My goal is to help you create a lifestyle of positivity and possibility. I am smiling!

– Warmly, Honey

Today on Ask Honey – Mother/Daughter Relationships, Love & Much More!

Thinking and Pondering

Darlings, I was thinking about China and COVID-19 when a past experience came to mind.

When I was four or five years old my great Aunt Dorothy gave me a chicken and a duck! I remember I named the little chick, Chicken Little and the duck, Ducky Lucky. Yesterday I was wishing China had told the world about the virus, COVID-19 in the same way Henny Penny warned the King, “The sky is going to fall.”

When it comes to problems with family members, a husband or significant other, close friends, or with China, the first step is an honest discussion… you discuss and identify the problem. If there is not an honest discussion the problem will escalate. In the case of China who did not warn the world that, “the sky is going to fall”, the sky has fallen and hurt every human being on Earth.

We go through our lives trying to ward off problems. It is impossible because people and countries have different viewpoints and standards. How we deal with the problem will determine our success and ultimate happiness.

Remember, it takes two to tango, and if the other party(s) is not interested in negotiation and you know you have tried your best, I suggest you enjoy every moment of your life after 50 and learn to accept what you cannot change.

 

Ask Honey – Advice For Everyone

May 14, 2020

Laura Asks: 

Dear Honey,

Without going into too much detail, I have been a single mom since my daughter was 9 and she is now 25 years old.

I am an only child and my dad passed away 2 months after she was born. We are a small family, and her father is not really in the picture, but she and my mom and I have always been close until the past 3-4 years. When she was a senior in college she went through some pretty big issues and her doctor sent her to an inpatient psychiatric facility for a few days. I fought against this, but since she had expressed suicidal thoughts that did not matter. She has blamed me to a degree ever since.

Our relationship has improved greatly; however, I feel like that should all be behind us now but it is not. She has not been home to see me or my mom in 10 months and did not come for Mother’s Day last weekend. I have been to see her several times during the past year, but she made it clear that she did not want me to come there for the holiday either. She claims that work is the issue but it is not. She has no problem taking money from us, but how can I subtly help her to see the importance of staying close to the little family that she has left and the only family that has ever been there for her?

Dear Laura,

Even though you are right about the importance of family, “It takes two to tango.” You have an uncompromising daughter and I don’t know if you are an uncompromising mom or you have not figured out how to connect with your daughter.

The damaged relationship began with your divorce (all children are damaged), other circumstances, and lacking the right type of communication. You are fortunate she has not pulled totally away. You have a chance to rekindle a loving mother-daughter relationship. Remember your daughter is not a child, she is a young woman who wants her feelings valued. Respect that.

Don’t give up on your relationship with your daughter over the Mother’s Day setback. And, do take all the blame for her childhood experiences. Apologize and don’t make excuses. You are not showing weakness, you are showing strength.

When she is uncompromising even though you know you are right and disagree with her always acknowledge how she feels; swallow your pride, let her know you hear her. In short, be a good listener. You don’t own your daughter’s feelings. It is amazing what you will learn.

I don’t know if you focus on the conflicts of the past. If you do… stop. The past cannot be relived. Focus on the present. Continue getting together and have fun. Plan a day. Meet the girls she works with. Take her best friend to lunch. You are showing your interest in her life. Bring her loving and sentimental little keepsakes for her apartment.

And, if you sense a conflict starting, ask her what it is that is bothering her and communicate as two women, not as the judgmental mother. Listen! For example, you don’t have to tell her the importance of family. She knows because she has not cut you out of her life as many adult children do to their mothers.

Your daughter wants a relationship with her mother and her grandmother, on her terms. Keep calling. Keep visiting. Let her take the lead in how she wants to welcome you back into her life.

Keep me updated.

Warmly,

Honey

 


 

Margie Asks:

My husband and I were scheduled to go to Greece on April 2, 2020.

I know we are one of the many that didn’t get to go on a life-long trip. However, the real kicker came this week when we found out we both lost $1,500.00 dollars from Witte Travel Agency in Grand Rapids, MI. The trip was over $10,000.00.  That is about a 28% loss.

We are heartbroken and so very disappointed in their service to us. We received a $250.00 travel voucher from them to be used anytime with them–after this treatment. Question–is there anything that others have gone through that might help us in this matter? Why do we have to take such a hard hit in the money end?

Dear Margie,

Read your agreement with the travel company. All your rights are in the contract.

If the Company canceled your trip, I think you should ask for a credit or refund for a future trip.

“When an airline cancels a flight, their contracts of carriage give the passenger the option to get a full refund. Cruise lines, resorts, and tour operators’ obligations are governed by their respective terms and conditions, and if they provide only for a future credit, then that is all the supplier is obligated to offer… No law or regulation requires such a refund or even a credit toward a future trip. If the supplier offers a refund or credit, it does so as a gesture of goodwill.” – Mark Pestronk, Travel Weekly

You did not mention if the Company credited the $1500 less than the $250.00 per person for a future trip. And, you did not mention if you asked for one. If you have not asked for a credit for a future trip you have every right to… ASK!

