Today was hard for me, but maybe I make it hard on myself

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by wakeupcall, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    My daughter is 44, has all 4 of my grandchildren(4) and is not a difficult child as we all define one on this forum. I left her father after 41 years of marriage unable to live with what I found out. I gave it two years of thought before leaving. Our 19 year old real difficult child lives with him. I'm now remarried to a high school sweetheart and he's a jewel. He and my difficult child don't see eye to eye because my husband won't let him be rude to me, etc. but this story is more about my daughter this time.

    She has crushed me so badly that today I was wrapping all their Christmas gifts (yes, I shop early) and I cried all the while. She has barely spoken to me since I left her father 4 years ago. I thought at her age she would understand, now I wish I'd never told her the truth and I never will again. But she says I have "chosen" husband over them.(What..??) We live a thousand miles apart, she will not even speak DHs name, nor ever invite the two of us to see them let alone visit our home. Our rare phone conversations are very strained. I need help detaching...for sure. The holidays are very rough, she mails a Christmas card to me alone, only a gift to me, leaving him out entirely. If only I could detach. If only I could detach. If only I could detach. She has never met husband, nor never spoken TO him or OF him. What is her problem? Help!
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I am so sorry you are going through this.It is always hard to deal with famly dysfunction of which I experienced plenty.

    Divorce is really, really hard and often it splits families, even grown kids. You are not the first one I've heard similar stories from. One grown kid, who still loves both parents, decides that the fault is yours. Obviously that doesn't mean it is your fault. She is choosing to see it that way and to punish you not only for leaving her father, who may be moaning and complaining about you in her ear, but to refuse to acknowledge your spouse because in her eyes he is her father's replacement. She is obviously not thinking about your happiness and it is very sad that she is choosing such low contact.

    Besides talking to her, which I'm sure you've tried, the best advice I can give you is to enjoy your SO and have wonderful golden-years. You can not control what your daughter does, but you can make a decision not to allow it to ruin your and your husband's lives. Is it fair? I truly don't think so. I think it's mean. But you can't change her or the situation or who she believes or sides with and thinking about it while not enjoying the best years of your life to the fullest doesn't change anything.

    Obviously none of us can tell you how to change her, but we know that it is a good thing to take care of YOU and those loved ones you have who are respectful of you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life (I love that saying). Make it a great one. In the end, it is up to us, not others, to make us happy.

    Your daughter is not being very nice. But you can't control her. I'm really sorry about it though. It's a nasty tactic, but not as uncommon as you may think...

    Hugs for your hurting heart. Private therapy REALLY helped me when one child we adopted at age six decided we weren't his family anymore. It was heartwrenching, and I don't know how I'd have done it without my excellent psychologist.
     
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wakeupcall, I too am sorry you are going through this with your daughter, it is a sad situation. You made a choice for you and unfortunately your daughter is punishing you for that choice, which is as MWM said, not fair, nor right, nor appropriate.........but it is what it is.

    We can't control another, all we can do is respond to what it is they do. My suggestion is for you to find whatever way you can to move beyond this, to not allow this to ruin your life, your moments, your days, your relationship with your new husband. We are in our 60's now, there just isn't any more time to allow the actions of others to disrupt our lives or our peace, we can't change them, but we can move on.

    You may need some professional help to get through this, it is not easy, it will take a real commitment from you and a real intention to change, but you can do it. Your daughter may never change, or she may, but really, can you wait around suffering, ruining your own life about something you have absolutely no control over? It appears you've already done everything you can do. Much of life is about letting go, letting go of all that we have no control over. Does it hurt? Hell yeah. Can you do anything about it? No. So, the only sane choice is to learn how to let go, to learn how to realize you don't have to suffer endlessly over the choices of another, YOU have a choice. Choose life. Choose to let go.

    There are many tools to assist you, therapy, meditation, yoga, mindful things to relax your mind and unhinge the continuous flow of unhappiness and trying to change a situation that you can't change. What is happening is what is, arguing with what is, is what causes suffering..........you are powerless in the face of your daughter's choices.........find support to shift your response, to let go and focus on your life now, on your relationship with your new husband, on the time in our lives when we can have a certain amount of freedom to find our own passions and interests and joy............. you deserve that, don't allow your daughter's responses take that away from you.
     
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  4. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    All of you make he feel empowered. I'm so tired if being sad over this. My new husband is a wonderful man and we are having a great life living together and just being in the moment. The ultimate hurt, I guess, was this summer when she and her family went out of the country without telling me. I was calling and texting with no response and was frantic. I'll keep trying to detach..thanks for keeping me straight today.
     
