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Question
Posted by: H | 2010/08/13

Daughter''s reaction

I''ve been in an unhappy marriage for years, and stuck around because I thought it is the best for my kids, who I love dearly, to be there for them.

During the past few years I had a relationship outside the marriage and me and the wife recently went our separate ways. Since my daughter found out I am staying together with this lady with whom I had the relationship, she has withdrawn from me. She feels I have lied all the years to them when being confronted with the issue. There was not much else I could do at that stage, I was not in a position to divorce, but very unhappy at home (not making excuses).

I guess she wants to talk it out but I don''t feel like facing all the blame talk that will come along.

It is ironic, if we divorced years ago when they were young, they would have been used to it years ago and maybe our relationship would have been better today. But I stayed, and was there for them and supported the in all ways and got them through varsity, now I get all this resentment.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Kids do benefit from access to a happy, or at least a contented parent(s) ; but continuing exposure to an unhappy mariage isn't necessarily beneficial. I don't know the age of your daughter - is it practical for her to perhaps see a personal counselor to work through her own concerns, to clarify these and deal with them ? I gather when youi separated from your wife, the kids stayed with her, so they would have heard almost entirely HER viewpoint on everything that happened. Mayb as your daughter continues to grow up, and get more broad experience of life, she will come to understand you better

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Our users say:
Posted by: H | 2010/08/16

Thanks Kelly!

Reply to H
Posted by: Kelly | 2010/08/13

Also your daughter, depending on what kind of person she is, might warm up to your your girlfriend. I hope she learns that your girlfriend isn''t the enemy or the cause of the divorce. People grow and change and they just don''t always stay happy together. She''ll see that one day.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Kelly | 2010/08/13

You''re a bit harsh I think, Also A Daughter. My father did the exact same thing, except he left when we were in our pre-teen years (12 years ago). H wasn''t saying he did the kids a favour by paying for the education, he''s saying that he thought he was doing thd right thing by providing a typical mommy and daddy household. You sound very bitter- it doesn''t sound like you''re over it. In any case, H, no one can ever say what was the right thing to do in certain cases because each person and each family is different. You say maybe it would have been different if you left when the kids were younger? Maybe, but it''s harder to understand then. I was actually teased at school when my parents split because I was so emotional about it. In guidance class my teacher even sent me out of the class when they were discussing divorce because it was a very touchy subject (I was only 11 at the time). So maybe yes, you should have left earlier, but maybe no, because your kids are adults now and they understand the world better. Your daughter will come around eventually, maybe sooner than we did with our step mom because she, being older, at least has realistic views on the world now. She may also be withdrawing from you to stand by her mother (I did that as well- I NEVER went away on holiday with my dad and the steps due to loyalty to my mother). We were quite mean to our step mother, but we were kids and we were hurt. After a few years things started getting better. I have to admit I don''t recall how mean we were, but my step mom recently wrote a book about her journey through life and according to her, we were horrendus! Your daughter will at least, hopefully, have the maturity to stay civil. And now, my mom is happy, my father is happy and I still get a bit sad that my parents divorced, but that''s life. Your daughter will see that.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Also a daughter | 2010/08/13

Gee ... what else did you expect? You sound just like my dad. And it took me 15 years to get over what he has done to our family.

For years your daughter looked up to you, trusted you and lived by your example and now she founds out that you have been deceiving the family, her mother and you even moved in with a lady who she sees as the " enemy."  You broke her trust and you are hurting her mother and siblings whom she loves dearly. How can you expect her to just accept this?

Honestly, the correct way to do these things are to get divorced FIRST, then date the lady and much later MARRY her and THEN move in with her.

And by the way - as a father is your DUTY to support your children in all ways and to pay for their education. It is by no means a FAVOUR you do them so don''t ever play that card with them again.

Your daughter will never again look at you in the same way she did before and it will take a VERY long time to rebuild the relationship. And trust me, she will NEVER accept the new woman, no matter how nice she is, because she is the enemy that caused the divorce.

Trust me, I know, my father did that too me, my mom, my 4 siblings and the other woman''s 3 kids.

Reply to Also a daughter
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/08/13

Kids do benefit from access to a happy, or at least a contented parent(s) ; but continuing exposure to an unhappy mariage isn't necessarily beneficial. I don't know the age of your daughter - is it practical for her to perhaps see a personal counselor to work through her own concerns, to clarify these and deal with them ? I gather when youi separated from your wife, the kids stayed with her, so they would have heard almost entirely HER viewpoint on everything that happened. Mayb as your daughter continues to grow up, and get more broad experience of life, she will come to understand you better

Reply to cybershrink

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