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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisteria Lane
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Re: Need parenting advice. Daughter snooping in my phone!

I appreciate the advice from everyone. Allow me to make things a bit more clear.
We were in counseling in 2014 and by the end of the year I knew I didn't have it in me to continue the marriage. The biggest red flag was that I could not bring myself to be intimate with him. I felt repulsed.
I asked for a separation after the holidays. I thought that there was a small chance a separation would give me the space I needed at the time and possibly have a change of heart. He finally agreed to move out around March 2015. He wanted to wait until the kids were on summer break and out of school to lessen the disruption. I completely agreed.

Summer came and went and he was still in the house. Then the holidays came around again and I told myself I wouldn't live another year this way. Jan 2016 I was so frustrated with him. He wouldn't move. He had many excuses. But all in all I think he did not take m seriously and felt that as he was in the house, he could continue to watch over me and have some control over what I was doing, separated or not. I told him that I would move instead. Just as I suspected, he was surprised! He hadn't taken me seriously all along. In the meantime I had met with an attorney and planed to file and have him served once the kids and I were out of the house. He was furious and decided to file for divorce. It took me several months to find a suitable place for me and the kids and one that would let me have our dog.

I never told my kids about my ex's EA, possible PA, because I don't believe it is appropriate to provide every detail of the breakdown of our marriage. There were other factors before the affair that I also don't think they are mature enough to hear. Plus, I don't want them to lose respect for him or be angry with him for something that is between us.

Like one of the posters suggested, I was ready to move on way before I moved out. But I do recognize that it was much too early for the kids. FOr this reason, I have never referred to my new friend as a boyfriend.
He has been to our house maybe 5 times over the past 4 months while the kids are home, maybe an hour at a time. Most of the times my older daughter has sat with us in the kitchen and talked. I have never shown any affection toward him in front of them.

My password has been changed and is secure. The recent snooping has been done from my watch.
In talking to her, she says she is afraid I will change. Until recently, I rarely had time to myself to do thing with friends, enjoy a hobby etc. Planning any time away from the house, other than work, was difficult to do because my ex would pout and make sure I knew he wasn't happy about it. I was never sure if it was because he had to care for the kids while I was away or just because he didn't think I should be having any fun without him. So, now that I have a few days a week to myself, my 11 y/o is very concerned about what I am doing and with whom. She says it feels weird that I am not taking care of them and she is afraid of how this new freedom I have a few days a week will change me.

Tonight I made it very clear that the snooping will not be tolerated. Period. I told her that there would be a consequence for this recent incident as well as for any in the future. I still don't know what the punishment will be. Her phone seems to be most valuable to her. I struggle with discipline lately because I do have guilt for tearing their family apart and I don't want to hand out punishments if what they really need is compassion and love. However, the phone issue seems pretty straight forward to me.

Also, the kids have seen a therapist recently. My older one is currently going weekly for an issue she's had for many years. My 11y/o hardly participated when it was both kids and myself. Clearly, she could use some individual sessions.

I have taken everyone's advice to heart, even those I don't necessarily agree with.

Last edited by Sparrow77; 03-16-2017 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Correct date
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 01:21 PM
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Posts: 762
Re: Need parenting advice. Daughter snooping in my phone!

I don't believe in the silliness of 'apologizing to your daughter' for supposedly stepping out on their dad. Good god, what tripe. Not everyone believes in telling all their PRIVATE marital secrets to their kids which is just foolish and completely unnecessary, in my opinion. Young kids don't need to be burdened with their parents private marital issues. Jeez.

You're a smart cookie and I completely agree with how you handled things.

Do know that if you don't nip this crap in the bud FOR GOOD now, you can expect an obnoxious little witch by the age of 17 or 18 (and older!!) making your life pure HELL with anyone you're with. Happened to my brother. He too wanted to be the 'friend' and overcompensate for his 13 year old daughter when her mother ran off with some guy, so he constantly pandered to his daughter. He ended up with a complete monster at 18 who thought the world owed her everything, and she had NO problem treating any of the girlfriends he brought home as though they were dirt under her feet. The horrifically disrespectful things she said to them and her horrible behavior around them drove EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM away. And that's because my brother was too afraid to be the PARENT because he was too busy STILL overcompensating.

That is the truth. Nip it in the bud for GOOD or you'll regret it.

Good luck to you.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 02:31 PM
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Re: Need parenting advice. Daughter snooping in my phone!

I just remembered something I did when I was going through a divorce and when I was planning on getting remarried. I should have done it more than I did, but I tried to go on a 'date' with each kid at least twice a year (I have 3 kids) and once a year I tried to take each of them away alone with me somewhere special for a weekend. For the yearly thing I'd ask them what they wanted to do, where they wanted to go, and how they wanted to get there. So we ended up doing things like camping in a tent at a lake, getting a hotel in the mountains and hiking, staying at the hot springs, getting a theme room at West Edmonton Mall, that type of thing. For the 'date' I usually just took them out to a restaurant of their choice for dinner and a leisurely visit one on one.

This is something my parents did with me as I was growing up, and they weren't going through a divorce - they just did it because it's a great idea for ANY parent!

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:59 PM
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Re: Need parenting advice. Daughter snooping in my phone!

Originally Posted by Sparrow77 View Post
I struggle with discipline lately because I do have guilt for tearing their family apart and I don't want to hand out punishments if what they really need is compassion and love. However, the phone issue seems pretty straight forward to me.
I know what you're saying, I get it. Try to think of it this way though - kids act out when they feel insecure and like things are out of control. They are crying out for boundaries even though they'd never admit it. Boundaries and rules make kids feel'll notice a change in your daughters behaviour after you've enforced consequences once or twice...

There's a world of difference between boundaries, discipline and consequences; and punishment.
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