My boyfriend and I became emotionally involved while we were both still married. When we expressed our love for one another, we both separated from our spouses and divorced. I have 4 children and he has 1. My children have embraced him but his child will not speak to him almost 2 years later. The mother has kept the child as a confidant and has "brainwashed" the child, who had been closer to the father than the mother throughout the marriage. We had planned on getting married when he divorced, but he cannot move on because his child will not talk to him, much less accept me or my children. While we know that what happened between us was wrong, we can't help but feel we made the right decision to leave our very unhappy marriages. How do we move forward? He has shared custody, but that only constitutes less than 5 minutes that the child thumbs her nose at her dad and then rolls up the window.
Thank you for your input.
jenner, it may be that the mother hasn't said much at all to influence this child - she's simply enraged at being abandoned by her father who cheated on her mother with another married woman, and then abandoned his family.
She hasn't necessarily been brainwashed - but rather, has high moral standards and chooses not to approve of her father who has breeched his vows and abandoned his family.
If they were only emotionally involved then by most definition's that's not cheating.
Anyway...if she's more than about 9 years old, then I'd say that most probably she is angry at him for perceived abandonment. She may eventually come around, but there's not a lot that he can do to make that happen besides continuing to try and reach out to her.
If, on the other hand, she's still pretty young, then I would attribute this more to her mother's influence, but the advice is the same, all you can do is keep trying and wait for her to see things differently.
Thank you for your comments. It used to be easy for me to throw stones, too, until I had this experience. I was hoping for something constructive. He did not abandon his child: he left a loveless marriage.
He may have left an unhappy marriage according to the adults' definition, but children still see it as abandonment regardless, unfortunately. He needs to sit her down and explain that sometimes grown-ups fall out of love with each other, but they NEVER fall out of love with their children. Also remember that she's an only child which has an impact. Even adult children of divorce feel like they've been abandoned. He might want to also explain that he is not trying to replace her mother with you, but that he has found someone new to spend his life with. Personally, a girl losing her dad makes it harder to trust men in the future and have healthy relationship (but my mom moved 800km away so that's different). I guess all I can say is, remind her that her dad still loves her no matter what, even if he doesn't love her mom in the same way any more.
My parents are going through a divorce currently and I feel strongly that my dad has practically abandoned me...I am 18 years old and i STILL can't understand how he can find it in himself to just up and leave.
Has he said sorry and actually meant it? Does he understand that she feels alone, abandoned, forgotten and not important? She probably feels that he left her for someone else, for a different family.
Personally, I think parents often become caught up in their own emotional problems dealing with their seperation (which is understandable) however that leaves their child/children feeling very isolated and alone.
In my opinion, his daughter feels abandoned and not loved anymore. Hell, I'm 18 years old and I feel that way. If she's younger I have no doubt those are her feelings. It doesn't take a mom's brainwashing to feel unloved and abandoned...it takes a dad leaving.
I am in the same situation. I left my wife of 24 years because I was very lonely in my marriage. I stayed in the marriage until my daughters graduated high school. Then I met a woman that I completely connect with. We can talk all night and still have great conversations. I was the Superdad for my kids when they were growing up. I did everything with them. I was a highly respected individual in the community as well. Because of my separation and eventual divorce, I have been ostracized by my community and chose to move away due to the judgement. My girls are in college yet still cannot accept the situation even though they had a great upbringing. If I would have known all the retributions for me wanting to be happy in an adult relationship, I probably wouldn't do it over. People judge so harshly and act as if they care about the kids. That is not why they are so judgemental. They want to try and evaluate feelings and infuse their own values on you and that is not possible. They don't know what it is like to be at home and want so badly to get out. They don't know how many times you've gone through marriage counseling only to be blamed by their spouse that it is all their fault. Those caring people drove me away from my kids that I care for more than life. Anyone here that says it will never happen to them better beware. I was one of you. My daughters talk to me and visit often, but they are struggling to come to terms with the fact that I am happy with another woman. Anyone who says I abandoned my children haven't seen how many nights I have broken down missing them. My advice is to keep following your heart and pray that the daughter comes around. It is very difficult to be in love with someone who's child hates you. It is hard to not get angry at the child but make sure you do not. She is acting this way because she loves her dad. If she didn't, she wouldn't care. All I can say is keep filling her bucket with positives. It is fascinating that the younger the child, the easier they accept. Perhaps it is because they judge according to how they are treated rather than judge on adult terms. Maybe we could learn a lesson from them.
You're not alone Lifewelllived. My partner of 5 years has an 9 yr old son, and he's been living in a loveless marriage and because of his son, he choose to stay with his family so that he can care for and be there for his son until he's old enough to understand the parents world. Of course we all want to live in the perfect world where we can pack our bags and take off and leave behind what doesn't make us happy, that's not the case for you and my partner because you're living it and only you and my partner know what it feels like at home with kids you love so dearly and want to make the best for them even if it means to sacrifice your own desire and what makes you happy. I respect that of my partner and we love each other very much. At the beginning, it was very difficult for me to understand and accept, but over time we develop our trust and respect. These are the choices we parents have to make and endure. I only hope that his son will forgive my partner for his decision when the time comes to leave his mother and that the son doesn't hate his father as an adult. This is my one fear but I guess most kids from a divorced family face the same fate one way or the other. Whether we pack our bags and leave while they are young or choose to stay until they are grown up, it takes someone like you and my partner to fully understand what it's like to make these decisions. I have 3 kids of my own and going through my divorce, yet my estranged husband refuses to leave the house not because of the kids but for his own selfishness and making my life miserable and making false accusations in divorce filings to force me out of my own home that I've been paying for. Yes, I'm the breadwinner and while he's living under my roof, I am still paying him alimony while I've been the primary caregiver for all 3 kids. How's that one for a complicated family situation and our court system? That's for a discussion in the divorce forum I guess.
So thankful to have come across this discussion. Your situation is a mirror image of mine. My partner was in a loveless emotionally abusive marriage. His daughter is his life and he was basically Mr. Mom. He is a beautiful loving considerate man and father. He was unhappily married and I was separated when we met. I fell in love with my partner, yes knowing he was married and going against my own moral compass. You never know what life will bring you. He has since left his wife and we now live together. I have children and they love him. His daughter has alienated him as well. It kills him everyday and witnessing his pain is something words cannot describe for me. I so want to make it right but realize I am the last person who can do so. I care for this little girl so much and want her so badly to be part of our lives but she just won't budge at this time. He has explained how much he loves her and that he didnt leave her but rather her mother. Her mother treats her as a confident rather than a daughter which leaves his daughter hearing more than she should for a child. No I'm not proud of how our relationship came to be, but it did. Even "good" people find themselves in these situations and sometimes the judgemental rules don't apply as much as the judgers want to shove it down your throat. I refuse to live in those kinds of boxes. I don't condone affairs and wish I could have met my partner under different circumstances but I can't change it. I have even offered to let him go with the intention that if I am out of the picture, he may have a chance to get his daughter back. I love him that much.I can imagine what his daughter feels like as I have been there myself.
Emotional attachment to someone other than your spouse is an affair. What you both did was interfere with one another marriage. Good luck with your new relationship as you both will be looking over your shoulders with one another for the rest of your so called relationship. Btw it won't work out.... they never do. And with the added pressure of lost relationship with daughter (only daughter) you better hurry and get pregnant... because that guy is an emotional mess... leaving "loveless" marriage for you?! Really?.... I wouldn't put all your eggs in that basket. I see you getting what you sowed... trouble. The daughter has a right to be pissed. I know from experience she will never accept you... you represent what you did to her family and that will be your trouble. Unless of course you can manipulate getting pregnant. That will prolong the poisoned relationship you and he have created. Counseling would do you good.. why would you create a new relationship while you were married? Why would he? What are you trying to replace? I would seek counseling before you drag your kids through another relationship... because really.. and truly kids should come first.
Wow! Emotional attachment is NOT something you can control. And a spouse does not own the mind or heart of his/her spouse. Marriage is an economic pact for the most part in order to raise children in a stable environment. Just like pretending in a loveless marriage that everything is going to be alright, people make mistakes. Obviously some people put their kids daily security before their own emotional well-being. Try not to judge something that you have no clue about in reality. Some of these posters are bitter!
Don't let all these people judge you. Every situation is unique.
Also, all you idiots out there who feel the need to judge people on here because you have nothing better to do with your life don't use words like NEVER and ALWAYS. You have no idea what life has in store for you and you can't possibly fully understand this womans situation without being her.
This is suppose to be a website for support not criticism and judgment. Look twice at your life before you start throwing stones.
I was in a abusive marriage but I stayed for my 2 daughters. I got burnt at the end!! I left one night after I was jumped by all 3 of them. Just like they planned this nite-mare to run dad off. They wouldn't let me sleep that nite so I eventually left to get rest at a relatives house. While I was gone they changed the locks on the house. Then after divorce and settlement my 2 daughters chose their mother 100% . I was a super dad to them. I haven't heard from them in 5 years now. They are now 26 and 30. I sent them gifts the first 2 years and got them all back in a box with a letter. My oldest daughter said she loved me but couldn't come around me till 2 years. My lawyer said this is the craziest divorce he has ever wittnessed.
What you don't understand is that this affair teaches daughters that love isn't permanent. That it can be lost, that people can be replaced. (I'm sobbing just thinking of this again.) It really destroys something inside, and that's something that years of therapy and reassurance can't fix 100%.
On top of that, he moved in with you. With your children. In her mind, you and your kids are the ones that took her dad away. In her mind, her dad replaced her with your kids. In her mind, she isn't worth anything. She feels broken, worthless, unlovable, fragile, and this is such a dangerous thing for a woman to feel. If she doesn't think she's worth anything, some of them will rely on others(drugs, toxic/abusive relationships, etc) to define how much she is worth. I'm 19, and it's been more than 10 years, and I haven't healed from any of that.
You don't mean for this to happen, I know. Most of us who are angry have either been cheated on, or have been your boyfriend's daughter.
I hope your boyfriend reads this, too. Your daughter needs you, she needs to be held and be told that you love her and that you have missed her so much. Your daughter needs therapy, because this has destroyed her confidence and belief in herself from the inside out.
Please, for me, tell her everything I was never told.
Trust me, she needs therapy. I didn't get therapy, and it manifested into self-harm and me almost marrying someone who has a warrant for his arrest in two states.
Just like it takes time to get used to change for adults, it is the same for children. What I have seen time and time again is this. The partners in the "new relationship" doesn't give everyone else time to process and accept the change. You both are ahead of everyone else, because you have known about your relationship a lot longer - you made a unilateral decision that impacts others who did not have a say. The relationship is not new to you, but it is a major change and the people in your life that you supposedly love should be respected and given time. How much time? Not sure
I know this is old but start doing some research on parental alienation syndrome. It is not normal for children to reject their parents not for something like cheating trust me. Look up dr childress blog on the attachment model. He is a psychologist who specializes in Parental alienation syndrome. Getting advice from people who fear infidelity or who have been traumatized from it isn't a good idea as they are stuck in a victim-mentality and see these issues only in black and white.
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