Submitted to The Practice Corner:
I dreaded this visit, but my wife talked me into it.  It’s his birthday, she said, and we’re his grandparents.  I gave in, but I was still scared that what happened last time would happen again.  We worry about my grandson, and can’t stop trying to help.  “Maybe less junk food,” we tell his parents. “Maybe less tv, more fresh air.”  But the help never helps.  It always ends in anger and tension and tears.  My wife ends up depressed and I end up overeating.  I didn’t want that again.  So we worked on it in therapy.  I mean,  we worked hard.  I talked about it in my group, she talked about it in hers, and then we talked about it with Steve, who gave us stuff to read about alternatives to controlling.  Then we talked with each other about surrender (a word my wife still hates) and responsibility and intimacy.  We talked at home, and on the flight down, and then more in the hotel room.  And when the time came we found we were actually able to not control things.  We bit our lips instead of “helping.”  Talked to each other about how we were feeling, instead of acting out with my son and his wife.  We tried to accept everything and judge nothing.  And it worked.  No fights, no tension, no tears.  My son and his wife relaxed around us. They talked to us more.  We enjoyed our grandson and he enjoyed us.  It was a wonderful visit.  Then we came home and told Steve how it went and he asked, “So, which was easier – controlling or not controlling?”  And we looked at each other and answered him in unison: “Not controlling.”

~ Shared by J.R.S. (5/10/14)

One response to “Easier

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