Author Topic: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...  (Read 4038 times)

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Offline oliver

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son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« on: October 20, 2012, 06:44:13 PM »
My son in law became furious when I told him that the reason that I don't visit when he's there is because I am very uncomfortable with the way that he speaks to my daughter (controlling, and usually mean).
I enjoy my grandchildren, but knew that spending time hearing that tone (in addition to dealing with ongoing rudeness to me) would compel me to become uncorked, and it seemed wiser to remove myself- it's his home, and my daughter's choice to put up with it.  So, I only visited when he wasn't there.
Nonetheless, he insisted on "laying the cards on the table", so I did.
Now, much to my daughters dismay, he now refuses to let me see the kids, despite agreeing that I am a great grandmother.
I am finding myself getting annoyed with my daughter for her inaction, but am aware of a serious control issue going on, and don't want to cause her further distress by complaining about it.  I fear his actions toward her when no one is around.
I provided a (fake) apology to him, to get rid of this nonsensical banishment, but he remains unmoved.
I'm lucky to get along well with my ex (their grandfather), so he makes sure that we (grands and I) have weekly contact, including me in their outings, and has made clear that this behavior on the part of my son in law is reprehensible.
Still, I worry for my daughter, and wonder what on earth kind of person would use their own kids to "punish" a beloved gramma.  Makes no sense- I have no history of intrusion, just chose to keep a distance from him.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 07:31:07 PM »
Welcome - We can never make sense of the senseless. My take is that it's an issue between your daughter and son in law. By taking exception to the way he treats her…you probably declared war. That's her job…when she's ready. I don't blame you for refusing to watch their pathology (she is a contributor)…I just think you gave him a loaded gun by agreeing to to put your cards on the table, as though he was a reasonable man. I wouldn't treat him with respect and honestly…but then, that's just me. Sending love...
"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

Offline Pen

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 10:41:13 PM »
Sorry to hear you're going through this painful and confusing time. I agree w/Luise that it is between your DD & SIL. Unfortunately you will be concerned about your DD & GC because of what you have witnessed in the home. I hope it works out for all.

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

Offline Doe

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 08:19:28 AM »
If he could get you to tell him your strategy, knowing how controlling he is, then I can easily see how your daughter is captured by him.  Maybe the situation is as is should be for a while.  You're still in touch with your daughter and you get to see the GK.  Maybe staying away from 'his' home is the right thing after all.

I know how it is to have an AC living with an angry control freak - it can make  you crazy if you let it.

Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 08:20:12 AM »
thank you,  luise and pen.
Painful is the right word- had no this type of pain would be attached to those amazing little people- and that my own daughter would be unwilling/unable to stand her ground on this.  As mentioned, it would be a bit different if I saw her husband, but I can count on one hand the occasions in the last five months (I just returned to their town, having brought my daughter up here) that I've shared his space.  Just don't want to reach a point where it's so painful that it's easier to walk away from all of them- that would be a hard bell to unring, and those kids and I adore eachother.
Your words are appreciated...


Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 08:22:25 AM »
Wow, Doe- that didn't occur to me.  Not sure if it was strategy or self preservation, but you're right.

Offline Doe

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »
Just don't want to reach a point where it's so painful that it's easier to walk away from all of them- that would be a hard bell to unring, and those kids and I adore each other.

