Will we ever recover from his abandonment

by Michelle
(Eastbourne England)

I am writing as a daughter who is trying to support her broken mother. My dad dropped the bombshell one week ago that he wants a separation from my mum after 47 years together. My father has been behaving uncharacteristically for months. He has been distant and detached. It appears that he has been having an affair with a lady from over seas that he met while taxi driving. Since they met and formed a friendship they have been text messaging each other daily and this is how the relationship developed. They have spent the odd days that she is in this country in hotels. My mum is devastated and teetering on the edge of a breakdown. My father is talking divorce and money settlements already. As a retired lady my mum will be lucky to afford a studio flat. This is so upsetting. They spent a lifetime together and have a beautiful home and the prospect of giving it all up because of his actions is unbearable.

My father has warned me not to get involved but I need to support my mum, she means everything to me and my three children. My dad has said he does not love my mum anymore and wants to move on. He has shown no remorse for what he has done. Months of lying and deceit. Two months ago, he persuaded my mum to borrow £20,000 to pay off his debts in the knowledge that he was cheating on her. I do not feel I will ever be able to forgive him for all his lies and for hurting my mum. I do not know how I am going to tell my children that granddad is leaving nanny, I feel numb, my dad has not even had the decency to reassure me or my children that he loves us. He has literally turned his back on us and that hurts so so much. He is not the man I know as my dad. My dad would never hurt us like this. I do not like this man he has become. Will I ever stop hating him? We will not have anymore family celebrations together because he had abandoned us and that hurts beyond words.

Noel's response

As with all things in life, this pain too shall pass. It is only a week since your dad dropped the bombshell.

My recommendation is that you help your mum protect her share of their assets as quickly as possible (e.g. make sure your dad can't sell the house out from under her, lock up any savings they might have jointly, etc.).

You might, if you haven't done so already, tell your dad the devastating effect his cavalier attitude is having on you and your children. Be sure to use 'I statements' so he is more likely to hear what you have to say.

He may be so lost in his infatuation and confusion that he can't hear anything right now, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't speak your own pain.

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