While he was supposed to move out shortly after that, it actually took another 1-½ years. He and his wife own a small company and both work together. Plus, his ex-wife has used their daughter as a weapon against him in the past, so he was very cautious about how and when to move forward in the separation and divorce. It was incredibly taxing on me emotionally as I found myself exactly in the situation that I did not want to be in. But I was now emotionally attached.
When they separated, his wife was upset. However, this is not the first time divorce had come up as she had asked him for a divorce twice before (but I guess emotions cooled and it never happened). So, when he was the one pursuing one, she got incredibly agitated. She likes/needs to control things (including him), and this is one of the main reasons for his unhappiness with her.
Our affair was not his first and he had had another extra-marital affair a number of years earlier as he was trying to find the love he was not getting from his marriage. His ex-wife found out and this was one of the reasons she originally wanted a divorce. (The second time she asked for a divorce was about 18 months before he asked for one because they were just not getting along).
After the separation, his children were understanding. His then-21-year-old daughter was supposedly very supportive, and she even expressed calmly that she knew they had no marriage anymore after making work their priority for so many years. She had seen them drifting away years earlier.
They finally got divorced last November. However, his ex-wife and his children found out about our relationship while they were separated and figured out that it preceded, and was the reason for, the separation.
Instead of looking to the issues within the marriage that caused an affair to begin with, his ex has basically put all of the blame on me, saying that I chased her husband, forced myself onto him, tainted his mind, etc. For his first affair, she also blamed the other woman and his best friend for knowing about it! (But their marital issues – not so much).
As far as I am aware, he has never corrected the way she thinks by explaining it was actually the other way around. I am guessing that he wants to have as good relations as possible with his ex and children since they will continue to be part of his life/work and that telling her the truth might prevent this from happening. Yes, I am for sure partially to blame, but, to me, the real issues have to do with their former marriage because otherwise he would never have wanted to stray.
Despite my never having met his ex, she has poisoned her and my boyfriend’s children’s minds (24 and 34 years old) against me to the point that his 24-year-old daughter began cyber-bullying me on Facebook, basically calling me a whore and saying that I slept my way to get the professional status that I have, despite my having a number of master’s degrees, many other professional qualifications, and over 16 years of experience (I work in the same industry as her parents). I have worked so hard to get where I am.
The Facebook incidents really upset me, and I now find myself wondering if I even have a future with this man, though I love him very much. I am also incredibly sad because my boyfriend has not chosen to clarify the details of how we became involved and defend my honor. Neither has he apparently told his ex or daughter to stop saying these things about me, at least not yet. Plus, he has also deleted my “fun” posts on his Facebook page so as to not upset them, pretending that I am no longer an important part of his life.
Is it possible to carry on a relationship with a man whose adult children hate you? And is it right of him to not defend me to his family who are clearly out of line or to not put his foot down and embrace our relationship?
Thank you for your help — His Daughter Hates Me
You’re asking the wrong question. It should not be: “Is it possible to carry on a relationship with a man whose adult children hate you?” What you should be asking is: “Is it possible to carry on a relationship with a man who isn’t trustworthy, has poor communication and decision-making skills, doesn’t make me feel like I’m an important part of his life even after 4-1/2 years together, and has a history of treating the women in his life dishonorably?” And the answer to that, unfortunately, is: probably not.
Throughout your letter, you press the point that your boyfriend’s marriage was already essentially over before you began an affair with him and that the marriage officially ended not because of you but because of issues inside their marriage. That may be true, although I think your presence certainly played a part in your boyfriend pursuing an extra-marital affair rather than, say, counseling for his marital problems. BUT. BUT! What that means then is that you have a man on your hands who has a history of running to other women (you and at least one other “mistress” before you that you know of) instead of dealing with his relationship issues. Even when his wife was asking for a divorce — and the timing of the most recent request would suggest YOU were already in the picture when she asked for the divorce — he would rather continue with the status quo then open the theoretical can of worms an official filing for separation and divorce would lead to. This is not a man who has proven to be committed to relationships and making them work. Quite the opposite: He has proven to be a bit of a non-comitted, apathetic pushover.
And now you have one very angry ex-wife (and co-business owner of your boyfriend’s!) and one very hurt and angry adult daughter on your hands. And a boyfriend who is continuing to prove his total non-commitment and apathy. Is he defending your honor? No! Why would you expect him to when he was so dishonorable to a woman he was married to for so many years and had kids with? If he treats one woman dishonorably, there’s a very good chance he’ll treat subsequent women in his life dishonorably too. And now you are seeing that. Rather than stick up for you and defend you, he is allowing important people in his life to harass you and to believe that YOU were the cause for his marriage ending because he doesn’t have the backbone to stand up and say: “My marriage was over before she was even in the picture.” And he CAN’T even really say that truthfully because, if it was really, truly over, he would have agreed to his wife’s request for a divorce (18 months before he asked for one, which means she asked for a divorce right around the time he started his affair with you, was telling you he was in love with you, and had “never felt this way about anyone else before.”).
At best, the guy’s just really, really manipulative, always looking out for his own needs (his business interests, his financial interests, his relationship with his kids) at the risk of someone else’s feelings and interests — even someone he professes to be madly in love with. At worst, the guy’s a liar, telling you one thing and his ex-wife and family something else. For all you know, his family believes you chased him because he’s told them that’s what’s happened. And even if he HASN’T explicitly said that, then just letting them believe that’s the case is lying by omission. He’s a liar.
So… is it possible to carry on a relationship with a man who isn’t trustworthy, doesn’t make you feel like you’re an important part of his life even after 4-1/2 years together, and has a history of treating the women in his life dishonorably? I think you probably already know the answer to that one.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.