Now what do I do??

United States
July 23, 2007 2:46pm CST
As of yesterday, my family is separated. My hubby now has an apartment and has moved out. My two youngest daughters are staying with friends and refusing to return home. They are almost adults. So it is just me and the dogs at the house. A situation arose that has created a huge rift within the family. I asked my hubby to leave the home and get a psychiatrist to find out why he has done what he has done. There have been many problems over the past 17 years of marriage. There have been many counselors also. Yet, after a full year of hard work, another incident has occurred. We were so close to holding hands again. Many years ago, he destroyed our relationship as a married couple. This time he destroyed his step-father/step-daughter relationship with my oldest daughter. She is a single mom with two children of her own and does not live with us. I am torn between my hubby and my daughter. It is not fair to me and the other two daughters. He let me down, again. I feel like 17 years of marriage and father/daughter relationship has been flushed. The bowl is empty. The bowl will eventually fill with fresh water but not today. Through the past few days, we have discovered what she has been up to and trust me, it is not pretty. I am so disappointed in her. So what do I do now?? So far, I talk to the dogs when I am at home. The younger girls call me or come by to visit every day. They are not mad at me or my hubby. They were sent out of the home so hubby and I could talk without interruption. They did not need to be present for this conversation. Amazingly, we actually did talk. No yelling, no screaming, no fighting. We made the decision to separate. I think the younger girls are having a hard time accepting this decision. Whereas, the oldest daughter feels she won something. She has not come to visit and has tried to blackmail me with "if I don't do what she wants, then I will not get to see my grandchildren." I don't react well to threats or blackmail-type threats. From my side of the block, she is cutting her own throat. My view is: she has broke rank with the family. This is not a good thing in our family. I am mad and disappointed with her. I raised her better and I know it. I am mad and disappointed with my hubby also. He broke my heart yet again. It is time for him to clearly learn that there are consequences to his actions. Ok, peoples................Your turn. What is your view? What would you do if you were caught between family members who are fighting? Would you choose one over the other and if so, why??
16 people like this
20 responses
@ArmyChick (490)
• United States
23 Jul 07
well, i dont know what happened with your family, and apparently you dont want to go into details. but from my point of view, you should tell your daughter to grow up. she will need you way before you need her. now if she has a legit reason as to not wanting you to be with your husband, like if he molested her or something like that, you shouldnt chose your husband. your daughter is blood. and at the same time, she should understand that you did not raise her to act out like she is. and then on the other hand, your husband should be man enough not to come between you and your daughter. unless again, there is something between the two of them that has occured. i know this isnt much help, but in the end, you have to decide. what ever the problem is, do you want to give in to your daughter and let her win when she didnt deserve it or let your husband come between blood. your daughter is a grown woman. i feel that no matter what the age, once you have a child you are grown. she needs to worry about her child and not you and your husband. im sorry that you are going through this. but dont let your daughter use your grand children against you. if you let her do it this time, she will always do it. again, she will need you more than you will ever need her. she will come around. just wait it out. but if you let her do it this time, i promise you, she will see this as leverage and do it every time she doesnt get her way.
4 people like this
• United States
23 Jul 07
You are right. I am deliberately not going into details here. My hubby is accepting responsibility for his actions. This is not an abusive situation. They had a wonderful bond before this happened. She would always go to him for advice and help with her college homework. I have a lot of support from other family members. They have told me the same thing. At this point, I am in control. I know I should move slowly and make all decisions carefully. This is where my daughter and I are in conflict. She wants me to side with her, to make snap decisions and to make the decisions that make her happy. I can't do that. I have many people to take into consideration.
2 people like this
@babyfuzz (1079)
• Philippines
24 Jul 07
wow! you're comment/advice hit me, armychick. i can relate to royal52gens since i have a sister who acts like her daughter. this past year was crazy for me. my mom is getting paranoid over the slightest matters. my father seemed non-chalant until i butt in. i thought it over first if i had to come between since it was their problem. but then, i felt that i was getting involved. i was pregnant then, so i was overly sentimental. i was so stressed about the situation that i need to get out of the house to relax. about my sister, she's a family of her own too. 3 boys. she's older than me but acts like a child. just like royal52gens' daughter. no offense, but i think she's acting childish saying those words: "you're not gonna see you're grandchildren". and because of my sis' childishness, we were on the rocks eversince she got married. anyway, before i get touchy remembering "our" situation, i guess you're right, royal52gens to take into considerations first the people involved. you can't take sides. they say, that mothers are the ones in charge in the family... emotionally speaking. maybe it's our role to tie those loose ends.
