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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a problem and need some advice.
I have been divorced for ten years. I am the non-custodial father of two daughters ages 20 and 23
My oldest is graduating college next weekend.
I live outside their home state and have for ten years.
I have been welcomed by their mother and her family for both girls high school graduations and after parties at their cottage.
Both HS graduations, my significant other (Laura) was invited and went and all seemed to have fun without undue stress or discomfort.
My ex and her mother are planning nuts and have the entire graduation week/weekend planned for my daughter.
There is a dinner planned on the Saturday evening before her graduation (my SO and I are staying at the dorms as part of the parent accomodation.
My daughter called and asked my specific arrival time as her mother had made the dinner reservation to include me and she wanted to know if I would be going to the dinner else she wanted to get some of her deposit back
Long/short they did not make a dinner reservation for my significant other. When I asked my daughter to inquire about adding a seat at the table she balked and offerred to have a friend go in my place if I didn't want to attend without Laura.
I am full of guilt and rarely see my children now that they are older. In fact I have not seen my oldest daughter since last June when her sister graduated high school (and then only briefly).
Out of guilt, I called my daughter and said that I would have Laura entertain herself and I would attend the dinner.
In hindsight, I am torn. It will be the only opportunity to see my daughters outside of the formal graduation ceremony.
I do not want to offend or slight my partner
I told her (partner) about my dilemma and she seemed sure they could add her to the reservation. When I told her my daughter seemed reluctant, she made a joke and we did not continue the conversation.
Do I take my lover out to dinner in a strange town and ignore my children or, do I snub my lover and see my girls as it is a rare and fleeting opportunity?
Thanks for any input one might have.:confused:
 

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I think because you don't see your daughters very often and this is a significant time in her life (great she is graduating college!) that you should try to be there for her. It does seem odd/immature that they/she is not being more accommodating to your partner, but if your partner is more of an understanding person, I would explain how while you are not happy with them not extending an invitation to her that this trip is really about your daughter and it's important for you to be able to spend with her in the little time you have there. See how she feels about it--if she can be understanding, I'd go ahead with the dinner. It almost sounds as if your daughter is forcing you to choose between your partner and her...that part is still bugging me but my response is thinking more toward your relationship with your daughters going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
my response is thinking more toward your relationship with your daughters going forward.
Thanks very much Swedish.
In my heart I agree 100%. In fact, hearing(seeing) you say it may have been what I needed.
In fact it feel like a silly question now in that there really should be no doubt in my mind. It's my daughter and she is graduating and its two hours.
Trouble is, my partner is not that understanding and wants to write it off as kids being inconsiderate. She suggested we arrange to meet her after dinner for a "more intimate" gathering vs me going to dinner without her.
You see one minute it seems easy cause she and I have had some issues recently and therefore my devotion is to my daughter.
Yet, we are riding in the car 8+ hours each way and I hate to leave her sitting in a room for 2 hours while I am out with my daughter.
Her idea isn't bad but it's my daughter's weekend and her favorite restaurant etc
oh fudge. Thanks very much for your thoughts and comments.
 

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Here's what would work if I were in your partner's shoes...if you scheduled a massage at a spa during the 2 hours you'll be busy with your daughter's dinner....ahhhh, take your time honey, I'm fine here :)
 

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I like the spa idea myself. I would hope your SO understands that this is your daughter graduation too. You should have her read your post on how thoughtful and torn you are. You guys are the bigger people if you can walk through this with your heads held high. You daughter will probably repect the fact that you did this for her, not to cause a problem, and let your ex look immature. Best of luck! Spa good, also a romantic evening before or after the trip with your SO wouldn't be a bad idea. In fact something special before and after would make both you guys feel connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank very much for your comments and input.
The spa thing is neat but I do not know the area, it is quite rural and see below regarding accomodations.
My SO and I talked last night a bit
I expressed the stress I felt over the situation
She made light of it again and said,"I will relax in the tub for an hour and read."
I explained again that there were no hotels/motels in the area as they were all full last October
I opted for the only thing available for parents/family which was a room in the dormitory (with two single beds lol)
I explained that I doubted there would be a private bathroom and not sure but maybe only showers.
so she says, I will watch TV and I say, Hun, there are likely no TV's in the dorm rooms as students usually supply their own, etc.
She says. do you want me to go?
I say Yes.
I say, I'm getting to the point I do not want to go.
And then: subject dropped although there was a bit of discussion from me on the lack of "intimacy" at such a dinner and how different a sit down dinner with the ex and ALL (12) of her family will be from my past two experiences....graduation parties held in and outside of a camp on a lake where I was able to mingle with my daughters outside with my SO and sisters. Polite and involved yet still seperate.
Sitting at a dinner table for 1-2 hours will not only be very deja vu like, it is likely to be much more uncomfy for all.
My paranoia surfaces.
Seems I continue to teeter on the idea of arranging an after dinner rendevous with my daughter and her fiance' as opposed to or in addtion to The Dinner.
Struggling here...knowing me I will likely bear the dinner as best I can and ask my daughter to meet my SO and I at some locale after dinner.:confused::confused::confused:
 

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Yes you can always do a dinner for just the 4 of you. You should do a search of the things to do in the small town you are going to. It has a college with dormatories so it is bigger than the town I grew up in. Any bed and breakfast there. Google the town and find out. Anyway, I still like the idea of doing something special with your SO before and/or after. If you are going to be totally uncomfortable with the ex and her family then you should see if you could do the nice quiet breakfast or lunch with your daughter and her fiance'. I'd bring my laptop to the dormatory if I was the SO and do my own thing. I am sure you SO understand that your ex is being controlling and this whole situation is because of your love for you daughter. Even I get it :) Don't beat yourself up for this one weekend of what is supposed to be very important to your daughter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Happily & Swedish... your words mean alot to me.

I am feeling better about things though that is because i've decided to take it as it comes. You suggesting that my SO understands is spot on.

Ironing out details and picking up the rental car this morning.

Thanks again. if only FYI I will post back how it went!!

Screwauger (Falls)
Grafton Notch State Park
Newry, Maine
 

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Please do Screwauger. I can read the pride in your writing. Enjoy each and every moment with your daughter. Have a beautiful weekend.
Give your SO lots of hugs and kisses. :D
 

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I think your SO should get over her resentment. It was for your daughter!!! PERIOD. We do things with EX's that we would never do. EX's love to inflict pain on the significant other. You SO has to realize this. She has no idea how much pain she caused between a father and daughter all at your ex's doing. Your ex won what she intended on doing. That is all I can say. I hope that you guys can work through this. I know how difficult it is to be around my husband's ex. I try not to let her bother me, but she just drives me insane. I hope you can talk to her when things settle and I hope she also sees what problems arouse from your ex getting the better of both of you. Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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I'm sorry to hear your weekend did not turn out so well. It sounds like you are so wanting to please everyone and in the end none of them are pleased. I've been there myself.

I would suggest thinking of a plan on how you intend to handle your daughters' events going forward (other graduations, a wedding some day) and stick to the plan without letting guilt get in the way.

I think by flip-flopping your emotions between your daughter and SO it's having the opposite affect that you want (you are torn because you love them both but they see you putting one as more important than the other)

It may come down to telling your SO you are sorry to have involved her as your ex was being less than accommodating and next time won't have her endure that since you have no control over what your ex has planned. Or decide ahead of time that you and your SO will plan any future encounters with them...take charge of the situation that you have control over...I will walk you down the aisle with my SO in the pew, but we will not attend the reception following unless we are both on the invite.

Once you decide don't let their negative emotions break you down...you can feel bad for them but stick to your guns because while you love them very much you can't make everyone happy all of the time.
 

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I have to say that your SO did her best not become resentful of the way she was treated... can i ask.. did your EX bring her new man if she has one?
 
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