Dear Readers - The growing area of acute heartbreak occurring today, increasingly crosses all age lines as it separates adult children from their parents. It also keeps young children and teens from contact with their grandparents. And it cuts off grandparents during the years from young 60s to the elderly, forever estranged from most others in their families.
Do not say, “that isn’t going to happen in my life,” without reading on.
As I’ve written before, the current issue of alienated grandparents affects three generations and spreads discontent, distrust, and despair in countless relationships that were initially intended to be a family’s support system.
How did this come about?
Here’s just some of the mail I receive on family alienation:
Reader #1 – “We’re going through this right now and have tried to get some resolution with success. We even offered third- party family counselling without success.”
Ellie - Counselling is essential. If the estranged relatives aren’t interested, get it for yourself. If young children are feeling hurt, confused, angry and/or show other insecurities, get them professional help to discuss the issue.
Reader #2 – “When grandparents and grandchildren are at two ends of the spectrum, once the door closes, it leaves a sour taste in all mouths and there can be no return.
“My daughter passed away last July and since then, to even begin to negotiate on the reasons and why my family alienated me, is beyond discussion. When it's all related to who gets what when I pass on, that tells its own story.
“At an advanced age, to have the door closed in your face is a sadness beyond words, but I’m not alone. That gives us the strength to keep on going to the end of our days.”
Reader #3 – “Perhaps in some cases there’s a strong possibility of domestic abuse. The husband may be abusing the wife (July 23 column).
“Cutting out his wife's support system - the grandparents and her extended family - is a control/isolation tactic to further the abuse.
“This may be what is occurring and really should be looked into. The wife and kids may be in grave danger. The reaction is too extreme, abrupt and lengthy for this not to be seriously considered. Please pass my perspective along to the people who wrote you.”
Reader #4 - “Many of us will never know the answer to this question: “Why were we cut out of her grandkids’ lives?”
“I’ve had to learn over 20 years to accept the things I cannot change despite exhaustive efforts and therapy about the fact that I will not know my four grandchildren.
“Recently, I found a book that you can share with your readers - Done with The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children, by Sheri McGregor M.A. It has many insights for helping to heal the living bereavement for those of us rejected by our children. (Ellie: There’s also a workbook for both parents).
“Thank goodness for my other extremely loving daughter.”
Ellie - Ask a psychotherapist about whether rivalry between these sisters may’ve influenced one’s estrangement from you.
Reader #5 – “It’s so difficult to bring this hidden tragedy to public attention, yet so essential.
“It’ll be useful for readers to know that the organization, Alienated Grandparents Anonymous (in Ontario), recently changed its name to "Our Estranged Grandchildren Matter,” in order to unite with similar organisations in Canada, hopefully in a more active manner.”
My husband of 10 years gives minimal time to our sex life. He’s always “too exhausted” from work. Even on our honeymoon, he was only infrequently turned on.
We’d become engaged after dating for six months. We have two children and I know he expects us to stay together.
I have a good figure, men have always thought I’m sexy, but apparently not my own husband. I’m losing interest in him as my life partner. What should I do so we can stay together?
Hurt and Undesired
Tell him your feelings about lack of sex. Ask what he thinks can improve the situation.
Suggest getting marital/sex therapy together. If he won’t go, say you’ll attend on your own. Be clear that it may or may not lead to a decision about whether you can remain in this marriage without sex, passion, or emotional intimacy.
He needs to know what’s at stake.
Tip of the day:
Family members should be alert to divisive attitudes/actions that can destroy relationships between three generations.