Author Topic: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter  (Read 28516 times)

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Eeep!

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #135 on: August 19, 2013, 02:47:14 PM »
If she really is as happy as she claims one would think her interactions with her kids would be even kinder and more gracious, not petty, insulting and mean-spirited.


Good point!
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

MrTango

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #136 on: August 19, 2013, 02:48:35 PM »
While I agree that perhaps her mean text to the OP could be considered a "fit", her subsequent action of choosing to ignore the OP repeated attempts to even communicate with her crosses over into a decision.  And sadly it is likely one that can't merely be "smoothed over".

And even if things can be smoothed over, the OP needs to ask herself if they should be.

It may be an emotional time, but that is no excuse for not being an adult, and realizing that the OP is not under any obligation to accept her new man as a father figure.

I completely agree.

Cami

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #137 on: August 19, 2013, 02:48:57 PM »
It may be an emotional time, but that is no excuse for not being an adult, and realizing that the OP is not under any obligation to accept her new man as a father figure.
  One truth I've learned is that crisis and emotional situations do not build character, they reveal it. The OP's mother has revealed her character and her priorities.

Goosey

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #138 on: August 19, 2013, 02:49:44 PM »
Her actions are definitely deserving of condemnation even if I understand the emotion behind them :)

I think what most bothers me is the tone of "she ruined the family by divorcing the dad!" or "she moved on too quickly to a new relationship!"

cutejellybeen

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #139 on: August 19, 2013, 02:50:31 PM »
Goosey, I just want to look at what you're saying from my experience. My parents separated two yrs ago - my stepmother (who has raised me since my mother passed and I call mom) should have left my dad yrs ago as they've been unhappy for so long. At first it was relatively amicable,  but as soon as whispers of my mom moving on came out, all of a sudden everyone was against her, and it was allegdged that she had been cheating on my father for years. Regardless of the truth, my mom is has now been with her new partner a year. My brothers arent accepting of him, (they are teenagers) and so my mom only sees him when they arent around. I do spend time with them, but thats my choice. My mother never forced us to play happy families with him.

my point is, you can wait yrs to be happy, but when you are, you have to respect that not everyone can make that jump with you immediately. Hollyandra's mother telling her she is welcome in the new family is hurtful, and does to me say that her mother now views robert and ally as her family, with Hollyandra as optional and thats very painful.Even though she did attempt to leave a marriage by the divorce and not the children, her actions are pushing her children away. Even if this is just a phase for her mother and is because she is emotional, is no reason hollyandra should have to forgive her or even have to understand. If a friend had treated her this badly no one would be saying to give the friend more time, so I dont see why she should have to put her hurt aside to repair the relationship with her mother unless she wants to. I honestly think the only person who needs to be more understanding is the mother. Even as adults we are still our parents children, and what they do affects us.



bloo

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #140 on: August 19, 2013, 02:51:57 PM »
I think it's important to remember that your mom is also going through a lot now - the end of the marriage, the anger of her children, etc. Please note that I'm not saying you're not entitled to those feelings.

She took a big step towards becoming a happier person and she wants to share that happiness with you and is craving your acceptance of her new life - a life she's been waiting to live - and she's reacting very emotionally to not receiving that acceptance because of her own feelings on the matter. She may be feeling a lot of resentment/blame coming from her kids for putting herself first in divorcing your father (thus the comment about putting you first for 20 odd years) and is dealing with that guilt.

The guy she's dating seriously overstepped boundaries (and his daughter, but maybe she doesn't know the whole story) and probably did it because he saw how upset/hurt/guilty your mother felt and wanted to bridge connections. He's probably heard from your mother about how upset everyone is and how everyone feels bad for your dad because he still loves her, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see "creepy", I see defensive, supportive, clueless and enthusiastic. But not creepy. Your mother is going through a lot right now. She's found a lot of emotional support from this guy and is probably looking for reassurance that she is not a bad person or a bad mother for divorcing from a man who couldn't make her happy and 4 months feels like long enough to wait when you've been in an unhappy marriage for a long time.

You guys not wanting to move on right now is understandable. You feel bad for your dad because he still loves her, you feel bad for yourselves because your parents split, you feel resentment towards your mother from moving on in what, to you, must seem like such a short amount of time. But, a previous poster said you are recovering from the "loss" of your family. You haven't lost your family. Your parents split, but they're still there. You're recovering from a big change in your family.

Unless there's some history I don't know, your mom is not a villain.

I guess, what I would do is say, "Mom, I love you. I want you to be happy. This is a huge change for me and I'm still adjusting. Please understand".

I really appreciate your obviously well-thought out insights, Goosey, but I don't fundamentally agree.

Creepy is an acceptable word to describe their presumptuous contact. Personally, I'd be creeped out by those texts. I get creeped out when people are too forward.

