In a nutshell...my sons' father left me for another woman, whom he married as soon as our divorce was final. I found out about the affair in March and they were married in December. This was almost six years ago. I was bitter....he'd hid it for months and I only knew because he abruptly gave me a Dear Jane letter and moved out the next day. We were together for 12 years.
I have gotten past the affair. I've gotten past the fact that this woman is officially my kids' stepmom. They are both military and don't live near us, anyway. I have seen her only once since they got married and have only seen him a dozen times or so.
Just when I think my anger is gone, he acts like such a deadbeat dad and it gets me all mad again. He's hardly more than a paycheck at this point. It's been this way for a couple of years now. DS2 asked him MONTHS ago if he could come visit, and XH keeps delaying and giving lame excuses, and now seems to have forgotten or just can't be bothered. The boys haven't gotten anything (not even a card) for birthdays or Xmas in three years. This year he actually called on Xmas, but DS2 was already in bed. DS1 talked to him, but he never called back to talk to DS2 and DS2 is getting jaded, I think, and didn't call him.
It's just awful when the person who hurts your children is someone who should be loving and nurturing them! Whenever I think of the hurt he causes my kids with his cavalier attitude, I get so disgusted and furious. Rationally, I know it serves no purpose. I just can't seem to let it go. I know that talking to him or sending him an email would be like interacting with a brick wall, so there's no point in harassing him about his lack of involvement. Oh, and I'm also distressed to have learned that he's adopted his wife's daughter from her previous marriage. He can't be bothered with the kids he has, but he's gonna adopt another one?
Luckily, my boys have an awesome stepdad. :)
Anyway, I need some sort of mantra.
You can't change him. I'm in a similar situation with my two. When they were younger, I shielded them as best I could. As they got older, and he refused to deal with me at all, only with them, I stepped back and let it play out as it was bound to. They reach an age where there is little you can do - it has to be up to each of them. Parent AND child.
I won't say there aren't times when I don't get angry at how he treats our kids. But... I take a deep breath, remind myself that I have done nothing to stand in the way of their having a relationship, and our kids are strong enough to navigate this.
Just be the best parent YOU can be.
Im in pretty much the same situation as u OP, except it's been 2.5 years for me. It is really really hard to let go of the grudge....the way i look at it is my kids are smart and strong and the sooner they learn who he really is the better it will be for them. And knowing that i have not stood in the way of their relationship with their dad, i have been very flexiable and accomidating to his whimms. at this point its on him to have a relationship with the kids and i just need to worry about my relationship with my kids and be the best mom i can be :)