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

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 66556491
United States
12/19/2015 02:57 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
LOVE them.

TRUST them.

FEED them.

In that order. Be honestly inquisitive and learn from them. NOT to be nosy and snoopy, but to honestly learn what their generation has to offer you. Teach them things they care and those you know are really important - especially the ones that they won't learn anywhere else. Tell them about some of your stories that are interesting and not boring, and don't repeat the same ones.

I like the idea of a family meal - good food and conversation, with everyone participating in making it, eating it, and putting all the crap away. No phones for an hour or two is fair. Then let them lead, unless you have something very special to share. Figure you might get 1/3 to 1/2 their time if you're lucky or fascinating, and the rest is for their friends and schoolwork.

Don't overindulge with presents - just with the love and trust. Let them know you need them as much as they need you because you're family and you all really do matter.

Regarding physical affection and how to do it right, I'm not the one to ask. Some kids want lots of hugging, and others don't. Perhaps the women here have something to add.

If THEY are serious about something or someone, take them seriously, even if you believe that it's trivial. Nothing humiliates any kid more than to have his/her heart's desire ridiculed. Never humiliate for punishment or any other reason. Punish as little as possible - if you can get the relationship right, your disappointment is quite punishment enough. Good luck.

I do hope you find a good woman for your life. I've been there and am still looking for a compatible one.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 66556491
United States
12/19/2015 03:26 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Just one more thought: NEVER badmouth their mom, no matter how you feel. You can say that you disagree with her choices, but say it unemotionally, if sadly. Point out that she's chosen a path and it's hers and hers alone, if you must. Choose your own path wisely, if possible. When you have to be gone for work or something else, make sure they know that you'd rather be with them, but "somebody has to pay the bills". They'll understand, even if they don't admit it.
TheBiss  (OP)

User ID: 69534485
United States
12/19/2015 03:44 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Just one more thought: NEVER badmouth their mom, no matter how you feel. You can say that you disagree with her choices, but say it unemotionally, if sadly.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 66556491


I've tried really hard not to use ad hominem attacks against their mom (that's what my friends are for), and merely stick with the truth of the situation when they ask.
[link to www.grainmill.coop] - Bulk foods, long term storage solutions
[link to www.CatawbaCoops.com] - Unique A-Frame chicken coop plans
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 38075961
Netherlands
12/19/2015 04:23 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Give them a copy of "Theory of Everything" by Trey Smith.

Give them a quality Bible.

Give them a good solid synopsis of all of your failings, all of your Wife's misdeeds.

Make sure that they understand that whatever path they choose, that they NOT make the mistakes that you did.

Admit to them you are a loser, and don't use yourself as an example for anything but failure.

Truth... can be the best treatment, and may lead to recovery for yourself, as well as them.

[DVDs | God in a Nutshell project]
[link to godinanutshell.com]

?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 66556491
United States
12/19/2015 04:44 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Give them a copy of "Theory of Everything" by Trey Smith.

Give them a quality Bible.

Give them a good solid synopsis of all of your failings, all of your Wife's misdeeds.

Make sure that they understand that whatever path they choose, that they NOT make the mistakes that you did.

Admit to them you are a loser, and don't use yourself as an example for anything but failure.

Truth... can be the best treatment, and may lead to recovery for yourself, as well as them.

[DVDs | God in a Nutshell project]
[link to godinanutshell.com]

?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 38075961


Respectfully, I don't agree. Say as little as possible about the wife's misdeeds, and mention a few of her good points. Point out some of your great successes as well as some of your failures. In short, paint yourself as human.

They will make the same mistakes if they must, and it's on them, not you. Just do your best, and trust both God and them.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 52269107
United States
12/19/2015 05:15 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Here is a list of To-Do's for you...

1. Be you!

2. Be open to your daughters. Let them let you know what they need.

3. Remember good times from your children's past. Create strong memories around those times. Your children will hold them forever if you remind them, if you don't, your children will forget!

