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Dear Darcy: Dealing with the angry X

Dear Darcy: Dealing with Family Relationships

Dear Darcy
I have been happily divorced for 6 years. My x and I share a grandson and x will make a big deal out of any family event that I might show up at and he won’t go. I have tried endlessly to come to some sort of peace with this person for the sake of our son , daughter in law and grandson but he really doesn’t seem to care. I even reached out and said if he wanted to go to an event and it bothered him for me to be there I would not go, to not avail.
The happy x

Hello Happy X,
I’m assuming you must have been married for quite some time if you and your x have reached a point of becoming grandparents together.  Six years feels like a long time to stay angry and for many people it’s way too long!  Unfortunately, people heal at different rates and depending on one’s world view, some are never able to forgive.  Once they’ve perceived they’ve been “wronged” or treated “unjustly”, they choose to hate, judge and hurt at every encounter with the person whom is “responsible” for the emotional crime, whatever that might be….wanting a divorce, moving on, finding happy.  It’s important for you to remember, this avoidance behavior is simply your x’s way of protecting his emotional self.  Although at first it might appear he is just behaving selfishly, or out of revenge, the deeper truth is, his ego is just too fragile.
You’ve done all you can do.  You’ve gone as far as reaching out and offering to not attend events so your son could have his dad present.  My recommendation is for your son and his family to keep the door open, and the invites to your “x” extended, while refusing to participate in any arguments about the invite list.  For you, as difficult as it might be to see the father of your son behaving in a way that ultimately hurts the whole family, you have to step back and let it go.  This man is not your husband and how he chooses to behave in this world is totally out of your control.  I would plan on attending any and all events in which you feel you want to attend.  You are NOT responsible for your x’s feelings.
Divorce is difficult and this goes to show that even grown children can suffer from it and the pain can extend to generations (grandkids).  I don’t know if our societal lesson is to never get divorced, but rather teaching humans how to adapt to change in a way that people don’t have to hurt each other when change occurs.  In the meantime, just keep being the happy x!
With Love,

Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:

If you have a have a question for Darcy you can email her at

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