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So that's why they blame DH for the divorce

tigerlily74's picture

SS34 responded to DH's email to his three kids (and their spouses) that lay down boundaries and clarified that if I wasn't included in family gatherings they organised he too wouldn't attend. SS34's latest reply essentially wipes out all the improvements of the last four years, and now we're back to square one where SS34 is attacking us again.

Reading and re-reading SS34's email, something finally dawned on me last night.

It has always puzzled me why SS34 and SD32 blamed DH for the divorce. After all, it was BM who froze DH out for the last 10 years of their marriage, it was the children found out that she had two affairs during those 10 years, and it was BM who eventually forced the divorce on him. As a religious leader, being divorced was something DH fought hard against and was eventually something that shamed him publicly. Why did the kids not lay the blame squarely at BM's feet? I didn't get it.

Then in this last email from SS34, it was finally clear.

"One of the most damaging things you did to your relationship with mom was that you didn't fight for her. You sat back and waited for her to change."

Wait a minute. DH didn't agree to several separation agreements, he didn't agree to the divorce, he tried to get mediators and counsellors to talk her out of it, he pleaded with her and spent hours outside the bedroom door weeping on his knees... yet DH "didn't fight for her"??? Mind you, they were all living under one roof at the time, so the kids would have been witness to BM's silence and hardheartedness. They found out about her affairs, for crying out loud.

How else did they expect DH to fight for her? What was he to do other than wait for her to change? Force her to return to him?

Is this irrationality a trait of adult children of divorce? I keep telling myself that I cannot put myself in their shoes because I have never gone through the break-up of my family. But surely this blaming of DH is misplaced.

Sorry I've been spamming this forum in the last three days. It's the only outlet I have and the advice/comments are really a revelation and huge help!

SacrificialLamb's picture

I have been through a breakup in the family. Both of my parents divorced each other, and then I watched them both divorce their second spouses, who they were married to for decades.  I think I am pretty rational, so I can't say that irrationality is a given trait when parents of adult children divorce.

However, I do think that adult children who have been given too much authority into their parent's lives seem to be the ones overstepping their bounds and dictate what their parents should and should not be doing.  Were the children raised to be entitled and at least one of the parents passive? Look out.

Your SS34 is doing nothing but trying to inflict guilt upon his father in order to control him. "You, Dad, are a religious leader but you did not fight for mother. You must feel horribly guilty for your actions and thus should do exactly as what we children say."

This board is rife with descriptions of BM's who cheated multiple times (Bio-Ho's), took drugs, commited several atrocities but are the sainted mothers to their children. Don't overanalyze it; you won't get anywhere.

You also won't get anywhere by trying to analyze what is behind the thought process of your skids.  They are entitled and think they should have been consulted before an Intruder was brought into their Holy Family.   I've done the same trying to figure out why OSD was behaving the way she was. After time you will realize it does not matter; let these skids fester in their own did not raise them. 

Since the family is so religious, your DH should tell his children that it is God's place to judge him, not theirs, and they need to move on with their lives.


tigerlily74's picture

Were the children raised to be entitled and at least one of the parents passive?

Alas. The passive one was DH. BM was the disciplinarian and super-restrictive (read: control freak). And because of his gentle nature, DH is now paying the price as the two older, very entitled children, are walking all over him. It irks me no end, but I am the first to admit that I fell in love with his gentleness and kindness so I won't fault him for it.

SS is definitely trying to guilt-trip DH. You are the problem. You are the one who doesn't love us anymore. You should have loved BM the way you are loving Tigerlily now. I am hurting so I'm going to lash out at you and make you hurt too.

Good grief.

Iamwoman's picture

It sounds like SS is picking up where BM left off - a little mini-BM!

The irony in his statement not only applies to DH's efforts to beg, plead, and otherwise roll over for BM's continued hand in marriage, but in that NOW your DH is fighting for YOU, his wife. So essentially, your DH is fighting for his wife - which makes SS's comment completely baseless.

Perhaps it's time for DH to begin the grieving process of losing his oldest son, because with an immature comment like that at 34 years old, I don't see this man-child of an adult SS ever changing.

Dovina's picture

your insight and wisdom on the dynamics is gold! I often try to memorize the advice and insight you give.

