This became an obsession with him and he passed it on to me. He was constantly watching for anything that might indicate, in his eyes, that she wanted him back. It was like a form of stalking. Bizarre - he was making her hate him but waiting for her to take him back too. Blinded. It got to the point that if she was pleasant to him, that meant she wanted him back - and he told me that. If she used a local word from the area of the country he was from, it meant she still loved him. I kept wondering and asking when she was going to love him again. He kept saying that things she said and did meant she still loved him and wanted him back.
It was horrible and heartbreaking at the same time. I was constantly looking for signs on his behalf that she wanted him back. It was so stressful!!. I was seven to ten years old at the time.
TWO YEARS later it was still going on - when she was pregnant by my stepfather!! When she told me they were getting married, I burst into hysterical tears. I felt distraught. I felt I'd failed. I'd tried so hard for him, to get her to love him again because that what's he wanted me to do and what he wanted her to do, too. I felt like I'd missed the crucial sign that she wanted him back, the one I should have noticed and told him about so he could come and get her back. I felt like it was my fault that she was remarrying and that I'd done wrong. I actually liked my stepfather but I didn't take their relationship seriously. Mum was just being silly and messing about. She didn't actually MEAN anything she was doing. She really loved my male parent and would realise she wanted him back at any moment. She was stupid, really stupid, and didn't know what she was doing. She was also being misled by her interfering evil family, who were also stupid.