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Divorced AW and now our adult children are mad at me

Old 03-03-2018, 09:33 AM
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Divorced AW and now our adult children are mad at me

Its been nearly 2 years since I was last here. I thought I had everything going great. I was married for 30 yrs to a binge drinker and had 3 girls. Everyone in the family was fed up with her drinking and I was wanting a divorce. Nearly 2 years ago it all came to a head when she showed up at our daughters wedding totally wasted. Daughter kicked her out of the wedding and has never spoken to her since. I started the divorce and it was finally finished last August. Since then another daughter has quit speaking to her mother. The last daughter still communicates with her but on a very limited basis. It sounds like EXAW is drunk most of the time

Heres where it gets interesting. The 2 daughters that wont speak to their AM are mad at me because I am in a new relationship. The other daughter is ok with it. They both claim that they are no over the breakup of our family unit yet they refuse to speak to their mother. The daughter that kicked mom out of her wedding just last night revealed that she believes I would have never divorced her mother if she had not kicked her out of the wedding. (Not correct I was already headed for divorce.) Anyhow it appears to me that she is blaming herself for the divorce. It also appears that they have guilt issues surrounding their refusal to speak to their mother and they are taking it out on me by disapproving of my moving on with my life. For the record I encourage them to have a relationship with their mother.

I am sure others have had to deal with a similar situation. How did you handle it?
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:52 AM
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hayfmr.....sounds like they may be angry at you for staying and keeping them in the situation....(among other things)....Or, if you are Co-Dependent...they may have copied your example, also...toward their mother....
Alcoholism has a profound effect on everyone in the family....especially, the children, as they are developing. And, every child is an individual.....
Lots of possible dynamics, here, I think....
You may be able to gain more understanding by getting and reading the book and materials of Adult Children of Alcoholics. You can get these materials from amazon.com
Your girls are, of course, Adult Children of Alcoholic....and, could benefit from the materials...though they would probably be resistant to anything that you asked them to read, at this point...due to the anger that they, obviously have...

I have seen lots of adult children and lots of older...teen children, become resentful when one divorced parent takes on a new partner....even when addiction was not an issue....This seems to trigger a lot of emotions in the children.....

this is complicated stuff and very painful for a family....If I were in your shoes, I would certainly get some professional advice....and support, on how to handle this....

Have you sought any kind of help?
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:12 AM
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I have already read those books. I have also asked my kids to take part in counseling. The 2 that are having the issues are so far showing some resistance. Whats interesting about that is the one of them has her own counseling practice.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:23 AM
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hayfrmr...sorry...I had no way of knowing that you had read those books....
But, now...out of my own curiosity...did you find anything of help, in them? any explanations for their anger?
LOL...I have known therapists...both psychologists and psychiatrists who had difficulty when their own situations were involved. In personal situations...objectivity often goes out the window....

Is one of the children willing to go to family counseling with you....?
Sometimes, I think that you just have to start with what you have......
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:28 AM
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Hayfmr
Own your own stuff, Stayed too long, didn't do X, Y or Z...
You can't fix their views with conversation but by example. Enjoy you life. Keep in mind while you are free of your ex, your kids are not.. They are joined for life like it or not. The anger you may receive is toward your ex and since you are the other parent, well you are the only target...
MO anyway..

AG
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:02 AM
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I've 8 kids and 3 of my adult daughters no longer speak to me cos I divorced their step dad who they begged me to get rid of at the time...go figure. I don't have another relationship for them to resent. I live with two of our sons by myself. I have no contact with exah and neither have any of our kids..I still have contact with 4 and one is on the fence. The one causing the most issues did not even live in the same house as me and exah when things got bad. She was out and married. The wheels have dropped off with her and her siblings now too as she fallen out with them. I've boggled my brain for 4 years and have no answers. Even the siblings don't know why the 3 aren't speaking but the pattern of cutting people off seems to be repeating with them.

My take is they are adults, they can speak to who they like ..or not. I can't make them love me like they used to and I can't change the past. I can't get any answers so I stopped looking for them. They know where I live and I find out how they are from the siblings who speak to me. I still know when my married one is expecting a baby before she does. I've not seen her for 4 years but it's a mom thing. My other daughter said "How mom, just how did you know?" when I told her that sister was expecting 8 weeks previous to her announcing it. " Am her mother." was all I could say. Yeah they know I love them ....they know. They will either come around or they won't. Same for you.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:07 AM
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Wow, Ladybird. Just wow. I admire your ability to accept the reality and continue to live the best life that you can for yourself!
I, as a mother, agree...I am sure that they KNOW that you live them....
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:39 AM
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Its been a while since I read the book but yes I did get something out of them. I thought we had all adjusted well and were doing fine. Till I brought someone new into my life and introduced them to her. They have finally agreed that's it ok for me to date but absolutely not to get remarried.

Wow Ladybird I cant imagine the hurt.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:11 PM
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Hayfmr....I think time plays a factor, also.....
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hayfmr View Post
Its been a while since I read the book but yes I did get something out of them. I thought we had all adjusted well and were doing fine. Till I brought someone new into my life and introduced them to her. They have finally agreed that's it ok for me to date but absolutely not to get remarried.

Wow Ladybird I cant imagine the hurt.
The family, such as it was, was/is still the family.

That's complicated! As I am sure you are aware.

Even when a family is dysfunctional even when it's best for all for someone to move out, move along, even with the drinking and the arguing, it's still a family. That family is broken and you get to take some responsibility for that, right, wrong, wrong, right, doesn't matter. You spend time building a family and then you break it.

That's how it is. As children get older I think it tends to get better simply because they have more life experience and can see a parent's view better.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:57 AM
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I guess maybe someone (maybe you) should have a serious talk with daughters about your need for love and companionship.

If they are unwilling to allow you to seek this on your own, certainly they should be willing to provide it to you themselves. The easiest way to facilitate this would be to have you move into one daughter's home, or the other. Of course, their children may have to share a bedroom to provide you with one. Your dietary needs if any will have to be accommodated, too, when the family does their meal planning. You should be included in at least some of their family outings. It would be rude for all of them to go places and exclude you. Of course, one more person in the kitchen, using the bathroom, exercising an option on what to watch on TV might be inconvenient. You're old enough so that your medical issues require more attention than they used to. Someone will need to drive you to those eye appointments (you know, the ones where your pupils are dilated) or procedures which require someone else to drive you home. You aren't going to have a significant other to do this, so that task will fall to your daughters and their spouses, as well.

You sound like a reasonable man . You'd be willing to help defray some of the food and utility bills and baby-sit the kids sometimes. Not all the time; after all, you raised your children, and they should be raising theirs.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:25 AM
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Unfortunately it’s the ugly dysfunctional fallout from living in the dysfunctional alcoholic family unit for so long. For all concerned. I would recommend al-anon to your 2 daughters to deal with their own issues. Their issues are theirs and not yours to “fix”. And go live your life with your new love - you deserve happiness too. Their issues are their own.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:31 PM
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Your children are 50% of both of you. That was also 30 years of marriage which is a long time for a marriage. It is probably confusing on how they are supposed to feel, especially if there is someone new in your life.

I would focus first on yourself and take care of yourself. Your kids are adults. I would not push your new relationship on them too much This is your life. Take time to just enjoy your life and make sure that this new relationship is the right relationship for you. If anything, this new person is only going to be a friend to your kids anyway. But hopefully, if this relationship is more long-term they can see your happiness and learn to love her as well.

Before I met my husband, I dated an older guy whose wife had recently passed away who also had teenagers. I am really glad I did not push anything with his kids and was just their friend. In the end, that relationship did not work out.

It is going to take some time to let things heal. I can only imagine that it is different for you to be dating someone else as well as wondering if this new relationship will work out and if they should get close with this new person.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:39 PM
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Yea h...it does take a long time for a new person to be accepted by the family....
Actually, it seems to be easier if the children are very young...like toddler age or younger.....
Like years, rather than weeks or months....

I agree with PrettyViolets....avoid pushing the new person onto the kids....
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:31 PM
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Velma!
Snork!
Imo, you should live your life as you choose, and as your children are living theirs.
I have seen several second time around relationships get wrecked on the shoals of disapproving adult children.
I hope that won’t happen to you
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by velma929 View Post
I guess maybe someone (maybe you) should have a serious talk with daughters about your need for love and companionship.

If they are unwilling to allow you to seek this on your own, certainly they should be willing to provide it to you themselves. The easiest way to facilitate this would be to have you move into one daughter's home, or the other. Of course, their children may have to share a bedroom to provide you with one. Your dietary needs if any will have to be accommodated, too, when the family does their meal planning. You should be included in at least some of their family outings. It would be rude for all of them to go places and exclude you. Of course, one more person in the kitchen, using the bathroom, exercising an option on what to watch on TV might be inconvenient. You're old enough so that your medical issues require more attention than they used to. Someone will need to drive you to those eye appointments (you know, the ones where your pupils are dilated) or procedures which require someone else to drive you home. You aren't going to have a significant other to do this, so that task will fall to your daughters and their spouses, as well.

You sound like a reasonable man . You'd be willing to help defray some of the food and utility bills and baby-sit the kids sometimes. Not all the time; after all, you raised your children, and they should be raising theirs.
I love that idea but they live on the opposite side of the state so I cant threaten them with this plan.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:56 PM
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Honestly, it sounds like they're mad at you because they CAN be mad at you. You're still the safe one.

They have finally agreed that's it ok for me to date but absolutely not to get remarried.
I winced so badly when I read this sentence. You're an adult too! I admit it's kind of icky to think of your dad dating and GASP doing the horizontal polka, but it doesn't mean you ban him from marrying someone else. You don't need their permission.

Have you thought that maybe they harbored a secret hope that by pressing for divorce, their mother would change her ways and stop drinking? And then the both of you would get back together? Having you move on ends that particular fantasy, which means that the grief has come on full force. And since you are the Dad, you still have a role in protecting them from those bad feelings. How do you stop those bad feelings? Stop dating!

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. I think the dating/no marrying statement is their attempt at negotiation, to keep at bay the confirmation that it is truly over between you two. Your XAF drank when you were married to her, she drank when you divorced her, and she'll continue to drink no matter what you do. We don't know what her bottom is, but it's best for ALL of you to detach before she drags you to a place of no return.

For the record I encourage them to have a relationship with their mother.
IMHO, I wouldn't try to encourage them to talk to their mom. I wouldn't discourage it, but I wouldn't pull out the pom poms either. You just ended it with her, why should they have to continue to bear the burden? So you can go off and date without guilt? When people encouraged me to have a relationship with my abuser, I hated it. All it did was make me feel guilty for cutting off the connection in the first place.

Argh, you are not in an easy place. I do hope your children heal.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:16 PM
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My parents divorced when I was an adult and my father has since remarried. I think this just takes time. It sounds like they are still trying to get use to the changes in their life. It took me repeated visits to see the new person made my dad happy in ways my mother could not. I still hold some resentments that I haven't addressed because it won't change the fact that father has moved on with this person.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:43 PM
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Have you thought that maybe they harbored a secret hope that by pressing for divorce, their mother would change her ways and stop drinking? And then the both of you would get back together? Having you move on ends that particular fantasy, which means that the grief has come on full force. And since you are the Dad, you still have a role in protecting them from those bad feelings. How do you stop those bad feelings? Stop dating!

You may be onto something because its the daughters that refuse to communicate with their mother that are having the big issue. Whats interesting is that one of them initially was the most open to me dating. But she was still speaking to her mother at that time. Since she quit speaking to mom she has changed her attitude about me entering a new relationship
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:30 PM
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I have a viewpoint from your daughters point of view. My mom died from liver cancer. My dad remarried a year later. It was hard. She wasn't our mom, and it was awkward, sad and just plain weird to see him with someone else. My two younger sisters (not sure how old your girls are, we are all in our 40's) chose to hate her, because she wasn't our mom. I chose to get to know her and spend time with her. No one in the extended family really likes her, but we all show her kindness and tolerate her because we want to see my dad happy. It took time to accept that. Your girls probably just need time to be with their feelings, a little space to think. They will probably come around. And if they don't, that can really hurt a daddy's heart. But our kids don't get to choose what we do or don't do with our lives. My dad stood his ground, said he loves all of us very much, but this is what makes him happy, and we can accept it or not. Be gentle with them, listen if they need to talk. Remember God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason....listen more than you talk.
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