Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_TopicIcon
Am I an interfering bag of a mom-in-law?
January 30, 2001
6:31 pm
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My son's wife died in a car crash when they were both 32. They had a 2yr old daughter, Alice, who was in the car with her mom (who was driving) at the time. Alice was fine but her mom died. Alice stayed with me all thru the school holidays (6 weeks) and I virtually reared her, and we developed a special bond. Our life was made up of fairies, and santa, and "the sound of music" type films which she used to go to sleep watching in her room, and we used to sing the songs together in the park!.
Then my son got re-married last year (they have just had their 1st anniversary). The "girl" (39) he married had a 4yr old daughter of her own, and they have just had a baby girl of their own (6mths). I hope this isn't getting too complicated. I have always had a very good relationship with my children (4 all adult now) but since my eldest sons re-marriage, his wife seems to resent me and any influence I have had either on my son or his daughter Alice. She is increasingly using Alice as a lackey, the little girl is now *yrs old, and she shanges the baby, makes tea, reads to her "new" step-sister, puts them all to bed, and generally has no life of her own anymore. Her new step-mom has told her that I was wrong and that "there is no Sants, No fairies, and no Jesus or magic in the world. Alice was heart-broken as she told me this, but what can I say? I did,nt want to be-little her new Mom. I appreciate that everone is trying to fins their feet in this ne relationship, but the obvious resentment and jealousy coming from my new daughter-in-law, has now driven a rift between me and my son. To the extent that he came over the other night after a tearful phone-call from Alice (she was staying with me) telling me how unhappy she was at the "Lackey"arrangement, so I told her to phone her Dad and explain how she felt. (She was scared to tell him in front of her step-mom) The result was that he came over and took Alice (who was in bed) home and that was a fortnight ago, and I havn't heard from anyone since. He didn't give me time to say anything, he said I always seemed to upset Alice and I was turning her against him and his family. ( swear to God I have never said a word against them, it's just that up until now Alice confided in me, it was her only outlet from the stress she has been under since this marriage. I really don't know how to handle this situation. I am desperately hurt that my son should allow himself to be turned against me in this way, knowing how I have always been there for him all through his life, and being the eldest, we always had a special bond. I never had any problems with his first wife (the one that was killed) but this one seems very insecure (her 1st husband walked out on her just after she had given birth) What should I do please help???

January 30, 2001
7:03 pm
Avatar
Molly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

What a mess, I am so sorry for the incident. Your history with the girl reminds me of the relationship that my daughters have been able to share with their dad's mother. The three of them are very close.
I can't believe that the new wife could be so selfish and inconsiderate of the childs feelings. I guess your son is cowering to her demands, to keep peace with his wife. I don't see much hope with this situation. Did he change religion too? I doubt that you have much legal recourse, or I would take the child out of the home, I personally can't understand no fairies, or Santa, or Jesus? How confusing for the girl. Perhaps one day soon, you and your son can sit and have a chat so that you can explain your self more clear, a time when he can hear. God bless.

January 30, 2001
10:38 pm
Avatar
Alena
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dilly, my heart breaks for you.

Having 2 adult sons whom I love so much, I can empathize with you. It's so sad what is happening to your granddaughter, also to you and your son.

Is your husband in the picture? Would it be possible for him to speak calmly and rationally with your son?

I'm afraid I've heard a few stories of this similar thing happening with grandparents. It's such a waste. Grandparents add something to a child's life that just can't come from any other source.

I don't have a whole lot of advice, I'd hate to make the situation worse.

Obviously, your son is blinded by this new wife, infatuated, trusting her decisions. He may have fallen away, lost touch a bit, from his daughter while you were rearing her after the accident and for the years thereafter. If so, he just may not see what it's doing to her.

Hopefully, he will come around. The honeymoon usually doesn't last forever. Too bad his daughter has to be affected at all.

Maybe if his new wife didn't see you as a threat, she wouldn't mind if granddaughter spent more time with you. She does have 2 of her own.
Hmmm....you're right, she does seem very insecure.

