Advice from Ms. Price
Dear Ms. Price,
My ex and I have been divorced for about five years and it has been amicable, for the most part. We both value our family unit, we have three children together and five grandchildren, and have always made holidays and birthdays a time to put aside any hard feelings.
The divorce was tough for both of us, but I remarried two years ago and have moved on. After years of concern and worry for his well-being, my ex met a woman this year. I was supportive and happy that he was moving on.
The problem is that this woman is 20 years older than my ex, she is in her 70s, and it is clear that she does not have his best interests as a priority.
Now that the holidays are at the door, I am trying to strategize in order to make it a warm, special year. I cannot stand the idea of this woman in my home.
My daughter says I am not giving his new woman friend a fair chance. I want to be a good hostess and role model for my family. What do you think?
–Ex-Hosted in Gulfport
It is completely natural to have complex feelings about the new woman in your ex-husband’s life. Since family is important and being together is the priority for your family, perhaps you can find a therapist to talk through your feelings and to accept that he can not only make his own decisions but that you have no control. Letting him go with love and allowing him to make his own mistakes and live his life will be a positive step for you and your family.
Dear Ms. Price,
I am a beyond-blessed mother of five children, grandmother of 12 and a great-grandmother to two adorable twins. Now that I am officially retired and on a fixed income, the holidays have been a source of panic for me. Up till now, I have provided boxes of presents for every family member, but this year I have to make a change.
I am terrified of letting my family down, but I can’t see how I can continue as I have in the past.
–Santa-Grandma, Now Retired
Bless your heart, Grandma. I can tell from your letter that you would love nothing more than to give as you have in the past, but times change.
The first thing I want to emphasize is that you have nothing to be ashamed of. You have given and given, but now the giving is starting to hurt. No one who loves you wants you to give till it hurts. I would suggest speaking with each child individually and explain your new situation.
I would suggest replacing those toys and ties with experiences. Create new traditions, like Holiday Cookie Baking Day with Grandma, or special events like seeing the holiday lights or going to a holiday concert or play. I have a feeling these special one-on-one moments will shine just as bright in their memories as that present.