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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Divorce/Separation :
When one of three adult children break the silence


 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 12:17 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I have not spoken to Ex since fall of 2016. Three adult children have not had a relationship with him, for a variety of reasons, since he told them he was leaving and they found out he was having an affair. Ex was not invited to son's wedding, has never met his 2 year old grandchild, has no idea where his children are living or working or if they see each other.

I told him early on that his relationship with his children was his to destroy or repair but I was out. It was up to he and the kids.

My youngest (27) decided she did not want to be 40 and in therapy over this. She doesn't want to have regrets when it comes to a wedding or grandchildren. So, she contacted him.

I am so proud of her. She was very clear with boundaries. She said she had questions for him and if she got the wrong answer, it was over. She's not sure if this is the beginning of a relationship or closure. She said time will tell. At this time she has spoken to him a few times. She is respecting her siblings privacy, who are not ready to talk with their father, and not sharing information about them or me.

Anyone else have children who have broken the silence when Ex didn't seem capable of it?

[This message edited by hcsv at 12:55 AM, Thursday, November 17th]

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 740   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8765490

ChewedMeUp ( member #8008) posted at 2:19 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

My DS (26) has gone the other way. He'd always had a contentious relationship with his father. Once we split, he got a much clearer picture of how much I'd sheltered/intervened in their relationship because I stepped completely out. DS tried to somewhat maintain a relationship, but moved at the beginning of this year for another job, and as far as I'm aware, has barely had a bit of texting and a convo or two with his father. When DS was in town a couple days early in the summer, they spent about 15 minutes chatting outside while ex sat in his work truck and DS stood at his window. From what I can tell, that's the longest convo they had since DS moved, and I get the impression from DS that he honestly doesn't want anything more.

I worry that he'll come to regret that, or at least may decide he needs answers later, much like yours, so I'll be very curious to know how this works out for yours.

BS - 40
DivorcED, finally.
2 Kids

posts: 634   ·   registered: Aug. 26th, 2005   ·   location: Baltimore, MD
id 8765566

MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 4:56 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I'm estranged from my mom, for different reasons, but mostly stemming from her being verbally abusive and being in general a narc. (I've spoken about it here time to time, I'm not going into details.)

Anyway, I don't see her as a shit human being, but a complicated one. One who never apologizes or fails to hurt me or manipulate me in some way whenever I interact with her.

Good on your DD doing what she needs to do to be satisfied with herself. I've recently unblocked my mom from texting and am able to receive her group text to myself and my sisters. I don't respond, don't see her. I've set the boundary in my life that people who are incapable of remorse. I'm tired of living around people who don't see the need to repair and/or are incapable of it. Especially the person who is supposed to have my back the most. And the person who trained me not to apologize and that admitting wrong is weak.

Unblocking my mom is the most that I'm willing to do right now. I won't feel safe around her unless she starts becoming a completely different person than she is, and offers a sincere apology. She has my address, she can send me a letter. Since that is highly unlikely to happen, I am content to keep her 99% out of my life.

I fear that if my R fails with my H, my kids will wind up with much the same relationship. He can be quite harsh and provides primarily negative feedback. He's not a lying avoidant douche like your ex seems to be, but it does chill the emotional intimacy and sense of safety and acceptance the kids need to really blossom around him.

Hopefully your daughter can make peace with her relationship with her father. I'm learning that finding peace with the person is different from finding peace with the relationship. I am mostly at peace with my relationship to my mother, but I'm not at peace with who she is as a person. I hope that helps.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 895   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8765588

 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 12:26 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Thank you for your thoughtful response chewedmeup and MIgander.

MIgander, it sounds like you've given your mother a bit of grace that she hasnt deserved. I hope I can get there with ex, but I doubt it.

Chewedmeup, I dont understand how they cannot understand how this affects their children, even adult children. I hope your son finds some peace with his father, one way or the other.

I admit, I have mixed feelings about this even though I am incredibly proud of my daughter. He has been out of our lives for 5-6 years and this is a step back into our family which I dont welcome. I want him to keep hurting, he doesnt deserve the grace that my daughter is giving him. I don't want to share future events with him. Selfish or just being protective? I am unsure.

I speak to his frail mother every week, she still calls me her DIL. I have known her since I started dating her son 45 years ago. I have assumed that her funeral would be the last time I would ever have to see him. Now, that may not be true and it doesnt sit well with me. Of course, if my daughter chooses to include her father at her future happy events, I will be present with grace and dignity which I dont feel he deserves. I worry that my daughter is wanting the dad who adored her growing up at these events. Unfortunately, that's not dad or man he is now. I fear her disappointment in him again.

[This message edited by hcsv at 12:28 PM, Friday, November 18th]

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 740   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8765693

ChewedMeUp ( member #8008) posted at 4:39 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Sadly, not only does ex not see that he’s the problem in that relationship, I think he actually blames DS for DS being too different from him. DS really is mini-me, similar interests and views and such, so it was a sadly amusing revelation as to how un-self-aware ex was that ex didn’t realize his dissatisfaction with DS was a reflection of how he didn’t even *like* me, let alone respect me (this was part of my decision to get out of limbo earlier than planned).

