to feel like it is a competition.

Yes, it is. I think we were somewhat competitive with each other during the marriage. I hated it and he brought out the worst in me at times. I know this because I'm not a competitive person by nature. I am more collaborative but with him, the last while anyways, I felt I was in competition.

[This message edited by GraceLove at 4:41 AM, September 15th (Saturday)]

Heart posted 9/15/2018 08:53 AM

I was in my twenties when my dad was caught with his pants down. My mother never discussed it with me. I found out from gossip and my grandmother.
I would have loved for my mother to have been the one to tell me the truth. Itís more drama than I can fit on here. I was very different in that I didnít want to be around my father at all after that for a long time.
My father is narristic. Perfect is never good enough for him. He has been a struggle my whole life. All girls want the love of their father. At least at some point in their life.
My mother was very bitter over my fathers behavior. She then found out she had stage four cancer and died. Helping to clean up the home and donate many of her belongings, I found letters she had written about the affair. Let me tell you, no one should have to go through this.
I would suggest that you do what your daughter asked and write down in your own words what you want her to know. She is in her twenties and if she can handle divorce, she can your truth and handle the whys. Certainly you want her to know. You are not protecting her by not telling her. Kids will love their parents good and bad.
I wish very much that my mother would have told me herself. I would suggest that you might want to have some counseling. It would most likely benefit both you and your family.

Puglife920 posted 9/15/2018 10:48 AM

Grace, this is going to be long, so bare with me. I have a lot of feelings about this subject still, but if my experience helps you to understand in any way, Iím happy to share.

To answer some of your questions, while it took me 9 years to finally cut ties with him, there were many more reasons besides becoming a BS myself. Over the 9 years, he continually would throw jabs about my mom to me (almost like he was mad at her for for the choices he made). He tried to make her out to be the monster when in reality, it was him all along. For example, in my teen years, my mom and I were in a typical mother/daughter spat, he was drunk, inserted himself, I said something he didnít like, and he broke my nose with a closed fist. He tried to place blame onto my mom for this. Over the years, I never really understood the animosity he held for my mom, and then his true colors showed when his relationship with his wife (the OW) started to deteriorate. He will never be happy, and will never truely own any faults he has. The straw that broke the camels back on my relationship with him was when he came to town to visit and spend time with my son. He spent the entire week drunk in bars. He would return to my house after bed time, and proceed to berate my mom to my son. My 5 year old looked at me with tears in his eyes, and asked why his pop pop didnít want to spend time with him, and why did he have to be so mean to his Nana. That ah - ha moment was it. I was not going to allow him to have that kind of impact on my child. I saw the emotional abuse starting, and over my dead body would my father escalate to physical abuse of my son. He left the next day and we have not had contact since.


I absolutely maintained contact with him because I craved love from him. The only time I received any love and praise from him as a child was when I excelled in athletics. That came quite often as I was a natural born athlete, but there was always something missing. If I were to have an ďoff dayĒ, I was met with extreme emotional, and sometimes physical abuse from him. I wanted to see if we could have a relationship outside of sports. I wanted the relationship I saw my friends have with their dads. I wanted so badly to be daddies little girl without performance based strings attached.

My relationship with my mom would go up and down as my relationship with my dad evolved. Was it frustrating at times, absolutely. My mom couldnít understand why I would want to have a relationship with him after all he had put our family through. She expressed her feelings of hurt and betrayal over my relationship with him. My sister cut ties with him the day he left my mom , and she didnít understand why I didnít do the same. It was hard, so hard to balance the two separate relationships. The only reason I would feel anger towards my mom was because I felt she was determined to undermine the relationship I had always dreamed of having with my dad. Keep in mind, he was love bombing me, buying gifts, taking me on trips. He was present in my life for the first time with no strings, and she was trying to take that away from me.

Probably the saddest part of this, was I partially blamed her for the abuse we endured at his hands (why didnít she protect us?). How was I to know that she took even worse after we had gone to bed. I blamed her for not leaving sooner.

My dad had completely rewritten the marriage history between him and my mom. She was demanding, expected too much out of him, pushed him past his limits, drove him to become an alcoholic, etc.. So I was being love bombed, and actually started to think this was reality. My mom was crazy. My dad finally deserves to be happy. Why canít she just move on and be happy herself. This is her chance! WHY CANT WE ALL JUST BE HAPPY NOW??? I absolutely knew the truth of their marriage. My father was arrested for DUI at 5:30am taking me to hockey practice when I was 8. My mom was constantly fielding visits from DFCS. She was working herself, making sure our homework was done, taking us to extra curricular activities. Making sure we had well balanced meals. She did it all, on top of trying to deflect the abuse away from us and onto her. Meanwhile, my dad was playing his own sports, picking up women at bars, coming home drunk and wreaking havoc inside the home. HE was the reason, but his NPD doesnít allow him to see it that way.

