July 9, 2013 in Features

Kids still distant from absent father

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: This is my second marriage. My husband has two children from his first marriage and a stepdaughter. His first wife had several affairs. I feel it may have been due to his lack of support for her. He was always working.

We married five years after his divorce. My husband and I are happy, and he is devoted to me. But he continues to work a great deal, and I am often lonely. I know it would help to have my own outside interests and hobbies and to go out with my friends, but I miss the closeness I had with my first husband. We did everything together.

The problem now is his kids. We have not spoken to them in nearly three years. When his oldest granddaughter sent us a graduation invitation, I sent her a text thanking her for inviting us. She wrote back, “Who is this? I do not recognize the number.” That really hurt. I gave nine years of my life to that little girl, trying to be a good step-grandmother. I wrote her back and said, “Once upon a time, you called me Grandmommie. I still love and miss you.” I have heard nothing from her.

My husband’s children have no respect for their father because he was always gone. I tried to overcome that for many years, but it went sour. What can we do to get these problems corrected? Should we send a graduation gift? – Hurting in Oklahoma

Dear Oklahoma: First, while your relationship with these children seems distant, let’s not mix apples and oranges. Unless your phone number is programmed into this grandchild’s phone, your name would not come up when you texted, and she would not have known who was contacting her. You can call the children and grandchildren directly and ask how to warm up the relationship. But we can’t promise anything will change unless your husband becomes more involved, and he does not seem inclined. But please send a graduation gift. It’s a start.


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