Trust the unknown
My dad refuses to hold my 1-year-old daughter, and I don’t know why. She is his only grandchild. He and my stepmother live about three hours away but are very good about coming to our home for family celebrations. They have given my daughter lovely gifts and established her college fund. But I can’t even get my father to hold my daughter for even a few seconds so I can take a photo. He refuses to say why he won’t touch her. I am beyond hurt about this. My husband thinks I should get over it. How do I do that?
Trust in the perfection of your father’s refusal. He’s established a boundary that lets you know what is best for him, and for your daughter. Why not be grateful for his honesty? I understand that you want a photograph for future enjoyment. And yes, I understand that if he provided a satisfactory reason for his refusal, it would be easier to accept. But that perspective means you are missing a delicious opportunity: You can grow in your capacity to trust the unknown. Becoming comfortable with mystery is essential for spiritual maturity. So embrace your father’s unwillingness to embrace your daughter. His behavior does not threaten your life, or reduce your ability to find pleasure in his company. By allowing this tiny issue to dampen your joy you are being unkind to yourself. You are also feeding unnecessary stress and creating separation between yourself and those you love. That’s no way to live.
This situation with your father is one of life’s little reminders that you are not in control. It’s not personal. The rest of us have similar experiences every day. It’s just the reality of life on earth. The antidote is to accept that your father’s decision is none of your business. Surrender to what he can give, instead of yearning for what he does not offer. The resulting peace of mind is well worth it.
My boyfriend complains that my mother and I are too close. I graduated from college five years ago and I live at home with my mother. She raised me by herself and we are really close. She doesn’t interfere with my dreams or decisions. She supports me but also gives me space. My boyfriend is not close to his parents. He left home right after high school graduation and worked his way through college. His parents have very rigid religious beliefs that my boyfriend hates. But he’s become obsessed with proving that I need to move out on my own. Is my boyfriend jealous of my relationship with my mother?
If your man is self-aware and committed to honest communication, you would have the answer to that question. Unfortunately, it’s not the right question. This is: Do you want a man who finds problems where none exist? If your relationship with your mother includes healthy boundaries and mature interactions (adult to adult, not adult to child), it’s a sweet connection. But your relationship with your man needs to change. Tell him to stop pushing you to move out of your mother’s house. If he continues to pressure you, your heart will have a hard choice to make about life without him.