Ispofacto's picture

No matter what you do, if you are not crazy, you cannot think like Crazy.  We've all tried.  Crazy is just crazy.  Crazies are so entitled, they transcend the laws of logic.  They don't have to make sense.  It's emotional reasoning.  Facts follows feelings.  If they feel something is true, it's true.  If they hurt, it must be because YOU hurt them.  They don't have to stop and think about what is reasonable.  They are not responsible for their fee fees.  You can read up on this at

tigerlily74's picture

They certainly transcend the laws of logic. There is no getting through the fee fees. EUGH.

Thank you for the website. I'm going to check it out!

Ispofacto's picture

Can God make a boulder too heavy for himself to lift?  No, because God cannot transcend the laws of logic.  Ergo, God is not omnipotent.

Narcissists > God   (greater than, for those of you who are not into mathematics)



futurobrillante99's picture

Not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but it defies the laws of logic to believe that God cannot lift anything he creates. It doesn't mean he has limitations, rather his power is limitless. Not looking to start a heated discussion.

strugglingSM's picture

I suspect this will be my future. Last summer, one SS kept saying, “I know secrets, Dad. I know secrets about you.” When he was alone with DH he said, “I know secrets, Dad. Mom told me how you caused the divorce.” Because he’s an adult and not a juvenile like BM, DH said something like, “the divorce is an adult thing and it has nothing to do with my relationship with you.” Then because he’s a sensitive, Pollyanna, DH said to me, “well, I wasn’t around much during the final years of our marriage.” I pointed out to him that he wasn’t around because he had to travel far for work because BM refused to move, even though she worked from home and also how he and BM fought like crazy even before they got married.

The truth of the matter is that DH and BM never should have gotten married. DH said they fought a lot even before getting married, but DH - being an eternal optimist - always hoped things would get better. They also had kids - through IVF, so not an accident and required conscious effort on their part - because, at least DH, hoped it would improve their relationship. 

The other truth is that BM never would have filed for divorce if she hadn’t met someone else. She moved her SO and his child in four months after she kicked DH out of the house and told him he couldn’t come back to get anything (not sure why DH went along with this, since BM had no grounds for kicking him out). I’m assuming that BM realizes that SSs are now old enough to figure out that BM decided to divorce because she met her SO and is trying to deflect blame. Then again, BM has “borderline tendencies” and the emotionally maturity of a 14 year old, so she could just be trying to build an alliance with an 11 year old in the only way she knows how - making herself look better by making others look bad.

DH prides himself on his “loyalty”, so would never have filed for divorce on his own, even though he had been miserable for years and used to do anything to avoid being near BM even when they were together in the same house. I’ve pointed out to him that being loyal to people who don’t deserve your loyalty is not something to be proud of. I guess he thought it was better for SSs to have two parents in the same house, even if those two parents obviously hated one another.

I know one SS - the one enmeshed with BM - will likely pull the same BS with DH as your Skids are pulling with your DH. BM doesn’t pay much attention to the other one, but still manages to manipulate him, so who knows what he will do. He’s an overly anxious kid, so I’m sure at some point, BM will try to convince him that he’s anxious because DH is so terrible. 

tigerlily74's picture

Oh dear. I really hope my situation doesn't become your future.

"The truth of the matter is that DH and BM never should have gotten married. DH said they fought a lot even before getting married, but DH - being an eternal optimist - always hoped things would get better. "

This sentence is SO true of my DH and his Ex. When he told me that her bipolar behaviour started before they got married, I asked him why he married her given her unreasonable mood swings! He said he thought love would help them get through it. GOOD GRIEF.

marblefawn's picture

You can't possibly think you can go back in time, get in the middle of a marriage in the middle of a family - in neither of which you had any role - and now determine with any certainty "who" was at fault.

Who told you your husband "spent hours outside the bedroom door weeping???" Who told you the ex had two affairs? Do you really think anything coming from the players involved isn't twisted with emotion and allegiance? CONSIDER THE SOURCE when you are told anything. You can know their stories, but you'll never know the truth.


sandye21's picture

I agree - There are probably two completely different versions of the story of DH weeping in front of the bedroom door.  My DH told me his wife had an affair and kicked him out.  After a few years I realized there might have been a reason.  I was tempted to do the same when he refused to support me as a wife, and told little white lies.  We have both learned mutual respect since then.

