step granddaughter graduating - should I go?

wonderinginnhAugust 19, 2013

Thank you for any advice. My husband's granddaughter is graduating and being commissioned (Army). We haven't been in touch much since his daughter's divorce, husband blames daughter. But he (we) did not keep in touch with the grandkids due to many reasons (loss of jobs, $, anger issues, embarrassed) all excuses. We've only spoken with daughter perhaps 3x year in 8 yrs or so and if the grandkids happen to be there, will speak with them briefly. My husband even had his grandson's email and did not email and I don't know why except slow typing and I have offered but it just doesn't happen, I think he feels awkward?

I am acutely embarrassed over this and do not want to attend as there is a chance the ex wife would be there also. I would go to Vegas for a couple of nights - less $ and my 1st time, husband has no interest in Vegas.

Need any advice and suggestions as to what to do about graduation and how to mend (explain) this awkward situation to grandkids.

Thank you.

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If you have been invited by all means go. She wants you both there. You need to start somewhere. Get over the fact that your husbands ex may be there. It is not about them!

Sounds like grandpa needs to decide if he wants to be a part of their life or not. Only he can make that decision.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:51AM
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MomofAllTrades is right, you have to start somewhere. Life is too short and you don't know how many more opportunities you'll have to mend these relationships. Also, don't take it out on the grandkids by not attending. All they'll remember is that you weren't there, not all the other garbage about what happened in the past. Pretend the ex isn't even there, and you and your husband go and celebrate with his granddaughter. You'll be glad you did and you'll regret it if you don't.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Thank you both - great advice! and yes, grandpa has to decide, how do I urge him to do just that? it isn't fair to say okay, I'll email and then not do it...I have offered to help, but I don't want to do something for him, if you know what I mean.

the ex really isn't an 'issue' for me, but thanks!

By way of explanation, exactly what do 'we' say? gee, I'm sorry I wasn't in your life for the past few years? explain or not?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 3:55PM
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I think say - We're looking forward to seeing you, congratulations, and make the day about celebrating her and her accomplishments - period. It's her day. Complicated discussions could come later as the relationship begins to develop again. You don't want to do anything that would make your presence about you (or grandpa, I don't mean to point fingers at you). Just be there, smile a lot, be the cheering squad and let the rest evolve at a later date.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:37AM
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If you have been invited, you should go. Say "it's been too long" and leave it at that unless the granddaughter wants a discussion about how long it's been, and then offer to talk privately whenever she wants. It is all about her success. Insist that your husband make a decision one way or another and after reminding him of the opportunity to go, you can't make him or anyone do the right thing. Remember, that although it is always the adults who have the responsibility, everyone in this situation is an adult. You may find that the other side has been feeling guilty for not keeping in touch as well, and that may lesson any embarrassment.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:44AM
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AFter lurking here since 2008, finally asked a question and have had the best responses! Thank you all!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:27AM
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You can't make Grandpa go , it truly is his decision. You can however sound supportive in the thought of going. Why not go? There would not have been an invitation issued if Grandpa was not welcome to attend....wanted, even.

If he stays home, IMO, he's missing the olive branch being offered and the opportunity to move forward in the relationship without could've, should've, might've .

He's been offered a chance without any expectations or explanations needed upfront on granddaughter's part. She reached out to him. If I were him, I'd accept the invitation and review it as a chance to start again.

If you're DH is uncomfortable in the world of emails, suggest he pick up the phone and merely thank her for the invitation and he'd be proud to attend. Not much else is really needed to be said at this point. "yes, I'm coming and thank-you very much" the call can be short. If a discussion is needed at a later time, you and DH will figure it out when and if the time comes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Go! And begin to heal and re-build these relationships. Enjoy the day. Make it all about the graduate. Treat her special and tell her how proud you are of her. When its an appropriate time, apologize. No matter what the initial problem, own your part. Ask for forgiveness; makes sure everyone has all of your contact information and make it clear that you DO want to be involved in their lives. Keep things upbeat, but really sincere.

Part with the children believing in the genuineness of your actions and words and looking toward more contact and less awkwardness or conflict in the future!

Good Luck and God Bless!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:13PM
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