Well, first, family counseling - yes, we have tried that, and had the girls in counseling. No improvement. They hate their counselor, and do not open up to her.
Second, Getting them together to ask what they would like to see me change. Well they would, if they said anything, say they would like me to change residences.
In the past when asked why they are so angry, they would say that I am a bad father because I do not mow the lawn enough , because I eat too much, and I smell bad. Obviously there was something more than those things that they could not articulate, (though I admit to those charges as well!) The girls had been very friendly and affectionate with me until they were 10-12, but at some point in our troubles, they told Mom (who at this time was really on the “dad has got to shape up” track) that they had not felt comfortable with the way I cuddled with them. At the time she questioned them and they said that they did not like when I gave them back rubs and when I touched their stomachs while cuddling. Sometime later as our marriage was in it’s major downward spiral, mom , in counseling on her own, was advised to have them taken to a woman counsellor to look further into the matter. At that session, one told the counselor that I had touched her breasts once, the other siad I did so once a week for 2 years. It was reported to Social Services and police, investigated by both and immediately determined to be unfounded. Needless to say this was an unbelievably difficult time for our family. It was no fun hearing the police tell me that I had better make plans to live elsewhere by Christmas. I was allowed to stay in the home during the investigation only on the condition that I not be alone with the girls and that my wife would promise to enforce this.
I have subsequently had many psychological tests none of them showed any pedophilic tendancies or sexual disorders of any sort. Please, for the sake of keeping this constructive, lets not go down the road of questioning if this stuff really happened. It did not, and I do not understand why these charges came up. I do believe at this stage, that they probably believe these things to be true. I took a long time to believe that they could really believe that, but after reading up on false memories, I do think that it is possible, and these children have never had a problem with lying. They are really good kids.
Now they may say that they are angry because I abused them, but that is not based in truth, so we are still grasping.
My wife says it is because I was so unempathetic in the past. (She , by the way, does not believe the alegations). I say that tmy lack of empathy is part of it, but her dealings with me since our problems became public in the family are now an equally iomportant part of it - even if not primary.