November 28, 2023, 01:42:45 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 - Stilllearning

Snowb.....thank you so much for your kind reply.  I have made an appointment with my doctor and will discuss it with her.  I can only hope that it will help but my DIL has started taking my grandchild to a bigger city 5 hours away because she is not getting the responses she craves locally.  I am not positive that my doctor has any pull in that city but we shall see.

As for this website, it saved my life and my marriage.  This was the first place I ever felt supported in my plight and the first place where I heard that I was not helpless.  I really thought that since I had no control over what was happening in my DS's life I was just doomed to stand by and be tortured by the choices he was making.  It never occurred to me that he had his own lessons to learn and I was no longer responsible for saving him from making mistakes.  It was here that I learned that my work as a parent was done.  I now stand on the sidelines and only help when asked (and if I can).

It has been a tough year for all of us.  We are dealing not only with the pandemic but also the loneliness caused by isolating ourselves.  I quit my job in childcare because it was like working in a petri dish and I have been home with my DH since April.  I cannot imagine how lonely people who do not have a significant other are.  I know of one separated father who committed suicide when he was denied the possibility of seeing his children.  This is a horrible time and it makes it all the more important that we spend some time enjoying ourselves and actively trying to make ourselves happy.  When we are happy we make the people around us happy.  It grows!

I can't change your font for you.  You must have composed in another program and the cut and pasted your first post.  It is OK.  I don't feel like you were yelling, I promise!!  LOL

Keep reading and feel free to post anytime.  Luise has some wonderfully calming advice!  Ask me how I know!!

Oh MC......I feel for you!  It hurts so bad when they pull away and every bone in my body shouted that I needed to do something to fix it.  I called and texted all the time.  I knew if I could just talk to my son the right way he would stop pulling away.  Fortunately my DH did not buy into my thoughts that it was my or my DH's fault.  I just about lost my marriage over running after my DS trying to make things "right".  At this point I really don't remember what it was that made me realize that the problem was me, and not him.  I expected him to react differently than he did.  I expected him to want me to be involved in his life.  He didn't.  I couldn't change the fact that he was evidently happier when he did not hear from me than he was when he did hear from me.  It broke my heart.  I fell into what I now call "the abyss".  I thought about the problem all the time.  I talked about it all the time.  I made everyone around me miserable because all I could talk about was how miserable I was.  It was a mess.  Sometime during this horrible descent I discovered my three mantras:

1).  What you focus on expands
2).  No news is good news
3).  Not my circus, not my monkeys

Let me explain.  The first step was to focus my thoughts and my hopes on things that made ME happy.  Yep, you got it!  I suddenly realized that I could not make other people happy if I did not manage to make myself happy first.  I started planning things for me.  Really!  My DH and I skipped cooking Thanksgiving dinner one year and instead we went canoeing because the weather was wonderful that Thursday.  We cooked the turkey on Friday while it was raining.  Had to call the kids and tell them what was going on.  Their reaction was fine, mainly puzzled but fine.  Holidays were especially difficult for me because the absence of my DS was so obvious and impossible for me to ignore.  My way around that was to start planning other things to do for the holiday.  So for Mother's day I would plan a camping trip.  It made a huge difference in my attitude.

Next I started saying "No news is good news" to myself every time I thought about the fact that my DS had not contacted me.  I would say it to my friends and relatives whenever they asked about my DS/DIL.  I still pull it out when I am asked about them and I don't know what is happening in their life.  Over time people have learned not to ask.

And finally the last one reminds me to keep my advice and opinions to my self.  I finished raising my children and now they have their own lives to live and their own mistakes to make. 

It is a really difficult road with many potholes but I know you can make it!  The idea about the counselor sounds good to me.  He/She may have some more helpful ideas.  Good luck!
Thanks Luise!
It has been a long time since I posted (other than a reply) but I am really in a quandary right now.  A little background is in order.  My granddaughter has been ( according to her mother) having seizures.  No one in my family has actually witnessed them although my DS has stated that they are "very hard to recognize unless you are looking for them",  I have been looking for them but so far I have not seen anything, but admittedly I am not around her that often.  Last week she (according to her mother) had a series of seizures that caused her to loose her memory of recent events (ie. going to the grocery store) and "change her personality" to the point where my DIL took her to the ER.  Now things get convoluted.  The ER physician ordered an EEG, but when they called the residing pediatric neurologist he/she said not to do it.  They waited until the next day to do the EEG.  My DIL has been so exasperated with the local pediatric neurologist that she has taken my granddaughter to the state capitol to see a pediatric neurologist there.  Since there was no EEG run on admission for my granddaughter the pediatric neurologist in the state capitol  has told my DS/DIL that the one the hospital ran here (12 hours later) is worthless.  Now my DS is considering moving to the state capital so that they can get help faster than driving 5 hours and leaving his business which is just starting to take off.

I really think my DIL has Munchausen by proxy but I cannot call anyone to report it because I risk losing my son forever.  I am going to make an appointment with my primary care physician (who has known me and my DH for a long time) and explain my delima.  Other than calling the Department of Family and Children Services do you have any advice?  I can't see letting my grandchildren die because I did nothing but I really don't want to lose my DS.  Help!! 

Please reply if you have any insights!
Aging Wisely / Re: Corona, How is everyone doing?
March 27, 2020, 04:53:55 AM
I am so glad to hear that you are both doing well!  Please stay healthy!!

As for me, I decided that working in the daycare was unnecessarily exposing my DH to a dangerous vector.  All those times of saying "it is like getting paid to be a Grandmother" are all true but it is still like working in a petri dish,  There is no way to maintain a six foot separation when you have to change diapers and wipe noses, and with both of us being in the "at risk" age range it just didn't seem to be worth the risk.  So now I am at home painting the exterior of my house.  It needs it sooooo badly and since I now have the time and can certainly stay away from everyone in the process I am turning these lemons into lemon aide! 

What are you doing to fill the empty times?  Hopefully you haven't glued yourself to the TV with its endless supply of bad news!
Hi V!!  It is my lunch break so this will be short also.  Sorry!!  I have thought about you and your dilemma this morning.  It is truly sad when we are put in your situation.  You deserve to enjoy your life. You spent 30 years doing everything you could for him. 

I had to pretty much turn my back on my eldest.  It really hurt but it was not until then that he really understood all that we had done for him over the years.  It took a while but the gap left by my pulling away from him has filled.  We will never be the way we were before he married my DIL but things are worlds better now that he does not have the power to control my emotions.  He is an adult.  He makes adult decisions.  He has to pay for the bad ones, but I give him full credit for the good decisions he makes.  Good luck!

Hopefully someone else will chime in with their own feelings!

Welcome V!!  We are glad you found us!  I am unfortunately on my way to work but I will post a more thoughtful reply in a few hours.  Be sure to check out our forum agreement under "open me first" to be sure we are a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.  See you later today!  So sorry you are in this unfortunate circumstance.  We all want our children to fledge from the nest on their own instead of having to kick them out.  Hugs!
Helpful Resources / Re: lost
January 27, 2020, 03:12:11 AM
Hello N!  We are glad you found us.  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts we have placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We are a monitored Website.

There is a wealth of information in our archives for you to read.  Also if you find a particular post that resonates with you, you can go to that person's profile and read their other posts.  You will find some really good suggestions here.  Things that brought me back from a place of complete hopelessness.  I cannot tell you how much the wise women here have helped me.  Some have moved on but some stay to help others.  When you feel comfortable to share your situation I feel certain there will be some wonderfully wise thoughts shared with you.

Oh M, I soo feel for you!!  As a mother we are all programmed to support our offspring regardless of their mistakes and treatment of us.  I too took more than my fair share of abuse from my DIL.  I (possibly in error?) objected to the marriage.  I only asked my DS to wait, I never said not to marry her.  The answer I got was that the marriage was moved to an earlier date and that was that.  I tried so hard to "fix" my relationship with my DS and honestly to make him see my side.  I called, texted, cried, talked to everyone who would listen until I was blue in the face and they were sick and tired of hearing it.  Some of my relatives thought I was over reacting, I should give her a chance, stop complaining, be happy for my DS.  Really?  I mean, really?  Anyway this went on for months.  Although no one said anything to me ,I am pretty sure that my friends and relatives got to the point of cringing when they saw me coming.  I would have gotten there if I was them!  I drove myself crazy with questions and guilt.  After all you are supposed to pick a spouse that somehow resembles your parent, right?  Was I like her?  How could my DS love her?

I spent way too long on that guilt trip.  It was the wonderfully wise women here who brought me back to reality.  The truth is that they told me that I deserve to enjoy my life.  I have finished teaching my DS his lessons, and now it is life's turn to teach him and he gets to pick the lesson himself.  I have no control over what he picks to learn.  I have no responsibility for the mistakes he makes.  I do, however, have a choice as to whether I go through his lessons with him or not.  I finally decided that my interference was actually hindering him in his learning experience.  He was so bent against doing anything I suggested that he would do the opposite of what I said and thereby made many wrong decisions that he might have avoided if I had just kept my thoughts to myself.  This was my part of the lesson, I had to learn that his life was his to mess up if he wanted to.  There is nothing I can do about it.

That lead to the adoption of my three mantras:

1)  What you focus on expands
2)  No news is good news
3)  Not my circus, not my monkeys

I use #1 to pull myself back from what I now call the abyss.  That downward spiraling circle of thoughts that leads me to the pit of despair.  At first I had to force ably pull my thoughts away from my DS and his wife and focus them on something that made me happy.  I planned camping trips.  I made plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas that not only did not include my DS but also gave me an excuse to not host him and his wife.  My DH and I went on canoe trips or other outings on those days. 

I use #2 whenever anyone asks about my DS/DIL so that I not only tell them I don't know but that there is no reason to ask me.  It has proven valuable in that now my friends may offer information on what my DS/DIL are doing but they no longer ask me what is happening.  In times past just a question would put me on the brink of the abyss and telling them anything would throw me into the pit.

I use #3 when they tell me things about my DS/DIL that make me want to interject an opinion.  It saves me from going to the brink of the abyss.

In closing let me tell you again that you deserve to enjoy your life.  You raised your children and you did the best you could.  It is not your fault that your DS chose the life he is leading.  You are not the one who can 'save' him, he has to save himself.  And one more thing, by accepting the way you are being treated you are teaching your grands that it is okay to treat you this way.  This is not a good lesson to pass on.

Good luck, hugs and let us know what you decide and how it goes!
Hi G!  We are glad you found us!  Like Luise my problem doesn't exactly mesh with yours but your situation reminds me of a problem my sister had with her daughter.  Her problem was that her daughter wanted to sleep with her mother every night.  Naturally this put a tremendous strain on my sister's married life but my sister was too soft hearted to put her foot down.  She finally worked out a solution.  She figured that she was making her daughter too comfortable in her bed so she stopped making allowances for her.  She actually deliberately elbowed her or stuck her knee into her back to make sleeping uncomfortable for her.  A few nights later my wonderful niece decided that she would stay in her own bed.  So my question to you is, what are you doing to make your daughter's life more comfortable?  What can you eliminate from your list of job duties to promote more independence in your daughter?  Do you do her laundry?  Cook her meals?  Pay her cell phone bill? Provide her with a car or insurance?  If her counselor has released her you should too.  Do not look on this as punitive, it is life pure and simple.  The more she does on her own the better she will feel about herself.

You deserve to enjoy the life you and your DH have built for yourselves.  I too know of a set of parents who moved out from around their daughter and sold the house.  It was a terrible decision and a long time coming.  Maybe just making your DD's life less cozy will do the trick.  I hope for your sake that it works!  Hugs!!
Happy New Year to you J! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you but it was New Years Eve, right? I remember when my DS picked his wife how totally horrified I was.  There were so many things wrong with the match in my many!  I could not keep my big mouth shut.  No I didn't tell him not to do it but I did ask him to wait, just wait a few months, get your feet under you before you jump into such a permanent obligation.  Her response to this request was to move the wedding up.  Well I learned my lesson. 

I suffered through the wedding and the rehearsal dinner.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, trying to smile while my heart was breaking.  Then came the children.  That is when you know your DS is truly stuck in the relationship.  Things were very bad for me for years.  I cried a lot and talked to everyone about how unfair the entire situation was, and it is totally wrong.  I raised a wonderful caring human who married a woman who has done nothing but hinder his chances for advancement both socially and economically.  It hurts my soul when I think about it.  Anyway talking about it all the time did only one thing.  It made people want to avoid me.  The situation was taking all the joy out of my life, ruining my relationships with my family, friends, even my DH.  I turned into a real party pooper.  And then I found this website and it changed my life.

It was here that I found women who knew what I was feeling and really empathized.  Through reading the posts here I found hope that I could once again enjoy my life.  I had to decide to let my DS learn his own lessons in life, his own way, even if I knew it was the hard way.  I stopped calling him, texting him, trying to fix things.  I just stopped.  It took him a few months to realize that I was no longer standing there waiting for him to return, so what did I do during those months?  I learned to think about something else.  I started putting myself first (something that is very hard for good mothers to do).  I spent time planning things for myself and my DH to enjoy.  When anyone asked me about my DS I would say "No news is good news" or "Not my circus, not my monkeys" and move to more pleasant topics.  The change in my life was huge.  I am really having a good time now.  My DH came up to me the other day and said he was the happiest he has been in years and I have to admit that I am too.

So my advice to you deserve to be happy and you can be.  You can borrow my three mantras (some are repeats but I repeated them daily for years and still do)

1) No news is good news
2) Not my circus, not my monkeys
3) What you focus on expands

The third one is really important!  Once I started focusing my thoughts on making myself happy, my happiness expanded.  It may sound selfish but I helped not only myself but also my DH and my other DS and my relatives and my friends.  We are all enjoying our lives more now.  Admittedly my DS and his wife are less happy than I would like to see them be but there is nothing I can do to change things for them and ruining my life over it is no longer an option I am willing to allow.  I matter too.  I want to enjoy the remainder of my life. 

Welcome J!  If your screen name is close to your real name please change it to something less identifiable.  Only Luise and Kirk are allowed to use their real names since they started the site and maintain it.  Also we ask all new members to check out the posts in the "Open  me First"  area and pay special attention to the forum agreement to be sure we are a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.

I really wish I had time to address your situation right now but I am on my way to work and cannot be late.  I will leave this tab open and try to reply later.  For now please know that I feel for you.  I know what it is like to loose your son.  The heartache is almost unbearable.  You deserve better.  More later!  Hugs!
Welcome J!  We are glad you found us!  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. There you will find a list of our abbreviations and acronyms.  Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

DS stands for dear son.  Please feel free to post anytime! 

Welcome I!!  We are glad you found us!  We ask all new members to go to our 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 for you. We are a monitored Website.  I edited your original post to remove your name.  Only the founder of this site, Luise, can use their real name.  You also should change your screen name.  Do not use your email address.  Thanks!!

Now as to your problem you really haven't given us much to comment on so I will be shooting in the dark but I will give it a whirl.  My DS was completely unaware that he was "playing games" with me.  I was well aware of it but I still kept playing because, after all, he is my son and I didn't want to loose him forever and since games were the only way of keeping in touch, well, what else could I do?  I was so incredibly upset and I could not see any way out.  I forgot that there is always a way out.  I stopped playing.  I stopped calling him to stay in touch.  I stopped texting him to see what was happening.  I stopped running after him begging to be included in his life.  I just quit.  It wasn't easy.  I had to force myself to stop.  I had to rehearse and repeat my mantras:

1) No news is good news
2) Not my circus, not my monkeys
3) What I focus on expands

Using these sayings to recenter myself many times a day I eventually broke the "I've gotta fix this" habit and I have grown to accept that his life is his to live, including if he messes it up.  It has taken years but he has come around.  I think that I was stuck in the habit of treating him like my son instead of treating him as the adult he is.  I still object to some of the things he does but I keep to my own counsel unless he asks for advice (which he almost never does).  With practice I have managed to start focusing my thoughts on the things that bring me joy and my life in general has improved beyond belief.  Thinking about my DS's situation still causes me grief so I still try to avoid dwelling on it.  As a matter of fact when my siblings or friends ask about him I always repeat my circus mantra and they hush.  I hope this helps.

Grandchildren / Re: Silent treatment from daughter.
November 16, 2019, 06:24:22 AM
Welcome I!!  We are glad you found us. We ask all new members to go to our 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 for you. We are a monitored Website.

I have had your reply up on my computer since you posted it trying to figure out what I should say.  Once I was where you are but it didn't involve my children, it involved my husband.  At least twice a year he would go out of town on a "guys weekend" and leave me to take care of the children.  Over time I grew to resent this treatment.  I voiced my resentment and my reasons but my DH just said "Why don't you just take a weekend trip too?".  He had a point but I didn't want to leave my DH and children at home while I went out for a good time.  I was at an impasse with a growing resentment about it.  It was so unfair for him to do this to me year after year!  I actually got so bad that I considered the big "D".  It is amazing how much resentment can invade your relationship and turn a good one sour.

I can almost hear you thinking "So, what did you DO?"  I went to a workshop that made me rethink how that resentment got there and who was responsible for it.  Actually it was my own fault.  I had given my DH the total responsibility for my happiness.  Whether I am happy or not is my own decision and how much I let someone else "make me unhappy" is also my own choice.  My workshop taught me that I was the only person who could make me happy or vice versa.  I took a long look at my situation and came up with a solution.

I started doing things to make myself happy on those "guy weekends".  I took the kids camping.  I started going up to my DH and asking him when the next weekend was so that I could make plans for myself and the kids.  When he came home the children and I were full of stories about how much fun we had had.  I can only remember a couple of times camping without my DH there.  It didn't take long for him to decide that he would rather go with us than go on the "guys" trip.  Those camping trips stand out in all of our memories.  My screen saver is filled with pictures of them and when they pop up I think about how much fun we had on that particular trip.  I know my children will recall them with pleasure for their entire lifetimes, and to think the first camping trip my children went on was planned as a way to make myself happy and resentment free.  I am forever grateful for that workshop.  It was the beginning of my happily ever after.  Yes, that was derailed by the DIL issue that brought me here and it took my reading on this site to bring me back to the path of happiness but right now, for a while, my life is blissfully happy.  It is one of the things I will be thinking about this Thanksgiving.

I hope this will help you think twice about how unhappy you are letting yourself feel.  I hope it will empower you to take control of your life instead of letting everyone else drive your moods.  Happiness is a matter of perspective. Find something in your life that makes you happy and focus on it.  Always remember what you focus on expands!

Hugs from all of us!