Divorce: Standing Alone In The Wreck

If I could have a regret in my life that is wrapped up in a wonderful gift it would be my first marriage. All by itself, I regret that marriage. Oh sure, I learned so much about myself. I grew. I became a better person.

And most of all, I received an amazing, wonderful, beautiful daughter. If the way she had to come to be was through that marriage, fine. I accept it. But I don’t have to like it.

Because I hate what she has had to go through. I hate what it’s done to her self-esteem. I hate the choices she has had to make because of the split. All because I chose him for her dad.

When I was going through the divorce my attorney advised me on many things. She predicted things that would come to be and I nodded. Not in agreement. Because my ex would never, ever do the things she described. Never. Ever. (Insert wry laugh here.)

Boy. Was I wrong.

I have watched my beautiful daughter experience such dysfunction. Promises broken. Lies told. A step-mother who is insanely jealous. A woman who treats my daughter like “the other woman.” Since she was 6 years old she has had to keep secret any activity with her father that doesn’t involve her step-mother. Every movie. Every ice cream cone. Every shopping trip.

Recently, we have been weathering an amazing storm. A situation I never dreamed would happen. Out of respect for my daughter, I won’t air the dirty details. But it has ripped my daughter to the core. She wants to change her name. She wants to never see him again. She feels abandoned and unappreciated. And what tears my heart apart is that she feels unimportant, unworthy and unloved by him.

If I could go back and change something, anything – I would. Quite honestly, I have no idea what I’d change. If it means me not being her mother, I would sacrifice that for her to be treated better by a father. I only want the best for her.

And she doesn’t deserve this.

She deserves so much better.


Filed under children, Lessons Learned, Marriage, Music, parenting

23 responses to “Divorce: Standing Alone In The Wreck

  1. I ache for you and for your daughter. I have a good friend who recently went through a divorce after many years of marriage. In her wildest dreams she never imagined her now ex-husband would ever do and say the things he has. In her case it is the grandchildren who are suffering as ex-husband’s new wife tries to pry apart his relationship with them and becomes hostile with every moment he spends with them. He has been such a huge part of their lives that they don’t understand why he spends so much less time with them.

    I’ll keep you and your daughter in my thoughts much as I do my friend and her grandchildren. It’s so unfair, so unnecessary, and such a shame.

  2. Oh, Jane…I’m so sorry for what you and your daughter are going through!

    My ex-husband has been as good a dad as he could be from 1000 miles away…he’s never missed a child support payment for my two older daughters, and calls them and sends gifts on their birthdays and at Christmas.

    My youngest daughter (age 12) was a “surprise” from a short-lived relationship (about six months). Her father didn’t start acting like her father until she was a toddler…they had a good relationship for about 5 years. In 2005, he got involved with a woman half his age who already had four children. He knocked her up twice more. My daughter hasn’t had more than a minute alone with her dad for five years! He doesn’t even call her on her birthday (he lives less than a half hour away). It makes me furious! Other than going to court to make sure he pays his child support (which I’ve done), I don’t know what else to do. I’ve allowed her to visit whenever she wants to, but she hasn’t asked to go nearly as much lately…I think she’s finally realizing what a jerk (G-rated version) her father is.

    My Jim is a great dad, but my youngest daughter has been slow to trust him, even though he’s been in our lives for 2 1/2 years.

    I hope your daughter can figure out what’s best for her…


  3. I feel awful for her. It’s so sad that adults can’t seem to act like…..adults. Wonder if he will ever have his own set of regrets in raising his daughter. 😦

  4. Jane! *hugs*
    I can defintiely relate to this as my mom and “dad” are not both my biological parents. My “dad” is actually my step-dad and the only father I have ever known, but his first wife and his daughter from their marriage have never fully recovered from his marrying my mom and getting me as a step-daughter, and later two kids of his own with my mom. The situation is different but I know what some of those feelings can be like and I know it hurts and the children involved are always left to feel the effects. For your daughter’s sake, I hope things get better. Saying a prayer for you both!

  5. Jane, I’m so sorry that you and your beautiful girl have to go through this. I hope you know how lucky she is to have you on her side in this situation, acting like an adult and a nurturer. My wish for you both is that your ex and his wife learn how to do the same, for your daughter’s sake at least.

