Reader os­tra­cized by parent­age

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

In my so­cial life and at my places of em­ploy­ment, I used to tell peo­ple that the man who raised me with my mom was not my bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. At work, cus­tomers and co-work­ers would say un­kind things to me about that. Then, a few weeks later, I would get let go for no log­i­cal rea­son, or it would turn into a hos­tile work en­vi­ron­ment and I would be forced to quit. The fi­nal straw came when I was leav­ing church and the cler­gyper­son shook my hand good­bye and at the same time pushed me out the door. I had a DNA test done, and it turns out that my dad is my bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. I don’t feel I owe peo­ple an ex­pla­na­tion, and they would prob­a­bly not be­lieve me any­way. How do I han­dle these hor­ri­ble peo­ple?

I’m think­ing there must be more to the story than you’ve in­cluded in your let­ter, be­cause their be­hav­ior sounds bizarre. Your bi­ol­ogy is none of their business. If you were ter­mi­nated be­cause of your parent­age, you should have le­gal re­course. Con­tact an at­tor­ney.

My wife and I are in our late 20s and have been mar­ried since we were 18. We have two chil­dren. The prob­lem is with my wife’s mother.

We re­cently moved to a new city so my wife could be closer to her side of the fam­ily, which was fine with me. We have now lived in this city for three years, and in that time, my wife’s mother has never made an at­tempt to re-es­tab­lish any type of re­la­tion­ship with my wife — or our chil­dren, for that mat­ter.

Ev­ery time there is a fam­ily func­tion go­ing on, my mother-in-law does ev­ery­thing in her power to keep my wife from find­ing out about it so that our fam­ily is ex­cluded. And when­ever we host fam­ily func­tions, my wife’s mother al­ways has an ex­cuse for why she won’t be able to at­tend. In ad­di­tion, my wife and I have not had one night to our­selves since we were in high school. We even took our first­born on our hon­ey­moon be­cause we couldn’t get a baby sit­ter. I think that is where grand­par­ents and other fam­ily mem­bers should be in­volved. It’s hard on my wife. We have two very well-be­haved kids, and it’s killing my wife that her mother won’t watch our kids.

I know that my wife wants to cre­ate a re­la­tion­ship with her mom that she never had, just as she wants our chil­dren to have a grand­mother in their lives. I am so sick and tired of watch­ing my wife reach out to her mom. Am I wrong for want­ing to pro­tect my wife from cer­tain heart­break? Or should I let this go and let my wife han­dle her mother? Any ad­vice would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

Your mother-in-law sounds like a real piece of work, but there isn’t much you can do about chang­ing her at­ti­tude or be­hav­ior. You can and should con­tinue giv­ing your wife sup­port and en­cour­age­ment, but ul­ti­mately her re­la­tion­ship with her mother is be­tween the two of them and not you. As for get­ting away to­gether alone for a night or week­end, what about other mem­bers of her side of the fam­ily? If no one will help, then maybe you could consider mov­ing closer to your side of the fam­ily.

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