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Monday, April 21, 2014

Dealing with Divorce - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks you for replying back.

What is this conference talk that President Faust gave?

I understand I have to talk to my dad and tell him how I feel. I understand I can use the word "you".

I actually learned that a couple days ago in school.

I’ve tried twice now to tell my dad this and to let him know how I feel but in the end he always comes up with his wife.

I actually gave his wife a chance to get to know her.

Over the summer after my dad got remarried he took me and my sisters to Lagoon.

Well he showed up with his wife of course.

I said to myself, I will give this lady a chance, I can’t judge her right away.

Well I went on rides with her and I found out she is studying to be a nurse practitioner just what I wanted to be.

We ended up having a good time and she asked me if I wanted to come with my sisters and spend a weekend at her house.

I agreed.

I told my mom this when I got home and she got really mad.

She didn’t talk to me because she told me how can you go there?

It’s like congratulating your dad for what he has done to me and too you.

You can’t let your dad feel happy about his new family and you supporting him.

This probably makes my mom sound like a really mean person but she’s not.

She’s just really hurt about her divorce.

I went though and decided to meet my dad’s new family and give them a chance.

I knew his was going to be hard for them.

To have three strangers now going to live with them every other weekend.

I knew they were probably feeling like how I was.

We got there and everything was going good.

My three sisters and I got our room together. Upstairs next to my dad’s and his wife’s room.

We got to meet her daughter first she’s 16 . . . around my age.

I said hi really friendly but she gave me a forced smile and went to her room.

I didn’t see her for the rest of the time there.

My dad’s wife treated us really good.

My dad cooked for us and we eat in the table with his wife also.

Things were going really good.

I went into our new room to do homework.  Hours passed and then I hear a knock on my door.

It was her son who is 18 also around my age.

He told me to quit hiding in my room and too go get some ice cream with the rest of the family.

I didn’t like the way he said family but I went anyways.

He was really nice and we talked a lot.

I stayed that weekend but by the end I wanted to go home.

I saw that my dad’s wife had a really strong personality and acted like my dad a lot.

She was really nice but I just didn’t feel comfortable.

I never went back to my dad’s house.

I listened to what my mom was saying and didn’t want to talk to his wife.

Whenever he would pick up my sisters I would go out and say hi to both of them.

Me and my dad kind of drifted apart because of this.

I feel like it was my fault.

Well a couple months ago I got a new phone.

My dad said it was used but I was ok with it.

I went through the phone and found some pictures.

They were of my dad’s wife.

It turned out it was her phone.

Well I went to go type a new text message but found out there was some saved messages.

I went and looked through them.

I found messages from a year ago during the time my dad was living with us and my parents were together.

I did the math.

My dad’s wife kept on telling him to go and meet her at this place to go with her.

Then I found a text saying that they had "it" and how great it was.

This disgusted me and this is why I hate her.

I feel like she made my dad fall away from the Church and take the gospel away from him.

That’s why I can’t see her anymore and how I don’t speak to my dad.

I never told him I found these text messages and I don’t know if I should.

That’s mostly the reason I don’t go and see my dad.

I feel disgusted by her because she was dealing with a married man at the time.

I’m going to talk to my dad and keep praying that god will forgive him.

That he will realize what he is doing.

But I can’t forgive my dad’s wife.

What do I do about this?

- Name Withheld  

Dear NW,

Well this whole thing is certainly going to be a "growing up" experience for you, isn't it?

(BTW - please forgive the college teacher in me, but you have GOT to learn to proof-read your emails before you send them - makes It very difficult to read when you don't - I'm not certain If you're understanding me or just not careful In your typing)

(To clarify what I said before about talking to your dad:  DON'T use the word "you". )

And I'm not saying that the woman isn’t a husband stealing adulteress, but as far as your personal experience goes, she's been quite nice to you.

Stop blaming it all on her.

Your problem is with your dad.

You need to focus on him.

You'll never mend any of this stuff if you keep it all inside.

Tell him about the messages you found on the phone.

Tell him how much it hurts you as his daughter to know that he was having sex with your step-mom while he was still married to your mother.

Remind him that a father has a responsibility to act like an adult, not be so selfish.

Tell him that you don't think it’s fair or right that his guilt about breaking one of the Ten Commandments should be channeled into anger at your mom or distancing himself from you and your sisters.

Your step-mom isn’t guiltless, but your dad's the one that has hurt you.

Don't let him off the hook; make an effort to see him, and If he's with her or anyone else, tell him that you need to talk to him privately right away.

If he weasels out, then try again next time. 

If he keeps dodging you . . . well, that's his problem, not yours.

You'll have made an honest effort.

Someday, when you have a better relationship with her, perhaps when enough time has passed, you can pull your step-mom aside and tell her how you feel about what she did.

Sorry for the change in tone, but when adults commit adultery it really bothers me.

It’s a purely selfish act, putting one's gratification ahead of covenant and commitment and family, and I'm not very tolerant of it.

Repentance is between the individual and the Lord, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are supposed to sit around and act like nothing happened.

Good luck, and remember:  your new step siblings probably feel exactly the way you do about all of this.

- Bro Jo

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