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Our son's hatred for us for a promise not kept

Started by Louey0727, October 31, 2009, 12:04:56 pm

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My husband inherited a cottage from his brother that was owned for over 40 years. My husband registered the cottage in both of our names.  We have three children, one son who loved the cottage.  As my husband was getting up in age and had health issues, the cottage and our home was becoming to much for us to handle, physically and money wise.  Without thinking more clearly, when we first inherited the cottage, we told our son that 'when we pass on' the cottage would be left to him and our home and other monies, would be left to our daughters.  At the time we said this, he was coming up to the cottage alot and enjoyed it very much.  We also stated verbally and in writing, that in the event that we need money to fix up our home (we were only on pensions) that we have to sell the cottage, he agreed.  Well the time came when it was getting to be a burden, financially and physically and we sold the cottage.  Prior to the sale, my son told ME that he would never forgive ME if the cottage was sold and where in the will did it state that I also owned the cottage and I reminded him that your DAD and I have been married for nearly 50 years and Dad wanted the cottage in both of our names and we need to sell because we cannot afford it Any longer  Well true to his word he has banned us from the grandchildren and tells everyone that he has disowned us and that we screwed him out of money and we are dead in his eyes.  This happened nearly three years ago and we did have some contact up until a year ago but he gets mad at ME FOR everything and now he has completely disowned us and he continues to tell people about the cottage situation.  I am at loss, I know we should have given all the children something after the sale of the cottage, but the other two children, said straight it was your cottage.  I have to say at this point, that we did do and give money to all the children since the sale of the cottage, but not in a lump sum.  we gave large amounts on birthdays, Christmas etc., along with the grandchildren. How can we get over this complete alienation from our son.


My son is not married to the mother of his children.  She is 19 years younger than him and there has always been a strain between her and the family members from the very beginning.  I have tried to reason it out, due to her age and her insecurities from her childhood.  We have welcomed her from the start but she had a hard time to even communicate with us.  When we were on good terms with my son, his first born, was the love of my life.  When he was born there was a instant connection and throughout the five years, we hit it off so well and the love from him was so gratifying.  My son worked out of town quite a bit and his mother worked just down the street as a waitress, and I babysat 4 times a week, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.  I loved every minute of the time.  I will call her my DIL for the sake of not saying HER, she would come home from work and not say a word to me and just wave a hand and say Thanks.  I did not complain, as I wanted to see my grandson.  My son had two children after, and my DIL quit work and stayed home with the younger children.  I would call and ask for my grandson to come over and he would come over 3-4 times a week.  My son would come over with all the children and told me that she would not come over, because she has too many issues with me????? I asked him to please talk to her and we could get together and discuss what her issues are.  He spoke to her and she said she was not interested and the story goes on and on.  Finally my son exploded over a little matter and stopped seeing us completely.  He told his partner (who he is not longer with) that in his eyes were are dead.  I cannot believe that his grudge is over the sale of the cottage, as her was never a materialistic person.  I miss my grandson so much, the other children I did not get to know to well as all the problems started when they were babies and we saw less and less of the children. My son has told a few people (which of course gets back to us) that he has disowned us and they are shocked at his behaviour as they know how close we all were at one time.  How do you mend a broken heart.  I swear if my son came to the door my arms would open wide - - but not my husband.  He said enough is enough, we have been good parents and and do not deserve this kind of treatment and said he will never forgive our son. I must add, that my son and husband were partners in a renovation business and my husband was very fair with him and sometimes he did not take any portion from the job, so my son could support his family in a good manner.


Bless your heart, I'm so sorry.  That's a hard situation.  It seem as though your son has a sense of entitlement here.  This may sound harsh but you don't owe him anything.  I mean really what can he expect?  You need the money for your old age.  Would he like to foot the bill for your elder years.  I hope your other kids treat you with respect.  I've seen this in my family and my DH's family, this sense of entitlement.  I've seen my mom spend her entire IRA on my sister's many rehab's and legal fees(drug and criminal issues).  You deserve better than that.  You'll be in my prayers.


