A recently widowed man took to Reddit to help to determine whether he was in the wrong for taking his son away from his grandparents. This man has had a very tough time of it.
Five months ago, his wife died very suddenly. She was 32, and they had a one-and-a-half-year-old son together. Understandably, her death hit him incredibly hard, and he’s been grieving immensely.
She Was His World
His circumstances compound this tragedy: he’s Austrian, but his wife was American. He studied in Germany, moved to America for work, and met and fell in love with his wife.
Their son was born while they still lived with her parents, and the grandparents got used to having the little one around.
When his family finally moved out to their own place, they made sure to stay close to her family – it was good for them, their son, and the grandparents.
Grief Makes People Act Differently
After his wife died, his in-laws have been very clingy over their grandson. He understands this and can’t stop feeling devastated for them – “I lost a wife they lost a daughter.”
They Don’t Want Him to Go!
But their need for their grandson to stay close has started causing friction between them.
His in-laws don’t want the original poster (OP) to take their grandson with him back to Germany and are very reluctant to give him up.
But He’s Grieving Too
As he’s lost his wife, who was his only friend in the country, he needs the support of his family; his parents and siblings.
He’s been thinking about moving back for a month now, and the only thing stopping him is the guilt that he’s feeling toward his in-laws.
A Better Life Awaits…
His situation in Germany would be much easier to manage than in America. He’d have a great deal more financial security and would have the support of his parents, who are upper middle class.
He has a job lined up with a salary three times higher than his current salary, and his chance of owning his own house is much higher, especially with the added support from his parents.
His Son Would Benefit From the Move
His son could attend a private school and receive free university tuition in Germany. His new job is for an American company – he was offered a post in Germany a year ago but declined because of his wife and son.
However, now it feels like an ideal situation due to the circumstances.
They’d Be Able to Come and Go Freely
The benefit of this job is that it does allow him to come back to America fairly often, and he’d be able to bring his son to stay with his grandparents, who are also welcome to visit him in Germany whenever they want.
The Guilt Is Eating Him Alive
He feels so guilty about making this decision but thinks, ultimately, it would be best for him and his son’s life prospects.
Putting his son first shouldn’t make him feel bad, but in this situation, it certainly does.
Their Grief Pains Him
However, when he told his in-laws of his intentions, they exploded at him, shouting at him and telling him that he couldn’t take their grandson away.
He feels for them but needs his family right now.
A Very Tricky Situation
Such a devastating event for him and his wife’s parents. Understandably, there is an incredible amount of emotions tied in.
He feels he has the right to take his son to his home country, where he’ll find the comfort of his family and friends, but he is torn because of his in-laws’ pain.
He Knows Why They’re Against the Move
He’s taking away the only person who connects them to their daughter.
His Son Is Dearly Loved
Grief is such a complex emotion, and the in-laws exploding at him is more about their anguish than his abilities as a parent or as a person. But it still feels very personal.
It’s wonderful that the child is so loved, but tragic that his father may have to separate him from his grandparents.
His Son Is His Number One Priority
OP is his child’s only parent now, and his son needs him to take care of himself so that he can take care of his son.
Providing the Best Life for His Son
Doing what he can to ensure that he’s providing the best possible life for his son is all that matters. And while it won’t be easy, there are ways that he can involve his in-laws in his son’s life.
He finished his post by saying, “I do feel bad, but I really need the support of my family right now.”
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