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Ex-husband wants my help rebuilding his relationship with our children

by Eileen
(Flanders, NJ)

Per my post of a couple of days ago, my husband left our home for the forbidden fruit of another woman in July - after 26 years of marriage. His relationship with our daughter has turned ugly. He cannot understand why she will not accept this new woman into her life, as she makes him so happy (gag). She is shoving this woman and her daughters down everyone's throats and my children are having a hard time with it. According to him, this new woman did nothing wrong - it was all his fault. I must note that this woman did do something wrong. She was having a relationship with a married man who had a ring on his finger the whole time. Regardless, he is having a hard time rebuilding his relationship with our daughter (who is 20) and has asked for my help in rebuilding it. I have declined, saying that he has made his bed, now he must lay in it.

I explained that perhaps he should have thought of the consequences before embarking on this journey, alas, I will not help him. My children and I are doing the best we can to rebuild our own lives and relationships without their father/my husband being home with us.

Please tell me I did the right thing. I don't think it's my responsibility to make this easier for him and to ease his guilt. I believe he thinks if everyone accepts this new woman and her daughters, then in his mind he's made the right decision - and the guilt will magically disappear. He doesn't deserve my help after the anguish, hurt, humiliation and debilitating sadness he's put our family through. Your thoughts?

Noel's response

I am with you. I see no reason you should bale him out of a predicament he got himself into.

Comments for Ex-husband wants my help rebuilding his relationship with our children

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Mar 15, 2012
trying to get contact with father
by: Anonymous

I have had the same problems with my boys father not really wanting a meaningful relationship with them. He has an incidental other and he keeps ramming it down their throats. They are though wanting to see him as he is their dad and he is actually depriving them of this contact which is not acceptable. It has been 18 months since he left and five months since he has seen them once and spoken or texted should I say about five times in that time. He says he wants to see them but makes excuses that I am making it difficult. Well Im not but I am actually thinking of the boys best interests and as he has not seen them for a while he needs to build bridges with them and not with the incidental other there as well. I have now to get things moving a little for him to build a relationship with his boys taken some action. I have told him that there is to be boundaries for contact with the boys and until those boundaries are in place which are in the boys best interests, there will not be any contact at all. After a little moan and him trying to get me to compromise but with me standing my ground, I think him actually being told that he is not getting something, ie contact with his children, is actually making him take the initiative and do something about it. The next stage is to make him realise it is what the boys want that is important and not what he wants or indeed what I want.

Nov 25, 2011
Decision to move on
by: Anonymous

While I agree that my children are technically adults, my husband wants his cake and eat it too. He wants me to help and support him like I have done for 30 years and guide him through his hard time all the while carrying on an affair with another woman. I have offered to pay for counselling, even if it meant mortgaging the house. I have offered to take time off from work to go away and work through issues that I didn't know existed. His answer is always "I'm confused...I don't know what I want." That said, i have decided that going forward my job is to make sure that the children and I rebuild our lives without the man that has been with us for 30 years - not to make his life easier. By the way, he recently confessed that he made a terrible mistake, did not think through the consequences of his actions but cannot go back, he can only go forward. In that regard, he will have to find a way to have a relationship with his children, without my help. Perhaps he should has his paramour for help.

Nov 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

They are Adults.. NOT Children.. Their choice... Their Father wasn't happy and raised them to Adulthood before leaving.. If they want nothing to do with him that is their loss.. A few years down the line they may change their mind only to find their Father has moved on!... Mothers should not be involved it is between the Father and his Kids and its so easy for the left parents to colour their thinking!.

Oct 17, 2011
Going Through Same Thing
by: Anonymous

You are definitely doing the right thing. It is his responsibility to rebuild his relationship with his children. As far as the kids are concerned with his new women, it's their prerogative to accept/not accept her. They own no allegiance to her - she is not their Mom. This is the fallout of what he did and he needs to deal with it.

Oct 13, 2011
I'm going thru the exact same thing
by: Michele

Dear Eileen

My husband did exactly the same thing. Left me after 30 years of marriage (pretty happy ones)!! for his co worker. My daughter is 24 and adored him. Now she can not stand him. Its heartbreaking for me because we worked so hard to provide her a happy family life. Now she thinks its all was a lie. He left so abruptly.
I do think he should pay for what he's done but not at my daughters expense. I worry about how it will effect her emotional life in the future. Good luck to you and your children. My heart goes totally out to you.

Oct 13, 2011
The broken relationship with their children!!
by: Anonymous

Personally I think you have done the right thing. I have been going through a very similar situation. Husbands been gone 10 months, living with his other woman, we had been married 20 years. His relationship with our two boys age 17 and 25 is almost broken beyond repair. The only difference in my situation is my husband has just tootled along with his new life and not bothered with the boys, its been myself that has tried to keep him in some sort of close contact with them, to be honest I have given up, he's consistent at being inconsistent! He only seems to make a small effort with them if he feels they are slipping away completely. It's a nightmare, my boys have been to hell and back. Their father has done the very same and tried to ram this woman and her daughter down his sons throats, he doesn't understand they are not interested, they don't want to meet her or her daughter, they do not want to have conversations with him about his "new family" it hurts them, he just doesn't get it, he's happy and he expects them to be happy too. We were a very close family before all if this happened, what they have done has ripped my family apart but they just don't see it, its all about their wants their needs and to hell with everyone else. Both my boys have been traumatized by his selfish actions, I have watched them both plead with their father on the phone or by text to come and see them, they love him, they miss him, his reply, "no time" or "no diesel", that says it all I guess, if he was that bothered he would make time and find the money for diesel. My boys have now backed away to protect themselves, I don't blame them, its for the best. Your daughter should think of herself her own feelings, your ex husband never thought of the consequences of his actions but they never do!

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