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I have a daughter 32 and a son 26. Their dad and I are divorced 11yrs. I am learning that my kids have been playing between their parents all of these years.
Their Dad and I do not get along, he is a nice criminal as I call him. He is a real con-artist and being the path of the least resistance, he is who they chose to go to as teenagers. It hurt me so bad. I was the one who was there for them and took care of them.
They have listened to his advice and ended up with problems in which I step in to help get things straightened out. He has done a lot of bad things to our kids but they continue to invest in him when it is convenient for them.
His life has never been good financially, he is a person that is always thinking of an angle and has a record for embezzling grain from when we farmed. I am respected, have my own business, re-married happily for 7yrs. and have a successful life.
I feel my kids have unresolved anger. They both get mad and say mean things. My son once told me to "go f--- myself", I feel if their Dad was a good Dad he would have told our son that is not allowed but I think their Dad loves this.
My kids make poor choices with their Dad's urging and when I disagree then I am the bad guy and they proceed to bully me and treat me bad. This hurts me so much as a matter of fact they are tearing out my heart.
This time I am afraid the damage is so serious it will be a long time if ever we have contact. My family and friends who have seen years of this tell me not to speak to them, to wait some time so they can see they don't have me anymore.
I try to listen but I beat myself up and cave in. They are so angry. I had counseling set for them years ago but their Dad told them they didn't need it. I have told them they need to get help. Thanks.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Bonnie, and thanks for telling your story here. I know this is very frustrating and painful for you. You love your son and daughter very much, and of course that makes the pain worse when they hurt you. I will try to help.
Have you ever heart the statement, "love is letting go"? I think that is what you're facing here. Love is the ideal guiding force in all family relationships, and sometimes it requires letting go. Holding on, trying to get them to change, trying to get help for them that they don't want, allowing them to bully you...that is not love. As a matter of fact, those things can put tremendous barriers between you and those you love.
Accept the fact that these two young people are adults, and responsible for their actions. They are influenced by you and their father, but they are also responsible for their choices. If you let them go, they can come back to you. If you continue to try to create a relationship while they are disrespectful to you, they will only resist. No one will benefit from counseling unless it is their own initiative that gets them into the sessions.
Trust in the love that is between you, as you let go. Focus on your own life, and trust that they will make good choices in theirs, even if all of the evidence suggests otherwise. Believe the best of them.
Stay in touch, with cards, etc. on special occasions, but let the rest be up to them. You need to send them the message that they will treat you with respect or they will not have the pleasure of your company.
Meanwhile, create as much joy and love in your life as you possibly can. Believe in yourself and the good foundation you created in your relationship with your son and daughter.
My very best to you,
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