Are you in the US? If you are, and this continues, you may want to check into Grandparents Rights laws in your state. Then you open a whole new can of worms because I'm sure it would just alienate you from your son even more.

I think perhaps you'll have to settle for a relationship with Grandtr, hope that wife relaxes on her somewhat, son comes to his senses. As long as she isn't being verbally or physically abused, right? If they cut you out of the picture entirely, who is to keep an eye on her?

I think you should appeal to your son to allow her to continue to see you.
Try to make peace with all of them, just to maintain a watchful eye.

Sound possible?

January 31, 2001
6:23 am
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank-you for your kind comments. No. she isn't starved of material things, but what about her childhood? As you say, where is the magic? Her step-mom is a teacher who works full-time. The two older girls are at school. (a neighbour collects them and keeps them until they are picked up sometimes as late as 6or7pm.) I was asked if I would look after them when the new baby was born, but, after I had moved house to be nearer, I was told that the neighbour was nearer and therefore I wouldn't be needed. However they molified me with being able to look after the baby 2 days a week, which I still do. I know this sounds crazy, after all I obviously cannot be trusted with the girls for one night (since that was what I was doing when their Dad took them back home) but I see my daughter-in-law twice a week when she drops the baby off, she never mentions the other two, and just leaves the baby like a parcel, and shoots off!

I am a counselling trainer by the way, and work two day's a week at the local adult education college. I am really at a loss with this problem though, as you say, If I allow this silence to continue, how can I keep an eye on Alice?, also. who has she got to let off steam to? her daddy won't listen, he thinks it will all sort itself out in time. Alice has the step-sister (aged four) stuck up her backside morning noon and night, she dresses her, reads to her. amuses her and helps her to go to bed! She even has to sit with her at school lunch times, because her step-mom has asked the teachers permission, saying the younger one won't eat unless Alice is about! (this is a lie, it's just that the little one wanted to eat with "the big girls". Alice is very thin, and hardley eats at all, she is living on her nerves, and dreads her step-mom "screetching at me like a nasty school teacher"
Thanks again for your kind responses, God alone knows how this situation will end.

January 31, 2001
7:01 am
Avatar
janes
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

This is going to sound harsh...

Even tho ' you are her grandmum it is not your job to "keep an eye on Alice"

Unfortunatley unless there are physical marks to prove abuse there is little you can do.

Alice's fairy like childhood may be ending at age 8 but she has had years of your love and also of your son's...before this new wife. It is a heartrending situation but your hands seem tied and if you do anything then you may lose even more "privileges" with the baby.

Perhaps the new wife will tire of the whole thing.

Maybe your son's eyes will open.

Please remember that the love you filled her with is not gone. Those little ones will be hearing fairy stories from Alice and the songs from Sound of Music too.

It is a harsh reality that many children don't have childhood's. Allice is much luckier than many becasue she has had you....even if only for six years. I also feel bad for Alice's step sister too...she never had you at all. She has grown up with "that woman".

Why don't you make it a point to send both the "big girls" (Alice and the step sister) cards and notes once a week.

don't be pushy...just be there. Pray the situation will change and that Alice's teachers will note her mental state.

January 31, 2001
9:19 am
Avatar
Dillyt
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Janes

No, I appreciate what you are saying even though it's a harsh fact of life, it is not up to me to keep an eye on Alice, I agree. I know it is difficult in any new marriage to try to come to terms with a new Husband, and baby as well as keep the other two from sibling rivilry. And I can imagine the situation from her stand point, the last thing she needs is an interfering Mother-in-law moved in 1/2 a mile down the road. However, I have had my uses, baby-sitting whilst she was in hospital, and actually saving the baby's life when she stopped breathing, she (the baby) then spent a further 3 days in hospital with breathing problems, and once again, I had the girls to stay. I cannot bring myself to contact my son, I feel desperately hurt that he should even consider that I would do anything to harm his little family. And I know I can go on about my daughter-in-law, but the fact remains that my son is a strong minded individual (a psychologist) and he has allowed this situation to develop climaxing in his removing the girls from my care. What must Alice be thinking about all this? I wouldn't dream of calling in solicitors etc. I don't know where to turn, I cannot tell my sisters, I am too ashamed of my son's actions.

January 31, 2001
12:01 pm
Avatar
site coordinator
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dilly,

Are you having any trouble re-logging in as "Dilly", send me an e-mail and I can help you out.

Click on the link below, to log-in each time, using the same username & password you chose last time:

Click Here to Log-In>

At the bottom of the screen are fields to log-in.

- Site Coordinator

January 31, 2001
12:35 pm
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, as a counselor trainee you should know that if your son won't appraoch you, it's up to you to mediate the conflict and attempt a resolution. And why feel shame for a situation like this unless you unconsciously feel paritally responsible?

Since Alice did confide in you and was dependent for a long time, the schism between her new family and you is equally traumatic to her.

I can understand the new wife's position, though. She came into a situation that was already stable, and it's difficult to gain a child's trust. You know, Abraham Maslow, Humanistic counselling - every behavior reflects a need. Her brusque behavior could be coldness to you, or it could be fear and intimidation at attempting to take over as wife to your son and mother to little Alice when she knows she will be constantly compared to you, and she may fear that she will come out short in the comparison. And just because her beliefs are different from yours doesn't make them wrong. If she was Buddhist and didn't believe in Jesus then your remarks about her lack of belief would be very cruel on your part!

But I remember learning that there was no Santa at about that age, 8 years, from my classmates at school, so I don't know that that's a real problem. Nowadays, children are forced in more mature roles much faster because of the way out culture and society are structured.

I think an important thing to take into consideration is that Alice needs to be with her parents, including her step-mother, and she needs stability and comfort. Your role as grandmother shouldn't be as primary caregiver, but as a supportive listener.

It was deinfatley a bad call to get Alice to call her Dad. Anyone would perceive that as an attack on their parenting skills. This is probably why he reacted so negatively, as you know when people see their identity (and role as parent plays a HUGE part in identity formation) being attacked by their own child, apparantly prompted by you (that's what it looked like to him...)...well, they're bound to react defensively and close themselves off from the source of the perceived threat.

For now, I would say call and apologize that the situation has gotten so ugly (not that you were in the wrong - wording is very important here) and offer some sign of a desire to bury greivances and move on to a happier time. Try not to compete with the new Mom and your son. Be a gramma - listen and spoil and love.

I mean, imagine yourself in the new wife's position. Trying to parent a little girl who doesn't trust you, with the added stressors of a new baby and having to work full time. My sister taught school and she was often there until 8 or 9pm because you know the administrative tasks take up hours of your time.

People make bad deicisions. You can't control the behavior of anyone but yourself. And I think you know the best thing for Alice would be to have a happy, stable and connected family.

January 31, 2001
3:31 pm
Avatar
eve
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hallo Dilly, I'm a daughter (youngest of three) of a dad who remarried when I was seven. My grandparents lived in the same house as we did. And I think we three daughters together whith my grandma made my fathers life and my stepmothers life like hell. She didn't stand a chance - because we wouldn't give her one. And they got divorced after 6 years. This wasn't out of spite - it more happened unconsciously. And yes, my stepma perhaps really wasn't the best thing that could have happened to us. But we were so set in our ways and so interwoven in our relationships and dependencies and 'I do this because I love you's.. that all those good intentions and all those resistance to any changes made a whole lot of a mess. I think the only thing that will help is when you sort this out whith your daughter in law. DON't go via your granddaughter or your son. It's you and your granddaughter who must find a way of dealing whith each other - it should be civilized and mutually respectful, loving doesn't seem to be an option in the near future. Maybe you could even find an outsider to mediate between you both. Don't rely too much on the complaints of your granchild. She must be having a hard time now, because switching from being an only child to being a responsible older sister doesn't happen overnight. And she must be totally confused when she is getting conflicting directions from the adults that she loves and trusts. Spoil her when she is whith you. But don't give any comments about what you think about her education at home. You can talk about that whith her parents. And of course you shouldn't tolerate abuse (but: talk to the parents before giving her your comments!). These are just my two cents, and I might be biased because of personal history.

