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Daughter in law takes off to college, baby and my son stays behind

Started by Paris1950, March 18, 2010, 07:24:16 am

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I am having trouble dealing with this situation and I bite my tongue since DIL took off.  She and my son married 6 years, both having great careers, they have a child who is 3 yrs old.  last year she decides she wants to go away to medical school, she could have gone back to school in the same area where they lived but her grades were no high enough and was not excepted so she takes off to a college 5 hours from her since the school excepted her.  My son encouraging her to go (how stupid)  I sat down and told them I had concerns about their marriage and their little baby at the time...all i got was we will be fine...LOL...So they sell their house, my son and my grandson move in with me until son can find a job where she is.  This was last July now.  She comes back everyother weekend and son drives down there everyother weekend with child.  When she is here she is always in her pc doing homework or busy with her family and ignores the baby.  I can see things are getting worse between her and my son.  My son is very jealous, and while she is down there she is studying with groups, going out with them, probably even her classmates staying overnight, I am just guessing on that..usually I am pretty right on the button.  I see my son pacing at night, he cannot sleep, meanwhile I raise and take care of child who is showing signs of being nervous and cannot sleep through the night he gets up wanting to sleep with his daddy.  What a mess....Now last weekend she came home, and we went to the store together, (we used to be very close but when she made that decision to leave her baby for her own needs I ended that closeness by telling her how selfish she is being by not raising this child until he is older, that was over a year ago, I tolerate her for my grandson only now)  She went on raving how unhappy she was married and she cannot wait to get back to her apt, she loves being alone so much that it scares her.  So i asked her a few questions, Would you be happier single?  She looked at me funny and then said yes I would and it scares me.  then i asked her another question, Why did you have a child 3 years ago, she started crying and said because I thought it was expected of me and the thing I needed to do, she told me how much she hated being pregnant the whole time..still crying...I said why did you try to have another child then the summer before you were leaving, she just said I don't know why I thought I had to..(meanwhile I am thinking...is she nuts)  lucky she didn't get pregnant again or i would be raising another baby for them.   Then she said to me do you think I have changed since I knew her...I just said I am sorry only you can answer that question.  I will tell you before you have my son move down there and your baby you need to get some advice because moving the child to a situation you cannot be with him is not good for him.  I will keep him and make sure he is stable and help as long as I can.  Then yesterday my son came to me and told me him and his wife are having problems...I told him I knew because I have seen things now for years.  She went to counseling down there and son is going to counseling here and then they are going to go together down where she is.  I hope whoever they are going to makes both of them see the light either split up now or she needs to stop the school and move back with her baby.  I don't think she wants or would be happy not being alone and single.   I see trouble, meanwhile my son is very depressed now, he is so in love with this girl....not sure why, she comes from trailor trash upbringing...her mother is bipolar, father drinking problems, sister divorced (nasty situation) and brother drug addicted tried to kill himself...and youngest brother has stomach problems and learning disabilities, but he joined the military to get away from his house.   My grandson is the one who has suffered since he has been born...In the beginning she put him in a daycare home situation that was very bad for him.  I went there several time and the woman left those kids in a closed door room in playpens, cribs, and they would be screaming, then i went there several times she left her mother in her 70s in charge and she cannot hear anything, i went there and i had to walk in the door to get my grandson because she couldn't hear anything, the kids were all screaming.  I told my DIL and son, and all i got is what am I supposed to do I have to work...So i told him I will take him now.  The child was a mess for a while until I could get him in a calming enviroment.  I fear for this child because that mother does not care where she puts him as long as she has her freedom.  I am hoping if they separate or divorce my son would get custoday of the baby.  (The child would be better off)  The mother is nothing but a loose cannon.  Ever since that baby was born she has been a very angry girl, I mentioned way back go get some help or advice why you feel like this...I think down deep she is angry at the child because he ties her down and he is too much work and she cannot be free to run around like she did..My son deserves better, but he is not listening...I am very carefure what I say or do...I just told him don't move the child away until things are settled...  Help....any advice.....