Proverbs 18:17 - "The person who tells one side of a story seems right, until someone else comes and asks questions."  SS seems to be one of those people who picks statements out of the Bible to justify his rude behavior.  But YOU can do the same!  It'll drive him batty and you will probably not have to be bothered with him again.

tigerlily74's picture

Yep, I probably will never know the truth. But everyone who knows the family tells me that DH tried really hard to reconcile with his wife during the 10 years before their marriage ended. These are people who tried to counsel them both and tried to mediate, so they are close to the matter. There's no reason for me to think DH is stretching the truth.

Haha, nah, I'm really not the Bible-quoting type. I'll leave it to time to teach SS a lesson or two! In the meantime, I'll drive him batty with my silence!

tigerlily74's picture

The weeping and affairs: I've seen them mentioned in emails that DH has had with the children. If they were inaccurate, trust me, the kids would have pointed it out. It's something that's been openly discussed. It's not as if my DH is feeding me stories.

You're right that I'll never know the truth, and I'm sure BM has her side of the story, but it's pretty clear she was the instigator behind the divorce and she was pretty cruel to DH. Everyone who knows about the divorce thinks so... except, it would seem, the elder SS and SD.

marblefawn's picture

But that's just it - the kids also have their own blinders on regarding their parents' marriage. They don't know what happened long before they came along. No one does because emotions skew viewpoints. When they married, they brought baggage from their own parents' marriages. Things happen that have nothing to do with a marriage, but affect a marriage. People have limitations that aren't their faults.

When I was a kid, my mom would throw all my little girl stuff away when I was at school. She is an adult child of an alcoholic and she sees "stuff" as chaos. As a result, I am very protective of my stuff as an adult. So when SD asked my husband to borrow something of mine and he agreed, I was furious. As an only child, SD never had to share and never heard "no," so she probably didn't think twice about asking for my stuff, even though she couldn't find it in herself to be decent to me. This was a blowup that sent us to counseling. It wasn't my fault; it wasn't husband's fault (although the counselor told him NOT to do this again); and it probably wasn't SD's fault because she was used to taking what she wants when she wants it.

This is what I mean about reading a situation through emotions.

lala-land's picture

Your DH is setting boundaries with his kids and that is great.  Your support of him is commendable.  Why the step adults are behaving in this manner, matters not one iota.  Trying to figure it out could drive you crazy.  Crazy has its own logic and rules which they don’t apply to themselves.  This all about power and control but the why of it just does not matter.  The fact your SS has stated that your DH should have tried harder in his first marriage  is none of his business or concern.  Your DH and you have the right to live your lives and crazy should not have any place in your relationship.  At this point in time, I don’t see why either of you two would want any adults in your life that threaten your marriage.  Perhaps sometime they may come to accept you, but until then, they should just stay away.

tigerlily74's picture

"At this point in time, I don’t see why either of you two would want any adults in your life that threaten your marriage.  Perhaps sometime they may come to accept you, but until then, they should just stay away."

Thankfully, this is my DH's attitude. He's been repeating that the kids are old enough to lead their own lives without him, and that I'm his life now. I'm very fortunate that he realises this!

bedazzled's picture

It would be so awesome to have a husband that feels that way. One that sees you as a team that he won’t let anyone break up.  Oh a girl can dream!!!

bedazzled's picture

It would be so awesome to have a husband that feels that way. One that sees you as a team that he won’t let anyone break up.  Oh a girl can dream!!!

bedazzled's picture

It would be so awesome to have a husband that feels that way. One that sees you as a team that he won’t let anyone break up.  Oh a girl can dream!!!

joan mary's picture

Kids, regardless of if they are 8 or 38, will often pick sides based on things other than reality.  They often side with the parent who is less available to them.  They often side with the parent who they fear will abandon them.  They often side with the parent who takes them under their wing and shares inappropiate and one sided details of the marriage.  They often BLAME the parent who will not push back against their accusations.  Failure to push back is often seen as acceptance that the SChild is correct in their (faulty) assessment of the family dynamics and broken relationships.  You can't help the bio mom but you might be able to help your DH.