Also, the OP did experience a loss. The family as she knew it, is gone. No more going back to Mom and Dad's house for milestones or holidays, but two houses. Change = loss in this regard.

I also don't need backstory. OP doesn't mention that the divorce occurred for any other reason than Mom's unhappiness. In other words, no abuse, addiction or adultery. So vows mean something. Unhappy? Both could have gone to marriage counseling and tried to fix it. That's my opinion about divorce (it's a nuclear bomb and should only be detonated for huge reasons). My reason for giving that opinion is that Mom should be bending over backwards to be sensitive to EVERYBODY including her ex. The use of the term 'villain' may be harsh, but I already don't like her.

In spite of that, you've managed to put a more positive light the OP could view things so that she doesn't waste a lot of time nursing hurt or upset.

Erich L-ster

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #141 on: August 19, 2013, 02:56:13 PM »
I'm just asking to look at the human aspect of it before telling her that her mother is obviously a bad person and she should wash her hands of her.


I would say her mother is being an unreasonable person and OP should temporarily wash her hands of her.

Goosey

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #142 on: August 19, 2013, 03:00:13 PM »
Goosey, I just want to look at what you're saying from my experience. My parents separated two yrs ago - my stepmother (who has raised me since my mother passed and I call mom) should have left my dad yrs ago as they've been unhappy for so long. At first it was relatively amicable,  but as soon as whispers of my mom moving on came out, all of a sudden everyone was against her, and it was allegdged that she had been cheating on my father for years. Regardless of the truth, my mom is has now been with her new partner a year. My brothers arent accepting of him, (they are teenagers) and so my mom only sees him when they arent around. I do spend time with them, but thats my choice. My mother never forced us to play happy families with him.

my point is, you can wait yrs to be happy, but when you are, you have to respect that not everyone can make that jump with you immediately. Hollyandra's mother telling her she is welcome in the new family is hurtful, and does to me say that her mother now views robert and ally as her family, with Hollyandra as optional and thats very painful.Even though she did attempt to leave a marriage by the divorce and not the children, her actions are pushing her children away. Even if this is just a phase for her mother and is because she is emotional, is no reason hollyandra should have to forgive her or even have to understand. If a friend had treated her this badly no one would be saying to give the friend more time, so I dont see why she should have to put her hurt aside to repair the relationship with her mother unless she wants to. I honestly think the only person who needs to be more understanding is the mother. Even as adults we are still our parents children, and what they do affects us.

Definitely, and I've repeatedly agreed she is pushing too hard. I just understand why. From my perspective, my only response at this time would be "I love you, I want you to be happy, I can't cope with this change at this time" and leave it at that. No begging, no pleading, just an acknowledgement. It's not needed and the OP should definitely not beg for her attention back, but I really, really do not think the OP's mother is a Bad Person. I encourage the OP to look at the emotional aspect of it more for the OP's sake than anything - for her to see that it's not really about her. It's about the OP's mom and her unreasonable (at this time) desires and her visions of a rosey future that aren't coming into play and THAT'S why she's acting like this - not because the OP did anything wrong or because the OP's mother doesn't love her anymore or because the OP's mother is replacing her with a new family. She's taking her guilt and anger at the guilt out on anyone she that is making her feel guilty by not accepting her new life right away. Totally on her. But not evil. Just a really bad situation all around.

Bloo - I respect your opinions on divorce. I was assuming that, in this case, "unhappy" meant very much, irredeemably unhappy. I don't think anyone deserves that.

I'm just asking to look at the human aspect of it before telling her that her mother is obviously a bad person and she should wash her hands of her.
I would say her mother is being an unreasonable person and OP should temporarily wash her hands of her.
I agree with this.

Sharnita

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #143 on: August 19, 2013, 03:04:29 PM »
I think the problem with that advice is that Mom won't meet woth her or talk to her.

Goosey

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #144 on: August 19, 2013, 03:07:12 PM »
I think the problem with that advice is that Mom won't meet woth her or talk to her.

Text/email? Snail mail?

I think talking in person would be too emotional at this time anyways.  Mom needs to cool down and get her head on straight.

weeblewobble

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #145 on: August 19, 2013, 03:26:37 PM »
It boils down to this: I don't trust people who want to skip steps in a relationship to get to the "good stuff."  The good stuff being the intimacy, happiness and closeness that is built over time and earned through kindness, patience and dependability.  If someone isn't willing to put the time in to earn/build those things, I have to wonder whether they can/will be able present themselves as kind, patient or dependable. 

