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son says "just act like I dont exist"

Started by allcriedout, June 22, 2010, 06:01:59 pm

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June 25, 2010, 10:53:09 am #15 Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 11:06:04 am by catchingup

Magicgran has being giving some good advise here. I am almost sure she is a Phygologist.

There is one thing I am absolutely sure of and that is we must see our children as a bird in the hand.
We either allow them to fly away or we hold on to them. It is difficult. We are the mothers who have spent the best part of our lives bringing them up.
Never mind giving them life ( Losing our figures--not important) Calling the shots. Do this dont do that. Now we have this slim attractive women taking over with a lot less experiance than we have.
We have made mistakes so tend to want to stop them from doing things we think may not be quite right.
Children are only loaned to us. My son is here for the world cup and he gets flu and for his own good I think he should stay in bed but girlfriend is not prepared to give up evening with friends so I moan and groan at him and he goes anyway. I could have been doing better things with my time
I must let him make up his own mind.
He is 28. I am an old foggie and must shut up.

To put it very very simply. When we were kids and wanted to go out and play but mother said "no, not until you have done your homework"

Actually with homework off the mind we played more freely because we did not have to constantly think that we still had homework to do.

As mothers our homework is done so why is it that we cant use this free time enjoying all the things in life that passed us by while we were bringing up children.

Why is our focus still on our children? Setting ourselves free sets them free.

I seriously don't know what I would do if I did not have my own interests.
This is something every mother should develope while she is bringing up children otherwise when our job is done we have nothing left but to seek the attention of the very things that we should be setting free.

If we hold a bird in a closed hand it will struggle to free itself and will never want to fly back onto your hand.

Even if we don't have interests of our own we should try and take the focus off ourselves.
Invite a lonely person to tea.Take a long walk.Give a helping hand to charity.

The more we are self assured the less we need the attention of others.
Give love and it will come back to you.

As the commandment goes"Love thy neighbour as thyself "or how can you love someone else if you dont love yourself.
This is the time for us to nurture ourselves.


Great post catchingup.  And you are so right on all of it.  I think the only thing I was thinking different while reading it was, although I am positive there are tons of Mothers that are desperately trying to hold on to their children, I think there are also many of us that don't have our total focus on it.

I personally have a very fulfilling life, a wonderful DH whom I love spending time with and many outside friends and interests.  But, I still want a relationship with my children and grandchildren.  I still want them to be part of my life, and I want to part of theirs.  Not much, just the occasional visit, call or Holiday.

I don't think letting go is a problem, non-existance is.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Lots to think about here. I feel that self love is the original building block. If you look outside of yourself for it, it's an endless search. If you find it... then you can share it.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Magic Gram,

I appreciate all of your input. I couldnt possibly put everything in my original post, there is of course so much more to my situation and also I didnt even begin to touch on my own background.  You dont see where she lied in what I told you but I have found out that she has lied about things she told my son about herself and she also exaggerates the truth a lot. That is why I typed in "lying daughterinlaw" to find some kind of forum such as this.  I read some of the others posts in the archives and my DIL fits the description of some of the other's DILs- a loving golden retriever at first who later turns into a pit bull.

I realize she is her mother's daughter but I was treating her as if she as one of my own.  That is what I meant by the daughter I never had.  I didnt treat her like a stranger, I welcomed her with open arms into my family and into my heart. I am not a difficult person to get along with.  Her relationship with her own mother is not exactly great although I am sure she is at least still talking to her own mother. She is more of a daddy's litte girl. Yes, I did have expectations of what our MIL-DIL relationship would be like and it seemed to be that way at first. I was wanting to have the type of relationship with my DIL that I had with my ex-MIL.  I dont think my expectations were unrealistic or that they interfered with my ability to get to know the real her. Understand that this is how I am thinking versus how you are thinking and of course versus how she is thinking.

Yes it is a hyperbole to say she is my worst nightmare, realistically of course there are worst things that could happen to people. Yes brain cancer, lost a dear friend a little over a year to it. Death of a child, yes my landlord's 14 year son fell from a cliffside into water, his body never to be recovered.  Count my blessings I am not going through those terrible tragedies. There is ALWAYS someone out there going through something much worst than you are, things could be worst, but when you are the one in it whatever "it" may possibly be- it feels like its your worst nightmare.

Yep, you are right the only words that stood out to her in the chat were the words that hurt her the most "high maintenance".  When I wrote the email to her I told her what she didnt read was other times when I told my son he better not be hanging out with the guys all the time or playing video games all of the time and not being there for her. Also the times when I told him that its not easy for her being there not having friends and the importance that he take her out to do things, even if its a drive somewhere. I bought them a GPS so they could get out an explore more.  The times when I told him that compromise and communication are very important in a marriage-- that you should not lose yourself when you get married but you must compromise and take into account the other person's feelings. 

Yes, I totally understand people are entitled to their feelings. Your feelings are your feelings, it doesnt matter if they are good or bad, they are your feelings.  Most of the time when someone is reacting a certain way to something we say or do, the question is what is it inside of them that is causing them to react to it the way that they do. I stop and ask myself often, why am I reacting a certain way to a particular situation?

There wasnt more to the story of the chat than I am admitting to, I was trying to condense my original post so that it wasnt a novel. I did recommend counseling on the chat with my son. They are newlyweds, in a foreign country, with money and relationship issues and counseling services are provided for free by the military.  I did recommend it because I am a strong advocate of it. I was finishing up a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy when all of this started last fall. I have completed all of the coursework, I only needed to complete an internship to graduate. That is why when she wrote to me she mentioned something about my "dream job".  I dropped my internship in December because I was pretty much an emotional mess. I felt pretty hypocritical counseling others who were suffering with depression. The number of people seeking therapy for depression increases during the holidays. I was in therapy because a part of the Masters program is to go through at least 20 hours of therapy sessions.

I am not minimizing my part at all. Logically I know what is going on here, he is trying to keep the peace with her because he lives with her and now she can hold his two daughters over his head. She is very manipulative. She referred to me as manipulative, when in turn that is a description of her behavior.

I didnt know all of their problems and of course there is always two sides to the story but I did try time empathize with her to the best of my ability and it just didnt get interpreted that way. The interpretation was that I was playing the victim trying to get them to feel sorry for me. Yes, I was upset to read my son's words that I play the victim. I printed that particular email off and took in to my therapy session so that my therapist could help me process it.  She brought up a good point- my 21 yr old son's definition of the word "victim" is entirely different from my definition of that word.  When I hear victim, I think of someone who just rolls over and plays dead and doesnt even try to bounce back from adversity.  That is NOT me.

I am very much over the divorce but you are right, there is a lot of stuff that I have still been trying to work through that happened during the 15 year marriage. My Masters degree program I was in was really like one big 2 year long therapy session- I learned a lot about myself during that time and I continue to learn.  I am bitter at the fact that I have been there and done all these things for my son (and DIL in a short amount of time) and ex and his wife havent done a thing and now stepmom has Grandmother rights and I dont. Its a hard pill to swallow but I admit anger and hurtful feelings but remember, they are MY feelings and I have a right to them.

In your opinion, it was rude that I showed up uninvited on her parents doorstep but in reality in was out of pure desperation. My mother's 80th birthday party was the following week and I wanted more than anything for my mother to meet her great granddaughter on her birthday. My DIL went because her parents told her it was the right thing to do. I am thankful she went. I have a picture of my mother holding my granddaughter and who knows, it may be the only picture that I ever get of the two of them together because my mother's health is declining.

If there was a troubled relationship with my son, I didnt see it. On my 40th birthday he bought me a mothers medal of honor necklace. He wrote me from military bootcamp to thank me for everything that I ever did for him while growing up.  I was at his bootcamp graduation, not his father.  I know... not a competition right but I was there. 

The latest thing, the joke on my other son's FB.  It was a joke and we have always been a very joking family- my three boys and I joke a lot. Any other time, my son would have seen that (he used to draw the penises on my car also) but she turned it into something it was not.  I didnt ever say anything about her being his cover-up, my other son joked and said that.  All I said was "you have a point"  and it was in response to my other son saying that my oldest only had one girlfriend in high school which is true.  The whole post started off with me joking with my other two boys. They didnt take offense to it.  The oldest wouldnt have either if things werent the way they currently are.  Yes the conversation was public to the point that my son doesnt mark his wall private, but she had to purposely click on his profile to see it- she didnt just "stumble upon it".  DIL didnt write what she wrote because I hurt her husband, her husband wouldnt have known anything about it if she wouldnt have clicked on the profile and read it. I respect your comments Magic, but she created more than was there with the FB post.

