We're caught in the middle
It was a complete shock to us when our parents decided to separate after 30 years of marriage.
Mama recently discovered that Papa had been keeping a young paramour for some time now, and that she had borne him two kids. In her anger, Mama threw Papa out of the house and he was forced to live with his paramour and their kids in a city in the south. We tried to patch them up but all our efforts failed. Mama would fly into a rage every time we mentioned how sorry Papa was and how he wanted to come home to her.
My two brothers and I have been discussing how to celebrate this Christmas as a family. We think this would be a good opportunity for forgiveness and understanding from our mother. I think Papa is willing to beg forgiveness from Mama in the spirit of Christmas, but Mama is so angry, she can't stand the sight of him.
We, their children, want to celebrate Christmas as we always have – as one family. But Mama adamantly refuses to be anywhere if Papa is there.
I don't think that's fair to us, their children. I suggested that our parents join us for Christmas lunch or dinner at my home so my 4-year-old son and my husband can enjoy their presence. I'm not sure Mama would agree to be in the same room with Papa, though. My older brother thinks it would be a disaster.
What do you think? Please help.
Let's face it. Putting your parents together now would be like mixing fire and ice.
Forcing them to be in the presence of each other while your mother is still so volatile would ruin the holiday for everyone. Your Mama is still hurting from your Papa's infidelity. More so as she feels old age creeping up on her and she feels unwanted and discarded because she is getting old.
Give time for the intense feelings of anger to cool down. Time heals all wounds, so they say. When time starts bringing back memories of their happier moments together, hopefully, your Mama might be more understanding.
I suggest you have thanksgiving dinner with one parent and have a Christmas meal later with the other. I know it isn't the "family" celebration you wanted, but it's practical and more realistic.
back to top