Virtual hug

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 08:49:54 02/12/15

In Reply to: Loon Prayers, please posted by katjh


I can only imagine the pain you and your husband are experiencing. I am not a family counselor, but I will relate several instances in my own life, that might contain some valuable input.

When my first marriage flew apart after 20 years of progressive deterioration (plenty of guilt to go around between my ex and I), my parents jointly sat down with the two of us, and essentially said the following:

"We are not going to get drawn into whatever is going on between you two. We love you both, and wish you both the best. We want you to understand that our primary interest in our involvement is the welfare of our grandkids; and we will be vigorous in our involvement."

You would have to know my father to have a sense of the power in his words (my mother was nodding in agreement). He was emphatic and left no doubt where he stood. My parents have maintained that position to this day, 26 years later. Eventually, after our kids were grown and on their own, my ex and I reached the point where we are at least able to be in each other's presence, and can converse without any vitriole.

My suggestion: Take whatever makes sense from my parent's example. (They had 7 kids of their own, and have suffered through the divorces of 3 of those kids, each with 2 or more grandchildren. They have excellent relationships with all their ex-son and daughter-in-laws; and most importantly, they have outstanding relationships with all their grandchildren.)

There is a couple that frequent this page that know firsthand about what I am relating, and what you are going through. When my second marriage went down the tubes, they told both of us, "We are friends with both of you. We really like both of you; and we are not about to get caught up in any strife between the two of you. We don't want to hear any 'Who shot John' stories about who did what or hurt who. We insist on maintaining our friendship with each of you" I can't speak for that ex (who I have a very good post-marriage relationship with these days), but speaking for myself, the willingness of this couple to proactively assert their right to maintain their relationship with each of us was well-received. They expressed concern for my hurt, told me they had a sense of it, because they had been through it themselves, and were empathic. The key point is that they recognized my pain, but refused to get drawn into any drama going on between my ex and I.

I would strongly urge you and your hubbie to throw your arms around your son (not in the presence of his soon to be ex), and tell him how much you love him. Then tell him you refuse to treat the mother of your grandchildren as the "enemy". I'll bet money both these co-combatants are doing a "Brian Williams", and re-writing history, when they recite the "List of Wrongs" committed by their spouse. It is oh so typical of us humans!! You don't want to get drawn into that psychodrama. Just be steadfast in your desire and intention to stay involved in your grandchildren's lives, and be willing to function as an advocate for those grandkids.

I have a sense of how close you and your husband are with all your kids, based on the trip reports you have shared over the years. I'm sure this mess is ripping your hearts out. There is little, if anything, you can do to help the co-combatants, beyond simply expressing your concern, and refusing to allow either one of them to lobby you as a "coalition partner" to hurt the other. You can sure make a difference in those grandkid's lives, and they are the innocent victims in this scenario. (Remember that the children of divorce frequently blame themselves for the dissolution of their parent's marriage, even though they almost never played any real role in it.)

Wishing you, and the grandkids, the best possible of outcomes.


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