Yes he stopped talking to me months ago. She didnt really talk to me much either and thats why I sensed something was still very wrong even though she apoligized that night I showed up on her doorstep.

The history between him and his brothers is that they used to be very close.

I already bought my granddaughters gifts before the FB blowup- so I sent it. I had it in my posession, I mailed it anyways. He said to act like he didnt exist, but I didnt translate that to act like my granddaughter didnt exist. I was not purposely poking a sleeping bear.  I had no hidden expectations behind my gifts and help. I have always and will always be more of a giver than a taker. I truly do appreciate your lengthy response but as the days go by you will learn a little bit more about me and in turn I hope to learn a little bit more about you.


When my FDIL and family upset me I deleted her and an uncle from facebook. Then I put a picture up of myself with my back turned and wrote on facebook
"Sometimes you just have to turn your back on some people"

A few weeks later I added"What is the point of spending time with people who dont like us"
I do not need the approval of others. I will do what I enjoy without seeking the approval of others,I am a free spirit"

" The faults people find with me are what I call hangups" They are like Barbie doll clothes hanging on a washing line, even the pegs seem oversized"

What a butch I can be when I am angry.

I would not bother with facebook but I have 3 sons living in the U.K. --I live in South Africa--and my youngest suggested I go on facebook so that I could keep up with their activities and photo's

Problem with DIL's is that we sometimes are expected to be the MIL they want.
Well I shall be myself and if she does not like me too bad.
I have always got on well with my other sons girlfriends and never had a problem with any of them.

Life is like that. Sometimes we meet someone and "Click" and the person remains a close friend.

Let us ask ourselves "How often does this happen in a lifetime" Not that often. Most people we refer to as friends are good acquaintances.

Even if we dont particularly like someone we treat people with respect.

In all the time that my MIL virtually emotionally abused me I was never rude to her nor did I ever
try and keep her son away from her.
I eventually after many years let her know where she stood with me but did not abandon her totally.
She accused me of keeping the grandchildren away from her.
This was not entirely true. The truth was I  would not allow her to be alone with the grandchildren because I did not like the critisism she handed out to them and told her so.

So for a DIL or son to totally abandon family really does not make sense to me.


June 26, 2010, 08:06:36 am #20 Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 08:08:10 am by RedRose
Hi allcriedout,

A lot of us have said here that letters (emails) are never a good idea. If you are upset usually the worst is said and you will regret it later. I feel the same way about facebook. Even if nobody meant to hurt .. words can be twisted to mean the the opposite of what you really mean...

I do understand what you are going through and it is heartbreaking.  I can relate to what you have said...when you said...
"I am not minimizing my part at all. Logically I know what is going on here, he is trying to keep the peace with her because he lives with her and now she can hold his two daughters over his head. She is very manipulative. She referred to me as manipulative, when in turn that is a description of her behavior."
You may need to step back and let things go for a while.
Sometime time heals.

I found MagicGram's post to be very offensive...she picked apart your whole post. I saw nothing that she said as good advice at all...only putting you down. I thought....sheesh....she saw nothing wrong in how your dil is acting at all?

But...you handled it well.        (((hugs)))


Redrose, How long has your son  been married?

I work for a company with a majority of men between the ages of 40 - 60.  Over the months, some of them have walked into my office when I was having a down day and it was obvious something was tearing me up inside. I have talked to a few of them about it and they said that they were once married to someone just like my DIL when they were very young but that marriage didnt last.  They are also the ones who told me that they would do anything to keep the peace in the household.  My son told me about a couple of their fights last year before the cut off.  One time he had worked  a 12 hour day and he was tired. She seemed so sweet telling him to go ahead and go to bed. About two hours later, she woke him up from a dead sleep and started yelling at him about how worthless he was and how she wanted a divorce. She threw his work cell phone and broke it and she also took off her wedding rings and threw them across the room.  Now there is a possibility that this was postpartum craziness as their daughter was just 1 month old but its over the top! When I was there on my last day of sightseeing last year, my son put on a tshirt that was too tight. DIL told him that he looked gay and he got upset about it and then she got upset that he was upset. So the entire train ride into the city she is giving him the cold shoulder. He is trying hard to suck up to her, touch her knee, get her to smile and nothing. She wouldnt talk to any of us. So we get to the city and I tell them both that it was my last day there and to please let it go. Well, she still continued on for a few hours with with the silent treatment and then finally she was holding his hand.  Before that point, when I was next to my son by himself on the escalator is when he told me what happened that morning. His exact words after telling me was "this happens all of the time." 

So, that is why I say that I understand he is trying to keep his family together now that he has a daughter and another daughter on the way. I just wonder how long I will be cut out of his life. I hope that is not for a lifetime. I would hate to see them go through a divorce because she seems like the type to be very nasty about him being able to see the children plus he is in the military. 

This is so hard but I appreciate the input and support I have received so far here in this forum. I knew there had to be more people in a similar situation, I just didnt realize how many there would be.  As my friend told me recently, I am too blessed to be stressed. Better days head I am sure.


My son would have been married 3 years in August. They separated last year for about 3 months...got back together for about 8 months....but it wasn't meant to be...they are divorcing.

She is not only a very controlling young lady she was also cheating on him.

He lost all trust in her.

She has 2 sons, 1 is my grandson. I love him dearly so I will keep whatever realtionship I have with her and it can be her way...I don't care...just as long as I see my grandson


Also on the whole facebook/email thing, yes I totally understand how things can be misunderstand. In writing, there isnt always the emotions of the writer coming through the same way to the reader. Facebook could be a good thing. It has allowed me a chance to keep in touch with my family who lives in a different state than me. I have reconnected with so many friends. It also can be a bad thing and destroy relationships. The internet has been my only connection with my son while he is overseas. He would contact me via skype. Where he lives, calling their home phone would cost them money as well, so I never called their home phone, I didnt even ever know their phone number. That last time I heard my son's voice was last September when I was there. The few moments I have heard from  him since have been via an email messages. When he first go there, I would hear from him once a week and slowly that all changed. The main one I was keeping in touch with was her. She is the one on the social networks sites the most. He plays the online war games.


Facebook, email...all can be good things too.

It's when it's used for devious purposes...you just have to be careful.

Facebook is how my son found out a lot of things about his x-wife(soon).


Luise, thank you thank you thank you for creating this forum and thanks to your son for maintaining it!     In 2000, I turned to the ivillage message boards when I found out that my husband of 12 years at the time fathered a child with another woman. The message board was for women who had been betrayed. The theme of husbands not only cheating but also fathering a child was common on this message board. So I formed my own private message board just for that particular situation. We helped each other so much get through that difficult time in our lives. There was no judgment if you decided to stay with your husband and be a part of the other child's life and there was no judgment if you decided you couldnt be a part of it. We were all there for each other. Almost ten years later, that particular message board isnt as active but it still exists. Facebook is now the place to be but I am in touch with a few of the ladies who have become very good friends. I actually was able to meet one of them in person when I went to my son's bootcamp graduation. We finally met after 7 years of talking online!

Julia, thank you for the comment. Not to toot my own horn, but I am a loving and wonderful person. I dont purposely set out to hurt others. I feel I am one of the least judgmental and most caring individuals you will meet in your lifetime. I know I do not deserve this and I will survive it. The support has already been so amazing here. Thank you!

Pooh, I am trying real hard to take care of myself. It is my most important relationship.  I would get upset with myself when I would let this get to me so bad that I was having a hard time functioning and not taking care of myself. Better days ahead. I am doing better than I was doing yesterday or the day before and the day before that, etc... Thank you!

Anna, thanks for your hugs and welcome! My beautician pointed out to me the fact that before DIL my son's only other important relationship with a woman was with me. An AH HA moment for sure!

