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Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?

 
TheBiss
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12/19/2015 10:00 AM
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Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
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12/19/2015 10:03 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Go out and find them a new Mommy.

This time, go younger, skinnier, hotter, etc.
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12/19/2015 10:06 AM

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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Go out and find them a new Mommy.

This time, go younger, skinnier, hotter, etc.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 71055269


its that time of year again for the einstein awards eh?
political correctness is a doctrine.... fostered by a delusional, illogical minority...... and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media; which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:06 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
I'm really sorry to hear that. :(

What a nice dad you must be though to ask for some advice.

I don't really have much advice. When I was that age, as much as I loved my parents, I preferred to be locked up in my room talking to my gfs about boys. lol

It's especially hard for a father/daughter relationship at that age.

You could always just come out and ask them if there's anything they'd like to do...
TheBiss  (OP)

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12/19/2015 10:08 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Go out and find them a new Mommy.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 71055269


We've had this conversation... They said they are not going to call anyone other than my ex Mom. I told them that I have no intention of making them do so. All I would ask would be that they respect my decision to find a new companion and try to get to know her.
[link to www.grainmill.coop] - Bulk foods, long term storage solutions
[link to www.CatawbaCoops.com] - Unique A-Frame chicken coop plans
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:12 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
good this is a reminder for you to get in touch or back in touch with your masculine adventurous side. You should go on hikes at parks, carry a rifle with you obviously cause you never know what psycho may be livin' out there or wild animal. Get in touch with nature with them. It'll be fun. Do the things your wife wouldn't let you do but be responsible. It's a shame she wants to be trash no offense but if that's the case then step up and be a man you can't be a father and a mother so if a fathers all they got then be a damn good father. Nom' sayin'? Go go go!
TheBiss  (OP)

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12/19/2015 10:13 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
It's especially hard for a father/daughter relationship at that age.

You could always just come out and ask them if there's anything they'd like to do...
 Quoting: Anonymous-Girl


Mostly likely that's what Im going to have to do. We're going to see Star Wars tonight since they grew up watching the Prequels (Ugh).

The 15 year old is into classical music which is something I love as well, so we went to the ballet to see an interpretation of Holst's PLANETS Suite, but man alive those tickets were a wallet sucker. The 13 year old likes manga and anime. I've tried watching it with her, and the soap opera stuff she watches is no Speed Racer or Starblazers. (double ugh)
[link to www.grainmill.coop] - Bulk foods, long term storage solutions
[link to www.CatawbaCoops.com] - Unique A-Frame chicken coop plans
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:13 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Thats a tough one. SOrry to hear you went through that.I am a single dad too. Of two teenage sons. I have custody of them since 2009.

Its tough to be interesting to teens. I guess the one thing I would try would be to prevent any further gap in my relationship with my girls. So since they have friends and possible love interests then be open to that. They are gonna happen whether u like it or not. So if I were you I would want to be in the know as much as possible. So maybe tell them to each invite a friend over and you all plan to cook dinner together. Try to include your teens interests so that they include you. This way you will forever have their trust.

I would also ask them if there are things they wanted to do that they have never done. This way you create a memory that is distant from you and the ex.

I know a lot of people will say dont try to be their friend but friends are what teens value most at this point in their lives. So #1 make sure you remain at the top of their list. Good luck
Chugiakian

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12/19/2015 10:14 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
 Quoting: TheBiss


give them a hug, tell them you love them, have a conversation with them, find out whats important to them.
Chugiakian
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
What you are doing is fine the main thing is communication with dad period. Winter is hard depending on where you live. My brother just had the same thing and now has the;16, 14, and 10 year olds evening and weekends. Take is slow, it will come together so long as you talk to them and give them love.

Parks, hiking, fishing, how to shoot, how to change a car tire, things they can do for theirselves to not depend on a man. Children don't really care what you spend so long as they are with you and loved. Ask them; one or the other may have some ideas soon.

hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:15 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Hey man,im sorry to hear about your recent divorce. Some women can be cunts. I'm kinda going through something similar with regards to splitting up and having to adjust to spending time with my daughter on my own.

my advice would be to try and spend quality time with them rather than just movies. Perhas you could ask your daughters what they'd like to do and how they'd like to spend their time with you? Id avoid trying to impose some activities on them that they don't enjoy so I thinks its important to get them to buy into it too...

