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Messages - Bamboo2

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Hi Justtired,
Welcome to WWU!  As with all new members, we ask that you go to our "Open Me First" page and read the permanent posts there that explain our site better.  Please pay particular attention to our Forum Agreement to be sure that we are a proper fit for your needs.  We are a monitored website.

Let me tell you that as I read your post, I could feel my abdominals tightening up, recalling my own daughter's adolescence and how tense it was in our household before she abruptly launched.  I can really relate to what you're going through.  It's a minefield.

When our situation at home became untenable with this DD at 18 (similar attitude as your daughter's plus a deadbeat boyfriend), she chose to move out with her BF and his mom, and we did not pay for her (well, we paid a few grocery bills and let her use our oldest car to get to HS in her senior year).  It actually did take the daily emotional pressure off us and gave us a breather to have her live away from home.  It was still a grieving process when she left, but /and she learned a lot.  She actually was proud of herself when she told me that she was regularly cleaning her BF's mom's house (which she never did unprompted at our home ). 

Now that your daughter is 19, your obligation of daily responsibility for her is over, and she should be acting like an adult.  Paying rent, doing chores, treating others respectfully, paying her own way financially, like any adult does.  If she were someone's roommate, they might have booted her out by now.  You have other children at home, and they are your primary concern at this time, just as your daughter was at that stage.  My take is that if this DD is not a contributing member of the household (chores, caring for younger sibs, rent-paying) and is not respectful to the other members, then she should find other living arrangements. 

You're welcome to read my daughter's story in the archives.  My first post was called "Heading for estrangement."  I can tell you that at 17 and 18 we had a very challenging relationship, and it is much better now at 22. 

Wishing you all the best.  As my dear mom is fond of saying (and I never believed it at the time, but it is true), this, too, shall pass.

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Mostly lurking at this point.
« on: November 28, 2017, 09:06:25 PM »
Welcome, PJPrimrose!  I, too, have spent a lot of time in the archives.  I wrote down some pearls of wisdom I found there for future reference, and they have guided me through some rough patches.  I'm glad you are finding some guidance there, too.  Even though the stories are unique, there are common patterns and philosophies.  As I read posts from forums other than this one, I'm also appreciative of the gentle, supportive nature of WWU.  Wishing you the best on your journey!

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Should I speak up?
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:57:52 PM »
I appreciate your sharing about your DS and your niece.  It takes time to see how a relationship will go, and so much depends on the motivation and persistence of the two partners.  Your niece and her husband seemed to have it.  Your son has exhibited it up to this point, and he is probably seeing some things about DIL differently than he did in the past.  The other thing is he is seeing how she interacts with their young children as their mother, which he probably never could have predicted before they became parents.  I can just imagine how hard it is for you to come off sounding neutral when he shares his insights with you.  Good job!  I'll bet he doesn't really have others to confide in about this situation, certainly not anyone else who knows everyone involved like you and your DH do.  You're in a unique position to offer a safe place for him to express himself.

My DD's BF called me on Thanksgiving to wish me and my family a happy day, and called again today to say he and DD were safely in the city they drove to overnight for his relative's funeral.  He told me when they would be driving back, planned a day to come visit us, and asked me if he could take her on a driving trip to visit other family members next month.  It was sweet.  Seems like he is trying hard to make her happy and connect with his and our families. 

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Should I speak up?
« on: November 26, 2017, 11:15:20 AM »
Thanks, StillLearning.  There are issues that I think would best be handled that way, such as how they each spend/save money or how many hours they each work.  But what about drinking too much and getting into fights?  I don't want to give her the message that she just has to accept that (actually, when she relayed an incident recently, I just listened - I'm pretty proud of myself).  Her last relationship had issues when ex-BF drank too much and became abusive, so I thought she'd have her eyes wide open regarding alcohol use this time around.  Sigh....  Maybe this is a rebound relationship and it will take a few more to really learn the lesson. 

Also it seems I have to practice detaching from her relationship drama. I was optimistic about this guy so it's been a disappointment to hear of DD's recently expressed concerns.

