I have four adult children; two are married with children, two are not. The two who are married don’t speak to me, and also don’t allow me access to their children, my grandchildren.
My husband and I have been married nearly 50 years. We aren’t perfect. Do we have the best marriage ever? No. But we love each other, we’re good friends, we’ve even worked together. We’ve had rough patches, of course, but we weathered them and stayed together.
We made it through the pandemic and we’re happy. But we’re confused. Why are the two oldest kids not married, but happy to continue a relationship with us? And why are the younger two married with children, but angry at us?
Can you shed some light on this very mixed-up family dynamic?
Missing our grandkids
There’s too much unknown in your question. I need more information that I think you’re not sharing. You must have some inkling why two of your children are so mad at you that they are keeping you from having a relationship with their children. That’s a big deal!
Unless part of the reason has something to do with the way you grandparent, then I don’t think having children is a prerequisite to being angry at you. Meaning, the fact that the older two don’t have kids and still talk to you is not correlated.
If you really have no idea what’s caused the rift, you could ask the older two, but don’t discuss it. Just hear what they have to say and walk away. Find out the root cause of the rift and fix it.
Unless you’re toxic, every child can benefit from a relationship with their grandparents. You have the potential to have a fabulous, full family life. Do your utmost to make that happen.
My fiancée and I don’t see eye to eye on certain large issues and I’m worried we’re just not meant to be together. We’ve been together for six years, live together and have a dog. We made it through the COVID-19 pandemic and figured if we could get through that, we could get through anything.
We got engaged about a year ago, and she went into full planning mode. We agreed to have a long engagement for several reasons, one being that her brother was graduating that summer from a university in another country and plans were already made to travel there. It was an expensive trip, but the whole family went, happy to be together and celebrating.
We both work, but the past few years haven’t been easy. Our jobs are both secure, but our salaries were base, and we missed out on bonuses. It looks like things are going back to “normal,” but I’m still cautious.
Not my girlfriend. She’s planned a big bridal shower, and she and a few friends are going on a last hurrah to the Caribbean. And then there’s the wedding. You can imagine, nothing has been left out or forgotten.
I’m worried we won’t have anything left other than the rings on our fingers. How do I talk to my girlfriend about reining in her spending?
Married and poor
Breathe. Since you’ve been living together, you obviously have some plan in place how to share/divide expenses. Tell her that you’re worried and need to look at your finances. Explain to her that you need it for your sense of calm and that this isn’t an attack on her or her spending.
Tell her that you completely understand that this is an expensive time – showers, trips, wedding, honeymoon – and you want her to be happy. But you also don’t want to be financially ruined after the last bottle pops.
FEEDBACK Regarding the tattooed son and the unhappy mom (Feb. 20):
Reader – “I chose to get a tattoo when I turned 50, in memory of my son and daughter who died 16 years earlier. I did my research and checked out several parlours for safety, cleanliness and the quality of their tattoos.
“When my twin sons were only 14, they decided they wanted a tattoo. They said since I got one, I couldn’t say no. I told them they had to wait until they were 16. I explained to them the importance of choosing what, where and who would do the tattoo. They’re now 26 and have several tattoos, all expertly and beautifully done.
“Lisi, you gave this mom great advice on how to approach her son. There are tattoo parlours who will be able to improve the tattoo.
“Parents, talk to your kids about everything.”