  6. Jane, my heart is breaking for you and your daughter.

    I too saw the painful effect broken promises had on my sons as their father and I divorced. As soon as he received his equity payment from the house he walked away and never looked back. Never. That was a rough storm for the boys to weather. But silently I knew that it would be best in the long run. Love and time healed their wounds and now they’re glad.

    I don’t know how you and your daughter deal with the stress on a regular basis. You are very strong!

  7. I’m here if you need me. Really.

  8. My heart breaks for the pain your daughter, and you, are facing. There are no words to make it better, but I pray things improve, and that her father realizes what he will be losing, and wises up.

  9. I’m sorry. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.

  10. It must be very hard for you to watch these scenarios unfold. All you can do is be there for your daughter, which you are. She may have been unlucky in the father department but she struck gold in the mothering department. I have a friend who went through this with her daughter – her ex finally decided when she was grown that he wanted to play a bigger part in her life and she now will have nothing to do with him. It is so very sad and I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

  11. Wow. This sounds eerily similar to my husband’s father and his wife. That’s all I’m saying.

  12. jterrill

    The most important person in a young girl’s life is her father. Father’s shoud be the hero not the hinderance. It is sad that most men don’t get it. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.

    Dad’s with daughters should read “the father connection: how you can make the difference” by Josh McDowell

  13. Ah Jane, I am so sorry for your and your daughter’s pain … it’s so disappointing when people act like this. Much love and blessings xx

  14. Nicki

    I am so sorry for your daughter’s and your pain. It is very hard to explain to a child, teenager why we adults – not all us – act the way we do sometimes. Know that your support will carry her through this time. If you need anything, let me know.

  15. Certainly something I can understand, on so many levels, and wish you and your daughter were not living through.

    The repercussions of those broken promises – and more – are very damaging. As parents, we don’t know exactly in what ways, but we’re left with damage control duties for years.

    She knows she has you, and the rest of her family. That’s a great deal – and a great deal for you to be proud of.

  16. This is heartbreaking. There are only so many people in the world you can fully trust, and your parents are supposed to be two of them. So sorry~

  17. Jane, I’m so sorry for all of it. No child deserves to feel the way she does. Ever. But you’ve been through some rough stuff in your life and she has a wonderful example of how to be strong an gracious. I know she’ll get through this. She’s your girl, right?

  18. Jane: I am so sorry you and your daugther are going through this. With your guidance, she will overcome and although I am certain it is hard to act with grace sometimes, I am confident that you will do your best to do so. Sending you hugs Jane.

  19. My son said to me the other day “I’m not sure why I chose the life I did Mom…or why anyone would ever chose a life where something really bad happened to them…but I must have chosen my life for a reason and I think I will find out in time that it was the right reason.”
    I am sorry your heart is hurting both for the choices you made and the heartbreak your daughter has to experience. She is very lucky she also chosen you to be apart of her life journey.

  20. If only we knew then what we know now. A familiar refrain. I know exactly where you are, having experienced much the same kind of thing. A man I loved, but when I was far too young, who grew up in a dysfunctional family and had no idea what a loving family was, therefore was completely unable to function as a father. A man who spent his life trying to escape instead of dealing with and making the best of, and appreciating the good in, until I could no longer live with it. Dreadfully unfair to the kids, but would continuing to live that way have been more fair? I think not. It’s tough, and it took my kids a long time to come to terms with what their father was and is, but I think they have. Your daughter will deal, with your love and your husband’s love.

  21. It sounds horrible, and I wish there was something we could do to help your daughter feel worthy of being loved. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to see this situation and see the way it affects her…
    I hope she can see how many people here have been in the same situation and are supportive of her.

  22. I am your daughter; this could be my story. And it sucks. I am so sorry she is going through this and feels this way. As long as you are there for her, she will be ok. The pain won’t go away but it will ebb a little.

  23. Wow, sounds EXACTLY like my husband’s first marriage. in fact his lawyer told him that his ex would probably make up abuse allegations and he insisted that this was not something she would ever do. Guess what? She did. Unfortunately he ended up screwed in the end, he sees his daughter only a handful of times a year.

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