Catching up, I love your sense of humor "the more people I meet the more I like my dog"   Humor is a great way to get through even the toughest moments in life. I appreciate yours!  As for Facebook, my good friend is currently going through a divorce after 28 years of marriage. She moved back to the state I live in. Her soon to be exsisterinlaw was on her facebook and everytime my friend would say something about what she was doing here, her SIL would make a hurtful comment. It was tearing my friend apart. I told her, enough is enough, delete her from your facebook and block her. Well, she finally after a couple weeks took my advice. The SIL was still trying to get through to her via her daughter's facebook account! LOL! The SIL just was loving stirring the pot but now that she is not on my friend's FB anymore, my friend is doing so much better. Sometimes you just have to get rid of the crap on your wings that is preventing you from flying.

Hope,I was betrayed by my exhusband on more than one occassion.  My exhusband, was trying so hard to be my buddy buddy a few years ago. I finally wrote him a handwritten letter, there was so much I wanted to say and I felt written was better than actually phone conversation where you think later to yourself, "oh I should have said this or I should have said that"   I told him in the letter that the boys were old enough to talk to him directly, that I would only contact him if something happened to one of them other than that there was no need for us to talk.  Well, one week later I receive a letter back, the envelope was clearly addressed by him, I know his handwriting, but his wife wrote the letter!  She was telling me to get over her husband and to stop contacting him when my letter was telling him to leave me alone! LOL- I think I mentioned early on- she is very young, closer to my older sons age than she is to my exhusbands age. Unfortunately my exhusband is always going to be there. Ugh. You are so right in saying "eventually they are going to find fault in most everyone else they are dealing with and you are going to look a lot better to them"  I can only hope.  I stopped my counseling in January. My counselor and I agreed it was a good time to transition. I dont think I need to go back to her just yet. I think I am doing pretty well talking here in this forum and I have a huge support network of friends.

Pen, thats what I dont get either- how do they think it would be so easy to just act like they never existed. There is no way I could ever do that. He was my very first baby, the one who has been in my life the longest. I still have his pictures all over my house. I will always hold him close to my heart and that was the last thing I wrote to him. You experienced similar what my children experienced when their Dad remarried. His wife was livid that his sister still talked to me. Hello, I am the mother of her nephews. I was married to her brother for 15 years. You are so right, things that are beyond our control, we cant change it, we can only change the way we think about it and react to it. Acceptance... yes slowly but surely I am getting there. It may feel like I am treading through molasses some days but slowly I am making progress.

Thanks everyone! Hugs to all the wise women on this forum!


Pooh, your quote below sums it up for me! Thank you!  I have had a wonderful man in my life for the past 5 years, I have tons of friends and outside interests... I have a life!  Cutting the umbilical cord is not the problem it is being totally cut out that is.

Quote from: Pooh on June 25, 2010, 12:06:34 pm

I personally have a very fulfilling life, a wonderful DH whom I love spending time with and many outside friends and interests.  But, I still want a relationship with my children and grandchildren.  I still want them to be part of my life, and I want to part of theirs.  Not much, just the occasional visit, call or Holiday.

I don't think letting go is a problem, non-existance is.


June 26, 2010, 10:07:21 am #27 Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 10:12:37 am by Sassy
Magicgram took the time to write a very interesting response. 
She took a problem-solving approach, empathetic and objective at the same time. 
Lots of good ideas.  In order to help resolve a conflict, it's helpful to consider how the other person might be experiencing the same conflict.
I see how it might seem like blame, but I don't think she meant it that way.   
The reply seems to be based in what our minister tells us, we can't change others only ourselves. 

Relationships can be such trickety wickets!


Non-existence is in the eyes of the beholder. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Like you, I found this site by accident while looking for support.  While looking at these entries, I learned that I am not alone and not experiencing some sort of aberration in family relationships.

I feel like a character is someone Else's play...given a scripted role to play. I do not recognize the character.

We are now through the first year of "without our youngest son".  The worst is behind us. We survived and the best is yet to come.

We raised our son to be a loyal, loving man.  I would expect no less of him than to be supportive of his new wife and their newly adopted children.  We think it will be many years before we learn of them again and although that is not OK...I think we will be just fine and hopefully, so will they.