Our year-end blog started us thinking about where we go from here. Anyone who has been following this blog since it’s inception might know our story. We’ve been married over 30 years. My husband was married before, and that marriage produced two lovely daughters. He had no problems seeing his young daughters (ages 3 and 8 months) after the divorce. He had no major problems with his ex-wife. His parents had a very close relationship with their grandchildren, and babysat for their former daughter-in-law.
Five years after his divorce, my husband and I met and started dating. The troubles began when we announced our engagement, and have continued to this day.
I won’t bore you with the details, since most of our story can be found on the Our Journey Through Parental Alienation page on this blog. All of the documents we’ve shared speak for themselves.
Fast forward to 2015: My husband hadn’t spoken to his daughters or grandchildren for over 7 years, when he was diagnosed with a very serious medical condition. Both daughters reached out to him.
This happened at a very vulnerable time in his life. He had just undergone surgery. He underwent radiation and chemotherapy, and is still going through chemotherapy. He doesn’t understand why his daughters wanted nothing to do with him when he was healthy and could have enjoyed a relationship with them, but now that he is ill, they chose to get in touch with him.
He also worries that nothing has changed……. The situation when he and his daughters chose to end their relationship almost 8 years ago was extremely toxic. It was not good for anyone: father, children or grandchildren. So, just because he is facing a life-threatening illness now, should that relationship resume? When nothing has changed and the situations still exist which caused everyone to decide to end the parent / child relationship in the first place?
He was going through, and continues to go through, an incredible amount of medical treatments. His daughters’ contacting him added to the turmoil he was already going through. He actually sat down and wrote out a narrative of his feelings about being alienated from his children. And then he created a videotape telling his story, in his own words.
He did that because he felt no one was listening to him, or understanding what he had gone through.
He loves his children. He is a good man and deserves to have a relationship with them. He is their father. The only thing that changed between the time he and his ex-wife decided to bring these children in to the world and now, was their divorce and his re-marriage. He’s still the same good, honest man she chose to have the children with.
Unfortunately, we feel there is nothing to be done in our particular situation. The ex-wife continues to monitor every move we make, going so far as to offer her opinions of us and our situations (personal, medical, financial, etc.) on an ongoing basis. Why does she feel the need to even comment about us? Almost 40 years after her divorce from her children’s father, and almost 8 years since her adult children chose to end the relationship with their Dad? As my husband says: what business is it of hers?
The daughters’ attempts to reconnect with their father were short-lived. We have heard from mutual friends that the one daughter has even made it perfectly clear: she wants nothing to do with anyone who might have contact with us. Seriously?!? So, not only does she want nothing to do with her father and I, she wants no one else to associate with us either. And if they do ….. look out.
She left on a comment on our blog the other day: “Why is it that you and your husband are not allowed to see any of your grandkids?”
My response: You and I — and everyone who is aware of the situation — knows the answer to that: because you’re angry. It’s as simple as that. You’re pissed, so we can’t see the grandchildren. Not only yours, but your sister’s as well.
During a discussion with a mutual friend, we brought up the fact that my husband’s oldest daughter had been calling him on a regular basis. The friend’s response: “Not anymore! C***** put a stop to that!” And it’s true. My husband, after speaking with his oldest daughters for a few months, and even suggested we get together and go out for a bite to eat, has heard nothing from her since then. I guess now we know the reason why.
The ex-wife and daughter are unhappy with this blog. They obviously do not agree with what we are saying here. They may not agree with what is being said, but does that strip us of our right to voice our opinions, and to tell our story? Yes, it does, according to them.
And that is the crux of the problem with maintaining a relationship with my husband’s children. My in-laws went through the same thing: if they upset my husband’s ex-wife, they were not allowed to see their grandchildren. Shortly after the birth of my husband’s first grandchild, the cycle continued with him. Our friends are now being told they cannot have anything to do with us ……
It’s all about taking sides. When someone gets mad or upset, everyone has to take her side ….. or pay the price.
Here is a man who, at this stage of his life, is being told he will live it by someone else’s rules and regulations, or not see his grandchildren.
To my stepdaughters, I would say: Girls, your father feels like nothing has changed from 8 years ago. Is he right? If he isn’t, you need to show him — slowly and gently — that things have, indeed, changed. If he does something you don’t like, does that mean he won’t be allowed to see his grandchildren? Or will you work through whatever problems might arise like adults?
Is he allowed to see, talk and have a relationship with whomever he’d like to see, talk and have a relationship with? Or is that your decision?
If you think there’s any chance at all, we all need to work through it together. It is going to take time, and some changes.
If you can’t do that, then please leave him in peace. He feels you girls were alienated from him. You may not agree, but he has the right to feel that way. No one says you have to agree with him. But he is certainly entitled to his opinion. And he certainly has the right to voice that opinion.
Is it too much to ask that we be allowed to tell our story, and maybe help others along the way? We’ve been through a lot. This is a serious issue in our society today. Again …. whose decision is it? Yours or ours? And if you’re not happy with our decision, the result is: no relationship with the grandchildren?
If this is the end, God Bless you all. We wish you nothing but the best. We hope you all live long, healthy lives and prosper. If you can’t allow your father the right to feel the way he feels, have a relationship with whomever he would like, have a relationship with his grandchildren without the fear that he will lose them if he steps out of line and does something you don’t like, then please …. please ….. just leave him in peace. We know you’re angry, so there’s no need to keep posting messages on our blog, or telling our friends they have to make a choice between us, or you.
Live your life, and let us live ours.