I went through an awful divorce after 20 years of marriage, very painful, contentious and awful. A few years later my daughter got married. She told each of her parents that if we were not civil/pleasant to each other at her family events we would not be invited to her family events ever again. period. We found a way to be civil to each other and within a few years we were friends again - even though he had remarried within weeks of the divorce and it had all been soooo painful. I felt my daughter's limit setting was wise beyond her years. Do not put your children in the middle of your battles. If the other parent is an awful person, let the kids discover it themselves. Be pleasant. I found ways to speak pleasantly...not right away, but soon. It's a healthy way of putting your kids first. Looking back, it also helped me see the fault in the divorce was shared. I was glad my anger was moderated. It helped me keep the good memories. It removed the anguish and taint. When he died, just shy of 50. I felt like I had lost a life long friend.... and it WAS an acrimonious divorce. Let the Savior heal your heart and help you see where you can improve.
I think both her former husband and his new wife need to be called into a Church court and asked to account for their behavior. It appears they were involved with each other while he was still married.
If I were her, I would see his bishop and request it.
Wow. What a messed up relationship. The ex-husband and kids were able to keep this secret for 5 years. That takes some serious work. And they all thought it must be worth it. They obviously knew mom would not deal with it well. Are they protecting themselves from her wrath, or are they protecting her from being devastated by the news. The former makes sense. The latter indicates a woman who needs some serious help if she can't move on at this point.
What in the world gave her the idea all these years that she was going to patch up the relationship? Were the kids feeding her hope? Was the ex-husband leading her on? Lots of untold story here. What a miserable way to have to live for all involved.
I think she has every right, indeed need, to confront her children about their behavior. This dishonesty lasted for five years. She needs to know why. Why would they place their father's request above her need to know the truth? It seems they have some serious need for repentance. They have shown no respect for their mother's feelings whatsoever.
As for the ex-husband, what a piece of work. Let us only hope he is not LDS. We do not need people like him in the Church.
I read the letter and finished with several extremely forceful things I would tell the letter writer. But, as I carefully read the reply, I was impressed that your reply addressed all the forceful thoughts I had and put them in a clearer perspective. Well Done! I think the biggest thing the letter writer is facing is forgiving her children for keeping the secret. I pray that she has the strength to find out why they kept the secret and then, whether she agrees with their reasons or not, have the strength to forgive them. It going to be tough, but I hope she can do it! Thank you for this column!
This sister is in desperate need of counseling. To have left herself in stasis for five years in the hopes of remarrying, then she is carrying a weight which is no longer her's. Although we know nothing of what caused the rift leading to divorce, nor her past and his, issues it is time for her to move ahead in her own reclamation of self.
When she talks to her children, it needs to be respectful and gentle and definitely not confrontational or screaming. If the latter is her communication style, then there is no doubt as to why her children kept things from her. It is up to her to discover the whys and wherefores and that can only be done through therapy, reading the scriptures and having in-depth prayers with God.
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