The OP's mother and her new "family" are not only skipping the steps of building their relationships, but they're expecting the OP to skip those steps as well.  If mom is comfortable moving that quickly, that's her choice, but she doesn't get to set the OP's boundaries for her.  OP's mother is saying, "Be happy for me, or at least fake being happy for me, and let me ignore your grieving process, because otherwise, I have to think about the choices I have made and how they affect the people around me."  That is not OK.

OP.  I've been using a saying around here a lot lately, "The best way to end a tug of war is to drop the rope."  Stop chasing after your mother.  She wants you to call and beg for her to contact you so she can put you in the position of apologizing.  She wants to escalate her silence so you feel more desperate, i.e. ignoring you on your birthday. So stop calling her.  She wants to ignore you, fine.  She can call you when she's ready.  In the meantime, you will be doing the work required to work through the pain resulting from your parents' divorce.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #146 on: August 19, 2013, 03:33:32 PM »
Goosey, I just want to look at what you're saying from my experience. My parents separated two yrs ago - my stepmother (who has raised me since my mother passed and I call mom) should have left my dad yrs ago as they've been unhappy for so long. At first it was relatively amicable,  but as soon as whispers of my mom moving on came out, all of a sudden everyone was against her, and it was allegdged that she had been cheating on my father for years. Regardless of the truth, my mom is has now been with her new partner a year. My brothers arent accepting of him, (they are teenagers) and so my mom only sees him when they arent around. I do spend time with them, but thats my choice. My mother never forced us to play happy families with him.

my point is, you can wait yrs to be happy, but when you are, you have to respect that not everyone can make that jump with you immediately. Hollyandra's mother telling her she is welcome in the new family is hurtful, and does to me say that her mother now views robert and ally as her family, with Hollyandra as optional and thats very painful.Even though she did attempt to leave a marriage by the divorce and not the children, her actions are pushing her children away. Even if this is just a phase for her mother and is because she is emotional, is no reason hollyandra should have to forgive her or even have to understand. If a friend had treated her this badly no one would be saying to give the friend more time, so I dont see why she should have to put her hurt aside to repair the relationship with her mother unless she wants to. I honestly think the only person who needs to be more understanding is the mother. Even as adults we are still our parents children, and what they do affects us.

Definitely, and I've repeatedly agreed she is pushing too hard. I just understand why. From my perspective, my only response at this time would be "I love you, I want you to be happy, I can't cope with this change at this time" and leave it at that. No begging, no pleading, just an acknowledgement. It's not needed and the OP should definitely not beg for her attention back, but I really, really do not think the OP's mother is a Bad Person. I encourage the OP to look at the emotional aspect of it more for the OP's sake than anything - for her to see that it's not really about her. It's about the OP's mom and her unreasonable (at this time) desires and her visions of a rosey future that aren't coming into play and THAT'S why she's acting like this - not because the OP did anything wrong or because the OP's mother doesn't love her anymore or because the OP's mother is replacing her with a new family. She's taking her guilt and anger at the guilt out on anyone she that is making her feel guilty by not accepting her new life right away. Totally on her. But not evil. Just a really bad situation all around.

Bloo - I respect your opinions on divorce. I was assuming that, in this case, "unhappy" meant very much, irredeemably unhappy. I don't think anyone deserves that.

I'm just asking to look at the human aspect of it before telling her that her mother is obviously a bad person and she should wash her hands of her.
I would say her mother is being an unreasonable person and OP should temporarily wash her hands of her.
I agree with this.
Goosey, I agree with your suggestion that I bolded above. But the issue is the OP has pretty much already dont that.
From the OP
Mother got into a new relationship 3 months later. Last week, she asked my siblings (Brother is 14 and Sister is 17) and I if we wanted to meet her new boyfriend. My brother and sister didn't want to and I thought it would be better if we all met him together at the right time. I politely explained this and said that seeing as it had only been 4 1/2 months since our parents had separated it felt a little too soon and perhaps to give it a few more months.

In response, her mother has chosen to completely cut her off. Is refusing to take her calls, or answer any of her attempts at contact.

I really do not understand how you can say you "understand why she is acting this way."  Maybe I'm misundertstanding what you mean by this phrase. If I say I "understand" why someone could act the way they are it usually means that I think their is a smidgeon of justification to their actions. That they interpretted something differently, or that they come from a differnt background, or that they didn't have all the facts. 

But I can not understand how a mother, even if in a euphoric emotional state based on new love, could behave this way.

TurtleDove

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #147 on: August 19, 2013, 03:34:24 PM »
I tend to think that if a parent cannot calmly wait for the support of her children when becoming seriously involved with a new partner, that parent needs to understand she is making a choice.  There is a difference between minor children and adult children, but I think the reality is that if a parent values her relationship with her children, she will value the child's (even adult child) opinion about a new partner.

