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sons married and have little to do with me yet spend time with DIL parents

Started by pattiann, January 24, 2019, 08:43:04 PM

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I found this forum after having yet another disappointing visit with my son and daughter in law. 

I am a mother of three sons and a daughter.  My two oldest sons are married and have completely changed since they married.  We were always a very tight knit close family.  I am blindsided about the complete reversal in our relationship.  I am always kept at a distance now and my sons both are with their wives family's for holidays etc. I get short tense visits. 

Tonight I was at my grand daughters birthday party and her family was there with expensive gifts.  They had boxes from Nordstrom for a seven year old.  It made my gifts pale and I felt embarrassed.  They must have spent three hundred dollars and I spent fifty at Target.  Then my son played music they liked and he gets into conversations with his father in law while I just sit in a chair and get ignored.

  It was never like this, we were extremely close I have letters and tokens my son gave me over the years.  I take the letters out and read them, and and pray he will come to me again, yet he never does.  If we ever talk on the phone it is distant and superficial.  I am depressed and it is getting worse.  My oldest son is not quite as blatant but also spends more time with his wife' parents.  This is such a difficult and bitter pill to swallow.

I have a wonderful daughter who is married and has children, she does not have a mother in law because she passed away.  So, there is no comeptition there, my son in law is wonderful to me.  My daughter says to just walk away and put my efforts and emotion on her and her family.  I try to tell her how difficult that is, I had four children and can't just stop loving and wanting to be with my sons.

  My youngest son is not married yet but I fully expect another huge hurt coming if he ever gets married.

  I need help, I can't get past this hurt and it is wrecking my life, my husband is angry because I am always sad.  My husband is not my children's natural father but has been in their lives for fifteen years he sees the issues but has given up.  I have  read some other posts and see this is a big problem for many mothers of sons.  I understand the cleave to your wife thing, but  this is a double standared.  What is  really happening is the sons leave their mothers and the daughter in laws push there parents in.  Mothers of sons are left out in the cold.

This is the most cruel thing I have been subjected to in my life.  I never thought this could happen to me.

I would appreciate any guidance from the mothers of sons as I am sure my heart is not the only one broken.


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The hard lesson I had to learn with my oldest son was that he was a young adult out in the world on his own and part of that was his right to make his own choices and mistakes and to learn from the consequences...or not. It took me a long, long time to get that my expectations were mine and he didn't need to fulfill them. I had an entirely different picture and felt I had so much to give. His wife didn't cling to her mother and family of origin, she dumped them, as well and they formed some kind of a mother hating alliance. For a while I got stuck in self-pity. I think it's an important stage to go through because it hurt deeply and I needed to be honest with myself. However, I was slow to move on and find a full life after parenting. I finally realized that I, too, could make choices after tripping over my expectations and knowing I deserved better for way too long. Eventually, I got that I mattered. You do, too!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


pattiann - I really feel your pain.  We went through this when our first grandchild came and it has continued over the years.  About 8 years now and it still hurts.  There are many great moms in this site and lots of great advice.  The only thing that helps is time.  I am currently trying to lessen the phone calls and contacts.  The visits happen only if we push and go to them.  To visit us is such a chore for them.  They can visit her mom, their friends; but a visit to us is like visiting Siberia, I guess.  It helps to have support from other friends and family and fill in your time with things and people that you enjoy.
I believe my son knows in his heart that the relationship that he has with us is not a choice that he would make for him (or his kids).  I believe it makes his life easier to go along with wife's wishes not to spend time with us.  So it works for him.  Sad, but his choice.
If the get togethers are hurtful, I stay away and ask to visit on a different day when her mom is not there.  I seem to allow them to make me feel invisible and unworthy if I attend when all eyes are on the "wonderful, perfect" grandma.
Keep coming here when you are down.  It will get better.  Remember that you did your best to be a great Mom, and hopefully, in his heart, your son knows that.