You say itís easier for your daughters to be mad at you. That is absolutely true. My motherís love for me is unconditional. I was terrified to be mad at my dad. I was scared he would drop me the same way he dropped my mom. I was scared he would hit me. I was scared he wouldnít talk to me ever again.

My mom is my rock. She is strong. She is stoic. She is a survivor. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She is the best Nana to my son. I know, no matter what, if I fall, she will pick me up, no questions asked. Most of all, my mom is CONSISTENT. That is something my father never has been , and never will be. I have no doubt, you are the same way with your daughters.

It is definitely not an easy road to navigate. I would let your daughters talk when they want. Stay strong, and just be there like you always have been.


Sorry this got so long, but I just wanted to share a detailed perspective. Iím not sure if you xWH was abussive, but it certainly was a defining factor with my dad.

[This message edited by Puglife920 at 10:50 AM, September 15th (Saturday)]

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 14:22 PM

Heart

I would have loved for my mother to have been the one to tell me the truth.

My youngest DD found out the same moment I did. She was driving when the text came through from the OW and saw/heard? my gasp and asked what it was. I told her. I thought it was a prank or something. It was too much to take in. My other DD, I actually don't recall if I told her or her sister did because it is a bit of a fog. So my 'problem' is that I want to keep telling them the truth. And it's confusing for them because his truth is opposite mine. YEt as a covert narcissist he is pretty smooth with the lies. Anyways, I don't have any control over that.

All girls want the love of their father

Interesting you mentioned this because yesterday I said this to my eldest DD.

Helping to clean up the home and donate many of her belongings, I found letters she had written about the affair. Let me tell you, no one should have to go through this.
How traumatic. I can't imagine. I too lost my mom to cancer and cleaning her house was, well, challenging. Can't imagine finding those letters on top of that.

I would suggest that you do what your daughter asked and write down in your own words what you want her to know. She is in her twenties and if she can handle divorce, she can your truth and handle the whys. Certainly you want her to know. You are not protecting her by not telling her. Kids will love their parents good and bad.

Yes, I want her to know. I have to make sure my need for wanting her to know isn't selfish (it makes me feel better). I feel like I have so much to get off my chest and so much I want my kids to know. I don't want to TMI them because that was a common complaint from both in the beginning so they distanced themselves from me. So over the past several months I hadn't talked much about anything regarding the divorce. I slowly opened that door again and it seems to just cause pain. I am getting IC.

GraceLove posted 9/15/2018 14:54 PM

Puglife
Thanks for the response. It helps.

he continually would throw jabs about my mom to me (almost like he was mad at her for for the choices he made). He tried to make her out to be the monster when in reality, it was him all along.

When my STBX was ousted, he was furious with ME! Which was just crazy. It made no sense. Instead of begging for forgiveness he was angry at me. I know that STBX jabs me but he does it in a very very covert way to the point that the girls say he doesn't speak badly of me. Ha! Sure he doesn't out and out say things, but he lies by omission and assumption. He is masterful at that. He did it to me for years and I believed him. So he again comes out like the sane one. The one who isn't bashing their mom. Meanwhile he is but they may not catch on to his ways because who wouldn't want their father's love? Even if it's love bombing.

My mom couldnít understand why I would want to have a relationship with him after all he had put our family through. She expressed her feelings of hurt and betrayal over my relationship with him.

I too couldn't understand why either of my DD's would want to. It's hurtful and painful to me. However, I have said to them both that they can have any type of relationship with them. I respect that. In turn they will need to respect my non-relationship with him. That is where we are at. I don't express my feelings of the betrayal I feel because I can't control what they do and what they want. And I get it. My mom was a narc and to the day she died, I wanted a relationship with her. I would imagine that she had softened up in her later years. She had at the very end but it took her being on her death bed to soften up.

The only reason I would feel anger towards my mom was because I felt she was determined to undermine the relationship I had always dreamed of having with my dad. Keep in mind, he was love bombing me, buying gifts, taking me on trips. He was present in my life for the first time with no strings, and she was trying to take that away from me.

