Author Topic: Introduction.... I'm sure I'll start complaining about real details later :D  (Read 8265 times)

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breakthecycle

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This is my first post, probably first of many.  Hello everyone!

I'm in my late 30s and getting ready to marry. I'm very interested in learning as much as I can about the life experiences of parents whose children have grown up to hate them, and it's my hope that I can offer some opinions of my own that might help confused parents better understand what happened with the attitudes of their adult children. Anyway, reading about the issues discussed here is what led me to this site. I read the thread at http://www.momresponds.com/1381/my-children-hate-me/ which then points to this forum, so here I am.

My story in a nutshell: I am the oldest child in my family, and I fully expect to care for my mother when she's too old to be independent.  My father left us when I was a toddler, in order to realize his career and live an exciting life overseas; he won't need my care or want it because my mother will be around. He started another family so his daughter (my half-sister) will care for him if he wants/needs it.

About my future wife: she is the middle child in her family, a wonderful and sweet person, but her family is full of hustlers and alcoholics -- especially her mother. Her father left the family over 25 years ago and is probably dead now, so he's out of the picture. The basic problem is her mother. In her younger years she was a heavy drug user and loved to party, and blamed her kids for forcing her to be more responsible. There was never enough money, so the kids had to get jobs early to help pay the mortgage. This led to lots of resentment between the kids and mom, and to this day my fiancee's sister and mom are money-hungry, manipulative hustlers who will do anything shady for a buck. They abuse their men and run their families as a matriarchy.

In my family, though, none of this occurs. And it will not. I'll make sure of this by working hard to stay the same, very real man I was when my fiancee met me, the same man she fell in love with. Not by spoiling her or giving in to her demands, a similar philosophy I will use to raise my kids. By being a real man, and wearing the pants without being too dominating about it, I put my woman at ease. I give her what she never had: a positive, stable, non-abusive male presence that relieves the women from having to make every single decision about everything. By the way, this drives her sister (and to some degree, her mother) insane with jealousy.

My fiancee does not "hate" her mother and sister, but she resents them deeply and does not want them to keep dragging her down for the rest of her life.  This resentment could become hate later in life, though, depending on what happens because she is like their total opposite. They always treated her like the black sheep and 2nd-class citizen in the family. It's the old Cinderella story: she was the youngest and most beautiful of the women, so they beat her down, treated her badly, and worked together to sabotage all her efforts to better herself and break free of their abuse. Then she met me. I have helped her establish healthy boundaries; I have also shown her a life plan that will give her a happy life as my wife, partner, and mother to our future children.

That said: having now read so many accounts online about the total nightmare of having a mother-in-law move into the household, I am determined to never let this happen. Instead, if my future MIL ever demands support from me and my wife, I will refuse and tell her to shack up with one of her other children, or her other family members. She is a threat to my marriage, my happiness, and my children.  As I write this it almost seems like a bad decision to marry my fiancee but I really do love her. She trusts me and relies on me to not only establish the boundaries but also to enforce them.

A few more interesting facts about my future MIL: she runs a successful business that is currently earning her $25K/month. Yet, last week, she literally stole her oldest daughter's identity (!) to open up a line of credit to pay for cosmetic dental work (!!). We estimate that my future MIL has about $500K in cash right now, and is not paying mortgages on her various real estate properties, banking all that cash as well. Yet she still will commit fraud affecting others, so that she can keep on hoarding those precious green dollars.

All that is fine, whatever, but knowing her she's just going to puss it all away partying around the world.  Then, later on, she'll play the dramatic victim card, claiming that she was always the doting mother who only ever loved her kids and worked so hard to provide for them.  I get pretty angry thinking about this because I know it's just a manipulative game for her... which is why I'm putting in the effort now to study the problem and make sure I'll be ready when the time comes.

I will not let her become a parasite on my life and destroy my marriage. My fiancee is the responsible one compared to her sister, and it's too early to tell what will happen with her younger brother. In order to protect my own family, I must assume that later in life her older sister will be a complete failure and thus their mother will come to me and expect us to let her move in. As I said above, I will never allow this. My wife and I will only take care of my own mother, who is neither money-hungry, a drug abuser/partier, or a hustler.

Having read the entire momresponds.com thread, I noticed that many of the confused parents here seem to think that because they are due respect for being parents, that they are also due forgiveness for an entire life's worth of mistakes, which should then result in their estranged children opening up their homes and bank accounts on demand. I've also read a ton of responses from moms who got divorced and don't seem to understand just how damaging that is to a child, or if they do, simply make excuses for it be blaming ex-husbands or their own parents.

Although I did see some posts from older parents who really do seem like innocent victims from kids who turned bad completely on their own, I don't think I saw one single response where an estranged parent showed any responsibility for what they did in creating these hateful children who want nothing to do with them later in life.  Usually I see a pattern where the older mother says she forgives the child for the child's faults, and therefore expects forgiveness for the parent's faults, without understanding that it's the parent who brought the child into this world.

This is not wisdom.

I also see a lot of older parents who just don't seem to be all that intelligent, talking about how they are trying to come up with ways to shock and guilt their adult children into remembering "how they were loved." People don't remember the good things, they remember the bad things. Similarly, these parents are, for better or worse, trying to avoid the bad things that happened, particularly the impact on their children of their own crushing depression, bad marriages, and neuroses, all the while insisting they are due so much respect and forgiveness that their children are monsters for not giving in to their demands.  Just as the kids used to think the parents were monsters for doing the exact same thing!

Apologizing to your bitter, angry children, after you've lived a long and full life full of mistakes, does nothing to change the financial reality that they will choose their own retirements, and the future of their own children, over bringing you -- the reminder of everything bad that ever happened, as well as a burden to everyday life -- into their homes. As a future parent myself, I'm going to do the best I can and if my own kids hate me and would rather see me on the street, well then, I'll be on the darn street.  I probably won't last long in that scenario and wouldn't want to anyway.

On the other hand I'm also very open to all these older parents who come here to tell their stories.  So many of them are complete disasters and the pain comes burning right off the page.  I feel tremendously for all of you, especially knowing that the entire story is never told. It's a terrible feeling to know that you've been abused by anyone, and it's equally bad to realize that the facts are staring you right in the face and are being ignored because of simple denial, ignorance, or worse.

The fact that so few moms come on these pages to express their regret for all the stupid, hateful, abusive things they did to their own children, and for the horrible choices they made, particularly in their choice of husbands, really seems to underline that kids who grow up hating their parents -- or simply becoming indifferent to them -- are justified in their feelings.

I've not had any kids yet and certainly don't want to give anyone the impression that I think I know everything (or anything) about parenthood.  I do, however, know about what it means to be a child and have a lot of anger toward parents. I figure I'll probably be sticking around this forum for quite awhile. Perhaps I can help represent the younger generations by responding to posts from the older parents who are here trying to understand their monster children...

Looking forward to discussing with you all!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 11:12:46 PM by pam1 »

Offline Doe

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Hi and welcome.

Amazing - a man!

A couple of things come to mind.  I've just been coming here a few months, but it seems that most of the moms that post here are trying to improve conditions somehow.  I think the moms like your FMIL don't bother - they don't recognize that they have done anything wrong, so they wouldn't seek out a forum like this.

One message that come through loud and clear from many people is "Move on with your life, make the most of the life you now have" and that's the best advice to your fiancee.

You said "My fiancee does not "hate" her mother and sister, but she resents them deeply and does not want them to keep dragging her down for the rest of her life. "

They will only drag her down if she allows herself to be dragged down - that's what we are telling each other all the time.  It's a process to get out of bad relationships and situations and rebuild your life.  We're basically encouraging each other to do that. 

Maybe your fiancee would like to join in the conversation, too?

Offline Pen

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Welcome, BTC. I'm not sure how to take your post. It almost sounds like research for a book or screenplay, but that's probably just because you've put a lot of thought into this issue. It's obviously very important to you.

I do hope you haven't come here looking for a battle with people who are already hurting due to estrangement. My sense is that your mind is made up regarding parents who are rejected by their adult children. Please continue reading with an open mind. I agree with Doe that the parents who don't care to improve relationships with their AC aren't here or on Mom Responds.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline pam1

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Welcome breakthecycle :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History in the category Open Me First.  Nothing wrong with your post, we just ask all new members to do so.

What does your future wife think?  Does she know how you feel and that you will not let her mother move in but your mother will?  I'm not sure if it's just the way you wrote it, but a lot of the decisions you've made would require your wifes approval as well.  Especially the plan having your own mother move in eventually, I really think that would require your future wife's explicit approval. 

Again, not sure if it's just how you wrote it so I'm curious as to know what your fiancee thinks of these decisions.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Ruth

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Welcome Breakthe cycle.  I guess you haven't been able to research all the threads, it would take ages I know, but if you had found many of my posts you would have been aware that I am your target.  My ds is over 30, and we are estranged as he will not have any contact, and it has been this way for a very long time.  Aside from my son's personality which I've described in detail here in the past, I have assumed all the responsibility for this, and I have only recently asked other mothers on the site if they saw their divorce(s) and other relationships as the core issue of estrangement with their children.   There were some who did and others didn't.  I've been reading and posting here for a couple of months at least, and aside from a very isolated post here and there, all I hear are mothers in deep pain about the loss of their children, and mothers who have many regrets and would crawl over broken glass if it would repair their relationship with their children. 

My own son became very beligerant and rejecting toward me from the time he was two, and I was a decent, hard working mother who lived a simple life.  I cooked supper every night, kept a clean home, took my children to church and school, and with my limited amount of insight and understanding of children and psychology, did the best I knew how to do in trying to teach my children to be respectful, honest, caring toward others.  I would do many things differently now, especially as regards discipline.  If it is 'blame' to say that my ds father was powerfully rude and bullying in front of his son, then just chalk it up to blame.

I did not ever feel the divorce was the crux of my son's estrangement, and I don't feel the burden of guilt and blame for that, because I am the only one who really knew what choices were open at the time, and it had to be a choice where no good option was open.  But I live with a deep sense of remorse for having made the choice to remarry, rather than remaining alone and nearby my son, at the very least just being a good example for him that he might reference later in life.  I failed terribly at this.  There is no one to blame but myself and I make no excuses for choosing my own new life over a less desirable life that would have paid off later. And the result has been the loss of my son.  Nothing in this life can ever make that up to me, or to him.

I gave up last year trying to make apologies or amends to my son.  If he had been born more with the personality of dd, he would desire relationship and rebuilding over vengeance and blame.  But he is not a need based person as far as relationships go, so nothing drove him back to me.  Therefore my efforts ceased and I realized when I put myself in his place that it could only add insult  to injury to keep trying to talk and reconcile.  It wouldn't matter how many hits I made now, because as far as he's concerned I only proved myself to be what he accused me to be even as a small child....not worth much.

And stepping away from that, as a wise but broken woman now, I say to you that you have some positive building blocks, and I applaud those focuses on loss prevention and future care.  But  you may need to learn more about listening, and about understanding that people come from a lot of places in their lives and it takes many of us a long long time to grow a soul.  You may need to learn to be a little less zealous and self confident.  The one thing that is for sure in life, is that just when you think you have figured it all out, it goes full circle and you become a small scared child again.  Love covers a multitude of sins. 

Thank you again for writing.

Offline Doe

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Well put, Ruth.

You may need to learn to be a little less zealous and self confident. 

This adjustment often comes after a person has children, don't you think?  You jump off the banks and into the current and your perspective changes.

Another thing I want to remind BTC of - you say you understand the perspective of the child who is angry toward parents.  Don't forget, some of us also have that perspective, along with the mother, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law experience - we're just further down the line.

Offline Ruth

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I'm sorry but one more thing I just don't understand,  this large amount of the post addressing MIL retirement/moving in.  I am baffled by this.  I personally have never taken a farthing from my own children, in fact I live always hoping and with frugality that I'll have at least a little something to pass on to my children after my decease, and never ever ever it it in my thinking that either would move me into their home to take care of me, the same as my own dear mother's thinking.  I feel no sense of entitlement for this even if I had been a great mother.  I would make arrangements in a county home, whatever it took but I can't relate to this and don't understand it.  I haven't seen other mothers on this site even alluding to this part of the topic. 

sesamejane

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hello and welcome btc,
I have to smile a little because I can remember saying many times to myself that I was going to "break the cycle" of the dysfunctional background I came from.  In my foo women/girls were not valued entirely with the exception of their sexual and housekeeping virtues.  One of my earliest memories is being molested by a man my mother left me with. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse continued until I left home at 16.  Needless to say, I was not thinking too clearly, and it took many years, probably well into my 30s until I was able to really be confident in some areas.  I had my son at 19.  I loved him very much and tried, with what little understanding I had, to demonstrate that love.  His father was severely disabled after a drunk driver hit him.  Brain damage, paralysis.  He lived a long time but was unable to help me in any way.  I remarried years later to a man who replicated in many ways my foo - he didn't like women much and took to substance abuse (which was also prominent in my foo), resulting in the sexual abuse of my ds.  You're right - I chose him, my former husband.  After our divorce (he pled 'no contest' in court and the case was adjudicated in contemplation of dismissal, meaning that if he didn't 'do it again' within a six months time frame and received counseling, then the charges were dropped)....so after the divorce, I refused to date until all my children were raised and out of colllege. I am now almost 60.  I worked very hard, loved my children with all I had, took every child care class I could find, went to college myself and earned a phd.  All my children are college graduates and are able to financially support themselves.  But, my ds several years ago took advantage of my demented and corrupt mother by taking her out of state wiht my dil and using her money to financially secure their own lives.  Then they left her there alone to die.  I had to try to pick up the pieces and take care of this old lady as I felt it was my duty.  I have not heard from my son or dil for over 5 years.  I don't think I want to hear from them either.  They use religion and their children as weapons against both sets of grandparents.

Yes, I was not a perfect mother.  In his early life, I did not know how to discipline nor were we financially stable.  I just did the best I could.  So...I don't know waht else to say except life is so much more complex than you can imagine just now it seems.  I applaud your wanting to btc - me too.  I did too want to btc.  In many many ways I did.  But life happens...and I guess you can't repair trauma in one generation.  Because I limited my life to just my children/work/school, I became emotionally dependent on them for nurturing I believe.  I loved reading to them, hugging them, cooking for them.  I spent many hours just watching them, loving their whole being.  My son and I were actually very close until he married my dil.  They became fundamentalist christians and  no one measured up of the people they really knew.  I have a magnet on my refrigerator "the only normal people are the ones you haven't met."  Perhaps I am too generous with being tolerant of others, but I would rather err on the side of grace and forgiveness. 

My story is similiar to many others who have posted here.  I wish you every good thing and hope your life and the lives of your family are blessed with health and good fortune! 

Offline Pooh

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Welcome BTC and glad to have a male on the board.  I will say a couple of things in response, but there is so much in your post that says to me, that because of your Fiance's experience with her Mother, you have already made up your mind about all MILs. 

If a child or adult only ever remembers the bad things in life, they will miss out on all the good things.  I had a great childhood, but there were bad parts too.  I choose to remember that life has both good and bad.  I choose to concentrate on the good.  If I dwell only on the bad parts, that's my fault.  My job is 75% wonderful, 25% terrible.  If I want to concentrate on that 25%, I would be miserable.

I will agree with you that most divorces are very damaging to children, but making a blanket statement that most women are at fault or blame the ex's is very generalizing.  We do not generalize here.  We strive to recognize that each person on this earth is an individual and every story is different.

You made some good points and I'm sorry your fiance' had/has such a needy Mother.  I agree that she needs to distance herself from such a toxic person and kudos to you for wanting to protect her.

I hope you take some time to go back and read many, many posts.  You will find here that the majority of MILs/DILs/DDs take responsibility for their part of the rift.   You will find women here that have overcome great odds to provide a better life for their children, sacrificing their own health and wellbeing to provide for them.   Instead of condemning them for their errors, I choose to applaud them for their successes.  That's my choice.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline forever spring

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Love you Sesamejane and Ruth. To come out tops after all of this - my heartfelt admiration!

Offline Begonia

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Breakthecycle:  Your post seems to mostly look at others.  On this forum we really look hard at our own behavior.  And I have found that the women here speak their truth.  I am not sure what it is that you want from posting here as it seems you have already diagnosed the problems in your GF family. I am a bit troubled by your tone and I also seem to detect some anger at parents.  Sure, there are a lot of parents who don't care but you won't find them here. 

I do believe that every person, man or woman, wants those idealistic families where this and that will never happen.  Life is messy.  Most of the time stuff will happen, we can't control others.  And you certainly cannot control your GF or her mother or her sisters.

You say: As I write this it almost seems like a bad decision to marry my fiancee but I really do love her. She trusts me and relies on me to not only establish the boundaries but also to enforce them.

This is honest on your part.  To put it as gently and as candidly as I can, I will say that it will be your GF job to sort out her family dynamics.  As much as you want to fix things it usually will not work.  And it is very wise for you to see the reality of what you will be marrying into and subjecting your future children to. 

My DS and DD both married into very difficult families.  They spend all their time sorting through those issues and as a result there is no time for me in their lives.  They love me and I them, but because my DS has a wife "who relies on him" he has had to distance himself from me, hence my involvement on this forum because it breaks my heart.  Similar story with my DD who does everything for her DH who has two children from previous relationships who suddenly surfaced with a zillion problems. 

You say that your mother is a good mother and that your father left when you were a toddler.  That's a tough deal for both you and your mom and it's easy to see how you became a protector.  Same with my son. 

Be sure you have someone you can rely on to talk to about this situation.  I admire your courage in posting here.  This is a very caring forum where we are very gentle and kind to each other and try our hardest not to blame or throw too many stones.  It is a healing place and I hope you can find some of that as you read through posts. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline forever spring

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Thank you Begonia for this well-considered, thoughtful and sympathetic post. It shows your true wisdom for seeing things from both sides and explained so well what this forum is about and the concerns of people who are part of it. I am touched and feel more at home here than ever. Thank you!

Offline Begonia

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Chelms:  How nice of you to post this....I treasure your comments so much, so this is dear to my heart!!  Thank you again. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline Nana

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Sesame and Ruth:

I too as Chelms....admire and love you more now that I know your story. 
You both made me cry.....
I am very emotional at this moment for problems far less complicated than yours.....
 
Let me share something with you.  When my oldest daughter was 4, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes and this changed our lives drastically.  About two years ago...(she was about 25) she had some complications for over a year and had to get body therapy to help her regain the strength in her muscles and bones and be able to walk again.  Neuropathy (spell?)  On top of all these, she had a facial paralysis.  She had just finished medicine school.  Due to all this....she suffered a one-day depression (she is so positive) and that day she broke down crying and asked "Why me, Mom"...  I didnt know what to answer..... I was also crying lol.  So I said "Daughter....I am sure that there is something great for you after.... God is preparing something beautiful for you"    Because Ladies...I have to believe that all the suffering cannot be just thrown away...that it cant be that some of us have it all made....and some other have to have a hell of a life (even if we made bad choices).   

You are strong women who have walked a long way.... and making wrong decisions is not a reason to be crucify.  You deserve better.  And you will have better.  Will keep you in my prayers...I promise

Love you
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline bdwell1904

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BTC- wow I may respond greater later, but it has been 2 weeks and you haven't acknowledged the ladies thoughts so will wait and see if you return. In the event that you do my greatest thought is to get counseling...for you , your F, and both of you together. It can only clear a path for what you seem to want for your life. My other thought is that we all get our way of doing things from those who came before- good or bad. I've never met anyone who set out to ruin either their own or their childrens lives. Life happens and sometimes ppl just don't have the skills to cope. They learn through trial and error. Sometimes no matter what choice you make it will be wrong for someone else. I wish you the best and thank -you for your perspective.

 Because Ladies...I have to believe that all the suffering cannot be just thrown away...that it cant be that some of us have it all made....and some other have to have a hell of a life (even if we made bad choices).   

 making wrong decisions is not a reason to be crucify.
Nana - at the time any of us made a decision we didn't think this is a wrong decision but I'm going to make it anyway lol . we did what we thought was the best at the time. I agree with you making a decision right or wrong is not a reason to crucify.