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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Status quo must go
« Last post by raindrops_on_my_soul on July 23, 2017, 03:39:51 PM »
Today I wanted to write about something that I was thinking about earlier. Our kids seem to think we should be on the hook for them for the rest of our lives, always there ready to step in and help every time they need us to. They think we should listen when they need us to, loan money when they need us to, give them a place to stay if they need us to, give gifts for every occasion, and it goes on and on. Yet they don't feel they should do the smallest of things to give back. They don't think they should answer calls or texts, let alone initiate either of those. They don't think they should give gifts, a listening ear, a genuine thank you, or any considerate act of kindness whatsoever. Do they not realize they endanger our relationships with them with this kind of attitude, or just plain don't care? Is the only thing they care about is keeping us on the hook so they have someone to fall back on in hard times, only to neglect us when things are going good for them? And another thing that's been on my mind, and I've seen it many times, is how our adult children will seek out and stick to the ones that treated them the worst, while ignoring and forgetting those of us that did the most. I certainly never meant to send the message that neglect was ok with me by being what I thought was a good person. I would like to send out a new message that says, you know what, this isn't ok with me and I won't tolerate being taken advantage of anymore. Since a conversation won't yield the desired effect, I will have to come up with more creative ways of getting this message across.
Excellent advice, Still Learning.  This thread was posted twice by accident and other members replied to Malfoyfan on the other thread.  Malfoyfan, I hope your meeting went well.  You always have a place here if and when you need support.  All the best  :)
M, I am sorry that you did not get the advice you wanted in advance of your meeting!  The truth about it is that those of us who stay here do so because all of our efforts, even the ones as well meaning as yours, have failed.  The ones who get things worked out the way they want them to be leave.  Hopefully your meeting worked out wonderfully well and you will be a member of the group who got what they wanted and left.  If not, then I have a few words of advice for you.

Although you did not even realize it your meeting had a goal of making them change and that almost never works.  The only part of this situation that you are in that you can control is you and that makes what I am about to say make sense.

For things to change, first I must change

But what does that mean?  I spent so long worrying about how to make it better with my DS/DIL that my marriage became endangered.  My DH was at his wits end just wishing I would quit worrying about it and I suddenly realized that I was letting this one bad relationship jeopardize all the good relationships I had.  It is true that "What you focus on expands" and I was constantly expanding the absolute worse part of my life to such an extent that it was crowding out all the good parts.  So I had to change my focus from working on my relationship with DIL/DS to working on the relationship I had with my DH.  Best thing I ever did!  Now I do not let things with my DS/DIL affect my life the way they used to.  I still love my DS and his daughters are wonderful and I enjoy seeing them when I get to but I do not compare times that my DIL's FOO get with them as apposed to the times I get with them.  Been there, done that and it only made me and my DH miserable. 

Anyway, I do hope things went better for you than they did for me initially but I wanted you to know that if they did not go well all is not lost.  The more you let your mind dwell on the unfairness of it all (yes, of course it is unfair!) the more of your life you will lose to the unfairness.  Think of things and people that make you happy and let the rest be.  For me, at least, the more I stirred the pot the worse it stank so I stopped stirring.  Plan a trip, go shopping, see a movie, grab your happiness and do not let your DIL take it away! 

Good luck!!  Hugs!
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Rethinking gift giving
« Last post by gettingoldandcranky on July 22, 2017, 07:06:40 AM »
went through this also. i was lucky if i got a call on my birthday.  i stopped sending cards and checks.  just call and leave a birthday message - of course the phone is never answered and i never get an acknowledgement of the call.  but it makes me feel better doing something nice for someone i still love
Sadly, I'm only too aware of the many stories I've read about this type of situation.  I don't have a lot of expectations.  We just need to try at this point.
M, I can't disagree with the take of jdtm and Raindrops regarding how the talk may go, and it sounds like you already know what you may be in for.  My uneasy relationship with DS/DIL deteriorated further with the arrival of GC until I had to cut them off because of all the hurt.  Logic and fairness had no place in our trying to reach any kind of understanding.  It was as if DS was in a cult--my DS was unable to hear my side.  It was DIL's way or the highway.  There are unfortunately many similar stories on WWU. 

My son is not happy with DIL's behavior either.  They've had fights over her not wanting to 'share' the baby with us.  So the way I look at it, he's stuck between trying to placate her and trying to help us out.  I have a feeling we're going to end up having to see a counselor, if she's even willing to do that.

I already know she's not interested in our version of things - but I feel like we have to do something before this gets any worse.  When they got married, I saw red flags, but I figured we had to make the best of it because this is who he chose, but over the last year it's become a very weird, bad situation with her.  It's like we're finally seeing who she really is, and it sort of horrified me.  It also became clear to me that her primary relationship is with her parents - not her husband, for all she claims to love him so much (on Facebook).  A loving wife doesn't treat her husband's parents like this.

I also feel that this isn't going to end well - I've seen this type of behavior before (wife allowing only her family to see the baby, her mother being totally obsessed with the baby like it's her own, etc.), in my DH's family, and that marriage ended in divorce.   I don't know what will happen with my son's marriage, but I hope he is able to convince her to see a counselor and improve their relationship, and that if she's not willing to see us, then not raise objections if he brings the baby over by himself. 

Thank you all for your input and wish me luck. 
From my experience with things like this, talking and trying to explain your feelings and ideas to people who don't want to hear them only backfires. The other parties involved would first have to meet you halfway and be willing to make compromises. Instead, at least from what I have seen, is that they are only going to be defensive, argumentative, angry, and looking for a fight. Few have any real clarity anymore and unfortunately you can't force anyone to see things as they actually are. It's not a fair situation and I wish things were different. You could certainly give this a try and see what happens but my experience tells me nothing will be gained by it. In my case, I have decided to stop pursuing relationships where I am the only interested party. I will not put myself in that position anymore. I have grown tired of always being available for people who are never available for me and it was beginning to effect my self respect and well being. Whatever you decide, I wish you peace.
Without going into detail, this happpened in our family.  Our DIL blamed us for all her ills; our son, her husband, sided with her.  The "talk" ended with her raging and our scurrying out the door.  She is now our former DIL (she left our son and abandoned her children).    My advice - if you personally are seen to be the "problem", don't explain your truth (it probably won't be heard) - just leave.  Honestly, I think it would be best if you and your husband were not present and see if your niece can get a handle on the situation.  In our case, our ex-DIL did not want us in her life and that was going to happen.  I have a really really uneasy feeling about this "talk" especially since it has not originated from either your son or DIL.  And no professional is present.  Remember - one cannot reason with someone who will not reason.  Good luck - you are going to need it ...
Hi Marina, thank you for your input.  I'm not sure my niece is going to be as impartial as I'd like, but I figured I'd give her a chance.  She is suggesting that her dad come along as a backup.  I'm for this because my brother is very cool-headed and very good in negotiating with people (he's a lawyer).  This is just a shot in the dark.  I have no idea if we'll succeed in getting anywhere with my DIL, who has been extremely difficult over the last 6 months.  If this doesn't work, I'm going to suggest to my son that we try counseling together, even if we have to drive to their place (3 hours away).  I really want a relationship with my granddaughter.  We haven't seen her since April. 
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