First of all I want to say how helpful and therapeutic this website has been for me. Coming here and reading about the different experiences and takes on these kinds of situations has made a huge difference. So thank you all for that! I wanted to say that I have been struggling for some time now with what is best for me and have decided to stop contacting both of my sons, at least for awhile. I get so disgusted that I'm the only one making an effort or or has any interest in keeping the relationships alive. I heard from my oldest son that lives out of state again recently when he began having problems, as is typical for him. I only hear from him when his life isnt going so well or he needs money. Then as soon as things work out he ceases contact all over again, often times not even bothering to let me know the outcome of the problem he had contacted me about. How pathetic is that??????? So afew weeks ago he asked for a loan and I gave it to him. Then shortly after that he asked for another loan and I gave that one as well. I told him I can't keep giving the loans anymore and he didn't even bother to tell me when to expect the money back from him. His wife doesn't work and sits and drinks beer in the evenings. How fair is that??????. My husband and I both work. Yet he expects me to keep doing this and say nothing because I gave birth to him I guess. That money spent on beer could be going toward bills and they have two smartphones too. She is lazy and he chose her and I can't help but feel he would rather ask me for money than tell her to get up off her rear end. Who knows when or if I will ever see that money again and it caused some problems between my and my husband. He says enough is enough. Then my youngest son has issues as well. He doesn't ask me for money but I have done so much for him over the years too. I live 5 miles away from him and the only time he comes out here is when he needs to borrow the weed eater or something like that. I usually go to his house and see him once a week for maybe 30 minutes or so. When I get there I can never tell he is happy to see me. He usually just keeps doing whatever he as doing. My dil is lukewarm at best and downright cold and rude to me at times. The last time my husband went with me over there he told me he saw her make a face at me as I was walking inside when she thought I wasn't looking. My husband told me he wasn't going back. When I try to call him ( which is rare ) he doesn't answer the phone but calls back at some point, usually much later. It just made me think what if something was wrong and I really needed to get in touch with him. I couldn't rely on him at all. So what happens is I end up feeling like a desperate loser for even making the effort, as if I'm seeking something that just isn't there. It's sad because I have always kept my cell phone in my room all night long just in case either of them needed me. I realize now I need to stop it because neither of them would be there for me. I told him the other day that he never answers for me and what if something had been wrong. He just laughed it off as if I wasn't serious. But I couldn't be more serious. So I have made the decision to stop all of this. It isn't good for me anymore. I am not calling or going by anymore. I may not even answer their calls for awhile. It has finally come to this. Thank you all for listening.
I'm so sorry you are up against it. I know the feeling, as many of us here do. Making the decision to stop is the first step. Keeping that promise to ourselves is the next one. Our adult children are who and what they are. Some are pretty much done with us. Expecting anything more is useless.
However, for me it was a long slow 'hill to climb' to let it go and move on. Knowing I was the one to decide was so hard. Finding the selfrespect to act on it, even harder. DS was just being himself and I didn't expect him to turn out like that. Sending hugs...
QuoteI am not calling or going by anymore.
I learned the hard way that when you have sons the "right" to call or "drop in" disappears as soon as there is a woman in the household. I, too, never drop in and rarely call (and by rarely I mean less than once a year). But, here's the funny thing - as I got busier and more involved in my life and less in theirs, I actually see my sons oftener. Not often, but oftener. Judge Judy says that if you make a loan to a family member, consider it a gift - getting any return would be an unexpected surprise. So, no loans here and very little "gifts" - perhaps in the form of Christmas or birthday gifts. I tend to think back on what my parents did when we got married - there was no coddling, or financial help, and very little babysitting assistance. But, they worked so hard and deserved some fun and relaxing times. And so do we. And, I think my husband and I did a very good job in rearing our sons - so I trust their ability to provide for their families and make their way in the world. Really, they don't need us. And, finally, I'm O.K. with that even though there are days ....
Luise....thank you for understanding.....and the hugs!. It means alot.
Jdtm....I do understand that kids grow up and become adults and don't need us in the same way anymore. However, it isn't about being "needed" so much as it is simply wanting to reach out and hear from and see the people we know and love, especially the ones we raised. That is what people do, or at least should do, to keep relationships alive. I understand that it is a two way street and I can't make them want the same things. But generally speaking, when one party is making all the effort, relationships suffer and the desire to keep doing it tends to go away.
We all go through stages with this, it seems to me. Some of us get stuck for a while, too. All we can do is look as closely as we can at our expectations regarding our AC. I got stuck in the reasonablness of my expectations. I felt logic and respect and fairness were 'givens'. I asked for very little beyond common courtesty. The hardest lesson I have ever had to learn is that how my son lived his adult life including what his attitude toward me and treatment of me were...was none of my business. His life had been my business. My business was bringing him up. I wasn't willing to be fired or retired just because he grew up. Especially if it clearly looked like he needed more direction.
My business, and it was something I did not want to face, was to get on with my own, post-parenting life and leave my son to stumble around in his. My job was done. I didn't realize that my self-image had pretty much become my parental role. I had to redefine myself when I didn't want to, saw no need to and so for a long time, refused to.
I hit an impasse. I got stuck for a long time time in defending myself with 'yeah buts'. I made sense to me! It took a long time for the seed of self respect to germinate. I thought wanting the relationship between myself and my son to be different would be heard and responded to. All it supported was allienation. I wanted my son to be different and accept me as I was. He wanted me to be different and accept him as he was. It was years before I saw that and let go.
I am now 87 years old. Parenting was a part of my life but not my life. More hugs...
It gets easier, at least it finally did for me. I still miss just talking with DS, as we were pretty close and shared a lot of interests, just as I would miss any good friend who was suddenly out of my life.
You'd think I'd be a pro since I'd already gone through this with my dad when he remarried (three different times! Three different stepmothers who didn't want anything to do with me!) as well as my brother (his wife's FOO comes first in all things; they all live on a different continent far away.) My DH's stepmother has also cut her husband's (my FIL) children and grandchildren out. Both DH & I lost our mothers years ago, and all our siblings moved far away, so we really don't have any close family now.
Why this happens sometimes is a question I may never know the answer to. In the meantime, I want to live my best life and not spend it pining away for something or someone I cannot control. It's kind of liberating!
Venting helps. I live alone with 3 cats, and so I vent out loud and can count on feedback from at least one of them! ;D The silent treatment from my youngest AD is going on over 3 years now. For some reason, her silence/estrangement is easier to accept than the ST I'm getting from my oldest AD, which is now heading toward 7 months. I have days that it doesn't even cross my mind, and then I hit a string of days where I wake up every morning with the thought of "what the heck did I do to deserve this", feeling like she's condemning me for something she doesn't have the guts to explain; then anticipating and dreading a phone call from her before the holidays, one of those "we need to talk" calls, and imagining the outcome - getting nowhere with her but more angry and stressed over HER unreasonable and needy expectations of me, and how I should do, or should have done, this or that. Then I finally stop the tape in my head, and realize that my life at the moment is less stressful without her in it and all her drama, lies and expectations. I have no desire to reconnect, because I know, even if it would start out looking like "well maybe, finally, this will work", I know it won't last. She wants to pick everything apart, and then twist around what I've said so it sounds like I've insulted her. I think she feels she is justified in hurting me in whatever way she can - with passive aggressive junk - for something she thinks I failed to do years ago. I just wish I could convince my mind to let it go forever. I'm not quite there yet. So here I am, venting. >:(
Yes Lucy venting does help. I totally understand how you feel. My husband ( the kids stepfather ) has been very good about listening to me vent, but it does help coming here and getting the perspectives of other women. The thing that has bothered me the most is realizing just how selfish my sons truly are. I have tolerated alot and kept my mouth shut about too many things all for the sake of being able to reach out to them and ask after their well being when it is never appreciated or even cared about. It is certainly never reciprocated. And judging by the way they act I can only assume it isn't even desired. The efforts I have made have even been met by digs and smart remarks by one of the dil's ( such as the way I raised them ) too spoiled.....etc. And all right in front of him and he just sits there as if he doesn't hear what she is doing. I just started thinking recently about why I have allowed it and how I really don't have to keep doing it. If it isn't something they want or care about why put myself through it? So no more visits or phone calls from me. I am done! I really am seeing things through different eyes lately and decided I deserve better!
My take is you are both reflecting self respect. We do deserve better and when we wait for someone else to give it to us...it can sure be a long, often endless, wait. My hat is off to you!
It's a very hard decision to come to but there is acceptance at the end. It takes awhile, but it is very freeing and you will look back and see a whole new perspective on everything you were doing. Hang in there.
I agree with Luise that Lucy and Raindrops are reflecting self respect. My son is OK - there are no issues between us - he is just busy, married and lives far away --- I am simply not on his radar screen. I get the obligatory calls on holidays and birthdays - but I am not really a part of his life. I know he loves me - I just don't fit into his life anymore.
His wife has always been disinterested in my DH and me. We attempted friendship, but were given the cold shoulder. We kept being friendly until we were just so fed up at being ignored, that we adopted the same attitude - now we ignore her too, except for going through the motions on holidays, that sort of thing.
I find that I now ignore my son as well as my DIL. To be really involved in his life would not work - 1. He is busy. 2. He is far away. 3. I very much believe our DIL would interpret my involvement with him as meddling, and I am not willing to do anything that could be construed as interfering.
So I find that by ignoring our DIL (not cutting off - we do see her and talk with her when they are here for holidays) - I gain self-respect. It was so frustrating to feel that I had to continue to offer friendship while she routinely gave us the cold shoulder. But his world is her world - and since I do not cling to her - he is effectively gone from our lives. Kind of sad.
Monroe, those are my sentiments exactly. I have been the only one making the effort with them for the last five years. I have been the one calling and going by, trying to stay connected. Countless times I have asked them to come over, only for them to make an excuse not to come or a "maybe" that never pans out. Countless times plans have been made for get togethers that end up getting cancelled at the last minute with a total disregard of the adjustments I made to make it happen. No apologies, nothing. 90% of the time when I have gone by I have had to endure her snide remarks and dirty looks all the while pretending not to see it. My son certainly never acknowledges it, so he is either blind or simply overlooks it. Either way it has started to really take a toll on me. Repeatedly being treated like a nobody for so long is something I just can't continue to do. I end up feeling pathetic and just plain stupid for trying, and I lose respect for myself trying to hang onto something that only I want. I was ok with doing it as I tried to convince myself that my interest in their lives actually meant something to my son. But I am now allowing myself to see what I didn't want to see before. it truly doesn't matter to him.
I agree. It was so hard for me to move past how simple and easy it could be and how rewarding for everyone. But it was my view...and yes, my expectation. I got to where I didn't want to be an obligation surrounded by pretense and some kind of silent endurance. I deserve more. Once I got I could fined it elsewhere...not duplicate it...my self respect starting to return. I matter...