May 19, 2019, 02:35:33 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."

abused by all 3 of son's 3 spouses!

Started by mother of 3 sons, July 28, 2011, 02:33:14 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

mother of 3 sons

My fellow wise women:
You'd think I'd catch on to all this before the age of 70, and I did,
finally, at age 66.  My son has been with 3 different spouses,
all with personality disorders, all rejected/abused me, his family, and
their own families!   Son's father (my ex husband) treated him as
these women treat him.  I understand the "why" of most of this,
but how to live with the broken heart, for such a long, long time,
that is the question.  Son has been a daily drinker since age 13.
So is his present wife, a pharmacist who makes good money.
I finally confronted my son about his present wife of twenty years,
(3rd), on Mother's Day two years ago.  I knew then that
it would mean the end to our relationship (such as it was, i.e.,
criticism, rejection, putdowns from both of them).  I put up with
about twenty years of critical rejection from them both ---
not allowed by his wife in "her" home without making an appointment.
Tried it once, couldn't afford a phone to call, so she shut door in my face.
Haven't been in "her" house for ten years!  No holidays anymore.
Finally, on mother's day, when he told me his wife was not seeing
her own mother on mother's day, or ever, because she was
upset about something her mother had done, or not done,  I
realized I was not the "only one."  I asked my son to understnad
how much it hurt, and how much her mother must be hurt.  And
etc.  His reply was, "I don't care."   Yes, I don't care.  He said
if I had a problem with his wonderful wife, I was to take it to
her, not him.  Well, she will not talk with anyone in either family
about "their" personal life, or anything else.  I have never even
seen her handwriting.  No letters, to cards, to gift acknowledgments.
I told my son that
I could not stand the pain anymore, and if he "didn't care"  I
had to end contact.  He defended her hurtful behavior and had
excuses for everything.  He wrote me a letter the next day
telling me that he might not forgive me, and he "didn't know"
whether he would tell his wife what I said.  There was never
a word about how I felt.  His advice was for me to "work it out" with
her, because it was my problem, not his --- no acknowledgment of
my hurt feelings, a result of the abuse/rejection (from both of them).
In between spouses years ago, my son and I had a good and
supportive relationship.  He once sent me 7 mother's day cards,
after two years of not seeing me, because his then wife said
he was not allowed to see me, and I was not allowed to see
their baby son who is now 25 years old; I seldom see him.   
He suffered too!  This is all so insane it is embarrassing to write
about it.  My health has deteriorated, I haven't slept well for
several years, wonder constantly what I could do to make it
all better, blame self, guilt, live in poverty with no home,
while they live, alone,
(she does not want children and had a complete hysterectomy
to make sure that did not happen) in a 5 bedroom, 2 car garage
house with shop and greenhouse and huge garden.  Lots of
travel, eating out, most expensive everything.  She has rejected
his brothers, and all his family, and her own parents and siblings.
Is my son in denial?  You betcha!   Am I in denial? Not any more!
I will be seventy years old next year.  I have worked all my life,
but at jobs that paid little, with no retirement or insurance.  I
have been divorced from son's dad for 30 years, supporting myself,
but now, on $640 a month Social Security, with health/heart problems,
I am at the end of my rope.   Anyone with any ideas on how to
pull onself up from complete despair?  Prayer, talking with friends,
doing my best, helping others, truly, these help. 
It's a deep, deep trauma with no seeming solution. 
I grew up in a violent alcholic home,
and went directly from that to marrying an abusive man when very
young.  My 3 sons watched me be subserviant, and experience constant
criticism/abuse from their father.  This all is a generational thing.  By the
way, interesting, isn't it, that all 3 of my son's spouses came from
alcoholic homes and hated at least one of their parents, if not both.
I know they, especially his present wife, "project" their trauma onto me
and she, also, onto her own mother.   Seems pretty hopeless.  How
does one not lose hope?  What action can one take?  Thank you, ladies,
a despairing mother in Montana.



Mother of 3
if it helps a tiny bit just know I have read your every word, I feel the sadness in your words,  and i feel very sad for what you have beren through.    You can't make sense of the senseless, son and wifes behaviour is discusting, 

you will get support from the lovely WW here, read older posts you can pull yourself up out of the pit and be happy


Hello mother of 3 sons, and welcome!

First off, it's never as hopeless as it seems, and please do not blame yourself. You have no control of how others treat you. You only have control over how you let yourself be treated and your reactions to it.

Secondly, I wouldn't doubt that there is a lot going on behind closed-doors in regards to your son and his wife. I say this because of the fact that she has also shunned her own family.

You are hurting and I do believe your son and his wife are also, but in different ways.

It is so unfortunate to read how some family members say they 'do not care' yet underneath it all, and when you peel away the layers, they do care! They care immensely.

You say she has a Greenhouse and garden. Do you like to garden? If so, ask if it would be ok to tinker around and plant various plants/ flowers there, or even if it would be ok to stop by and water it etc. I say this in hopes that maybe your son and his wife will "let you in", in a way that doesn't seem intrusive (to them), and that you can both benefit from in the long run. Just a thought :)


Montana's Area on Aging Dept. might be a good place to start.  I noticed there are several non-profit senior communities in Montana.  You've done your best with your ds, now it's time to take good care of yourself. 


lancaster lady

Mother of three sons :

Welcome , I'm glad you found us .
I think at 70 it's time for a bit of YOU time , don't you think .?
Let them find another whipping post because you are going to be busy .
Finally do all the things you have wanted to ....doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune .
I don't live in your country , but there must be places you have longed to see , and things to do .
the busier you are , the less time you have to think of all those lost years .
you cannot change the past , but hey , look what you can do in the future !!


I want you to know that my heart reaches out to you on every level here.  Like you, I found no comfort from even the best meaning intentions on the part of supportive others as they could not possibly grasp what living with a devil like this is really like.  I hope you can find some comfort and closure on this website as it has helped me.  I struggle on a lot of days with the sense that my life was such a waste, all those years and years with nothing but pain from the merry go ground I lived on of remorse, grief, self hatred, bargaining, pleading, manipulating, on the cycle went on and on for more than two decades, laying waste to all the good things I could have enjoyed in life.   I can't go back and do anything about the past, I understand every feeling you describe.  Its a long journey and doesn't probably culminate in this life.  It takes a lot of courage to keep going forward and put this in its place as a really tragic part of our lives, but not allow it to be everything.  I probably am not expressing this very well, but the most important thing is just to let you know that many of us have gone through the same ordeal and out of that loss and sadness have developed a great capacity for empathy and understanding.  It is never too late to conquer this and live a new life.   You have to stop looking back and disecting your life.  You will never figure out 'what went wrong' and you will never have the skills to 'fix it'.  This things 'go out by prayer and fasting!'   So as I've learned that many things (most things) in life are far bigger than I am, I try to take pleasure in the little things I have and enjoy them immensely.  I just got a new puppy two weeks ago and last night he was chewing a greasy meat bone on my bed,  I told my husband "....well two years ago I would have never coped with this!" and he said "...hell two days ago you would have never coped with this!"   and we have lots more fun now.   slide it all over, beloved, and find some joy in your day and in your life.   You have done your job and you did it well, the ball is now in your son's court, he will have to walk his own journey through life and learn to prioritize in the school of hard knocks.   he will get there is his own time.   for now, love and blessings to you.


oh also as a little on the lighter side!!..  my husband sends me links to Montana property for sale all the time!   it started out some time ago as a joke as we were always toying with the idea of the homestead and wide open spaces, but I fear now it may be getting serious......yikes.    I've never been out of the south except for once to England.  but we may load up the dogs in an RV and who knows what it could lead to.