  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Wake, that's very sad.

    I remember a few years after my mother died my father started dating another woman. She was a very sweet woman and made my father's last years very happy. And I wanted no part of her and made my displeasure very clear at every opportunity. Of course I feel terrible about it now, but at the time I just wanted to really hate on her. She represented the fact that I didn't have my mother, my family, my security anymore. She was forcing me to move on, and I didn't like it. Granted I was only a teenager and your daughter is much older with children of her own. I agree that she should be more forgiving, especially after 4 years, at 44, with 4 children. She should be able, at this point, to see you as an individual who didn't take the decision lightly. But sometimes our grief won't let us get past the point we know we should be.

    I would just accept that this is where she is and let her work through it. The more you try to force a relationship with husband, the more she's going to dig in.
     
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  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just wanted you to know I was here, too.

    I'm sorry this is happening.

    It would comfort me, especially during the holidays or on birthdays and other special times when my son would not be there and I didn't know where or how he was, to light a white candle for him.

    It was just my time to remember him and wish him well and hope that he would be with us the next time that particular holiday or birthday or whatever it was came around.

    It gave me comfort, to do this.

    Sometimes, I would be so angry!

    Or, scared.

    Or ashamed.

    And I would let myself have that part. And then, when I got over that and felt badly for my poor self again, I would somehow be more able to accept that it was what was.

    The Serenity Prayer helped me, too.

    You know it, right?

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept those things I can not change,
    The Courage to change the things I can,
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    To this day, I put those electric candles in the windows of our house at Christmas. The meaning behind it, for me, is that the light of those candles will show (initially, difficult child son) but now, all of us, husband and myself too, the way home.

    Maybe something similar would help you, too?

    Cedar
     
  7. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Don't know what her problem is but I do know that she is trying her hardest to make it your problem. It sounds like you have moved on to the kind of life that YOU want and something that she won't accept from you. Too bad, so sad, because although it causes you pain, it is her problem and only SHE can resolve it. Try your best to rise above the crap she pulls on you. People usually stop pushing the buttons when it no longer leads to feeding the issues!
     
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My father passed away when I was young and my mother eventually remarried. All of my siblings were out of the house except for one. Step father has always been very set in his ways and I stay at a motel when I visit. He is retired military, and one problem is he never had children around. One other sibling has never accepted him, now when she visits (she stays in a motel also) she tolerates him.

    I have been with my hubby for 15 years and his three children have never accepted me. I've only met one and when they send cards (rarely) they are only addressed to him. Part of this problem is they feel I have taken their inheritance from them. My pension is actually they same as his, and even though it will be divided five ways (mine and his) they will be getting the same amount of inheritance, maybe more.

    The biggie was when he retired I refused to pay for their vacations to visit. He continued to give money long after they were adults and they are very entitled. After one told him she was so broke that she had to put the grand's school clothes on credit cards, and three weeks later she took a two week vacation to Italy, he started to think things over!

    I over look it, many adults just don't like change. They hold onto the security of things at home staying as it was when they were children.

    Enjoy your new marriage! your children are adult.
     
  9. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Why is it that every single family is dysfunctional? She has put me through the wringer for certain. I SO need to be done with this. I adore my grandchildren, but SHE is my daughter and I miss her terribly. We used to talk on the phone 3-4 times a day. Now it's about once a month if I'm lucky and it's very strained. But she's being beyond rude and I AM THE MOTHER HERE. She wouldn't even let us attend my oldest granddaughters graduation last June. The other side of the coin is that my husband's daughter loves me and loves that we are so happy. Perhaps I will focus on her and her family!

    Thanks everyone for helping me realize I need to move on. It'll never be like it was. Her fault. Her loss.
     
  10. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    I had a friend who was estranged from his children after his divorce and remarriage. I guess what made it seem worse is that he was a minister at the time. He finally came to the conclusion that having a relationship is a two way street. He figures when and if they realize the value of having a relationship with their dad they will contact him. He values himself enough to know that he is worthy of not having to beg or plead with people that don't value him. He loves his grown kids, but it is out of his control and he has left the door open if they change their mind, but in the mean time he has a wonderful new wife with her grown children and grandchildren. His focus is there for now. What I like about this story is that he has placed value on his own person, because he is worth that.
     
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  11. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Hope. I miss her so very much, but I know all of you are right. Obviously at this point she doesn't think I'm worthy if being her mother. I'm tired of her punishing me for living my life. I did nothing to her or my grandchildren. I will continue to try to detach.
     
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