There are so many gradient steps between 'all in' and 'walking away completely'.  If you can get by without laying down an ultimatum, there's still hope that they won't.  What I've found is that banal conversation with the adults goes a long way in situations like this - the weather, good movies, good food.  AC don't seem to want to hear how we think they could be living their lives better!  Can't understand why... ::)

Offline Begonia

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 09:20:42 AM »
Welcome, O.  I have a similar situation.  I, too, worry about my daughter because of the control SIL has.  Like you, I worry about what goes on.  But, the WW are correct when we have to step back.  Our DD are with these guys for some reason. Hard to step back. They protect them and cater to them and perhaps neither SIL or DD  want us to see what goes on behind the scenes. Good that you can see your GK, that's so important for them.  Keep posting.
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 09:23:18 AM »
Thanks, Doe.  Initially, and pre-some-thought, it was easy to "blame" my daughter for allowing him to get away with this.
Post thought, in light of the difficulties she's having at home, drawing that line and judgement seems counter productive- she doesn't need to feel worse about herself.  While it's very hard (and harder still when she calls daily, with unsolicited reassurances "I love you so much, Mom") to not try to extricate her from this situation altogether, the bottom line is that for now, the best I can expect is to see the kids through their grandfather, who has said that no one is going to dictate rules to him (he watches the kids daily for them gratis) and keep my mouth shut!
I just didn't see this coming- sorting it all out, and this site is hugely helpful.  Thank you.
My daughter is an "only", and it's very hard not to be very worried.

Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 09:27:24 AM »
Thank you, Begonia- unfortunately, I had a taste of what goes on behind the scenes, and it completely unnerved me and compelled me to just want the three of them out of there (I have 2 grands).  I appreciate your insight.

Offline Doe

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 07:31:14 AM »
O-

What I've settled for is light banter with my son - texting, email and finally, I feel I can call him if I want to.  I can't know where he lives, where he works, news about GC or their lives, but we can talk about other things.  It's bizarre to me, but this is how much he can handle and my interest in being a part of his family is waning daily.  I don't feel the necessity to worry about his or share my feelings, hopes, dreams, issues - so it's working for now.

It sounds like your daughter really wants you in her life and that's something to build on.  Seeing the GK - that's handled.  The glass looks half-full from this vantage point!

Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 07:56:41 AM »
Doe, but for this website, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this thing would have escalated to the point of no contact with my daughter- he's already gotten us halfway there (she no longer visits, and used to almost daily- she works near my place and used to come for lunch).  She still calls daily.
Having read some of the truly horrific behaviors by sons/daughters in law with respect to grandchildren and their grandparents, I think that the direction I was headed, with my own inability to get over the to-the-core insult (and accompanying pain) of being banished was an end result of being totally shut out.
I wouldn't have seen or spoken with any of them had I not visited this site, because my anger was overtaking common sense, and it was just a matter of time before my fury was expressed to him- that would have finished me off!
As it is, I'm just going to take what I have, and wait this out- while I'm disappointed that my daughter seems to support his damaging behavior, she needs to work through her own issues with him and that can't be easy.
You're right: as it is, their grandfather welcomes me any time he's with them; my daughter is still in touch daily, and I don't have to see him at all, by his own choice, not my choice (and open for criticism, as was the case).
I understand exactly what you're saying about waning interest- it did occur to me that withdrawing altogether would be less painful that feeling the daily insult of imposed limitations, for no legitimate reason.
I am so sorry that your own son has instigated such response from you, but I get it.  Light banter can evolve into much more, but not until he's ready- honestly, your patience is remarkable.  It's so tempting just to write it all off, but as parents, we just can't.  You have my prayer/hope that he figures out that what he's doing is just WRONG.
IT'S JUST HORRIBLY WRONG.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 08:04:08 AM »
O - You have made a remarkable turnaround. My hat's off to you. Nothing has changed…and everything has. Thanks for sharing with us and letting us share with you. For many of us, there is a lot wrong going on in our AC's lives that only they can right. Sending love...
"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

Offline oliver

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 08:24:15 AM »
The hat's off are from me, to you- feeling less alone, with advice that is exactly right, has preserved relationships that are so much more precarious than I'd ever realized.  Thank you so much to all that took the time, and had the compassion, to respond.  Thank you is an understatement.

Offline Pen

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Re: son in law wants to be notified if I am going to see grands...
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 09:23:14 PM »
Oliver, you are welcome. Pay it forward! :)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb