I married a man almost twice my age when I was 35. I loved him. I found him handsome, charming, fun, funny, powerful and affectionate. He had lived a full life; he was married twice before, with two children from his second marriage. His first wife had died from an aggressive cancer that came out of nowhere. His second wife had an affair but thought she could stick around for the perks from my husband’s then-extremely successful company.
He didn’t agree and divorced her. It was ugly; she was bitter; and the children got stuck in the middle, sadly taking her side. They stopped all communication with their father, and he only gave them what was court ordered. Without any extras or excess, both his ex-wife and the children lived comfortably.
When I found him, he was sad, but extremely successful with a burning fire in him to live the rest of his life fully. He says I brought that out in him, once our togetherness overrode his sadness.
We lived a very full life including lots of travel, adventure, and fun. We lived high because he could afford to. We owned several homes and bounced between three when we weren’t travelling. Life was fabulous.
And then the same cancer that took his first wife, took him. Also aggressively, seemingly from one day to the next. He had changed his will long before, shortly after we got married 20 years ago, to reflect me as his main inheritor, with some funds for his children. We also agreed that if he should die before me, that I would make a significant attempt at getting to know his grandchildren (if there were any), and I would have monies set aside for them.
It’s been a year since his death, and none of my attempts to reach out to his children, regarding his grandchildren, have been acknowledged. I feel I’ve tried everything, even getting the help of a lawyer, informing the children of the money set aside for their children. Still nothing.
Obviously, it’s their loss, not to have had a relationship with their father/grandfather, a man filled with love. And now they’re losing out on large financial gains. But there’s only so much I can do.
What do you think?
I think you two were lucky to find each other when you did, and to have had such a great love and big life. You’re still young and have many years ahead to enjoy with friends, family, and perhaps another great love. And lucky for you, your husband left you the means to live life on your terms.
From your explanation, your husband would have liked to have a relationship with his children, and their children, which would have included sharing his wealth. He made attempts, they were ignored, but he still wanted you to try after his demise, whenever that came.
You kept his wishes, did your best, and they weren’t interested. There’s nothing more for you to do. If one day down the road, one of the children or grandchildren reach out to you, it’s at your discrepancy to react as you so choose.
Lift your chin and walk tall. You know you’ve done the right thing; you can sleep easy.
FEEDBACK Regarding the teenage girl who felt uncomfortable at her boyfriend’s house (Sept. 14):
Reader – “You suggested the young woman ask the boyfriend’s little brother to stop throwing things at her. It might be better if she asked him WHY he was throwing stuff at her. It might make him think twice. Depending on his age, it sounds like typical bratty little brother behaviour.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the mom having difficulty arranging a playdate for her eight-year-old daughter (Sept. 18):
“Back in the 1950s, there was no such thing as a ‘playdate.’ Your parents opened the door, you went outside, you found kids, and you played OUTSIDE! You stayed outside until the street lights came on and then you went home. There was no interference from parents. Children had the freedom of choosing when and with whom they wanted to play.
“I understand that times have changed. I'm also aware that parental responsibilities are not what they were in the 50s when, usually, only one parent worked outside the home. However, it's incredibly sad that something as simple as childhood play has now been turned into an activity which has to be scheduled. This generation of children has been scheduled to the ‘nth’ degree with no spontaneity left for them. After-school and weekend extracurricular activities have already left them with little free time to be children.