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.

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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.

 

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

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