Welcome Momof3 and thank you for sharing your story with us.  I agree, that even when you feel like there is nothing you can do, one of the steps of moving on is to get it out.  If you haven't had a chance, please read our Forum Agreement under Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do it, not that anything is wrong with what you wrote.

One thing is clear here, it doesn't matter if it's a DIL, SIL, MIL, FIL, DS, DD etc.  Heartache is universal and something we all share in our different situations.  It does help to know that you are not alone.  We are here.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

Quote from: mother of 3 sons on July 28, 2011, 02:33:14 am
My health has deteriorated, I haven't slept well for
several years, wonder constantly what I could do to make it
all better, blame self, guilt, live in poverty with no home, 

Momof3, you are like all of us here.  You did the best you could with the circumstances you had to deal with.

Alanon has a great program to help you find some serenity in your life, and I hope you get some sleep as well, you can rebuild your health slowly and steadily over time.

Leave the guilts behind, they help no one.

Good luck,

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


I have been thinking about this thread a lot, I've been "lurking" (lol, that's such an awful way to put it isn't it?), and have been very reluctant to post, especially as a "newbie."  But, I have to ask, if all 3 spouses have treated you nearly the same way...have you given thought to the possibility that the spouses are not the real issue?  Its so easy to point the finger at the DIL instead of "beloved DS," but maybe DS is causing this somehow?? 

I don't know, it just seems like a possible connection in my head...i could be whack.


Welcome B! - Would you tell us something about yourself?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

mother of 3 sons

July 28, 2011  From Mother of 3 Sons in Montana:
To all wisewomen on this site, and especially those who wrote to me,
in response to my post, I want to thank all of you wonderful ladies
for your support and great insights.  After I posted, I regreted
in some ways revealing "all" so to speak.  There are many facets
to the relationship dynamic between myself and my son & spouse(s).
I can easily see the pattern for all of us, but intellectualizing and
"feeling" are different things.   I'm ready to heal and move on now.
I have two other wonderful sons who treat me with great respect.
Isn't that interesting?  They live out of state, while the son I have
problems with lives just 37 miles away.  I am a poet, artist,
gardener, and these things have been life-lines for me.  I tended
over the long years of trouble with my oldest son to allow his
deterioration with alcohol and "mean" women to affect me deeply,
thinking I could somehow be saintly enough to heal the situation
by being "nice" and never showing hurt or anger.  That doesn't
work.  Those of you who suggested Alanon are right on --- years
ago I use to go regularly.  In my sixties, because of very low
income, I have found it more difficult to do the things I'd like to.
But since writing on this site, just in one day, I already feel better,
am sleeping better, and more hopeful.  Isn't it wonderful what
"sharing" and "caring" can do?  I feel embarrassed, really, after
telling the world about "it" --- yet --- that was needed to let the
poison out --- now the "building up" and healing part has begun.
Women are wonderful, and I thank all you wonderful women
for every wonderful word, thought, idea, etc.   This is a great
site, and is really accomplishing what it set out to do.  God bless
all of you.  Onward and upward.  And by the way, to those who
mentioned Montana.  It is a fabulous place, wide open spaces,
magnificent mountains, clear streams, bears, wolves, elk, eagles,
buffalo, & two fabulous national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone. It is
in many ways the west as it was in the beginning.  It is a difficult
place to make a living --- mostly appeals to retirees with money.
I've been here 41 years and feel blessed by the beauty and clean
air and water.  I have many blessings, and what I said on this
site is an element of darkness that often pulled me away from
the blessings all around.  Keep writing, and to all of you, I love
you, I understand, and I, at last, feel understood.  Marg in Montana   


Welcome B and I think that was an excellent question.  Also, at the risk of repeating myself....can you please read the forum agreement if you haven't yet.......shewwww.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I've read that we tend to attract spouses who are similar to parents with whom we have unresolved issues. It seems Mom of 3 sons son is getting involved with the same kind of bullies his father was.  :-\. I think Belle's comment might have nailed it.