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Question
Posted by: Lea | 2007/07/23

spiral of repat feelings

Good day
I think I have found a pattern for a large section of my behavior which results in the same feelings in many of my close relationships. My prime issue is with my two adult children, 18 and 20. I am divorced and re-married. I do so want them to love me. I left their dad after 18 years of marriage, and I feel they want to make me pay in what ever way for the breakdown. They love their dad, they accept his new partner and the step children. Not so in my case, they hate my partner, wont communicate with him and wont visit. My daughter does visit on weekends to get out of residence, and we have had to lay down the law in how she behaves in our home. That said, I feel I go beyond my call of duty and then feel like I am just the cash cow and their for their needs and that is all. They speak to their dad so nicely on the phone, I take them shopping for his birthday and fathers day gift, while I get nothing when its my birthday of mothers day. So its this spiral of I give to be hopefully be loved in return and then when I dont get the expected returns in gratification and just general pleasant behaviour and thank you's, I feel cheated and abused and want to retract it all. But the next thoughts are that my daughter needs me so much and I must just give whatever I can to represent my love and time will turn their hearts. I also notice the same in my relationship with my new husband, I feel I give so much and then am just taken for granted. So think this pattern is reprsentative of something deaper, something I have to find and sort out. My mum does the same sort of things, will then turn round and say 'after all I have done for you..........'. Please help. I do think that my children are anyway riding the wave of whatever they can get from me, as their dad can give them nothing and I end up paying for all their medical aid and clothes and any other medical or toiletry needs they might have. He hardly manages to pay my sons tuition, I am responsible for my daughters. So I feel like I give so much of myself and my finances, but they love and adore him and will protect him to the hilt. But I got out of a bad situation, picked myself up and made good of the whole thing - is it this that they cannot handle? Their dad by contrast has bankrupted himself and is still an alcoholic.
Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Guys, it is TERRIBLY difficult for me to handle dozens of very very long messages, especially when they all pile up on a monday --- at least try to spread them through the week, and edit them to render them more brief and to the point. A long discussion with all the details belongs in a paid session with your own personal shrink.
Why is your life still tied up with your children ? Don't you long since deserve to have your own independent life, with uyour own friends and satisfaction. ? Your new partner is YOUR business, not theirs. Relationships are not a democracy in which everyone is entitled to a vote. And in your house it is ONLY your own rules that count, and if they can't accept thet, then they don't get invited to visit. And stop funding them --- that's not up to you.
Stop buying their gifts for him, too. let them love you for who you are, not for what you pay
If your daughter really needs you, then she must treat you with proper respect, or do without your support.

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