Oh boy, so much going on here....I'm so sorry this is happening...how are you holding up?

I agree with you all the way through, however, the child is your son's...and hers so, your just going to have to do the best you can and be patient, and hope she leaves the child with you...I fear, her being bi-polar, she will have some very bad influence on the child...How do you feel about raising the child, your GS?  Have you thought about that yet?

I'm glad your son is going to counseling....and here are some suggestions

right now, do not tell your son he deserves better, it is way to soon...but, encourage him to continue going to counseling, and by all means, if the marriage disolves....make certain he keeps going, doesn't get involved in another relationship, until he figures out why he chose someone he doesn't deserve....but do not demean her to him.

It is very important, for him to understand, we fall in love with lust, we get married b/c society dictates to us that we must be a couple to be successful....and we have children, b/c we feel it is expected of us....your DIL is right....society dictates this comfy little premade package of what a couple should be...it's sad but true...I honestly thought I had to be married to be successful, and got married b/c I did think it was expected of me....and to have a child...so, we do what we've been conditioned to believe we should do.

Again, patience is the key dear one...right now, that will be your best friend....enduring this is and will be very difficult....we all want good things for our children...however, please remember, your son is an adult now, it's his choice, he made a mistake and now must deal with what comes next.  And if you continue to tell him he deserves better, right now that translates to him that he made a mistake, and he's not ready to admit that yet...in his own time he will....

I would suggest you be as upbeat and positive as you can....be there for him but for now just listen, otherwise, any suggestions might move him away from you and you do want to be his confident....if he asks you your advice...I would suggest be brief and say little, as he won't be able to process to much right now.

Very important...when the time comes, his first thought will be to find another mate and mother for his child....that is where you come in....you need to get it thru to  him, that jumping in and out of relationships is not healthy....and you can't choose a mate for all the wrong reasons....your going to have to get it thru to him, that he must live alone for awhile, get to know who he is, to understand his needs...and when he does that, he'll be able to choose a woman he not only deserves but is almos mentally compatible, meaning, she needs to possess the same morals, she needs to come from a family that is not dysfunctional, otherwise, that contaminates the relationship right off the bat.  I bet you any money, his wife married him to get out...it was her only solution at the time....

He needs to go to the right counselor who will make him see the importance of knowing oneself, having confidence in oneself, and how to choose a mate....and why he chose the one he did...

Now backing up...whatever happens from this point on, I would give him space and try to stay out of it. 

Personally I believe this woman wanted the marriage to disolve, otherwise she wouldn't have gone away to college...to me it's an excuse...let this whole thing play out the way it's supposed to, between the two of them.  It is very difficult for a woman to tell a man, she's not in love with him and wants out of the marriage...therefore, she might be setting the stage....I could be wrong, but time will tell. 

And for now, that is all I have to tell you....I know how painful all this must be for you, and it's so so difficult to keep it zipped when your child is involved, but your going to have to try very hard to stay out of it...otherwise, you will put more pressure on him, and remember, right now he loves this woman, she is the mother of his child...so anything you say, is going to hurt him extremely...

You really find out who your married to, when you go thru divorce...and if it goes that far...let him find out on his own....don't you tell him...or ever demean her to him...if you do, it's going to hurt everyone all the way around...

Think of this as a true test, something your going to learn from to....and there will be lots to learn for you...in the end, down the road, your going to look back and say to yourself...well, that one wasn't so bad, we got thru it...however, get thru this together with him...be there for him when he needs you, but don't smother him, like we mothers want to do...it is so so hard for us mother's to see our son's as adults...I remember, whenever I thought of my son, I would vision who he was as a child...hear his soft voice saying...."mommie"....well, that vision is still there, however, when I think of him now, I see his adult form....remember, this is your son's life, his choice, his time...your job is over, all you can do is offer help when he needs it, but do not overdue or get involved that you become confused and angry....keep your distance....the greatest gift you can give someone you love sometimes, is to let them go...in the end, he will respect you and your relationship will eventually be close again....

You've got a long road to go lady...so, please know, this is the best place to come and vent and get advice always....it's helped me extremely and the ladies here are wonderful....

In the meantime, hang in there, keep faith by your side...and listen more then you talk...when it comes to your son that is...and I know, it's going to be very hard and very painful...but you will prevail...you can do this....I promise....

there isn't anything we woman can't do, if we put our minds down to it...

Hugs and love


So sorry to hear about all this - I agree with Creme, it's too soon to put in your judgement. All you can do is encourage the counseling and let DS come to his own decision. He will own it, and DIL won't be able to blame you for interfering which might limit your access to GKs. Best wishes.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Oh Paris, I'm sorry.  This sounds like a horrible thing to be watching.  Unfortunately they are adults and all the decisions are theirs to make.  Your son has enough honor and comittment in his upbringing, thanks to you, that he is a dedicated and supportive husband.  He supported her in her decision to go back to school, and it seems it's backfiring in his face, but I also believe when things like this happen, as a MIL all you can really do is wait it all out quietly.  It's their marriage and they may still work things out.  They are both going through counselling and I see that as a healthy sign that your DIL does love him, although she has some problems (they have some problems) that may not have been thought about before they took vows, or decided to start a family. 

I believe you're doing the right thing by taking care of that GS.  I have a family member who actually adopted a GC because of a very similar situation.  If I were the caretaker of my GS in a situation like this, I would talk to my son about his intentions, should she decide this GC was not someone she wanted to care for.  Maybe if you and your son put your heads together, you will be able to come up with some ideas to provide this baby the loving and caring environment he deserved when he was born.

Anyway, that's my feelings for what they're worth.  Since this is their marriage, I woundn't get involved in that part of the decision, but would stay in the background.  I my son's marriage is breaking up as we speak, and he has moved in with me.  I stayed out of his marriage and decisions until and unless asked for advice.  At that time I realized that I just gave him my opinion, but he wouldn't necessarily take that advice - and alot of the time he didn't.  But should things between them work out, he may offer her your opinions, and you may end up on the outside looking in, because of that. 

This is such a hard situation to be in.  I know you will get lots of advice, and that's one of the good things here.  We have many different opinions and views of the same situation, and keep that in mind when you are reading these replies.  In the end, only you will have your own decisions to make about how you will handle this, but we offer you a sounding board here and add to love and understanding!  Keep posting.  I'm happy to see you here, and part of the circle. 

Hugging you!


Thank you, I didn't know where to turn I cannot talk to any of my family about this, this is sorta very private from any of his brothers.  I also do not have any friends since I have become very busy with my grandson.  It really hurts me to see some of the younger ladies loves their family and children like I did when they grew up.  I hope my son will eventually see that he can trust me and confide in me. 

For some reason the DIL is telling me things too, not sure she wants me to tell my son, but she did say you cannot tell anyone this is between you and me only. I really don't like being in this position.  I am right in the middle....


Thank you, I didn't know where to turn I cannot talk to any of my family about this, this is sorta very private from any of his brothers.  I also do not have any friends since I have become very busy with my grandson.  It really hurts me to see some of the younger ladies loves their family and children like I did when they grew up.  I hope my son will eventually see that he can trust me and confide in me. 

well, you have friends here...and in time, I promise you, everything will work out...but, in the meantime, you have a long hard road ahead...and yes, it is heartbreaking...if you are able to disapline yourself to allow him to be...your son will eventually confide in you, and he will also confide in tohers he trusts...

QuoteFor some reason the DIL is telling me things too, not sure she wants me to tell my son, but she did say you cannot tell anyone this is between you and me only. I really don't like being in this position.  I am right in the middle....

It would be in good faith always, to never repeat stories you hear from anyone, no matter who they are....if you would say to him, "She said", she could turn around and deny it, and who do you think he is going to believe out of desperation....right now, he doesn't need to hear anything unless it's from her...let your home, be his safe haven, a place he knows he can come to and feel safe, that he is not going to be drilled, or have to explain anything....

also, if anyone knows about this, let him be the one to tell them....not you...he needs to know that he can trust you, and it may take some time...but you can do this...


