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New Beginnings Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Adult kids and divorce
meaniemouse
♀ Member
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 6:41 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am having some serious issues with my two oldest daughters and need some advice. I am 7+ years out from an ugly divorce that followed an even uglier marriage. He married a very wealthy woman almost 2 years ago. They live in her house and she rules the roost, according to my kids. In spite of the fact that he is nearly 60 and she is in her early 50s they just adopted a newborn girl. Crazy--right?

I have not seen or spoken to my ex in over 5 years. He was horrible to me and often to the children as well. I never speak of him with my girls and only respond minimally when they bring him up. He often treats them badly and rarely if ever helps them financially or any other way but will be nice to them if he wants them to do something for him. When they need something they come to me because I always answer the call. I feel like that's what parents do--help their kids. I'm happy to do it but increasingly I'm feeling very, very used and abused.

Two weeks ago my youngest came home for a visit; she had not been home since Christmas. The middle daughter announced that she wouldn't be home because she was accompanying her father and stepmother out of town so she could "nanny" the baby. I was not happy that of all weekends, this was the weekend they chose. Also important here is that my youngest stopped speaking to her father months ago because he was in a town close to where she lived and did not even bother to call her. When she called to ask for an explanation he told her she was a crazy drama queen. The same thing he always said to me when I would call him on his selfish behavior.

I felt my ex was manipulating my daughter into going because he knows she loves children and is very good with them. She didn't see it that way and somehow managed to make me the monster who "can't accept that she wants to help her father." This is the same child that I have spent thousands of dollars on to help her get on her feet; right now she is driving my car--which I still pay for.

I also do a TON for my oldest who is WAY old enough to quit asking me for help. I've helped her cook for her co-workers, stood in the freezing rain for hours helping her with fund raisers, let her live with me, given her my furniture, paid her car insurance--you get the picture. Yet a week ago when there was a huge grand opening of a new facility where she works--it was a BIG deal--she invited every other f-ing person she knew AND her father and stepmother and did not invite me because she "didn't think I'd want to go because her father would be there." I was SO hurt and told her so. She apologized but then basically put it back on me because she said "I never know how to navigate these things without hurting either you or my dad."

The bottom line is that their behavior toward me really isn't even about their dad--it's about them taking advantage of me and then when I call them on their behavior, blaming me because I have drawn a boundary regarding contact with my ex.

I'm so hurt and angry I haven't been able to see or speak to either one of them for a while--and that's just more ammunition for them to accuse me of being the bitter ex-wife who just can't get over it and make nice with their father and his new family so I'm punishing them.

This has happened over and over again but I think I reached my limit of tolerance. These are not immature or stupid young women. They know better. They were raised better.

The thought that I have to endure this for the rest of my life is enough to make my physically ill. Weddings, grandchildren, holidays---am I ALWAYS going to be the bad guy --- the "bitter" one? Am I just supposed to forget about all of the humiliating and mean things he did and act like it never happened?
I swear, if it wasn't for my youngest daughter I would jump off a bridge knowing that I raised such selfish, ungrateful children.

Do other adult children of divorced parents behave like this--shit all over the parent that is the constant in their lives, the one who does all the dirty work? Am I supposed to let them treat me this way if I want a relationship with them? I guess I should take a lesson from their father and be a douchebag--maybe that's what it takes for them to pay attention and give me a little respect. It seems to work for him.

If you've read this far, thank you. At least I've been able to vent here. My friends are sympathetic but they've just not walked a mile in my shoes like the people here.


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2125 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
Sad in AZ
♀ Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 6:55 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

They were raised better.

Gently, hon, no they weren't. You've spoiled them and and you're reaping what you've sowed. Yes, parents help their kids, but not to the extent that you have--you've become their doormat.

I'm sure he's worked them over with regard to you too, so you are up against parental alienation. Your thinly veiled hate of him plays into this too--it's a messy stew of FOO garbage and you're right in the middle of it.

Back off; stop helping--I'd say go cold turkey, but I'm not sure that's the way to go. But cut way, way back. Start looking after yourself and your own interests--make friends and be busy when they want something, but remain the MOM. You deserve respect; now act like you do.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20279 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Amazonia
♀ Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe not cold turkey, but a strong 180 might help.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13797 | Registered: Jul 2011
ArkLaMiss
♀ Member
Member # 14918
Default  Posted: 8:00 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Agreed, they're brats. You MUST change the game by implementing boundaries now. Cut them off financially for starters. Take the car from youngest. It is not a necessity that she have one! Tell them what you expect from them!
Hugs. I know it's hard.


Just HOW stupid do you think I am, exactly?

Posts: 1202 | Registered: Jun 2007
Tripletrouble
♀ Member
Member # 39169
Default  Posted: 8:19 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My parents divorced when I was in my 30's and my dad married the OW who's A went back some 15 years. My mom was as devasted and bitter as it gets and understandably so. I can offer you my experience. My mom is angry that I have any contact with him. But let me clear that I see him for what he is and we are not close - I simply don't want to cut him out of my life completely. Also, my mom seems to think making me feel guilty will make me want to have a better relationship with her, but it only pushes me further away. Don't enable your daughters to take advantage of you, but don't try to put yourself into their relationship with their father either. Be matter of fact about any changes you make in your relationship with them (cutting off car, etc) and don't ever try to extract guilt. Best of luck to you and lots of hugs.


40 somethings - me BW after 20 years
D Day April 2013
Divorced November 2013

Be happy with what you have while you work for what you want - Hellen Keller


Posts: 638 | Registered: May 2013
meaniemouse
♀ Member
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 10:22 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

They ARE brats. It's awful to actually admit it but it's true. And I hate it but it's because of ME. It is really true you reap what you sow.

But honestly--if you were to ask anyone else who knows them and has spent any time around them (who doesn't know my side of it) well, to everyone else they are wonderful! Helpful, social, funny, smart, hard working and fun to be around.


And I really don't try to get in the way of their relationship with their father. They don't live with me so I really have no way of knowing what or when or how that goes--unless one of them rubs my nose in it. But what I don't understand--is why do they want to?

I don't get all up in their business---hell I NEVER call them--I figure when they want to talk to me they'll call me. I do have lots of friends and a great job and I volunteer and have all kinds of other interests. I never look to them to entertain me or ever guilt them into doing extended family stuff. I let them do their thing and have never said anything until these last two incidents.

And I'm not bitter. I am so much happier and better off without their father. He has a horrible personal and professional reputation. Because of his position he is afforded a lot of fake respect but people generally hate him. The only reason he had any credibility at all was because he had such a "nice" family. HE'S the one who wasted no time getting involved with another person because he needs a wife so he can appear at least halfway respectable.

I've dated a ton of nice people. My girls know it's MY choice to be single. So I can't understand why they seem to want to make this some kind of contest between their father and me instead of taking responsibility for acting like little shits.

You know, I really should have divorced their father 19 years ago but I thought by waiting I would avoid this crap. There sure is a lesson to be learned here. Too bad it's too late for me to benefit from it.


Thanks for all the responses. You people are the best.


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2125 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
million pieces
♀ Member
Member # 27539
Default  Posted: 6:20 AM, June 10th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well to be fair, mothers and daughters have a "special" kind of relationship. I'm sure they are great people, but you need to calmly object and put your foot down to how they are treating you. I would put an end to all you do for them and let them appreciate you, not your $$. They will. And I would start calling them. My dad is like you, very private and respects my privacy (we are a lot alike in that way). But that make communication a little hard. I got busy with my life a couple of months ago, kept on missing the time that I usually call him and he never called in 2 months. Finally he calls on the way to the airport because he was going to Europe for 3 weeks and realized he hadn't talked to me in a while. As much as I know in my brain why he wasn't calling, it did hurt and I do like it when he makes an effort.

Can you sit your girls down for a family meeting? Express you feeling towards them. Use all those I statements and not "you" statements.


Me - 42
2 kids, 9 and 11
D-Day 2/5/10, separated 3 wks later
Divorced 11/15/11!!!!

Posts: 1264 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: MD
Newlease
♀ Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, June 10th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yet a week ago when there was a huge grand opening of a new facility where she works--it was a BIG deal--she invited every other f-ing person she knew AND her father and stepmother and did not invite me because she "didn't think I'd want to go because her father would be there." I was SO hurt and told her so. She apologized but then basically put it back on me because she said "I never know how to navigate these things without hurting either you or my dad."

To be fair, how would you have reacted to being in the same place with your X? Was this a legitimate concern of your daughter?

You have to separate out what you do for and give your daughters from how they relate to you. You are helping them way too much and expecting certain things in return. That's not how it works. Do you want them to come to you out of love or obligation?

Love and obligation can sometimes be mixed, but if you demand loyalty because of what you give them, you will be on the losing end. Stop doing so much for them, but work on the emotional side of your relationship.

Try to remember when you were that age and how much you communicated with your parents. If you were close, was it because of what they gave you/did for you? Or was it just because you had a strong emotional tie to them?

Sending strength and peace.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7739 | Registered: Aug 2005
jennie160
♀ Member
Member # 29949
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, June 10th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And I would start calling them. My dad is like you, very private and respects my privacy (we are a lot alike in that way). But that make communication a little hard.

This is how my family is also. We don't call to just say hello, we call when we need something or have something important to tell one another. If I was feeling lonely but didn't feel I could just call to say hello to my parents, I would make up an excuse for why I was calling or going over to their house. I can't tell you how many time I went over to their house to "borrow" something simply because I wanted to see them.

Maybe start calling them just to say hello, set a new pattern where she doesn't feel like she has to need something to talk to you first.


Posts: 921 | Registered: Oct 2010
Topic Posts: 9

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