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Betty (submitted 8/5/10)


I am in a situation that I desperately need help.  I was in in a verbally abusive marriage for 29 years. I have two children from the marriage...a son and a daughter.  My husband was a workaholic, and worshiped the almighty dollar. The children ended up with serious problems because their father was always working, only home long enough to fuss and argue, and discipline the kids. He never showed me any respect and often belittled me in front of the kids. To make a long story short, he never bonded with our daughter and the son ended up feeling he could never please his father.  We divorced when the children were in their late teens. One graduated from high school and tried the college route, the other dropped out of school and went to work (my daughter) to get away from the disfunctional homelife.  I moved away and began dating after the divorce.  Six years later I have met a wonderful man that has swept me off my feet.  I finally found the love of my life. He lavished me with love and respect.  I told him about my troubled life and that my kids had problems because of it.  He said he loved me and was willing to accept whatever the problems were.  He was very nice to my children (his stepchildren), visiting them, buying them gifts, celebrating their birthdays, and trying very hard to bring them into our new family.  To begin with things seemed fine, until they began calling to borrow money from us (which I had allowed, when I was single, and had really never asked them to pay me back.) We  gave money to my daughter a couple of times without asking her to pay back.  Then the third time, we said yes but she needed to pay us back.  She kept saying she would, but never did!  She has never been good about remembering birthdays, or buying gifts, etc. ( I had let it go, when I was single, because I knew that she was working and trying to make it on her own).  But, now I am married and things have changed.  This is when the problems began.  My husband got very upset with her because she lied and said she would and didn't.  He said she was very selfish and disrespectful, and I should not talk with her on the phone or have anything to do with her until she apologized and paid us back.  I agreed and began working on trying to get her to do just that!!!  Our phone calls were short and to the point...When are you going to apologize and pay us back?  I'm tired of the run-around and the disrepect.  She became very agitated and told me that I was not the sweet, generous kind-loving mother she had always known all her life, that my new husband must be poisoning my mind and making me someone she didn't recognize anymore.  From there it has gone downhill.  My husband said she was not welcomed in our home until she at least apologized to both of us. She did before the holidays and came and everyone was cordial until I went with her to my mom's for a visit.  My husband got upset and screamed at me for leaving (after he'd given me his blessing to go).  She heard him and immediately assumed that I was back in a verbal abusive marriage again.  We have had a terrible time since then trying to bring her back around.  She has had nothing good to say about my husband. We allowed my son to come live with us because he had a problem with alchohol abuse. We got him a job, took him back and forth to work, fed and gave him a rent-free place to live.  He continued to drink and lied about it to us and stole prescription drugs from my husband we finally had to ask him to leave.   I felt sorry for his condition and took out a credit card in my and his name to try and help him without my husband's knowledge. I, later, opened a checking account with my son, so that he could borrow some money online to help out. We found out that he did not get the loan, but wrote checks on the account, with only the $25.00 balance I had opened the account with. I had not told my husband about this account either.  We got stuck with over $200 in bad checks.  Not to mention, he had paid 0 on the credit card.  I had let my son take advantage of me, and we ended having to pay for both bills.  We found out later that he was not paying his rent, and owed his landlord for six months of back rent. We approached him over the ordeal, and it wasn't a pretty sight, but, had to happen for him to realize what he'd done.  He was then evicted two days later and my daughter accused my husband for having him evicted, which was not true.  She then called me and when I tried to take up for my husband and explain that he had NOTHING to do with it, she said she and her brother did not want to have anything to do with me and that I would NEVER see my grandchildren. She later apologized to me, but never would apologize to my husband about all that she'd said about him. In the meantime, my son has gone through rehab and trying to make a positive life for himself.  My husband has forgiven him and is supporting his sobriety and his newly-found life style.   We have had several episodes with my daughter since then. My husband has written her and let her know what a selfish, immature person she is for being so disrespectful to me and him and the only way things would ever be better is for her to apologize to him and me for her lack of respect towards us. (She had already apologized to me, but had never apologized to him.)  In the meantime, he asked me not to have anything to say or do with her. This led to a complete emotional breakdown on her part.  She said I had chosen to put her out of my life. Her fiance said she fell asleep whimpering in his arms at night. It was affecting her work, etc.  I told my husband that I could no longer ignore her, that we had to find another way to handle this.  After arguments of full magnitude, he finally agreed to apologize to her and see if he would get any results.  (We never stopped giving gifts, sending cards, etc.  When I talked with her I would always tell her to please, please apologize...out of respect for me. She by this time has built up resentment towards us and refused.)  After his apology, she apologized and now we are planning her wedding. We have invited her and her fiance to our home several times. She ignores the invitations but she has made many trips to his parent's home and to her friends in Florida, but refuses to come see us.  My husband told me to go and visit her and help with the wedding plans, but, my daughter did not invite my husband to come along.  My husband feels that, inspite of his apology, she doesn't like him and that I side with her about everything. He says she rude, ignorant, and selfish. She is jealous of his children and grandchildren because we have a great relationship with them.  On the other hand, my husband feels like I do not take up for him and feels hurt and unloved. Our arguments and fights still resume with him calling her every name in the book and me trying to calm him down.  He says I make excuses for her lack of respect. He says because I am a coward and will not stand up to her, we'll probably end up in a divorce. He says I put her first in my life, instead of him.  How can I resolve such a mess?  I am a Christian and do not like confrontation.  It is hard for me to call my daughter and confront her about the disrespect.  But, if I don't do something to change the way she relates to us, he wants a divorce. My husband is a wonderful man.  I feel his pain and just don't know how to rectify this problem with my daughter.

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