At first, you seemed like the perfect young man for our daughter; you made her very happy, and you were quick to ingratiate yourself with her Dad and me. You mowed our lawn, cleaned our pool, repaired small things around the house and generally made yourself useful. You dated her for almost five years before I found out you had been married before. I still remember reading the announcement of your impending divorce in our local paper. Back then, the paper printed stuff like divorces and bankruptcies, and I read it from cover to cover. My body got hot all over when I read it; I felt the heat rise from my solar plexus to my face as if I were immersing myself in a hot tub. When I called A and asked her "Why didn't you tell me that B was married?", the way she answered told me that she had not known about it. You had been as deceitful with her as you were with us. It is a good thing for you that her Dad was out of town that day.
Your answers to me about the situation surrounding the marriage and divorce; your apparent shame and what I believed to be genuine remorse over your sins of omission placated me somewhat, and since I already loved you like my own child, I forgave you. My husband was a somewhat harder sell, but he eventually came around. Two days before the wedding, she came to me crying, saying she was not sure she should go through with it, for various reason, but mainly because you were a procrastinator. I told her I would support whatever decision she made. If I knew then what I know now, I would have done ANYTHING I could to prevent the wedding.
You and she married and settled into what seemed to be a great relationship. When your first child came, you were ecstatic to have a son, one whom you could mold in your image. It was soon apparent that he took after you; he has an engineer's mind and a sportsman's love of all things baseball, just like you. You took him duck hunting, and fishing; you introduced him to the ocean and taught him all about wildlife and carpentry and lawn care. You were the perfect father, we thought. You doted on him, and he on you. Your "life plan" was to have 2 children, and live happily ever after.
When A became pregnant again, we were all overjoyed. You seemed to be too, until we found out it was twins. As the pregnancy progressed, you became more and more withdrawn, convincing yourself that twins didn't fit your "plan". You began to drink heavily, and work all the time. I did not know this then. I thought all was well, but later learned just how "unwell" it was in your home. You left A at home alone with 3 children under the age of 3 all too often. You went on business trips that always lasted a day or so beyond the need, and it happened more and more. As our beautiful twins grew and thrived, you resented them, did nothing to bond with them, ignored them and eventually were mean and dismissive to them, while being an okay father to the older child, who wondered why he was favored and the twins were shunned. You coached his little league teams, but you couldn't be bothered to see the other children play their sports. Several years later, A got pregnant again. After I learned how terrible your home life had been for a long time, I couldn't understand why she would allow herself to have another child with you. I still do not understand it - but as that child is one of the lights of my life - I am glad she is here. You bonded with her, as you had with the first, and still you shunned the twins. Three years later, A and you separated, at her wise insistence. It is a long, sad story, and I won't recount it all here. Suffice it to say that the children suffered greatly through the separation and divorce - as all children do. We worried about them constantly, as well as their mother, who had so many problems that her duties as a mom overwhelmed her all too often.
My question to you is this:
What has happened to the man who sat in my living room during the separation and promised me he would always be a good father to his four children? Where is the man who promised me he would always support his children, no matter what happened with the marriage? Where is the man who agreed with me that it would be a good idea to wait a year before getting involved with other women; to concentrate on getting himself well and whole before dating again? Why did you move 3000 miles away from your children? Why don't you send them presents on their birthdays or call them? Why are you always late with your child support payments? Would you be sorry to know that your youngest child, when she was 4, said of the family's former home, "I remember this place; this is the "ANGRY House"? Will you ever admit you have an alcohol problem? Will you ever admit you need a class in anger management? Lastly, and most importantly, WILL YOU EVER REALIZE THE TERRIBLE MISTAKES YOU HAVE MADE AND CONTINUE TO MAKE?