My heart hurts for my childrenPosted on 06/07/09, 01:31 pm
During his visit his dad was acting very happy and joking around as if all is well and normal. My son just looked at me and could see the hurt and pain I am going through and said...WTF. Is any of this real? Is dad being delusional? How can he act this way? Cant he see what he's dong to his family? Where's my dad? He didnt confront him and I was happy about that. He feels torn between the love for his dad and me. He dosnt know how to handle the emotional part of his feelings. I try to help him understand but its hard because I really dont understand. I can see that my son is thinking nothing in his world makes sense right now. It dosnt in my world either. I can see how this effects my son but am powerless to fix it. His father says that he will get over it and it will just be part of his life experience that will be helpful to him as he gets older. Like he's doing him some big favor. I just dont get it! My daughter who is 28 hasnt even talked about it yet...I can only imagine how its effecting her...crap..sobbing!
Reply #1 06/07/09 2:08pm
I am so sorry for your pain. I worried about my kids for several months because they knew exactly what their father had done and how he had hurt me and them. My ex had pretty much the same attitude as your husband. They will be fine and they will learn from this. They say those things to make themselves feel better.
Keep talking to your children, but also understand that this is an issue that only they can resolve. The relationship that they have with their father will be determined by them and him. I know it is hard to watch and not really be able to make it better. Encourage them to seek help and to not ignore their feelings. They, just like you, will need time to process and adjust.
My thoughts and support are with you. Bug hug!
Reply #2 06/07/09 2:57pm
Reading your post was like reading my life.. Son just turned 23 and very angry and hurt. Like your son, he does not feel so comfortable "talking" about this with his dad so he holds it in. Problem is the anger does show up somewhere as we all know. I agree, we cannot fix it for them .. wish we could, i also have a 12 yr old still home with me.. They dont realize the turmoil they create.. So sorry to hear you are also in such pain.. try and enjoy the day
Reply #3 06/07/09 4:50pm
My son said to me "What happenend? It's like my whole life has been a lie" (he is 31) It affects the kids no matter what age and it is tragic. My kids lived their entire life believing their dad and I were a happy couple. The shock of the divorce has worn off, but the lasting affects of it are so sad. The x is the only one who doesn't deal with it. I'm sorry for your pain, and I am especially sorry for your son. Hugs to you
Reply #4 06/08/09 7:25am
Oh boy, can I relate!!!! My son will be 23 soon and he is questioning who the hell this man is also. It is so sad that he wonders if the 20 years of love and adoration my ex shed on all of us was just a big lie. I try to assure him that he really was a great dad and (even husband ugh)that he changed quite drastically but it doesnt change his love for my kids (never know it by his actions tho)
My daughter just thinks he is a big pig but does know he was not always like this..her pain is hidden in anger
I,too, am at a loss as to how to help them..I am having a hard time helping myself...and tragedy continues.....so unfair!!!!
Reply #5 06/08/09 9:44am
My ex was so cowardly about telling the kids what was going on or talking to them about it that I think they ended up feeling confused as to whether or not they were supposed to be feeling bad. Even when we sat down to tell them TOGETHER that we were separating he left me to do all the talking. His gutless behavior made me especially angry because, since I was the only one telling them anything, they thought it was all my idea for awhile. He too played the happy tune, like all was well and life was just sunshine and roses. It was only through my talking to each of the kids about their feelings and some of mine and through them witnessing some of my tears and sadness that they were gradually able to let their own feelings of anger and grief emerge. Left up to him they would have had to suppress it all forever. He's paying the price now, though I often think he's too self focused to even notice, because the kids treat him more like an uncle than a father. He has now started craving closeness with them and they shy away. Why would they confide in someone who treated them like they were too stupid or young to have genuine emotions and opinions about our family coming apart? He was so caught up in what was happening to HIM, how HE felt, and HIS take on all the changes that he had no room in his head or heart for what his kids were going through. It sounds to me, Dairytech, like that is what's going on in your situation too. Your husband has no time or interest in caring about what all this is doing to other people, he can only see himself. By the time he does care, just like with my ex, it will most likely be too late.
I personally can't imagine being so self absorbed that I would be willing to lose my kids but then I can't imagine doing most of the things these abandoning spouses do. They truly don't get it - don't see what's important in life. You're right that you can't fix it for your son but you're doing the right thing in talking to him about it. Just keep being there for your son and daughter, that's what's important. Big hug to you.
Reply #6 06/08/09 11:16am
I think so too. I don't get the utter self serving motives at the expense of the kids. What is now done is done. But in cowardice, they are still living with themselves as they imagine they are or should be. And lie and don't face the truth. What a bunch of crock. I keep thinking -- how did I marry this man and how did he become this. OK it was probably already there. Here's to us who are there for the kids through thick and thin --
Truth be told, while my daughter is worried about me -- and hasn't had this conversation with me yet. She did with an aunt. She asked the question (I'm working on letting her know the questions won't hurt me -- I'm OK-- more worried about the kids as it should be) -- straight up where is dad at-- to her aunt. He had let them know he was no longer in this relationship and staying night by night in the truck or in motels. She stated to her aunt-- I know dad wouldn't do that -- that would involve money. My daughter has more insights and is hurt but understands the reality. She was seeking confirmation.
Hugs to all of you. This for me is the most difficult helping the kids and dealing with passive aggresive narcissistic B.S.
Reply #7 06/08/09 9:14pm
My daughter was over on Sunday and she remarked to me how glad she was that this did not happen when she was in her teens, that she would have had a very hard time dealing with the breakup. As for my son, he told her that he doesn't have a Mom any more.
He would never say that if I'm around because I would crack him one, I still do not tolerate disrespect from my kids toward their parents.
Reply #8 06/09/09 8:23am
My STBX's parents divorced when he was in college and it effected him tremendously, according to him (I didn't know him then...). Even though his parents fought a lot for years, I think it still caught them off guard. Probably whatever your home is like, is what the family is used to. I don't know which of them was the initiator, but I am guessing it was his dad. My STBX and his father seem so similar to me now. Of course, I wasn't there at that time, so I am totally guessing what things looked like (besides the fighting my STBX told me about)! My STBX started being critical and just not very nice. Thats when I stopped talking to him. It seemed he didn't really care anyways. This was the beginning of the end for us. I wonder if it was similar for his parents. Did they spend a lot of years in a disintegrating marriage not knowing how to fix it? I'll never know for sure, but I would guess yes. As much as I want my marriage to work, I really dislike the way he stuffs everything inside. It's so unhealthy and impossible to get close to someone like that. I think part of his avoidance of conflict was that he didnt want to be like his parents. We were 'ok' if werent having conflict, right?!
Reply #9 06/09/09 9:53am
seekingwisdom-my thoughts exactly. Well put.
Reply #10 06/09/09 2:03pm
Never will understand. My stbx used the same lines, everything will be okay. Well guess what, it's not. He deserted them. Yes, my kids and I are okay because I remind them daily how much they are loved and keep their security for them. My son at 14 can see the man his father is. My daughter, she just loves daddy but I feel sometimes she is torn or afraid to say how much she cares for him. It's sad no matter what age.
I want to start something for those of us that were married for a long long time. I think that we face a little different issues than those who were dating for a few years or even married for shorter period of time. Being married for so long we have older children some have grandkids dealing with teenagers and their reaction to the divorice empty nesters dating after 40 etc.