S.O.S.!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
S.O.S.!!!
12
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 2:26am

Long story I'll try to make short.  About a year ago, after 20 years of marriage, my daughter discovered an email conversation between her husband and another man describing their desire to meet for a sexual encounter.  She talked to him about it and he said he was "just kidding around", but she insisted they go into counseling.  After about 8 months of individual and couples counseling, he "came out of the closet" to their 15 year old daughter telling her that he never wanted her, never  liked her and that he was jealous because she is very beautiful and has a fantastic shape.  He said she is what he wants to be...his dream is to be a playgirl in the playboy mansion.  He said he is gay and that the other guy was his lover.  At the same time, he gave my daughter a 16 page "manifesto" describing his life-long knowledge of himself as "not heterosexual" and his list of things she needed to do in order to keep him happy.  A couple days later, he said they were lying that he had NEVER said any of those things.

Daughter's response was to tell him to leave, got an attorney and filed for divorce.  The kids (18, 15, and 13) were/are in total shock as is the rest of the family as none of us had ANY inkling that he was anything other than heterosexual.  He said he married and had children in order to keep people from finding out his "secret".  The divorce will be final in about 4 weeks.

Now comes my problem.  My daughter was, of course, devistated to find what she had always thought of as a forever marriage was a sham.  She is devistated that he has completely written off the children and refuses to have anything at all to do with them (including paying child support).  Their whole world fell apart!  She immediately went back to  college in order to be able to get a job (she hasn't worked outside the home in 18 1/2 years). 

THEN, the guy across the street made his move.  He's lived there for 14 years and has, apparently, always had a "thing" for my daughter.  He's a really nice guy but this is SO soon!  The divorce isn't even final!    She hasn't given herself ANY time to adjust to the ending of her marriage, and she's kind of leaving the kids in the dust as she falls into this whirl-wind romance.  She spends every possible moment with the new guy (at his place).  Her children are welcome to come there, but they're still reeling from Mom and Dad divorcing and aren't ready to consider a NEW man in her life.  He's very kind and understanding towards the kids' and their situation, BUT my daughter seems to have totally fallen off the parent train!

She spends nights at his house leaving her teenagers at home alone.  Yes, they're 18, 15 and 13, and capable of being home alone, BUT she's been pretty overprotective towards them up to this point. For example, she NEVER let the girls walk the 3 blocks to the local 7-11 because "it isn't road" and suddenly they are free to go there at will.  She has started smoking, something she has ALWAYS been adamant that would NEVER happen around her asthmatic middle daughter (the boyfriend smokes, too).  She cooks meals at his house and tells the kids to come on over there to eat.  They'll do it now and then, but aren't comfortable with it.  It seems that everything that was NOT OK is suddenly OK.  She texted the 2 older kids in the middle of the night on Saturday saying she was drunk.  She NEVER drank before.  (The boyfriend doesn't drink, but the friends they were with Saturday night are pretty heavy drinkers.)

I'm shocked she's changed so drastically overnight, especially when it comes to her teens.  SOOOOOOOOO, am I just being a worrying mother who needs to stop worrying and watch this play itself through?  The kids have a great relationship with my son, my husband and myself and we're all 3 there for them.  (Dad has totally written off the kids and wants NOTHING to do with them at all.)  I totally understand her desire to feel like a woman after discovering she's been merely a "mask" for her soon-to-be-ex, and I totally understand the headiness of new love.  And, she and the neighbor guy are totally smitten with each other!   How am I supposed to act?  When the kids vent to me, what should I say to them?  When they ask me to take them places because they say their Mom just says no (she recently got on new medication and is able to drive again after 5 years of not driving at all, and we bought her a car so she has the ability to take them places).   I'd love to hear your "take" on this situation.  Any advice is most definitely welcome.  Thanks.

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2014
In reply to: sillysadie
Fri, 01-17-2014 - 10:55pm

Greetings to you that is reading this testimony. My name is Andrea Ramsay, I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage, he left me and the kid to suffer, one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address babaka.wolf@gmail.com have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back, i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back, because i am now happy with my husband. His email again is babaka.wolf@gmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
In reply to: sillysadie
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 8:04pm

Wow, Sadie.  Your daughter and your grandkids have sure been through the ringer.  They already had one parent flake out on them due to their own issues, and it seems like your daughter is trying to find herself again and is unwittingly doing the same.  I understand where she is coming from.  To me, it sounds like she is trying to get back her own self of self-worth outside of being a mother and a wife.  I see my mother in her as my poor mother was left all alone with no means to support us when not only our grandmother, who lived with my mother and our family for my mother's entire life (and was a rock for my mother, who was very fragile emotionally) but then lost my father not two months afterward very unexpectedly. 