Yes, you fell in love with your DM for his kind and gentle nature but he has fault in his first marriage. He stayed too long, he had kids with someone who did not love him, he avoided the marriage and therefore the kids, he put all the burdon of ending the marriage on her when he did not want it either.  I found, for me, that I needed to own my own "bulls**t" to really heal from my divorce.  Once I owned my avoidance,  the blaming, and especially my victem status I could truly move beyond it all.  I could believe, with all my heart, that God had a purpose for all that pain.   It lead me to a life I never would have had, an understanding I never would have grasped, if I had stayed in that dead marriage.

When I had the confidence that I had done all that I could, the self assuredness that I had forgiven myself of the errors in my first marriage, was I able to look my kids (who were young at the time) and not be rattled, upset, or bothered by their off the wall statments about why dad did not live with us any longer.  I could call them on their "bulls**t" accusations and off the wall statments.  I was nice about it.  Often I would laugh and would say something like "what would make you think that?"  If they referred to dad I would gently tell them that was between dad and me - not them.  Kids, young or old, actually want someone to have some boundaries.

These kids are adults and believe (from bm) that they are entitled to an opinion on the long dead marriage.  Your husband's direct, confident, firm, polite, reponse to these kids that this is NOYB is the first step for them to have an idea that there might be another side to the story that mom has been telling them for the last decade. 

Good Luck


tigerlily74's picture

"These kids are adults and believe (from bm) that they are entitled to an opinion on the "long dead marriage. Your husband's direct, confident, firm, polite, response to these kids that this is NOYB is the first step for them to have an idea that there might be another side to the story that mom has been telling them for the last decade."

Thank you for your reply. It's very insightful. And yes, I think DH has to be firm with them going forward. Whether they are receptive is entirely up to them. At the end of the day, I'm staying disengaged. DH can deal with them. I don't want to get involved!

Rags's picture

Time for DH to outline exactly what you wrote regarding the FACTS of the BM's deparvity and the depths of the battle DH fought to save that marriage.

Any time the idiot squeeks... wipe  his nose in the stench of his idiocy.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  It is this that keeps idiots under the slime covered rock they live under at the bottom their shallow and polluted gene pools. In this case... the half of the gene pool brought to play by BM.  God has no time or interest in fixing idiocy. That is why the greatest gift to man is intellect.  Idiots that choose not to apply that gift.... you just write off.


tigerlily74's picture

Haha, thanks for the advice, Rags!

The nose wiping, lathering, rising and repeating, I shall leave to my DH!

still learning's picture

Honestly I think you and DH should take a vacation from reading and responding to ss34's emails.  Use mail settings to set DH's email to forward ss's emails to a folder that he will check only once a week and then respond to once a week.  If there is an emergency or something really important then ss can call or text, if email is only used for his mantrums then it's best to create space in the receipt and response of it.  

Personally I would never read another one of ss's email tirades. Your DH should be the one to carry the full weight of his childrens immaturity. By sharing it with you he's releiving his burden which isn't fair. He's a man, he's the father, he should be feeling the full brunt of the drama with his kids, not you.  Tell DH you love him and that you'll skip reading ss's email this time.  

exH emailed me the other day and I knew it was going to be about stupid drama crap, so I  waited to read it until I got home and asked DH to please read it in his best cartoon character voice.  I generally don't get DH involved in any drama w/the exH but I was just not in the mood for the bull crap but this time we both had a good laugh at exH tirading on in Mickey Mouse voice!  

I went to church for many years and I learned that being a man of God doesn't have to equate being meek, gentle and allowing people to walk over you. Jesus was not always kind. Remember the money changers at the temple? God flooded the earth to kill off almost all of his wicked children and start over.  SS is truly being disobedient, disrespectful and dishonorable to his father. All in total contridiction to a child's responsibility to a parent in the Bible.  

SM Proverbs: He who assaults his father and drives his (step) mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son.  I enjoyed this article.  Best to you Ms. Tigerlily.  


tigerlily74's picture

"Your DH should be the one to carry the full weight of his "children's immaturity. By sharing it with you he's relieving his burden which isn't fair."

Well, I would take the blame for that. I listen to DH's woes, and I invite him to tell me because I want him to know he's not in it alone and I'm on his side. I suppose I'm trying to be a good wife. I also believe that by sharing his burden, we will get closer. And we have gotten closer. That's the biggest irony. These skids don't realise that by throwing tantrums and attacking us, they are bringing us closer together!

Thanks for sharing the article!

tigerlily74's picture