I had a wonderful childhood, partly because my father was highly regarded in his field, and became known nationally.
I was the proud daughter whose picture, as part of his family, sometimes appeared in newspapers.
Then, when I was 15, I overheard an argument between my parents in which my mother accused my father of having an affair.
When I eventually realized this was true, and not the first affair, I was shattered. It seemed that every value he’d represented to me, was a lie.
I became promiscuous for several years, until I became pregnant. My life changed again when I became a single mom.
My previous sense of responsibility kicked in and I concentrated on going back to school while raising my child.
Now, in my late-30s, I try to understand my father. He was a small-town man with big ideas and intelligence, who attracted a lot of admirers who wrote him and arranged to meet him.
His infidelity caused my mother great embarrassment and she pretty much hid from all but a few closest people.
They divorced, then got back together six years later. Mom’s now passed.
I’m struggling with the decision to forgive him. He altered my life’s course considerably, yet I’ve ended up in a good place.
Celebrity affects people’s personal lives, as Hollywood has shown in the extreme.
It attracts people who want to share the limelight.
For the “star,” it’s an ego-booster that becomes addictive. And one way to get the attention they seek is through the lure of an illicit affair.
Maybe he got carried away with his own image.
Yet he clearly couldn’t forget the life he once had with your mother. He returned to her – and likely hoped to re-connect to you, too.
Your reaction – anger and disgust with the father who’d been your hero –led you down a self-punishing path.
But you’re way beyond that, and hopefully able to recognize that he, made mistakes, is flawed, but is still your father and your child’s grandfather.
Readers’ Commentary “We’re about to become grandparents, and are very excited.
“Thank you for opening up the discussion in grandparent relationships with the parent generation and the children.
“I believe that we can be both grandparents and time-givers. Personally, I’d love to provide regular breaks from parenthood to our son and (new) daughter, his wife.
“We didn’t have that.
“It’s very good for young parents to have a break and connect with each other, and it’s fun for children to be with their grandparents.
“But I’d not like to be their (full time) caretaker, unless it was a necessity, e.g. low income/single parent who has to work to keep food on the table.
“There are the reasons why I think grandparents should otherwise avoid being the only caregivers:
- They may not have the energy/focus required to do a good job.
- There are usually no other children to play with in the grandparents’ home.
- Being tired and providing fun usually do not mix well. Resentment connected to this conflict can rip family relationships apart.
- Children need and want their parents.
- I am retired and deserve my freedom.
Ellie – A thoughtful perspective. Here’s one crucial addition:
Any arrangement regarding grandparent visits and babysitting duties will only succeed if there’s a clear and comfortable discussion of expectations ahead of time.
Plus, the understanding that the changing needs of the children, parents, and grandparents will require adjustments over time.
My wife and I are getting divorced. I have proof that her professor’s paying for her lawyer.
He’s also bought tires for her car and given her money.
Is this even allowed at a university? She’s his student plus his employee for a consulting company.
What can be done about this?
Trouble in Texas
Their relationship appears, from your description, to go against most educational institution’s rules of conduct between teachers and students.
In such cases, there’s an implied power imbalance between a professor and student.
Talk to your divorce lawyer regarding any policies or laws relevant to this situation.
Unfortunately, what you learn may not actually affect the divorce, though it may affect your wife’s relationship with him and possibly his job and her student status.
If you’re looking to punish one or both of them, you may succeed.
But if you have children together, it’s better for your relationship with them to re-think this approach.
Tip of the day:
Forgive a father who cheated by recognizing that you’re both capable of mistakes and redemption.