My ex-wife and I separated/divorced over ten years ago, when our daughters were ages two and three.
I’ve remarried and have four other children from my marriage. There’s lots of love, fun, and laughter in our home.
I want to take my daughter, now 13, to a major league baseball game and mistakenly bought tickets for the weekend when she’s with her mom.
I stated it was an honest mistake and asked to do this only as a day trip.
My daughter loves baseball.
She’s trying out for competitive baseball. Her mom has encouraged and is paying for it, so she has an interest in our daughter’s involvement in the sport.
Yet her mom seems to put her needs, wishes, ill feelings, maybe hurts, ahead of the kids and gave an outright No.
When I’ve been asked by the school to volunteer for a field trip, or fun day at the school. I’d do so.
If their mom was also volunteering for the other daughter’s grade, she’d then cancel her participation and one of the girls wouldn’t have their mom attend.
She does anything in her power to reduce access or not encourage the girls to come over, or be involved in our family.
It’s an unfortunate reality we have to live with.
She left me ten years ago and I moved on. I enjoy liberal access (40% of the time).
I can see how my daughter’s upset about missing the game, but unwilling to discuss with her mom her desire to go.
I offered to swap dates, pick her up the same morning and bring her straight back after the game. Still, it’s “No.”
You and your daughter both have a practical understanding of how to handle this disappointment.
Your daughter knows you had her best interest at heart, but she’s unprepared to have an emotional encounter with her mom that she already knows will be painful. A wise young teenager.
You know not to push harder, since otherwise access works and the girls enjoy being with your new family.
Your ex-wife is clearly angry and resentful about how successfully you’ve moved on.
You can always buy baseball tickets for a future date on “your” time with your daughter.
Keeping peace is more important.
Your daughter may speak up about such situations when she’s ready. Or not.
What matters most is that she’s not put in a position of having to choose, and be stressed about loyalty to one parent over another.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s threatened leaving his ill wife if she doesn’t provide him with a sex partner (Feb.17):
Reader – “If we equate our family life with only sex, the marriage cannot survive.
“My wife found sex very painful at menopause at 50, when I was 56. Yes, it was a little frustrating when my wife asked me to have an affair with someone.
“I declined, although I was working in an environment where 80% of the employees were women.
“But the scare of HIV, or AIDS, or an STD kept me away from that choice. So to relieve myself, masturbation was the option.
“It has been almost 20 years but we have a very close relationship. Love, happiness, and joy of our children more than compensate for sex.
“This man needs to support his wife during such painful times instead of issuing threats.
“You never know - she could feel better someday and he could end up in her shoes.”
I’m the mother of two wonderful daughters whom I love dearly.
However, whenever they and their husbands come for dinner, they retire to the living room, leaving me with the dishes and clean-up.
I've explained that by the time dinner’s on the table, my back is killing me.
This doesn't appear to be a strong enough hint.
What do I do? I don't want them to decide against coming for dinner, yet I find this behaviour both rude and inconsiderate.
Forget about “hints.” Speak up.
Tell your dear daughters that you love to see them at dinner but you don’t love the pain from standing to cook as well as clean-up.
Two different choices: They can each bring either a main dish for dinner, or two side dishes and you’ll do starters and dessert;
Or, they and their husbands clean up after while you put up your feet and rest your back.
Tip of the day:
In divorced families, work to avoid causing children to have their loyalties to either parent tested unnecessarily.