Relationships

Divorced parents

A recently divorcee father's relationship with his children.

Dear Wendyl,

Last year my marriage of 26 years ended. It was my decision as my wife had an affair which devastated me, but I waited until our adult kids all left home and had their own lives before I moved out. The problem is my kids won’t talk to me or see me. My wife has turned them away from me and they blame me for the break-up. I realise they are adults but it hurts that I no longer have any involvement with my family. Is there anything you can suggest?

Distraught dad, Christchurch

**Dear Distraught dad,

This is sad and I really feel for you. But there is no quick fix for this situation, as hurt and anger take time to heal. I think you are focusing on whose fault it was that the marriage split up, rather than the fact that your children are obviously very upset. So, let’s leave blame out of this. Contact each child separately, ask to meet up for a coffee and tell them how much you love and miss them, that you want to see them more often, and that you will do anything to make it right.

Then leave it and, given time, I think things will get better. But do not discuss your wife or the affair, or ask them to take sides or turn your meeting

into some sort of you against her discussion. Just focus on the kids and your relationship with them.

**

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