all this in six days?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2003
all this in six days?
Mon, 12-15-2003 - 5:37pm
I need some advice rather quickly, if you wouldn't mind it

Let me start off by saying that I DO NOT(up to 21 days ago, at least) come from a broken family. I am 18 years old and yes, anyone who bothers to answer me will say you're too young, shut up and go curl your hair, this is grown up adult conversational beeswax. My mom and dad were married, up until the finalization of their divorce 21 days ago, 21 years. Lots of fam vacations, dad waking everyone up at 7 am cooking meals and clashing dishes around, every meal is eaten together and not until dad is home from work. I came from, what I thought was, a perfect fam.

ANYWHO. My dad moved into a house very near where my bro (16) and I live. We went over there quite often, let me say, only when we have time. The MOST RECENT stay-over we had with our dad was last Saturday, Dec. 6. We spent all night, woke up Sunday, went to IHOP, dad took me to buy motor oil, washed my car. We left Sunday so my bro could do his homework, we could wrap X-mas gifts, and other crap. We did not see my dad for six days, until Dec. 12 (dad went on afternooons, leaves for work at 2 pm, school gets out at 3, work gets over at 4, so no time to see him at this time)Six days. We went over there Friday to find that my dad had taken in a woman and her illigitimate kids.

I don't know what anyone is going to say to me. All I know is we went over there with meat to cook for him and Christmas gifts after not seeing him for six days to find he has taken a woman in. Her things are in the front bedroom of his new house, the bedroom he has been telling us for months he would fix up for us. His kids. Her kids' pictures are tacked up on the fridge. She's wearing his clothes. It was such a punch in the face.

I do not come from a home where there were loud arguments. Every night dad would pop popcorn and we would sit around watching Everybody loves Raymond. We are good kids. I graduated top 10 in my class, and my brother is in band and a good student also. Even though we are teenagers, we always couldn't wait until dad got home from work. This is so difficult because we love our dad, and in the matter of six days, due to conflicting schedules, we find he has turned everything upside down and put us aside. He is purchasing things for her illigitimate kids (she also has a grandson, might I add, by a low-life teenage daughter). This is our dad. And now I feel like I don't know him. After I learned of the divorce he told me HIMSELF he is easily manipulated, and how he thought my mother is manipulating. I feel like asking him, don't you feel you're being manipulated by this woman?

The day we went over and discovered her there, (the back door was open and his truck was gone, he answered and said she had taken it) he left with her, saying they were going to pick something up. My bro and I got left in the house for hours.

i feel rejected. completely tossed aside. you're going to say i'm jealous, and that's my problem with this. yeah, i am. it's difficult trying to talk to your dad and he's on the floor romping with this woman's stupid kid and he's got the baby on his lap. rejection.

The thing is this: he put this on us so close to x-mas. I would LIKE to have x-mas with my father, and not his new gf. I DO NOT want her there when he opens our presents. I am almost considering taking everything back. We are going over there tomorrow. I feel like asking my father, it's us or them, dad, but I don't know if I should. It was six days. I know there may come the time he remarries, but I would like him to put HIS children first, not his girlfriend's.

i know someone will scold me but i want to know if i am wrong or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Mon, 12-15-2003 - 11:39pm

I'm not going to scold you, or tell you to shut up and go curl your hair, or anything like that. My goodness, of course you have a right to feel the way you do. Yes, you are jealous - so what? That's a normal reaction after what's happened. You don't have to apologize for, nor defend, the way you feel. Emotions are what they are - and it's difficult to *control* them even under the best of circumstances. So just go ahead and feel whatever you're going to feel... just step carefully in how you *act* on those feelings, ya know?

Mostly what ran through my mind while reading your post is that you had/have a 'perfect' dad. At least that's how you seem to portray him. You love him dearly - that is clear in your post - and I'll bet he loves you just as much. How else could he be so wonderful a father to you for the past 18 years if he did not? What sucks is that no one is *perfect.* No matter how wonderful they seem, there are always flaws. And your dad, with his newfound freedom, lifestyle changes, different environment, etc. is just beginning to show you some of his flaws you weren't aware of. You were comfortable with him in your home environment with his habits, schedules, laughter, etc.... but all that has changed now. That's bound to bring out behaviors, personality traits, etc. that were not apparent before. It's all still part of who your Dad is - those traits were probably always there; he probably just kept them suppressed or didn't need to express them.

But you asked for advice, not an analysis, so I'll shut up on that part.

One thing I think you should NOT do is give him an ultimatim - them or us. You see, that prevents any possibility for communication, understanding and compromise. That would be forcing him to choose, and no matter which way he chooses, you would lose. If he ditches the GF and her kids and chooses you, then he's doing so NOT out of love, but because you forced him to. And you lose a bit of esteem in his eyes. If he chooses the GF and her kids, then he loses you, and YOU lose a bit of esteem for him.

I think the best way to approach this is to have a heart-to-heart talk with him in private. Don't scold him or put guilt trips on him - just tell him how you feel about his treatment of you and your brother in a calm, loving, mature manner.


Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 12-16-2003 - 2:31pm
I am really sorry that you are having to deal with this. You have the right to your feelings - good or bad. Don't let anyone tell you that you that this is grown folks business and to stay out of it. This is your family as much as it is anyone else's. Now, you have to be respectful to your dad and polite to this woman and her kids, but you don't have the remain silent. You are perfectly within your rights to tell your dad how you feel about his new living situation. In fact, I think you have the responsibility to tell him how you feel. As this has happened so quickly after the divorce, it stands to reason that his relationship with this woman may have had something to do with the divorce.

My parents split up when I was 18 - my dad left 3 days after my birthday, so for years whenever it was my birthday, it was also almost the anniversary of my parents splitting up and I couldn't help but think about it and be sad. Nice birthdays, huh? After awhile though that faded. It didn't make it any less hard at the time though. I know some of what you are feeling.

My dad had an affair, which I learned later was not the first one. He also continued to be involved with this woman. I didn't really talk to my dad for a long time - I was so angry that I would get physically sick. Really. I worked through the anger and the hurt. There was a lot of yelling and crying (that's how we are - LOL). Now I have a pretty good relationship with my dad, but while he was still with that woman it was tough. I told him that this other woman didn't exist for me. I would only see my dad at restaurants or at relatives houses. I refused to go to his house and play nice with this woman. I told him that I just couldn't do it. He had no choice but to accept it. Either that or stop all contact with me.

There is a good ending to the story though - he left this woman after several years and ultimately married a different woman who is a wonderful step-mom. I'm not sure what would have happened if he had married the woman he had an affair with.

As for what you should do - talk to your dad. Tell him how you feel. Get it out there because if you hold it inside, it will eat away at you. Talk to your mom too. Get the straight scoop on what happened to their marriage. They may not want to tell you because they might think they are protecting you, but you need to understand. It might also help if you went to see a counselor that deals with this type of thing. I didn't, but I wish I had. I think I could have worked through a lot of things sooner than I did and avoided some of the pain.