November 28, 2023, 03:20:55 AM


"Welcome to -- 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."

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Messages - Bamboo2

Welcome! Your post resonated with me.  What a frustrating situation that must be for you.  I have a son who struggled when college didn't work out for him and he ended up moving back home, aimless, depressed and extremely defensive. Locked himself in his room and played video games.  Wouldn't meet with us about expectations. I had been seeing a therapist myself for a year or so to get some guidance with figuring out this son, who my husband and I believe is on the autism spectrum - Aspergers.  Things came to a head when he said he had suicidal thoughts and I called the county mental health crisis line, which was very helpful.  My son never did agree to therapy, as the county social worker recommended, but she helped us all work out a plan for him to continue staying in the house and take some steps toward gainful employment.  We suggested a short term training program which he completed, found a full time job through the instructor, and now 15 months later he is still at home, paying all his own bills and saving for a townhouse. We take 1/3 of his monthly income as rent (saving some of that in an account for when he moves out) and have an agreement about what household tasks he needs to do. Now he and we both see a good future for him.  Things could change if he loses his job, of course, but for now he feels good and has a purpose.  I don't know if any of my story is helpful to you. We were pretty desperate at times, but I felt that getting my own support was vital.  Wishing you all the best!
Hi Animal Farm,
My heart goes out to you.  It is so hard to see your adult child in a seemingly unhealthy relationship.  My young adult daughter was involved in a bad relationship, but she wouldn't or couldn't see it, and I struggled for many years to get her to "see the light."  Boy, did she get upset when I used that phrase!  She had to see things in her own good time---which was four long years.  The more I pushed, the more she pulled away.  When I just pulled back and disengaged, there was no need for her to be antagonistic.  Maybe the same would be true for your DIL.  Whatever your father does, you can't control, so he will have to make his own decisions.  You are living by your principles and it's good to keep those boundaries in place.  I think Still Learning's suggestion to send the postage and just be done with it was spot-on.  I'd minimize contact and focus on the things that give you joy.  My husband and I spent a lot more time listening to music, walking in the woods, and visiting other family members and friends --- people who enjoyed our company and nurtured us.  We decided to not make DD and her BF the main story of our lives anymore and it made a big difference.  We had to be ready to totally lose the relationship with DD in order to gain it back, ironically.  I'd say don't give up your happiness for people you can't control.  We can only control ourselves.  All the best to you.
Helpful Resources / Re: Letting go
August 12, 2019, 06:52:23 AM
This is beautiful, Still Learning!  Thanks so much for sharing it ;D
Sorry for your down day.  I've had many of them myself with my own daughter.  She loved spending time with BF and his large extended family, and BF's mom, who she ended up living with for a year, could do no wrong.  I did everything I could do court DD's favor.  It was only when I saw her treat me and DH with contempt that I finally decided I deserved better and wasn't going to stand for her nasty treatment of me.  I guess that, like some other moms I've read about here, I didn't really like the person she had become, so why was I chasing her so much and trying to get her to do things with me?  It sure wasn't self-respecting or a good example for her.  Plus it made DH miserable, too.  I stopped doing things for her that she had come to rely on, seeing that she had taken our relationship and my presence in her life for granted.  DH and I started some new hobbies together and I intentionally became more active and engaged in my own life, and realized that there were and are others who care about me and want me in their lives.  It was a looooooong process, with steps forward and backward, like you are experiencing. (You'll see some of those documented in my posts here). I just didn't want to be held hostage to the hurt and pain. 

I read something here on WWU once where a mom mentioned putting the hurtful relationship with her adult child "on the shelf", acknowledging that right now a break is helpful but might not be permanent.  She still wished the best for her AC, but didn't want to participate in a relationship that was not healthy.  For me, that seemed like a way to think about that difficult time in our relationship and how to not let it overwhelm me.  If our relationship is put on the shelf, then it can be taken off when there is mutual respect and a willingness to have an adult-to-adult relationship.  In the meantime, there is a freedom to focus on creating my own joy and healthy relationships.  That has really helped me to remember that what's happening now may not last forever and that I do have choices about who I engage with on a daily basis. 

