separating parents
Dear Sages

Parents Separating: Adult Kids Are Angrier Than The Ex

Dear Sages,

My husband and I decided to separate after 23 years of marriage. It is a true separation as we are trying to decide if we want to spend the rest of our lives together. We drifted apart as we raised three children (one son still at home) and we are walking down this road carefully and respectfully.

My husband, however is not the problem. My 2 adult daughters are! They have been nothing but rude and disrespectful to me, pointing out every flaw and criticizing every decision I make. They treat me like some harlot if I just go out with girlfriends for an evening.

When they were growing up, I did everything I could for them. So much so that I think that’s why my marriage is in jeopardy. I had no energy left to pay attention to my husband. Now they are blaming me for the separation without even considering my feelings.

Sincerely, Fed Up But Emptied Out


We have so many questions, the first of which is why are your adult daughters aware of your comings and goings? Is it because you are TELLING them about your escapades??? If this is the case, zip it. You are Mom, not Friend.

Are they still living at home? Well that’s a super easy fix…time to forge your own way into the world, girls!

You admit that you catered to them growing up. Of course you did. We’re moms. That’s what we do. But part of good parenting is weaning children from different tits at different stages of life. It sounds like you missed a few crucial boundary re-drawings.

It’s not too late. You need to STOP being on the defensive. You are clearly trying to redefine and live your life. Of course this separation is troubling to them. It disrupts the ideal of their world order. But if they are adult children, it doesn’t/shouldn’t affect their day-to-day.

Mostly it sounds like you are allowing yourself to be bullied by these two. And you know what you have to do to get a bully to back off…grow a pair and stand up for yourself. Acknowledge that they’re sad about the separation. Acknowledge even that they probably are just trying to protect their dad. But also demand their respect and trust. You’ve earned it and they should want to see you happy too.

We wish you clarity and peace as you walk this road. It’s never easy but we are only given one life to live and you deserve to live it the best way possible for you. If you get a chance, keep us updated. There are many in our tribe struggling with the questions of “forever” and your path may be illuminating for others.

xo, Your Sages

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