A mom on our forum seeks advice: I am in the middle of getting divorced. My husband left 2 1/2 years ago because he wanted his "freedom"...I have 3 children. My daughter was just turning 13 when he left. She is now 15 and is still as angry as she was when he left. At first she would visit him every other weekend and stay with him, but that ended after about 3 months. At that time she got increasingly angry and refused to speak to him or see him. He blamed me for influencing her and "changing her feelings." I have two younger boys who were also struggling with their dad leaving. I attended counseling along with the kids and followed the counselor's advice about not bashing their father or putting him down. I encouraged the kids to see him and to have fun while they were there. My two oldest argued and still do very frequently over their father. Of the three it is my daughter I am most concerned about and need advice on how to help her. She has been to a counselor who finally said there is not much that he she can do until my daughter wants the help. She is no longer going...and doesn't want to go.
We have no court papers mandating custody or visitation as we were trying to work out as much as we could outside of court, although we both do have lawyers. My problem is that my daughter is extremely angry and will fight with her father telling him how she feels, but he doesn't listen to her and always tells her she is wrong..this does nothing for their relationship. She will only see him for one weekend day every other weekend. She has only slept over there about 6 times this year. He now has a girlfriend that he wants her to meet...he has been dating her for over a year and just told the kids. My sons have met her, but my daughter refuses to meet this girl and has told her father she never will. She informed him that she already hates his girlfriend. He says she has no choice and expects my daughter to meet her before Christmas so he can take his girlfriend to his parents for the holidays. They got into a huge fight over her anger and hatred of his girlfriend when she has never met her. He blames me again for her anger and claims it is not normal for a teenager to be so angry about a divorce, especially since it has been 2 1/2 years since he left. He also believes it is not normal for her to refuse to meet his girlfriend. My daughter is very angry and resentful and she takes it out on her brothers and sometimes me. I talk with her a lot about the way she feels and I listen to her when she wants to talk about it. I try to give advice...mostly that forgiving her dad would release her anger and forgiving is for her, not him. I don't seem to get anywhere. I am looking for advice from anyone who may be able to help me figure out how to help my daughter with her anger. If there are any good websites, books, teen websites for her, etc., or if anyone else has been through the same experience, I would appreciate any advice. Thanks
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