Help me understand, am I responsible to repair the relationship my children (17 yrs., 21 yrs. and 22 yrs.) have with their sucky father? This is one of the several emails I have received from him on the subject:
Was just wondering if the kids could say hi. I know these are consequences. I have lost my best friend, my future and no one will talk to me. I was just hoping you could get the kids to say hi.
I am almost three months from D Day #2. It turns out my firefighter husband of 18 years was doing more at CrossFit than preparing for the Open. Apparently he was getting two workouts a day, for three years, one using weights and one using a desperate housewife while I was busting my butt as a high school vice principal.
For every time he accused me of working too much, my children would tell me how proud they were of me. For every time he bullied them when he felt I was spending too much time with them, they would grow closer to me. For every time he drove their anxiety through the roof with his unrealistic expectations, they turned to me for unconditional love.
My husband has a bad case of impression management and our children, like me, are practicing truth, honesty, and no contact. I never speak ill of their father, I just speak the truth. I am no where near acceptance, but am over wanting our marriage to work. Our home is listed and I am working with a lawyer.
I want to believe he wants a relationship with our children, but why now? Help!
I assume you’ve told the kids the truth of why you’re divorcing — Dad cheated. I recommend here not editorializing (i.e., “Dad is a man-whore.”) And leave it at that. Don’t overshare the sordid details. Don’t slop your grief on to the kids (they have enough of their own). Just try your best to do your sane parent job. That’s ENOUGH.
Divorce frees you of many things, and one of them is the job of public relations officer for your ex. He gets the ugly brown sofa, the wedding china, and all the responsibility for his relationships — his kids, his parents, friends, neighbors, and any wandering Jehovah’s Witnesses who might come to the door. Getting young people to “say hi” to him? Not. Your. Job.
Your job is to abide by whatever temporary custody order you have in place. And you only have ONE minor child — for how many more months? I’m not a lawyer, but I imagine the court will side with whomever your child wants to live with, which sounds like you. That’s good news! You’re in the driver’s seat here.
Which is probably why your soon-to-be-ex is sending you his sad sausage missives. The mindfuck is firmly set to the self-pity channel with this guy.
Shall we UBT it?
Was just wondering if the kids could say hi.
Perhaps they were struck mute by an angry goblin, or ate too much peanut butter and their tongues got stuck to the roofs of their mouths.
I know these are consequences.
I fail to comprehend consequences, because I still think you should do shit for me. And care.
I have lost my best friend,
I have lost her. You know, the way your keys sometimes fall in between the sofa cushions and you really need your keys? And you can’t find them? Because… pockets. Who knows why pockets fail? Or why cushions swallow useful things? Just one of those sad, unfortunate events, losing best friend things.
Woe! Don’t leave me to my fuckbuddy! Whatever shall I do?
and no one will talk to me.
I don’t understand this. I’m so fit! Have you seen my pectorals? Will no one talk CrossFit with me or ask me about my body fat percentages?
I am so fascinating. Yet you deny me kibbles.
I was just hoping you could get the kids to say hi.
My relationships with the people I have hurt are your responsibility. Did I hurt you? That’s your responsibility too. Just because I fucked around on you for three years, humiliated you, destroyed our family, and risked your health, doesn’t mean you can’t still do things for me.
Get the kids to say hi. MAKE THEM. Release them from the goblin curse! Allow them idle chitchat with their father! I command you! Do it now or I shall have a sadz!
Does no one care about my feelings?
LettingGo, his “feelings” are not your problem. He didn’t care your feelings or your children’s feelings. So let him live with the consequences. They’re all his.