Wishing you better days ahead.  (((Hugs)))
Hello, and welcome to WWU!  So good to hear that you put yourself first!  I used to put myself last, too, and realized that I got walked on a lot, letting my daughter know that my feelings, time, money didn't really matter.  Now is our time!  We matter!  You matter!  Happy New Year!!  Hugs!  :)
Welcome!  We ask all new members to go to the Home Page, check out the board labelled "Open Me First" and read the posts placed there for you.  Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to make sure that WWU is a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.

I'd first like to say is that this forum does not offer advice, as none of us is trained to provide that.  We do share, listen and offer support and encouragement. 

What I figured out after countless anxiety-filled days and sleepless nights, after I had attempted many ways to try to get her to leave her boyfriend, was that my daughter's relationship issues were and are her own to solve.  My only job is/was to listen, and sometimes I don't even go there, telling her instead that some issues are her own to figure out (with or without therapy).  I don't want or need to know specifics, things that will only upset or worry me.  When I tried to set up conditions for her boyfriend in order to have him be part of our lives, it just made all of us miserable since it put me in the awkward position of trying to monitor his behavior and led both of them to lie about what was really going on in their relationship.  When I stayed out of the whole situation, my daughter was able to see things more clearly and make up her own mind.  When I stuck my nose in it, she just tended to take his side against me, even if she actually agreed with me.  She did finallly break up with him, but not until my husband and I stepped back and let her see how hard her life was with him and that he had no intention of changing.  That process took way longer than we thought, and I'd have been a basket case if not for this website, supportive family and friends, and a good therapist.

My take is that by inserting yourself into your son's relationship, he won't make his own decisions and come to his own conclusions about his wife.  Instead, I'd focus on things that are within my control, which are finding ways to create my own joy in life.  Yes, it can be done and it is a great feeling of freedom and lightness when it happens.
Grab Bag / Re: 50th Wedding Anniversary
November 04, 2018, 06:28:59 PM
Congratulations, jdtm, on your 50th anniversary!  That is well worth celebrating!  I'm glad you will be going someplace warm together.  My husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary with a cruise 9 months after the fact, and it was wonderful!  Shortly after we returned, there were a lot of family issues that definitely took our time and attention, so we were very fortunate to have had some special time together before things started to become difficult.  It's so good that you will take some special time away together as a couple.  Cheers  :D
Welcome, Rockchic.  Luise and the women here really helped me to see that I was also accepting disrespect from my daughter. (I posted a lot on this site about my issues with her back in 2015-2016). It took a while for me to see that I did not have to accept it, and figure out how to call her on it, but I did, and while it felt hard at first to stand up for myself, eventually I began to see that it was really the only way to get my self-respect back.  Plus it was good for me to model creating healthy boundaries, since she was struggling in other relationships, too.  And guess what?  Standing up for myself has helped me to be assertive in other relationships as well.  I'm still a work in progress, but I'm thankful that I gave myself permission to be straight about how I want to be treated, having been supported by some wonderful gals on this forum. 

Wishing you the best!

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Conflicted
September 15, 2018, 08:49:45 PM
Oma, I'm so sorry to hear about your cancer battle.  You've been through so much.  Please take good care of yourself and treasure the time with those who want to be with you on your journey.  As far as your GS goes, while it may seem like he will miss out on a lot of love throughout his life, as you say, none of us knows the future. 

Sending positive thoughts your way

Wow --- your story brought a tear to my eye.  What a great solution you found to gain serenity in your life.  We could all learn something from your story.  Thank you so much for sharing it with us.  One thing that I took away from it is your focus on the goodness in your daughter as you remember her from the past. I'm guilty of sometimes focusing on the negative with my adult kids. Would that we were all remembered for the best we presented to the world. Wishing you continued peace and lightness on your journey.   :)
My take on reading your post is that your daughter and her husband made their decisions, and you get to make yours.  I've told my daughter that once she gets married that she and her future husband are on the hook for all finances (insurance, medical bills, loans, etc.).  Also they would NOT be living in my house. That's what would work for me.  Wishing you the best!
Welcome!  I, too, have a 20 year old son, and have been experiencing some of these issues like you for several years now  - I don't know anything, things I say (trying to be helpful, for example) get an eyeroll or correction -  you get the picture.  I think he is purposely trying to put distance from me so he can feel more independent.  In one respect, I think that seems developmentally appropriate, though I would say my son is pretty immature still. I think many attempts by me to maintain closeness have gotten rebuffed.  These days he isn't feeling too good about himself either, so it seems mom (me) gets the brunt of that.  Since he is back in our home again after dropping out of college, I am expecting respect from him, and actually things have gotten better---knock on wood.  His living here now is due to the generosity of my husband and me, since he is over 18, so if things get really out of hand, I'm prepared to take steps to have him move out.  Like you, I worry about my son not having a social life.  But here's the thing: I can't really do anything about that.  He gets to figure out what he wants out of life.  My worrying about it, or talking to him about it, or trying to control it has done nothing except irritate him.  He might choose to be a hermit his whole life.  That would be sad, but his life and decisions are his own.  Who knows?  He might get sick and tired of being alone and figure out ways to be with people. Or not. Since I can't change him, I have to focus on things I do have control over: myself and my life.  I can't say I'm doing a bang-up job of not worrying about him, but I'm on the journey. 

Wishing you all the best!

Bookworm, I'm sending you warm wishes for your recovery back to good health  :)
Please take care of yourself and focus on that!  That book you are reading sounds like a great way to heal as well.
Hi Bookworm,
It sounds like you are feeling guilty about what you see as changing how much you give of your time and money to the grands.  My take is that nobody else is going to take my perspective into account and stand up for me except me.  I can't expect them to know or understand what I want or how things affect me.  And I deserve to make myself happy.  Others will figure things out for themselves and make their own choices, but I don't have to compare my situation to theirs or make their problems my problems.  I find that I'm a happier person and give everyone my best when I give it freely without resentment or hesitation and choose to have a good balance in my life.  As far as that weekend goes, it sure seems like a good balance to say that you will take the kids for part of the weekend, as you did.  SIL might have hoped for more, but that is not your problem.  I would not take ownership of that issue.  I'd let him figure it out as every parent must do. You have already parented children and figured those things out. You now have earned your time and resources for yourself, to spend by yourself or with DH or whoever else you choose.

Wishing you well   :)
Regarding your comment about having spoiled your son because he is talking to you in a way that you would not have talked to your own parents, I think that might be, at least in part, a generational thing.  Just last week my sister was lamenting the same thing about her 20-something daughter.  My sister was in tears over the way her daughter had spoken to her.  Other friends of mine have said the same thing, and I've experienced it as well with my own kids. 

I'm wondering if it might be time for your son to be out on his own, which may help both of you.  Him- to grow up and become more independent.  You - to let go of the worry and emotional energy.   If you had any other roommate, locking up and keeping the place clean would be basic expectations.  If your son isn't willing to do those basic things, he might need to get those lessons elsewhere.  I don't think of it as a punitive thing, but just a natural time for a young man or woman to have the opportunity to take on adult responsibilities.  My take is that while his choice of words and tone were disrespectful when he said to mind your own business, he was right that getting to work on time IS his responsibility and he has to take ownership for getting himself there. I admit that I have done the same thing as you with my own two young adult kids, thinking I was helping them or saving them from their own consequences.  Then I realized that wasn't doing them any favors and that the real world would provide the best consequences, and the ones that would stick.  My son has more issues ahead with job/career and it's so hard to watch his ennui.  But I know I can't own his problems and behaviors.  I need to somehow hand the reins to him and let him take full charge.  Not easy, definitely not easy, but that's what our parents expected of us at that age, and we managed it.

I hope your new job is interesting and stimulating.  It will give you a new place to focus your energy.  That's a good thing!