I really wanted to write this post in an uplifting and objective manner and possibly provide hope to others but I do not have that capability at present. After a 36 hour period of multiple telephonic arguments and a couple of nights not sleeping too well I am going to simply vent.
My parents (mostly my mother) dislike my wife. I love my wife. My wife showed me what joy is as I did not know it before I met her. My wife gave us our amazing daughter. When my parents and my wife are in a room together the environment is toxic. Let’s take a look at how Merriam-Webster defines toxic CLICK:
extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
My wife and I have tried a myriad of approaches and compromises to remedy this situation. All have resulted in failure. My parents are who they are and are unable (unwilling) to extend an olive branch CLICK.
As most know having a child changes everything. For the first few years of my daughter’s life we made do. My wife and I became more accepting of my parents behavior under the pretext of just because we don’t get along doesn’t mean they cannot be a positive influence in our daughter’s life. Additionally, both my wife and I have very positive memories of our grandparents. Nearly one year ago even this arrangement came to an end when an argument erupted in front of my daughter.
I want my daughter to have a relationship with her grandparents. I want her to have cool memories of her grandparents like my wife and I do of our grandparents. However, if the price of cool memories is remembering how grandma and grandpa argued with mommy or other toxic events than that price is too high.
I take the word duty, and the above quote, very seriously. My sense of duty is a driving factor in my daily actions. The above quote is framed on my desk at work and brings clarity of thought and action when self-doubt sets in. As I sit here and type I know the decision I made to tightly control the interaction between my wife and child and my parents is the correct one. However, it does not mean that I made that decision easily. For all of their flaws I love my parents (I love my dad immensely) and the success I have achieved in life was a result of their upbringing. For that I am endlessly thankful. However, my duty now shifts from 1 to 3a CLICK and that is just the way it is.
1: conduct due to parents and superiors : respect
3a : a moral or legal obligation
Time heals all wounds? We shall see. Now if you will excuse me I am off to play puppets with my three-year old and find my smile again.