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Children Can't Accept Remarriage to Exhusband

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Dear Dr. Susan:

I recently remarried my ex-husband, my grown children’s stepfather, we were divorced three years. The reason was he had a problem with internet porn. He no longer does. The problem is the children (all live three hours away) have him labeled as a total pervert because of it, but he did not hurt them or their relationships. He hurt me and our marriage . How do I get the children to accept it?!! Help!! I love my husband and my children, but at least three of my girls if not all six might say they will never speak to me again but I can’t see why they have to keep hating him for hurting my marriage!

Total Wreck

Dear Total Wreck:

Thanks for writing. I think you are in a situation that requires you to step out of the picture and allow your husband to make peace with the family any way he can. I recommend you do not help,  “let go”, and let some time pass because the hurt and anger of recognizing this problem and how it affected all of you will not disappear over night. It is a shock to the family! They are resentful and they wish to protect you from further problems. You need to acknowledge their feelings and “detach” from the problem. My experience with alcoholics and addiction issues is that recovery from an addiction requires outside professional help for you and the children if they want it, and your husband.

Gently “ask” your spouse to get into a recovery program. He will not regret doing this, I promise. The program will teach you both how to let time take its natural course and allow wounds to heal. I am sure you can understand how they feel, but you need to STEP back and let your husband do the work. He is the person who caused the problem that resulted in the divorce. You did not cause it, you can’t cure it and most of all you can’t control the events that followed.

I know you want to fix all relationships but you cannot. I feel you love your spouse but your must step back, detach with love, and encouragement, and counseling. Every couple needs support and help from outside professionals, regardless of the addiction.

Good luck and congratulations for working it through so you can be together.

Susan H. Turben, Ph.D.

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