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Default Dec 20, 2023 at 03:45 PM
Two years ago, my 20 something daughter cut off all communication with me. This was six years after I divorced her mother, my wife of 20 years. Daughter knew about her mom’s infidelity even before I found out. Her mom and I tried to work it out, but she was ultimately not trustworthy. Her mom had a breakdown during our attempted reconciliation and threatened suicide to our daughter’s face, blaming daughter for her suicidal desires. Daughter had several episodes of suicidal ideation before that, herself.

Daughter ended up going to a good college and got a job afterwards. Her relationship with me changed dramatically after the divorce. She was clearly angry at me. When I asked why, she cited three incidents. One was me losing my cool (during the aforementioned attempt to reconcile my broken marriage) and shouting at her that I deserved to be treated with respect after months of her mom and her treating me with contempt and venom. Only words. Only demands to stop treating me with disrespect. But yes, I shouted those words very loudly. The other two incidents she has exaggerated in her mind to the point of fabrication. One time she called the police because I got mildly exasperated that she spilled a milkshake in my car. She told the police that she felt I was going to be violent with her. The third incident is that she believes I “threw her and her Mom out of the house into the snow.” It’s true I told her mother to leave the house when I’d had enough of her lies and abuse, but in no way did I include our daughter, who stayed with me several days afterwards, until she wanted to see her mother.

I was trying to find ways to talk to her about our worsening relationship. I even tried to find a family counselor to help us talk through these issues. She agreed, but as I came closer to scheduling a therapist, she shutdown communication with me. She resumed communication a year ago, but it’s only small talk. Anything veering into “what are your plans for the holidays” and she ghosts me.

I’ve tried giving her space while sending regular texts. I have a hole in my heart. Is there a guide book for how to deal with these issues? Everything I read tells me to leave it be and she’ll either come around or not.
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Unhappy Dec 21, 2023 at 07:24 PM
I see you just joined, I hope you find support here.

So sorry about this. I don't know what to say except that if she agreed to a counselor and resumed communication, that says that she's meeting you "halfway" so to speak but neither of you know where to start.

I'd think a therapist is definitely needed to explore these feelings on both sides. If neither of you ever had an emotional connection with each other, this is at the core to start with. Both of you to be really heard and validated.

Maybe try asking her point blank, "How do we break the ice?" Or "Where do we start?" It would be small steps for sure. I don't know of any books off the top of my head about this, but I'm sure they are out there. I'm not a parent either.

Hopefully others will respond that had similar experiences.

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More Stories of  Parents of Estranged Adult Children-Introduce Yourself

Hmmm....looks like some good tips in here.

More Stories of  Parents of Estranged Adult Children-Introduce Yourself

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Default Dec 21, 2023 at 08:01 PM
Sounds likes she identifies with mum to the point of enmeshment. I don’t know that there’s anything you can do at this point but be patient and keep the offer of a therapist on the table.


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Default Jan 02, 2024 at 11:14 AM
Welcome, grasshopper66. My first thought is her mother has turned her against you. I agree with what Nammu and nonightowl said. I would try to keep the door open--stay in contact, but not too often. Maybe every few months? A therapist could definitely help.

I'm so sorry that was happened to you.
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