@jennifer611 (2500)
• United States
23 Jul 07
I would have to say that if it were my child, I'd probably choose them, that is my honest opinion. I wouldn't want to kick my daughter to the side. even if they did say hurtful things, which kids can sometimes do no matter what age they are.. I dont know your situation, Im sorry your having to go through it and I wish you the best. Maybe you guys can get this all worked out and everyone can get along. I know that it's hard to start over after being in a long marriage, but I also know that it is possible. if you guys choose not to get back together life does move on and things become easier. at first its kinda weired being alone again but soon it becomes easier and you become used to it. maybe you will meet a great guy, who knows.. maybe to get your mind off things you could make a day to hang out with an old friend or a sister or a cousin or something. its a little easier when u have people around.. Prayer also works, and I will keep you in mine. God Bless & Good Luck!
3 people like this
• United States
23 Jul 07
I have been through a nasty divorce and was single for many years before this marriage. I really do not want a divorce to occur with this marriage. I can see a separation but not a divorce. We have a lot to work out with a therapist. We are close to retirement age. This is no time to quit or give up. Our oldest daughter just got divorced herself. She has her own issues to deal with. In a lot of ways, I can't help her any more. She does not want my help unless I do what she wants.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5969)
• Etowah, Tennessee
25 Jul 07
Sorry that you are having problems. I will pray for you and your family. As for what I would do, I guess like you I would not choose sides. If one was clearly wrong and the other was not then that would be different, but from what I am getting, and it isn't a lot, but I feel that both were as much at fault in different ways. The threats from your oldest are manipulative and I would not let her use tactics like that. Using children as a bargaining tool is childish, and uncalled for in any situation. It hurts the kids as much as it would hurt you. I would be mad over that alone, not to mention any other behavior on top of that. If your hubby agrees that he will go to counseling, then there is hope. We all have problems. Sometime it takes a neutral person to help us figure out what and why we are doing what we do. No one is without faults, and the desire or willingness to fix those faults is half the battle. You are a calm, thoughtful person and I am sure that you will do the right thing. Remember that you have great friends to talk to if you need some one other than the dogs to talk to. We love you and hate to 'see' you upset.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5969)
• Etowah, Tennessee
26 Jul 07
I have also found that GS has helped me a lot. It keeps me grounded, and flying in all different directions at the same time! LOL Someone just reminded me of one of my favorite sayings; " You are strong and smart. You WILL get through this!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jul 07
True, oh so true.
@tammyr (5969)
• Etowah, Tennessee
27 Jul 07
Well my 'saying' didn't post!? God never gives us more than we can handle!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 07
if there is any incest involved ..though not biological...then he should not come back..you should maybe get some counseling to help you feel better about yourself...
2 people like this
• United States
24 Jul 07
Incest is not the problem. It is more of a relationship issue. We are a blended family. Interacting with each other has not always been easy. We have had our good times and our bad times. This is one of the worst bad times. As Confucious says: "This too will pass." I hope as it passes we find resolution. I am getting too old for this stuff.
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
24 Jul 07
Am so sorry that this strife has entered your world. For 17 years this has been heading to this time. I do hope that things will find a way to work out. It could. I have high hopes that you are comfortable in the house with your dogs that are faithful. Glad that younger daughters come by still and visit. I think that time is your best friend. You might find that now you are in the house alone. I hope that what is meant to be... occurs and that you come out on top. Healthy, happy, and able to share with anyone healthy enough to be in your life. If you need any tips on maintaining contact with grandbabies I have some I could share. Also what to do during the waiting time til they are older and come looking for you. Take care!
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
24 Jul 07
In the majority of cases, royal, I would have to say that a wife's place is beside her husband. However, I wouldn't want to say so in your case since I don't have all the details. Your children have the power to hurt you more than anyone, I think. This daughter of yours should be ashamed of herself for causing a rift in the family like this. I would not give in to her blackmail threats. There are laws in place in most states that will give you grandparental rights. I really hope that you and your man can work it out, but if you can't you must move on with your life.
