Their father has been very manipulative and emotionally abusive to them and my eldest daughter unfortunately has been the brunt of it because she challenges him, not in a disrespectful way, but just questioning him and things like that.
One weekend she was going to her dad’s house, there had been an incident at school and apparently her Dad was crying beyond belief when she got off the bus. I was taking her to a cheerleading competition so I explained as much as I could of what had happened that day as carefully as I could and she said, “Seeing Dad cry made me feel weird.”
It took a while to come out, but basically what she was saying was she feels like her Dad is a bad guy and seeing him cry made her see a side she hadn’t seen before and she was feeling guilty for thinking badly of him. She said, “Mom, if he was crying and he had a good side maybe he can change, maybe this is the changing point and if this is the changing point maybe we can all get back together.”
She was with him the rest of the weekend. It broke my heart but I knew it would happen. By Sunday night she came home and said, “Yeah Mom, I see it now. He was crying basically for one reason, but he’s still the same Dad, he’s never going to change.”