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Howard Wise
Howard Wise, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 650
Experience:  Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.
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I was married for 25 years. Divorced 1995. 2 daughters who

Customer Question

I was married for 25 years. Divorced 1995. 2 daughters who are 38 and 36 years old. Both married with children.
After divorce I rarely saw them. They went to their mother's home for holidays. I used to send them Christmas presents but about 8 years ago I told them I was not going to do that because I never heard from them. I thought they might respond. The following Christmas I told them I wasn't sending Christmas cards. No response. The following year I told them I was "disowning" them. I was hurt and angry. Angry because there was never a problem when they grew up. I paid for their college and weddings. I felt abandoned.
One of these daughters had a baby in February. I found out about it through my sister. I didn't even know she was pregnant.
They seem to think that it is my "anger" that gets in the way of relationship.
I am sad/angry because I never see them
Any thoughts on bridging the gap?
Patrick
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
Good evening, this is Howard,

How incredibly sad for you! I'm so sorry to hear this.

I recommend that you write a letter to your daughters and share your feelings with them. Let them know that you feel sad, abandoned, and angry, but don't dwell on the angry feelings too long since this has been an issue for them. Tell them that it's very important to you to mend the family bonds, that you would like them to be a part of your life again. Tell your daughter how much you would love to get to know your grandchild. Ask them what they need from you, and let them know that you are willing to do anything, within reason, to make things right with them again.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You hit the nail right on the head, that is, incredibly sad.

 

I need some help breaking through this barrier.

 

Thought I'd write a letter.

 

One of my daughters has blocked my e-mailing her.

 

They both say I was a "great dad."

 

Any more thoughts on content of letter?

 

Should I expect a response?

 

If no response...do I just keep doing it?

 

Thanks

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
Regarding the content, be sure not to blame or condem anyone. That's very important!

Hope for a response but plan on not receiving one so you won't be too dissapointed if one doesn't come.

I think it's worth making a full-fledged effort. Do whatever you think will help!
Howard Wise, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 650
Experience: Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.
Howard Wise and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Gretchen,

I feel very sad and alone that I may not be able to see you or my grandchildren during the time of my life when I have the health to "play" with them.

It is very (extremely) important to me to mend the family bonds. I would like to be a part of your life again. I would love to get to know my grandchildren.

I understand your feelings about meeting me with a "new woman" every time and her being the focus of gathering. If you a willing to take a "baby step" I guarantee you that no woman would be present until you asked to meet her.

By "baby steps" I mean that you would decide how this "meeting" would happen. It might be just a short telephone call which might or might not lead to coffee.

What do you meed from me to make this "baby step" happen?

I will do anything, within reason, to make things right for us.

Love,

Dad/Grand dad

 

 

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
Good morning.

Thank you for sending me the letter. I think it's very good. Here are two suggestions:

Please correct your spelling mistakes.

Elaborate about how you are feeling. It's good that you said you are sad and alone, but that doesn't really tug at my heartstrings. You need to be more expressive. I know that's not easy.

Feel free to send me your revision.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I sent you my letter.

P.S. I agree about misspellings. You have two in your response..."condem" and "disappointed." LOL

They do make one look as though they don't know what's going on.

Patrick

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am not "good" at emotions.

Probably doesn't matter but I have been a Family Physician for over 35 years and have "learned" to withdraw/stand at distance from my patient's emotions. I hear sad/tragic stories every day (death,divorce, unemployment, infidelity, and so forth) and find I can't be of service if I get too involved. It is mentally draining.

I have probably brought this detachment to my personal interactions.

Any suggestion for being "more expressive"?

I feel you have the ability to heal a 20 year breach in my relationship with my daughters.

Patrick

P.S. I have to go to work now and won't be able to resond until this evening.

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
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Howard Wise
Howard Wise
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Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.