Grandma is an action not a description…


QUESTION:

I have been married to my husband for 8 years.  Between us we have 5 children.  His son is expecting our first grandchild in a few months.  We were absolutely thrilled about becoming grandparents, and were planning to visit when the baby comes (they live in another state).  My husband went to visit his son recently and one evening, his son, wanted to make some things clear with his dad.  One of those things was that “you are my father, so you are Grandpa, __________ is my mother so she is Grandma, _________(me) is not the baby’s grandmother.”  I am broken hearted, I have cried for 2 days because I feel like I have lost my grandchild.  I realize that I am not the blood grandmother, but I was so excited about being a grandma and don’t understand why such a mean remark was made, I feel like I am being excluded, like I am on the outside looking in.  My husband is furious with his son and said it is not so much “what” he said, as “how he said it”.  So I have a feeling that this was said in a rather unkind way.
I was excluded from his wedding years ago, being told that it was private, just his mother, father and witnesses were invited. I was invited to the reception, which I attended and was very gracious about.  I even made them a wedding album including photos from the wedding which my husband gave me.
I have allowed my stepson and his wife (and their dog) to use a lake cottage which is owned by my parents when they visit in the summer for a couple weeks, to provide them a place (rent free) where they could have their own space and to made it easier for them to visit both families.  I have tried to be accommodating and non intrusive because his mother is a part of his life, but I am having a hard time understanding why this comment was even made, and what I should do.  My husband and I have agreed that they will not be able to use the lake cottage anymore, but how do I respond when they come to visit?  I am terribly hurt and angry.

ANSWER:

This is indeed a hurtful thing that was done, but it was not because of you, there are larger things at work. Let’s step back a moment. This son was terribly hurt by the divorce of his parents. The hurt continued when his father chose to remarry. You become involved in this sticky web and if what you say is true, you have attempted to stay above the mess of emotions. What I would suggest is that you see it for what it is, hurt feelings. This unborn child may not call you grandma, but that doesn’t mean you should love it any less. I had people in my life that weren’t my grandparents, but treated me as a grandchild. What you have done thus far is be gracious and loving. This probably makes you more loved and valued by your husband. I would suggest you not resort to the level of his son. You may never be able to have an effective relationship with the son, but I guarantee that you will be able to have an influential relationship with his kid. Let you husband take up your cause and sit back. You don’t need to defend yourself you have done nothing wrong. Continue to be kind and loving it will win out in the end.

David

www.help4life.net

 

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