(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.)
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.
You could help Dr.Phil write his column in O every month! Great letter.
Wow, thanks. It helps to write a form letter when I have a friend who personalizes the situation.