Problems with my Dad-I don’t want a step family :(?

May 12th, 2011

So, my parents were separated for a few years before they got divorced a year and a half ago. I am 17, and my little brother is 13. This past summer, my Dad announced that he and his (10 years younger) colleague would be marrying this January. We had met her and knew her only as his colleague. He never said they were romantically involved! But my Mom told me they have known each other for years. I know my parents divorced because my Dad was unfaithful (I was 13 when they separated and my grandmother told me), so it’s pretty obvious that his colleague is the other woman. Naturally, I’m absolutely disgusted by this. My Dad and I have never openly discussed it, but our relationship has been very strained and I am much closer to my Mom. Unfortunately my brother knows nothing. He is close to my Dad, and has gone on several little outings with him and his fiance, even with her 7 year old daughter plus the extended family. He’ll do anything to please my Dad, even if he’s not comfortable with it. So far I have refused to see her, or meet her family. I just see it as wrong, and my brother is stuck in the middle of all of it. I have avoided discussing this topic with my brother, in an effort to preserve our relationship. I just won’t know what to do after my Dad and her get married next month and move into one house shortly after. I don’t plan on going to the wedding, and she will not be invited to my graduation. Summer vacation with my Dad’s side will be a whole other problem. Next fall I will be a freshman in college. I currently see my Dad most days (he lives in our neighborhood), so it’s not like I can avoid him, physically or emotionally. Should I talk to my Dad and find out exactly what happened with my parents and decide what to do from there? I’ll be an adult soon, so at my age, who I associate with from now on is pretty much up to me. Sure it would probably be easiest to just go my brother’s route and “accept” the fiance, but I don’t support my Dad’s marriage since I see it as wrong. You can’t just give up your family for a younger one and start over, yet still have the same relationship with your old kids. If my Dad hadn’t been unfaithful to my mother, I would not have any problem with him getting remarried. But that isn’t the case, and I don’t know how to handle it anymore. I do see a therapist, but I don’t get to meet with her as often as I would like. Anyway, thanks for reading this…any advice is greatly appreciated.

8 Responses to “Problems with my Dad-I don’t want a step family :(?”

  1. kitkat says:

    Yes talk to your dad but what went on in your parents marriage is none of your business. Grandma never should have told you anything, it was not her place. Look what has happen to your relationship with him. You need to talk to him on how to better your relationship with him and his soon to be wife. You should be acting like an adult and showing your little brother a good example to follow. When she is your dads wife she should be invited to all your special occasions, being ugly is no way to live your life. Talk to your therapist about that.

  2. Paulie says:

    You’re 17 and as you say, will be an adult soon. It sounds like you really need to bring closure to this one way or another and to date, you have only gotten one side of the story from your mother. Call dad up and tell him you need to have dinner with him over the holidays, just the two of you and if he wants to know whats up, tell him you need to finally clear the air on some issues that have been bothering you for some time. Once you two are together, be honest, but don’t go crazy on him even if the answers you hear are not what you want to hear. Remember that you are sitting down with him as a daughter and as an adult, so you need to act the role no matter what he says or does… Good Luck

  3. Willa says:

    You’re old enough to have a good understanding of what happened to your parents’ marriage, especially if it involved your father betraying your mother with this soon to be new wife. It is natural for you to have resentments that your family broke up for that reason and it is natural that you would not wish to get too involved with the new life. At your age, you cannot be required to submit to visitation if you wish not to. Your brother may feel differently but, in any case, should be allowed to make his own decision about this new family unit. You should be polite but that is all that is required of you at this point. Once you are away at college your life will change. You can make new determinations about your father as time goes on.

  4. Crouching Snark, Hidden Athiest says:

    It was wrong for him to be unfaithful. That’s pretty clear. But you may not know the whole story, and you shouldn’t write off your father entirely as I doubt he meant it as an injury done to you, though he probably should have thought about the pain it’d cause his children as well. You’re brother is thirteen, and he has a right to know, but it’s not your place to tell him.

