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Should I butt out?

Started by gaylab, May 24, 2011, 03:05:36 pm

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Gaylab... I agree with you, the  young couple does need to get a handle on this unhealthy relationship or the basis of their marriage may not remain strong.

I have a rather similar situation, as my dil and her mother are inseparable and while they are not living in close proximity this does not prevent them from constant interaction.  There existence seems to revolve around the next time they will be together.  As in your case they have become so inseparable that we have not been able to see my son/dil without her families presence in approx two years.  Like your ds mine has commented on his concerns over the constant interference.  In their situation, my dil's extended family is often involved as well, father, sister, grandparents etc.

I did once tell my son that it was up to him to work this out.. but it became painfully apparent that his opinions were going to be overlooked, as more then anything he was outnumbered and made to feel that he was interfering with her NEEDS.  The problem lies with my dil, and I believe yours as well.  Until she is ready or willing to give her relationship with your son the attention it deserves there will be no change.  This unhealthy extreme attachment to her mother will continue to dominate not only their relationship but your relationship with your son and his future wife and daughter. You can hope that a little more maturity will make some positive changes,  in our case I sure haven't seen this, actually quite the opposite.

lancaster lady

Gaylab :
Welcome to WWU !

I think its a case of new Mom living next to her Mom , wanting company , help and reassurance with her new baby .
Your own son has to state his case of privacy and together time with his new family .
Any suggestions from you will look like you are interfering .while wanting to sort things for your son , its now his
family and he must be allowed to do this , which it looks like he already is trying to do .He will soon get
fed up with a house full of folk while wanting some quiet time , hopefully he will speak up to his partner .

You have already done more than enough to give them an excellent start , if he comes to you , by all means
voice your opinion .Don't become a grumpy grandma , then they will love having you there .
so an answer to your question , should I butt out ?....Yes , but be there for your son if he asks , when I ask my DS
'' How's things ?' , I either get ...'Fine ' or get a monologue of complaints .
So sometimes a simple question is all you need .


Ok hope I don't go to much of a rant here.  First of all OP reading your post I have to say something struck out at me you said DS talk to her about butting out.  First of all while I do agree this is not healthy I have to say how was it handled?  First of all i always follow rule of thumb your parents you deal with them.  I go to my DH not to the ILs because well I think DH can get a better handle on him then I can.  2nd young man sayng it I have to guess those might have been his words which truely put FMIL on defense mode.  Last DS cannot control what happens when he is not around.  So if he is at work and she is at home with the baby she visit who she wants.  When DS gets home he still can't control where she goes but he could tell her you go to your mom's I will stay here with the baby.  Or if FMIL is over then he could say "Hey you hang out with your mom taking the baby for a walk father DD time."  He also needs to sit down with your FDIL and explain how he is feeling.  And they can work it out.  Compermise is the key.  Its always going to be easier for FMIL to see the DGC because she is closer. 

Also she is a very young mother and young mom's like her have a real tentsey to rely more on their mother's.  Its why I think YA (young adults) need to wait to have children.  She is barley out of the teen years of life so I think cutting a little slack is importnant too.  Heck just the other day I was calling my DM over DD pooping problems.  She never has a problem but she was freaking out and would not go.  And when it came out I could see why.  I know a little TMI but she pooped on the floor and when I got tissue to pick it up it was rock hard.  It was Sunday and I had never delt with it before.  DH was just as confused on what to do for her.  So yes I called my mother because DSis had these problems growing up.   I think if DH's mom was alive I would still be going to my mother.  I mean its just how it works.  And sadly men just don't always go ask for help its not manly enough so its never going to be balanced.

I also think childcare is something no grandparent can do for the very reason of your kind of right she is going to think she has more control because she is in a sense helping raise this child.  I truely believe while many might not agree Daycare is the best because daycare is Switzerland.  As they are so young and DS is in school I think they really don't have a choice.  Daycare at least around here is very expensive.  So in this I don't think they really have a choice.

