I've been estranged from my two adult daughters, now both in their 30s, for over four years. I divorced their father when they were very young and I raised them solely.
I made a stupid mistake years ago, by holding on to letters that their dad handed me during their childhood to give them. But I never did give them his letters.
My oldest daughter found them a few years before their father died. After meeting with their father's family for a memorial, they’ve stopped talking to me.
I know that his brother keeps stirring their feelings against me. One text to me a year ago expressed hope that I die alone.
I've emailed, text, sent greeting cards over the years, with barely an acknowledgement. I'm blocked from their social media.
My youngest forbids me to contact even her husband. I don’t even know the marital status of my oldest whom I last heard was separated.
They live at opposite ends of the US. I travelled nearby to the oldest twice but she wouldn’t see me.
Your loss of a relationship with the daughters you raised on your own are a harsh punishment, but unfortunately the choice you made of withholding their father’s letters felt, to them, as an even harsher crime.
Their father’s family has filled the gap felt through his death, by bad-mouthing you and drawing them closer to their side.
Time may heal the rift. Or not. Meantime, you need to live your life as it is: You’re an independent woman who may work or volunteer, has interests you can pursue, is able to travel, has friends, etc.
Apologize once more, (with no excuses for your past withholding of the letters) through a personal hand-written letter, and back it up a few weeks later by email.
Then, only email when there’s something new to say (never so often as to be considered harassing).
Also, I suggest you see a professional therapist to talk through your initial decision to not give the girls the letters from their father. And then discuss the therapist’s reaction to their current reaction as adult women.
Deeper understanding of those events may help you to either accept the situation as it is, or find a new way to approach your daughters.
How does a woman - or man - keep safe from online dating scammers? I was almost taken by two men wanting all my love, and then requesting money because somewhere they fell short.
I’m a single woman, late-50s, with properties. I’d love to date and love again.
Almost Bitten Twice
Approach your dating quest with your good mind and judgement intact, instead of from loneliness or long-range desire.
It means keeping your social and financial profile private, along with other personal data, and not revealing too soon that you live alone, have properties, travel, etc.
Read emails and listen closely for clues that the potential “date” is flattering you too easily, falling too fast for you, and setting you up for a need of his.
Typically, these scammers write long letters, work their way into affections for months, and then announce an emergency with dire consequences for them.
If at all possible, do an online search of the person and his claims.
Don’t fall for the “sob story.” Suggest he try a loan company and helpline, and end contact.
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost American consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding perpetual cheaters:
“I have a friend who, due to her having been seriously sexually abused as a child, hasn’t had good relationships with men.
“She was deeply in love with one man for a very long time and had two beautiful children. Then he cheated on her.
“She then started cheating repeatedly. She has Bipolar Disorder and, due to her past and what happened to her later, she can’t get enough sex.
“I was concerned about the sheer numbers of men she was meeting through a dating site.
“I frequently worried that something bad would happen to her, including sexually transmitted diseases.
“She’s a beautiful woman who, due to a mental disorder, has a sexual addiction. But when she’s on her prescribed medications, she’s great.
“It shows that not all the people who cheat do it on purpose. Some promiscuous/cheating behaviour can be related to a mental health illness.”
Tip of the day:
Some parental “mistakes” cannot be reconciled with adult children, without gaining understanding through professional therapy.