Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Help. My kids are struggling with their marriage with two young girls. They are coming to us in tears. We help all we can, but we are drained and worried. Our son-in-law is being very stubborn, won’t talk about it, and acting suddenly like his mind is made up. The girls are crushed, and our daughter is devastated because she simply does not know what she did wrong. She is begging for forgiveness. They are religious, but he is suddenly turning his back on everything.
What’s a parent to do?
Dear “to do?”
I feel for you. I have been through it with my own kids. It is most heart breaking to see a child’s world suddenly torn apart - other than death, is most kids’ greatest fear. They can recover, but their lives are forever fractured. The two people they love most in their lives can no longer share, especially the major events in their lives the same way. It is never really ever the same. For parents, keeping a healthy boundary I recommend:
Pray if so inclined, and encourage them to do the same; encourage them to seek guidance with their clergy and a licensed professional who specialized in marital conflict, marriage and family in general and who has similar spiritual beliefs; have at least your daughter go (and include the girls) immediately, even if he won’t. (They need specialized support that you cannot truly give); keep close to the girls; remind them they are loved no matter what is going on with the adults and they are not going to lose anyone; let the children know what to expect short and long term; stay close and open between you and your spouse, even if you have some differing views about all this - you two need to be the rock.
The couple may bounce off the walls, but you must remain steadfast and loving, with healthy boundaries and a unified message. Seek your own help and support while they struggle with this. It’s a sorry epidemic and my prayer is they will do all they can to fix the problem, eliminate blame, and keep their children in an intact home.
Reminder: The Lowcountry Family Emergency Preparedness Fair, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1519 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 29407.
For more information go to www.lowocuntryprepare.org.
Contact Liz via firstname.lastname@example.org. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.