Ask Amy

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 10:00pm
Amy Dickinson

DEAR AMY: My son is in the process of finalizing a very painful divorce, which has been more than a year in the making. It has been heartbreaking for all involved.

He lives temporarily with my husband and me. He has been very generous in sharing his custodial time with his 2-year-old son with us.

His ex-wife tries to keep us out of the picture entirely, though we had a very close relationship prior to this.

My son is now involved with a lovely woman and is taking some of the time that we had previously had with our grandson and spending this time with her. I am fine with all this, of course.

However, I am having a problem because he has begun extending this time to her family.

Our time with him is extremely limited as it is. We have no real "alone" grandparenting time, and my husband says that my son should think more about me (and him) than this other family.

I am upset with myself for trying to hold so tightly to my grandson.

I have prayed and talked to myself for hours on end that I need to be less jealous and more generous, but I find that resentment surfaces when the time I anticipate spending with my grandson is pared down.

I very much want to return to being the kind, generous, loving person that I know I can be.

— Heartsick Gram

DEAR HEARTSICK: Your anguish over this is clear, but until you have some clarity and understanding about your own loss, you won't feel better.

Your grandparent bond is even more intense because of the living situation and breakup that precipitated it. As a parent and grandparent, you have a huge stake in the success of this family.

You and your husband should speak with your son about this. Don't focus on your resentment and don't ask your son to choose among this new woman, her family and you.

Tell him you're crazy in love with this child and want to be in his life as fully as you can.

Keep everything — including your requests — very simple. This child's life is spinning off in too many directions, and he will feel the pressure, regardless of how careful you are.

You will also have to hold tightly to the concept that the more people your grandson has to love, the richer his life will be. Repeat it like a mantra as you count his many blessings.


DEAR AMY:
I'm a 15-year-old girl, and I've never had a boyfriend.

One of my best friends was a boy who I now realize really "liked" me.

He told my friends.

He pulled the "arm-around-the-shoulder" move on me more than once, and made up excuses to cuddle with me.

He clearly liked me, but I just didn't like him like that.

Now he has a girlfriend. And, of course, now I like him, though I think it may just be jealousy.

I'm mad now. I had him in the palm of my hand; all I had to do was show some feeling back.

I want to tell him how I feel, but I don't want to wreck our thin relationship. We've drifted a bit since he's inferred that I rejected him. I don't know what to do.

— Troubled Teen

DEAR TROUBLED: You're going to have to face one of the most confusing aspects of having a crush: when to act.

For now, back away far enough to gain some perspective and realize that the road to love has many switchbacks.

Don't interfere with your friend's current relationship, and don't do anything until you know for certain how you feel, and why you feel that way.


DEAR AMY: I'm following the discussion in your column about whether a divorced woman should keep her married name.

This is a very personal decision.

Two years post-divorce I still use my married name. Our three children, whom I am raising, have the name.

I am known by this name professionally. And I like it.

My "married" name doesn't profit me financially or cause any other disturbance in this big world.

— Keeping My Name

DEAR KEEPING: Your "married" name is yours to keep or change, and the decision should be yours too.

Send questions to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

1 Comment on this post:

By: BenDover on 5/15/09 at 3:49

Troubled teen... move on. Many many many other fish in the sea and you will need to date a lot of them before you settle on one for good (after you graduate college and are over 25 (maybe 30) years old).

If this guy comes back around in the future then so be it.