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Thread: Feeling guilty for seeking happiness.

  1. #1
    AutumnMorning's Avatar
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    Feeling guilty for seeking happiness.

    So, I divorced my husband after six years of an emotionally abusive relationship and a reclusive life in a small town that was only making me miserable. I gave up financial security to follow my bliss and live my own life in a far away city with more perspectives for my career. I left practically empty-handed and with our five year-old daughter - he gave me her custody with no resistance. I have taken care of my child practically by myself since the beginning, and we have very strong ties. Her well-being was also one of the reasons for the divorce. She was feeling my misery. Her father was distant and unloving. The divorce happened with no traumas. My baby and I have been living away for six months now, and we are both happy. Financially, I am struggling, but we have new friends and a life richer in new experiences. I also found love, a man who gives us both more love and tenderness that we ever had. Naturally, my child misses her family, but that by no means seems to be making her unhappy.

    However, that move has been very hard on my ex mother-in-law, who is completely obsessed about my daughter, her only grandchild. I go along well with her, but that requires a lot of patience and understanding. I judge her behavior toward my daughter a little over the top. She clearly wants to compete with me in the position of mother. She keeps telling me what to do, keep saying things like "she is my world", "my reason of living", and once she even said that her love for my daughter is the same as mine's. I understand, but I feel disrespected. She has his own son, that once has been a child. She had her time. Now it is my time, and she has no right to take that from me. My child is my responsibility, with all the joys and burdens. She is so obsessed that the impression I have sometimes is that she would be capable of going to the court to take my daughter, if she had the chance.

    We decided to come and spend the Holidays with them. Seeing my ex m.i.l's reactions for almost two weeks now has made me feel very guilty for the decision I made. She cries. She says that she doesn't know how she will make it once we leave. Even seeing all the (unhealthy) drama, I feel like I have done something terribly wrong. Last night I almost could not sleep so miserable I felt. I even considered the possibility of moving back to a city nearby so they could stay closer. However, that would mean giving up the life I chose for myself, and also the life by the person I love.

    My questions are: should I feel guilty for putting my happiness above theirs? Am I being unfair to my ex m.i.l.? What are the limits grandparents have when it comes to their grandchildren? I have no doubt that being with me is of my child's best interest, but sometimes I am afraid I am taking from her the joys of having a family around.

  2. #2
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    If your child's happiness is dependent on being around grandma, then I can see why you'd feel guilty. Grandma can uproot and go to a new town if her happiness depends on being near the child. But, in my opinion, what a disservice to your daughter to see her mom give up her own happiness so the ex-MIL can be happy with her around. I'm just not a big fan of grandparents who pull that guilt thing on the newer generation to fulfill their happiness with the child/children's presence. Then what. Your daughter gets married, has a child, and has to live near her grandmother...

    Kids live far away from grandparents all the time. It just makes visits all the more special...

    The comment you made about feeling she's in competition with you. Yeah. If you stay, it will only get worse as your daughter gets older.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member chickydoodle's Avatar
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    This sounds like the makings of a psycoloical thriller!
    The Grandma's comments and behaviour seem , to me, emotinally manipulative and selfish. Sounds like she passed some genes onto her son!
    I dont understand people who's lives/identity/source of happiness is defined by their kids/grandkids.
    I would not buy into this. Children lose the bond with, and grow apart from grandparents from ages 9 or so to late teens - from what I have seen/experienced.
    I would hate it if she moved anywhere close to my child. I would tolerate the visits because she Loves the child and vice verse.
    Do not alter your path or compromise your happiness for this woman.
    It is a shame you are allowing the guilt about Gm to affect your life now , having done so with the son already. You dont owe this family a thing.
    If guilt is your thing - you need to work on that. It is a destroyer.
    You are a good and strong person and I gather a great mother but it seems there is a certain type of personality you allow shake your ability to be happy.
    This is your time, with your daughter. It is pointless creating the experiences we want in life if we are going to throw it all away again.
    Please be strong with this and do not compromise beyond reason - No-one will gain from it esp your daughter. In doing what is right for self, the rest will follow.
    ''Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier''
    - Barbara Kingsolver-

    ''Thats the way things become clear. All of a sudden. And then you realise how obvious they've been all along '' - Madeline L'Engle

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