Wow...it's good to know what may await me. Sheesh! This is all so challenging. I know he buys my youngest DD stuff. He did from the get go. She said she was using him when he bought her things. She receives love via gifts..that's her love language. And he can provide lots of gifts but not what she will really need which is genuine and authentic love from her dad. That's never going to happen as he is incapable of loving others without strings. Everything is done for his purposes and his wants and needs.

Probably the saddest part of this, was I partially blamed her for the abuse we endured at his hands (why didnít she protect us?). How was I to know that she took even worse after we had gone to bed. I blamed her for not leaving sooner.

My situation was different. He hit me once early on then I threatened to leave and take the kids. He didn't do it again. Instead his abuse became psychological and emotional. So my kids, before Dday felt they had a good childhood. They thought we had a good marriage. Now the marriage part is covered with a black brush for them. As it is for me too. I have told them to hang on to the good memories they have.
In terms of leaving, for me, I didn't believe in divorce and I just felt that I could make things work. If I tried harder, did better etc. In hindsight would I have left if I didn't have kids? Yip. I think I would have. But I don't know for sure. It was the old frog in boiling water idea. I just accepted things and was a very positive person. I really believed that love and encouragement can change someone. I was wrong. Very very wrong on that. I couldn't do the work for the STBX. He never got proper treatment for his sex and porn and sometimes work addiction. He would always say he's working it out between him and God. He did a bit of IC to appease me. Then after a few sessions he would make some excuse and quit. He was a quitter. A weak man. A child. Emotionally stunted. A liar. A cheat and a thief. You'd never know it to look at him. He was 'successful' at work, clean cut, All the trappings of what the world thinks of as successful. And he was and is a vile human being. I just hate him. I hate him for what he has done to my kids and my kids relationship with me. It used to be so flowy. Now it's just damn hard. I have to watch what I say, go to counselling to navigate everything. And he just gets up and goes to work and tells everyone our marriage wasn't intimate. Like that is an ok reason to cheat!

He has even convinced my girls that somehow adultery is ok!! I can tell by what they say. The oldest DD insinuated that there are 2 sides to the story. I said, no adultery is 100% wrong--it's a choice and there are no excuses. (or something like that) As for my youngest DD. I can tell she is spending time with him. I just know it because she glosses over things that should matter. She loses her values when she is with him for too long. I know that sounds weird but it's almost like he can convince her that even cheating is ok in some circumstances! I've really gone off on a tangent here. I needed to get all that out.

Thanks for the detailed perspective. It is helping me process what is going on.

fadedrainbow posted 9/15/2018 15:29 PM

GraceLove, you are so right, what a test this all is.

When one has been hurt so badly as we all have on this board, one of the things some of us want to do is punish the WS, especially when it ends up in divorce. We want them to feel the same hurt we have experienced and be punished for their behaviour and actions. I know I did. However at some point we need to move forward for our own sake and sanity. The truth is the XH has moved on and could care less about our suffering. And it is not easy, it can take a very long time to get 'unmarried'. We are each unique human beings with individual ways in which we cope and handle life's situations. What has kept me going forward is my desire to be a better mother and role model for my two daughters. It is one step at a time through the muck. You will get there, there is no magic solution unfortunately.
Be kind to yourself as you navigate through and if you have a good IC even better to get that extra support.

josiep posted 9/15/2018 22:46 PM

I just talked to my IC about this same thing this very week. I'm having a really hard time with my kids (40 & 43). Right after DDay, I probably said a bunch of bad stuff about him, I don't honestly remember. But after a few months, I notice both of them get edgy if I bring up anything from when we were a family, even something as innocuous as "Dad use to make the best scrambled eggs, remember?"

My daughter is in contact with him; I don't think a lot but they do talk and text a few times a month. I don't ask her anything about it or about him and she knows I won't because I told her I wouldn't.

But here's my problem now: he married the OW in April. I'd been checking the county marriage records every month or so and saw it a week after they married. Neither one of my kids has told me. Either XWH told them not to tell me or they're just afraid to tell me, afraid that I'll be hurt (which translates to them not having enough courage to do what's right, which is a HUGE disappointment to me as their mother).

I was at my daughter's new house and saw cards on each of the grandkids' dressers. They each got card and $20 from their Papa to celebrate the first day of school. Here's my dilemna with this one: the kids didn't show them to me and they both texted him to say thank you but never let on to me. Which leads me to believe that my daughter has told them not to mention Papa around me.

So I hear you. I hear you loud and clear. I am beyond devastated but I don't say anything because it's my burden, my pain, my dilemna.

On 9/11/2001, my (then) DH was 500 miles away with his mother attending his uncle's funeral (I stayed home to take care of fil and their dog plus our 4 dogs and 3 cats); my daughter was working out of state 600 miles away and my son lived 1200 miles away for his job. So there I was at home and my family was all very far away from me and it was a horrible day for me in terms of the mother hen wanting all her chicks under her wing. Well, on 9/11/2018, I was here, alone. Son is out of the country on another travel adventure, Daughter lives 1000 miles away now and XWH is married to someone else 1100 miles away. I realized I'm now a family of 1 and it drained my heart of whatever I had left.

Plus I had a crazy dream and in it, my kids went on a month long family reunion event at a lake with XWH and OW and her kids and grandkids and the real kicker? XWH had invited my Dad's widow who was indeed the wicked stepmother from Hell who abused my Dad and now that I realize it, gaslighted me for years. Anyway, the dream was heart-wrenching and counselor told me it was about my sense of betrayal and abandonment. And that it would be wise for me to detach from my kids for awhile. Be nice, etc. but don't be involve in their lives as much as I usually am. Let them have time to process their feelings of betrayal and abandonment and their conflicted feelings about hating their Dad and loving him at the same time.

I realize I didn't give you anything much to work with but I wanted to relay that part about the counselor and to also let you know that you aren't the only one struggling with these terrible agonizing feelings.

[This message edited by josiep at 10:46 PM, September 15th (Saturday)]

GraceLove posted 9/16/2018 01:52 AM

Faded rainbow: You know, I feel like my kids made me a better person because when they were growing up I was so much more aware of my actions. And so when you said...

What has kept me going forward is my desire to be a better mother and role model for my two daughters.

...it resonates and yet, there are days where I don't even care if I'm a good role model. I get disheartened and think...does it even matter anymore? They are all grown up. They can just take me or leave me as I am. I'm so tired of having to take the high road and be the role model. It's kind of funny because my adult DD's had probably never heard me swear, like EVER. And a few months ago my youngest DD just couldn't take it anymore and told me to just stop. I try not to do it as much but find it difficult as it really seems to release my anger. And sometimes, well, I really don't care.
One of the freeing things about being a mother to adult kids is they are old enough to see their parents as humans first, parents second. Maybe.

GraceLove posted 9/16/2018 02:35 AM

josiep

I notice both of them get edgy if I bring up anything from when we were a family, even something as innocuous as "Dad use to make the best scrambled eggs, remember?"

I notice my girls get not just edgy but they seem full on guilty. I'm wondering if there is a way to alleviate that guilt? Anyone out there with any suggestions would be good.

I'm guessing that maybe I talk to them about it. However, I feel a bit 'burned' after our last interaction. It takes me 1-2 days to recover if they share something that is unexpected or abusive that their dad does (even though they don't see it that way).

realized I'm now a family of 1 and it drained my heart of whatever I had left.

I get that. I had always envisioned myself as the matriarch of a large brood eventually...kids, son in laws, grandchildren. Family was sooooo important to me. And now I live alone! I never thought this would happen to me. On the bad days it is utterly brutal. Especially because I am quite sociable.

I have one daughter in Canada and one in Australia. I can't tell you how many times I have fully HATED!!!! STBX for splitting the family apart. And when I don't hate him, on those days or moments, I empower myself and say: I chose to follow him to another country. THat makes me feel better as it gives me my power back.

I've also started to plan my way around living alone. And I do this in those 'moments' or 'spaces' where I feel good again, or back to myself....What I have done is this: At the moment, I have a wonderful friend living with me while her house is being built. After that I have invited another friend to come stay with me. After that, my brother will hopefully visit. I intend that for the rest of my life, I will have friends and family come stay with me wherever I am. This fills my need for companionship and at the same time I get my space and breaks in between. How much better is that??!!! I say much better than living with a crazy sob. So even though I grieve what I thought I had, I also feel that I'm getting a second chance at life. Living life on my terms. Sure, this isn't easy. And would I like someone to help me with the practical day to day stuff? Maybe....and then I say to myself...but at what cost to ME? That is when I realize that I am exactly where I am meant to be right now. At least that is what I tell myself and it makes me feel much better.

[This message edited by GraceLove at 2:36 AM, September 16th (Sunday)]

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