Question about divorced parents


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This topic contains 17 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Tallspicy 1 month ago.

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  • #783519 Reply

    Melissa

    My ex and I have been divorced for 5+ years. The divorce was my decision. We were separated for 1 year prior to our divorce being finalized, and he was invited by my parents to Thanksgiving and Christmas that year (against my wishes). SUPER uncomfortable, but I tolerated it for our kids.

    He’s been dating a woman for four years (it started as an affair, she’s been divorced less than 1 year), and she emotionally cheated on him recently. She’s said hurtful things about our daughter (she wishes she would disappear so the GF didn’t have to compete with her / she can’t stand her because she tries to cause problems with the GF and her dad / etc) and flat out lied about something she said that *I* heard (her calling a team of young boys “fags” bc they chose a bowling team name that she thought sounded sexual). My daughter does dislike her, and chooses to not pursue a friendship with the GF.

    Thankfully, despite all of this, my ex and I were able to be cordial with one another, and would often take care of each others dogs or have dinner with my parents. I even redid his job application several times to help him get a better position.

    Sunday is our daughters 21st birthday and she invited her dad to dinner with me and her grandparents (my parents). He just called her and said that he is not going bc his GF is not invited and it “wouldn’t look right if he went with his ex and his GF didn’t go”. Nor is he going to pay for the tattoo he promised bc he “doesn’t like her attitude”.

    I told him that going to dinner with us would be a stand-up thing to do for his daughter, as too many divorced people don’t get along after. He is adamant that her family will judge him, and she will be mad, if he goes so he has declined. Am I wrong in thinking he should be able to do this without her?

    As an aside, I’ve never met her, have no desire to meet her. She’s childish (blocked us all on FB, then lied about it being an accident), her own kids hate her and her family doesn’t like my ex, she spread horrible rumors about her now-ex and called him abusive to anyone that would listen.

    #783520 Reply

    Khadija

    I think he should attend your daughter’s dinner without the GF but, its his choice.
    Although I’m sure it hurts, thankfully your daughter is older.

    This GF from your account sounds like a big old mess.

    Keep your distance and stay out of that drama.

    In the end he will have to answer to your daughter for missing out on important events.

    #783522 Reply

    kaye

    Sounds to me you have formed an opinion about someone based solely on heresay!! Yoy haven’t even met the woman yet somehow know for a fact her own kids hate her, she lied and spread rumors, her family doesn’t like your ex husband and she doesn’t like your daughter. Maybe she doesn’t like your daughter because your daughter doesn’t like her!! Have you ever thought of that?

    I would guess none of what you know of her is correct and the truth is somewhere on the middle. My ex spread nasty rumors about me that weren’t true and when I told the truth that he was an abusive alcoholic he called me the liar!! I would take everything you’ve heard with a grain of salt.

    Finally your daughter is under no obligation to invite someone she doesn’t like to her birthday party. However, her dad has been dating this woman for 4 years and doesn’t want to attend without her. If he thinks your daughter is showing a bad attitude by excluding her then he has every right to not give her a birthday present. Just as you have every right not to give her something if she starts giving you an attitude and acting out. She’s an adult and she’s going to learn to make tough choices. Sometimes as adults we have to do things we don’t want to do and deal with people we don’t like to keep the peace. I would imagine the last thing this woman wants to do us attend a birthday party with his ex wife and ex inlaws!!!

    #783531 Reply

    Melissa

    I agree that some of the things I’ve heard are heresy, and some I’ve seen in text messages from her to someone else. I’ve had more than one person, independently, corroborate what she’s said about my daughter. And I was sitting one person away from her when she called a group of 12 yo boys “fags”, “homos” and said “no gay boy would be allowed to live in my house”, and she lied and said she didn’t say it, that my daughter and I were the liars.

    I know her youngest son hates her bc he was friends with my daughter, until last year, and told her repeatedly that he wished his mother (and my ex) would disappear. Also, I rec’d a phone call from her then-husband’s MOTHER asking me to keep my ex away from her daughter in law. This was four years ago, when they were having an affair. Anything I’ve heard has come DIRECTLY from my daughter, my ex or people I work with that know her.

    As for her lying about her ex, she printed off about twelve pages of “mental health diagnoses” and showed them to my daughter and my ex, claiming he beat and abused her, which my ex later told me was not true.

    My daughter has tried several times to be friendly with her, even going over for Christmas. The result? The GF blocked her on FB and lied about it being an accident. And, you’re right, he isn’t obligated to buy her a gift or spend time with her. It’s his loss if she cuts him out of her life.

    #783533 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Why on earth are you in the middle of this? Your daughter is a grown woman. Stop being involved and let them have their own relationship.

    #783535 Reply

    Melissa

    My daughter lives with me, and I support her as a FT college student. Therefore, some issues she has with her dad are discussed with me. Likewise, when he’s mad at her, he involves me in an attempt to convince me to get her to see things his way. I have removed myself MANY times, asked them to not involve me, to sort it out themselves. I’ve even recommended therapy, but he refuses.

    I have never interfered in their relationship, or lack of. I have been a sounding board, for both of them, and tried to remain neutral. The “drama” affects me only bc it breaks my daughters heart that her dad ignores and disregards her.

    #783537 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Ok, I am going to be little harsh here, but it is so you hear it.

    You are enabling this. And I think you like “helping” and I think you like that she has some issues with your ex (just a little and subconsciously). He is not doing anything that is inappropriate. It is reasonable to say he wants his long term partner to be included. Just as it is reasonable for her not to include her if she so chooses.

    You are saying she is childish – I want you look deep in your heart and think about where you are being childish. Your first post sounded pretty high school. She did this, she did that…. I am not saying this to be mean, I am just trying to open your mind to how you are part of this system. You are not perfect, I promise, and neither is he. You are not the best parent and neither is he. you both have good and bad qualities.

    You did intervene, so stop saying you did not – what part of “come anyhow, you are a bad parent if your don’t” is not intervening???? And saying that divorce hurts kids is definitely a manipulative thing to use – as you have been divorced for a long time and she is an adult (even if she lives with you and you don’t think so).

    I suggest you stop being a sounding board on this – and using the excuse that you are just being a sounding board. You are not doing just that, you are squarely in the middle. Just tell them, you are both old enough to work through your own problems. It is inappropriate for me to be in the middle and to know about this. I know this is hard, but you two need to hash it out.

    If they want counseling together, then they can do it.

    #783538 Reply

    Tallspicy

    oops, you are saying she is being childish – I mean his girlfriend.

    #783542 Reply

    Melissa

    Nothing you said was “harsh”, but it was not all on point either.

    I, in no way shape or form, enjoy this. In fact, to say I hate it would be an understatement. I don’t believe any of us wants to see our child hurting, esp when it’s been an on-going issue her entire life (not feeling like she was loved by him). I get zero pleasure out of this, and wish fervently that they would patch things up so these disagreements wouldn’t happen.

    Yes, she is childish and immature. And I’m childish for giving background on their relationship? Okay, I’m childish. I would NEVER claim to be perfect and have made many mistakes in raising my kids / in life. And I never claimed he was a “bad parent”, I simply said it’s a benefit to all of us that we could remain cordial after divorce. And where did “And saying that divorce hurts kids is definitely a manipulative thing to use” come from? Of course it does, but I’m not sure I ever made that statement … ?

    My daughter has some pretty serious mental scars from her relationship with her dad, which has required both therapy and antidepressants. So telling her to NOT talk to me about it at all is a no-go. However, I have told her that she needs to do what feels right in her heart, cut him off or capitulate to his requests, bc it isn’t fair to me as I can see both sides of the situation.

    Maybe I came about it the wrong way with my original post. After our divorce, I dated someone who vehemently objected to my ex spending holidays with us or even being at my parents’ house when I was there. My ex didn’t see anything wrong with coming over, even saying my BF needed to “grow up and quit being a baby”, so it seems weird to me that, with the situation reversed, it would be wrong of him to attend dinner minus his GF.

    #783552 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Ok, so firstly, you are clearly a loving and caring mother! That said, some things to consider:

    A.While I appreciate the mental scars, all parents scar their children. I bet if you asked your ex if he loves your daughter, he would say he does. and he believes he demonstrates it in ways that you might not like or understand, but he does. My guess is that your daughter has some issues because that is who she is – not just based on who your ex is. Unless he abuses her in either an emotional or physical way. Short form, she will have to heal herself and realize you are both who you are.

    B, It is manipulative to tell him he is a bad parent if he does not cow to your wishes and your daughters by just coming to this thing without his partner. And to say it is in the spirit of cordial relationships. That is his partner, he is entitled to want her there. And it is your daughters responsibility and cross to bear in order to sort it out with him. I know you don’t like to hear that, but it is. His opinion on the topic is as valid as yours.

    This woman has been in his life for multiple years now, and your daughter is an adult. She can learn to get along with this woman or simply tolerate her presence. That is called being an adult. Even if the partner acts like a child. My father’s partner has said some indescribable horrible things to me, and I tolerate her like a spoiled child. They came together under similar circumstances that you describe. I am the bigger person in that I engage tangentially, and graciously because her behavior is a reflection of her and her own cage to live in. And I have finally seen that my father has certain limitations that have nothing to do with his love for me. He can choose her over and over and still love me. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Perhaps if your daughter could frame it less personally, it would not all blow up so much which honestly hurts everyone. That said, she can invite who she wants, but she might want to think about the battle and the war. Her battling with your husbands partner is a no win for anyone. My guess is that the issue is that both your daughter and his partner view any slight as choosing the wrong person. The reality is no one will choose anyone consistently and with never hurting them. Your daughter needs to learn to be safe internally with choosing herself every time. Then she will have grace for your ex.

    C. I did not tell you not to talk to her. i told you not to talk to her about her father. That is reasonable as you have no place in this interaction other than history. I know you won’t like that either, but she is an adult and it is ok to put that boundary up for both of your sanity and better dynamics.

    D. I do not understand your last point. It seems very logical that he would think his girlfriend should come around as he did when you were seeing your ex boyfriend. That is a normal extension of thinking everyone should be able to co-exsist.

    #783555 Reply

    LaFrance Thibodeaux

    Melissa,coming from a fatherless child (for the most part)I can empathize with most of what you’ve posted..First off,I know for a fact that there are women out here who see no wrong in causing problems between the man that they’re dating & their mans kids..You have some men allow this to go on..Now,for what you KNOW to be true about this woman,From the way I’ve interpreted your post then you all are giving her exactly what she wants & that’s to become divided..I agree that your daughter is a grown woman but at no way at the tender age of 21 does she fully understands life..Your ex husband is dead wrong for deciding not to attend his daughter’s dinner IMO!..His girlfriend can walk off & leave him today or tommorrow,but his kids are his forever..His kids may have to wipe his ass one day..That’s something alot of parents dont consider when they’re out here choosing girlfriends & boyfriends over their own children who didnt ask to be here..I can understand him changing his mind about paying for her tattoo if your daughter disrespected him in anyway,shape,or form..Before this whole situation gets to out of hand you all need to sit down & talk this thing through & through..& when I say you all I mean the girlfriend too..

    #783565 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Lafrance,

    Why should she be involved with this? Is it good parenting to step in and teach your children not to deal with the people they actually have a problem with and involve them in their dispute? I think not. This man is her ex and the girl is an adult. And as to the girlfriend, let her look insane without anyone’s help. It makes your point much better.

    But last thing to consider is that maybe the girl acts like a brat, not saying it is true, but if that is the case, it is fair for the father to simply say, I love his woman and she is in my life, get on the darn bus. I know if my dad had said that to me, I would have shown his partner (who is way more insane that this situation) more respect. He can love them both and want the woman to come to dinner, that is no betrayal.

    #783567 Reply

    LaFrance Thibodeaux

    TallSpicy,everyone’s not going to handle a situation the same as you..We never grow up to our parents..So if the situation is affecting HER child not yours,nor a future child of mine, then as a mother she has every right to TEACH her child how to handle situations like this & in the future..If she,as a parent, choses not to involve herself then that’s fine too..Regardless,shes always going to be in the mist of things as she is the child’s mother..The child has the right to vent to her mother even if it is about her father..Hell,I vent to my mother about everything & I’m fully grown..Its not like they’re conspiring to go fight the mans girlfriend or anything..A person age doesn’t justify how they should feel or interpret things..So I take it that you’ve been thru this before?..So were you a ‘brat’?..Probably so!..Still your dad shouldve handled things better so that you wouldn’t have had to accept things on your own terms & not suffered thinking that their was favoritism..Like I said & will repeat everyone needs to sit down & talk because EVERYONE MATTERS & EVERYONE IN THEIR SITUATION HAS TIES OF SOME SORT!..Now,can I ask if a mother with a boyfriend & ex husband had this same issue because the boyfriend had some issues would your response be the same?..I doubt it HIGHLY..

    #783578 Reply

    Tallspicy

    My response would be exactly the same, why would it be different? . It does not serve any child to triangulate between their parents, divorced or not. to be functional adults, people need to deal with their own problems. And since the poster came to ask about this drama, it is fair to inquire how she is contributing to said drama.

    Few people are victims of dramA, they almost always contribute, if even by tolerating it. I believe that while she loves her daughter, and thinks she is helping, she is not serving anyone by putting herself in the middle.

    #783580 Reply

    LaFrance Thibodeaux

    0k great!..They’ll figure it out all out & they’ll be fine..Moving along…

    #783598 Reply

    Melissa

    Tallspicy – Thank you for your non-confrontation conversation, firstly.

    You are absolutely correct on point A. I cannot dispute that. As for point B, I didn’t tell him he is a bad parent, I said being able to go to a birthday celebration with his ex and her family makes him look like a stand-up guy. That doesn’t, IMO, translate to him being a bad parent. That is a stretch.

    There may come a time when our daughter can relate to this woman in a more friendly manner. Right now, I believe she has a lot of misplaced anger toward her dad (which they both realize) and directs it toward the GF. Not mature or right, but what she feels is what she feels based on their history. And, you’re right, no one is going to win this “battle” unless he can start showing our daughter SOME consideration and attention.

    My last point was, my ex saw nothing wrong with insisting he be a part of our family things while my BF sat home. He, in fact, made fun of him for being hurt and feeling left out, calling him a “baby” and saying he needed to grow up and realize that my ex and I were on friendly terms. Yet he can’t do the same now.

    LaFrance – Unfortunately, she has no qualms about lying to my ex, and he believes what she says as gospel. The incident with the boys’ team and name calling – he told our daughter that she was “lying, and your mom is lying to make me mad at my GF”. And you’ve hit on the same point my mom has mentioned several times – she wants us to become divided. I believe, and this is just my gut feeling, that she would be happy if he cut off all contact with my family and his kids. I can see, sort of, wanting to nurture and grow the relationship with his GF bc, eventually, our daughter (like our son) is going to move away, and his GF is all he’ll have. So I get that he wants to take care of that relationship, but not to the point of seeing our daughter once a month.

    Another thing, she *is* almost 21. But she is a naïve and fairly immature (about life) person. She doesn’t have much “life experience”, she doesn’t do the college party scene, and she’s a bit of a loner. So she hasn’t learned some of the life lessons others have by her age, and is still figuring out how to deal with a parent who has never really acted like he cared about her, despite her desperately wanting his affection and attention.

    Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. I did a lot of soul-searching last night and, moving forward, I’m going to recommend she discuss this with a therapist. It’s too hard for her to hear that I can understand both sides of this issue, and I believe a therapist can help her to come up with phrases and behaviors to deal with this in a non-confrontational but effective way.

    #783601 Reply

    Lane

    I think you are meddling in areas that you shouldn’t be meddling in.

    You are divorced and should have no say in what your ex or his GF are up to, and need to stay out of it. Be Switzerland, as you are teaching your daughter how to engage in drama, acting as your daughters accomplice, and need to stop.

    Your ex is allowed to chose who he wants to be with whether you or your daughter likes her or not. Honestly, your daughter is acting like a spoiled brat and needs to accept the consequences of her immature actions. Her father is sick of the drama, don’t blame him, as I wouldn’t want to be around my son if he acted this way towards my BF!

    You nor your daughter have to have a relationship with his GF but if she wants to have a good relationship with her father then she needs to learn how to control herself. I didn’t care for or like my ex husbands father, liked his second wife but I never once said or did anything that would injure or hurt our ability to spend family time together. Bit my tongue and behaved like a mature adult by being pleasant and nice to him—this is what you and your daughter needs to learn how to do going forward.

    #783610 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Melissa,

    You have a good head on your shoulders and you clearly love your daughter very very very much. I think you have a good plan that will make you feel more at ease and give your daughter more empowerment (she may not want that).

    You were doing nothing wrong per se, I was just pointing out how seemingly helpful stuff can create very bad long term dynamics and systems and families, no matter how dysfunctional are a system.

    I did not understand that your ex wanted to exclude your boyfriend. Then he is a hypocrit.

    Good luck!

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