For example, if a parent cheats on her spouse, I think it would be incredibly self-centered to expect children of the marriage to accept the new partner immediately (or ever, really). 

If a relationship simply ends in divorce, and a parent subsequently begins dating someone, it seems premature to involve children in the new relationship (whether minor children or adult children) until the relationship is solid and definitely "going somewhere."  For example, in my custody agreement, which I believe is relatively standard, neither my ex or I are to introduce our daughter to anyone we are dating unless and until we have been in a serious and committed relationship with that person for at least three months, and then only after discussing the introduction with the other parent.  Now, our child is quite young and I don't think divorced parents of adult children need to abide by the same decree, but I do think it makes sense to be certain yourself of a relationship before asking your children to be involved.

I recently married a man with three children, ages 21, 18 and 16.  I did not meet them as his "girlfriend" until we had been seriously dating for a few months, and we did not spend significant time together until he and I had decided as a couple that we were hoping to consolidate our families.  Neither of us believed in having our children "date."  He had dated other women since his divorce, some for years, and none of them had spent time with his children because while he was dating those women he was not thinking about actually creating a life with those people and he saw no reason for his children to date the women he was casually dating. He also was very clear with me that the opinion of his children mattered to him.  He wanted me to be myself around them, and if his children objected to our relationship he would have to really consider what he would do going forward.  Thankfully, they all approved.  :)

I guess my point is that it is not wrong for the mother to want a new and happy relationship.  However, she has gone about it horribly.

cwm

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #148 on: August 19, 2013, 03:43:56 PM »
It boils down to this: I don't trust people who want to skip steps in a relationship to get to the "good stuff."  The good stuff being the intimacy, happiness and closeness that is built over time and earned through kindness, patience and dependability.  If someone isn't willing to put the time in to earn/build those things, I have to wonder whether they can/will be able present themselves as kind, patient or dependable. 

The OP's mother and her new "family" are not only skipping the steps of building their relationships, but they're expecting the OP to skip those steps as well.  If mom is comfortable moving that quickly, that's her choice, but she doesn't get to set the OP's boundaries for her.  OP's mother is saying, "Be happy for me, or at least fake being happy for me, and let me ignore your grieving process, because otherwise, I have to think about the choices I have made and how they affect the people around me."  That is not OK.

OP.  I've been using a saying around here a lot lately, "The best way to end a tug of war is to drop the rope."  Stop chasing after your mother.  She wants you to call and beg for her to contact you so she can put you in the position of apologizing.  She wants to escalate her silence so you feel more desperate, i.e. ignoring you on your birthday. So stop calling her.  She wants to ignore you, fine.  She can call you when she's ready.  In the meantime, you will be doing the work required to work through the pain resulting from your parents' divorce.

I tend to think that if a parent cannot calmly wait for the support of her children when becoming seriously involved with a new partner, that parent needs to understand she is making a choice.  There is a difference between minor children and adult children, but I think the reality is that if a parent values her relationship with her children, she will value the child's (even adult child) opinion about a new partner.

For example, if a parent cheats on her spouse, I think it would be incredibly self-centered to expect children of the marriage to accept the new partner immediately (or ever, really).

These, especially the bolded, are part of the reason I don't have contact with my father any longer. He tried the same tactics OP's mom did, though his new wife and her children didn't reach out to me or my sister at any point. I dropped the rope. I walked away. And honestly, I feel better for it.

OP, you have to make a choice. You can keep trying to contact your mom on your terms, or you can walk away. But just because you walk away now doesn't mean that you'll never speak to her again, it just means you aren't speaking to her right now. Or until whatever criteria you have for continued contact have been met.

Honestly, I wish you the best. I know how much it hurts to have a parent acting like this. It hurts, it sucks, and it will take a while before it gets much better. But it does get better.

bloo

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Re: Awkward Texts From Mother's New Boyfriend and His Daughter
« Reply #149 on: August 19, 2013, 03:56:06 PM »
I recently married a man with three children, ages 21, 18 and 16.  I did not meet them as his "girlfriend" until we had been seriously dating for a few months, and we did not spend significant time together until he and I had decided as a couple that we were hoping to consolidate our families.  Neither of us believed in having our children "date."  He had dated other women since his divorce, some for years, and none of them had spent time with his children because while he was dating those women he was not thinking about actually creating a life with those people and he saw no reason for his children to date the women he was casually dating. He also was very clear with me that the opinion of his children mattered to him.  He wanted me to be myself around them, and if his children objected to our relationship he would have to really consider what he would do going forward.  Thankfully, they all approved.  :)

This is the best way to do it if it's to be done. Maybe part of their approval is your obvious respect for their feelings and that you weren't creepily pushing yourself on them. Well done.


ETA: Accidentally put my thoughts inside the quote.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 05:06:12 PM by bloo »