Question: Dear Luise: After 28 years, I left my husband. My children have waged a small war against me since that time, which is extremely painful and at times devastating. I just do not understand this from either of them and have tried everything in my power to reconcile. After 15 years, any hope of having a relationship seems impossible. I wonder if there is hope, but I’m now creating my own life apart from my children. I miss them every day…but I do love them no matter what. M.
Answer: Dear M.: What a painful situation. Children respond differently to divorce; some are relieved by it…if the home situation improves. And some don’t seem overly involved. On the other hand, there are those who have a strong sense of entitlement and feel their parents should stay married “no matter what.” They couldn’t care less if the marriage is working for them or not.
Very often one parent is blamed…usually the one who took the action, but sometimes it’s the one whose behavior ended things…(like an alcoholic.) It follows that the one blamed is not OK or the one blaming is not OK. However it shakes out, it can telegraph back to the children as not being OK them selves since they are 1/2 that censored person, genetically. Usually, in such circumstance, they have no interested in facts and don’t want to clutter their emotions up with logic, so a lifetime of separation, misunderstanding and misplaced loyalty can follow.
It’s never hopeless because change can always occur but if often doesn’t. And, as you have found, the need to go on without your children in your life can be your punishment for imagined misdeeds.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear but I don’t see what you can do. It is about them. I know they think it’s about you but it isn’t. It’s about their closed mindedness, heartlessness and need for retaliation. Under that is the hurt that they didn’t get to have things they want they wanted them to be…perhaps fueled by your ex-spouse; perhaps not.
Please consider coming over to my web-Forum for women with issues with their adult children: http://www.motherinlawsunite.com Don’t let the name mislead you. There are those there who will understand and offer support. Blessings, Luise