|July 18, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene:
Although I heard all the familiar pleas to come home, I stood my ground and took care of myself and my children. :) My husband then tried another tact and made up stories about me being unfaithful and told my kids that I had done awful things and that he had pictures to prove it. My 11 year old daughter told me, "Mommy, I know it's not true, but he makes it seem so believable." Since then, my 15 year old son has gone to live with his dad, and seems to believe everything he's been told. Your son has chosen to side with where he believes the power resides. Hopefully, he will come around in time. You can help him come around by demonstrating your strength. You can't make him see the light; don't even try. Just stand your ground and walk your walk.
It's now almost 3 years later and life has only gotten better, except for my son being away. (I see him every other week-end and a week out of every month.) I've bought a house with a beautiful garden, I've worked hard to stay positive, and I've fallen in love with a wonderful man. Congratulations!
Now comes my question! This wonderful and dear man wants to get married and so do I. Yippeee! However, my 15 year old son refuses to have anything to do with my boyfriend. Sad, but, that's his choice. His loss. My 13 year old daughter, on the other hand, loves him and wants him to be a part of our family. I'm very much afraid to tell my son and even my ex husband that I'm getting married. Don't be. I'm sure your ex would not hesitate to tell you if the tables were turned. Part of me feels like I don't deserve it even though I know it's a positive and healthy step. Get used to it lady! Get used to feeling that you do deserve...and you do - simply because you breath! Do these feelings of dread where my son and ex are concerned show that I'm not as healed as I want to believe? It's the most normal thing in the world for a person who has spent their whole life giving and not getting, to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. It will take you a while to feel comfortable with your good fortune. If that's the case, what should I do? Just joyously tell them you are going to marry him! Practice in the mirror first if you have to! (Believe it or not, my therapist that helped me through everything passed away suddenly.) I'm sorry... And, that's why this letter is getting answered.
I truly admire your kind heart and thoughtful responses.
I hope you choose to answer my letter. And I
hope you announce your engagement to your son and his father proudly
and with the obvious joy that is in your heart. No apologies are due.
This is good stuff! Stop trying to protect them by sacrificing
yourself. It's OK that they don't like it! That is the lesson you need
to master for yourself - and to demonstrate to your son that there is strength
With love and thanks, A grateful friend :) I'm so happy for you! Let us know what you did! Dr. Irene
I want to read the posts.