BEING 40+… and caught in the crossfire

"Rock, Hard Place" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

I can either mediate or stand by and watch something that could be great crumble to the ground…

However, this is not the first time I’ve been caught in the middle, the other time everything did crumble to the ground, could it have been great? I have no idea, only my parents can say…

So, from that divorce I knew (and I’ve mentioned here more than once) I would be losing out on something big, I could feel it. Of course the obvious was a father at home and from there stemmed my theories on daughters of divorce

Up to now I had attributed several of my less than fortunate characteristics to this.

(Among several, but to keep it simple) For starters, my distrust of men, their word, their intentions… they were always this mystery that piqued my curiosity and triggered my sense of hypervigilance… they were up to no good and ready to take advantage of the naive…

Then, many years later…

I got married and found myself losing every single discussion because I would get so exasperated at his closed mindedness that I’d start to cry, marking the end of the talk in his favor… so, I didn’t know how to stand up for myself and I blamed it all on the parent’s divorce…

I was sure that was something you learned at home with your dad when confrontations arose…

Since this sad state of affairs could not go on forever, or better said, I could not keep this up and stay in this marriage, I decided to find a way to be better at discussing with my husband given that now children were part of the mix and things were bound to get crazier and more complicated…Hence, changes were in order… I replayed in my mind our unsuccessful attempts to pinpoint my faults, that’s when crying surged as the foremost reason things went sour. He’d get angrier at watching me cry and I’d feel offended by him demanding I stop crying… so I STOPPED CRYING completely… that showed some progress but then he’d flip everything I’d say and use it against me so now I’d choose my words with incredible care being sure there was no way he’d do the flip-a-roo… and, I stopped cursing (no comment)… eventually these discussions started having a solution… that took me 15 years to achieve…

Quite an achievement indeed one that made me believe I had healed from that painful childhood boo-boo

…until now

I am again in the middle of a terrible fight and again I feel afraid to speak up, however, this time I have to because something that could be/should be great could crumble to the ground…

The two opposing parties: my husband and my daughter

The reason: attitude? power struggle? lack of empathy? misunderstood sense of authority? unreal feeling of maturity? a little bit of everything…

I got up the nerve to mediate, nerve I never had when it was me and him at battle, suddenly appeared… I felt scared, unsure of what I was going to say… my most powerful and guiding feeling was: she has no idea how to deal with this nor does he, though he is stronger, older and more powerful, he can really hurt her and I would absolutely die if I let something happen just because of my past hang ups, this is my daughter, one of the reasons I have not given up when I have had no more strength or will to fight… I must intervene and hope for the best…

I said many things, I spoke from the heart, from the heart of the young girl I once was and from the heart of a mom I now am… I told him about me growing up among lots of shouting and long moments of silence which gave way to broken communication and thus who I now am, a work in progress… I saw little empathy, in fact I doubt that word was ever pronounced… it was all rules, all the time… Yeah, that was then, this is now and there is no logical reason to repeat that pattern in our home…

I must have said something right, something that resonated. He’s been calmer amidst my (newly turned) teenage daughter’s outspoken and opinionated personality bursts and spurts…

thank you God for speaking through me…

another part of life that is a work in progress… as well as one of my unresolved issues from the past

the relationship between my husband and my daughter is at the top of my priority list and I think that’s where it is in his; my daughter, as a true teen, couldn’t care less, jajajaaa (laugh with me please!)

Thanks lovely people for reading all the way to the end…

have you been there? have you done that? what role does a dad have in a daughter’s life? I’d truly appreciate your wise words 🙂

huge hug!

8 responses to “BEING 40+… and caught in the crossfire

  1. Jennifer, thank you and please don’t apologize, I appreciate infinitely all your kind words 🙂 I have no mediation skills, my parents divorced when I was in 4th grade so I never got to butt heads with my dad and experience first hand my mom’s mediation… so I am going at it by pure emotion and the overwhelming need for all of us to bond and create a safe and trusting haven for my daughter to come to in these crazy teenage years… things recently got nasty in the power struggle my husband insists on playing with her… I deal with teenagers and I listen to their stories from home, they feel misunderstood, judged and unheard, you can imagine that I want the complete opposite for my children but my husband believes in rules and enforcing them at all costs… it’s got me feeling quite vulnerable, between a rock and a hard place… but most of all, my daughter’s a straight A student, in her highschool’s basketball team, quite homey and overall easy going (unless she’s had one of those days or got her period :/ ) and she doesn’t need to deal with this as well… I’ve been praying for my husband to let down his guard and realize how blessed we are, to be a little supportive and tolerant of this stage of our daughter’s life, pray with me my lovely friend… THANK YOU SO MUCH, big hug

  2. Alexandra, I know that this post was published a month ago – so clearly I am well-behind – but I just wanted to say that I hope that things are going more smoothly these days. As you know from my blog, I am a total rookie here with very young kids – so no words of wisdom from me. I was, however, an incredibly strong-willed/headstrong/uber-stubborn teenage daughter. And my father and I often butted heads – especially b/c we were both equally headstrong! BUT, we persevered – often with the intervention of my mother – and we are incredibly close today. I am quite close to both of my parents as an adult, and those mediation skills that my mom honed as I navigated the rough waters of adolescence definitely paid off. Sending lots of prayers and positive energy to all three of you, friend. Apologies for the longwinded and disjointed comment!

  3. My goodness, almost a week later and I am just replying to your lovely comment my dear friend! Thank you, since that sad moment, things have been a bit less sticky, I think they needed to see how far each would go to see where they stood… it is clear they need each other and that tolerance and acceptance have to be the attitudes, hand in hand with true love! 🙂

  4. Well, I don’t have daughters, I only have sons, and I’m divorced. So, I probably can’t help much. I only know that teenagers are challenging! My boys are stretching me to be both stronger about boundaries and more patient. Hope your daughter and husband develop a peaceful truce as she grows into an adult! Karen

  5. I’m a true believer in prayer and meditation. In prayer you are asking a higher power within you and in meditation you receive your own answers… Good luck.. Teens are tough… I went through it..

  6. Thank you my dear friend!! I am praying that collaboration will pay and for that to be, I am seeking some guidance from a school counselor…my upbringing isn’t the best reference here and neither is his, so we are both stepping into the unknown, however, my focus is a bit less hands on than his, and a lot less about ego, pride, authority than his… we both come from a place of love and want of the best for her… I pray we find common ground as to our approach… things will turn out well because she is a well rounded young girl who has it clear that her priority right now is school though she has forgotten that respect is also important and a two way street, and that is what daddy is demanding… Please don’t refrain from giving me wise words of guidance my friend, I will appreciate them infinitely… take care 🙂

  7. Huge hug to you too, Alexandra.
    We may give up on our own fights and let go on our own struggles, but we can’t keep quite when there is someone else to defend.
    I’m glad you are standing up for your daughter, and I’m also glad you are being logical about it.
    Men respond more to reason than emotions.
    Be strong, and give your children the best opportunities.
    Daddy means well and so do you. Two heads are better than one.
    Work together and produce the best.
    It must not always be one sided.
    Collaboration pays.
    Cheer up!

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