Warmly,

Honey

 


Patricia Asks:

Dear Honey,

My son and daughter-in-law are both 28 yrs. old and have been married since they were 23. They are expecting their first child (a daughter) and live almost 5 hours away from us. My 31 yr. old daughter lives near them.

We were close to my son until he and my daughter-in-law started dating. She told him that he cannot be so close to his mother and sister, that she is the only woman in his life, but it was OK for him to be close to his father. This has set the tone for the last 10 years.
My son calls my husband daily on his commute. He and I talk about twice a month, and he does text me daily.

My daughter has tried to maintain her relationship with my son, but his wife makes it physically impossible. We always include my son’s wife in any plans we have. She always makes sure that she is unavailable at the last minute, and if she can’t leave, she says she has a headache. We have always treated her very well, and welcome her as family. She sees her family often and talks to her mother several times a day. My son is expected to see them when she tells him to.

We have tried everything, and I am weary of tip-toeing around her and monitoring every word and action. I examined my own conscience and I have asked my son and daughter-in-law if I have ever said or done anything to hurt them. They say I have not. My husband has tried talking to my son about it but gets nowhere.

Looking back, we paid for much of the wedding and paid for their honeymoon. We followed all of her exact wishes for everything.

My husband and I are worried that she will arrange limited contact with their child and our family in the same way.

On their twice a year visits to our home, and any visits to their home, I have overheard her telling untruths about my daughter and me to my son. Afterward, when I tried to talk to him about it, he just shrugs. She goes out of her way to place a wedge between him and his family. She usually acts OK to our faces, as long as she is the center of attention.
I don’t know what else to do. I have considered seeing a family counselor to see what else I could do.

My daughter has pretty much given up and tells us that it doesn’t matter if we lived closer as my son’s wife always finds a way to shut us all out. My daughter has been there for them on several occasions of emergency over the years, but she is not included socially in their lives. (She is a doctor)

Is there anything that we can do?

Thank you so much, Honey! You are an expert in family relationships!

– Patricia

Dear Patricia,

You have a controlling daughter-in-law who rules the roost of her home and yours. Your son is in the middle. I believe he misses interacting with you and his father because he texts you and talks to your husband every day. Now your first grandbaby is on the way. A new dawn is on the horizon with the birth of your first grandchild and now is your time to try to establish some benchmarks.

Make it very clear to your daughter in law, maybe in a letter, that you respect her feelings though you wish she felt differently. Stop pushing a relationship between you and your daughter-in-law that she has made clear she does not want, at least at this time. You can take the control away from her by understanding her feelings, even though you don’t.

You and your husband, together, should have a heart-to-heart with your son. Make sure it is together because you are showing your son a united front. Be honest with him that you want a close relationship with the new baby and ask him what he suggests. If he is at a loss suggest some benchmarks but be prepared to respect his wishes. For example, if his wife doesn’t want to visit your home, ask your son if he might bring the baby to you. And, when you make the effort to drive five hours to visit ask your son if he will be willing to bring the baby to your hotel for visits. I am assuming you are spending the night.

This girl seems to be a narcissist, a woman who has an excessive interest in herself, because she is unkind to you, your husband, and her husband, your son. She also seems to feel intimidated by other women, you and your daughter.

You should go for family counseling on Zoom if she will consent.

This is a tough one because no one can make another person be a team player if they don’t want to.

If this is the case you have no choice but to accept. This is between your son and his wife and his tolerance to continue this type of lifestyle.

Warmly,

Honey

 


Anonymous Asks: 

How can I love again after I had bad relationships?

Dear Anonymous,

If you have had bad relationships maybe you are not a good picker or maybe you have some problems. I believe in making lists to help me discover what might be the cause or causes.

Make a list of what qualities you need in a man. Make another list of the qualities of the men you have chosen. This will help you immensely distinguish between what you want and who you choose. In your next relationship stay away from men who don’t meet your criteria. Use self-discipline or you will fall into your own trap.

Make a list of how you treat your man. Are you kind, loving, and supportive? Do you take care of your man? Do you wear perfume and dress for your man? And, do you cook for your man? Are you interested in the same things? Do you try new things he likes, etc… Answer honestly.

After you have given yourself these tests, sit back and examine carefully your answers.

Then go out and find your man or… let him find you. Every woman should have some mystery about her, don’t you think?

Keep me posted.

Warmly,

Honey

Thank you for all your wonderful questions, I hope you got something from my answers. I am smiling!

We are all GRANDWOMEN with moxie, and we need to stick together. If you have a question for next week, please ask it in the form below.

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