Friday, February 08, 2008

how do you handle it?

I was listening to Family Life Radio this week and a woman came on talking about a division between herself and the rest of her family because she's a Christian and the rest of them aren't. Her situation was pretty destructive.
There's a division in my family: it started when I married someone my parents didn't (and still don't) approve of. The hostilities have waxed and waned over the years, but they're still there - like an elephant in the parlor. Everyone's convinced he or she is right, and there have been periods of estrangement over it.
Here's my plea for advice: How do I fix it? How do I live with it? How do I share my son with grandparents who act like they hate his father? How do I ask my husband to share his son with people who seem as though they can't stand him? I know some of you have faced similar situations - maybe with an ex's parents. How did you handle it? I literally have nightmares about this part of my life.
And yes, the parties I'm talking about do read this blog. So it's not like we haven't all recognized there's an elephant in the parlor - holding a bazooka.


Reb said...

Misty, I am sorry you're still having this problem with your family. I'm sure it must be extremely hurtful. I hope they will read your blog and understand how much pain they are causing you and that as Daniel grows older, it is going to hurt him more and more as well.
I was upset when you got married, and you know why. I was worried, but I soon realized that I had no reason to worry. You have a good marriage, and it's obvious to anyone who bothers to open their eyes that Chris loves you and is a good father. I'm sorry your family can't see it. They should be happy for you, and they should understand that if they refuse to see the truth, they will miss out on the love and joy of their beautiful grandson. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for punishing Daniel in this way. I understand what it's like to grow up without a relationship with my grandparents, and my sister's kids are experiencing that now. It hurts them very much. Your parents need to know that if they don't change their attitude now, they risk losing that relationship permanently. What a damn shame that would be.

Anonymous said...

I finally came to the realization that we are responsible for our own decisions in life. My parents, too, made the decision that their being right was more important than anything, including their love for their daughter or their
grandchildren. How does a parent do that? It boggles my mind, but it was their decision, not mine. After years of trying and crying, I finally accepted their decision to alienate us because the ugliness was hurting my family. God replaced their void with other people, and I made sure that my children understood that there was nothing in this world more important than love.

Now, after years of refusing my attempts, my parents, who are in their 80s, are reaching out, and I do respond, but they find it hard to understand that there's no longer a place for them in our lives. I try, but natural consequences have taken place. Their insistence in being right forced me to move on, but it also held them back. My children are now in their mid-twenties. Their thankful memories are of other people who attended and celebrated their accomplishments in life, not of my parents' participation. It is what it is.

I refuse, though, to repeat their mistake, and I have definitely learned from their choice. Have they learned from their choice? Apparently not. Just before Thanksgiving they still blamed the estrangement on me. "If only I had listened to them ...." What they really wanted me to do was to chose them over my husband and my family.

Parents, please, remember: Children are on loan to you from God; they are not yours. If you refuse to let them go, an explosion will occur. They will leave and never return.

Anonymous said...

I dont mean to be negative, but when you marry someone who your parents dont approve of, then you are basically marrying without their blessings. You choose the situation, not them. You knew they did care like/love him when you made your choice. And you had children knowing that your parents would never accept their father.
However, your parents should be mature enough to realize that you are not interested in having their blessings for your life, and make the best of it for the grandkids sake.
Personally, I would never marry someone who my parents opposed. But if my child did this, I would grin and bear it the best I could, for the sake of my child and the grandchildren.
Your question is: how to best make this work?
I say,explain to the children that grandma and pa dont have their priorities straight, and let it go at that. Make sure your parents know that any negative talking abt the husband to the kids is an absolute NO-No and you will not tolerate it. I hope that helps, good luck to you and your husband.

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