More practice ....  :-\

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Should I speak up?
« on: November 25, 2017, 10:08:25 PM »
That was really helpful, Luise.  Hopefully I will be able to benefit from your experiences.  I wish I could tell DD about the red flag.  I think part of her knows, but another part desperately wants this to be her forever love.  The counseling idea is good.  It was useful for me when I needed clarity.  At any rate, there will be learning from this relationship, as you say.  Same as from the last one.  We hope the lessons transfer from one relationship to the next.

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Should I speak up?
« on: November 25, 2017, 08:05:21 PM »
Hello, Wise Women!
My DD has a new guy in her life - and that's good in that the abusive ex-BF is unequivocally out.  Big sigh of relief there!  New BF seems friendly, kind and hard-working.

My new dilemma is this: DD has confided in me some things that new BF needs to change about himself to be a better partner.  What is my role here?  Listen and shut my mouth?  What about when she asks my opinion?  I know she is carefully "reading" my facial expression and non-verbals, and it's unfortunately too easy for me to speak up, even if it's just in a generic way about relationships, or examples of situations that I know of that are similar to what she is facing.

True confession: There are some things that I wish she hadn't shared with me and I worry that more is coming as the two of us  spend more time together next month. Does anyone have any experience in dealing with an AC sharing too much information?   

She has a tendency to move quickly in relationships, and I worry that she will be married within a year, with children soon to follow.  They've only been a couple for a few months and already she is living with him and his roommates.  I've spoken up about that - she claims she had to get out of a bad roommate situation (it WAS awful) and there is no one else to live with.  But I'm sure this is her number one preference anyway.

Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: My son is making me feel guilty
« on: November 25, 2017, 07:34:32 PM »
Hi Nikncon,
I recognize your name from the archives, which I read extensively when I first joined WWU two years ago.  Sorry that your DS  sent you that email.  You responded perfectly!  I wish you all the best!

 :) Love that, Luise! 

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that, Cbzkit.  That sounds painful.  Be kind to yourself as you deal with this new reality coming soon. (((hugs!)))

 Hi Fairy Godmother, and welcome! We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We're a monitored Website. Thanks in advance!

I'm glad you found us.  I don't have experience with in-laws or grandchildren yet, but there are certainly others here who have.  I'm glad you are looking at some of the other posts - there are many women who have walked a journey similar to yours, a lot of wisdom to be gained in the archives.

It is so hurtful to not be around the ones you love during the holidays.  Holidays can be a difficult time for many of us.  They have sure been that way for me.  Keep reading and I hope you will hear from others soon.

Welcome, Sammelluv!  I have to tell you that my daughter left home very abruptly, too, while still in high school.  It was after an argument with my husband, but she had already made the threat to move out a few times before so it wasn't totally unexpected.  My first reaction was relief because there had been so much tension.  Of course, my husband and I went through the gamut of emotions and it was a year of vertigo.  She, too, initially said how great life was away from home, and told me with pride how she was cleaning the boyfriend's mom's house regularly.  All I could do was cry because she never did that at home unprompted.  Maybe she also thought I'd be proud of her - not understanding that it was just plain hurtful.

That was four years ago.  In retrospect she has indicated that she should have stayed at home because it was much easier.  She's had regrets about giving up the life of a dependent child and becoming an adult too soon.  I think once all the financial demands became more stifling she realized what she had gotten herself into. Now, however, she is functioning very well at 22 and hasn't had our financial support for three years (except for health insurance), and she is way ahead of the financial and independence curve compared to most others her age.   Despite the awkwardness and the abruptness of her exit, the end result is good.  You may not be able to step back and understand the outcome of this abrupt departure and transition till much later either. 

With regard to your last question, I'd vote for giving him some space.  When you back off, it frees him up to come to you without pressure.  He may read any contacts you make as putting pressure or guilt on him, even though that is not your intention.  When regular family gatherings are planned, you can reach out, but otherwise I'd give him what he seems to want now.  I feel that I chased my daughter too much after she left.  If I could do it differently, I'd have given her more space early on and let her come to me. 

I'm sorry that I can't relate to having such a large household and no free time.  My husband and I only have 2 AC and are finally empty nesters, at least for now.  Eventually I suppose we all have to find some outside activities to give our lives meaning, but for now in your family there are others who you can choose to focus on and create special memories.

All the best!

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: adult daughter giving up on me
« on: October 23, 2017, 01:40:29 PM »
Welcome, Momof4!  I'm sorry for your situation. It sounds like your daughter is trying to blame you for things that are out of your control.  Of course you have a right to go to whatever events you want, just as she does. I've found that the more I've tried to justify, argue, defend or explain myself (JADE), the more deeply I was investing in someone else's agenda.  Luise likes to say, "Whatever anyone thinks of me is none of my business," and I think that helps to put the onus of the problem back where it belongs. 

As for the worry you have about your daughter not being there for you in case of emergency, something came to mind regarding a friend and former neighbor of mine.  When her husband was dealing with Lewy Body dementia (symptoms of Parkinsons and dementia), they moved into a senior condo, and she has found a very supportive group of women residents who look after each other and stay connected.   She has made lots of friends there and it has been mutually beneficial.  It's probably not the same as having an adult child close by, but it is a comfort to her nevertheless. 

Wishing you well!

This is a post for Hachen.  Welcome to WWU!  As a new member, we ask that you read the Forum Agreement under the heading "Read Me First."  We want to be sure that this forum is a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.  Thanks!! 

I see your point about the relationship seeming like an abusive one.  My daughter was in such a relationship and I've recently wondered if the dynamic is similar to what happens between  some sons and DILs.  At least it seems like intimidation and control.  It may have your son stumped too and he may be wishing for the old version of future DIL, the one who seemed to get along with you and the family.  I know my daughter kept hoping for her relationship with (now ex) BF to go back to the beginning when he was wonderful to her.  It was a cycle but the good times were fewer and the bad times more frequent and serious.  When I got so sick and anguished  of hearing about their relationship I chose to not hear about him or see him anymore. Eventually my daughter figured out what we had hoped she would, what we had warned her about him as more and more red flags were flying. It was a constant stream. But she needed that time and distance from us to see it for herself and reach her own conclusions.  Painful for us as parents but we chose to become ignorant about her relationship to save our sanity.  We started planning things for ourselves and discovered new interests together.  It was so good for our relationship!  You can get through this!  It takes time and intention.  We are here for you on this journey.

As for your comment about not understanding what happened, Luise, our resident guru and creator of WWU likes to say "You can't make sense of the senseless."  The point is to just deal with what is because otherwise we make ourselves crazy, and for what? You've already acknowledged that this doesn't seem to be personal; it would most likely have happened to any other future in-laws.  This has everything to do with her, not with you. 

Hi Sadheart,
Welcome to WWU.  Please read our Forum Agreement under the heading Read Me First to be sure this is a good fit for you.  Your post is fine.  We ask all members to do this as we are a monitored website.

I can feel your confusion as I read the story of your son and future DIL.  While I have not experienced this situation myself, many women on this forum have, and you may have read some of their posts already.  One of the things that struck me from reading some of them is that their sons were in a tough spot, trying to make their spouse/fiancée happy and not knowing how (or fearing) to assert themselves.  If you have a conversation with your son about what his plans are for your relationship, it might just put more pressure on him, as he probably doesn't really know and is already feeling pressure from her.  Another thing is that if he tells her whatever is said between you and him, as he did when you said you were hurt for not being invited to the wedding (of course you were hurt, and certainly your son should have understood that!), this will also likely put you in a bad spot, as this FDIL may twist your words. That's a no-win situation. 

What I recall that others have done, and I have done myself with an AC who was turning away from me, is giving the AC time and space to figure out what is going on for himself.  While that is very hard to do at first, and there is a lot of grieving to be done over the changed status of the relationship, over time a certain acceptance can be reached, and the opportunity to turn toward others who do care.

Hopefully members who have experienced a situation like yours will respond.  We all care, and wish you well.  Hugs!

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