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Advice for relationship with dad after parents’ divorce

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by New Creature SD, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. New Creature SD

    New Creature SD New Member

    1
    +3
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I am new to this forum and have sought it out to ask for advice and insight from others who may have similar experiences. My parents divorced about 3 years ago, initiated by my dad, after about 34 years of marriage. I knew my parents weren’t always happy with each other, but found out after the divorce was initiated that my dad felt unloved by my mom and that my mom endured years of demeaning words and sexual abuse, along with my dad’s pornography addiction. He also was involved with another woman (about my age) for at least a year before the divorce (which he lied about to multiple people at the time) and is still in a relationship with her now. He maintains that my mom was unfaithful for not fulfilling his needs and that he was right to divorce after a loveless marriage and he claims to be a Christian. Needless to say, it was a very ugly divorce, and my mom is still traumatized any time someone so much as mentions my dad. In other areas of life, my dad is a great guy, helping out people whenever he can, etc.

    Our family faithfully attended church and was from all I knew genuinely Christian, and I really was hit hard when this all occurred. Previous to the divorce, the only times I really saw my dad was at family gatherings and rare other occasions. Now that they are divorced we can’t have family gatherings together, and I really only see or talk with my dad about 3-5 times a year, usually at my brother’s house.

    I love and pray for both my parents, and I continue to pray that my dad would discontinue living in sin and turn back to God, but in the meantime I have a hard time knowing how to relate to him and if I should be pursuing more of a relationship with him and have him more involved with his grandkids. I’m not angry at him and don’t have trouble forgiving personally, but I feel I can’t act like everything is okay with him living in adultery and abandoning my mom. I’ve never met his girlfriend, as he doesn’t bring her around to family things, and basically pretends to us she doesn’t exist. Any thoughts or advice?
     
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  2. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

    +10,987
    United States
    Catholic
    Widowed
    US-Republican
    I am sorry for your situation.
    I know that it's not an easy one to live with, but you are an adult now, and must make the best choices for your children. They are your priority now, not your father.
    He is an adult and as so many older men tend to do, he has chosen his own pathway, and will have to walk it.
    Meanwhile, take your kids to church, and hopefully you can find some older men there who can act as good role models for your children.
    if the kids ask about Grandpa, you can tell them truthfully that he has chosen a life without them.
    Yes, that will be hard, but it's more important that they have good, solid role models when they are growing up and learning to be adults. Otherwise you run the risk of sending them a mixed message between which is more important: self realization, family relationship, or obeying God.
    In today's society the primary message would have put Self Realization in first place, followed by family relationships, and trailing dead last as obeying God.
    And that is exactly the opposite of what God wants us to do.
     
  3. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +3,558
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I don't think this choice was said in the OP.
     
  4. timf

    timf Regular Member

    638
    +108
    Non-Denom
    Sadly in this day and age even in the rare instances when people seek help to fix their marriage, they do not find wisdom or effective counsel, even at churches.

    Satan is said in the bible to set the course of this world. One of his objectives is to weaken and destroy families. It sounds like your parents were ignorant of these currents in society and fell victim to seeing each other as the person who hurt them and were likely to retaliate in ways that would inflict increasing hurt.

    It sounds like your father took steps to find affection in another direction by abandoning his family. It is sad that he could not find or even sought counsel as to how to repair his marriage.

    While many go all the way to divorce, many others live lives that have been called "quiet desperation"

    As Christians we should be ashamed that we are so distant from our Savior (who is the source of wisdom) that we not only do not seek wisdom, but are even unable to recognize it.

    The fact that the divorce rate is the same for church goes as it is for non-Christians is a testimony to how much the church has been influenced by the world.

    You might not be able to repair your parents marriage (those scars run deep), however, you can use the pain of others as a motivation in your own walk with the Lord that you would grow in wisdom and build a marriage that honors the Lord and gives joy.
     
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