Question: Dear Luise: Just after my father passed away suddenly, my husband of almost 30 years asked me for a divorce. We have 2 children, now 23 and 20. It wasn’t amicable. He remarried immediately and I no longer live in the state (he was always emotionally abusive and in the end, also physically abusive) Anyway, my children no longer speak to me. My son had given me ultimatives. He says that I don’t appreciate him and favor my daughter. He told me to make a choice between him and his sister (who he no longer speaks with either). My daughter no longer speaks to me as I do try to get her to pay her outstanding bills-she now lives with her boyfriend. She says that I’m stressing her out. Yes I do “pick up the dropped ball” from her as I know she is not finacially accountable and on this continued path I worry about her future. My children know that I love them with all of my heart and soul. I have found a (healthy relationship) partner but I cannot be more of myself because of the pain I feel constantly. I have tried to explain to my son that I will not shut out either of my children and will not make a choice. He insists that until I do, he will continue not to speak to me. My daughter has blocked my phone number and such. I do know, in my heart, that my children do love me. But I need them in my life. They have always been my life and my sanctuary. I do not know what to do. It has been 1 year without my son and 6 months without my daughter. Please respond. D.
Answer: Dear D.: Please come over to my Web-forum where issues with adult children and extended families are addressed, experiences are shared and very often healing takes place. www.WiseWomenUnite.com
What your children have “always been” is no longer true. They are not your sanctuary, they are being overtly abusive. You say you need them in your life but what you need is who they used to be, not who they have become. You matter. What needs to be done is to remember that you were a whole person before you had children and you can be whole again. They don’t determine that, you do. It’s time to reconnect with your self-respect and your self-worth.
You have a new relationship and you have the right to enjoy it. Blessings, Luise