Q: I was married to an abusive alcoholic for 23 years; it took great courage to leave him. I have healed in the 15 years since. My daughter was away when we divorced but witnessed abuse. Yet she wants to forgive her dad and forget, and for me to do the same. I can't bear being around my ex at the grandkids' birthday parties, and so I miss them. I feel like a terrible grandma but can't stuff my feelings and go. Is there a solution?
A: Yes, and you've come to most of it on your own: You tend to your own well-being as you need to. That includes forgiving your ex's weakness, if it would help — and forgiving your daughter for wanting or needing to forget. As for the parties: Skip the ones you must. The time you spend with your grandkids between the birthdays, the plain old days, arguably mean even more.
Being in love with a guy who has different goals is hard to accept
Q: I'm in love with someone who is a good, kind person. He just wants different things than I do (children, marriage, location). I get that intellectually. But how do I get my heart and emotions to understand and accept this?
A: You don't. Hearts need to be whacked with the reality of it, and then left alone to heal. There's no magic to it; there's just the business of living and of giving the heart new things to love when it's ready.