Saturday, July 5, 2014

Divorced Mom Prefers Cutting Ties Over Mending Seams

Dear Tazi:

For some reason, my ex-mother-in-law seems to think I want to maintain a relationship with her, even though I have divorced her abusive son.  She claims that her son’s behavior is no reflection on who she is as a parent, and that she wishes to have a healthy relationship with the mother of her grandchildren.

Tazi, I have no plans on withholding access to my children from her, so long as she respects the restraining order the judge granted against her son.  I do have plans to move on with my life by cutting ties with him and the people who raised this abusive monster – namely his parents.  I have expressed this to my ex-MIL in countless ways, but she is still trying to “mend our severed relationship”.  How do I get it through to her that I have no desire to patch the threadbare cloth that remains of our family connection?

Through With Them All

Dear Through With Them All:

I am confused.  I understand that you do not wish to have a relationship with your ex-mother-in-law, but you are willing to give her unsupervised visitation with your children?  Are your children teenagers?  This is the only scenario that I can find acceptable in a situation like this!

The fact that the judge granted your children a restraining order against their father tells me that his abuse must have had a gravely negative affect on them.  You trust their grandmother to honor the restraining order and keep her son away from the kids?  Am I missing something?

I realize that your ex-husband’s parents raised him, but to blame them for creating an “abusive monster” goes a little too far.  People have free will, and they can accept or reject the lessons they have been taught; that you consider your ex-MIL a good enough Grandma to have unsupervised visitation tells me that you do not consider her a bad influence.  Put plainly, you cannot have it both ways.

I think your ex-MIL’s desire to have a healthy relationship with the mother of her grandchildren is natural, and a wise move on her part; she is putting the needs of the children first, and from the scant information included in your letter, I am inferring that your children need to see that the grown-ups they love can still get along with each other.  I am not saying that you and your ex-MIL need to become bosom buddies, but occasionally staying for coffee and discussing the children’s visit upon picking them up should not be out of the question.  Putting your children’s welfare before your own personal dislikes will not go unnoticed by those who need to see it the most.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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