March 26, 2019, 02:39:53 pm


"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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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Dont know what to do
Last post by Gracie - January 18, 2019, 07:35:48 pm
Hi Im new here. So glad to find this site. My son has been married 15 yrs and has 2 children. Last Feb my son came to me and was very upset. He stated that he felt his wife was a narcissist and couldnt take the verbal abuse anymore. Of course I had no knowledge of anything going on over the years. From Feb thru april last year things got really bad and my son said he couldnt take it anymore and that he was worried also about the kids. At one point he told me that my Dil pushed him to the floor and was on top of him trying to get the car keys as she was being verbally abusive. He locked himself in the bathroom from fear of her. He would email me 3 or 4 times a night for 2 mths when she was asleep to tell me what was going on..and I of course was trying to be very supportive for him. He would come to my house when he could get away and even spent the night here. She would threaten to kill herself...leave without knowing where she was going and when she would be back..and just nonstop verbal abuse when home with my son. At the end of April my son kept saying he was going to speak to a lawyer about a separation. Well somehow she got a hold of his phone and then suddenly 3 days later shes laying on the charm as narcissists do. (Did alot of research on this). Suddenly hes telling me that things are now "fantastic". This is 3 days after talking about a separation. The emails to me stopped and I didnt really hear from him by phone or text. I didnt believe things were suddenly fantastic but thought i would give him some space in case they were working on things. My Dil not only totally stressed out my son over those 2 mths but seeing my son so upset and hearing how she was treating him made me and the family very upset to the point where I was having anxiety attacks. Every few days there were postings on social media about how wonderful everything was. Well mothers day rolls around and i tell my son that i would love to see him and the kids but i just cant see my Dil right now. I need time. Well he tells me if she cant come too then i wont be seeing any of them. So i told him that was his decision. I was upset because i did not raise my child this way. He couldnt respect my wishes after all i went through with him the past few months? Well we talked in June and he basically made it sound like everything that happened was my fault (even though i never said a bad word about his wife even during those few mths ..just basically listened). Over the years me and our family always felt like my Dil was controlling when my son would see us and for how long but i never said anything because that was his wife and didnt want to start any trouble. But this is the icing on the cake. I feel that i should have received an apology from my Dil for how she treated my son , me and the family because of how upset she made us. But it never happened. So now i havent seen or spojen to my son or grandkuds since june of last year. I have continued to send everyone birthday cards and gifts. As well as xmas ones. I would like to have my relationship back with my son but feel i cant be around my Dil drama and without an apology. Last time we talked in June he sounded like his mind is now like my Dil. Plus it sounds like if i dont accept her then forget it.Please tell me honestly if i am wrong about what i am feeling and if you have any suggestions. How can you raise your kids properly and they just turn on you so easily. So sad.
Hi C and welcome to the site! I hope you have checked out our Forum agreement under the "Open Me First" page to be sure that we are a good fit for your needs.  We are a monitored website.

Your post sounds like you are absolutely stuck in your situation, a daughter with could anyone make her fend for herself?  Sad that you had to take on the boyfriend too but I trust your judgement about that situation. 

I have just one question.....What are you doing for yourself?  You are taking care of everyone else (even the boyfriend) but are you taking care of yourself?  I tended to put everyone else's needs and desires before my own.  As mothers we are actually programmed to do this.  The entire time we are raising children it is very important to put their needs first but lets face it, my kids are grown.  Their happiness is their responsibility and comes as a direct result from their decisions since they stopped listening to me. I now live by a couple of sayings......

1) What you focus on expands!  (So I try to keep my focus on the good things in my works!)
2) No news is good news!  (So I stopped worrying about what they were doing/thinking/blaming me for)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys   (a reminder that I could not "fix" their problems, they had to)

My life has changed in marvelous ways since I started using this approach.  I know that you have your DD living with you but I feel certain you could employ at least a little of this method.  Good luck!!
Woohoo!  The timer is a great idea!  I am so glad you thought of it and thanks for passing it along!  Way to go! 8)
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: What have others done abou...
Last post by Bamboo2 - January 14, 2019, 09:50:07 pm
Cookie, what a clever idea to use a timer to avoid wallowing in sadness.  Thanks for sharing that!  ;)
What an inspiring refection you are of the spirit of WWU!
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: What have others done abou...
Last post by Cookie - January 14, 2019, 07:23:06 pm
This is MUCH harder and taking much longer than I though....I finally had to set a timer and limit myself to just 5 minutes of sorting through photos and discarding the ones that bring up unhappy memories at a time.  I was totally lost in the Abyss yesterday; my fault because I didn't set limits for myself and wallowed in regrets and sadness.  Not ever wanting to go there again (the Abyss)!!

We can DO this, people.  We (collectively) don't have to punish ourselves any longer for the choices our grown kids have made, nor for our past failures (real or imagined) as parents.

Thanks everyone for being part of my healing; hope something I'm saying can be part of your healing too.
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: What have others done abou...
Last post by Bamboo2 - January 04, 2019, 06:00:16 pm
Yay!  We're cheering for you  :D
Good for you! :)
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: What have others done abou...
Last post by Cookie - January 04, 2019, 03:42:57 pm
Thanks Luise and Bamboo2.  I like the idea of keeping the happy memories and discarding the objects/photos that bring me grief and that don't make me smile. 

I see that keeping memorabilia that bring up hurtful memories is just another way of continuing the abuse that my son used to heap on me; well, no more.  I have choices!  And I choose good feelings and good memories (and good relationships NOW, with people who love and respect me NOW).  Small steps to growth. 

I think I'll look in one of those boxes today and throw out some negative junk....
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: What have others done abou...
Last post by Bamboo2 - January 03, 2019, 10:47:55 am
Welcome, Cookie!  Very sorry to hear about your estrangement.  Although my experiences are not the same, and my daughter is back in contact with us and has made some positive changes, it has been and continues to be abundantly clear that there was a four-year period that is just not healthy to revisit. (She called me in the middle of the night last week, crying uncontrollably about an issue with her current boyfriend, and I realized how close to the surface my memories are of those four years). I have photos and journal entries from that period that I would read over from time to time, and they just served to bring me back down to "the abyss", as WWU moderator Still Learning so aptly describes it.  I've also figured out that I really can't spend any time thinking about the hurt and unfortunate choices we all made during that time---hers in isolating herself from family and living with an abusive boyfriend, and ours of trying so hard to keep her in our lives and convincing her to leave him.  I've intentionally chosen the path that is most peaceful for me.  I've even talked with my husband about not bringing up that painful time in conversation with me or others as it does not move us forward.  During that time, I kept a few items at hand that heartened me, like old Mother's Day cards she made for me or gave me, that reminded me of the heart of gold that I know she had.  I think the idea of keeping the things that bring a smile to your face and discarding the rest is great!  Warm wishes coming your way!
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