Dear Amy: My psychiatrist suggested I write to you because none of the professionals we consulted have an answer.
I had two children with a selfish, emotionally abusive husband. I divorced him at the suggestion of my psychologist so my children would not see and experience his horrific behavior.
I had custody of the children. His few opportunities to visit were lost due to his abuse.
When the children were older he had visitors and spent most of his time turning the children against me.
My daughter was able to forgive him as she grew up because he softened and she wanted to connect with him despite his flaws.
My son gave in to his pressure and hasn’t had any contact with me for 20 years.
Now my son is getting married. Apparently he thinks I might show up and make a scene even though I’m not invited. (People often blame others for things they can do themselves!) My ex won’t be in the same room with me.
My daughter, who has a close relationship with her brother, will be at the wedding but won’t tell me about it.
I moved across the country to be with her and her children. I am the good mother – the extra good mother who did everything. (My daughter is a doctor.)
My ex husband is a bad man. He made my son a bad man.
Why is my daughter attending her family events while I babysit her kids?
Shouldn’t she stop facilitating this hate campaign against me?
love miracles: You seem to be buying advice and I assume your psychiatrist is recommending that you ask my opinion because you are rejecting the advice you have been given and are looking for a different answer.
I assume you’ve researched “parental alienation,” and if so, you’ll find that your son’s attitude toward you may be the result of his father’s behavior. However, I believe you are also practicing a form of this by trying to force your daughter to fully align with you.
It should not be their job to represent you in such a challenging situation. She does what many children of toxic divorces do: she adjusts her scuba mask and wades in, trying her best to meet her own needs without being figuratively slammed against the rocks by an angry parent.
You portray yourself as “the good mom” and your ex and son as “bad men,” and as long as you see the world in this absolute way, your daughter will be forced to act that way. You should never expect a child to completely disown a parent because that parent is a part of them, for better or for worse.
If you don’t want to babysit your grandchildren, don’t! But don’t use them as more ammunition in your ongoing war against your ex.
Dear Amy: My father and his wife “Darcy” live in Texas. i live in florida
They have been married for 40 years. Neither of them works and they are always at home together.
Every time I talk to my dad, Darcy makes comments in the background and offers unwelcome opinions about what we’re trying to talk about.
My father ignores it, but it’s so irritating and disturbing that I don’t want to talk to him.
Dear son: If you’re on the phone with your dad, you should assume that your conversation isn’t private, even if Darcy isn’t in the background interfering. If you want to be in constant communication with your dad, a weekly email exchange may be best.
It’s a real challenge to talk to two people at the same time. You may wish to begin your calls by speaking to Darcy and expressing an interest in what she is doing. Then you could ask, “Dad, could you go into the other room? I would like to chat privately for a few minutes.”
Dear Amy: Thank you for your reply to Bay Area Stepmom Cook, who refused to omit onions from her dishes, although her stepdaughter’s husband had an aversion to it.
My mother-in-law respected my dislike/dislike of garlic. It was just as you said: every time she thoughtfully left out the garlic (or served it to me separately), I felt genuinely loved.
Dear Garlucke: I received a huge answer to this question. Thanks.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/25/ask-amy-i-am-good-my-ex-is-bad-why-wont-my-daughter-take-my-side/ I’m fine, my ex is bad and my daughter doesn’t see it