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Unread February 23rd, 2012, 11:45 PM   #1
Panda
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Default My Dad's Marriage

It always helps to ask other's opinions. The following events have happened so fast that I'm blindsided with loads of different emotion and, frankly, surprise. I'm not sure how to deal with this, though I'm trying to be calm and take the "It's his life and as long as he's happy, I am happy for him." but sometimes when I think about it, I'll get upset or even feel a bit betrayed by the whole thing. May sound selfish, but I imagine most kids feel this way when these things happen. The nature of it being so sudden is probably a major factor as to why I feel this way. My question, as I tell you what's happened, is simply how to deal with this in a healthy way, and maybe how you would feel if this was going on in your life.

My Dad's been married three times. His last girlfriend sued for divorce because they had been together eight years or so. Dad has been dating off and on, random women, some close to my age. When I went home, he said that he wanted to marry Cola. Cola was his masseuse, and then became his house keeper. I met her as his house keeper while I was over there. Dad told me he wanted to marry her. I didn't take it seriously at first because 1) she's married; 2) she and him don't actually act like a couple; 3) He was drunk every time he told me these things.

It started to seem more serious and less of a jest when his friends told me things like, "They've both seen lawyers, we got her one who speaks her language so she knows exactly what's happening." and "They have paperwork going through already." and "When your Dad and Cola get married, he's going to stop drinking." Still, I wasn't sure. Why would a woman leave a man who's not bad to her, to be married to another man... without even dating or going on trips together etc? So I was confused. After promising my brother that he wouldn't get married again, Dad's flipped 180 and decided to marry her even though she has a daughter.

As soon as I'm back in NZ, I get told that she's moved in with her daughter, she's filed for divorce, (should go through in 60 days as per Texas law) she has a wedding ring, and that they're planning a white wedding in Hawaii. I'm expected to go. I don't really know if I want to.

I told my Dad that I'm happy for him as long as he's happy. He says he's happy. Told me himself that he finally has a reason to stop drinking. (Which hurt, considering I thought me and my brothers would have been enough of a reason.) I don't know this woman, and I suppose some of me feels threatened. Hell, while I was in Hawaii with him over the holidays, he brought two strippers with him.

It's just a very sudden random turn of events. I'm having trouble dealing with all this. I don't understand why though. I'm 24, my parents have been divorced since I was 12, and I DO want my parent's happiness. I'll randomly cry and go, "why is he doing this?" The rational explanation is, "He wants someone to take care of him in old age." But it's going to be odd and uncomfortable for me to accept someone new into my life... a new "mother?" a new "sister?" .... dunno, my rational side doesn't care, but for some reason this still hurts?

It just feels like because he's drinking himself to death he is finally ready to play Dad and husband. It's a shame that he couldn't bring himself to do that for me and the boys. (Married to my mother or not!)

*sigh* It just feels like it's all too fast for all this to be going on.

Last edited by Panda; February 24th, 2012 at 01:24 AM.. Reason: names changed for privacy
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Unread February 24th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: My Dad's Marriage

Panda,

I feel for you i do. But I have to ask this.....

Has your father a history of drinking? Would you call him an alcoholic?

My second wife was an alcoholic. I can assure you Coco is not going to make him stop drinking. That's the ramblings of well an alcoholic.

You do see the dysfunction of every aspect of this whole scenario I'm confident. Your a smart cookie and you know exactly that this is a losing dynamic. I feel for you I do.

However, he's going to do what he wants to do. And from the actions of him you have described, it's a cycle that is bound to repeat itself.

You on the other hand have choices to make that have familial repercussions.

You don't approve of Coco Chanel and her rebound shenanigans. But you don't have any influence. If you did, he would have quit drinking for you and your brothers. There is no rationality to it. I wouldn't expect to see any. Reality is that if he's an alcoholic one shot of Coco isn't going to cure him from drinking. His drinking is affecting his rational thought process, and only he can change that.

Take it from a former drug addict/alcoholic whatever you want to label me, we don't think like normal people when addicted. We think about the instant numbing of years and years and years of whatever it is we're trying to keep at bay by self medicating. We do that with drugs, alcohol, people, relationships whatever can keep the thing at bay. Makes no rational sense.

may not have helped your situation any but the dynamic is glaring to me.
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Unread February 24th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: My Dad's Marriage

Oh yes, he is textbook alcoholic. He is a functioning alcoholic, for the most part, but when he's dry he's scared to drive, gets moody, and seems closed off. He's a happy drunk, so I don't worry about there being any kind of nastiness. Though, he LOVES to play head games and fuck with people.

He can be charming, but more often than not he's crass and uses the alcohol as, "Oh, that never happened" to get out of when he's said something stupid. The truth is, that man doesn't forget unless it's convenient.

I know it has absolutely nothing to do with me and the boys. It's his relationship and his schtick. I guess all I can do is be polite and respectful. I'm sure she will do the same. She does seem nice, but I suppose that her not knowing the language too well means she has little to no choice really. Not sure how far her vocabulary extends.

The fact that this whole thing is irrational actually does help me gain clarity for myself. Clearly a normal person would introduce a potential wife to his children first AS his partner, or actually spoil his betrothed (not other women) or wait until the divorce goes through before she moves in. It is not exactly the scenario of someone who is doing this with his whole heart. Some part of me makes me believe he feels guilty about this whole thing, because he tried to hide it from us. In fact, before he told us "She's moved in today" the boys thought the whole marriage thing was drunken ramblings.

Ah well. It's irrational, and I should look upon this as a detached individual. Nothing will stop me from loving my Dad and respecting their choice. I'll just have to be careful and stay as uninvolved as I can... while also staying in the loop. It certainly would hurt more if my law-sibling were put on a pedestal that the boys and I don't have, but even if it DOES turn out that way, I just need to take care of myself and let the rest slide. Nothing to be done about that. I will keep my sanity.
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Unread February 24th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: My Dad's Marriage

Quote:
It just feels like because he's drinking himself to death he is finally ready to play Dad and husband. It's a shame that he couldn't bring himself to do that for me and the boys. (Married to my mother or not!)
At this point, panda all those convictions to quit drinking are just words. Don't feel slighted until you see that he's actually quit and has done so for years.. not just weeks or months.

Your concern is totally understandable. I remember how I felt when my father found himself a new girlfriend after mom died. He was around 80 at the time and I still felt a twinge of uncertainty and wondered if she would be absconding with the family fortune (giggles) after all, she was younger (75) and might dance him to death to Benny Goodman or something.

She's a wonderful woman I've come to realize and my father is so fond of her that I couldn't help but be happy for both of them.

Lets see how your fathers promises turn out before you start feeling inadequate for not being able to be the one who could turn around his life. Even if she does influence him. He's that much older now and there comes a time when every alcoholic philanderer needs to slow down, can't take it like he did when he was younger kinda thing.

With his history, surely you shouldn't be shocked or dismayed and anything he does, anymore.

I'd be interested in an update to see how his "sobriety" is going. *rolls eyes*
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Unread February 24th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Dad's Marriage

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Originally Posted by Panda View Post
I just need to take care of myself and let the rest slide. Nothing to be done about that. I will keep my sanity.
Sounds like you have been reading from the Al-Anon text book.

Good for you Panda. You will be fine you just need to embrace that healthy detachment with love.
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Unread February 24th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Dad's Marriage

Thank you for your support. It really does help to hear it from other people, and not just my own head. lol.

Funny that, I did do Al-a-Teen when I was younger. I think it helped in some ways.

I do have good news though. She is coming to my graduation ceremony, so I'll actually be able to meet her as my Dad's partner. Also, Jay can come to the wedding with me. It'll keep me sane. Jay is *very* good at getting my mind off things and getting me to laugh even when I am in rough spots. We should be able to have our own fun with my brothers.

It's so funny, Jay knows Cola to the exact same extent I do - hearsay and twice while she was cleaning the house. I felt it was appropriate that Jay come along since we know her the same amount. lol.
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