Following is Part Two of readers’ comments – this time, those who Agreed – regarding my response to a woman who insisted her son and his bride not marry at her ex-husband’s farm (August 13):
Reader #1 – “My husband left me after 21 years of marriage.
“The breakup was very difficult for me and my children, and caused us a tremendous amount of heartbreak.
“Eventually, he married the woman he left me for and they had a child together. I also remarried.
“We were all at my son’s wedding. There’s nothing that would’ve stopped me from attending it.
“This was my son and his bride’s special day. I wanted to be part of it and would never have done anything to spoil it.
“In the photos taken that day, I look so happy. I love my daughter-in-law.
“I’m still so thankful that because of my ex-husband I have fine, caring, thoughtful adult children.
“When there’s a breakup of a marriage, the ones who get hurt most are the children. I was determined not to do anything to add to the hurt that my kids had already endured.
“They’ve been hurt enough already. They’ve all reconciled with their dad.
“I make it a policy to never interfere in any plans that my adult children make, and we respect each other’s privacy.”
Reader #2 – “I agree with you that this mother should get over the hurt. When I got divorced from an abusive husband, I always thought that being happy was my best revenge.
“However, I also think that this young man and his fiancé should be a bit more considerate of his mother.
“After all, the divorce was caused by an affair. There was no need to "reward" the man or his partner with this honour when another venue could be used.”
Ellie – This situation of one mother’s unhappiness with her son’s choice of wedding venue, and readers’ comments about it, have given me – and many of you – a chance to consider all the emotions involved in post-divorce family events.
Over years, I’ve answered countless people on this topic, attended many such gatherings of friends, and have experienced it myself.
My feelings almost always fall on the side of respecting the wedding couple’s decisions, so long as there are no hidden agendas or outright meanness.
Like Reader # 1 wrote, the children of divorce have been hurt enough. A wedding is their day for a fresh start to their own family life.
However, I’ve been struck through those who wrote to “Disagree,” about the length of time and degree of pain that some people bear, and re-open that wound again years after a marriage breakup.
I would hope for them, instead, that self-preservation would help them find a means to finally come to terms with that history.
It can be done on their own – by moving forward in every possible way, e.g. through positive friendships, self-care and fitness, involvement in rewarding work and interests, and joining in activities they enjoy.
There are those who say they’ll never risk love again.
Well, love comes in many forms – including the love of children, companions, pets. To avoid loving connections is a greater risk to your happiness and well-being.
If the hurts of the past still inform your life and decisions years after a divorce, give counselling a chance.
It can be found affordably through community agencies such as a “Y” or Family Services, and through pastoral counsellors in your faith community.
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter balking at her mother’s insistence she study Accounting to get a good-income job (August 13):
Reader – “Here’s how I handled my son:
“I told him I’m not welfare (housing). Either he finds a job or job training, or lives elsewhere on welfare.
“He phoned his older brothers and friends for a place to stay, but none had room.
“However, one friend had just finished his training and found a good position in an office.
“He offered him a low-paid job that entailed shift work.
“My son had to promise that he would not quit because his friend was still on probation.
“My son worked his way up, changed jobs to a different company, and now earns as much as a tradesman as his better-educated brothers.”
Ellie – The girl works but wants to be a writer. Your story tells her she can get ahead, please her Mom, and still work on her writing.
Tip of the day:
Develop ways for a positive approach to your life and relationships, after a marriage breakup.