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Does it ever stop hurting so much

Started by alwaysmom, March 15, 2017, 12:38:46 AM

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I am new to this site and yet it seems as I read the posts of so many other moms, the pain and confusion of the alienation and estrangement from our
sons seems so familiar in so many of the other posts.

My son has become totally blind to the manipulations and deliberate actions of his wife to cut him from mine and
my DH's life and extended family.  I once read this is called "cutting them from the herd".

My son was coming back from deployment and his wife stated that they would not have time to see "His" family together
and he would need to do this on his own time.  She also stated that they would be seeing "Her" family because she only
had enough time for "Her" family and not "His" family.

I can not call my son's wife my DIL for the fact that she has even stated "I do not need a relationship with you".  My son found no
fault with this and simply stated that she already has a mother and does not need another one.  She has made it clear that
all holidays are to be spent with her family and we are to just wait for another time to see them, if at all.
We have moved to the same town that they live in due to a job offer for my DH.  When my son's wife found out we were
moving she told me not to expect them to be coming over, or us just dropping by or be inviting them to go with us to see my nephew
who also lives in this same town.  In other words, stay away!

Fortunately at this point they do not have any children and I actually dread the day they do have children, as any children will be thought of
as her children and not my son's children.

My son has been with this young woman for 10 years as they were together in high school at the young age of 15 and have been married for 2 years.  I feel
as though they both really never fully matured and behave as they did when they were just teenagers.

I could go into so many situations and details but it seems the stories here have a common thread where "A son is a son until he takes a wife" and
"A daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life".

I am certainly not innocent of letting it be known how unhappy I am with their actions.  It just seems so easy for them to say that we are
needy and simply need to leave them alone.

My question to so many of the other moms out there with varied situations and stories, yet the same out come of estrangement, does the pain
and grief ever get any easier and softer to bear.  I cry almost every day because I miss my son.  He does not even know my DH and myself anymore
and we do not know him.  I know he needs his own life and must stay true to his wife and yet I'm not sure how being married means you
no longer have a FOO.

Our son was raised around family, grandparents, aunts, uncle, cousins etc.  He came from a large family and she comes from a family of her parents and
her sister and that is it.  My son's wife is estranged from any other family and so I guess this is what she is trying to create for our son.

So I ask does it ever stop hurting so much or is this a life sentence of longing and sorrow?


The simple answer is yes, it does get better.

The truth is that how soon it gets better is up to you and the path to getting better has many bumps and missteps in it, or at least mine did (and does).

At some point in my struggle I realized that I did not enjoy the time I managed to spend with my DS and I finally asked myself why I was putting myself through so much misery trying to spend time with someone who, although I loved him, I did not enjoy.  I started giving into those feelings of dread and avoiding contact with both my DS and DIL.  I started looking for things to do that I enjoyed.  I made plans for the holidays.  Something to look forward to and do for Christmas or Thanksgiving so that I would not sit around wishing that I was included in my DS's life.  We went camping and white water rafting and let my DS/DIL know what fun we had had.  I stopped calling them and I completely quit mentioning that they 'should' come over or we 'should' see them more.  I started embracing the "No news is good news" motto and every time my mind turned to how disappointed I was I would wrench it back to the thoughts of how much fun I was having (hence the tag line, LOL).  I stopped allowing myself to wallow in the what ifs and should haves.  I focused my thoughts on the wonderful husband I have and the great life we have together.  I am at an age where I deserve to enjoy life and if that included not being a part of my DS's life, well so be it.

Over time, and it did take a while, my DS noticed that his FOO was stepping out of the picture and he exerted some pressure to remedy that issue.  I now have a much better relationship with my DS, not so much my DIL but she has been diagnosed as bipolar and I struggle to tolerate her moods.  Anyway the relationship is not what I would have wished from a DIL and I still mourn the fact that it never will be but I have adjusted to the new norm.  I still worry about my GC.  Being raised by a bipolar mother must be tough but they both seem vibrant and happy, but I digress.

