Dear Annie: We are the grandparents of two very precious children. Recently, their parents were divorced after their mother had an affair with another man and became pregnant. Our son is trying to get shared residential custody, but the judge at their hearing believed the false statements of the children’s mother and ruled in her favor. We have often wondered how judges can tell who is lying and who is telling the truth, and we now know the answer: They can’t. The case is heading to the state Supreme Court next month.
It is very evident that our son’s ex-wife has been teaching our grandchildren to hate both their dad and us. They won’t openly speak to us or show any recognition of us in public. They barely acknowledge their own father when their mom is around. She has told our son and us (even in front of other people) that the children hate us. We have recently discovered that she is controlling the children by threatening to kill herself if they don’t love her enough to do as she says. We are very, very worried about the emotional abuse of our grandchildren and need advice on how to get help for them. No child should ever have to deal with this stress and fear. Would you please help us? — Worried Times Two
Dear Worried Times Two: Divorce is never pleasant, but this transgresses the normal divorce and custody battle woes. I’m also concerned about your grandchildren, and you may be right that they’re suffering from emotional abuse. Call Childhelp at 800-422-4453.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Mystified in Miami,” who was wondering why the gentleman she’d been seeing for two months hadn’t yet offered to drive anywhere. It seems to me she was overthinking it. When my late husband and I started dating, he arrived in a taxi because he did not drive. I soon said, “This is silly. I have a perfectly good car, and I don’t mind driving.” So he agreed. He never drove, because he just felt uncomfortable. As a young man, he owned a car, worked on it and serviced it, but he always called a friend to drive.
We went wherever we desired, with me at the wheel, and had 51 glorious years together. He was thoughtful, loving and kind, and I would have missed a beautiful married life with him if I had been hung up on the fact that he did not drive. I wonder whether “Mystified in Miami” is embarrassed or more concerned over what her friends will think.
I would give all I have to be able to drive him anywhere again. — A Willing Chauffer
Dear Willing: I’m sorry for your loss, but what a lovely 51 years you shared.
Though you weren’t seeking advice, I should mention that for anyone else reading this who is afraid of or uncomfortable with driving, there are treatments available. Speak to a therapist about methods for coping with and overcoming driving anxiety.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.