Father is frustrated by reticent ex-wife
Dear Amy: My former wife and I divorced after 26 years of marriage. She has refused to communicate with me.
We have twins in their late 20s — a daughter and a son. Although neither is married, each wants to eventually get married, and so I anticipate weddings.
Our son graduates from law school this spring. He may feel awkward about having both his parents attend his graduation. Last year, he went through a terrible crisis — the death of one of his best friends. It was terribly hard on him, yet his mom never talked to me about how we might help him.
Such occasions — a griefstricken child and a grown child’s life event — call for parents to come together. I want to talk with my former wife about the upcoming graduation. What do you suggest?
Loves His Twins Loves His Twins: Ideally, you and your ex-wife would be able to discuss not just the huge events in your twins’ lives, but you would also be capable of simply checking in from time to time. However, your former wife is not willing to communicate with you, and so your twins are consigned to do the eternal dance of children of divorce, dealing with their parents separately and discreetly, as these young adults come to dread the tension initiated by big events.
If you want to try to communicate with your ex, you could send her an email titled “Graduation” in the subject line. Keep your email short, neutral and factual: Tell her what your plans are and ask her if she wants to coordinate.
She may not answer. I hope you’ll make a choice to simply be the easy, accommodating, warm and loving parent, regardless of your ex’s behavior. Always act cordially toward and about your ex. Never criticize her to your children. Take the high road. It’s not the easiest road, but it offers the best view. Dear Amy: In response to “Worried” and her boyfriend’s frequent white lies, I can relate.
I grew up in a family where “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!” was practically our motto. My mom told little lies in front of us kids constantly, especially on the phone to her friends and work. My husband called me out on it when we first got married. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It was learned behavior from my upbringing. I am grateful that he brought it to my attention. Perhaps “Worried” should do the same with her boyfriend.
Former Liar: Good advice!
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