4. Do your best not to talk down their mother. They'll see. If you attack her in any way, they'll feel that you are dangerous. Let them say what they want to, even if it's negative, but don't horn in. Let it go. IT's hard, but real strength is in not letting other people get under your skin.

5. It's simple enough to say things like " you are special to me", or " I love you", or " I'm glad I get to see you." Say what you feel.

6. Be available. They are going to feel it's awkward to connect, but that is how young people are, just make it easy for them to reach you when they need to.

7. Be consistent. If you weren't directly involved in making decisions about their lives when they were younger, there isn't any reason that you shouldn't feel comfortable shifting the rules around you now so that they suit you and your vision of family. Just choose your battles carefully and remember this is the beginning of the rest of your life! You don't have to shift everything immediately.

8. Listen!!!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 66556491
United States
12/19/2015 07:21 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
LOVE them.

TRUST them.

FEED them.

In that order. Be honestly inquisitive and learn from them. NOT to be nosy and snoopy, but to honestly learn what their generation has to offer you. Teach them things they care and those you know are really important - especially the ones that they won't learn anywhere else. Tell them about some of your stories that are interesting and not boring, and don't repeat the same ones.

I like the idea of a family meal - good food and conversation, with everyone participating in making it, eating it, and putting all the crap away. No phones for an hour or two is fair. Then let them lead, unless you have something very special to share. Figure you might get 1/3 to 1/2 their time if you're lucky or fascinating, and the rest is for their friends and schoolwork.

Don't overindulge with presents - just with the love and trust. Let them know you need them as much as they need you because you're family and you all really do matter.

Regarding physical affection and how to do it right, I'm not the one to ask. Some kids want lots of hugging, and others don't. Perhaps the women here have something to add.

If THEY are serious about something or someone, take them seriously, even if you believe that it's trivial. Nothing humiliates any kid more than to have his/her heart's desire ridiculed. Never humiliate for punishment or any other reason. Punish as little as possible - if you can get the relationship right, your disappointment is quite punishment enough. Good luck.

I do hope you find a good woman for your life. I've been there and am still looking for a compatible one.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 66556491


This is key!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 14992014
United States
12/19/2015 07:30 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Cook with them. Teach them to drive and do basic automotive stuff. Get a dog to help a new family unit bond at your place. Paint and redecorate their bedrooms together. Teach them to do handyman stuff. Just be there for them.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 71062157
United States
12/19/2015 07:39 PM
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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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 57518397

Hey bro, maybe he was at work earning a living for his family like most real men do?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 61877188


This was the ticket.

It's hard to raise a family on one income this day and age. We had to make certain sacrifices so that my ex could stay at home with the kids. We never had the nicest house, or the fanciest clothes, or the newest cars. Only after she left me did she tell me that blatant materialism was important to her; that she wanted the new car and the beach house, and the white picket fence, and IKEA furniture.

Had I known that she was sold out on The American Dream (tm) like that, I would have suggested she needed to be working as well and the kids could go to public school.

But when she did go back to work, shortly before our breakup, I got reports from her employer that she was being excessively flirty with patients there at the chiro office... Fuuuuu...
 Quoting: TheBiss


It's happening everywhere, friend. It's happening to me.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 59634072
United States
12/19/2015 07:40 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
I see you said she was a lousy wife, but a great mom.
Exactly... once the kids come along goodbye husband.
I tell my wife she has child on the brain.
So after 14 years or so, she has now filed for
divorce. My christian wife, I know how you feel.
My boys like target shooting that helps to
keep us doing things together.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 71062157
United States
12/19/2015 07:43 PM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Give them a copy of "Theory of Everything" by Trey Smith.

Give them a quality Bible.

Give them a good solid synopsis of all of your failings, all of your Wife's misdeeds.

Make sure that they understand that whatever path they choose, that they NOT make the mistakes that you did.

Admit to them you are a loser, and don't use yourself as an example for anything but failure.

Truth... can be the best treatment, and may lead to recovery for yourself, as well as them.

[DVDs | God in a Nutshell project]
[link to godinanutshell.com]

?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 38075961


Respectfully, I don't agree. Say as little as possible about the wife's misdeeds, and mention a few of her good points. Point out some of your great successes as well as some of your failures. In short, paint yourself as human.

They will make the same mistakes if they must, and it's on them, not you. Just do your best, and trust both God and them.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 66556491


What is this conspiracy that we must not discuss the misdeeds of bad wives? This is a double standard. When men philander and split a family, its not discussed?
InTheGLPHood

User ID: 70344972
United States
12/20/2015 12:24 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 out and find them a new Mommy.

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


Absolutely DO NOT do that unless you want to rain WWIII on your household. Not the time to introduce a new gal, AT ALL.

Your kids are at the age, they aren't going to want to play board games with Dad after school.

They'll go to their rooms or engage in something OTHER than talking to you, will almost guarantee it. They need time to themselves to think/grieve without Dad trying to tell them how to think or grieve.

I would immediately set up a counseling session 1x a week with a qualified family counselor, just for them (separate from you), and then I'd just go with whatever the counselor suggested.

This is a tricky time and their ages, OMG, teens...worst age (IMO) for this to happen, sorry. I'd just let them be for now (no pressure) until you can talk to a counselor on "relating" to them.

You have my condolences.
 Quoting: InTheGLPHood


That's funny, but a highlight of my teenagers' (12,13,14,15 years old) days were when we played board games together. They loved when their dad was home and participated. They still like board games and they're 40 and 45!
 Quoting: nutmeg


Same here, but honestly, nowadays, the kids (most, not all) just aren't into board games (w/the new technology, etc.).
*We tried :)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20846498
United States
12/20/2015 12:52 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



"hi kids! since mommy was a whore I cant be with you all the time now. that doesnt' mean that you should be a whore too just because mommy was. Mommy has mental problems and you shouldnt listen to her or imitate her even though the liberals created a legal system that gives her rights over you. Trust me, in a few years you'll be thanking me. here are some pictures and storeis about liberal crack whores who thought this philosophy was something you can live by. your dad loves you and he wants to help you become a good married wife by a good man, mommy simply wants to ruin your life out of spite."
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20846498
United States
12/20/2015 12:54 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Cook with them. Teach them to drive and do basic automotive stuff. Get a dog to help a new family unit bond at your place. Paint and redecorate their bedrooms together. Teach them to do handyman stuff. Just be there for them.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 14992014


WHAT?

ITS HER FATHER YOU FEMINIST DYKE.

tell your daughters

1) DONT BE SLUTS

2) LEARN HOW TO PLEASE MEN

3) LEARN HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN

4) CONSERVE YOUR PURITY ITS YOUR GREATEST ASSET
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 70388230
Canada
12/20/2015 01:00 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Cook with them. Teach them to drive and do basic automotive stuff. Get a dog to help a new family unit bond at your place. Paint and redecorate their bedrooms together. Teach them to do handyman stuff. Just be there for them.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 14992014


WHAT?

ITS HER FATHER YOU FEMINIST DYKE.

tell your daughters

1) DONT BE SLUTS

2) LEARN HOW TO PLEASE MEN

3) LEARN HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN

4) CONSERVE YOUR PURITY ITS YOUR GREATEST ASSET

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 20846498


That's a dad thing. My dad tried to teach me a few things about cars. I was a slow learner in that area though.

Your advice is good too though.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 59858520
United States
12/20/2015 03:52 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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 57518397

Hey bro, maybe he was at work earning a living for his family like most real men do?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 61877188


This was the ticket.

It's hard to raise a family on one income this day and age. We had to make certain sacrifices so that my ex could stay at home with the kids. We never had the nicest house, or the fanciest clothes, or the newest cars. Only after she left me did she tell me that blatant materialism was important to her; that she wanted the new car and the beach house, and the white picket fence, and IKEA furniture.

