Dear Annie: I am the mother of four adult children. My oldest daughter has three children, and she and her husband live an hour and a half away. They are looking to move near me next year.
Annie, I worked for 40 years for the same employer, and I am looking to retire and move south. This has always been my desire. I only stayed in New Jersey because I was divorced and needed to stay in the same state as my ex-husband because of the children. Now I feel guilty and that I must stay. – Guilty Grandma
Dear Guilty: You have the right to move south and enjoy warm weather during retirement, but your daughter has the right to know how you feel. Before she uproots her family to live closer to you, you must tell her your wishes.
While being a grandparent is one of life’s great treasures, being a happy grandparent is even better, and if moving south will make you happier, then do it. Maybe once you open the dialogue with your daughter, you can come up with a plan for how you could visit them in New Jersey and they could visit you in Florida, or wherever you decide to settle. You should also consider the possibility that you would get bored and miss your family after moving away. The key is communication with your daughter before either of you makes a life-altering decision.
Dear Annie: My husband was very abusive and made me feel worthless. I started an affair with a married man. Even after my husband died, the affair continued, as I was all alone without support from my family and the abusive relationship had taken away most of my friends.
Fast-forward 20 years. The man I had the affair with had a procedure that failed, and he was given only a few weeks to live.
During those few weeks, he contacted friends and family and sent messages to everyone except me. It’s like I was punched in the gut. I know I was the other woman and couldn’t be with him in his final days, but a short call or even a social media emoji to say goodbye would have meant the world to me. After all those years, I don’t know if I meant anything to him. Words were never spoken. I grieve in silence.
I tried counseling a few times, but they take five sessions before they even get to the heart of the problem, and with co-pays, I just can’t afford it. The point I want to make is to tell a person how you feel no matter what the circumstances. – Silent Grief
Dear Silent Grief: Stick with the counseling. If you can’t afford the co-pays, see if your therapist can work something out for you. In addition, find a group to help you process your grief. There are many out there. Rest assured that his being with you for all that time shows he cared about you. In fact, showing someone is a lot more meaningful than telling them. Words are just words; his actions spoke louder than his silence.
I am hopeful that you will find a new love. As you work through your grief, try and find someone who is not taken so there is love and honesty in your relationship from the beginning.
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