July 02, 2020, 12:23:44 pm


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

Son in poor health, DIL attempted to disallow my seeing him

Started by captain, August 20, 2016, 04:04:33 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


My son has had Lupus for 12 years (diagnosed). Eight years ago he married a woman from the Philippines. I was supportive since I was concerned about him being alone since his last longtime girlfriend broke up with him. He is on disability, has had 2 open heart surgeries, many various health issues. He has continued to volunteer delivering meals on wheels, picking up food for the poor.Last month he had a sudden stroke. I did not see this coming. Although I have been emotionally, financially and problem solver for her she slowly curtailed having anything to do with me. Last 5 years refused to see me even at Xmas. Last Xmas she attempted to force my son not to see me on Xmas day. She threw a fit saying she wanted him to go to church with her instead. He came over quite depressed as every Xmas and told me he understood the story of King Solomon and the baby.I have backed up each slight and insult from her so as not to stress my sick son. Twice she has attempted to ban me from seeing him in hospital. He comes home soon Any ideas?


Welcome, C. We ask all new members to go to out HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

Being the mom of adult sons, your post touched my heart strings. How sad to have a son so seriously ill. I guess what comes up for me is that he chose his wife and he stays with her. There must be a reason, maybe several. I don't have any suggestions. Not really. All I can offer is he knows you love him and he loves her. Showing respect her in the situation you find yourself has to be based on not wanting to make his life any more difficult that it is. I'm so sorry...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome, C. My heart goes out to you. I think you can take a little comfort in knowing your son loves you but is in a tough spot. He mentioned he understood the King Solomon & baby story - hold that thought! As Luise said, his life is very difficult and you do not want him to see you as yet another difficulty. I have a bit of an idea how heartbreaking this is for you (((hugs))) There are many times when I hang onto the tiniest shred of evidence that my DS still loves me, and it really helps.

Try to find comfort in friends and other family. Joining this site is a great start! When you feel up to it could you volunteer at a Lupus Foundation or hospital?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I did not explain in detail so I would not bore others and just too sick to tell the whole story. I think your answer would be different had I gone into detail. My dilemma is not about respecting her but about what to do legally when she will not let me visit him. He will not be able to get to the door by himself. I appreciate your responses, I work full time with a Masters in Gerontology, I have continued to work at 67 so I can give them $1,000 per month and help with large expenditures. I believe she is just about the money.


Thank you for the additional information. We know it's hard to give enough details when it is a long, complex issue. None of us here can give legal advice.  We don't have the training and aren't licensed to offer legal solutions. We can only share our experience. With the additional data...all I can add is that I would go to an attorney and seek direction.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Personally I would put some strings on that $1000 a month you are giving them.  Maybe you could contribute a certain amount per visit with your son.  I certainly would not give them that kind of money if I was not even allowed to see him.
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Green Thumb

What concerns me most is your resentment and wanting to retire but having to work to give these two rent money. So my post is aimed at you.

Does your son have a cell phone? Can you call him? Does he know she limits your visiting him? Would your son want you to be his medical power of attorney? You can keep being pushy and aggressive or you can let this go. It doesn't sound like things will change and you have to decide which works best for you. Should you decide to be pushy and aggressive, then let go of thinking of how it should be, they should be grateful, etc. That only keeps you bound emotionally and unhappy. 

That 1000 a month is an impediment in your own life, you say you want to retire but can't due to helping them financially. It would be okay for you to cut this off after a period of time after you tell them what your plans are. Only you know what is best. Its also okay to give up and let this stress go. Accept that things are not how you want them and move on with your life. Make your focus of your life on you, create new hobbies, go to the opera or the movies, even alone, etc. Many of us hear do not have good or any relationship with our adult children and we have learned to move forward beyond the role of mother.

No one ever knows what goes on in a marriage, behind closed doors. She may have big stress herself. He may have promised things, he may not be a picnic to live with, she may worry he is close to death and leaving her destitute. She may have always wanted to be in control or she may be so emotionally fragile and vulnerable that she is now being super controlling in the attempt to minimize her anxiety and depression? Especially if she doesn't work or works for low pay. He chooses her, and he is likely so sick he can't do anything else, has no emotional reserve left to deal with more conflict. 

My suggestion is that you need to have an honest talk with him after you decide what is best for your own mental/emotional health. Ask him what he wants YOU to do (be pushy or let go), ask him how he feels. You say you have kept from sharing your feelings with him, this is probably not a good thing. Don't make this a choose one, me or her. Don't bash her in any way, don't rant and rave, but do let him know you love him and you are either going to keep trying or give up (whatever you think is best). And do accept that he has chosen her and know your place is second string. I am sorry, this is hard. He may feel guilt at having a "mail order bride" and now being unable to support her financially.

And you might try a little honey with the wife if you decide to be aggressive and pushing in seeing him/calling him. Consider having a talk with her and praise her, bring her flowers, say how grateful you are that he has a loving wife to take care of him, how much he loves her, etc. Try a little sugar, it works better than arguing with her or criticizing her. Gives her a reason to want you in their lives. Not saying you have done anything wrong, just that I have figured out how PRAISE and flattery makes people seem to really like the praise giver.

Please come back her often and let us know how things are going. We try to both support each other and offer honesty and another look or viewpoint on situations.

Green Thumb

As a gerontologist, you likely know that whoever is power of attorney or medical power of attorney for your son will be calling the shots. Since she is his legal wife, she likely has legal standing to control various things, like hospital visits. Unless he specifies otherwise in a written legal document. Just like what happens with your older adult clients. Consider talking to a family law attorney for additional information. Its really up to you to decide how you want to handle things, you do have choices and the power to "detach with love", should you decide this is in your best interest.