Don’t Make the Kids Choose Sides

Dear Mr. Dad: How do I find a way to forgive my 22-year old daughter for attending the marriage of her mother and the man she had an affair with. I have tried and tried and it’s just not in me. I felt my daughter should have informed her mother that she could not attend out of respect for me.

A: I know it’s hard, but you need to take a deep breath and let it go. The fact that your daughter attended her mother’s wedding has nothing to do with the way she feels about you. I’m sure she knows exactly what happened between you and her mother but like it or not, she loves her mother–lousy behavior and all.

Attending her mother’s wedding is by no means a signal that she condones what her mother did or that she’s playing favorites. Asking (or expecting) her to hurt her mother in order to protect your feelings puts her in a terrible spot–one where there’s no decent way out.

Your relationship with your daughter is completely independent of her relationship with her mother and it would be a real shame if you let something like this came between you. Bringing your ex into the equation at all gives her way too much power over your life, which I’m sure you don’t want.