…on dealing with grandchildren in a divorce

(NOTE:  This is one of a series of letters posted under “Form Letters” for those of you who would like an idea or a beginning for a letter of your own.)

Dear Son,

I’m not sure why you were so upset over me spending time with your ex-wife when I made the transfer with your son, my grandson.  At the time you told me that you didn’t want me to maintain a relationship with her.  And although I respect your feelings in the situation, my feelings are different.  I’m conflicted, because if I abide by your wishes I feel I could be sacrificing parts of my relationship with my grandson.

Your ex-wife was my daughter-in-law.  When you married her I made the decision to love her as my own.  Although things  didn’t work out and I know the difficulties you have had, I still have loving feelings for her and do not feel justified in cutting her out of my life.  If it weren’t for the child you have together, I believe our bond would  become less and less important over time,  as relationships do when we don’t tend and nurture them

Yet you do have a child together.  That grandson is precious to me.  And I feel that my having a normal, conflict-free relationship with his mother is the best for him.  It will give him a feeling of safety and security to know that his two worlds are connected.  If I make excuses not to see her, or am uncomfortable when I meet her, he will  sense the uncertainty of the situation and not know why his mother is unacceptable to me. I don’t want him to take that on himself.

Also, she is an important link in the relationship between me and my grandson.  I don’t know what the years will bring, but selfishly I know that maintaining my connection with her is guaranteeing my access to him.  For all of our sake, I can’t risk that tie being frayed or broken.

I hope you understand that this is not a criticism of your thoughts or feelings. You are a good husband and a wonderful father.  I have great respect for the way you have handled a difficult situation.  It’s just that we are coming from a different place.  In the treacherous geography of a family reorganization, I am Switzerland.  I have no angst with any of the relationships and am capable of  loving each of  you and all of you.

Of course, I love your new wife, too.  And I will not do anything to jeopardize or threaten your marriage now. I am wholehearted in my joy for your new beginning..

My philosophy will always be that there is plenty of love to go around.  My seeing or contacting your ex-wife is not detracting in any way from you or your new wife and daughter.  We are all a family…redefined and reconstructed.

I’m looking forward to staying with you next week on my way north.  And it’s fair to tell you that I will also contact my grandson even though he will be with his mother.  I won’t let him think that my seeing him wasn’t important.

I hope that we can agree to disagree on this and that you feel my deep and abiding love,  and support.  Let’s talk.

xxoo

Comments

  1. You could help Dr.Phil write his column in O every month! Great letter.

    Like

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