    I suggest sitting down with your father–just your father, no one else–and have an honest and open chat about how you feel and about how he feels; not just about the marriage, but the infidelity and the divorce and the way you feel you have been treated. He owes it to you and you owe it to him. If, after that conversation, you decide you still can’t stand your father, then it’s your right to write him off. If you want to have a good relationship with him, though, you should go to the wedding since, despite how it got there, it is a big part of your father’s life.

    Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you forgive him or not because, even though you’re not the one who was cheated on, he did betray you and his son to a certain extent through infidelity. All I suggest is an honest talk with him, and maybe even an honest talk with your mother and his new fiancĂ©. Who knows? Maybe you’ll approve of your potential stepmother.

    Good luck, and I hope you and your family can recover.

  5. Jen N says:

    What happened between your mom and dad is their business, you need to step back and look at this situation with a more mature eye. You are choosing sides here, when no one has asked you to. You feel that you are being disloyal to your mom by accepting your dads new wife. But that is just not true.

    Take it from someone who made it her mission to make step mom miserable, that it isn’t worth the price paid in the long run. Right now your behavior is that of a typical teenager, you have stubbornly crossed your arms over your chest, stomped your foot, and turned your back on a situation that makes you angry. She is not your enemy, he is not your enemy.

    In life people make mistakes, they alter the course of their lives and in the process effect those around them. Your Dad deserves to be happy, just like your mom does. They separated quite some time ago, I have a feeling that this woman was not the woman he had an affair with just because things would have happened faster if she was. My dad married his affair not 6 months after the divorce. It’s been 25 years and let me tell you SHE is the woman for him. My mom never was. It happens, it’s ugly but it’s life. Try to be mature about this and realize that holding a grudge only makes things worse for YOU. An keeps negativity alive and well among family, you don’t need that.

  6. spinningfaster says:

    so because your parents split, they should live the rest of their lives alone until they die cold and alone as well?

    your parents are people, and though their divorce effects you, their marriage not your business.

    How you treat this new woman is your choice. but your dad is your dad, respect him because he loves you no matter who he’s with, your mom or this other person.

    he’s got to have a life as well. and if he did your mom wrong, thats between them.

    Try to remember that your dad is human, that he loves his children, and that divorce was / is rough no matter what you might think.

  7. Ocimom says:

    I think you need to talk to a counselor. Holding in the hate you have is not good and sooner or later you should accept what will be. You are not the first nor the last teenager that has to deal with a step parent. And think about this – while your dad is marrying another person now, what will your attitude be if your mom does the same thing – you will have step parents on both sides!

    Your mother and father decided to divorce. Its NOT your place to like or not like their decision – you accept it. And we ALL make mistakes – you will make mistakes too. God forgives you for what you’ve done wrong and in turn YOU must forgive your father too.

    The best thing you can do is to try and get along with whoever your parents choose in the future. One day you just may be in the same position as they are.

    You know something else too – YOU will be the one hurt the most by not attending your father’s wedding or having your new step mother at your graduation.

  8. Christine Cox says:

    well you don’t know for sure she is the ‘other woman’ and for all you know your precious mother might not have been all candy and light either, many factors contribute to an affair, and the fact it wasn’t just sex means your mother wasn’t being such a great wife.

    Now you can choose to be bitter and childish about it, or for your brother and your fathers sake you can be mature and civil towards this woman, it takes 2 to tango and even if she is/was the other woman your dad still had sex and a relationship with her. Its not all her fault and you can’t be like this because it will upset your brother.

    Also your grandmother told you he had an affair (i’m assuming it ws your mothers mum?) so your only getting one side of the story, for all you know your mom could have slept with other people, or been horrid to your father or not having sex with him.

    You don’t know the full story so until you do find out both sides properly you don’t have the right to judge anyone.

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