Had I known that she was sold out on The American Dream (tm) like that, I would have suggested she needed to be working as well and the kids could go to public school.

But when she did go back to work, shortly before our breakup, I got reports from her employer that she was being excessively flirty with patients there at the chiro office... Fuuuuu...
 Quoting: TheBiss


nothing will reverse the tide until real legal changes are made... it's just too easy for a woman to pull this sort of thing today.

this is why Islam WILL WIN. Women cannot do this in their culture- they will lose everything if they do.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 589518
Australia
12/20/2015 04:22 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Have you told them about the reptilians yet?
Anonymous Coward
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United States
12/20/2015 04:46 AM
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Re: Newly single dad of 6 mos after 20 years of marriage. How do I relate to my kids?
Wish I had a dad like you are OP. My dad was abusive and hated my existence; made fun of me in front of others, so many injustices, I cried daily; just a horrible, horrible person.

Guys like you OP are very rare. I wish you the best with your children. grouphug
Anonymous Coward
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12/20/2015 05:00 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 great that your asking the question ..

But maybe the best thing to do is to ask them.

At that age, most teenagers are going to be pulling away from parents as they start to explorer who they are / want to be. Honestly the last thing most of them want to do is hang out with dad. It's going to feel like you're failing at reaching them, but in time when they're older, they'll realize the effort you were putting in and will come around. You've unfortunately got them now in an awkward time in their lives

Teach them things that will be useful in shaping who they are. Any skill you have or wisdom you can share. Listen. Laugh.

This is rough on them and even if they don't express it, I'm sure there's a lot of pain of seperation they are going through.

Make dinner together, learn a recipe on YouTube if you don't know how, and be willing to mess it up. The experience together will be worth it.

Go ice skating. Go for a hike. Rent bikes if you don't have them. Anything that's active but still allows for good conversation.
NowIhavetothinkofanam​e

User ID: 71062103
Australia
12/20/2015 05:18 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 don't have kids; so this will be bad advice. Feel free to ignore it!

Shape your kids into who you want them to be. IF you want them to be married with children, or self sufficient global leaders, or even crack whores if you wish!

Sure you could find out what your kids want, but I'm willing to bet it's expensive shit. We all believe in right wing politics and TSHTF scenarios.

Teach your kids to shoot and reload ammo, teach your kids to have a work ethic, even swimming can come in handy.

Teach your kids about finance; let them borrow money to buy shit, from you! And show them they have to work or fleece a Beta male for money to buy shit! Show them the value of buying and selling stuff to make a profit; show them buying stuff and trading it in for newer shit is like giving someone something for nothing. I.e hiring a hooker for someone else!

Show your kids not to spend money on useless shit; make them work for it to appreciate shit. Buy you kids useful stuff for when they leave the nest; like a fridge or washing machine. Screw Guypads or Guyphones.

Someone else already said fix cars with them; even changing an alternator/generator will give them the confidence they need to do minor repairs. Sure they probably won't rebuild an engine; but changing a fuel filter will save them an hour of an mechanic's time!
NowIhavetothinkofanameohnoithurts
It's all bull!
Nevertheless, the ruler is not truly wise who cannot discern evils before they develop themselves, and this is a faculty given to few. Niccolo Machiavelli
Karma is funny, people who kick dogs usually get bitten.
If someone doesn't add value to your life, then that someone shouldn't be a part of it.
You can always trust people to do whatever is in their own interests.
It is certain wastelands will be brought under cultivation.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20873623
United States
12/20/2015 05:29 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.
 Quoting: TheBiss


They need to know that they come first. Your daughters especially need to know where your priorities lie because girls are all looking for love, and this will send them a powerful message about what type of women are loveable in the eyes of men. You only get one true marriage in the eyes of God...the rest can only ever be just mistresses.





GLP