August 21, 2019, 09:11:27 pm


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I'm afraid I'm losing my son

Started by Lauren, November 28, 2013, 09:41:43 pm

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Also, your DIL did not want to spend time with you and you insisting has made this worse, unfortunately. 

My hubby and I see it this way-we have a his and hers approach. He deals with and entertains his family when they visit and I do the same with my family.

His family is HIS family. He talks to them and communicates with them and vice versa. Your son is your family, not DILs. She is under no responsibility to spend time with you when you visit or entertain you. I don't expect my hubby to entertain or visit with my parents.

It works out fine for us. Many couples these days do the same thing.


Seems like there could be a bunch of different things happening at the same time.  If for 15 years your DIL has been forced to spend your visits with you when she didn't want to, is it any wonder that she's deciding to stop?  It may not be the best of manners, but it's very human.  You say your GC spend a lot of time in their rooms when you visit.  Do you think your DS or DIL is telling them to do this in order to send you a message?  It could just be that they are older and want their own privacy.  Your son distancing himself could indicate trouble in his marriage or a midlife crisis or trouble with his kids or he's uncomfortable not having his wife as some kind of buffer when you're there or issues at his work or his biorhythms are out of sync or, well, you get the idea.  Please don't assume your DIL is behind his behavior.  She may very well be, but if she's not and you make that assumption, you won't be able to address the problem since you mis-identified it. 

Keep in mind that your options aren't limited to the status quo or total cutoff.  Backing off doesn't always lead to a better relationship; sometimes it leads to more backing off and more and more.  But sometimes it helps.  I'd suggest calling less frequently and maybe cutting your visits down to under a week or only one 10-day visit a year.  No matter how much you want your DS to pick up the phone, you can't make him.  You can either be resentful that he doesn't call when you don't or accept it.  Not easy to accept, I know, but healthy. 

Also keep in mind that now that you have the idea that your DS and family are trying to cut you out, you will be inclined to interpret their behavior in that light.  It's easy to jump to conclusions, especially when it comes to intentions and hidden messages.  Try to be as objective as you can and separate what you KNOW from what you THINK.

Good luck.  While there are many stories here about truly wretched family situations, there are also some great success stories.  Don't throw in the towel just yet.


In my opinion your dil resents having to be your tour guide twice a year.  I'm sorry, in my own case, my husband tried to make me "friends" with his mother whenever we would see them from another state.  His mother would make snide, sarcastic comments while my husband felt free to do his own thing and I resented it terribly.  My husband and I would argue constantly.  So, I told him, his parents, HE is front and center for every single visit and I will do as I please from now on without her brand of "help."  He started seeing his parents less, our marriage calmed down considerably and things got better.  So I'm sorry, but I feel by you dictating how things are going to go every visit for 10 days (20 days a year, almost spending a month every year at their home) you are getting the resentment from the dil and I can bet it has taken a small toll on their marriage.  He may be trying to back off of your visits for peace in the home.  Doesn't mean they are having problems, just that your visits are causing problems and in order to go forward you can't dictate how your visits are going to be and perhaps stay in a hotel and hopefully there's some other things you can do in the city to keep yourself occupied while your son is at work.  She shouldn't be forced on you by your son and you shouldn't force yourself on her.  I'm sorry, hope this isn't harsh, but I've lived this as a dil.  Good luck.


As I'm catching up on the open threads here this morning, I'm wondering if you are specifically invited twice a year for ten days or if that and your calls are an assumed tradition on your part that has become a dreaded obligation on their part. That may be why it's disintegrating. It's their home, simply put, and their life. They make the rules just like you did when you established your own home. It's often hard to get that our job is done and our authority is a thing of the past. We were in charge for many years and our children needed that to survive but once they become adults all bets are off; our hopes and dreams notwithstanding.

It doesn't sound like any of this is being directly addressed. Their actions are having to be interpreted by you and you deserve better than that. However, they may fear telling you what they want and so are showing you instead. You have the right to communicate. You do. You have the right to say that you want to do what will work for them and that you need to know what that is. What you have now doesn't seem to be working for anyone. I can't imagine how painful it must be to go where you feel so rejected and manipulated. Why not bring it out into the open? Yes, that could mean the visits and calls cease but I simply don't see how you can resolve this on your own. They get to vote. Again, it's their home, their family, their choice. Such action (asking) on your part may close the door but isn't that what's happening now? How long can you keep calling and visiting under the present conditions? It may be time to tell them that the ball is in their court...because, of course, it is.

When this happened to me...without the distance being involved...I was devastated and could see no point of view except my own. We went our separate ways and I was bitter. Healing eventually followed on all of our parts but it took years for us to establish mutual respect...which I came to identify as equality. My heart goes out to you.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thanks for all the replies. Honestly, after reading all the answers I'm afraid to ask what they want from me because the answer could be that they don't want to see me anymore and that is terrifying. They have never invited me come over but my fear was that if I waited for an invitation, it woul never happen and I really wanted to stay in touch.


No one wants that sense of being set adrift. We simply don't get to choose. We all agree with you that it is terrifying and we are here for you and each other as we adapt to turning over the reins. When we don't, for many of us, the reins are taken away. The result is the same. The messages you are getting are loud and clear. Looking back, many of us have discovered an identity we have learned to like and enjoy...beyond our biological one. It feels like the end of the world but it isn't. It's life.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Luise, if I could give you a big hug, I would ... All of your responses in this thread have ministered to me in a huge way, and I thank you so much. Even the response about your adult grandchildren establishing relationships with you encouraged me because it gives hope that this can happen for me, too.


Evergreen "Please back off and take a deep breath. "


Dedicatedmom - Evergreen is no longer a member of WWU. She was warned.

Quote: I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt in case you haven't read the Forum Agreement. We share our experiences here and our opinions...but this is not a Website where one person is 'right' and another is 'wrong.' Attacking others is not what we're about. I am going to edit your post for obvious reasons...this one time...and hope you will consider joining in the spirit of WWU. End Quote

Most new members fit, DM... but some have a different approach and need a venue that makes room for debate, accusation and controversy. That's why WWU is a monitored Website. Not gonna' happen here. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


how kind of you - thanks for the response.


On the lighter side, DM - a woman once took exception to the Forum Agreement and wrote me an angry post regarding this being a Democracy and that she was entitled freedom of speech. I answered that she was wrong; I own this Website and it's a Benevolent Dictatorship!  ;D ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama



Lauren, I'm sorry for that ache you're feeling in your heart. It leaves me feeling confused when I'm treated poorly by someone I've honestly went out of my way trying to befriend. It's almost like they decided to dislike me from the start.
I've learned it's better to be upfront and just ask what the issue is and if there's anything I can do better?
Sometimes people get bent out of shape over something we didn't even notice. You can fix things until you know what's broken. Good Luck dear!


Sorry, I meant you CAN'T fix things until you know what's broken.


Welcome Lauren.  I too think that you are getting clues from your DS since you've never been invited and it's you that always initiates the calls.  I so get that you are trying to keep that relationship going and I admire you for it.  I did the same thing for a couple of years until I finally realized it wasn't a relationship.  It was a one-sided thing.  I don't get along with my DIL either, but the difference is I would be happy to carry on a relationship with DS and not expect her to do anything or be around if she didn't want.  So I decided I wasn't going to be the one person in the relationship any longer and left the ball in DS's court.  So far, he's not chosen to pick up the ball and it took me awhile to come to terms with that.  But I no longer stress about him not visiting, calling or attending family things.  Time makes you realize that having that one-sided relationship is a lot more stressful than no relationship.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell