Ex still hates me, will always hate me, has a twisted version of the past and sent me a long letter a couple years ago about why he hates me. Actually, I understand his misperception and his feelings. I didn't say I agree with them, but I understand them.
So what's the problem?
Daughter is royally PO'd at her father for his hatred. She is hurt. She wanted me to go to Thanksgiving with them - and I would have been invited by my former Sister-in-Law, but Ex graciously said I could "celebrate another day." Daughter knows this. Daughter is angry, confused, hurt, annoyed, and feeling uncomfortable.
My challenge is dealing with all these feelings in the best interests of my kids. Part of me wants to scream out, "He is a JERK! An unfeeling, ego-centric, maniacal, narrow-minded BASTARD and you should hate him!" no no no no no that would be very bad for Daughter. And for me.
Instead I keep telling Daughter that Ex loves her and that's all that matters. Lately I had to swallow an even bigger one. When talking about Thanksgiving with Daughter, I said, "I understand Ex. I understand who he is, how he feels, and the way he is about relationships. I know that once he makes up his mind about someone, he will cut them off forever and never forgive them. That is just the way he is. You can't change that. I can't change that. So you have to accept that he's got it in his mind that I did something evil to him, and right or wrong, that's where he is. We will never be friends. He will never want me in the same room with him."
Daughter didn't like that answer. But it's the truth. I have prayed for him to have an epiphany for years. It ain't gonna happen...
Then I jokingly threw out there, "Maybe he thinks you're going to have two weddings?!" To which Daughter angrily replied, "NO F*ING WAY - UNLESS HE'S GOING TO PAY FOR BOTH OF THEM."
I think I'm taking the right path with this. She needs to love him, warts and all. Even if he didn't get her anything for her birthday....(I told her he didn't get her anything "yet" - he's a late kind of birthday-gift-buyer). She has to come to her own Truth about him, without my jaded opinions. I do try to give her strategies for dealing with him. E.G.: she says he never remembers anything she tells him and therefore he doesn't care. I tell her he has short term memory issues and therefore she needs to email/text him every little thing so that he can remember it.
He's not a terrible person. I think she needs him in her life. And I think as her mom I need to encourage what I think is best for her -and what's best is to love her Dad and try to improve that relationship.
Sometimes I wish I were that horrible, selfish, self-centered Biotch he thinks I am, because then I could really have some fun with this....