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Question
Posted by: Tired | 2007/08/22

Just had enough

Any advise will be appreciated, my situation is quite unique. Let me start at the beginning. I have a daugther with a ex girlfriend and the child is 7 yrs old. My wife and I have a son 3 yrs old.
My parents are very attached to my 7yr old daughter (she is almost every weekend with grandparents). They also have a relationship(i'm not sure of the extend of the relation) with my ex girlfiend, which i can say is on good terms, I dont think there is a friendship but the relationship is good because the child is involved and close to the grandparents.
Now I am not close to my parents at all and only see or call them when I need to but I rarely just visit them. When my daughter is with my parents I am not involved in their doing with my ex or my child visiting them.
My parents hardly call or make time to spend with my son which has obviously had a negative impact on the relationship between my wife and my parents. No I have on many occations made it 100% clear to my parents that I do not approve of their actions and that they need to be fare when it comes to the grandchildren which they have ignored many times.
My wife now hates my parents, hates my daughter and is starting to blame me for this whole situation, I am always supporting my wife and trying my best to keep her happy under this circumtances but I seem to be failing. When i spend time with my daughter she will makes comments for days on end about how I am putting my child above her and our son and that I am in cohoots with my parents, which is really frustrating because I am really trying to make the best of a bad situation.
I have tried speaking to different family members to try and help resolve this situation and speak to my parents about backing off and not have so much contact with the ex and my daughter and also start making time for my wife and son but my parents continue to do what they do.
My wife never hated my daughter before this mess but so many things have happened that I really cannot blame her for being cold and hateful BUT I CANNOT TURN MY BACK ON MY DAUGHTER BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND MY WIFES FRUSTRATIONS. I may be the only person that truly understands her pain in this situation but she is now pushing and fighting me, and there is only so much that i can take.
This problem has been taking place for the past 2yrs or so and I think it is really becoming worse and worse.
I have fought with my parents about this and they continue to ignore me, and the ex girlfiend is obvouisly enjoying the situation and uses it to the best of her advantage, before I got married to my wife my parents actually disowned me and sided with my ex girlfriend when I had a problem regarding my daugther and how she was being raised and demands the ex was putting on me.
I can now completly ignore my parents and not speak to them and see my daughter and not even bother to take my son and wife to see them, i dont know will this even solve the problem?
Am I not being 'man' enough in the manner in which i have dealt with this situation? Even though I have approached and attacked the problems when I raised this issue with my parents and family.
How do you tell people to change what they doing because it is busy ruining your marraige?
My mother says she does not have a problem with my wife but my wife fights with her and that why she does not show any interest in her, what does this have to do with her not showing any interest in her grandson? Because my ex girlfiend is all sweet when talking to my mother, is she now the better woman?
I'm just confused as hell and I really need some advise on this, please help.

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Our expert says:
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Sometimes, leaving aside the other specific complications here, grandparents bond with their first grandchild, i a way that others can't somehow compete with. And here is appears that they formed a strong bond with your ex, and saw no reason to change that after you separated ; while, for whatever reasons, your wife doesn't seem to have formed a comfortable relationship with them
Maybe i you took time to repair YOUR relationship with your parents, they'd be more interested in your son, and you'd have more reason to visit them with him, so as to build a relationship there.
anon's comments are wise and helpful

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Our users say:
Posted by: jcat | 2007/08/23

Ignoring all the other valid reasons.....maybe your parents just find a slightly older girl to be easier to relate to than your much younger, and probably more boisterous son.

Doesn't make it right or anything, but often people find kids easier to cope with when they are a bit older, and they can do more things with them. I noticed that my niece and I started really bonding when she was about 2, but her interests are generally intellectual/artistic, whereas my nephew who is 2 years younger than her and I have never really become close (although I love him very much), and have very little in common. Even so, our relationship improved enormously from the time he was about 5, when he became a bit less of a thug, and could occasionally sit and talk a bit rather than always insisting that we play rough games.

You might find that your parents just battle to get close to a small boy...in which case it will get better with time.

It must be so hard though, having to be in the middle all the time.
Regards,
jcat

Reply to jcat
Posted by: Tired | 2007/08/23

Thanks for the positive advise, i definately will focus on what I can change and not try and focus on what i cannot change in my life,

Reply to Tired
Posted by: joey | 2007/08/23

You know what I think. Your ex girlfriend is the main culprite here. Your parents see themselves as helping in the upbringing of your daughter because your ex does'nt have you in her life to help raise the child. Many grandparents just love it if they can play a part in raising a child and they can actually become so involved that they think they're the parents - they will always favour your daughter because they've now become closer to her and love her more. They also probably see themselves as second parents. Your ex is playing on their emotions and wriggling her way right into their lives via your daughter. They probably favour your ex because she appears to be leaning on them and this makes them feel needed, wanted and important. Your wife on the other hand, does'nt need them in the raising of your child - she has you - why would she need them, so they see her as being totally independant of their assistance. I don't blame your wife for feeling the way she does, but I think it would help if she knew that she was'nt the favoured one because she is the stronger one. I relate this to my own experience with my in laws and my sister in law and her kids. She was the helpless, weak, pitiful being who needed them to help her run her life whereas I was the strong one who took care of my own life without assistance from them - the inlaws favoured her because they felt useful - they obviously became close with her and the children moreso than me and my children, but I really did'nt care - I really did'nt need them to interfere with the upbringing of my children. Hope this helps - it just reminds me of my own situation in some way and it might just be the case here.

Reply to joey
Posted by: anon | 2007/08/22

Its very unfair of your wife to take out her frustration and anger and resentment towards your parents and your daughter on you. Its unfair towards your daughter and its unfair to you. It also sounds unfair, your parents behaviour towards your wife and son and you for that matter. Its a very complex situation that perhaps, only conselling might solve.

Your parents obviously had a great relationship with your ex and developed a good relationship with your daughter. They might resent you wife for coming along and perhaps your son, as they might have had secret hopes of your ex getting back together.

Its really not right to favour one child above the other. They are missing out on a great relationship with their grandson.

Perhaps you should ask them why they are behaving the way they are.

Your wife should just accept that they have a choice in the matter and she cannot change anything.

We all want life to be fair and sometimes its not, as in your case. Perhaps writing them a letter explaining how you feel, how your wife feels.

You seem to be in the middle here, you love your wife and want to support her, you love your daughter and you also love your son.

You also only have two parents, life is so short to bare grudges and for the sake of peace, you are trying so hard to keep the peace and keep everyone happy.

What are your options short of counselling.

1. Write a letter to your parents
2. Invite your parents over to your home for a meal and to meet your son, bond with him etc.
3. Decide to accept things as they are
4. Acknowledge your wife's feelings but explain to her that you do love both your children.
5. Accept things you cannot change, change the stuff you can.

6. The wisdom to know the difference and get professional help.
7. No one is the better woman, your ex has perhaps a better relationship with them and they have her best interests at heart, also acknowledge she is your daughter's mother and if they have a bad relationship, it might jeopardise their relationship and visitation with their granddaughter which they also love.


Reply to anon

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