Updates: “Caught in the Middle” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Caught in the Middle,” who wondered if she should tell her dad that her mother was remarrying only a year after their divorce. Find out how she’s doing after the jump.

As much as I thought that I was over my parents’ divorce, I really wasn’t. I think it takes time to grieve something like that and to really be okay with the new dynamics. Even though intellectually I am fine with it, emotionally I am still processing it and may for a while since my parents’ marriage was one that I looked up to as successful, which is obviously no longer the case. 

In any event, I have two separate relationships with my parents. I see my dad quite often since I live right up the street, and we have a better relationship than we ever had before. And he just shared with me that he has been seeing a woman for the past few months who he is very compatible with. So I happy that he also has found someone that makes him happy. As for my mom, she lives on the other side of the country with her boyfriend so I don’t get to see her often. And our relationship is not what it used to be before the divorce, but that’s okay. We are forging a new one and hopefully, ultimately a better one.

Bottom line is that even though I am still processing everything, at this point, I really am happy that they are both happy. Hopefully one day they can get along, but in the meantime as long as I get to have a relationship with both of them I am a good.

That’s great, but what about telling your dad about your mom’s upcoming marriage? What did you decide to do about that?

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.


  1. That’s not an update!

    1. It is as much as she can give an update to right now (minus mentioning what she did/is going to do about her mom’s wedding news). She says, “Even though intellectually I am fine with it, emotionally I am still processing it and may for a while…” She recognizes that this is still affecting her, as much as she told herself previously that she was okay with it.

      Being a child of divorce isn’t easy, no matter your age. Kudos to the LW for being honest with herself and working through it.

  2. katiebird says:

    unsatisfying update award goes to caught in the middle. 🙁

  3. TheOtherMe says:

    Maybe by knowing her dad was also in a relationship she figured there was no reason to tell him anymore ?

    I guess the bottom line is that she’s slowly getting over her parents divorce and things are looking better. Good for you LW!

  4. This letter sounded more like self-reassurance to the LW’s self as well as to us. I don’t think the LW is really being truthful to his/her self regarding Mom’s nuptuals. The LW may just choose to address the wedding until the formal invite comes. Hopefully the LW may be able to make a decision then.

    I think the rationale/coping mechanism currently operating with LW is that since the parents have a separate relationship now, then the relationship with the parents has to be viewed as one to pursue with each parent individually and never the twain shall meet. Personally, I feel this is worse that picking sides between one parent or the other. By pursing each parent relationship individually, you refuse to acknowledge the history of the connections between Mom and Dad. Those connections come back to bite when the LW has a milestone to celebrate (like a wedding) and the parent relationship is still in individual mode. Mom and Dad have to learn to share and communicate still, even with the divorce, because there is still a child between them. It doesn’t matter if the child is all grown up, they should learn to be civil still for the sake of the child. Failure to disclose an upcoming wedding is not being civil.

    1. The point though was that there was not going to be a “formal invite”. The mom was talking about getting married without telling anybody.

    2. “This letter sounded more like self-reassurance to the LW’s self as well as to us.”

      I think she’s actually finally admitting (see her first paragraph in the update above) that she hasn’t emotionally dealt with this as much as she claimed to previously.

    3. applescruff says:

      I don’t know, my parents went through a terrible divorce when I was a kid, and my relationships with them are very much separate. Of course we acknowledge that they were once married, there’s no denial of history, but it’s much easier to have one relationship with my dad (and stepmom) and a completely different one with my mom (and stepdad). They are able to be civil when there are big events in my life, and otherwise they don’t communicate. For us, that’s fine.

  5. sarolabelle says:

    Update Number 2 is in order!

  6. Huh. And the mom is living with her boyfriend, so is it someone new? Or same guy and just not married yet? Change of plans? So many questions…. but as long as LW is getting on better, I guess that’s the important thing.

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