adultery, Betrayal, cheating, children, divorce, hypocrisy, in-laws, Janice Andrews, parenting after separation, relationships, single parent, the other woman

“You will always be our daughter-in-law”

Oh, the sentimental cliché that was uttered to me by my mother-in-law in the weeks following her realization that her son had in fact been cheating on me with another woman and had walked away from me and our children to pursue a relationship with Janice Andrews.

Fast forward 5 1/2 years and in that time there has been one phone call by my mother-in-law with my father-in-law on the other end and they brought me a birthday gift when they were in town 4 months later to see my daughter dance.  Then…crickets. I reached out once by email to my in-laws, including my brother-in-law, about my ex’s disturbing behavior and my concern but no response. They have been to visit their son at least once/year and never once have they called or wanted to see me. I have seen them in passing at my daughter’s dance recitals during their visit but that was it.  My father-in-law, in particular, especially during his visit this year, was extremely cold.

Two things got me thinking about this phrase. Firstly, I had coffee this morning with a friend of mine in her late 70’s and her husband in his 80’s. I have know their son and daughter-in-law for over 20 years.  Their daughter-in-law had an affair on their son over a year ago and destroyed their marriage. There is no chance of reconciliation. Yet, even though their son was betrayed (and the details and consequences for him as a result of the affair were severe–he lead a church and lost his job) have indicated she will always be their daughter-in-law and they have proven it by continuing to have a close and personal relationship with her. My friend told me, “I forgive her.”

We talked about another couple that we both know, who are my age with 2 girls the same age as my girls. They are part of our little circle of church connections who migrated to Vancouver Island at the same time and who have also recently split.  She told me that my girlfriend told her mother-in-law (we are also friends with her mother and father-in-law) she was so afraid she would lose her in the split.  Her mother-in-law replied, “You will always be my daughter-in-law” and they continue to hike and kayak together even though her mother-in-law has fallen into a deep depression over the split and also as a result of her husband’s recent Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.

My friend asked me this morning if I had a relationship with my in-laws.  They had met them at our house during one of their visits.  I told her that I did not.  She was sorry.  I didn’t cheat on their son so why did they betray me too? Why is that my friend is still able to embrace the daughter-in-law who has hurt her son and grandchildren and the rest of their family so cruelly and my in-laws don’t care about the mother who is trying so hard to raise their grandchildren despite everything their son has done to tear apart their lives.

Secondly, my ex sent me a bizarre email. This was a comment that he wrote at the end of a long rant about something completely unrelated:

Do you think (my mom’s name) would act or request the things you do? She was selfless and always acted with kindness and regard for others. She always made a point of being inclusive when others were trying to exclude, such as (my brother-in-law’s name). You should try acting and honouring your mother rather than being the antithesis of everything she was and stood for.”

I have no idea why my ex suddenly brought my mom into his email and I was trying to understand why he was feeling excluded.  He is correct that even after my sister and her husband separated my mom invited my brother-in-law to every birthday and special occasion dinner.  It caused tension sometimes, especially for my sister, but we all see now how beneficial it was to everyone in the family in the long run and how amazing my mom was to put her relationship with my sister on the line to do what she felt was right and loving for her grandchildren especially but for the family as a whole because we are all still family. My mom practiced love and would have without a doubt, if she was here, done the same for my ex.  I don’t think, however, he would have had the courage to step into her circle of love. A lot of my family did reach out to my ex after our split but he didn’t answer or return any of their calls.  My girls have asked him to do things with me and them together but he has always refused. I told my ex, I would do things with him and our girls and put everything aside for those moments they needed for their well-being but he would not even try. He excluded himself. If he loved my mom so much as he claims that he did, why isn’t he honouring her by acting the way he says she acted.  He loves to tell me what I “should” do and hold me to some standard while ignoring it himself. It is he who is the “antithesis”.

When I told my ex that I had no understanding of his comments about my mom and his feelings of being excluded in context to his email subject he responded:

“You’re exactly right you don’t understand. My point was that your mother didn’t take sides. She didn’t get caught up in the politics. She didn’t hold grudges. She didn’t try to paint people in a negative light. She looked for ways to try and draw people together despite difficult and challenging life situations. (My brother-in-law’s name) was a perfect example. He didn’t pay a dime of child or spousal support. Your sister didn’t want him around for family functions but your mother would always invite him. Make sure it was about the children and there being able to spend time with their Dad. Despite the fact that she may not have agreed or been happy with (my brother in-law’s name), she never spoke negatively in front of the kids and was trying to make the best of the situation. Completely opposite of what you have chosen to do.”

