I married my husband two years ago.
He has two children from a previous marriage, both in their mid-twenties.
I still have teens at home.
We really enjoy spending time with his kids. We speak and communicate with them regularly and believe we have a good relationship.
However, recently my mother passed away suddenly after a fierce battle with cancer.
My stepchildren did not express any condolences and neither attended the funeral.
I met them two days later and they didn’t mention it at all.
My feelings are so hurt but I don’t know if I should.
My mother used to say that young adulthood was the time she hated the most in her life. People in their 20s are especially obsessed with themselves.
So this may simply be the behavior of that age group.
I haven’t told my husband how I feel because I don’t want him to feel bad.
I think my real concern is that we all get along but they don’t want to get close.
I want to get closer I love them and want to nurture the relationship between us and my child and them.
Should I bring this up? Or should I wait for my feelings to calm down (I’m sure they will) and take my time?
– hurt and confused
Please don’t question your hurt feelings. Your emotions are yours, they are real, and you have the right to feel them.
Your late mother was curious about something about people in their mid-twenties. Since they are adults, they are expected to behave maturely. But if they don’t know what to do in a particular situation (e.g. expressing condolences), they tend to avoid it.
But, as readers have recently pointed out in this area, we as a whole are a “grief illiterate” society, lacking the cultural tools and traditions to express solidarity and comfort.
I have to discuss this with my husband. This disappointment makes your grief even greater.
He basically needs to advocate for you by telling the children how important it is for them to express their condolences to you.
You might say, “I’m sorry,” or, “I know it’s a tough time, but I don’t know what to say.” Expressing gratitude can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and invisible presence.
You and your husband are still in the process of putting the family together. Let him do his best to comfort you now.
My husband and I are discussing renovating our home. I also want to add some new paint to her one of the rooms.
But we have 2 young children (3 and 1 year old). They are at home all day, every day. I try to teach my children a lot to ensure they grow up.
I feel bad every time I try to do something that doesn’t directly benefit my children.
Stack the dishes and laundry for a few days before you actually do anything after bed.
If I don’t play with him as much as possible, I feel like he’s neglecting me.
But is it okay to let them play safely in another room while you try to get your house in better shape?
How can we let go of the guilt of focusing our attention elsewhere?
– feel neglected
You have an incomplete idea of how children learn.
Don’t leave them in another room while you work. Let them “help” you.
A 1-year-old can clatter a Tupperware lid, and an older child can stand on a chair to help wash fragile items.
A 3-year-old can “fold” the tenugui when it comes out of the dryer.
My point is that there are so many lessons embedded in housework and yard work that some of these chores can be used to teach your children.
Otherwise, let them play independently for short periods of time while you work.
“Upset” wrote to you that he gets uncomfortable when his son’s girlfriend visits him at night.
She said she also has a dog.
I suspect there is something wrong with the dog. Poorly trained dogs can exhibit destructive behavior in their own homes, much less in unfamiliar areas.
How many things I broke and chewed on hers.
– have been to
I agree with your intuition about the root of the problem.
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