As for you and the ex having to share events going forward – it’s never great, but you learn to deal. At graduations, I put the other kid between us; at the grad party, mostly just spent time at the opposite end chatting with other folks. It’s just another flavor of the crappy acceptance we have to learn. These days he just feels like that annoying coworker that you have to be polite and make bland weather talk with. And honestly, I walk away from those feeling relieved in the end, that I only ever have to have these encounters once or twice a year, and am genuinely perplexed how I ever thought I’d spend the rest of my days with this person. It’s an excellent reminder that I’ve made the right decisions.

If you must deal with him, you don’t have to be pals, just civil, and you can do that because it’s for your kids. It sounds like you have a great relationship with them, so really all you need to do is just keep supporting them like you always have. I hope your kids get to have peace also.

BS - 40
DivorcED, finally.
2 Kids

posts: 634   ·   registered: Aug. 26th, 2005   ·   location: Baltimore, MD
id 8765809

BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 9:27 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

My kids have all, in various ways, tried to maintain a relationship with their father. We moved together to my home country and he stayed in the UK where he is from. I moved in no small part because he is, to be blunt, a crazy person. The kids would go over for visits and he could somewhat keep it together during those trips. He has opted out of attending any important events such as high school or college graduations because, as he said after the first high school graduation, he "didn't get anything out of it." So, yeah, that's the kind of bullshit they've had to deal with and honestly it's been heartbreaking for them.

A few weeks ago he was visiting the children where they are here. One is in university, two have now graduated from college. It was what I now call his "Burning Bridges" tour. While visiting the oldest (DS) he became verbally abusive to him and when my DS asked him to leave (EX insisted that he stay in his 1 bedroom apartment) and he refused and it devolved to the point where the police were called. The children were devastated. JFC. But I also see some changes in their ability to accept who he really is, and to establish boundaries going forward.

Everyone needs the love of two parents but when one of them lacks the essential quality of empathy, as my EX does, it makes those relationships at best shallow. That's all they are going to get from him.

It's natural for your DD to try, and admirable for her to attempt to do so after such a long break in relations, but my guess is that she will learn at some point who he really is. When my kids tell me about some crazy thing my EX said, I refer to the parable of the frog and the scorpion and remind them, that he can't help it, this is his nature. It's their job to figure out how and if they want to have a relationship with that parent and to find a way to accept that this is all they will have in a father.

I admit, I have mixed feelings about this even though I am incredibly proud of my daughter. He has been out of our lives for 5-6 years and this is a step back into our family which I dont welcome. I want him to keep hurting, he doesnt deserve the grace that my daughter is giving him. I don't want to share future events with him. Selfish or just being protective? I am unsure.

And it's your job to step back and let it take it's course. I get being worried but she's 27 and she's trying to figure out something that is perfectly normal for her to do. She's offering him grace because there is a part of her that loves him. That's normal and fundamental to the human experience*. Be there to validate her feelings and experiences, but try to not add your own into that mix. She will be better for it and it won't further complicate her own journey.

*I have a lot of professional contact with the adoption industry and it is beyond common that when an adult adoptee discovers their biological parents they fall apart emotionally because there was a part of them that has always felt the longing for that person. It's incredibly profound, the parent/child connection, and it's universal.

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3370   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8765852

 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 3:57 PM on Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Agreed BrokenheartedUK. I have kept my feelings to myself and will continue to do so. When those events come up I will be present and cordial.

Even though it's hard, I want my children to be ok with whatever relationship they choose to have with their father, or none at all. He was a good dad, until he wasnt and I make sure the kids know that when we are looking at pictures or talking about a time during their childhood.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 740   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8765958

Losttransport ( member #39409) posted at 6:53 AM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

All of my children are adults and they all have no contact with their father. I tried explaining that he had always been a good father and no matter our problems, he still loved them.

My kids don’t care. They are the epitome of IDGAF. One of my daughters said that there were 2 serious infractions growing up: lying and disrespecting mom. She said, "That loser did both so I’m done with him." Another daughter said that he didn’t just betray me, he lied to the whole family for MONTHS and betrayed everyone. She said he is dead, because she doesn’t know who this loser is. She said her dad loved his family and would never do something like this. My son is looking into changing his last name so he doesn’t carry this one on. When he told his sisters that, they decided they were going to do that too.

So yeah, my kids don’t talk to him. I don’t care. My therapist reminded me they were adults and entitled to their feelings. You know what? It snapped me out of "fix it mode". Fuck that guy. That’s not my responsibility to fix it.

Me: BS-50
Hubby: WS-50
OW: his high school girlfriend
Affair started last November
3 DD, 1 DS all grown
Time heals all wounds-I do not agree.

posts: 129   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2013   ·   location: Texas
id 8766036
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