Dear Just2beaccepted:
You mentioned something very interesting in your response.  That your mother had spent her entire savings on your sister's problems.
We have a daughter who has a alcohol problem and we have spent quite a bit of our savings on her, as she is now disabled due to brain damage from drinking.  She is a wonderful woman with a severe addiction.  We have not regretted one cent we have spent on her over 3 years, but I am wondering if this one of the issues my son has with me.  It has been me that goes and stays with her when she is sick from drinking or is in the hospital.  It is me that lugs down a car load of supplies for her, as her disability cheque does not cover very much.  This is another issue that I am dealing with right now - - to stop enabling her.  Like I said, she is a wonderful, loving person and I know she tells my son what I do for her.  When I say "I", my husband is aware of what I do, but due to his bad health, he does not go to her place as it effects him greatly.  Could my son feel that this is where I am spending the money.  At the same time, we have been there for our children through the bad times, helping them financially and my son has been helped, I believe more than my other children.  I find it very hard to believe this would bother him, but you never know


Oh gosh, I think maybe you've found some answers here.  Your last post certainly opened up some possibilities.  My mom and I have always been close but the stuff she's done for my sister has put a strain on our relationship.  This has been going on for over ten years.  I used to get really mad but now I've accepted it.  My mom even gives money to my sister's husband, but luckily he was arrested for helping his brother mug somebody with a weapon.  Hopefully he'll be sent to prison for a long time and not living off my mom anymore.  The anger and resentment can run pretty high on my part.  Especially when my mom drops little hint to me about helping her out financially when she gets old because she's spent any safety net on my sister.  Which that scares me as well because my husband is very frugal and we're trying to figure out ways to save for retirement in this new down turned economy.  My husband knows about all the money etc., regarding my mom.  I'm so afraid that would damage my marriage if I had to take care of my mom's finances.  She's a great lady but very irresponsible with her money.

Of course there's no way to know your situation but I wonder if there's some resentment on your son's part.  He may see you as an enabler, they way I see my mom.  I still see her and talk to her frequently but I don't see her as much because my husband go tired of me coming home crying about all of it.  Plus she's starting to try to guilt me into taking care of her.  I think she also wants me to take care of my sister when my mom dies.  I said, "oh yea she'll transfer from laying on your couch all day to laying on mine."  I know my husband wouldn't go for that so that's out of the question.

I really think you may have found something here.  Have you considered counseling?  And maybe asking your son to go?  I bet the flood gates would open if you did.  I went to counseling over my IL's rejection of me and the crap my mom has put me through regarding my sisters many many problems.


Oh, I'm so disheartened with people!  The selfishness is awful.  I have a friend whose husband has a twin brother.

The twin stole everything his dying Mother had.  I feel terrible for them. The brothers do not speak and to be honest, I wouldn't speak to the low life either! 

People's hearts are so hardened that nothing surprises me anymore. 



Bless your heart! I sure don't understand kids these days.It almost seems like the better we treat them, the worse they treat us.

Our family was very close too and even my siblings ask me " What happened?" and say they just cannot believe my son would have turned on me the way he did.
I honestly believe they were brainwashed but I do realize that I have to come to grips with the fact that it was not all the DIL and he has a mind of his own. I hope that somehow and someway we can either fix it or learn to live with how it is ( in peace ). I do hope your situation gets better and please know that we are all in this together.


Thank you everyone for your responses and support.  I did not write to get sympathy but the support and knowledge that I am not alone was my prime reason for talking about this.
I will never understand the situation as we were all a very close family going back 7 years.  Things changed and cannot believe that my son holds such anger (mostly at me) and has disowned us.  Over money or the cottage?  I never brought the children up to be selfish or materialistic, I always made them share and be kind hearted.  I was very proud of them growning because of the qualities they exhibited to others, sharing and kindness.  I guess, I can analyze this till the day we die and I cannot understand what happened, but I have gone to conselling and have been told (just like at Al-Anon) LET GO....LET GOD.  Sometimes it works, but then some kind of drama reappears or remarks are made and we hear about them and we are back to square one.  I have been so tempted to contact my son and ask for a meeting to discuss things, but something tells me, not to do this, as he is so hot headed now and he changes the actual events.  This I know, because over the last 6 years he has told me off about little things and I am the one who calls and tries to smooth things by inviting them over for a meal or asking to see the grandchildren.  Everything goes well for a while but it has been more severe since all the happenings over the cottage.  I look forward to ev erones comments on how they have learned to deal with similar stories.
Regards to everyone.


Dear Louey,
It is the hardest thing to deal with.  I have been to counseling too..and found it not helpful.  One of the counselors told me that son did not love me. (us). He told me that if he did love me there is no way he could let his wife treat me this way. I think other counselors are probably better.  I guess you have to keep paying money till you land on one who is not so cruel. 

