Author Topic: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?  (Read 1215 times)

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kathleen

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Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« on: April 27, 2010, 08:18:38 AM »
Dear Friends,

I am still fairly new to this list so forgive my computer errors if they occur.

We are a retired couple effectively cut out of our son's life and that of our only grandchild.  The only time we are invited to see them are for what my husband calls "state occasions" where there are fifty or more people attending, primarily her family and their friends.  During these occasions my son never spends any time with us and my grandchild is overwhelmed with people wanting to spend time with her during the event.  The last birthday party we attended my DIL let my granddaughter open presents from her family; when it got to ours, she said there were too many and the little girl could open no more.  MY DIL's mother was right there, of course, supervising the whole thing, and I finally took a stand and said, "If I cannot watch my granddaughter open her gifts, this will be the last time I will come to one of these events."  So they relented and allowed her to do it.  As it turned out, it was the last event we attended.

My DIL quickly started a competition going and of course we always were going to lose.  My husband kept thinking he could buy love, so he gave them a large down payment for their new house.  We have never once been invited to spend any time there alone.  Her parents---who contributed not a dime toward the house---quickly moved in to the guest bedroom as permanent residents so there was never any room for us, so they claimed.  A few years back I sent a very courteous and warm email, after reading an article by an expert, asking them to trade off holidays---one with us and one with her family, and the immediate response was a hostile NO.  Every event must include all her relatives.

Every so often---say, once every two years---when she gets around to it, she sents a little message, "Say hi to YOUR parents," to my younger son, usually at a time when she is planning yet another one of her events and she'd like us to show up and reassure everyone she's a wonderful DIL.  My younger son is a teacher and loves kids and is wonderful to them (parents love him,) and it hurts him that he cannot see his niece.  She just did this again.  It's the only communication in a year outside of the collection agency that send us a demand to pay her cell phone bill of over $1,000.  She puts him firmly in the middle, refusing to communicate directly to us. 

There's much more here but my question is, at this point, should I write to my son and explain some of the issues?  It really doesn't matter too much, because my husband got legal advice two years ago to end their rights to our estate. The situation is so deteriorated I doubt it ever will change. I know for sure the money train in their direction is stopped for good.  I would just like her, at this point, to stop jabbing my youngest son.  You want to leave us alone and cut us out of our son's life and our grandchild, so do it, but do it completely.

Have any of you sent letters?  Is this a bad idea?

Thanks to everyone on this list and to you, Luise, for providing it.  It's incredibly helpful to be able to communicate on these issues with you who have been through it.  As I write this, and read your posts, I see how outrageous it all is.  It's really absolutely amazing.

Kathleen




Offline Scoop

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 09:43:19 AM »
First off ...  Welcome!

Then I have to say, please don't send a letter.  I can bet that something you write will be misconstrued,  or else a 'tone' will be read into it and it will be used as evidence against you.

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm one of the DIL's here with MIL problems.

My suggestion to you would be to work on your relationship with your son.  Call him, e-mail him, keep in touch with him.  Treat him like an acquaintance that you want to turn into a friend.  Be pleasant, interested and interesting - and make him WANT to have a relationship with you, as 2 adults with a lot of shared history.  Then let him bring you into his family (yes, you're already his family, but he's not acting like it, so he's likely not 'feeling' it).

Good luck my dear, I think you're going to need it.

bettylou

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 11:08:26 AM »
I sent my dil a note and she had fun making fun of me with it on facebook.  It really hurt me.  People overthink when they read stuff like that and it will be out there forever!  Not worth it.  I know your intent is good, and I know your pain.  I don't have any answers except I would not send it

Sassy

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 02:17:01 PM »
I don't think such a letter will have the results you hope.

Initiating small but consistent gestures for better communication with your older son seems to be most likely venue to creating good will. 
There's not much about your older son written, but thinking estates, inheritance, past or future gifts, loans if they have already been repaid or forgiven, should probably not be part of the conversations with him, if they are to stay pleasant. 

Quote
I would just like her, at this point, to stop jabbing my youngest son.


Your younger son is an adult, and a teacher, so it is hard to coordinate his relationships for him at this point.   He could follow your good example and make efforts directed towards establishing a closer relationship with his older brother, so he can see his niece.   These men know each other's phone numbers . You're right that his relationship as a man, with his brother and his sisterIL, should not be made contigent on your relationship with them.  Paradoxically (or not), the best way to probably communicate that to DIL is not to involve yourself in their adult relationships.   

I hope that your son's heart begins to melt a bit.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 02:25:05 PM by Sassy »

Offline Nana

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 02:30:48 AM »
I am sorry to see what your are going through.  I wouldnt write a letter because it is true things could have a bad outcome.  But I would and I did speak to my son once about everything that was going on so that he would know from me why where we cutting relationship with dil.  He knew perfectly well because he had seen the different treatment dil were having from us (the husbands familty).    We were also trying to buy her love by helping them out with any financial difficulty they had.  We paid more or less 60 percent of the labor cost (of our two grandchildren).  We paid for a garage for their house, we would buy a lot of clothing and toys and what not for our grandson (granddaughter wasnt born then), you name it.  I even bought nice expensive clothes for dil for special occassions (and she brought them back to me ja ja, telling that they didnt fit and didnt care to exchange them in the store).   What I did learn from dil is that when they say no, it is no.  And you cant buy their affection.   Things did finally work out for me and my family and I thank God because I was in total distress and depression.    I think that she finally realized that we were there only to help them out (we never visited or gave advice, or opinion for that matter).    I think that I needed to vent with my son and that is when things started to change.  Dil is not a bad person but I think daughters in law think that they have to build a wall against us. 

Once when I did have the opportunity to talk to her I told her all that I felt and I said to her that we all mil have the right to an opportunity, that it is not fair to be drawn away without at least testing us.   

I do hope  that you can vent this with your son because some of us women have to speak out.  I would have died if I didnt.     I had nothing from her, so what could I lose?   What I had were crumbs.  I deserved better.   I wanted more for me and my family.    May God Bless you



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

Offline alohomora

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 03:09:21 PM »
I've been mulling over your post. For the birthday gifts I have to say I can understand where they are coming from. I understand its nice to see your GD's happy face when she opens your gift but I think your comment about not giving her another gift if you can't see her open it was perhaps uncalled for. If my daughter was getting tons of gifts, I might do the same thing at some point and say, ok that's plenty, you can open the rest another time, just so that she learns to appreciate what she has instead of coming to expect and take for granted the dozens of gifts. My sisters have done this with their kids.

Personally, if my MIL sent me an email about switching holidays, I don't think I would take it very well either. Especially since we don't have a great relationship. I'd probably get offended and wonder why she thinks she can dictate what my family does for holidays. In fact, she did try to pull something like this, last year when DH and I spent our first chirstmas as a married couple with my family, she told me 'ok you get him this year but next year he comes home'. In my head I was thinking good luck with that. Since then we've let her know we won't be spending the holidays with their family this coming year (they live far away, and its too expensive to buy flights for us this year) and she took it very well and offered to come visit us in the summer instead. We were so pleased with her response we told her to extend her visit and stay a bit longer if she could.

Its hard - when there are hurt feelings on both sides, we take things as personal attacks when they're NOT. Then we get defensive and that leads to no good. And its all so frustrating, all we all want is time together. And we end up getting the short end of the stick.

I would do as some of the posters above have suggested. Don't send a letter saying 'well you did this you did that'. Just try and forge a friendly relationship and see if its reciprocated.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 03:12:05 PM by allohamora »

kathleen

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 03:55:38 PM »
Betty Lou,

Thank you so much for warning me about any letters I send being posted on Facebook.  That is exactly something my DIL might do.  I had no idea; I don't think that way.

Kathleen

cremebrulee

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 03:56:25 PM »
I sent letters to both my son and DIL when we were not getting along, and a lot of what I said in those letters were misunderstood.  I don't think it wise to send letters, b/c just like on forums, people never see it the way it was meant to sound...

when you write words, people cannot see your face or emotion, they only see words and interrupt those words depending on they're emotions and the way they see things...unfortunately, expression in the written word is always so misunderstood...so if you want to talk to your son or DIL, I suggest you do it in person, so they can see and feel your sincerity....

When I finally sent my DIL another letter, all the anger and hurt was gone...the only thing that was important to me at that time, was not being right or pointing fingers, but resolving the issue...and that is the big difference, I took ownership for the things I knew I did wrong, and never once said, "you did this or that and it hurt me....and it has to be real and sincere...

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 03:59:42 PM by cremebrulee »

cremebrulee

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2010, 07:29:38 AM »
I have tried so many times to talk to my dil face to face.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, & I'm very emotional.  I do not use tears to get my own way, I cry because I am so heartbroken over dils treatment of me at times.  For me, the written word was better.  My dil & I comunicated via email, & we worked thro a lot of things.  My dil is very defensive, & did get angry at me, but I think she got what I was saying, & I got what she was saying, ( some stuff will never make sense to me), but I do try.  We don't do the email thing anymore.  I keep saying, & I believe it with all my heart, our sons are the key.  He read my emails with dil, & they discussed them together.  My hubby has also pointed out to son when he & dil are being unreasonable.  I do not put all the blame on my dil now, I did in the past, & I think that was a big mistake.  Our sons have to step up to the plate, they know their wives & their moms the best.  They can help make or break the mil/dil relationship !!

I would love to see all involved, go to counseling....not just you and your family but all of us who are having problems....it would be so much easier...
Anna, good luck...I hope everything works out for you always.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Should I sent a Letter to My Son?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 10:09:48 AM »
I would swear that in some way we all ARE going to counseling...here. It's totally amazing to me what we address and the progress that we often see. You are wonderful, compassionate...and yes, Wise Women!  :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher