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Weathered daughter’s wedding, but future looks rough

BeeBee64 posted 8/16/2020 04:57 AM

After a lot of agonizing and negotiating over my daughter’s wedding sp that I would have minimal exposure to ex-wife, it was all upended by the quarantine, and we ended up “attending” in Zoom. So, all that worry was wasted.

However, it was still unpleasant for me. They put me in my own feed, not in the “room” with the ex and everyone else. I thought they could have been a bit more sensitive about that - put some other people in with me, but I wasn’t going to cause more logistical problems.

My ex made a little speech - I muted it. So, no problem there. But, at times it was almost as bad as being there in person. I had to hear friendly conversations with her and the new in-laws.

Apparently she’s been across the country to visit and got a long gangbusters with them. I went last year and had a nice visit and I’ve been thinking that when I return to the US from Europe in a year or two I might relocate there - far from the ex, and close to the daughter, who I know wants to have children.

But, it’s clear to me that the ex is not going to give me space. If there are grandchildren, she’s likely to be a frequent presence. I know it is unreasonable to expect she refrain from seeing grandchildren/children to spare my feelings.

But, it stresses me out thinking about the inevitable future encounters.

The1stWife posted 8/16/2020 05:05 AM

Have faith that it will work out for you.

BeeBee64 posted 8/16/2020 06:03 AM

Thanks, but after the last few yers, the only faith I have is that life will kick me in the face.

homewrecked2011 posted 8/16/2020 21:41 PM

Yeah, I’m not looking forward to xh and pushy ow being around my future grandkids, either.

That said, if you have the opportunity to live near them when you return to the US, I suggest doing it. Here’s why— you can be there for everything, your xw can’t be there everyday. When she’s in town, you can go out of town or take care of your stuff...My sister has been able to go to her grandsons football practices, not having to see her xh who goes to games on Sat, she babysits most fri nights, even if it’s only 5-8, it helps her son out....

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 9:42 PM, August 16th (Sunday)]

BeeBee64 posted 8/17/2020 05:53 AM

Thanks Homewrecked! A very good point.

BeeBee64 posted 8/17/2020 06:18 AM

There's so much more to this. There's the usual feelings when a child gets married. I went into a deep depression when my daughter moved out years ago. The depression was totally unexpected since we were constantly at odds while she was at home. So, there are depths - deep ones. lol

Other issues are how she's been willingly absorbed into her new husband's family, as though they can provide her what her broken family can't.

I'm worried about her husband's strong family attachments. It was very difficult to get him to come out to the east coast to visit her family. They traveled separately, she came for two weeks, he came for about 4 days.

He has to have his vacations at the family summer home on an island. He passed up two of my family gatherings in New England because that was his priority. And that's where the wedding was held - despite the fact that having it there meant restricting the size of the wedding, excluding most of my daughter's family. His family all live close, her family is mostly on the other coast.

And she dropped the bombshell the day before the wedding that she is changing her last name, taking his. Other people may not understand why that upsets me. Without getting to a discussion of all the issues, I'll just say it runs counter to the way she was raised, and to the things she professes to believe in. Her reasoning was not accurate, something about wanting her children to have the same last name as her husband. I tried to point out that her last name was the same as mine, despite the fact that her mother retained her last name.

It just seemed to me to be more about her husband's wishes, and her willing absorption into another family/rejection of her broken family.

Okokok posted 8/17/2020 08:38 AM

BeeBee64, your last post is so sad. I'm sorry you're feeling all those heavy feelings.

I'm the dad of a little girl, and she's my youngest (and my only daughter). I can't explain it and hardly care to, but despite the fact that of course I love my sons too, she has my heart in a different way, and the thought of her growing up and moving out (many years from now) is a painful one even today. I don't know why it's a little different with her than with the boys. Every hint of her getting older and more mature is bittersweet; I want her to stay 5 years old forever.

That said, I *also* know that children inevitably break our hearts in all sorts of ways as they self-actualize and become who they will become. It must be so hard. I haven't reached that point in my parenting life when kids leave the house, but I know it's coming eventually, and I know (me being me) I'll struggle with it.

But it is coming. I think in your case, this case you mention here, with your daughter moving on, getting married, even breaking tradition...there are a couple ways you can go that will influence your relationship with her moving forward.

I'm betting that if you can find it in yourself to let her know how proud you are of her, how much you love her, and how supportive you are of her as she bravely gives this love thing her best effort (even if that means following the typical US surname tradition )...that will have a huge net-positive effect on your relationship with her.

I get the sense she could really benefit from getting that message from you. That it would really mean a lot to her to hear that from Dad.

~

I'm projecting a lot here! Perhaps you already have done this and I'm out of line. Just something to think about.

hcsv posted 8/17/2020 09:29 AM

I'm betting that if you can find it in yourself to let her know how proud you are of her, how much you love her, and how supportive you are of her as she bravely gives this love thing her best effort (even if that means following the typical US surname tradition )...that will have a huge net-positive effect on your relationship with her.

Love this.

BeeBee64 posted 8/17/2020 12:57 PM

OKokok, thanks! You are A-OK! I appreciate that advice.

And my advice as the father of adult children is don't dwell too much on the day they grow up and move out. These are unbearable thoughts when they are young and they need you to survive the harsh world. Realize that there will come a time when you will change your mind! It'll be around the time the kid comes home at 3 am with 14 friends who raid the kitchen and crash on the living room floor. And the kid leaves the mess for you to clean up.

There are many highlights and glorious moments for parents as the kids grow - just like the ones you have now when they are young, but different achievements. Don't feel too bad about the passing of young childhood (but take pictures).

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