Author Topic: Should I butt out?  (Read 5418 times)

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gaylab

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Should I butt out?
« on: May 24, 2011, 03:05:36 PM »
Hi, what a great site!  I have been losing sleep over what might be a dumb issue.  I have a 21 yr old son who moved 1.5 hours away 2 years ago to attend community college and he wanted to be independent.  That was all fine until he met his current girlfriend.  She is just 20 years old in April and just had a new baby girl April 18.  I am loving the grandbaby but here are my issues.  She grew up in this town where the school is located.  We helped buy a house for them to live in and they are paying us rent.  It was a nice foreclosure and my husband put tons of work into it for them.  My son loves the house and the feeling like he has his own place.  The bad part is that it is 4 blocks from his girlfriends parents house!  It was all against my better judgement but everybody said it would not be a problem!!  Wrong.....   Since she had the baby her mother has been totally controlling and involved in every aspect of their lives.  Her and her mother are joined at the hip.  If the girlfriend isn't at her parents house the mother is at our sons house.  When I see them and talk with the girlfriend I don't think a sentence goes by that doesn't include "my mom and I". I almost think she spends more time at her parents house thenwith my son at their house.    Her mom is the type that seems to just take over when she is around the baby.  She doesn't have much going on in her life and it seems as if she has made this her life.  It drives me crazy that she is so smothering.  Although the girlfriend is going along with it and seems to need it.  I think they are both very dependent on each other and can't cut the apron strings.  The bad part is she is never going to grow up because her mom does everything for her and buys her everything.  They text each other constantly if they are not together.  We only get to visit once a week at most because we work during the week and they are almost two hours away..  When we do visit her mom is usuallythere!  It makes us feel weird because they just sit there talking about everything they have done together like they are raising the baby and not my son. My son has asked her to not be so involved and she pretty much ignores him and does what she wants.  He is going to school and working so isn't home as much as the girlfriend.  I think it is an unhealthy relationship between the mom and daughter?  Am I wrong?  When the girlfriend goes back to work next week she has scheduled her work around her mothers so the mom can watch the baby when she or my son are at work or school.  I guess this is nice but at the same time I see the mom taking over even more.    Do I say anything to my son or the girlfriend or do I keep my mouth shut?  I feel like I am obsessing over this and feel really frustrated.  I almost wish they would move to another town.  Then they talk about getting married  next year and I think they need to resolve this first or it will only get worse and my son will be more unhappy.  I think the girlfriend needs to put my son first and not her mom.

holliberri

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 03:29:51 PM »
I would say you are right. The girlfriend should absolutely put your DS before her DM.

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SassyDI

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 03:51:58 PM »
Hello seems as much as you don't like it you  need to nicely just stay out of it.  Its not your relationship you DS needs to handle this on his own.  If he comes to you for advice advise him but I wouldn't talk to him if he isn't have an issue with it.  Do you have dd.  It seems MD/DD is just different then a DM/DS relationship.  Girls are more attune to their feelings and express more feelings then men do.  Its not unhealthy until it interfer isn their relationship.  And if DS doesn't think it is then you don't have a problem. 

Futher you see what you see but you don't see the stuff they do on their own when you are not around.  My DH's family assume some big things about me that turned out not to be even close to the truth.  Your only seeing their relationship when you are with them.  You don't know how it is when they are 100% alone.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 03:56:16 PM »
Welcome Gaylab.

I think you are absolutely right. This sounds like a very unhealthy DM/DD relationship. However, I wouldn't say anything because it is liable to come back and bite you in the behind! It is DS's "problem" and he needs to be man enough to handle it on his own. I know it is difficult when you see your DS unhappy. And it is awful to see his relationship in turmoil and possibly end especially when there is a little one involved. But, if you say something and things work out, anything "negative" you say will be held against you. If things don't work out, "I told you so" is heard even when you don't say it. Best advice, Tread Lightly.  :)

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 04:02:32 PM »
I almost think she spends more time at her parents house thenwith my son at their house.     

