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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please help me. My family is getting torn apart.

Ok so my family's situation is tricky so let me explain the dynamics first. My dad and mom were married for 21 years. There are four of us total 3 of us are my dads biological children. He adopted our oldest sister (Shawn) when she was 2. I'm the youngest. We never think of her as being a half sister cause she was there before all of us. Skip forward 23 years and my dad is living on his own all of kids are out of the house and he is dating a woman (Cheri) who is 15 yrs his junior and has 2 kids in high school. Everything is fine, nobody cares that he's dating her, we get along great with her kids, we feel like the brady bunch. Well My dad didn't want to move in with his girlfriend because of the fact that she still had two young ones 15 and 12 at the time. She became pregnant a few months later, needless to say my dad moves in with her and they have a baby and get married when my baby sister (chaylynn) is 1yrs old. Us kids weren't to happy about her getting pregnant since my dad was 52 at the time and he was finally free of us four. Nevertheless we love Chaylynn and moved on with things. My sister Shawn is the closet to Chaylynn out of anyone on our side of the family. She sees her at least 2 whole weekends of the month and then some nights as a babysitter for my dad. Chaylynn's Almost 3 now so Shawn has been watching her for 3 years now.

Here is my problem. My dad's new wife (Cheri) is have problems with her kids. One doesn't want her to be apart of his life and limits his talking to her. He goes to a college 4 hours away and when he came back for the summer, he got in a fight with his mom (my dad's wife) and decided to stay at my sister Shawns house for the summer. Well some how or another Cheri now is accussing my sister Shawn of being a drug dealer, supplying her son (don't know where she got any of that) and the cause of all their problems. She called up my grandparents and told them this along with everyone else in the family. Shawn retaliated with some harsh words to my dad's wife and now has to defend herself against my dad's family. The summer ended and my step brother moved out. His mom no longer harrasses him but keeps harrassing my sister. Worst of all she is now talking **** about her to our sister Chaylynn saying "she's not your real sister", and other explicit things. My poor baby sister crys for Shawn and doesn't understand why she can't see her. It's caused a huge rift in our family and worst of all my dad is no longer aloud to mention Shawns name without his wife "blowing up" is what he told me. He also admitted that she "Hates shawn". We suspect she is also making it clear to my dad that Shawn isn't his real child either. Shawns expendable.

I'm so F***ing pissed I want to punch both my dad, for letting someone talk about his kid that way and not sticking up for Shawn and his stupid wife for cuting my sister out of their family. The thing that really pisses me off is that Cheri tells my dad that they'll consider bringing Shawn back in when she makes up with her son. Her problems with her son have nothing to do with Shawn and I feel like Shawn shouldn't be treated this way. I feel bad for my dad cause he feels like he now has to choose between his new family and us adult kids. I think he should choose us kids (all 7) and ditch the B****.

Please help me. My family is getting torn apart. What do you thing he should do or we should do? Do kids come first even when we are adults? ( I would hope for an answer that doesn't include divorce but please give us some advice)
 

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When kids are grown, I feel the parents are entitled to happiness, even if that happiness is with a spouse the kids don't like. The kids have their own lives and do not have to live with the spouse, so they should be adult enough, as should the spouse, to be nice to each other on those occasions that are spent together.

At the same time, even if I were married to someone my kids didn't like, I wouldn't cut them out of my life, nor would I allow my husband to do so. EVERYONE would have to understand that my children are my children and I love them, and my husband is my husband and I love him, and that I will not be made to feel in the middle or to choose between them.

So, no I don't feel kids come first once they're adults, at least not normally. Obviously, if the adult child develops a medical condition, or has some situation that requires my assistance for their survival, yes, they come first.

Your dad should stick up for his daughter. He should tell his wife his daughter will be a part of his life whether she likes it or not...if that's how he feels. The fact that he's not doing so, really makes me wonder what is going through his mind. I would wonder whether he really feels this daughter is his daughter, and I would also wonder why he lets his wife control him like this.

I don't really think there's anything you, or any of the kids can do. This is a battle between your dad and his new wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. I agree that us kids are living out our lives and he has his right to his happiness. We did not dislike Cheri before. It's hard to see my sister's heart broken after 30 years of calling him dad.
 

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Cheri is coming unglued because her son is turning out to be a disappointment. Rather than admit that any of it has to do with her and how she raised him, she is seeking someone else to blame. People do that sometimes. You won't change her.

If it was my family I would (1) talk to her son and try to figure out what really happened; (2) let him know that you will keep communication open with him if he wants; (3) support Shawn any time the discussion turns to what happened, but do so without badmouthing Cheri; (4) let your dad know how disappointed you are in him and that you understand he feels like he has to side with his wife, but it has changed your relationship with him and that you're willing to discuss it whenever he's ready; (5)write the two of them a letter stating that you feel bad for what Chaylynn is going through because of a situation that adults have let get out of control, and that you hope they will realize the harm it's causing her so that she can have her big sister back in her life; and (6) very privately, let Cheri know that if she doesn't back off from badmouthing your sister, you will seek legal action to help her do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well the udate is that we pressured my dad into a meeting and invited our grandparents but they probably wont come (They already know everything). I do think Cheri is coming unraveled. I also think she's a control freak. She's trying to discourage her son from coming to the meeting. She told me a few nights before she was looking forward to resolving everything and seeing her son. Why is she trying to tell her son not to come. I don't think anybody has ever held her accountable for her lies and she's panicing. I thank you for all your posts. Some really good advice. I hope we will stay together as a family but us kids are prepared for the worst, a life without our father.

I will still check the sight incase some others have some comments.
 

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I had to give up my dad because of his wife (we call her the Evil Witch). She called CPS on us because my husband was the only person to ever stand up to her; she tried to get him put away, or at least divorced. We were afraid she'd take our daughter (around 6 at the time) and move away just to get back at us, so we told her school they could no longer pick her up from school; my dad called me and told ME that I was an unfit mother, etc., surely with her whispering it in his ear. So I disowned him and her. I hated to do it, but I feared her more than I needed him. My own brother, in his dysfunctional way, told me I should apologize for accusing her, when even the CPS lady admitted that it was her. I refused. Even on his deathbed, he said to me 'I know you all hate her, but I needed her to take care of me.' So sad that such people can destroy lives.

fwiw, Cheri is trying to keep her son away from you all because she knows she's wrong and you're right and if he sees that, he may choose you guys.
 

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Don't tell your dad to 'choose.' He'll choose her.

Just tell him that this is hurting everyone, and you all just want to be able to get along. Take the high road. Accept her, but set boundaries for behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
turnera how frightening. Cheri's daughter tried to get our dad sent to jail when she called the cops on him, told them he had hit her. Lucky for us the cops weren't idiots and asked my dad if he wanted to have her taken away for the scratches and bruises he had. None us of held it against her and moved on, Cheri's daughter still got to go family functions. Cheri should be able to let this go too but she refuses. I'm old enough to know that ultimatiums are never a good thing. I'm not going in to ask him to choose, although I did at first, but if he doesn't atleast appologize, especially Cheri, I will let him know that I have made a decision to cut him off.

I believe Cheri has lived her whole life lying and for the first time she's spun a web she can't get out of. Mainly cause my mom didn't raise no fool and we are not the kind of family to let it go unresolved.

The meeting is this sunday: We are going to 1) not interupt any one 2) have pen and paper to write down what we want to talk about/ rebutle that comes up 3) have a whistle ready to be blown if any one does interupt or gets off topic 4) give a 5 min break if necessary

I can relate alot to you (turnera) cause I feel too that Cheri is chirping in my dad's ear when he calls up all of us and *****es us out ( at least he tries to but momma didn't raise no fool) some of what he says just doesn't sound like him, at all.

We will use your advice as well a couple of posts back.

I will continue to check this and give an update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update. The family meeting didn't go so well. Cheri dodged alot of questions and refused to appologize after everyone else did. She claims a letter that shawn sent was her reasons for being upset (we all know about the letter and it's really not that bad) but it wasn't so much what was said in the letter but the fact that my sister even wrote the letter. Cheri's words "Because she put it in black and white". Cheri's text are in black and white. It's some how better said than read. Cheri refused to appologize, refused to admit to anything even after my sister said she was sorry, her son, my dad, her daughter. I can't respect someone so small in life. She also appeared to be really mad that my dad would even consider letting Chaylynn see shawn now. Sorry to rat you out dad but if you're ok with it then Cheri should let it happen. She doesn't need to go with. Don't know what to do at this point but write my dad a letter saying how dissappointed I am with his spouse.
 
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