Angry Mom

26 Sep

Dear LetterBalm: I’m caught in the middle of a heartbreaking situation. My best friend is seeking a divorce after 10 years, and she’s the reason why it’s so acrimonious. Two years after they were married, her husband convinced her to move to the suburbs because he wanted to raise a family, and she had a child even though she didn’t want to be a mother. Their son, now 5, has been cared for by a nanny and has rarely seen his mother, although his dad has always tried hard to spend time with the boy. My friend is angry – she says “I changed my life for him, let him be the world’s best dad” – and she wants to continue her high-powered job, give up any custody of her son, and never see him or his father again. I think she will regret this extreme decision. She might listen to me. What can I say to her?

–Boundless Sadness

This is horrible on so many levels. Ms. L.B. feels it is not in the best interest of a child to convince his reluctant and distant mother to be in his life. Even a five-year-old can sense when he’s unwanted and unloved. Everybody here needs big doses of therapy; the boy will carry the pain knowing his parents bore him because of a selfish and ill-considered decision. Whether or not to have a child is one of life’s seminal choices and shouldn’t be subject to strong-arming. His dad sounds like he’s trying to be a responsible father (although he and your friend should have hammered out the parenthood question long before any marriage), so his presence might help his son. Press your friend to seek professional help to temper her overwrought state of mind. In any case, she will have to live with her decision. Don’t try to convince her of anything right now, but tell her this:

Joan, I can’t possibly know what you’re going through. But because of our long friendship and because I care about you, I can tell that you are feeling grief and anger and guilt. This is wrecking your personal life and having a profound effect on those around you, including a five-year-old child. You’re in no shape to make any decisions now. You need serious work with a professional who can help you sort through your feelings and come to some accommodations in your life. You need to make time for this, and you need to do it now. Only you can know what’s best for you, but you need to give yourself every opportunity to make the best choices. If you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. And, my friend, you know I’ll help you any way I can.


2 Responses to “Angry Mom”

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  2. People Development 06/11/2015 at 7:56 pm #

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