I’m a woman in my early 50s and I divorced my husband nearly three years ago after he had an affair. We have two children – a boy and a girl – now teenagers, who live with me.
He also has two daughters from his previous marriage, who are both in their 20s and have left home, but I helped to bring them up and always treated them as my own. I loved them very much and still do.
My problem is, my stepdaughters don’t want anything to do with me since I divorced their dad. For some reason they blame me, even though he was the one who cheated. I’m sure he’s poisoned them against me.
I still send them cards and presents, but I never get a reply or a thank you. I’ve also sent emails and texts, which go unanswered.
It’s heartbreaking as my kids don’t see them either and miss them.
My husband sees our two children now and again, but I have to nag him into it. During the divorce, he fought to make sure he saw his kids frequently, but now he doesn’t seem bothered.
He’s still so angry with me for walking out, even though I had good reason. Can you help?
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Yes, it’s possible your ex has said certain things to turn your stepdaughters against you and, naturally, they’ll feel more loyalty towards him.
Maybe they’re also hurting because they feel you walked out on them too, even though that’s not what actually happened. I’m sure you told them it wouldn’t mean the end of your relationship with them.
I don’t know if there’s someone else in the family who could mediate and speak to your stepdaughters on your behalf?
You may have already written to them, explaining how you feel but, if you haven’t, then try that.
Let them know your door is always open and that you’re there for them if they want to get in touch.
All you can really do is let them know you love them, you miss them and you’re there for them – the rest is up to them, I’m afraid.
It’s a sad situation, but hopefully in time they’ll gain a more mature perspective on what happened and reach out to you.
Until then, focus on your son and daughter, and forging a new and better life for yourself. Good luck.