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Started by esme, January 05, 2011, 05:29:57 pm

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Well I've been reading though alot of posts here and have found a sense of peace knowing I'm not alone.

I have never been good setting boundries between my 3 sons and myself, we have always had issues, after my divorce. They were all grown but I still went though hell with them it was all my fault yada..on and on. Them not talking to me for months or years depending what it was I said or did this time to offend either them or their girlfriends.

Last year around this same time I contacted my son's long lost girlfriend..well they reconnected and married last Aug. I have always loved this girl and always stuck up for her. So to try to make this story short they invited my husband and my other 2 boys to their home for the holidays,,,about a 15 hr drive for all of us. When we were first invited, we were told we would get the spare room. (When we attended their wedding my husband and I stayed in a b&b a few blocks away it was wonderful, with that quiet time for us.) Anyway we agreed to stay at the house,,then the issue of getting a sitter for our 3 smal dogs came up. DIlbeing the sweetest person on earth (IMO) said bring them along.

We drove in late,,the first thing we were told is we were to sleep on the pull out sofa in the middle of the living room. Springs in my back all night,,we have a huge temprapetic. Next morning my other sons showed with their children. The next night my husband and I decided to go into the downstairs where there is a loveseat that pulled out and a sofa. That gave us some privicy but not confort.

Then next day everything was good except for around three oclock I was told by dil "your are making dinner tonight" as my mouth hit the floor because this dinner should have been started hours ago, she stated "your son said so" Well this did not go well as I had no sleep and coming down with and awful cold,, I sort of lost it when things got out of hand over boiling water. (She wanted me to make dinner while she supervised)

Then the next thing was, I was walking around downstairs, she came down and there was a toy there,,one of my grandsons, she pick it up a flung it across the room and hit me in the foot...no apology just "I told him to pick these up!" So I picked them up. Not to mention before going to bed every night my husband and I had to pick up the mess the children made (they played downstairs)

The next instant all the adults went outside to slay ride, all expect for my husband in the garage working (he works out of our home but could not get vacation so he packed his office up and brought work with him, to work in a little heated workshop) I went out to say something to him and we heard a loud bang,,she had let our dogs in the garage with the garage door open, if we hadn't looked out..they would have been gone! So when we returned to the house we decided the dogs were bugging her and left them in the room. Of course we said nothing to my son about all this. Then he was upset we were leaving dogs in the room.
When we returned all of a sudden she found a gift she forgot to give me.

Next day taking kids to the zoo, I decided not to go,,stayed there. Before he left, I was so sick and very cold I asked my son to light a fire to warm it up..his answer "no I better wait mom". Well I was cleaning up a room and dil and I had a whole conversation about what one of my grandsons was waring. She said goodbye to me I said good luck to her. I cleaned everything that day, took out the gagbage, did dishes, did laundy and made a nice pot of chicken soup. When they got home no one was speaking to me. Dil and my son were taking over the soup and did not even acknowledge anything I had done NOT EVEN a hello mom!!! I went out with my husband for a while, then my son came out,,and said "oh and by the way you guys are sleeping upstairs tonight" meaning back out on the pull out sofa in the middle of the living room..meaning waiting till everyone went to bed to sleep and waking up at the crack of dawn with all the grandbabies.
When I went back in the house to move a few of our personnal things into the living room my dil then started screaming at me that I haven't spoken to her in thee days.

Well here was may reaction, I did not argue with her I just walked out, slept there that night and left the next day, I am 56 years old, and just am sooo tired of these boys just ignoring my needs,,oh I forgot my son came out after me and informed me I shoud show my dil gratefullness . cleaned her house made dinner, did laundry??? I did not say that though I just packed up and left. Now of course they are all mad at me once more. Will it be two years two months, is it wrong to be tired of these kind of anttics..I have never done anything like this in the past. But I just coouldn't "stay for the kids" anymore. Could I be growing out of it? This however feels very uncomfortable for me..as I am so used to calling and begging their forgivness??

Any advice I would appreciate..sorry this is sooo long but I am still sick with a cold..hard to think straight.


Hi Esme

I don't know why anyone would invite you over then treat you like second rate citizens.  I would and have given my parents my room before I expected them to sleep on a pull out especially in the middle of commotion.  Since your son and dil are the worse host on earth, I don't believe I'd stay at there place again... the place down the street sounds nice. I would not even subject your dogs to their lack of consideration.

There is a nice way to ask someone to help with a meal.. they missed on that one as well.  Since you say that you've had a hard time setting any kind of boundaries with your boys... this might just be a great time.  If doing it for yourself is not a good enough reason, then do it for your husband, because he sure doesn't deserve this treatment from your sons.  But I do believe you did finally set one when you decided that enough was enough and chose to leave.  Only we can say when we don't want to stay in a situation..  you did that .. good for you.. that was step one out of many more to go.

By the way... Welcome


Thanks Laurie..you brought me to tears reading your answer,  when we went to visit my husbands son on his first night back from Iraq, he and his wife made us sleep in their bed, they slept with our granddaughters..that I truley felt bad about :)


Don't feel bad about someone giving you there bed, I think it's a great way to show your parents that you really do care about them and their comfort.  Besides the grand daughters probably thought it was a real treat having Mom and Dad with them for the night.

I'm not divorced and do not have a blended family.. but that had to be horribly embarrassing for you to have your own son show such disrespect towards not only you but your husband.  My mother was once quite rude to my dh, and it was based on her just being herself and nothing more.. I was more embarrassed by her rude behavior then angry.. Anger came later.

You never mentioned how your dh reacted to this visit.. was he equally upset or was he willing to continue bending and twisting at their whims and demands?


Well...my wonderful hubby was willing to go with it for the week, but was sleeping in his jeans cause it was just to hard to get to his stuff. He is a very mellow guy, doesnt like to talk or get involved with these matters (hence me here)...however, when I said I wanted to go there was no objection on his part. I do believe if he thought I was wrong he would have protested. I know he would have said just deal with it. He did say from the begining he did not care for the dil, but I protected her. Yes, I felt awful about it, he makes himself very clear about the grandbabies, he love them all, but he needs his down time!


Sleeping in his jeans.. that's a shame.  You both did the right thing by packing up and leaving while your sanity was intact.  Maybe next holiday visit with or invite his son over.. he sounds more like my kinda guy.  You did what you needed to do.. don't beat yourself up.


hi Esme
and welcome here between us WWU
I am glad that you put your thoughts here for us to read,
we need to clear our heads, we need feed back, we need to close up..
so next time would be better

your son and DIL treat you like a camper,
like you should know what they want from you,
but you could not read their minds
cooking for so many in a different kitchen is no fun for any women,
I would probably just order pizza or KFC or
let DIL play with kids (get her out of the kitchen)
and asked my son to learn some new dish,
him cooking, me showing him what to cook,
like we used to cook together when he was little

our needs and priority are so different from younger generation priorities..
me getting older I would not sleep all night in place like you describe,
grand children need some quiet time
and your three dogs need some privacy too,
you need to walk them, pet them, they need you attention as well
b/c traveling 15 hours is not fun for a pet
so how could you go to ZOO where pets are not allowed?
just trip to the forest would be better for your pets and grandkids

just reading about your trip
I would say that all organization in your son's house was badly organized
no privacy, no respect, bad communication
so it is very hard to show gratefullness
when your comfort and privacy was in question


Thank you both for your feedback :) I am so glad I found this place. I just have been obsessing over this since we returned, and I know my husband doesn't deserve that! (He had it hard enough). I have just always felt if my boys aren't talking to me it is my fault. I don't have alot of girlfriends, I left my hometown when I married again, and now begining retired, well it just feels good to get other adult women"s perspective! It was the strangest thing it was like alcaholics say I hit my rock bottom w/my kids. However the guilt of standing up for myself was very hard to deal with until I came here!!! So thanks again, and btw I'm not calling them,,,,so I'm sure this is very different for them too!


I see you as on your way to healing. Hang in there and post often. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


January 06, 2011, 04:45:42 am #9 Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 04:59:56 am by cremebrulee
Hi there and welcome....I don't understand, why your son and DIL would treat you like this?  however, it is over with and today is a new day...
try and forgive and forget, and the sooner you can do that, the better your relationship will be...it will take a while...

I'm not condoning they're actions, not in the least, it was not only rude but very wrong of them to do...

When they told you to come and bring the dogs, I don't believed they realized the whole of it...

Now here are some pointers...

Never, ever stay at someone else's home, get yourself and room, and never ever take your 3 dogs to someone else's home, dogs do get nervous and will have accidents...plus if your DIL wasn't used to dogs, even though she told you to bring them, they may have done something that completely unraveled her...you don't know? 

Board the dogs next time...or make sure you have a sitter before you go away....

it never usually works with 2 women in the same home...and  DIL could have been either unraveled by all these people in her home, or showing her true self or a combination of both it's no excuse, ...however, I know having company can be overwhelming, and I wouldn't expect anyone to sleep in anything else but a bed, if I did have company....or what I've done for my GD is purchased one of those inflatable beds...not b/c I don't have a bed for her, actually purchased it for an extra bed, incase on Christmas Day we get snow and my sister and her husband need to stay over....however, my GD loves the bed, and my Cousin takes one with her where ever she goes, she says, it's very comfortable....

I'm going to tell you, when I do have company, except for my son, DIL and my GD, I cannot wait until they leave to have my privacy back, and I absolutely hate it when someone brings they're dogs to my home...b/c I have a dog, there are always accidents, and the noise and commotion really gets on my nerves...I wasn't like that when I was young, however, I am now...and I won't go visit anyone, not anyone, unless they allow me to get a room close to where they live, b/c I want my privacy and while I appreciate them extending to me they're home, I will not do that...and I have several girlfriends who feel the same.

I am just not comfortable in someone else's home....and I can't explain that...

I know there are people who constantly go on vacation and contact a relative in the area where they are going on vacation and ask permission to stay with them, I could never ever do that...I'm not saying it's wrong to do, I just couldn't do it. 

So, even though I don't mind one bit, my kids coming to stay with me, I do mind friends and other relatives...doing so....however, you must know, I have MS, and as I said, when I was younger I didn't mind at all, but to have house guests for more then 2 or 3 days is so totally overwhelming to me and for me....

I would say, try your best to forget what happened and see what tomorrow brings....one thing that is very hard for us MIL's to understand it, when our son's take a wife, a lot of times, life as we knew it, changes forever....your DIL is a whole different person, raised by different people and they own they're own personal cultures, thoughts and beliefs...which are different from your own.  You have different ideas about cooking, cleaning, and child rearing, and you just don't know each other well enough yet, to conclude what gets on her nerves and what does not...

Give it time, and it may just iron itself out....

Good Luck


Welcome esme and I am very sorry you were treated so badly.  And yes, that is what it was.  From your post, you sound very much like a gracious house guest and they took advantage of you and your DH's good nature.  I think you did the totally right thing by leaving.  I think that did set a boundary with them.  They may be mad and their perception of everything is probably totally different than what happened, but there is nothing you can do about that.  All you can do is protect yourself and you did in the end.  What a wonderful, understanding DH you have to go along with all of that. 

Don't feel badly about what you did.  You took a step for yourself and your DH and it was the right one.  Hang in there and keep setting those boundaries.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Hi E.
I agree with the others who said that next visit--stay at the B&B! You'll be comfortable and you can excuse yourself as needed if people are rude to you. My MIL taught me a good line to use when someone oversteps or is rude or presumptuous: "I'm afraid that won't work for me." Leave it at that and remove yourself from the situation. Good luck and chin up!


In  my experiences, hotel stays avoid a lot of boundary crossing. I know that might not be ideal, but it has worked out for me. Also, I think our generation has different ideas about hospitality. Probably kind of sad, but what you describe is not unusual. I think I've seen myself do it, and quite a few other people my age.


Thank you everyone for all your support and all your commets. I know what everyone is saying about staying some where else and I so agree with you all. I guess that's where I have to take some of this blame, because when we were invited, I did ask that very question..where will sleep? Should we stay at the b&b and we were assured we would have the spare room, and some privicy. So I walked into this VERY blind, and I have since apoligied to my dh. I DO love all of your comments and advice..that truley comes from the heart :)


People often tell us what they think we want to hear or what they think makes them look good or they don't think at all.. And then they have no ability to follow through. Bummer!  :o
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama