I’m a school-bus driver, married with two teenage boys. My marriage vows are very important to me.
Two co-workers - he’s married and has grandchildren, she’s a single parent - are lying to me about them talking or meeting up.
I know this from another driver who sees them parked (together) every day when she goes by.
Previously, they were parked on roads that I used to take so I’d stop and chat.
Once, she quickly got out of her seat, and the other driver says they scramble out of their seats when she passes.
I don’t agree with married people cheating. Should I say anything about what I know? Or mention that they don’t need to lie?
You have your own moral principles. But you aren’t your co-workers’ conscience.
Only if you knew the married man well and approached him to ask if he wants to talk, would your comments not be resented.
Otherwise, informing them of your knowledge is more likely to deteriorate your working relationship than stop their affair.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding grandparent alienation as described by only the grandparents (Sept. 21):
“I was reminded of my late mother-in-law, who described me as cold and hostile and, along with my sister-in-law, tried to drive a wedge between me and my husband and the children.
“She told her friends that I kept the children away from her, though we spent almost every weekend at her house, usually staying overnight, and I always brought food.
“One of her friends even told me how much it upset “the grandmother” to be deprived of her grandchildren and was shocked when I explained that she saw them almost weekly.
“Once, when we were going on a week-long overseas business trip, she volunteered to stay with the children - then seven and ten.
“When we returned, she’d left them alone for the last two days, going home because she had company coming on the weekend and needed to prepare.
“We never asked her to babysit again.
“In another situation, a couple who constantly complain about their son and his wife who moved out west, rarely call or visit them, so hardly know their grandchildren.
“They say this is poor repayment for his happy childhood. However, he confided in us through his teen years, so we know his own perception of his childhood as suffocating interference and neglect by two very self-centred and manipulative people. He couldn’t wait to get away.
“It’s possible there are good reasons for the distancing described by your letter-writer.”
Your own personal story is exactly how this column promotes a conversation and insight into the two solitudes of some of the most contentious relationship issues.
Of course, I can only know one side until people like you, with the near-opposite experience, throw light on the topic as it affects both generations.
Meanwhile, grandchildren are either described as protected from nasty relatives, or bereft of the experience of grandparent love.
What’s missing in the emotional letters on both sides, is usually some truth-telling about past poor relationships between grandparents and their adult children.
Also, there’s little interest in trying joint family counselling, mediation, and understanding that grandparents’ legal rights usually only apply if there was a previous happy relationship between them and their grandchildren.
This topic will be better understood if more readers on all sides and professionals in the process, send in their views (at a usable length).
My son and his wife have two children and have become legal guardians of a girl my granddaughter’s age (13).
She was living in unsafe circumstances and Children’s Aid was involved.
We’ve met her, and she’s very nice. She has a grandmother who doesn’t spend much time with her.
Normally at birthdays and for Christmas we give our grandchildren a cheque, as we’re generally not near them then.
What should we do with regards to this young ward?
Your son’s family are likely treating this girl much the same as their own. Follow their example.
Talk to your son, in case there’s some concern with anyone outside your family having access to the girl’s money if she were to have a bank account (for your cheque).
If so, you could ask your son to give her cash from a cheque that you send to him, and he can explain the reason to the girl.
Tip of the day:
Strong moral values may bolster your own life and outlook, but strong moral judgment is often just not your business.