Welcome to Mary May I where Mary C. Smith dispenses all types of wisdom. If you have a question for Mary that needs answering you can ask her at OMGhelpisHere@gmail.com.
At the playground my child saw a classmate she hadn’t seen in six months. Last we heard from the boy his mother had taken the two of them to a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The mother told my partner and several other mothers that her husband hit her and their child. Now half a year later here was the boy with his Dad at the playground seemingly having a good time. The father said hello to me. We are acquaintances. We don’t know each other’s name, but we do know each other’s faces. I was polite to him and said hi back and made small talk acting like I never heard he was a wife and child beater. Was that wrong of me? Should I either have shunned him or confronted him about the alleged abuse? – Confounded in Coconut Grove
Wow. Kudos. You kept it light, acknowledged him with respect. I feel you did the right thing.
No one wants to hear this, and it pains me to write it. There are three sides to every story.
With that being said, the only person here that deserves any concern, is the child. You did the right thing for him by not confronting his Dad and possibly making a scene. Divorce, arguing parents and a volatile home life are traumatic enough. I wouldn’t do anything that would prevent him from taking his son to social situations. The more eyes on them, the better. This child has emotional AND physical scars to deal with and my heart goes out to him.