Hello, this is Lisa, and for the last year, she’s been desperately trying to hold her family together until she realized that she wouldn’t succeed.
One of Lisa’s earliest childhood memories is of going to a playground together with her parents. Nothing special happened, but for some reason, the joyful smiles of her parents that day stayed with her. It was a moment of pure happiness for all three of them.
And this memory makes what happened to them later even worse.
To cut a long story short, one day, after seventeen years of marriage, her father brought them together and, with tears in his eyes, told them that he was leaving Lisa’s mother for another woman. Well, how should you react to news like that? You think that everything is fine and your parents love each other and you get on with doing your own stuff, and then...this happens.
She asked her father why, but the answer was quite obvious – he’d just fallen in love with another woman.
And then he just, well...left. It was just Lisa and her mom crying. Their house seemed so empty and lifeless without him, and they both missed him.
She tried to imagine how she would feel if her future husband ever left her like that after two decades of marriage. It’s really hard to imagine what to do next.
After some time, her dad contacted her, and they met in a cafe. She thought that he wanted to come back. Maybe he had realized his mistakes, she thought, and it all was just a misunderstanding. She was wrong, of course. He just wanted to say that he still loved her and his leaving didn’t change things between them. Lisa begged him to reconsider and return to her mom, to think about it, to remember all the times they had together. He just smiled and said, “it’s not that simple.”
Then he said that her mom was a strong woman and she would recover, and that Lisa needed to support her. But what about him, Lisa thought to herself. Wasn’t it his responsibility to support her, even if he was no longer in love with her? He then told her that he wanted Lisa and his girlfriend to meet at some point, because she was a good person and she would like her.
He took her hand into his, and she just nodded silently. Maybe he was right. She didn’t want to lose her dad. She still loved him.
It was hard to go home that day. Lisa’s mom was a shadow of her former self, not even bothering to brush her hair in the morning. It was hard seeing a person who you’ve looked up to your whole life like that. She felt like she hated her for being so weak.
At one point, Lisa just snapped and told her mom that it was her fault that her dad had left. Her mom burst into tears and cried even more than before, and she felt horrible for saying it. She apologized at least ten times over the next half an hour.
Her mom then started to reveal everything about their relationship, how it had became worse every year, and how she knew that this would probably happen eventually. She told her that she hated her dad and didn’t want to forgive him, but Lisa just couldn’t make herself agree with her, because she couldn’t hate her own father.
Over the next few months, she tried to meet with her dad often, but each time the gap between their encounters grew a little bit longer. First one week, then two, then three. At one point, he called her by the name of his girlfriend’s daughter and didn’t even notice.
At that moment Lisa realized what a big mistake she had been making the whole time. Instead of supporting her mom, she had been desperately trying to win back her father’s affection.
He asked again if she was ready to meet with his girlfriend. And you know what? She said no. Because she didn’t want to meet her. Ever. And while she wanted to have a good relationship with her dad, it wasn’t him who was suffering most through this whole business – because at least he had a new partner, while there was just her and her mom in their old house.
In the following weeks, she spent more time with her mom, trying to support her and take her mind off her dad. They became much closer.
She finally found the courage to say to her dad that she didn’t want to meet his new girlfriend EVER. Yes, he was still family, but he wasn’t part of HER family anymore.
Lisa is still very conflicted about the whole situation, but she’s glad to say that her mom looks and feels better nowadays. Last week she said that Lisa ought to stop thinking about it so much because she has to live HER OWN life. She had to study, have fun with her friends, maybe meet a guy, and not babysit her parents, because they were adults and they will manage.
Lisa now thinks she was right. She hopes her mom will get better, and that she will manage to have a good relationship with her dad, but she also has to live her life and solve her own problems, while still supporting her mom, of course.