Good luck mate, I'm sure your daughters will appreciate spending some quality time with their daddy!
BiblioPhile

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12/19/2015 10:15 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
You can try getting out of the house....also , time with Dad should be "unplug" time. They would probably not appreciate it at first, but as they get older, they will. No electronics. Maybe even for just an allotted period of time.

Their time with you should be about developing intimacy. That only happens with "face time."

Go for a drive - no radio, cell phones etc. Get drive-thru dinner and park somewhere nice to eat it.

Play catch, or any other outside sport. If it is snowy, build a snowman together - whatever. But the electronics take everyone's attention from each other.

Get a pet that you can all enjoy together and learn about its care together.

Build intimacy. Four straight minutes of eye contact at a time does that.

Cook a meal together. Do a puzzle together. Clean your home together. Whatever. Do something TOGETHER that requires face time and interaction.

Start some new traditions.

Learn how to play complicated card games like pinochle, canasta.

Just throwing out ideas here. The main thing is, as long as you have a television going or other electronic devices, they will not ever build a relationship with you.
"Be wary of mathematiciens, particularly when they speak the truth." - Augustine
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12/19/2015 10:16 AM

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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Sorry for you, OP. My suggestion is to have some real connection with them when they are with you. Some time where you are really with each other--maybe over dinner. Heart-to-heart time.Talk to them about their lives and resist the impulse to say something bad about their mother.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:17 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
don't listen to that pussy advice about find out what's important to them


listen

you're a grown ass man you're supposed to be the eagle scout know what you're doing. If you don't know what you're doing then that should be a wake up call that maybe you should learn what you're doing and take advantage of the opportunity that your shit wife is out of the picture not bringing you down with her shittiness. But if you want to be shitty and try to figure out how to lead your kids by giving them the leash connected to the collar around your neck then you won't get respect from your kids or yourself

want to be cool? learn about the outdoors, kids love camping. Learn that shit, besides it'll be useful when shtf.

Whatever you do don't start trying to date other women. It will fail I can already tell.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:17 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
 Quoting: TheBiss


Slam doors and things around them, drink in front of them, use foul language, take away their possessions when they are with you, put their bedrooms in the basement and make the upstairs room an "office" which is really a porn room, use the other room to get a roommate, preferably female and younger so she brings hot friends over, only feed your daughters cheap fast food while you eat steak and lobster. Soon they will get jobs and become self-sufficient instead of becoming like their mother.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:19 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Start a veggie garden? Get a fish tank? Have a regular road trip for a couple nights a month?

Just don't get a replacement mom, it will only make things worse.

No coke, gold chains, and don't buy a Corvette.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:19 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
It's especially hard for a father/daughter relationship at that age.

You could always just come out and ask them if there's anything they'd like to do...
 Quoting: Anonymous-Girl


Mostly likely that's what Im going to have to do. We're going to see Star Wars tonight since they grew up watching the Prequels (Ugh).

The 15 year old is into classical music which is something I love as well, so we went to the ballet to see an interpretation of Holst's PLANETS Suite, but man alive those tickets were a wallet sucker. The 13 year old likes manga and anime. I've tried watching it with her, and the soap opera stuff she watches is no Speed Racer or Starblazers. (double ugh)
 Quoting: TheBiss


Well there you go, sounds like you're on the right track. Just don't think you have to spend money doing things to make them happy or feel like you're 'not a drag.'
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12/19/2015 10:20 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Hey buddy, not a dad myself, but I am a son.

Your kids have interests of their own, capitalize on those interests, and also while showing them you care about what they care about, share your interests!
Make a day plan, and have a day ever week or month for some cheesy board game.
Tell them laughter and humility are good traits. Ask their views on life, why they see it that way, and interject yours into the conversation.


You're a good dad. You got most of the work done already.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:21 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Go to a shooting range once a week. If you dont have guns you can usually rent them at the range. And make sure you tell them that now that they ate over 13, anytime a guy talks to you he is just offering penis. Teach them to decline penis offers, and shoot guns.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:22 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
So did you just ignore them their entire lives because they were "their mom's job"? It's too late to fix things, bro.
nutmeg

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12/19/2015 10:22 AM

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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
My girls loved board games. I just never had time to sit down and play with them. They always asked me to go to movies with them or just watch TV sitcoms with them. I was both mom and dad, and just didn't have the time. Now I wish I did.

Emphasize the importance of them doing well in school. Be interested in who their friends are. They're approaching the age when their friends will be more important than you if they're not already. This is normal. Have them invite their friends to your house and order take out food like pizza or cook with the girls if you have time. Get interested in who the friends are. Sit down and talk with them, too.

Always have open discussions with them....about everything! My kids are grown and were never involved with drugs. They might have experimented with alcohol and smoking marijuana when they were of college age, but from what I've read, today the kids are experimenting when younger and are into harder drugs. Ask them what they know of drugs and if they know anyone on them in their school. They might tell you; they might not, but it's good to let them know how you feel.

Take every advantage of spending time with them NOW because when they start driving, or their friends start driving, you won't see much of them anymore. It's really important just to have FUN with them. Make good memories! Tell them how much you love them, how proud you are of them, and with girls...it's important to tell them they look pretty everyday. If you do all that, they won't have to find a guy who will.

Don't ever talk bad of their mom.

Last Edited by nutmeg on 12/19/2015 10:42 AM
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:23 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Just being together is good. Your presence is all that really matters. It makes them feel safe and secure.
The best advice I ever heard with kids and divorce is for the parent to never ever ever bring a new girlfriend into the home with them present. In fact, don't even introduce them to the girlfriend until you've been together for at least a year and even then that's iffy. If you do that the girls will be very angry. Girls are very territorial and any new woman is competition. It will sour your relationship even if the new woman is a very caring person. And it's not fair to the girlfriend(s) either. So, keep it separate totally and you will have peace all around. Then if or when the girls want to meet her, make it their decision and choice and then make it very brief and neutral ground like at a café for coffee.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:24 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
 Quoting: TheBiss


Read my older thread OP....

Im much smarter and wiser than most gen x and baby boomers.. There is a reason why i am a successful mid 20's millenial.. I learn from OTHER PEOPLES mistake, inorder to prevent things like this froming happening to me.

Thread: FUCK Having a Kid These Days. Shit is to Expensive!!!
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:24 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
I am a single dad of four kids...my oldest girls (twins) are nearly 14...I only have them every other weekend for now...I will be seeking full custody as this is their desire come January...I have an excellent relationship with my kids, my daughters especially... I have always endeavored to give them what I felt was lacking in my own relationship with my parents (also divorced): honesty, openness, open-mindedness, support, encouragement and acknowledgements of my love for them and my commitment to the development of THEIR person...we talk about EVERYTHING.. There are no secrets...I am open about all subjects and humble in my own flaws - I want them to see me and everyone else as they are; human with human foibles...this way they can be accepting of themselves and others...only in seeing things as they are can we make sound judgments and decisions...so far my philosophy and approach has shown to be spot on in regards to my aim for it - there is trust, respect and enjoyment of each others company...we make meals, tend our animals, clean house, watch movies, go shopping (groceries/necessities) go to karaoke, play games (Dungeons and Dragons is their favors), basically we just do life stuff..in short I keep it real with them and they appreciate it in a world full of illusions and phonies. Good luck!
BiblioPhile

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12/19/2015 10:24 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Go to a shooting range once a week. If you dont have guns you can usually rent them at the range. And make sure you tell them that now that they ate over 13, anytime a guy talks to you he is just offering penis. Teach them to decline penis offers, and shoot guns.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 45693998


Good advice. cool2
"Be wary of mathematiciens, particularly when they speak the truth." - Augustine
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:31 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Find out each of their primary love languages and then express love to them in the language they most relate to.

