Violating Unknown Boundaries

Question: Dear Luise: My wife and I live 1800 miles from our grandchild and his parents. We don’t get to see them more than four times a year because of the cost of travel. When we do go we usually rent a small home so that we don’t intrude too much on their family life. We usually staytwo weeks and don’t take up all their time. We have just been informed that a week is long enough of a visit because we are violating their boundaries. What should we do? C.

Answer: Dear C.: Well, I know what I would like to do if that happened to me, but in the name of family peace, I won’t go there.

You and I both know that you have bent over backward. I think I would answer in a very kindly way, that the next time you are there, which will be a one-week stay, of course, you would like to discuss their boundaries with them in person, so you can respect them. I wouldn’t mention the efforts you have sincerely made in that direction and I wouldn’t discuss it further and give them any excuse for further misunderstanding.

Any communication that isn’t one-on-one can easily become convoluted. Be pleasant and cooperative, since your relationship with your grandchild may be drastically affected by this turn of events. At the same time, refuse to be drawn into processing it further until you are all present and accounted for. You and your wife deserve so much better…but “fair” sometimes isn’t a factor. Blessings, Luise




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