DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Back when my daughter was a teenager, she and I had a rough time. She lived with her mom mostly, and I got her some weekends, holidays, and a couple weeks each summer. On one of these summer visitations, she decided to try and run off with her boyfriend. I guess she figured Dad was clueless, but she was surprised. When I stopped her, we had a blowup that ended with her being picked up by her mom. That was the last time she ever wanted to spend time with me.
Even back then, my ex-wife agreed with me over stopping our daughter from making a huge mistake. By the time school started again that fall, she and the guy had split up, and she went on to marry a bright and decent man.
My daughter is now in her late 20s and recently had her first child, my one and only grandchild. Since the failed elopement at 16, she has wanted nothing to do with me, which I’ve tried to learn to live with, because I am convinced to this day that I did the right thing in stopping her. Now, I never see my grandson, unless it’s at a family gathering organized by my ex-wife, who has always supported my efforts to remain in our daughter’s life.
It tears me up that not only did I lose my daughter, but now my grandson, because over 10 years ago, I did what was best for my daughter.
Is it worth continuing this fight, or do I just settle with a few occasional glimpses of my grandson? --- PUSHED AWAY DAD
DEAR PUSHED AWAY DAD: You were willing to lose the affection of your daughter to prevent her from making what you considered an incredibly bad decision. That tells me you’re a brave and caring father. I think it’s absolutely worth it to keep on taking advantage of what opportunities you have to be with your family, especially since your ex is in your corner.
Becoming a parent has a funny way of changing the way you look at life. In time, your daughter may come around and understand why you did what you did.