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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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I am male in my early 50s, divorced for just over a year after

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I am male in my early 50's, divorced for just over a year after a 25 years. I had a 10-year affair with another woman. I confessed to having an affair after seeing my spouse act suspiciously around the computer. We both lived in the same house at opposite ends until one of us decided to move out. In 01/2009, my spouse and daughter moved out unnannouced. My daughter refused to meet with me prior to her moving out (my son agreed to).My daughter moved in with friends, even though my spouse had rented a 2-bedroom house. I have since married this woman I had been seeing and my son lives with me. I have told my daughter that this was not her fault, and that I was divorcing her mother, and not her, and that I will always be her father. I have sent letters & cards to her, called her, and sent text messagesa message, All go unanswered. She is currently unwed and 7 months pregnant, living with friends. Seems the more I try the more she ignores me. Should I back off and give her space?
Hello...How old is your daughter? What was your relationship like with your daughter before the divorce? Is your current wife someone that your daughter knew from the past?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My daughter will be 21 next month. Last month marked 2 years since she has last spoken to me (the divorce was finalized in 01/2010). I never thought my relationship with her was that bad, and could have always been better. We were a church-going family, and she was actively involved with competitive soccer since she was little. As a family, we went to all of her games. As my kids became older, my son expressed boredom going to her games watching her. Since he was too young to be home by himself, my wife and I agreed that I should stay home with my son, but that we would all attend the "big games" (championships) and the end of the season. As the divorce was nearing, my daughter told me that I was never involved with her with anything that was meaningful to her. I brought up this issue of soccer and she would tell me "you don't get it". We also made regular trips to Disneyland and vacations to the lake, where we allowed both our kids to bring friends.

 

A big turning point in my relationship with my daughter was when she was about 11. Her mother, her and me were all in the kitchen. I had said something to my daughter that she needs to do (I don't recall what it was, just something a parent would say being a parent). Immediately, my wife literally stepped in between us and said to me "she doesn't have to do that" and turned to my daughter and said something along the lines of "you do not need to listen to him and do that!". I was shocked that she would do that. Up until that time, I would say that my relationship with my daughter was still good, and with my wife "average" (no obvious major fractures showing in the marriage). Once I had filed for divorce, my daughter and I were in the kitchen (deja vu), and I told her "I am still your father!", and she replied with her often sarcastic tone "well, that's debatable!".

 

Once the affair was known (the last six months of marriage), my wife knew the name of this other person (whom I am now married to). She told the name of the person to my daughter who discovered that she was classmates with the other woman's daughter. Both my son and daughter knew the other woman's daughter. My daughter has since befriended the other woman's daughter, along with several mutual friends.

 

As for now, let your daughter have her space. She will eventually come around as time heals all wounds. You can continue to write the letters simply asking her how she is doing. Deep down inside, she will always love you and care for you. She may not show it though. If you have been the loving and supportive father as it sounds like that you have been, then your daughter's unhappiness is unmerited. Try to continue on with your life as best as you can with your wife. We cannot change other people. We can only change our reactions to their actions.
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