Question: Dear Luise: My grown son, age 24, is now married but had an illegitimate son prior to his marriage. He hates me because I see his son and the mother. The baby is only 11 months old. He got the girl pregnant, broke up their relationship, went back to a past girl friend, and married her. She also got pregnant right before they married. They now have a daughter 5 months old. My son has lots of problems but hates me and will not let me see his daughter, who is my GRANDDAUGHTER. His wife is behind this all. She is very jealous. My grandson’s mother calls and brings him to see me. I’ve seen him maybe 5 times. DNA test just came back in February of this year. My son wanted me to wait till then and I held back except when the mom called. He looks just like his dad and I love him so much. Help me please. Peggy
Answer: Dear Peggy: You are not going to like my take on this. I want you to know that I have the deepest sympathy for you and know that this is not the way you wanted things to turn out.
That said, your son is an adult, whether he acts like one or not. He has the right to mess up and learn from it…or mess up and not learn from it. He gets to decide who sees his daughter and who doesn’t. This is all about him and his choices and the results of those choices. Your choices are not a factor here. However, if the mother of his son wants to include you in his life, she is an adult, too, and has that right.
I suggest that no matter how hard it is for you, you need to turn elsewhere and get on with your own life. If you don’t get to do grandmother with your second grandchild, there are still lots of other things you can do. It’s just not wise to put her in the middle of a tug-of-war. How about focusing on volunteer work? Maybe you can help out in a day care center for underprivileged children who have never had a grandmother to love them.
Most of all, please understand that feeling sorry for yourself and feeling “right” is only going to limit the quality of your own life. You are definitely getting a rotten deal. You are right about that. Now, turn away from this mess and move on. This may require some counseling. It won’t be easy.
I have been there and done that, or I wouldn’t have the courage to tell you what works and what doesn’t. Blessings, Luise