January 31, 2001
5:53 pm
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello Eve,

I have read some of your other contributions with respect, thank you for taking the time to offer your "two cents worth". I have really tried to get inside the internal frame of my daughter-in-law, but I also percieve that the problem is hers not mine, I can honestly say I cannot think of anything I have done that warrents this treatment. When she was newly married she used to ask me for advice as to how to treat my son, and believe me I didn't condone any subservience in her attitude towards him. She is on the surface a very meek & mild "child" (as in Eric Berne's PAC Model) but she has now demonstrated that that was all an act, and she is actually very steely in her ambitions. She came tonight to pick the baby up, everything was on the surface, "how was she today"? etc.making sure she made no mention of the other two girls, or what happened on that fateful night they were removed.
I feel that the removal of the baby from my care is her next objective, then she will have succeeded in removing me completely from her scene.

February 12, 2001
9:46 am
Avatar
pg lova
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It seems to me, your son's wife is the one with the problem. Don't blame yourself. You did what any loving Grandparent would if the Grandchild lost a parent, which is to try and be there for your grandchild. For that, I respect and admire you. As for your son, How dare he choose his wife over his mother? You who pushed him out of your womb and gave life to him, I am appauled that he has the nerve to do that. It seems to me that he's just in denial about his wife making his daughter unhappy. Maybe it stems from the fact that his first wife died and he doesn't want to end up a "lonely fool" as they say. However, you just be strong, he'll come around. Time heals all things. In time, he'll see just how frivolous his wife is.

God Bless You and Be Strong

PG LOVA

February 12, 2001
3:01 pm
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pglova
Thanks loads for your kind comments. I'm afraid things have got much worse. Perhaps, for all my qualifications in counselling, I am no handling this very well! After a month of silence from my son (he only lives 20 mins away) he phoned on Sunday and started talking as if nothing had happened! "Hows things? etc Well I could not pretend everything in the garden was rosy! so I started to say that I was very sorry things had reached such a state, and there were obviously some unresolved issues of trust to be explored and BANG he went mad. He said that Alice had agreed that I had asked her to phone him... (please believe me when I say I did'nt, in fact I tried to stop her!) but I said that she was just a little girl and she would say whatever she thought Daddy wanted to hear. Anyway, the situation disolved. try as I might, I couldn't help getting upset (although I didn't let on until in the end I said I couldn't talk to him anymore because I was too gutted and put the phone down and sobbed and sobbed.

Please believe me, I am NOT a wimp. I could count on one hand the amount of times I have had such a good cry as I did then, but somehow, he just seems to be able to twist the knife in my heart, and all my training goes out the window!.
The situation is now that I still mind the baby twice a week, she's just been collected by my daughter-in-law, but we don't speak. and no mention is made of the girls. It is my step-grandaughter's 5th b.day next week what shall I do about that? Thanks again for your support.

February 12, 2001
6:58 pm
Avatar
Molly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

OH, How I know, how training goes out the window during our own emotional crisis. My girls did a number on me recently, and I fell into the trap. Not that they set one up, but... Just remember the more you try to prove you are sane the more insane you appear. Over the last year, the girls had an agenda, who knows, but when it got to the point that they were sounding so serious of having me committed, and I am serious, I just surrendered. I said I'll take care of me, and I think you should get some serious help if you truly identify. I no longer called every day, no longer asked what if, no longer tried to defend my self, and left all alone. So they act like nothing happened, despite the depth of the pain they have caused me, and I have let them know that they are not the center of my existance, and guess what, now they are trying to become that again. Who knows what is going on today, but hold on to your sanity, don't give it away they will take it, and not think twice, be the loving nice person that you are send a card or gift that you would normally, and hang in there, your son will need you soon.

February 13, 2001
8:40 am
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Molly
Thanks for your advice. I must admit once or twice the "Kids" (there are 4 and they are all adults) have said they thought Mom was going "off on one" It is very difficult to assimilate their opinions against those of the patients and colleques we work with, who obviously seem to hold you and your work in high regard!
My children all had a very good education and they have all ended up with degree's and higher, but the obvious effort and expense their Dad and I went to to provide this, cuts no mustard, they actually patronise me for my "part-time counselling" laughingly referring to the work I do as "Middle aged excuse for gossiping with other lonely has-beens!"
I must admit to being totally bewildered by the attitude of my eldest son, we used to have a great thing going, but he seems to have forgotten all our comaradery, and his outburst at our last phone conversation was vitriolic to say the least. I am not one of these "clingy" mothers, and he knows there are many shared confidences that we have that would seriously jepordise his current relationship. Obviously, I wouldn't do that, but what I am saying is that, he has gone from that very trusting relationship to his present accusations against me. Anyway Molls, you hang-on in there as well, perhaps in another life we did something against them, and this is their revenge time! I think my sins against them must have been nothing less then murder because their retribution this time round is very painful!

February 13, 2001
9:30 am
Avatar
Alena
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Reading yours and Molly's more recent posts brings to my mind a conversation I had with my eldest son a few months ago. Sort of in this same thread Dilly.

When he and his wife married in '99, I felt confused as to "where the heck does this leave me? What am I supposed to do and NOT do, what do I NOT say. I thought when he married, we would just pretty much stay the same, my position in his life would be that he still loved his mom, but now he has a wife. I understood that she would come first. But what I found was that I was relegated to somewhere way down on the list from her, her mother, her father, her entire family. Or so it seemed anyway. My son seemed totally blind to this and just his happy go lucky, all is right with the world self. After a year of this, I found myself taking on, God forbid, my MOTHER'S traits! I was getting very frustrated and weepy over everything they did that made me feel unimportant.

He made the remark in front of his wife, and to me, a number of times in just idle conversation that I'm "getting so emotional these days."
After thinking about it and doubting my own mental health, I figured it out and I told him and his wife the reason for it.

For all of my kid's lives, they were number one on my list of priorities. We were great friends, we enjoyed so much time together and trust. All of a sudden, they were both moved out in the same summer, empty nest set in. But most of all, and most frightening of all was trying to find my "place" again in their lives. So, it's not that I'm more emotional, it's just that I'm so confused and uprooted by their new priorities. I still don't know exactly where my boundaries are, I want to believe that down deep in my son's soul... he remembers.

Anyway, I told him this, don't pass it off as "mom's just being old and emotional"....I've just always known where I stood for the past 25 years, now I'm scrambling to find a comfy spot where I fit in. I figure I will eventually, it's getting better.

Ever see the "Rocky" movie where Mick the trainer says, "Women weaken legs"?
Believe it. LOL Stay strong Mom.

February 13, 2001
11:20 am
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alena
Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you are feeling less "prioritised. I know how you feel, but I am a little more experienced at being a mom-in-law, because my son was previously married for 5 years before his 1st wife was killed, and we all got on like a house on fire!
I understand all the re-adjustments going on in my sons family life, and have made allowances. What I cannot understand is why he has "turned" against his Mother, I am stll wracking my brains to think what I could have done. I don't want to believe that he is being "drip fed poison" as one counsellor colleque suggested, but even if he is, he ought to realise what is going on, and that his Mom has never done or said anything knowingly that would harm him or his family! so what's going on in his brain? I'm seriously beginning to wonder wether he has developed paraniod tendancies since the death of hi wife, in that he is becoming over-protecttive of his family, but sureley he can't see me as a threat after all these years?

February 13, 2001
3:57 pm
Avatar
Alena
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, I agree Dilly, yours is a more concrete situation. Perhaps you're right, in that he is so protective of his family since the loss of his wife. Maybe new wife is "perceiving" you as a threat?

February 13, 2001
6:07 pm
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alena

Amen to all you say. I'm sure all YOUR family problems need is the healing hand of time! I will be rootin' for you with "them up there" don't let the blighters ground you down! I feel we are "kindred spirits" anything I can do to help, just let me know.

February 13, 2001
7:22 pm
Avatar
Molly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Remember when the children were in middle school, and the "new friend" appeared,and suddenly the language was different, the dress altered slightly, and the questions about the new friends parents were never directly answered, and we had the power to kill the relationship? Perhaps this is the same but we were powerless in seeing the change during the dating. I am sure you expected the relationship to be similar to the relationship that you experienced with the first wife, and had EXPECTATIONS. But with the new wife, new game plan, new behaviors with the new friend. Its like they take for granted that our hearts are chizzeled out of stone, and can take what ever comes our way. That unconditional love crap, well its not crap, but you know what I mean. My mom always said wait until you have your own children, and that is my mantra today. I am sure when they, all of our twits, have a few more years under their belt they will realize, and be so full of remorse for their thoughtless, heartless, actions.
The hard part for me, I tried so hard raising my girls to not live that karma thing. My mom and I were like cats and dogs from the time I came out of the womb. I took classes, I did everything I could think of to hold the relationship sacred. It dawned on me, about the time the youngest was ordering the straight jacket, that was my problem, I had spent so much time giving, I never taught them how to give,only to suck it up, and ask for more,not to mention that several of the suggestions I received on these threads, they expected a perfect mother, and I fell out of the grid, I guess, still no explanation. They just get so selfish and self centered, it is shame ful to me, but I must let it go. Like Alena said trying to figure out where you belong in the new picture, and they get to call the shots, if the twits call that is.

February 13, 2001
8:22 pm
Avatar
Alena
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

One thing I do remember hearing somewhere out there long ago is that children usually pick a parent with whom they feel the most secure, to beat up.(not literally)

February 14, 2001
6:47 am
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You are both sooooo right in your assessment of the situation, well done! To take ALENA's theme a little further, "you always hurt the one you love" yeah, thats ok, but unfortunately for my lot, I refuse to be their whipping post!
MOLLY sorry to hear about the problems with your Mom. I was lucky, mine was the inspiration of my life, she was a women before her time, she used to say things like, "the only obstacles to your life are in your own mind, so go out there and concentrate on overcoming them!" I carried on that philosophy with my lot pushing them out to University as soon as they were able. With the result that the eldest, for all his sins, got a degree in psychology and he is now a businessman earning mega-bucks. The second son has a PHD in bio-chemistry, the eldest girl has an MA in healthcare, and the youngest girl, who went to a school for gifted children, now works in the city as a finacial analyst.
Oh God, when I re-read this I sound like a smug git! the only point I am trying to make, is that I didn't cossett them, although there was plenty of love around. Our Sunday lunches are still talked about, they lasted between 2-3hrs with everyone vying with each other to be heard! we always had the philosphy of laying everything out and discussing it. Now. however, everyone seems to be treading on ice, so as not to offend one another! My late daughter-in-law had a phrase for it she called it a "pass the gravy family" referring to her own "terribly polite" upbringing. What a sad turn of events. By the way, I know I said I threw them out asap, but they will never know the heartbreak I endured when, upon arriving home, having delivered them to their respective Universities, I encountered their empty rooms, still festooned with various posters, dirty sock etc. I just sat on the empty bed and cried but they will never know that. Even now, I hate to see their empty rooms with their immaculate un-lived-in look. Thanks again guys for your help, by the way do you both, ALENA, MOLLY live in the States?

February 14, 2001
8:54 am
Avatar
Alena
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, Dilly, I live in the US. I take it you live in the UK somewhere?
Am I close?

I just re-read this thread to refresh my memory, one thing struck me. Your son called you after a month and behaved as if nothing at all had happened. Am I wrong to have seen that as a peace offering? As Molly posted somewhere, we women do sometimes get so emotional that men can't seem to deal with it. That's not a criticism, just a fact. I see your son's call as a way to break the silence and try to go on with you without criticizing you or the new wife, but trying to start over. Possible? Because you have made your feelings clear to him, and because he has shown you how important his new family is, can you pick up the phone and call him and ignore the obvious? Could you call to speak to him and make it short but sweet about some other topic? Like, "what would be a good gift for step-granddaughter?"

Perhaps he is finished "marking his territory" (so to speak) and he feels he has made himself clear on his and his new wife's boundaries as far as mom is concerned, so now it's time to just get on with life. Which includes you, of course, but on their terms..........?

As for the heartbreak, you're right, they don't know. BUT, ya know, I didn't know either until I became a mother of children old enough to accidently hurt my feelings. When I think back on my early marriage days
I wonder, NOW, did I ever make my mother in law unhappy with my rules for MY family? Not realizing that I was working with what was once a big part of HER family. I think maturity will play a huge part in the future with my sons and their lives and their priorities. As I think it did in mine. I like to think I'm so much more sensitive now to everyone's feelings than I was then. I hope so.

If I were you, I think I would try to just converse with son about anything, just to make the connection again. Maybe he has learned from this whole thing too, but cannot back off because he doesn't want to confuse the issue again of who is in control.

Good Luck Dilly, let us know how the birthday goes.

February 14, 2001
6:34 pm
Avatar
Dilly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alena

I don,t know you, or have never met you. but I feel as if you are soooooo close to me that I could touch you! Yes. I live in England, does that make me anal retentive? otherwise, how did you you know? I could have been in Australia or somewhere!. I know my son was phoning to keep the continuity going, but as I said, I don't want to become a "pass the gravy family" pretending what has happened, did'nt happen and everything in the garden is rosy!
i don't want to sound dramatic, but, I teach about the 5 stages of bereavement, and I now feel as if I have gone through the denial and am now at the acceptance stage. I feel as if I have been grieving for the son I once had, but now he doesn't exist. I have to accept the fact that my eldest son has changed because of the awful obstacles that life has asked him to bear, he is obviously trying to make peace with himself and his present situation, and it looks like the price I have to pay for his peace of mind, is to accept him as he is, and not as the son I had! Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds, why should my ideals be compromised to adjust to his new found "status" as the all seeing. all powerful male of the family, those days are gone, where the eldest supercedes the parents. I will hang on in in there as long as I feel capable, and even when I don't, I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of allowing him to be "in charge" of the family, as far as I am concerned you have to earn respect, not demand it!.
By the way, if there is anyone out there who is "tied" to a partner who hasn't had the decency to do anything for valentines day, may I fom England wish everyone a happy valentines day, with the words quoted from my late Mother who says " never follow a fellow, it's a silly thing to do. Show your independence, and he will follow you!
If you read the majority of threads, with this in mind, you can see wher we all go wrong! Bye for now.

February 14, 2001
6:49 pm
Avatar
Molly
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dilly, Yes I'm in the US, and about mom, well despite our differences, she did her best, and dad made up for what she couldn't give me, luckly we made peace before she passed. I like the idea of calling your son about what to get for a present for the stepdaughter, a peace oriented motherly move, manipulation by another name 🙂 I think that I realized that it was a mourning for what was, and all the stages with my girls, after I got over the shock. I still stew over some of the abscent of consideration moves, but the youngest did call today! I wish you a day of love, also. You should pat your self on the back for what the children have done with their lives, at least there are a few of us that know what was behind it. I feel confident that it will come around .

February 14, 2001
8:36 pm
Avatar
janes
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes...congrats on raising kids to be so successful...couldn't do it without mom!!!!

We knew you were from U.K. just from a few "turns of the phrases".

My kids are nowhere near as old as yours...(and won't be near as successful) but they are "nice kids" - sorta kinda.

Anyway...I think ;you should just ignore them all for awhile. Build your own life...and let them come back when they are ready.

Happy Valentine's Day too.

Forum Timezone: UTC -8
Most Users Ever Online: 247
Currently Online:
33
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
onedaythiswillpass: 1134
zarathustra: 562
StronginHim77: 453
free: 433
2013ways: 431
curious64: 408
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 49
Members: 110924
Moderators: 5
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 8
Forums: 74
Topics: 38537
Posts: 714209
Newest Members:
delight1080, laticia1, Corties, patrickstayes, kevinkovalsky, izzy39
Moderators: arochaIB: 1, devadmin: 9, Tincho: 0, Donn Gruta: 0, Germain Palacios: 0
Administrators: admin: 21, ShiningLight: 572, emily430: 29

Copyright © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer