DEAR CHRISTINE: Grieving over parents’ divorce
I HAVE recently married my long-time sweetheart of three years.
It was two months before my wedding that my father announced he was leaving my mother. They had been married for 30 years and are both 59 years old. This was quite a shock to me, as I always thought they got along well together.
I am a 24-year-old executive and my husband is a businessman who travels quite frequently. My dad filed for divorce since our wedding and mum is not taking it well. However, she confided in me that my dad had been seeing another woman for two years and even though he had promised to break off the relationship, he was reluctant to do so.
I have been devastated by the end of a marriage that I thought was a good one until only a few months ago. To help comfort herself, my mum has joined a social group and has since become friendly with a guy. They are just “special friends”, she said, and I believe her.
My dad, on the other hand, always calls to say he is broke
and needs some money “until his benefits” start in January. However, it seems so soon for all this to be happening, especially at a time when I am now getting accustomed to married life.
While I should be happy and full of joy, I find myself feeling a bit depressed some days. My husband understands what I am going through, yet I feel I need to seek some professional counselling in order to process all that has happened during the past five months.
I am weary from listening to my parents’ stories and while I need time to “mourn” their break-up, I am concerned about the effect all this drama is having on my marriage.
What am I to do?
– Newly-Wed and Grieving
Dear Newly-Wed And Grieving,
Quit taking on responsibilities that are not yours. Your father made a choice and now he must live the consequences. Your mother seems bent on moving on and you should too – enjoying life with your new husband.
Inform both of them that you feel sympathy as a result of their failed marriage, then let your dad know that you cannot be his dumping ground or “ATM machine”.
Being a newly-wed calls for adjustments which you have to make. Concentrate on your marriage and on building a life together with your husband.
I definitely agree that counselling would be of great help to you. In fact, it would be best for both you and your husband to see a marriage counsellor or psychologist. Please do this as soon as possible. You can always talk to your priest/pastor, or ask your doctor for his or her recommendation in this regard.
You’ll cross this bridge soon. Don’t despair and refuse to carry burdens or guilt not made for you to carry. Quit grieving and rejoice.
Congratulations on your recent marriage.