Life Advice



Wronged wife doesn't want to beg ex for contact

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Do you have any suggestions? Our relationship with our son was fine until this started.

-- Forever Sad

Dear Sad: Given that your narrative contains not a hint of any possible role you might have played in this estrangement, I'm going to assume that your unwillingness to even entertain the possibility of any responsibility might be part of the problem.

I am not urging you to blame yourself for the despicable behavior of others, but if you could search the history of your relationship with an open mind, you might have seen hints of trouble, and ways your actions -- and reactions -- might have contributed to the estrangement.

Obviously, you want to have contact with your grandchildren, but the way to them is through their parents, who want nothing to do with you.

Don't continue to contact them, until you have something new to offer. They see your efforts as pestering and pressure and easy to dismiss.

Definitely take yourselves up on your idea to pursue counseling. Understand that you cannot change the other adults. Work on your own behavior and actions, and explore ways you can come to terms with this very painful situation.


Dear Amy: I was touched by the question from "Estranged Son," who wondered about attending his abusive parents' funerals.

This line in your answer made me tear up:

"But my own experience with family dysfunction, loss and grief was more like a spiral: As you make your orbit through life, you pass the same points over and over again, even as you create more distance from the events and people that caused you pain. Each orbit brings you more useful perspective."

-- Touched

Dear Touched: Thank you. Me too.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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