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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4767
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I was married 22 years, had 2 children (now 22 and 21), had

Resolved Question:

I was married 22 years, had 2 children (now 22 and 21), had an affair 5 years ago, got divorced 4 years ago and am still seeing the man I had an affair with. The man I had an affair with, was married 27 years, had 3 girls (now 25, 23, 17). Everyone knows we had an affair. It was not pretty. Our girls went to high school together, knew each other. My X and I sat down and told the kids. His wife, turned his kids against him for over 2 years. My x husband and I are on very good terms, and while he is still hurt, he has forgiven me and we have moved forward with the kids' best interests at heart. My children, especially my daughter, was very hurt by my betrayal. We have openly discussed our feelings of hurt, trust and moving forward. My kids have met my boyfriend (breakfast, sushi) and are pretty good. We even did a few days on vacation. Now my daughter is getting married - thus begins a deeper problem. I told her it was her decision, that I wanted her to be comfortable with him there - or not. She knows that I want him there, despite the fact that my X-husbands entire family knows of the affair, and is a tightly knit family, and they hold a grudge. My daughter is afraid of drama, and out of respect for her dad, doesn't want my boyfriend to attend the wedding. While I respect her decision, I don't agree with it, and I am hurt, because I feel that she is siding with her dad and his family. I just need to know how to get over the hurt - and the fact that his daughter is getting married this summer also - and I will be excluded as well. Can this pattern of exclusion continue in a healthy relationship? We still love each other, do not live together, but date and integrate a good portion of our lives.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are going through this currently, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you and your boyfriend as well

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask, what did your daughter tell you specifically when you asked for your boyfriend to be there and she said no, did she elaborate on that to help you understand?

Customer:

I actually told my daughter, when I heard about the upcoming wedding, that I would talk to her dad to find out where he thought he and his family were in the process (about having my boyfriend), but she forged ahead with a conversation with dad. He said that he would rather pay for the entire wedding, if he wouldn't be there, and that he wasn't sure his brothers (a tight pack of 6) would be civil.

Dr. Z :

So it sounds like your daughter is doing this not because she disapproved of the affair, but to avoid a possible confrontation on what is the most important day of her life, would that be fair to say?

Customer:

Very well said, yes.

Dr. Z :

So she is not really trying to hurt you or your boyfriend, and keep both of you out of her life, but instead I think she is in a delicate position of trying to keep the peace as best as she can

Customer:

Yes. She has told me on a few occasions that she respects my relationship with him, if I love him and he loves me and he makes me happy, then, she's happy for me. Not saying that it's all good - but she has the general concept of moving forward.

Customer:

But - is it her responsibility to maintain peace at her own wedding? Or, should it be the adults responsibility to be civil in ALL circumstances, because they are the adults and this is her day? Shouldn't I be able to share in this most joyous occasion with my boyfriend/partner? Otherwise, I feel as if I'm going to show up - I should just wear a scarlet A on my dress, because my boyfriend "was not allowed to attend" because of the scandal of the affair.

Customer:

It'll be hard for me to be happiest - if I don't have the one person beside me who makes me so happy.

Dr. Z :

You are right everyone should be civil there and they should act like adults, but not everyone is that good maintaining their civility. And I think your daughter is afraid that your ex-husband's family will be the ones more likely to not maintain their civility during the wedding/reception if your boyfriend is with you. I am sure she does not want to hurt you and it sounds like she has no problem with him being there, but I think she was trying to not cause a scene with your ex-husband's family that may not have as much self-control as one would hope. So instead of taking the chance, she was hoping that you and your current boyfriend would be willing to take the sacrifice.

Dr. Z :

I know it hurts, and it is not fair at all, but maybe you and your boyfriend can do something special, just the four of you, before or after the wedding

Dr. Z :

That will hopefully show that your daughter truly does care for both of you and does not want to hurt you two

Customer:

Yes. That was actually something that I thought of, and our way of showing our solidarity in partnership and in support of their wedding, even though he would not be there to share in the day. Thank you.

Customer:

Still hurts.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4767
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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