Our adult son has changed so drastically that we barely recognize him. He blames us for his wonderful childhood after dating a girl from a lesser background. He now feels that we gave him too much!! That we didn't give him the tools for success because we did too much for him, i.e., private educate, college car etc... My husband and I worked for everything we had and both of us came from broken families. We always wanted to give our children more than what we had. The girlfriend shames him daily for his connection to his mother. My son and I were always very close. Now , he is another person. When she is not around he seems more like himself, but those times become less and less. My heart is broken. If I attempt to defend myself he distances himself. He also shares everything I say to him in private with her. My trust has been broken. I love all my sons and this scenario we never saw coming. Nothing hurts like a son who judges his mother. I really don't know how this has happened. He was so happy. This girlfriend has him hook line and sinker now.. Any advice out there as to how I can keep my relationship with him without making it worse???
Welcome mythreesons. When you get a moment, please read the posts under "Open Me First". Nothing wrong with your post we just ask all new members to do this to become familiar with the rules of the forum.
I wish I could offer you the magic pill to success. I really do. Unfortunately, your situation mimics mine almost identically and I have lost my relationship with my Son. I tried to be a parent. I tried to give him space. I tried...I tried...I tried...the list goes on and on. Ultimately, none of it mattered and the relationship was lost. I don't want to tell you it is hopeless or make you think I'm saying all is lost. I think there is always a chance to turn things around if you can get the other party to participate. It's the whole "getting the other party to reciprocate" that is the challenge.
The only thing that I would do different is that I wouldn't have tried for two years, while being miserable myself. I literally lost two years of my life by obsessing with the relationship problems with my Son and DIL and trying to figure out how to "fix" it, to only come back to the place I had started two years prior. I would have left it alone and just loved from afar while leading a happy life. The outcome probably would have been the same, but I wouldn't have lost those two years with my DH, my family, my friends and just enjoying my life.
I had a very wise person the other day tell me "Isolation is not about loving someone so much that you want them to yourself. Isolation is about control. Once you can isolate a person from their friends and family, making them believe that their life has been a lie and you are the only person that truly loves them, you have them under your control. That's not love, that's insecurity and hostage taking."
My light bulb went "Click"
Thank You!!! Will read "open Me First"
M, It is such a shock when they get so involved with a girl that they share every word with them! That took me by surprise too! I wish I had known it sooner because the things I said to my DS 'in private' probably hurt my current relationship with my now DIL. So what have I changed since I figured that out? I never say anything bad about my DIL to my DS. Any of her faults are his to find and figure out. If I point them out I am only giving him a reason to defend her and actually driving them closer together.
As for the thought that you gave your DS too much when he was growing up the next time he brought it up I would tell him that you were trying to be a springboard to launch him into life rather that throwing him into the pool and cheering him on. When he is a parent he can do things 'the right way' and face the consequences from his own children. You did your best and you are not that unhappy with the results. Then tell him you are proud of him (if you are, of course). Hopefully that will take the wind out of his sails and make him think twice. I once told my DS that when he had kids he could 'do it right' and he ended the conversation by telling me what good parents we had been.
Good luck finding your way through this very confusing time! Remember that he is still learning (like me, LOL) and you have not yet seen the end product. Anyway the thing to do now is to stop trying to fix things with him. You have two other sons to enjoy so focus on them and have a blast!!
S... Thank you so much. I really needed to hear these words today! I will take your advise and try to spread the happiness around my other boys! I feel deep inside that my DS will come to realize that he has been censored and isolated by her. Maybe by not thinking about this so much I will take some of her power away. Im so glad I found all of you..I always felt like I was the only one experiencing this mess! Just look online and see how many "happy" faces there are! I know that is just window dressing. I feel better just knowing that Im not a complete failure as a mom. Sometimes it feels so embarrassing to admit that there is a problem. I will just be me and let the judgmental statements roll off my back ..LOL!!! Thanks again!!
Welcome MTS, I'm glad you found us. I really feel for you having been through a similar experience.
This dynamic took me by surprise too, as my DS & I had a good relationship before he became involved with my now-DIL. Because it happened so fast I didn't have time to process. It felt as if DIL's FOO added a wonderful son while my family lost one. We had to get used to being left out and left behind, and our lives became quieter and rather lonely. I spent a lot of time crying and feeling very resentful. It wasn't fair!
Thank goodness I found this website. After awhile I learned that I cannot change anyone else; all I can change is my reaction to what they do. DH & I became interested in new sports and other activities, and gradually changed our focus from DS/DIL back to ourselves. It still hurts sometimes, and it still isn't fair (darn!), but I'm not completely gutted anymore. I think I can say we are moving on. Less pressure on DS has made him more willing to approach us, which is a nice side effect.