September 27, 2020, 09:30:21 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 - not like the movies

Grab Bag / Re: Happy Holidays!
December 24, 2017, 09:08:44 pm
Merry Christmas Eve. I am spending a wonderfully quiet evening with my DH. We watched the Grinch with Jim Cary and laughed until our sides hurt. Tomorrow is full on family day at my brothers home. We passed the last two years. 2015 we were traveling for a year on the road with our RV unit. In 2016 after returning home we downsized to what we call our "fort". We stayed home last year and enjoyed the quiet peaceful setting. We had a lot of snow and it was gorgeous. We live in North Idaho in a forest area. We just could not part with the tranquil scenery we had just moved into. After two years of non traditional Christmas, tomorrow we are going with tradition. I am already tired thinking about it and cooking the dishes was I asked to bring. Which got me thinking....I remember when my parents were in their 60's the adult children in the family had taken over. The elders just showed up and enjoyed the day. They were not required to bring a thing. They had paid their dues. Seems things have changed. 2018 may be a return to non traditional Christmas again. Have a wonderful day however you spend it.
"Is it too late to stop this happening?" It takes both parties to want to prevent estrangement.
If "she has made it clear that she does not want anything to do with us" that does not sound like a winning combination. Reminds me of my niece that came to stay with us for about a week when my brother had her leave because her behavior was unacceptable. When my DH and I had a chat with her she said she was so done with her parents. All she wanted was for them to pay her car insurance, medical insurance and cell phone bill. She said it with a straight face. We couldn't help but laugh. We thought it was a sarcastic joke. She only lasted at our place one week. She was incredible spoiled. When she said jump, everyone her in home asked how high. When they didn't jump, the entire family paid a price. They were held hostage by her nasty attitude and silent treatments. She had a lot of power that she acquired at a very young age. She ruled the roost. She is 26 now and recently was arrested for obstruction of a police officer. He pulled her over for an equipment violation on her vehicle. It escalated to her being arrested. She was so accustom to calling the shots. The real world has different rules and provides real life lessons some children don't learn at home. She is painfully discovering the universe does not orbit around her.
welcome sad heart...sorry for what brings you here. I know several mothers that this has happened to. You are not alone for sure. This alienation happens for such a variety of reasons. Like others have said here, pull back and focus on yourself and the things that bring you happiness. Of course it is natural for the upcoming union of an adult son and his soon to be bride to bring happiness. Sadly often it does not. When that is the case, you can only tend to your sad heart making it a happy heart by focusing on other areas of your life that bring joy. For me I had to find new ones. It's has since been about self-care and healing for me. There have even been times I have had to go full no contact not only to end the abuse but to heal.? Of course each situation is different. Normally, a logical, non-emotional response is recommended but that's not the same for everyone.? As you said even the most innocent response and actions can be twisted. Wow do I have experience with that. Many times my attempts to "help" or resolve the situation brought on more problems. I also had this expectation that all would be well in a short time. Not the case in my situation. These troubled, toxic, and chaotic relationships can endure the test of time if allowed! One positive of healing for me, is my ability to bow out quicker when ugly patterns rear up again. I use to go on for a long time trying to sort it out. It was exhausting. I just don't have the same tolerance as before. Too many other things call out to me and pull me towards feeling happy and at peace. Thank goodness I took the time to create a life outside my daughter and her family. I was pretty deep into it thinking that is where I needed to focus. I also had to come to terms that my daughter may never see clearly as in my version of clear. She has her own ideas and they are very different from mine. These are not easy times but there are better days ahead.
Hello Kaylark. During the 3 week waiting period read as much as you can here. I don't often post but I do often read.
Your situation is more common than you might realize. That was a discovery I made many years ago. So many reasons and different life situations and experiences that produce this condition. I had to invest less in the "why" and more in how to survive the pain and craziness. It's often unexplainable. Here I am years later after the first round of a devastating knockout. I am surving and much happier than I ever envisioned. After a year of numbness and confusion trying to make sense of it, I moved to making sense of my life after parenting. When my daughter cycles around to another episode of devaluing me, I am no longer immobilized by the pain and hurt. I chose to believe my own story of my parenting years. Was I perfect? Nope. But I was a pretty darn good mother. I did my best and my best looked completely different in my rear view mirror than my daughter's. I had an ex that slandered me and tried to plant insecurity in the children. For some unknown reason it took hold in one. It is very damaging. I have greater boundaries today and I decide how much damage I will allow to continue. Keep reading here and know you are not alone.
Thank you for your response Kate. There is so much more going on behind the scenes that we have discovered. My daughter is once again not speaking with us and has terminated our contact with the grandchildren. I know I can weather this having been through it before. My heart aches for the two grandchildren. We are helpless and can only keep our lives in check. We have a plan with our ex son in law to send letters and such to the 10yr old to his home. That covers one, but the 5 yr old is out of bounds in all ways to us right now.
As far as my daughter, I really don't want to listen to her right now. I have done this before. It gets too crazy and dramatic. Things make less and less sense when we stay engaged and we wind up feeling like we just enable the situation by accepting it as normal behavior. We get pretty exhausted with the lies and the crazy whirlwind. I have a dear friend that deals with similar issues with her daughter that is a drug addict and it kind of feels like the same only it's with relationship addiction. It is crazy but very similar patterns and behaviors. The good difference for us this time with her pull away is that we are not as frantic. We have a better understanding of what is going on having been here before. What we are learning now is how to have better boundaries for when she surfaces once again. We thought we did but in hindsight we see there is remove for improvement. We ignored several red flags simply because things were going too smoothly.
Aging Wisely / Re: How are you coping?
June 05, 2017, 10:18:23 am
I like your plan. Up until 4 years ago my husband and I had all four parents living. Then suddenly we had a cascade of death among them, something we always feared. First my father, a week later my father in law, followed by my mother in a few months and then mother in law. We lost all 4 parents in an 8 month period. In between our parents deaths, we unexpectedly lost my sister's husband. He was only 57. It was a very difficult year. I can't imagine how we would have coped in they did not all live so close. My folks were in a very good assisted living home but as you say we kept a very good check on them. We were there several times during the week and always on the weekends when we were not working. My in-laws both continued to live in their own home they had for 50 plus years. They were close to us as well. It gave us all peace of mind we were minutes away. The dads were both 90 and the moms were in mid 80's. I agree it is so important to keep loved ones close by when the aging process accelerates. There were many changes that happened quickly and the close proximity allowed us to respond accordingly. Plus it was a very joyful time of life for us all as we cherished spending the looming limited time we realized we had with them. So many wonderful special moments and memories together.
Hello. I can feel your pain. I have had a similar situation with my 32 yr old daughter. This website helped me understand I was not alone. I learned this is more common than I understood. I have had to make a life about myself. That remedy has been my only protection against the cyclical ups and downs with my adult daughter. The first time I experienced her complete cutoff it was very painful. Each subsequent time has been less. I now have other things in my life besides her drama that occupies my time. Most of us have had some pain in our childhoods but we don't all grow into adults still acting like children. My daughter just needs more time and more life lessons to grow up. I just no longer need to parent her. I can't. I don't want to. She is 32. I love her but at times struggle with liking her behavior. I have spent a lot of time and energy and finances on trying to understand her pain and wounds while I over looked the pain and wounds she caused me and others. I also realized I lacked boundaries with her. Slowly I established them. At times I let my guard down and bam back in it. I am getting better each year as I focus on my happiness. I was a decent mother and thank goodness I have a son that tells me that. I try to my best each day to detach mentally and emotionally from the chaos when it is in full swing as it is now. It takes work and practice to make up my mind to be happy even if she is not. My life is about me. My daughter is only a part. Now that she is 32 I get to decide how much and what that needs to be for me. I get to choose. When she chooses to distance I now have a life full of other choices. This is not an easy journey but it is manageable. I can tell you I am different in positive ways because of it. I learned what my part was in keeping the pain alive for me. I worked on fixing the only thing I could, me. I still have room to improve. It's a process. I can still get sucked in but I can pull out sooner and with less damage to me. The best thing I can model to her and my grandchildren is to take care of myself.
I like that Pooh! Yes we do know for certain. I am in a holding pattern. I am waiting for the right moment to send a card or have the chat if there ever is a right moment. It hasn't felt right just yet. I am pausing but at the same time have said no to having the grands over for the weekend now that we know the true motivation. In the meantime I am thinking and processing and just dealing with the feelings. We are taking off for a few weeks in the RV. Looking forward to the time away.
Thank you Marina. Yes it is a painful situation. We are worried about the kiddos a lot. That is the toughest part. They are always the innocent victims. We are very involved in their lives. Reflecting over the past 6 months it make sense now why they have spent a lot of time with us. When we were asked if the kids could come out it was always a variety of reasons. The main one being my daughters health problems. But now we know it was for her own freedom. Even though we have loved having them we feel used. Now that we know the truth we can't continue to enable the situation allowing her to lie to us. We live about 50 miles away so when the kids came out they spent the night. Mostly on a Saturday night. Her husband works Saturday nights. Both fathers are good guys and very involved with their children. Both have done the lion share of parenting while working full time jobs. It's rather amazing how similar the pattern has been.
Thank you Luise. I like being part of a generation that still sends cards and letters! Great idea. I had been thinking of asking her to meet with me. But now I realize that would just end badly. She has a way of turning the tables on another person and I don't have the energy for it. My husband and I have both retired. We have no problem do things that bring us joy. We bought an RV and traveled for the year last year. Part of our joy has been spending time with the 2 grand kids. We love providing them with experiences. We have a lot of fun with them. Hopefully she will not pull them away but it did happen with the 10 year old during affair round 1. Since we have been through it once and survived we can survive again. It lost it's power over us. They are left confused. That is the part that stinks.
I don't know much about FB. I don't have an account. I have called it FakeBook over the years. Seems like there is always a lot of drama centered around it. You could ask him how that came to be she is connected with him on FB. There could be an innocent explanation. I wish I could offer more. I really don't know the protocol and etiquette of FB. 
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / History Repeats
April 17, 2017, 03:39:18 pm
I've been here before. My daughter age 32, was married (great guy) and she had an online affair. The affair moved crossed country to be with her having never met her. She divorced her husband (one son now 10). New guy and her got married had a child, a girl now 5. I have discovered my daughter is having another affair. She does not know I know. I need to distance myself. I don't have it in me to do round 2 of this. It was a very painful time the first round. I really liked her first husband. I really like her 2nd husband. I can't make sense out of my daughters behavior even if I tried. I don't know what to say to her. I need to say something as I pull away. I got a text from her saying she feels a void between us. I have been silent with her lately. She has been so preoccupied with the affair it took her some time to notice. I am just trying to think about how to frame it. The first time this happened 6 years ago it was just horrible on the entire family. I can't imagine round 2 being any less painful in fact more painful. Two children now. The 10 yr old is very bonded to his step father. The truth is my daughter is very powerful, manipulative, selfish, and dishonest. It's hard for me to type those adjectives. I have been combing articles on line how to talk to your adult child that is having an affair. Thought I would turn here for added input.   
Welcome. Sorry for the situation that brought you here. My own daughter banished me and my grandson a few years back. It was very painful. I finally just let go. Sometimes when up against a brick wall you need to turn around and look what is behind you. An entire life of other choices and other people that wanted to be around me and I them. Once I was able to do that I began to heal. I wasn't so exhausted trying to manage my daughters issues. My daughter had to marinate in her own choices and doings. I was no longer present to point the finger at.  I invested a lot of time and finances on something I could not change. It was a bad investment. I learned a lot most importantly about me. She did eventually come to me and reconcile. It was a long and uncomfortable journey. I can tell you one important thing I learned was that there is more room in a broken heart. I found room for so many other things and other people. I am a better person for the experience. This was not easy but it was possible. I changed myself day by day until one day I liked the new me way better. I keep learning and getting better. I try to remember there is always room for improvement and I am the only one I can improve on. Sometimes I slip but is is ever so short lived. It is a process. Take care, better days are ahead.
thank you wonderful ladies!
thanks Doe...yes the counselor I don't want to be. I am pulling way back. It has been hard. DIL and I have never had any falling out. I have tried to treat her with respect and a welcome when they come to town. I did not know it was this bad. Out of protection and loyalty to his wife he hid a lot. Like in most abusive relationships. I have felt him slipping away from who he use to be. That part I feel so sad about. That was what the e-mail was about. Reminding him about his passion for life he once had and that he has value. Things a person can forget in an abusive relationship. He sent a text tonight and he has scheduled an appt with a therapist. Relief. I am just going to refer DIL to speak to son I am not going to defend a private e-mail to my son.