I hope you read this, I really do. This is the kind of thing that is too complex to try and express in a 5 minute conversation while moving furniture. I’m really not even sure where to begin, so I guess one spot is as good another.
Your daughter needs you. You’re just now beginning to see the damage that a lack of attention/affection can cause. This last incident is only the tip of the iceberg. She is such a beautiful, intelligent girl and it pains me to think of what she can become versus what she will become if things continue the way they are. She so desperately needs a daddy I can feel it radiating from her every time I see her. She doesn’t need the disciplinarian right now; she needs a hug, a kiss, a whisper that she is beautiful, intelligent and truly matters. If you do not begin to provide these to her on a daily basis, she’ll soon find somewhere else to look for it. As hard as it may seem to open up and be sensitive, vulnerable and compassionate, the alternative is much worse. I look at all of you and there is such wonderful potential there, but potential that may be squandered if steps aren’t taken. By this I don’t mean baby steps. These are long, painful steps to be taken that must be taken. Gone is the time for half measures and band aids. I know that right now it may seem like the world is against you, but to her you and her mom are her world, and right now she is an island that’s slowly going to drift off until she’s too far to reach and all you can do is watch her spirit wither away.
I see in you so many wonderful possibilities. You have such passion and intelligence, and I envy that of you. I hate to see it wasted while self pity and doubt rule your actions. There is no room for get rich quick ideas and half baked home business endeavors. Once you have the solid foundation that your family needs, then you can begin to consider other options. But right now you stand on the edge of disaster and every moment of hesitation is a crack beneath your feet. I will be there to support you and council you, but I cannot be you. No one else can.
Your wife: There are so very few women like her in the world; Beautiful, intelligent women that will truly stand by their husband’s side through the worst of times. While you must bear the weight of the world on your shoulders, she’ll be there to encourage you, wipe the sweat from your brow, and sometimes take the weight from your shoulders for a while. Treasure this. Imagine the worst times of your life. Now, imagine those same moments without her by your side. What you two have is what most people spend decades looking for.
All of this will amount to nothing if the two of you are not supporting each other. Presenting a unified front to your kids is vitally important. Undermining the other’s authority or negating it altogether is disastrous to a family’s stability. Your kids have to know that dad’s word is mom’s word and mom’s word is dad’s word. There cannot be secrets or deceptions, even with the best of intentions. There cannot be a restriction placed on how much of a parent someone can be. You’re either a parent, or you’re not. The blame for the failure of a family cannot be placed squarely on the shoulders of one person. If it could, then it was never a family to begin with.
I think of all of you daily and I wish that I could do more.