memories

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
memories
6
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 8:57pm

  I don't know if this is where this should be posted, but...I was looking through old family pictures tonight.  My oldest DD will be turning 30 next year, so I want to do something special for her.  I thought maybe I'd scan some pictures and get a Shutterfly book made for her of her childhood.  Don't know if it'll mean much to her or not, but can't think of anything else.  

Ok...so anyway, DD's father and I have been divorced since 2008.  We were married for 25 years and he broke my heart.  I basically suffered a breakdown, but with God's grace, I picked myself up and moved forward.  My ex and I are both remarried and have no communication as our DDs are all grown so no need.  Anyway, what struck me was the feeling of sadness that grabbed me as I looked at these pictures from my past.  I felt sad for the family we were supposed to always be and are no longer.  Does this feeling ever go away when it wasn't YOU who wanted the divorce?  No doubt my ex is perfectly happy with how everything turned out and I'm happy with my dh, but it still makes me sad.  My DD28 is getting married next year and I keep thinking about the way the "family" picture that will be taken SHOULD have looked...not with 2 stepparents in it.  

So, I was just wondering if there is anyone else out there who has experienced these feelings as I have.  We were a family for so long...I think that's what makes it so hard.  I saw our future as a family continuing on to weddings, grandchildren's birthdays, etc...

I don't miss my ex by any means, but the family thing really got to me.  Personally, I think it must be easier to get divorced after a much shorter period of time like a cousin of mine did.  Not as many memories as an intact family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 7:18am

I think when it comes to kids, it's got to be easier when the kids are younger because the courts state right in the divorce decree that each parent gets them on the holidays every other year.  When they're older they can choose and, unfortunately, kids (yes...even adult children) are going to choose what's familiar and comfortable.  My girls don't  like dh and probably are uncomfortable around his sons (which I don't blame them...I'm not either), so there they go...with no regard to mom's feelings. 

It's also hard to look at our holiday dinner table seeing dhs's sons and none of MY children and none of my extended family either.  It doesn't FEEL like family to me.  I love dh, but I've only been part of his life 5 years.  I was part of that other family for 28.  Big difference.  Unfortunately, HIS kids' mother lives in another state.  She doesn't have the money to visit them and vice versa.  So, we're stuck with them...every holiday.  None are married, so they have no in-laws to go to either.  Dh's sons were all here in May and thank God, I work.  It was uncomfortable to me.  After all they've done, I have no respect for any of them. Dh admitted he doesn't have much in common with any of them either, so they hung together in the basement and dh stayed upstairs with me.  They are really messed up kids.  I love dh's families and enjoy being around them (his nieces and nephewss are all normal...in college or school and have no mental problems) , but I still sometimes get sad even when I'm with them because my DDs aren't a part of this wonderful family.  I'd invite them to  join us, but I know what they would say..."They're not OUR family.", but they're the only family I have nearby. 

 

Oh, well.  I'll just look forward to my trip and at Christmas...have no expectations and do my own thing regardless of what my DDs do.  Unfortunately, again...it will be dh's sons here for the entire holiday.  ugh

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to: musiclover12
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 12:22pm

Yes my kids were young.  I think another big difference between me & you is that there was never the feeling that the kids chose one parent over the other.  Even though I had primary physical custody, they saw their father about 3x/week and conveniently, his family usually celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve so we didn't have to fight over that.  It was strange when I didn't have anything to do on Christmas eve though--even when I was married to 2nd DH it was boring.  My family, being Italian, always made a big deal about it, but they are an hour away so I didn't want to have to travel 2 days in a row. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 12:18pm

  Thank you for replying.  It just helps to know I'm not alone.  It's hard not ever getting my DDs for the holidays.  Being with their father's family is what is comfortable to them as that's the family they grew up around.  Heaven forbid their father's family would EVER move their gathering to another day as my dh's parents do.  They allow their children to be either with their in-laws or to just be with their own families ON the actual day and have THEIR holiday like the Saturday before or after.  But, my ex's family just won't waiver, so I remain the loser.  Really looking forward to my trip and not have to spend another holiday depressed.  :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2003
In reply to: camult
Wed, 08-21-2013 - 7:21am

I know exactly what you mean.  I was married for 27 years and after the divorce my ex made a big deal to insure that the kids attended all holiday functions on his side.  It's been 10 years but sometimes I do get angry that I spent all those years creating family memories just to be put on the side burner on special occasions.  I also feel bad for my children because they had to make the transition too.  What I did was lower my expectations and just appreciate what comes my way.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 9:42pm

Maybe there's the difference.  Weren't you and your ex divorced when your kids were pretty young?  These pictures were of 25 years of Christmases, graduation parties, birthday parties, vacations...too many "family" gatherings to count.  We've only had one since the divorce...DD22's high school graduation reception.  She had it with 4 other friends, so it was a big affair with lots of people.  I remember my ex-SIL hiding in the bathroom until my ex and the rest of his family went home. My ex and I live on the same golf course and our DD's reception was at the clubhouse.  I had gone home for a while, but, my XSIL called me and said, "Get back here!  They're gone!"  lol  I went back and she and I had a great time along with my DDs.  She told me later when she went back to my ex's house that he glared at her like she was the enemy.  Whatever.  She and I are still close...always will be.  DD22 and I spent the weekend in her city (just 2 hours away) in May and we went out to dinner with her and had a great time. 

My ex continues to have these "family" functions because he HAS family here and I don't which is why I'm going to AZ for Thanksgiving and spending it with my family there. My older 2 DDs aren't coming home and my younger 2 will of course go to their father, so I'm leaving.  My DDs haven't sat down for a holiday dinner with me in 5 years (choosing their father's house), so I'm gone.  Yea me.  :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 9:21pm

I was married for 13 yrs & didn't want the divorce.  I really feel no emotions any more toward my ex or the divorce.  If I looked at old pics (and we were looking at some when my DD was home & laughing about how her dad & I used to look) it really didn't make me sad at all.  I guess the times that I feel funny are when I am places where I am w/ her dad & his DW--most of the time I really don't care as we all get along.  The one time it was a little weird to me was that I was invited to his bro & SIL's 25 th anniv party.  I did want to go as I like them.  I thought my son would be with me but he didn't want to go and I don't really blame him cause he would have been bored out of his mind, so it was basically me w/ my ex & his DW and his other brother's family at the same table.  I was very glad when the brother came!  It was strange to me when ex & his DW did a slow dance together because normally they are the least romantic couple ever.  And I think it felt a little worse since I was there alone.  I think it's also been a very long time since we were divorced--16 yrs at least and so many things happened since then that it's really a distant memory.