Yes it will get better if you want it to.
You have to take back control over your life and not let the relationship with your DS ruin the good things you have in life.
What you focus on expands so start focusing on the good parts of your life and ignoring the bad ones.
You deserve respect from your DS/DIL and you are not getting it, time to stop putting up with the abuse and have the happy life you were meant to have.

We are here for you now and on those times when you stumble back into the abyss.  It takes time and practice but you can be happy.  You are not abandoning your DS, you will be there if he reaches out.  Hang in there!!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


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

My own story reflects the same thing SL just wrote to you about. I tried too long and in the process set the stage for my grandsons to observe elder-abuse as a part of family life. I also got stuck way too long in self pity. I think it is necessary for most of us to honestly feel the pain at first. It just wasn't easy for me to move past it and on into taking responsibility for my own well being. My very reasonable expectations got in the way. On the other side...I slowly rebuilt my self respect. I matter because I say I do...not because others think so. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi, AlwaysMom,
I understand what you are going through.  I have a DIL who is hostile towards me, using GC as a pawn, and DS has done nothing to improve our relationship.  One day, I had had enough.  There was no mutual interest, and it was a fruitless struggle.  I can say for sure that life gets better when you turn away from dwelling on the hurt and hurtful people towards more positive activities and people.   

In my case, I had to pretty much cut all contact, including looking at photos on social media, because it was too painful.  Contact with DS/DIL/GC was already minimal, so I disengaged completely.  It says a lot that they hardly noticed--in fact, I'm sure it's less stress for DS. 

There are times I need to mourn, but I don't want to get stuck there.  Just like with a death, life goes on. 

I'm pretty early in the process, so I'm still finding my way, but I am in a much healthier place emotionally.  (No more drama, churned up by DIL....ahhhh).  WWU is a safe place to post and receive support and advice. 

Wishing you peace and healing.   


Thank you all so much for your replies.  It does help to hear from moms that have gone through similar circumstances and yet have been able to
rise about the "self pity" and falling into the "abyss".  I find that I am very much still in the "denial" stage.

It has been very hard to accept the reality of our relationship, or should I say lack there of, with our DS and his wife. (I do not use DIL because she has made it very clear she does not want to be a part of our family.)  What makes it so much harder is
the fact that other family members see the total manipulation of our son by his wife and yet he is so blind to it.

One of my biggest hurdles is that I had an extremely close relationship with my MIL and we shared so much love and mutual respect between us.
(My MIL has been gone from our lives for 3 years now due to pancreatic cancer.)
When we would get together with my DH's family, my MIL and I would naturally gravitate to one another and have wonderful talks and bonding time.  My son grew up with this reality and always knew his mom and fraternal grandma were great friends.  I always had thought that this is the way life would be with
any future DIL.  Wow was I ever wrong.  My DS wife's statement was " I do not need a relationship with you like you had with your MIL."  This was more than
just a statement as she knew what kind of relationship my MIL and I had and to make it worse my MIL always liked and showed respect to this woman and would be mortified to hear her say such a thing. 

So now I have to try very hard to let go of the "fantasy" that I had of what life would be like when my son was married and starting his own life.

It is finding the acceptance of "what is" and the letting go of what I always thought "would be" that is so hard.

My DH and I do have another son who is younger than his brother and unmarried at this time with no girl friend. Maybe he will be able to have a
marriage and relationship with someone that is secure enough in her self to allow him to still have a FOO.  Our younger son has stated that he does not
know how his brother tolerates his wife and yet he would never ever say anything as they have a very close relationship that he would not want to
Again thank you for the support and I hope some day I will be whole enough to offer the positive support you wonderful women are giving.


Actually I have a younger son who feels the same way your younger one does and swears that he will do better when he picks a wife.  I am so sorry that you are still stuck in that horrible phase where we want things to change to match our expectations (which all of us here understand are very reasonable expectations!).  It was not until I realized that I was ruining the relationship I had with my DH that I was able to progress beyond that phase.  After all I convinced my DH to have children, he would have skipped that particular life stage, and here I was completely messing up our golden years over the children I wanted to have!  We were perfectly happy before we had children and I was not going to make my DH continue to pay for letting me give into my urge to reproduce!  We did the best we could as parents!  I had given my eldest 21 years of my life and I was not going to throw the rest of my life in by being a martyr. 