I can imagine this must be hard but I think you just need to breath take a step back and focus on GC.  Can you ask DS and FDIL to come visit you two?  Is that possiable?  Or met half way?


Welcome Gaylab.  I am going to answer your question because "been there...done the t-shirt".  The answer is yes, you have to butt out.  You are in good company here, because some of us can so relate.  I saw all the warning signs with my OS and I did have conversations with him about how unhealthy my FDIL's relationship was with her Mother, plus how unhealthy their own relationship was.  I was doing it because I loved him and thought I was helping.  It totally backfired on me, and he was telling FDIL everything I said, she was in turn telling her Mother everything, which caused major issues between all of us.  I have now not seen him in about a year and a half, and have not spoken at all in six months.  I see no hope in a relationship with them.

So as much as you know he is unhappy and that his wishes are being ignored, it is for him to work out.  Anything that you say in regards to this, could cause you some major issues, so tread carefully.  We can no longer make their decisions for them and all we can do is support their right to make their own mistakes.  I know it stinks, and I know it makes you feel helpless to watch what he is going through.  Let him know that you are always there for him, love him and are willing to listen. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I agree Pooh.  If you can't sleep at night please go talk to someone it might help you.  Sense you can't tell your DS how you feel maybe talking to someone professional would help you.


Gaylab, I've been in your DS shoes.  My parents kept their mouth shut for the most part, however if I was frustrated or upset they would point out things like how their parents treated them, how involved my grandparents were.  I think they were trying to illustrate without bad mouthing that something was wrong.

I think it's normal to be worried about a grown adult child in this situation, I remember our marriage counselor saying that she wouldn't know what to do if one of her children married into an extended family that behaved like that. 

So take it easy on yourself.  Be a soft landing spot, one day your DS will need it.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


She's very young and has a baby.  She probably is leaning on her mother quite a bit.  It's her mom.  I know this may not be what you want to hear, but it's possible your son doesn't mind as much as you think.  You sound pretty aggitated by the situation and even if you have not been saying anything to him directly, he is your son and he has picked up on it. 

He may have told you that he said something just to make you happy.  My husband did this with his mother for a while.  She was not happy with the way we did this or that and when she would talk to him he would say 'I know I tried to tell cpr, but that's how she wants it' just so his mother would leave him alone.  It ended up backfiring when a conversation turned to something that she and I actually agreed on and he was using me as an excuse!  Now he sees how that created a lot of tension between her and I and he wishes he could take it back.  Your son is young too.  He probably still wants to make you happy and proud and may feel just a bit guilty not taking your side as you have been very generous.

As far as her mother being there for every visit, have you ever thought that you may make her a little nervous?  I noticed that when you spoke about their home you called it your son's home, not their home.  You may not even be aware of how a little thing like that could intimidate a very young mother.  I know that you purchased it, but she lives there with your son and they pay rent.  Even if he is working to pay the rent up until now, she has been taking care of your GC, birthing your GC and growing your GC within her body.  If she feels like a visitor in her own home when you come around she may be asking her mother over for moral support.  It sounds as though you may not be hiding your feelings as well as you think.

I may be wrong, but I do hope that you will give these possible scenarios some thought.  This is not just the partner of your son, this is the mother of your grandchild.  Developing a respectful relationship with her is in the best interest of you, her and your GC.  This relationship with your son may or may not last.  I hope that it does, but should it not you do not want to be part of the reason it didn't and you will wish that you had a good relationship with her.  My cousin and her husband had a similar situation and it did not work out for their son, but they always stayed on good terms with the mother of their grandchild and respected her role in raising that child.  They now see that baby more than their son (unfortunately he does the bare minimum).  Because of the respect they showed to her and with which they treated her, they feel very comfortable calling her when it is not their son's weekend if they have something special they want to do with GC.  And so far she has never said no.  For everyone (including yourself) I would say you should 'butt out'.  If not for your son, if not for you then for your grandchild.


Welcome, cpr. I hope you have a chance to read our forum agreement. I look forward to hearing more of your story and hope you feel  like you fit in here.