Although the girlfriend is going along with it and seems to need it.  I think they are both very dependent on each other and can't cut the apron strings. 

My son has asked her to not be so involved and she pretty much ignores him and does what she wants. 

It is very that DS has a problem with his GF/FMIL's relationship. It isn't a matter of a daughter being "close" to her mother or more "emotional" than a DS. This is NOT a healthy relationship. If you do anything, perhaps you should recommend that he and GF go into counselling. His FMIL sounds like a well, you know what. She should be minding her own business. Counseling for them ASAP if they dream of saving their relationship and having a happy marraige.

SassyDI

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 04:07:55 PM »
YS still needs to handle it himself her getting involved will only spells trouble.  Also did he know this about he GF before the baby was concieved?  If so then he shouldn't have gotten to that point with her.  What is healthy to one is unhealthy to another. 

holliberri

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 04:32:32 PM »
A lot of times, you don't always know beforehand how a person is until it is too late. People that are in abusive relationships, people that have been cheated on, and people who marry folks with awful in-laws and people whose children marry awful in-laws often have no idea beforehand. It happens. To point out that they should have seen the signs or somehow should have known better is akin to victim blaming in my mind.

Counseling would be of a help; I would certainly offer that suggestion if I were a parent and I was asked for advice.


seasons

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 04:43:33 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it.  Families have been living in multi-generational households for thousands of years.  It seems entirely natural to me that a young girl with a new baby would ask advice from her mother.  As long as GF and DS are happy, have a good relationship, the baby is happy, what's the foul?  It's heartening to me that the girl is going back to work, and the mother will help by taking care of the child.  These things will probably work out.

My inclination is to recommend that you stop worrying, but keep a channel open for DS to talk to you if he wishes.  Above all, don't complain about any intervention by GF's mother.  In fact, don't complain to DS about anything related to GF.  Let him bring it up if it bothers him.

Relax and enjoy your son and new grandbaby.

seasons

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 05:31:55 PM »
I should have given practical advice also.  My practical ideas are these:  1. Make sure your son can call you whenever he wishes - without worrying about whether he is going over the monthly minutes on his phone plan.  2.  If he seems to resent GF's mother being at his house all the time, you could say something like "It's OK to tell GF's mother that you and GF would like to have time alone with the baby when you get home from work."

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 05:33:02 PM »
As long as GF and DS are happy, have a good relationship, the baby is happy, what's the foul? 

I don't think DS is happy

My son has asked her to not be so involved and she pretty much ignores him and does what she wants. 

SassyDI

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 05:55:08 PM »
Well that's still his problem not hers.  He is an adult he has to figure it on his own.  I have il problems its not my mom's place to step in and fix it for me.

SassyDI

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 06:02:39 PM »
Sadly you can't force people to change you can only ask.  The contrl he does have is, is this a deal breaker for him

holliberri

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 06:14:22 PM »
SassyDI, I agree with your sentiment about not stepping in. I see a relatively young couple dealing with a large number of issues all at once, and young people often stay a little too close to home before they stand on their own. I think this is just growing pains.

Gaylab's son already addressed his gf's mother and asked her for space. It sounds like he is trying to set up some boundaries of his own. It is ashame that she wouldn't respect that. Sometimes the best help one can offer is space, while being an occasional sounding board and a support network if need be. Gaylab, while frustrated, is doing the best she can to avoid interfering, meanwhile the other parent is involved in DS's and GF's life at every turn, against one of the parties explicit wishes. That has to be tough when you know your child isn't happy with the situation and you're trying to do the right thing at the same time.

SassyDI

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 06:24:13 PM »
I am not say its right but ifs not something she can change.  I do have to say childcare is expensive can they really afford if.

Offline Pen

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Re: Should I butt out?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 07:28:28 PM »
Holly, I agree that Gaylab is in a frustrating, sad situation. She can't speak up or risk losing DS & GC. It's a cruel double standard since we'd probably be looking at this differently if it was DS's mom who lived 4 houses away and was a constant presence.

Gaylab, welcome to the site! You're not alone.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb