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.