It starts very small.  It starts by deciding that you deserve to be happy.  You deserve to have fun.  You deserve to be treated with respect.  Oh how I wish I could make it easier for you!  Give your DH and youngest child the mother and spouse they deserve by dragging yourself out of the abyss and looking into the sunset.  Life can be good again, but it is up to you to make it that way.  Good luck!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


March 16, 2017, 12:47:41 AM #6 Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 08:42:10 AM by luise.volta
I found that time passing was an essential part of the healing process. I am four years into an estrangement with ED, and it finally doesn't hurt anymore. The first eighteen months were excruciating though, often I thought life was no longer living, my mind endlessly obsessed over my ED and I could barely function. It gradually got better after that, and now I am fine. I have seen other estranged parents online report similar time frames. The loss of an important person in your life requires a period of grief, no matter how you came to lose them, whether it was a death or just one party deciding the relationship had ended.

In hindsight I don't think I ever was realistic about parenting. I saw it as a lifelong attachment between mother and child, but in so many cases the relationship really only lasts between birth and around 15 years. After that period of intense child raising it seems it is just down to luck and personalities, some children are warm hearted and forgiving and will keep a relationship going, other children seem to feel indifferent or feel dislike for their parents and no ongoing relationship is possible. I always loved my mother and so assumed my children would love me, I didn't realize indifference or dislike were also possible outcomes, no matter how loving and devoted a mother I had been.

So there is life to be enjoyed after parenting, the bad days get fewer until one day you realize you are mostly ok, on the worst days I would just tell myself that each day I got through put me one day closer to the end point of the grieving process. All the best :)


Welcome, G. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First to read all of the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

Thank you for describing the loss you faced and survived. I, too, stumbled over my expectations and tried for much too long to make sense of the senseless. I just had my 90th birthday on Sunday. When I look back over my own life, childrearing was only about a third of it; the first 20 being my own childhood and the next 30 being a mom. The last 45 have been about my own maturing and contribution...lessons and growth. My youngest son is our Webmaster and partners with me in keeping WWU alive and well. It's just who he is, my dear friend. I didn't create that...nor did I create my elder son believing I was the Wicked Witch of the West. What an incredible relief not to be at the effect of it!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you for sharing.  Your comment was very validating for me.  Sometimes it feels very lonely and hard in dealing with the day-to-day stuff while grieving. 


I don't have anything to add to the very insightful comments on this thread, but I really have appreciated the perspectives.  Especially that life has stages and parenthood is just one.  Genny, I think that comment about luck and personalities was perceptive.  Thanks to all for posting.  And all the best to you, Alwaysmom.  Yes, it will get better. 


Bumping this to the top because.. it's very good.  I have this one bookmarked and have read it a few times. Thank you ladies.. you all rock and help so many of us, just thought you should know that.  Love and Hugs and Happy new year.


Yup, it's a good one. Happy New Year right back atcha'!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Wow....I love all your replies.  You are all helping me to make my way through this hard journey too!  Thanks for sharing, Alwaysmom!
To Stilllearning...thank you for the reminder that "no news is good news"...and to "take back over your life!"
To Luise....thank you for the reminder to be careful about getting "stuck in self pity".  I never thought about my own role in enabling them to treat me badly....
To Marina....thank you for the reminder to "turn away from dwelling on the hurt...and towards more positive people and activities...and that often involves 'disengage".
To Alwaysmom....thanks for the reminder to "let go of the fantasy"
To Genny....thanks for the reminder that time heals....I am in the genesis of the "letting go" part of all this, and it is HARD!
To Luise....thanks for the reminder that we tend to hold on too long and too tightly to our "roles" in our DS life.  That role did end years ago...and now I must put on a new hat and build a new role....and....leave room to grieve as needed along the way.
I am going to have to bookmark this thread and read it over and over and preach it to self!!!!!
Thanks is great to know that I am not alone!