Oh! I thought I'd die on the way home from that meeting.  I actually dropped my cell phone on the way out I was so distraught. 

We too had a fun loving home, not perfect, I'm sure but one you'd like to be in.  I keep telling myself that there was something wrong here for him to marry someone like her.  I am my worst critic....it really upsets my husband for me to sit and dig up everything I can find that we did wrong and blame us for this.

I think all of us are trying to figure this out and don't really know how to do that.  The heartbreak is way too much for a Mother to deal with.  To have this child and then to lose him/her is like a death but you don't bury them.  They live but in a place you can't touch them.

(I know that I'm dramatic when I speak, sorry! but the people who love me say that's part of my charm. I hope it's not offensive to anyone.)

We're just going to have to keep writing on this online journal ( wisewomenunite.com ) till we can figure something out. 

Heart to heart!!!!! 


Dear chickiebaby:
I truly believe that the DIL's have a big influence over our sons but at the same time they have to examine their loyalties - - which rarely happens.
I do not know what hold the wives have on our sons?  I can even think back to my brothers' whom I love dearly and am very close to, their wives were mean and very nasty to my mother.  My mother was like a saint, always smiled, never complained to my brothers' about their wives actions.  She took everything in stride to keep harmony in the family, we always had wonderful holidays together, because of my mother's tolerances.  Sadly to say, my Mom died at the age of 60 years old from a aneurysm (not sure of spelling)?  Then lo and behold my SIL's were pulling their hair out and wailing like babies, that they missed her so much, and they lied how much they relied on her advice and that they talked continually on the phone!  To late for their phony regrets, and I don't blame them as much for their jealously and insecurities, as I blame my brothers, for not standing up like men and tell  their wives to behave, as this is their mother.  Until this day, 32 years later, it is hard for my brothers' to talk about Mom, without breaking down.  Again too late for regrets and by the way nothing was the same after Mom died, both brothers moved far away and the holiday get to-gethers never took place again, as their wives never took their place in rotating the holiday meals. I tried continually to keep the traditions going, but the wives always were sick or the weather was too bad (which is true here in the north) to travel to my place.We are all civil to each other, but I wonder if these women ever have regrets.  Also, they all had children but never prepared for holidays. My husband and I also made the long trek to see my brothers and SIL's in good weather as I had the need to see my brothers'.  Life goes on, but boy what a waste of putting a beautiful woman, like my Mother, through such heartaches.  I send all my love and good wishes to mothers' who are hurting this moment.


I'm so sad about your Mother, Louey.  I don't want to come to the end of my life with regret.  I can't imagine walking in your SILs shoes~ it must be a common problem that plagues mothers of sons. 

The SIL's are terribly territorial, like a cat, a really mean, vicious cat.  Can you imagine having your life end and knowing it's ending with the fact that you've cause nothing but heartache for a good person like your Mother?

That's what they will have on their plate.  Of course, if they are like a lot of young people, it might not hurt as much as it would us.  Their "boundaries", you know.  Their lives might end but their boundaries will live on.  Such a trophy!

I'm so sorry!!! 


I've been thinking about all of us and our situations. I know I want an explanation for mine that makes sense and helps me either heal and move on or helps me solve it so I can mend and rebuild our relationship. Someone once told me that 'dealing with another person's crazy behavior is crazy-making,' and I think I'm getting there. None of this makes sense! I go over it and over it, trying to get a handle on it. Maybe some you feel the same, like the little things that are setting these people off are ridiculous and we have to suffer for it.

Parent-child conflict has been the stuff of myth & legend for thousands of years. Shakespeare got his best material from family conflict, so I know it's not limited to this generation of young people, but it does seem more prevalent now (or else we're aware of it 'cos it's happening to us, like noticing all the pregnant women when we're pregnant.)

I just hope my poor husband can survive my mood swings - hysterical laughter over the absurdity of the accusations one minute, and crying over the tradgedy of it all the next. Maybe there's a book or screen play in this for someone!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I think other counselors are probably better.  I guess you have to keep paying money till you land on one who is not so cruel. 

Yes, I would say keep looking if you don't jive w/ the first counselor you go to.  Its kind of of like having a special relationship with someone, you need a counselor you can connect with.  Its not like your dentist or doctor where you go in and see them for five minutes and they throw pills at you.  With a counselor you're working on the most complex part of you, your brain/emotions.

I may not be able to relate to the fractures adult child/mother relationship but I do know what its like to have a close family and then it become fractured.  In our family it was just two people that caused the fracture.  Both of them suffering mental breakdowns or illness and/or drug/alchol abuse.  It fractured the family because everyone in our family had to take sides.  The way I dealt with it was by not going around these two people anymore.  Holidays are the hardest for me because thats a time to spend with family but DH and spend most holidays alone now.  I've thought about taking a trip somewhere but I was afraid of booking airline tickets and then the weather ending up being crappy so we have yet to attempt that one. 

As to dealing with it.  I've tried to force myself to accept that what I cannot change.  I can't make my sister treat me with respect and not do drugs or marry a man with a rap sheet nor can I keep my uncle who was like a father to me from being sexually attracted to me.  It was hard but I had to let these people go.  Its difficult at times but I try to look at the positives in my life.  I have my health, a job I like, a sweet DH, and furry sweet canine children that I wouldn't trade anything for.  Its just that missing out on a close family that I miss terribly.  The thing is if I had never experienced a close family I wouldn't know what I'm missing but I did experience it and it was great.  I keep thinking that the more time passes the easier it will get or the closeness and happiness our family once shared will dissipate from my memory.  My goal now if to concentrate on making new memories that I can smile upon in my old age.  I keep telling myself that close family I once had is now apart of my past, its my history. And I know that I have to leave it there and not pine over it anymore because all it does is make me sad.  So that's how I deal with my fractured family.


Dear Penstamen and J2b,
So true, so true what both of you are saying.  It does seem like the highth (I am trying to spell heighth but I can't)  of insanity to go over and over every little detail of this and never having a conclusion

Somebody shoot me, please!!

I did go to a good counselor a few times. She got another job, though so I had to quit.  She told me that no child should have to endure what I did.  She said that what I feel now when I'm hurt is exactly how I felt at age 7 when my father told me my Mother was dead.  She was wonderful.

I realize that I'm ruining my life going over and over it. This little family was all I had.  My life as a child was a tragedy. It has so affected my health and my husband's.  Of course, men are not as broken about things like this but mine gets emotional when he says: "I gave them my whole life".  He never cries, though.  He says that she (DIL) will never know from him that she has hurt him.  He will not give her that pleasure.

I want answers too, Penstamen.  I've got to either release it, like J2b says or die. There's no stopping it, though. 

Yes, a play, a hit on Broadway would be perfect. "My Life"...the story about a Mother who lost her life to her Daughter in law.  I think it would close the same day.  The DILs would throw popcorn at it. 


I did go to a good counselor a few times. She got another job, though so I had to quit.

When you say she got another job, is she still a counselor??  If she is you could follow her to whatever clinic or practice she now works for, that is if she still accepts your insurance. 

I'm a firm believer in counseling.  My DH doesn't care for it, he thinks it takes too long.  But men are logical and want to fix things quickly and logically, but family/people problems can be so complex.  Sometimes its not about fixing the problems but learning how to cope and get up each morning and not feel the sting of these family issues.  I always feel better when I walk out of their office.  I've not been in a long time because I feel like I have entered acceptance mode but it still makes me sad, mainly during holidays. 

One special memory that I have that is no longer is when my mom and I used to go out to my aunt and uncles house.  me, my mom, and aunt would sit at their kitchen table and talk for two hours, just girl talk.  I miss that so much.  We did that for years, even when I was a teen.   But then when my uncle turned into a dirty old man horny toad, I had to make a decision.  Continuing that special kitchen table time and checking my dignity at the door or walking away with some dignity; I chose the latter.  When the three of us girls would be sitting at the table my uncle would come in and pull up a chair really close to me and have his hands all over me.  It was disgusting.  He asked me if I was turned on by his smell.  I thought, "what the heck am I supposed to say to that one?" His SIL and wife are sitting right there!  I actually considered asking this man to walk me down the aisle because he was a father to me when my own father was too busy chasing younger women to be a father.  So it was such a blow for him to become this way with me.

I may have to let go of those memories but I've made new ones that are special.  I snorkeled for the first time and that was amazing!  And then those times where my DH and I rent a movie and get Subway sandwiches.  And I plan to continue to make special memories.  Just my thoughts.