Still, something needs to be said but the way it is said is going to be paramount.  I think coming from the perspective of understanding and being happy for her that she's found love is the way to go, but that she needs to strike a balance as her kids need her.  I can kind of relate to your grandkids.  My father died when I was 11 and my mother "ran" for 4 years afterward, even leaving me alone to watch my younger brother for a week at a time when I was 12 and 13!  So not only were we abandoned (via death, but it is still an abandonment) by our father, but then our needs after the trauma were ignored because our mother was busy tending to her own hurt.  Looking back on it, we were completely parentless for 4 years and then I admit I refused to accept her authority as my mother when she decided to return and be a mother when the school started to call because I was acting up.  I rebelled - big time (and not surprisingly).

So I write this with your younger two grandkids in mind.  It's important for your daughter to find herself and try to recover from what has been done to her.  But she cannot do so at the expense of her being a parent to her children.  This is a pretty tough message to give, so it really needs to be cushioned in understanding and support for it to get through to someone who really is trying to find happiness for herself.

If it were me, I would choose words like "I am happy and want to support you rebuilding your life as you do seem happy." and "It's time to include the kids in your relationship now as the family you are and as the family this new man must be willing to accept whole.".  I'd also say, very delicately, that the kids need her guidance and support as their family has been altered as well, and that her preoccupation with this new man is taking away from her monitoring her kids during a time in their teen years that involves a lot of "forks in the road" and choices they need to make, such as friends, boyfriends, etc., that they need her guidance and control over.

Using myself as an example, this can get very bad for your grandkids.  Most kids rebel as teens, and when they don't acknowledge the authority of the parent because of the parents' own inability to parent before it was too late, the kid and the parents suffer.  She has to step back into her role and be her kids' rock and rely on others like her mother and her friends for support.  Maybe you can offer to step in to babysit the younger kids because although they are getting old enough to be on their own, they are not nearly old enough to do so without guidance.  If she needs her own time like date nights or nights out with friends, perhaps once a week she can have her kids spend time with other family.  They need to feel supported by a wider family unit as they need security and safety to help them recover and guidance to help them through the terrible teen years, kwim?

Hugs  to you, your daughter, and your grandkids.  What a terrible time this is.  My heart and prayers go out to all of you.

 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: sillysadie
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 4:24pm

I'd be really tempted to have a chat with new bf and tell him that despite what dd may be saying, things with her kids are not fine and they need their mom around more. If he really cares about her (and by extension, her kids) then could he please encourage her to be more of a hands-on mom to them? Normally I would not advise anyone to be a buttinsky but the part about a 13yo being left to his own devices is scary. The older ones sound level headed but the youngest could choose to act out (mom is showing him how) and by the time the mom notices it could already be a big problem. Since the mom isn't willing to listen to reason (and we can understand why she's gone to this extreme) maybe new bf would be the adult of the two.

Other than that, just being available as much as possible for the kids so they know that somebody/something in their lives has remained stable and predictable. Hope your dd comes to her senses soon.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 10:30am

I think it's tough to be in the middle and hold your tongue when you want to say things to your DD.  At least the new BF is a good guy.  I have to say that I married my 2nd DH who ended up being a total jerk--not especially to the kids, but to me.  that lasted 5 yrs, then I divorced him.  It left me w/ a lot of guilt because there was a lot of drama going on that my kids were exposed to--I have 2 kids, my DD is 6 1/2 yrs old than my DS.  My DD was in high school during this time and basically went over to her friends a lot to avoid being home.  Then when she was in college & my DS was about 12, he asked me if we had enough money so he & I could go live somewhere else so we wouldn't have to be w/ my 2nd DH any more.  That was like the wakeup call--I had really been considering divorce for practially all of the marriage but didn't do it for financial reasons and also I kept hoping things would get better.  But my DS has a much more sensitive personality than my DD .  Believe me I have a lot of regret for what I put my kids through even though they came out of things fine and aren't angry at me.  So that was 5 yrs ago--I haven't had a Bf in that time, not by choice, but maybe it worked out for the better.  I know I would not have lived with anyone else until my DS graduated from high school because I feel I owed it to him after the fiasco w/ the 2nd DH.  So I think one day your DD will probably wake up & realize that she is neglecting her responsibilities to her kids and feel a little guilty about it.  I think her counselor is full of BS unless your DD really didn't tell her counselor about all the changes--but it's good that the kids are in counseling to deal w/ all this stuff.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 10:21am

I'm a divorce lawyer and I wonder why the c.s. isn't being taken directly out of his paycheck.  I would also tell her to bring the guy to court for contempt--they don't arrest the person first (at least in my state), they give him a court date & a chance to pay--it's only after totally ignoring the court order that they will send the person to jail for contempt, but they get a chance to come up with the money before they are sent to jail--it's amazing how quickly the guy will come up with the money when he's facing 30 days in jail.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 9:26am

  It took me a good couple years or more to "come back down to earth".  That heady "in love" feeling settled down after a couple years as dh suffered an aneuryism and we had to deal with his sons' (yes...more than one) drug use and emotional problems I had with my 4 DDs.  These things brought much friction into our relationship which helped bring me back to my senses.  So, it could take your DD a while and she MAY never be the same. I have definitely changed since my divorce and my DDs don't like it.  I was a doormat and now don't put with s***...from anyone.  My DD26 has really taken issue with that and, for the time being, we no longer speak.  I told her, yes...I HAD changed and until she could accept that, we were done.  I did do things during the course of my relationship with dh that hurt her, so she turned around and was VERY disrespectful and hurtful to me until i couldn't take it anymore. 

I can't tell you your DD will ever be the same...something like this is traumatic and certainly changes people.  I definitely did me, but, fortunately not to the extent it did your DD.  I guess I'd say just take care of your granchildren...just let them know if they need anything, that you're there.  Check in on them now and then and see if they need anything and keep tabs on them.  As for your DD, there's probably nothing you can say or do to turn her around, so I probably would quit tryiing.  It will most likely just make her resent you more.  When I'm at a loss as to what to say or do, I just turn it over to God and let HIM take control....and pray.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
In reply to: sillysadie
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:26am

Thank you so much for your kind words.  It helps so much to speak with someone who has been through this. 

The court has assigned child and spousal support to be taken out of his check by the state, but haven't completed filing the paperwork.  She did contact her attorney today to let them know he's not paying.  STBX stopped paying their mortgage and utilities several months before they split up.  She didn't know until she got a foreclosure notice from their mortgage company and a guy came from the electric company to turn off their power.  DD sold everything she could to catch up the bills and had absolutely NO money.  STBX took their only car when he left, so she didn't have one.  Due to her pain condition and mind-muddling medications, she had stopped driving about 4 years ago, and I drove her and the kids when they needed to go somewhere.  We only gave her $1500 to buy a car so she would have some independence and so I wouldn't have to drive them everywhere any more.  BF loves fixing up cars, so he haunted Craigslist and helped her find a repairable one for that price and worked on it to make it reliable and safe. 

My grandkids were raised well with old-fashioned values...I give their parents credit for that.  They are very independent and forward-thinking.  My daughter has always been there for them, has always taught them how to deal with varied circumstances, and to think of future consequences of their actions.   My grandson is just 18, but he's in his 3rd year of college.  He's a very responsible young man who doesn't drink, smoke or run with a wild crowd.   The 15 year old daughter has a boyfriend, but he lives 30 miles away, so they don't see each other all that often, and when they do, they are always in the presence of adults.  They both feel very strongly they want to wait for marriage before having sex, and actually I think my daughter's current craziness has made my granddaughter even stronger in that belief.  Not that I don't understand hormones and feelings and realize that could change in an instant!  But, at least to this point, they're holding true to their values. 

 Daughter has known her new BF for 14 years.  He says he's been interested in her for most of that time, but never let on because she was married and, thus, off limits.  She's always found him appealing in a casual "if I was single" kind of way, but never let on because she respected her marriage vows.  She and stbx never socialized with BF and his friends except to say "hi" when going in and out their front doors.  I think the long-term daydreaming/longing is part of the appeal now.

>>>right now she is probably thinking that she sacrified everything for the marriage & family & it got her nowhere.<<<

I'm going to embroider that on a pillow!  It's exactly how she feels.  She says all the time "I did everything I was supposed to do and look where I am now!"  

Thank you again for sharing your experience.  It helps me so much.  Granddaughter came over this evening after having a disagreement with her mom.  She was SO upset, and was sure I'd scold her for having been disrespectful to her mother.  I remembered your words and just listened. She left feeling much better that she'd been listened to.  I was able to be there for her without being put in the middle which is my toughest battle! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to: sillysadie
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 5:03pm

Right now your DD is probably reeling from the knowledge that her marriage was basically a sham and having this new guy attracted to her is making her feel good.  I think it would be helpful for her & the kids to go to counseling, but of course you can't force her to go.  It must be very confusing for the kids to find out 1) that their dad is gay and 2) that he doesn't want anything to do w/ them.  Those 2 things don't necessarily have to go together, by the way.  I have an acquaintance who is grown w/ kids--her father is gay but he has a wonderful relationship w/ her & her kids.  I really hope that she has an atty. who is making sure that he pays child support--and she also might be able to get alimony if they had a long term marriage and she didn't work.

I'll tell you, my son is almost 18 and very responsible and I have never yet left him home alone.  Of course she is across the street so it's not like they couldn't get ahold of her if necessary, but they could be doing a lot of things, like drinking, while unsupervised.  They need her right now--dad is out of the picture and now she is abandoning them too.  And also what kind of example is she giving them about sexual relationships?  I don't think that it's necessary for parents never to have a BF but how long has she known this guy?  What happens when the kids start wanting to stay over their BF's house? 

I think you have to strike a balance between being concerned but not telling her what to do too much cause she'll be resentful and maybe not listen.  But definitely be there for the kids cause they need soemone to look out for them.  Hopefully this will just be a phase and she can go back to being a good mom.  rihght now she is probably thinking that she sacrified everything for the marriage & family & it got her nowhere.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
In reply to: sillysadie
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 5:02pm

So how long were you in the clouds?  What, if anything, might have brought you back to earth a bit?  My biggest problem is that the children are totally confused.  First their dad dumped them, and now their mother.  SHE doesn't see it like that at all.  She says "they're always welcome at HIS house"...but the kids don't know how to deal with it.  They aren't comfortable at his house, especially since my daughter has spent their entire lives being so totally against smokers and 2nd hand smoke, and the boyfriend and his friends are heavy smokers (even daughter has now taken up smoking).  One daughter has asthma and allergies and CAN'T be around the smoke...suddenly, Mom says "oh, it's not a problem, they smoke outside" as if the stink of smoke on their clothing isn't still there. 

Oh...I'm just so frustrated...but I certainly appreciate your telling me your story.  It helps to know my daughter isn't the only one who has/is going through something like this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
In reply to: sillysadie
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 4:56pm

Thank you.  I appreciate your comments.  She has been in counseling, but the counselor "graduated" her, saying she doesn't need to come back feeling that she's done a pretty good job sorting out the situation with her soon-to-be-ex.  In other words, she isn't talking to the therapist about this latest development.  The kids ARE in counseling.

I agree with you that she "should" pull her head out of her arse, but my problem is that she isn't.  I need advice as to how "I" can encourage better behavior.  Even though I'm extremely careful how I say things, when I do say something, she says "I'm a grown woman, I don't need to be judged".  Honestly, I do like the guy, and I DO understand the feelings.  I just don't understand the TOTAL change in her when it comes to her children.  She did say "it isn't fair" that her ex can do anything he wants to do and doesn't have to be responsible for anything/anybody but himself...and she's right.  It isn't fair.  However, since when was there a promise life would be "fair"?  AND, what about fairness to the children if we're talking fairness.  BTW, her ex has been assigned child support by the court, but he simply isn't paying.  He just screams and curses and says "they're no longer my children" when she speaks to him.  She could have him arrested for non-payment, but then he'd lose his job and wouldn't have anything to pay her (he's given her $1000 since February). 

I'm just so frustrated because she has completely closed herself off from anything I have to say.  Personally, I think she knows she's gone off the deep end and feels guilty (which explains why she thinks everything I say is judging her).  I think she avoids me because she knows I'm right, but is on a love-high and doesn't want to have to come back down to earth.  I can't help but hope this is temporary insanity, but in the meantime, exactly what does "be there for the kids" entail?   Thoughts?

Pages