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Living With Divorce

Fabricating a Reason to Be Unhappy

January 16, 1985|VIRGINIA DOODY KLEIN

Question: My ex-husband and his new wife are moving to the same city in which our daughter and her husband live. Sally and her dad never have been terribly close, but with their both being relative newcomers to their area, I envision a closeness developing. I'm so jealous I can hardly stand it. My anger is coming through to my daughter, who doesn't understand. She's pregnant, which only seems to make our separation more painful. I know I'll never get over my first grandchild growing up knowing its stepgrandmother better than me. I'm heartbroken. Please help me find a way to deal with this sorrow. Answer: You seem determined to find a reason to be unhappy. Your former husband and his wife haven't even moved and yet you have them best social friends with a daughter with whom by your own admission they've never been particularly close. You've even projected your jealousy and unhappiness to the birth of your first grandchild, an occasion that should certainly be joyous. It sounds as though your unresolved feelings about your former husband and your divorce are resurfacing, causing you to feel insecure. Your daughter, son-in-law and grandchild will love you for yourself, not your proximity. Don't confuse the issue. Work out those old feelings with a therapist so that you can get on with your life. You have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Q: I'm 12. I hate my mother's new husband, and he hates me. We fight all the time about everything. Just because he lives here now, he thinks he can tell me what to do. It's our house. I feel bad about Mom, though. She cries a lot and begs me to try to get along with him for her sake. I could try harder for her, but then he'll think he won, which would be awful. My dad lives in another state and is also remarried, so that's no answer. What should I do?

A: Growing up means being big enough to do what you know is right and ignoring everything else. Your mom needs your help--give it to her. It will feel good to be the one who has made the peace.

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