The parents’ association at my children’s school has regular monthly meetings. But I recently noticed a different connection between two parents.
There are periodic parent get-togethers that are very social, since many of the children, like mine, have attended that same school since kindergarten, and they’re now in Grade 8.
Among the mothers especially, some of us have become very close friends.
A few days ago, I saw something that appears to be nothing about the school or being “just friends.” One of the mothers (recently divorced) was walking in the neighbourhood, holding hands with one of the fathers (divorced about six months ago). They then huddled together in a doorway and fully kissed for several minutes.
I’m not normally a snoop and I’m not against divorce. But I saw that woman having a long kiss with her close friend’s ex-husband. Their children are in the same class, so everything that happens between those two will affect all their kids.
I’m also very friendly with the man’s ex-wife, though much less with the woman I saw. I don’t know what I should do.
Alerting the other woman will get this affair out in the open. Maybe then, these two parents will realize how much their kids may be badly affected if they go further with it. Your thoughts?
I understand your surprise, but being the witness puts you in a difficult position. It’s often the messenger of bad news who gets cut off as a friend.
You obviously care about the man’s ex-wife. And about the confusion and worse that their children may feel about the situation if it continues.
However, for all you know, that was a “goodbye” kiss after discussing ending their connection. Or they were whispering, not kissing. OR, your friend actually knows about their relationship and it’s fine with her in her post-divorce life.
In other words, tread carefully. There’s the reality that it’s none of your business. But if you feel that you must alert your close friend, be aware of the risk of being rejected.
My 27-year-old granddaughter hasn’t spoken to her mother in several years. It’s painful to my daughter, who experienced a difficult divorce from her second husband.
Her first husband, father of her children, remains bitter about his own divorce from her, and always bad-mouths her to their daughter. She apparently believes what he says.
My daughter wants me to help try to get my granddaughter back on speaking terms with her. If I don’t, she’ll distance from me because she thinks it’s my duty.
When her grandmother tried to talk to the granddaughter about this, she was rebuked. The granddaughter’s now cool to her. But I have a friendly relationship with my granddaughter. We speak on the phone every couple of months and see her twice a year when in her town. I’m afraid to jeopardize this relationship.
No one knows why she’s estranged from her mother. What do you recommend I do?
With respect, one divorce is hard on kids, and two must be twice as hard. Your daughter’s placed you in an untenable position. The duty to try and reconcile with her adult child is hers, not yours.
Have more contact with your granddaughter by calling more often and asking about her life (work, friends, her interests). Only mention her mother casually (e.g., she mentioned a great series she’s watching on TV). Tell your daughter that hers is fine. And that you’re doing your best at staying close.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man disgusted that his cousin’s wife wanted his uncle to move into a seniors’ residence (Sept.22):
“I’ve been sole caregiver for both my parents at home into their 90s before moving them into long-term care. There are eight staff looking after them for meals, showers, laundry, bathroom trips six times daily, medication, physical rehab, social activities, and responding to additional requests day and night.
“I was lucky to get them into care when needed, but had them both at home with me sometimes. Their needs become like having a six-foot newborn at home. You must relinquish all other parts of your life to care for them.
“The daughter-in-law sounds burnt out and is wisely asking for the uncle to get the care he needs. The “disgusted” nephew should volunteer to give his uncle hands-on care, to understand what’s required. I doubt he’d last a full day.”
Disgusted with unhelpful, self-righteous family members
Tip of the day:
Disclosing something you’re uncertain about, may risk your friendship.