Ask Amy: Young mom keeps baby out of harm's way

FresnoAugust 29, 2013 

Dear Amy: I am on my third marriage. My first marriage produced one son, "Karl," who is 30 years old and is in and out of jail. Karl has a young son who I treasure immensely and see every other weekend.

My daughter, who is 25 (from my second marriage), recently had a baby son. At the time, I was estranged from my third husband, who has a history of emotionally and physically abusing me.

I went back to my husband when my grandson was a month old. I know it is difficult to understand, but I really love him and want to make the marriage work. He has made promises to me and agrees to attend counseling.

My daughter is upset and will not let my grandson be a part of my life. I even told her I would go to her house and see the baby apart from my husband.

I am heartbroken over my daughter's decision and wonder what, if anything, can I do to get her to change her mind. My husband has a criminal background, so I think it would be difficult to try to go to court to win visitation rights. I'm at a loss and need advice. Is there anything I can do?

— Heartbroken grandma

Dear Heartbroken: How's the counseling going?

I'm going to assume that you aren't following through with counseling, but you should because a neutral person could explain that your daughter is doing what good daughters (and young moms) are supposed to do: try to protect family members from danger.

Your daughter is saying, "Mom, I want you to stay away from this guy because he's not good for you or our family. If you choose to stay with him, you won't have access to your grandson because this is the only non-negotiable I have that may get you to think about what you are doing."

I can't provide you with ways to manipulate your daughter into giving you what you want because I agree with her decision. And so far it's working — because it really got your attention.

Dear Amy: The letter from "Hurting" was devastating. Hurting lost a child and didn't receive comfort from friends.

I had a friend abandon me after a huge loss. I responded by being there for her (as I wished she had been for me) when she was grieving.

She later apologized to me. She said she learned the hard way how to respond to others.

— Still friends

Dear Still: You are an extremely generous and understanding friend.


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