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Ask Rene: How Can I Forgive An Incident Like This?

Forgiveness
 

Ask Rene:
How Can I Forgive An Incident Like This?

 
Hi Rene,

I really need your advice. I need to forgive two members of my family and try as I might I just can’t.

Here are the details. Recently my husband and I went away for a short break (our first real holiday in years) While we were away we left our 4-year-old son Sebastian in the care of his paternal grandparents.

We received a phone call two days into our trip telling us that our son had fallen from the second story window of their apartment and had a broken arm and a concussion.

Sebastian bounced back fairly fast but I’m afraid it’s taking me a lot longer. I’m still so angry with my husband’s parents and have forbidden them from coming to the house since. What kind of grandparents leave a child unwatched near an open window?

My husband is obviously caught in the middle and it’s causing a huge strain in our relationship. He keeps saying it was an accident and that only infuriates me more.

So what do you think Rene? Am I right to feel this way? Or should I forgive – and try to forget? I want to but I just can’t . . .

Yours,

Samantha in Colorado

 

 

Hi Samantha:

Wow, what a pickle. First and foremost I am glad to hear Sebastian is doing okay after such a traumatic event. Whew. I guess the same cannot be said for you however, and honestly I can’t say that I blame you. But you have a decision to make; you are either going to forgive the grandparents for their shocking oversight or you’re going to let this eat you up inside and have your marriage be among the casualties. You have quite a bit to work through so here’s my suggestion . . .
 

1. Talk To The In-Laws

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You can do this in any number of ways, with your husband present or without, with both the in-laws there or only one. But you have some things you need to get off your chest. I’m guessing in the chaos that ensued following the accident you all were just worried about getting Sebastian well again. Now that he is on the road to recovery, you need to ask (in a calm and dispassionate tone) what happened. How is it they let Sebastian wander around near the open window? After you have this conversation and the next time you let them babysit him (yes, there should be a next time, see below), do a visual sweep of the place and make sure everything is buttoned up. You don’t need to go through like a drill sergeant but just check things off mentally.

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