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
23 Jul 07
Sweetie first of all let me say I am so sorry this has happened I really am I do not know the ins and out but I think both are being punished and that is fair enough as for your Daughter I think she owes you one big Apology, I am also glad that you do not go for Blackmail, she will be the one hurting the Kids I am hoping that you will be ok and you know where I am if you need me Sweetie. Love and a big Hug to you xxxx
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 07
I am a survivor. I will teach my family how to be survivors. Thank you so much for being here for me. I love all the emails that you send to me. You make me smile when times are tough. Tough times don't last, Tough people do.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
23 Jul 07
Thats like me then as you know that I have survived a lot Good on you Girl xxx
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 07
Lizzie and Gizmo are depressed. I worry about them also. I can not believe how this situation has even affected the dogs. They mope around the house looking for the girls. And when the girls come to visit or pick something up, they get so excited. Gizmo gives me hugs and tries to sit in my lap. They sleep a lot also. Maybe Gissi can cheer them up.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9925)
• United States
24 Jul 07
Hon, I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of that. I am hoping and praying that it all works out for you and your family. In answer to your question, I would also have a difficult time deciding what I wanted to do. I always said that if given an ultimatum, I would choose my kids no matter what. But still, it would be a very painful decision. From what you have said, your husband definitely needs to get his priorities straightened out. And your daughters, at least the eldest one, needs to stop adding to your stress by telling you "either or". Seventeen years is a long time to just give up on. But I think you have done the right thing by separating for a while. Hopefully it will give him a major reality check. I don't know if I helped you out any by my opinions or not hon. But I'm here for you if you need a shoulder.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 07
If my daughter was a child, I would probably side with her to protect her. But sadly, she is a grown adult woman with children of her own. She has learned to say mean and hurtful things. I miss the days when I could ground her to her room. I am not giving up, just re-organizing my life and the life of my family. This separation could be a good thing for my hubby. I am thankful to have you in my life.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9925)
• United States
24 Jul 07
She must be having a hard time dealing with things, and probably has had all along. Maybe that's why she says and does things in such a dramatic way. I don't know. But it's not right for her to do that to you, especially considering the pain you are feeling right now. I wish I lived closer so that I could really be there for you, not just on the internet. Remember, you can email me any time for anything at all, even if it's just to vent.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Aug 07
Thank you so much for being here for me. I appreciate it very much. Totty recently helped me to find my sense of humor again. That helped a lot. Laughter truly can be helpful. I love the smile of your cat.
1 person likes this
@kelly60 (4550)
• United States
23 Jul 07
Without knowing details, it is hard to say what I would do, although I wouldn't want to choose one over the other unless there were a very good reason. In the case of child molestation or something along those lines, I would always take the side of the child against the husband. For most other cases, I would try to stay neutral. I would not allow her to use your grandchildren against you though. Once you give her that leverage, you may be up for a constant struggle.
• United States
23 Jul 07
I agree with you in the case of child molestation. I also would immediately side with the child. But this is not the case here. I am trying real hard to remain neutral. I want to see what a professional psychiatrist has to say about the issue. I also would like my two younger daughters to return home in a timely fashion. I am trying not to push them too hard. They are teenagers. Ordering them around right now would not be of any benefit. That would just cause more family friction. Thank you for responding.
• United States
6 Aug 07
A quick update: The girls have returned home and settled back in. They are getting back to their normal activities. Today, band camp starts so they have been practicing their music and this morning, they are gone to school. They love their music and it is a great outlet for them. Hubby is getting settled in his apartment down in the city. He comes back to the house on the weekends to help out and visit with us. This last weekend, we took our trip to Indiana that had been planned before all this stuff happened. I think it was good for the four of us to spend that time together. For awhile, we probably should just take things in small amounts. I have not had a lot of contact with the adult daughter that lives outside the home. It might be better that way, at least for right now.
• United States
25 Jul 07
I am sorry for what has happened to you because I know if must be stressful, at least. However, I do not know what I would do because I do not know what happened and what is really going on.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jul 07
Oh yes! This has been a high stress situation. I am just taking it one day at a time. Sometimes, one hour at a time.
1 person likes this
@jeyani (58)
• India
24 Jul 07
it is better to stay neutral and try to sort out problems.also depend on prayers as it will give you strength to deal with them.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jul 07
Yes, I am trying to stay neutral. Sort out the problems will help to bring resolutions. Thank you for your prayers.
1 person likes this
@gardengrrl (1445)
• United States
24 Jul 07
Hi, royal52gens! Very sorry for your pain, and your family's. You sound like you are doing the best you can, moving slowly and carefully, seeking help before you do anything to make the rift bigger. You are in a difficult place, my friend. My almost-SIL has a daughter who got mad at her a bunch of years ago, stopped taking her calls or allowing her to see the grandson. She's still acting this way now, even thought there is a real possibility that a-SIL will die in less than a year. Personally, I'd like to punch the daughter in the face, but that won't solve the problem...! I don't have a good solution, I'm sorry to say, but I hope and pray that you will be able to work through this and the rift in your family will be healed. Bless you for your patience, hang in there, my friend!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 07
It seems that we, as humans, are hardest on our own families. Why is it that we can help others easier than helping ourselves?? Is is because we are looking from the outside that we can see more clearly? There are times I just want to throttle my daughter. She definitely tries my patience. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers.
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13398)
• United States
24 Jul 07
I am so sorry to hear about what is happening with your family. I know it must be very hard on you and your children. I would have to say that I would choose your daughters over your husband. They seem to really love and care about you, unlike your husband. I would try and talk some sense into your older daughter. She sounds immature and has some issues that maybe you two can talk about and work out. That is great that you and your youngest daughters get along great and communicate often.
• United States
24 Jul 07
I am trying to avoid siding with any one particular family member. That would just add more friction. I do the best I can for my family. My hubby loves me. We made this decision to separate together. Our life has not been without problems before. He needs to have time to himself. We are getting help for him to figure out why he keeps sabotaging his relationships. He loves his family and values his family enough to seek out help. My oldest daughter also needs to seek out her own counsel but I don't know if she will do it. Yes, she has some issues that need to be dealt with. Communication has to be increased all the way around.
@wisedragon (2331)
• Philippines
24 Jul 07
It's difficult to give an answer without the details, because it really depends what your husband has done, and what your daughter has done. For me you should exercise caution in taking sides. However, if it is clear who has done bad and who is innocent, then you can take the side of the innocent. In the meantime, let them grow up. They are adults and they should act like one. No family is perfect and oftentimes you have to tolerate those imperfections in order to succeed as a family. Change what you can change. Accept what you cannot change.
@MsTickle (24756)
• Australia
26 Jul 07
Serenity, peace of mind - Serenity, the path to peace.
Dear royal...sending you a big loving hug so you know I truly care. I don't know the details but from what you've said here I believe I can relate to this. As a family every one of you is in a no win situation. Thast's the bottom line as I see it. All any of you can do is pick up the pieces...just the good bits, and move forward and learn from what has happened. The Serenity Prayer God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time;Enjoying one moment at a time;Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 07
Well you've left us with only that your hubby and you have split, he did something that I'm guessing had to do with your daughter, and she's mad. That's not enough to go on. I understand though that you don't want to air your dirty laundry on here but without knowing what really happened I couldn't say what I would do or where my loyalties would stand. Plus I also don't know your daughter or hubby so it's hard to say with that too. But I have always maintained that if I had children my kids would always come first. As I would hope my hubby would be the same way. Yet every circumstance is different and without knowing the specifics I really don't know what I would do. But if I had to then yes I would chose one over the other. Especially in the case of my daughter and grandkids.
1 person likes this
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
24 Jul 07
This is so sad. Not knowing all the details I can;t say for sure what I would do but I think I know what you are talking about and if I am right here is what I would do. Your daughter is obviously an adult and whagtever happened between her and your husband she had the option of saying NO just as much as he did. If this were my daughter I would tell her that even though she was my daughter I did not like her at all at this point in time. I would also tell her that if she chooses to keep the grandchildren away from you then so be it but you will not be threatened or blackmailed because of them. Remind her that those children will get older and may choose to come and visit you of their own accord and ask why you never saw them. Tell her that you will never lie to them and intend to tell them exactly what went on between her and your husband that destroyed the whole family. Maybe that will shake her out of her tree. Good luck with this - I will keep you in my thoughts.
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
24 Jul 07
I don't know all the circumstances but it sounds to me like you need to take this opportunity to focus on healing and nurturing yourself. Use the time and space to get better acquainted with the inner you, what you really want out of life, what you really would like to do with your future. You have no control over other people, so don't waste your energy and focus on their choices and behaviors. Journal. Get a workbook that will lead your journally to discover what you want to make of your life. As you become healthier, more whole, the people in your life will benefit from your example. But don't do it for them. Do it for yourself. You have much to offer in a world that has great need. Find your place in it and dedicate your life to making the world better, beginning within you. That's my advice. You asked for it. :-)
• United States
24 Jul 07
wow lot of detail there
• United States
24 Jul 07
Now I know what a star with a 1 looks like. You can change that by making sure you always respond with 3 to 5 sentences. It took me awhile to learn that one too. Congrats on achieving 100 postings.
@mybizla (136)
• Malaysia
24 Jul 07
do nothing just stay where ever you are. don't make a stupid thing, that all...