He praises my mom’s behavior but it is the complete opposite of what he and his family have done.  I have no intention of ever doing anything with Janice Andrews but I have offered on many occasions to do the “family” thing for my girls. Maybe my ex should be sending his praise of my mom’s nature to his parents.  After all, it was his mom that told my daughter this summer, “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but your dad is our son.”  In reality her words are backed up by “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but we choose to wish the mistress Happy Birthday on Facebook instead.”

 

 

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adultery, affair, anger, Betrayal, children, divorce, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, Janice Andrews, other woman, rejection

Saying “NO!” to a parent has bigger meaning

My younger daughter said to me on Wednesday night, “I was with dad from 5:15 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.”  She said that was the longest amount of time she had been with him and that it was awkward.  He picked her up at our home and then they picked up my other daughter at her work and went to the mall to look into my older daughter’s phone issues and to have dinner.  Three hours with their dad that involved about 1 hour of driving time to various places seemed so out of the ordinary to her that it was note worthy for her to mention it.

I asked her if she looked for the shoes and pants that she wanted for back to school when they were at the mall.  She said that she would not shop with her dad.  He has tried to buy her things in the past.  Once when they were in Vancouver she said he kept offering to buy this and that but she said, “No” to everything. When they were in Ontario this summer she had forgot her sunglasses and he offered to buy her a $40 pair because he felt she needed them and he told her that they looked good on her.  She wanted them as well but she refuses to let her dad think he can buy her things and some how that will make up for everything he took from her.  She would also never tell him what she really needs.

Janice, it was pointed out to me, is quite happy on the other hand for Dave to buy her everything. The only thing my daughter said that she has ever seen her buy in 5 plus years is an Imax movie ticket because she has a pass.  It is like my daughter feels as dirty as his whore if he spends money on her.  She does not want to be that person. She is the Taurus of the family and is very bull-headed and strong in her convictions. She is insightful and I am very proud of her for making a stand and putting up a boundary that she considers important to how she feels about herself and her relationship with her father.  Although when I reflect, I think that her saying “No” to him is her way of rejecting him. She is rejecting him the way he has done to her and continues to do to her on various levels.

On Saturday, she and I were about to go for a hike with our dog.  My older daughter came up and said, “Dad is picking us up at noon for lunch.”  My younger daughter was annoyed, “Why didn’t he text me to tell me?”  My older daughter remarked that he texted her and probably assumed that she would just tell her.  She looked at me and asked if she should still go on the hike or just stay at home and get ready.  I told her it wasn’t even 10:00 a.m. so we had time to go for a short hike. I got her back by 11:00 a.m. only for her to be told by her sister that their dad didn’t know she would be going for lunch too and he didn’t think he would be able to get her back in time to work at 4:00 p.m.  Now my younger daughter was even more annoyed.  She said to me, “Good thing I didn’t decide to not go on the hike.”  I felt so badly for her that I said that I would take her for lunch.  We left before her dad arrived.

That night she told me that she arranged to work during the school year on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Wednesday is the only night she doesn’t dance during the week and is the night that she usually has dinner with her dad. She told me, “I probably won’t be seeing dad at all next year.”  I suggested that maybe her dad would pick her up earlier after school on a night that she starts dance a little later so she can have a bite to eat with him and I reminded her that he would probably still try to pick her up every other Friday for dinner and maybe a lunch every other Saturday or Sunday.

The other thing she told me that seemed to bother her was that when she was in Ontario with Dave and his parents over the summer her nanny, Dave’s mom, said to her, “Your mom will always be my daughter-in-law but your dad is my son”, and then she hugged him.  I even cringed when she told me that happened because his mom told me as well that I would always be their daughter-in-law. She just skipped the part about putting her cheating son on a pedestal.  Regardless, they were just empty words.  There is zero relationship.  Twenty three years of fakeness because if there was any love or care for me and my children I would hear from them. To my daughter, she just heard her grandmother say that I am less than when I am the most important person in her life. Does she hear her grandmother say that she would choose her son over her, too?  What does that teach my child about love; who is worthy of her love and why (full blood relation, number of years known) when my daughter has experienced love and what must feel like hate and knows the truth about which parent has always been there for her and which parent rejected her.

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adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, divorce, ex spouse, family, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, infidelity, parenting after separation

Putting on a Show

I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning.  My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m.  She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.

My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley.  I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town.  Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.

We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m.  I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation.  My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family.  My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it.  He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others)  My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.

My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other.  My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family.  I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend.   She feels very duped by my ex.  She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie.  She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.

When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open.  Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing.  I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her.  My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot.  He wanted to know who from my family was there.  He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in.  My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.

We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad.  When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention.  He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece.  I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.

It was a proud and emotional evening.  A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada.  He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together.  He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc.  My ex was not a part of any of that.

It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission.  He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.

When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends.  The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance.  She said that he did but he left half way through.  Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.”    I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance.  She is going to remember that he left.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, childrent, divorce, family, in-laws, separation, travel

The ex takes a vacation

My ex, for the first time since our separation, took our girls on vacation.  He took them back to Ontario only because his parents paid for their flights with air miles and he was allowed to bring the other woman.

It will be interesting to see how that goes as both my ex’s mom was cheated on by my father-in-law and my ex’s brother was cheated on by his ex wife.  I know the feelings that were relived by both of them when I experienced the same thing and how devastated they were that it was their own son/brother causing the pain.  The other woman will always be judged by them and seen for what she did.  They loved me and she took that relationship away from them. She is a reminder to them of a very ugly period in their own lives. She is that symbol and she is the cause for the destruction of their son/brother’s family that they loved as it was part of them too. She is only with my ex because she found no issue with fooling around with a married man or tearing apart his family and they are strongly against that and what she stands for and represents.  The ripple effect of her actions did not miss my ex’s family and I suspect none of them will be too thrilled to spend a week with her.  I know my kids are not happy about it.  But I know everyone will pretend.  This is the first time my ex’s brother, his wife and their son will see my girls or my ex since our separation.

They were flying out very early on Thursday morning.  As such, my ex canceled taking my younger daughter to dinner on Tuesday and instead decided he would just take her Wednesday night and have her sleep over afterwards. On Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. my ex texted me the following:  “Please have the girls birth certificates ready for when I pick up (our younger daughter’s name) at 5:30. Thank you.”

Firstly, I have to say that I asked my ex to provide me with their flight details and he said that he didn’t have that information with him to give me at the time I asked.  He never did get me that information.  Anything I ask him for he refuses, denies, and avoids.  I still haven’t been reimbursed the $197 he owes me and I have incurred further expenses that he owes now too.  He is aware of this. It has been more than 3 weeks since I have provided him with receipts that he tried desperately to make sure I couldn’t get to him. Now he wants me to give him birth certificates.  I have no idea why these are needed? They aren’t needed. They are flying in Canada so all they have to have is government issued photo ID.  My older daughter has her driver’s license and my younger daughter has her passport.

So my response was : “You can have them in exchange for the cheque you owe me.  No cheque, no certificates.”

His response:  “You can’t hold me and the girls hostage (my name). I’ll have (his lawyer’s name) call (my lawyer’s name) in the morning.”

I told him about the other receipts I had for his reimbursement and that he could review them when he picks up our daughter and leave a cheque for those as well. These are all expenses he agreed to pay as per our mediation agreement.

His response:  “You can’t demand anything. I can pay items agreed upon in a reasonable time period not when you demand it. You can’t withhold giving me their travel documents. Legally, you have no grounds. I will get an order if necessary tomorrow and will ask for costs because of your unreasonable nature.”

I reminded him again of who has been unreasonable for 2 1/2 years and that 3 weeks to review receipts he agreed to pay in mediation especially when it is a binding, legal agreement is unreasonable. I also told him I just went through a big move, had so many boxes to unpack still that I didn’t even know if I could find birth certificates.  This is true.  I kept out my daughter and my passports and put those in my purse but all other documents are boxed up together in my filing case.  My ex told me I would hear from my lawyer in the morning. He added that his demand of a birth certificate is not unreasonable and what a joke if I wouldn’t provide them. He added, “And you wonder why people don’t want to help you??”

I responded, “And reimbursing me for expenses you owe is so unreasonable.”

He texted back, “That has nothing to do with your responsibility to provide their travel documents. I’m not wasting time discussing with you. You can pay your lawyer $300/hour to tell you to provide them.” Then he went on to say that I have his birth certificate and social insurance number, too so for me to get those ready to give him along with another cheque for my lawyer.  I don’t have any of his documents.  I gave him all of his stuff 2 1/2 years ago.

I started to think that he let his passport expire.  I know he never renewed my older daughter’s passport.  I gave her an application to get this done as well as her expired passport.  I followed up with her to do it and she kept saying her dad was going to do it and fast track it but it never got done.  I knew my older daughter had her driver’s license and that my ex had travelled since our separation so he had to have documentation to do this. It is very typical of him to leave this all so last minute to make any requests. He never had to worry about travel documents in the past, especially for our children.  I handled every detail with respect to our trips.  He only packed his clothes for himself.

The next morning he texted saying he contacted his lawyer and he will do whatever is necessary to force me to turn over what he is requesting and will seek costs against me. He adds, “Hmm for someone who beckons she’s moved on and that I exhibit controlling behaviour you should think again. This reeks of the opposite.  Enjoy paying your lawyer today. Hope it’s worth it.”

Then he texted my daughter telling her to make me give her all the birth certificates.  I assured her that she did not have to get involved in any of daddy’s requests to me and that daddy can deal with mommy directly.  I assured her that she had her passport and that she did not need any other travel documents. She said that she had to respond back to her dad.  I told her to tell him that she had her passport and that mommy said anything else he wanted he could talk to mommy about.

He picked her up at 6:30 p.m. I waited outside with her for the hour that he was late.  He did let her know he was running late. My daughter was worried his girlfriend might be with him.  I assured her I had no such worries and she needn’t worry about that. When he arrived, my ex and I didn’t even look at each other and we exchanged no words.  My daughter and I hugged and kissed goodbye while he loaded her suitcase into his vehicle. I wished her an excellent vacation and truly meant it.  I am missing her so much and it has only been 2 days.

I scheduled an appointment with my lawyer to find a solution to be able to disengage with my ex completely as I decided enough is enough for me.  It is clear my ex will never be able to deal with me directly regardless of any agreements in place.

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cheating, in-laws, infidelity, relationships

My Father-in-law responds to the affair of his son

My father-in-law replies on March 1, 2013 to my e-mail to him confirming his son’s infidelity. This is his response:

“Normally I reply ‘thanks for the e-mail’ however this is one that no one looks forward to receiving. Devastated is the only term I can think of just now.

Mom has just come back in from her morning walk and we have read and re-read the two e-mails and they leave us both shattered.

I see that you have copied both of them and by opening of day they will both be aware that the ‘cat is out of the bag’ so to speak. It seems that they work together and that fact will make it difficult and everyone’s stress load will be at the top end. Discovery often leads to anger and aggression compounded by the frustrations that led to this point. Anger is not a solution beyond getting if off your chest.

My advice is to take a calmer approach, this is a complex situation, that seems to have no solution beyond complete destruction to your family right now–but that is not necessarily true. It will need patience, understanding and a desire to work together to solve the ‘issues’ that allowed the situation to develop in the first place.

The immediate problems is with the two of you, but it will have a dramatic affect on the girls, and it’s often difficult at their age to really understand the failed dynamic of a busy modern family.

People will offer easy advice and shallow judgements, but what the entire family will need is family counselling (allowing that you are all agreed that you do want to clear the air and put things back on a firm footing.) I know that both of you have an underlying religious belief and that may form a basis for you to get the process started.

Anger will be your initial reaction and then a period of wondering what it was that led to this point. There are always two sides to every marital conflict. Take it from my own experience, these issues are resolvable and the family structure can be restored. The secret is total honesty and frank assessment of ‘what got us here and how do we go forward?’

But enough of ‘Poppa’s lecture’ and more to the practical. Of course all of you will have our full support as matters go forward. We will certainly look forward to seeing you for the planned vacation and hope the logistics can be worked out so that all are able to visit. We are flexible and available to talk at any time.

Your entire family are in our prayers. We love you all.

Mom and Dad”

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