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There must be someone who can help

(17 Posts)
Jrama Wed 10-May-23 00:21:39

"Hello everyone, I'm new here and I'm struggling with a really difficult situation. My daughter has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with me. I'm recently divorced, and while I have 50/50 parenting time, my daughter chooses to stay with her father for two extra nights during my week. It's been incredibly hard on me, especially since my daughter and I are in court-ordered reconciliation counseling.

To give you some background, my husband cheated on me and luckily, I've always been a working woman, so filing for divorce was the best choice for me. But unfortunately, my daughter seems to hold resentment towards me and looks down on me. She's also been diagnosed with severe depression and ADHD, although I don't think that's relevant to the situation.

I'm just scared that no matter how hard we try in therapy, it won't work out, and my daughter will continue to distance herself from me. Even worse, once she gets her driver's license, I worry that she'll completely refuse to see me anymore.

I'm reaching out to you all for some insight and support during this difficult time. Has anyone here gone through a similar experience? What can I do to try and repair my relationship with my daughter? Thank you in advance for any help."

Hithere Wed 10-May-23 02:40:23

How old is your dd?

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 07:33:50

Having an affair is a deal-breaker for many people. Not only because of the violation of trust but because it shows a clear mismatch of values which often means people decide they are not right for each other.

That's all that can really be said of the divorce and daughter either needs to accept that or not and I don't know what to advise there.

But the court has ordered joint counselling and that's a huge positive you need to make the most of.

I would focus on a few things:

Never speak negatively of ex to daughter, make sure you save that for friends etc, don't make this a popularity contest between you both where she feels she must pick a side.

If dad is saying anything negative about you, keep it simple if that's passed on, just a simple "no that's not true" or a "yes, but that was between us and I will always love and support you"

Use the counselling as an opportunity to discuss any issues directly between you and your daughter. What was the relationship like between you before the divorce? What can be improved?Keep the focus on your relationship with her. Make it clear how much that relationship matters to you and your desire to make it strong and healthy.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 07:46:01

Also hard as it is, let her have that freedom to choose where she stays, let her grow up and make those decisions. Don't guilt trip her for doing so. Say something like "that's ok, I'll see you Tuesday, maybe we can do X together? I'd love to spend some time with you"

LRavenscroft Wed 10-May-23 07:51:38

Please also note her ADHD and depression. I have encountered a couple of girls with ADHD and their approach and thinking can be confused and unco-ordinated. They often need support just to get by in the day.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 07:56:45

Also can we touch on just how hard it is for many people, especially neurodivergent people, to live in two places at once?

Extremely difficult for those who need routine and structure so a conversation about how to make her space her own might help too and how to keep things consistent

Sorry I'm not saying you are or aren't doing any of these things, just what is coming to mind that may help

fancythat Wed 10-May-23 08:14:46

What is dad doing about all the aspects of the situation?

Hetty58 Wed 10-May-23 08:26:22

You can't just dismiss the depression and ADHD as irrelevant. She needs stability - so has chosen to live with her father, for now.

Once you've accepted her choice, regardless of the court decision (50/50 parenting), you can build your relationship and understanding through the reconciliation counselling. That's vitally important for your future contact.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 09:21:46

Hello Jrama I'm sorry that you are in this difficult and upsetting situation with your D.

I don't think you should discount the significance of her diagnosis as depression and ADHD are bound to have an impact on her decision making.

Have you discussed this with her father? It would be extremely beneficial if he were to encourage her to spend all of the allocated time with you.

Court ordered reconciliation does give you both the opportunity to listen to one another but may not be something your D would have entered into willingly, which could prevent this from being truly positive and helpful.

Your D needs to know you accept the choice she's made and that is demonstrated by the fact that you are not attempting to have the 50/50 court order enforced against her wishes.

This may not be a long term preference for her so in the meantime, give her plenty of reassurance of your love for her and your desire to support her as best you can in the choices she makes.

pascal30 Wed 10-May-23 09:22:09

Have a look at Deep Listening Skills online and see if you can practise these with your daughter. I think they would really help..

Shelflife Wed 10-May-23 10:32:41

Your daughters ADHD will play a significant role in her life .
Support her choice to spend more time with her father , don't put pressure on her , tell her and show her how much you love her. This is a very difficult time for you and her , I wish you both the very best and good luck in restoring your relationship.

Nana5150 Wed 10-May-23 10:42:48

Hi Jrama, I'm sorry you are going through this it must be so difficult for you, I wish I could offer more support. The depression and ADHD is bound to be a factor, as hard as it is dont take things to heart your doing your best.

Hithere Wed 10-May-23 14:04:16

what may have happened that your daughter wants to spend more time with his father?

Yes depression and adhd has a LOT to do with this situation

Allsorts Wed 10-May-23 19:31:51

You need to allow for her depression and ADHD, I know how difficult people life is for those with it are. She needs to know you love and support her decisions and not put any pressure on her if for the time being doesn’t want to see you, you can ask her how she wants you to speak with her, she might at the moment just want texts, but things will alter as time goes on. At the moment she feels in a safe space but is she comfortable with enforced counselling.?

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 19:36:03

I questioned that too in an earlier post Allsorts. Enforced counselling may be counter productive in this situation.

Herefornow Wed 10-May-23 21:21:43

You sound so dismissive of her depression and adhd. It comes off as really cold. I'm sure that's not intentional?

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 21:33:28

Jrama have you done any courses on ADHD?

There are a lot of organisations who run free ones.

I have done ASD courses for my child and they were absolutely eye opening and really changed how we communicate