Future Husband Chooses His Father Over Me Constantly
Future Husband Chooses His Father Over Me Constantly – After a very troubled and unhappy marriage, my parents divorced when I was about 23 years old. At that point, I hadn’t had much of a relationship with either of them for about nine years. I am now in my mid 30’s and have two children. Despite the fact that I have little respect for both of my parents, I have chosen to do my best to make them have a strong relationship with their grandchildren.
About two years after my parents divorced, my father met and married the mother of the most obnoxious kid I went to high school with. She is just as obnoxious, and my wife and children and I have made every effort to avoid spending time with her, and have made it clear to my father that we are not interested in seeing her or making a large family happy. For that matter, we haven’t seen her in almost four years.
Future Husband Chooses His Father Over Me Constantly
Although my father always suggests that we come to see him or he comes to see us. I don’t know how to explain to him that neither my wife nor I enjoy his (or his family’s) company. His behavior is especially confusing because the last time we all got together, it didn’t go well. I expressed my feelings that I did not enjoy being around my father’s wife or his son and he broke down.
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I think if I was more direct with my dad, he would blow his top. After dealing with his temper tantrums enough as a child, I made excuses to let him lose his temper and eventually leave my relationship with him behind. How should I navigate this?
Blended families can be challenging to navigate, and in your case, your mother’s father married a classmate you had negative feelings for back in high school, adding to the difficulty. But if you really want your children to have a relationship with their grandfather, you need to take a closer look at yourself, which requires you to separate the past from the present.
As an adult in your 30s with a family of your own, you present this dilemma from the perspective of what seems like your younger self. You may have very valid reasons for distancing yourself from your parents during your teenage years, and your parents may not have earned your respect back. But even as your own adulthood sees the value of fostering the relationship between your children and their grandparents, it sounds like your childhood feelings for your father are going that way—more than who gets to be his wife.
To highlight this, let’s consider your grievances with your father’s wife. According to your letter, you find her disgusting. I haven’t heard of him being deliberately cruel, manipulative or dishonest. You’re not saying she has dubious motives, like spending money that might be perfectly justified to you. You are not talking about any major issues that require professional help, such as addiction or a serious mental health condition. It seems to please your father. In other words, she seems unpleasant but innocent.
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Most people will be annoyed by the new obnoxious addition to the family, but the disturbance is not usually a cause for exasperation. It sounds like something else is going on here, and you expressed it in your letter: When it comes to your father, you’re “looking for an excuse to finally leave my relationship with him behind.” In other words, it sounds like you are using this fight over your father’s wife to work something out between you and him.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your father’s wife and then writing her off, you and your children will benefit if you work through your anger toward your father (perhaps with the help of a therapist). If you do, you will learn to relate to him as the adult you are, not as a version of you from the past. This will help you see the situation through a broader lens.
For example, you may find that what you describe as “smashing” your father’s wife may be a very normal human reaction to repeated and intense disapproval because, in his mind, there is no reason to see it. My guess is that she thinks she tried to be nice to you, but it’s hard to be nice to someone who is clearly hostile. I mean, your father isn’t the only one with a temper; Your gift differently. You may even find that you are punishing your father for his past parenting mistakes by putting him in an unsustainable bind when you force him to spend time with his son’s family, at the expense of causing his wife great pain, and being faithful. Partner with his wife, at the expense of a major rift with his son.
Another way to gain a more mature perspective is to try to reverse the situation. What if your father doesn’t like your wife? How would you feel if he refused to be around her? Think about how stressful this would be for you on a regular basis. Imagine what it would be like to love your wife and your father and know that your father is hurting your wife and hurting you by putting you in this situation. Don’t you want him to find the good in your wife, to be curious about what you love about her, and to try because he cares about you? And if he didn’t, wouldn’t you feel like blowing your top?
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As an adult, you have to ask yourself one question: Do you allow your father to experience happiness in this stage of his life, even if he made significant mistakes as a parent during your childhood? If the answer is no, your children will miss out on what could have been a great relationship with grandparents and their spouses, and they will miss out on seeing their father treat flawed but well-meaning people with grace. . And if the answer is yes, ask yourself,
What is the meaning of my behavior towards my father and his wife? How does this serve anyone?
There is a saying that goes like this: If you don’t like someone, you should get to know them better. In other words, when you greet someone warmly and approach them with genuine interest, you often find something you like about them. That applies to your father as much as it does to your father’s wife and his obnoxious son. Most importantly, it applies to you. Maybe it’s time to let go of the sad, angry teenager you were and get to know the kind and open-minded adult you are becoming. I bet you will like it a lot too.
Dear Physician is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your doctor, mental health professional or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition. By submitting a letter, you agree to let The Atlantic use it — in part or in whole — and we may edit it for length and/or clarity. How do I talk to my young children about conflict? Over the past year my husband and I have gone through a terribly painful separation from his parents. We were once very close and our children enjoyed a good relationship with him. As far as we know, our children have only warm, happy memories with their grandparents.
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However, after many years of struggling with alcoholism, anxiety, and depression, my husband disclosed to me the abuse he experienced in his home when he was a young child. His parents refused to listen, said his memories were wrong, and completely failed to maintain basic decency when my husband tried to talk to them. I strongly feel that it is not safe for my children to have a relationship with them moving forward.
I myself come from a long line of generational trauma. My mother died 11 years ago and my father has Alzheimer’s. If there was any possibility of getting him to work with my husband’s parents, we would. We have tried family therapy with him, but each time, the therapists have said it would be more damaging for my husband not to attend, because his parents refuse to listen.
Our eldest son has only asked about them a couple of times in the last year. I don’t want to keep secrets from our kids, but I also don’t want to overload them with adult issues. How do we navigate this as our children grow and have more questions for us?
This is a very painful situation, and I’m glad you want to be sensitive to your children’s feelings in a way that feels like you and
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