My husband of ten years and I are talking about divorce.
One of my main problems with him is that he leaves me to do everything regarding the house and our children.
He arranges nothings for the kids, doesn’t even join us when I’m taking them somewhere fun, and rarely plays with them at home.
I’m very worried about what kind of father he’ll be after we separate.
He says he wants joint custody, but I suspect he just wants control over decisions I make regarding which schools and courses, their vacations with me, etc.
Our son and daughter are ages five and seven, and they love him. I do want them to see him and feel close to him.
But I’m afraid he’ll disappoint them by not showing up or having no plans when he’s with him.
It sometimes happens that a mother or a father becomes a more attentive parent after a divorce, realizing that their relationship with their children is now fully up to them. So there’s hope.
But, if the same dynamic that’s pulling you two apart, is brought into the divorce, it inhibits that change.
It’d benefit both of you to have “divorce counselling.”
It provides professional help understanding that neither of you gets to make all the decisions, and that staying amicable and compromising contributes to the kids stability post-divorce.
Don’t “teach” him how to be a better parent. Suggest the counselling as something you need, too, for the kids’ sake, and not just because of your worries.
Our son married a very bright and very focused woman who follows a regime of eating only natural foods, wearing only clothing of natural fibres, and resisting medications and vaccines.
That was her business, which we respected, until our granddaughter was born a year ago. The child’s every activity is scrutinized and all “negative” materials and foods barred.
The result, at age one, is that she can’t visit our house because she isn’t allowed to sit or crawl on our floors (our broadloom isn’t 100% wool), and can’t eat most of our food (it’s also “too much bother” to bring their own).
Most upsetting, she can’t be held by us because our soaps and body lotions aren’t all unscented and organic, and she’s also unhappy about our clothing touching the child.
On the vaccination issue, we tried to discuss the social responsibility of everyone - to protect against infectious diseases through being inoculated - so that people not only don’t get sick, but are also not carriers.
However, despite the official de-bunking of the study that gave a flawed report linking vaccines to autism, she insists there must’ve been some basis in truth and she’s not risking her baby.
We want to see our granddaughter and don’t know how to deal with all this.
This is not simple territory to navigate. It’s not possible to argue against her choices, she’s made a study of them and rightly, or wrongly, they’ve become her solid beliefs.
Most important, you want to be part of your grandchild’s life.
Do some research, change what you can – e.g. visit at her home, buy the kinds of presents she appreciates, perhaps even buy yourselves one set of natural-fibre shirt and pants, to show her the respect she’s insisting on.
The vaccine issue’s contentious and divisive. Hopefully her own research will cause her to re-think, especially after the recent measles outbreak when parents became more aware of how dangerous that disease can be.
Am I over-sensitive as an older (66), single uncle (gay) about never being invited for Canadian Family Day by my siblings’ families?
When I asked my brother that morning if I could visit briefly, he suggested that several days later would be better.
I help out both families a little, am invited for Christmas and Easter, and we have a good relationship.
I didn’t wish to offend them by commenting, but felt somewhat slighted.
Should I say anything? Is the day just for IMMEDIATE family?
Some friends dropped over. Maybe I should be happy just celebrating with my gay friends?
A good relationship matters most, and you have that. You’re obviously a good uncle to them.
Next year, ask ahead if you can join in any plans. If it sounds like they’re busy with “immediate” family, then organize something with your friends.
The day doesn’t represent the traditional extended family gathering like Christmas and Easter.
Tip of the day:
“Divorce counselling” can help parents handle joint custody equitably.