Your job as their Dad for the rest of your life is to simply love them and not expect anything in return. Just give, give, give. But remember to speak their love language, not yours. They will adore you for it.

You and they can take the love language quiz here: [link to www.5lovelanguages.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2015 10:32 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
 Quoting: TheBiss


Jesus christ, wish i had a dad to hang with. Take them hunting! Pheasant is delicious! Show them how defeather a bird! Play video games with them! Im starting to cry because my father's love interest stole my daddy away :'( and his love interest wont let me see him for fear that he might include me in his will. Everything is generally terrible.
Eagle
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12/19/2015 10:32 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
I was divorced with almost the same two daughters and time married !

You HAVE TO REMEMBER what phychiatrists will tell you; for the daughters to have a success finding a mate/husband, they NEED TO WITHDRAW from YOU as the male figure in their life. Best thing I could do was take the 15 year old on a trip to Mexico for a few weeks, and the older daughter to Europe, when she was between 'boyfriends'.

Also, having lost your presence in the home, BE SURE you spend one day of the week with them, to mentally assure them that you DO LOVE THEM !

DON'T fight with the wife ..... TRY to become 'friends', AS, the children will BIND YOU TOGETHER .... FOREVER ! They have enough terrible memories of the divorce to last them a life time, so they may not get married for many years,
Generally, the children blame themselves for the divorce, as they DO take sides, with out realizing it !

Hope this helps.

Eagle
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12/19/2015 10:33 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Sorry to hear about that OP.

I'm no girl and have no children, but I feel like I should offer some advise, even if it's horrible.

Set some kind of predictable routine- most kids do better in structured environments. On the evening you have them, try asking them what they want to do 1/2 the time and the other 1/2 the time have something prearranged- like Netflix and pizza, explore nature, cook together, drag them to the local musicals/plays, play makeover (dress up like a girl, they'll laugh and will never forget), teach them about stuff they would find cool, video game battles, take them to the mall and say pick out whatever you want under $x dollars, be ready to be okay with giving up your time with them if they want to do something with their friends.

Next stuff comes with a warning:
let the older one taste alcohol when she's 16, teach them it's okay to reject guys that are persistent about wanting to get sexual, become the cool dad with the philosophy - if they're going test the waters with the potentially evils of the world, it's better at home then at a strangers.

Never drill the girls about what's going on with their mother, simply act like it's no big deal and you don't really care what's going on with her, unless there's a health issue.

Best of luck!
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12/19/2015 10:34 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Long story short: Wife decided to go out and have herself a midlife crisis after 20 years of marriage. Racked up a bunch of debt buying clothes and partying (while she told me she was a Bible study), ruined my credit rating, nearly fleeced me for $250K which is a story in itself, got a few boyfriends, etc.

During that time, I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. She was a lousy wife, but a good mom. We're doing joint custody of the remaining daughters who are at home ages 15 and 13. Our eldest is out of the house.

I dont get home until 6pm on the evenings I have them. And the ex has been their primary caregiver their whole lives. I find that our evenings together are spent primarily camped out watching NetFlix, them texting various friends and love interests, and then going to bed.

What are some inexpensive things that I can do (other than board games) to help relate better to my kids so they don't feel like their time with dad is a drag?
 Quoting: TheBiss


Jesus christ, wish i had a dad to hang with. Take them hunting! Pheasant is delicious! Show them how defeather a bird! Play video games with them! Im starting to cry because my father's love interest stole my daddy away :'( and his love interest wont let me see him for fear that he might include me in his will. Everything is generally terrible.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 56758845


Oh, jesus. Does anyone have any remedy for this pain? Maybe a song, a youtube video? Please, help.
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
I would advise sitting down to dinner with them and talking together every night.
A simple meal, better if you fix it together, talk about the day's events.
No T no phone, iPad,etc.
Girls at that age want time with friends, so make sure you get to know the friends too.
Stay available to them if they want attention.





GLP