Quote from: Paris1950 on March 18, 2010, 08:22:56 am
Thank you, I didn't know where to turn I cannot talk to any of my family about this, this is sorta very private from any of his brothers.  I also do not have any friends since I have become very busy with my grandson.  It really hurts me to see some of the younger ladies loves their family and children like I did when they grew up.  I hope my son will eventually see that he can trust me and confide in me. 

For some reason the DIL is telling me things too, not sure she wants me to tell my son, but she did say you cannot tell anyone this is between you and me only. I really don't like being in this position.  I am right in the middle....

Paris, I'm happy you found this site.  Now you have us to talk to, and hopefully this site will be a place for you to come for support and understanding.  Keep posting and post as often as you feel you want.  I know this is a hard situation to be in.

I'm not sure that I would want my DIL confiding in me either.  I think if it were me, I would have to tell her how uncomfortable I was hearing things that my upset my son.  After all I am his mother, and believe things between them should be kept in their conversations privately, or shared with their counsellor.  I am too uncomfortable knowing things that I shouldn't be involved in.  If I am not part of their marriage, then I should be spared those details.  That's just how I feel.


The saga continues.  My son comes home from work today, bringing all his family pictures home and I ask are you cleaning your office or changing pictures.  He says you never know when they are going to boot me out the door.  They walked out my friend last week.  I asked what will you do if they lay you off, he said i have head hunters out there looking for a job.  I asked where he told me where his wife was going to school.  I just said nothing, bit my tongue again, and thought is he nuts.  Meanwhile I know the DIL does not want him there, and she is sick of him calling her all the time,  I know this because of last weekend conversations.  I looked on her facebook and she already changed her picture with my son to her picture with her sister now.  The sister is also single and I am sure she is getting bad advice from the sister since her marriage ended in divorce (nightmare divorce)  All of this really hurts me to see my son being used and he is just not seeing it.  If he moves down there with her it will make things worse.  I tend to think she probably has her eye on some rich med student down there since materialistic things are more important.  I am so hoping they ask me to keep the baby with me at least until everything is worked out.  I know I have to be very patient and keep my mouth closed and not side because I could ruin things for my grandson.  I would love him to stay with me.  He is so happy with me.   I tend to think this will become a bargaining tool for the DIL and my son.  I have documented everything from the time I started seeing trouble and the way she is when she is around the child.    She has a very cold heart toward the baby.  Her mother has never liked my son since he and my DIL got together.  She controlled her until she moved in with my son. DIL mother has only seen the grandson a few times and has not seen him now in over 2 years.  I still cannot see how a personality like my DIL can be a medical professional and help people?   I guess the medical schools will take anyone as long as they are paying and pass the book theories.  ..Why don't professional universities do mental testing on these people.  Perhaps that is why we have some unfit medical professionals out there practicing.    This really eats me up since I am also a retired medical professional.  I loved all my patients, always sensitive to their feeling.  No room for a cold heart...


Hi Paris. We are in similar situations so I hope we can support and learn from each other. It amazes me that a mother could chose to be absent from their child. If the relationship does deteriorate further that will (IMO) prove beneficial if custody becomes an issue. I agree with the others about letting your son make up his own mind regarding his feelings towards his wife. He may not be emotionally ready to accept the possibility their relationship may end. When my son and DIL split it was obvious to everyone, except him that she would never take him back. It was impossible to convince him to make any plans or decisions based on the possibility that the relationship was over. I think it was too traumatic for him to even consider. I feel very sorry for your son. He must feel like his life is in limbo and totally out of his control. I wish him strength and courage.


The "saga" with our children always seems to continue, as we hurt when they are hurt.
I truly feel for you and your son.
I think your son realizes, that deep inside, DIL is attempting a new career and is excluding your son and baby.  I do not know if she is doing this intentionally or unintentionally.  Time will tell

I know what you mean about "cold hearts," as they exist in every profession.  I too am in the medical profession and I am amazed that DIL did get into medical school. Did she start this past fall?
There are thousands of applicants and only a fraction that apply actually get in. This is one time when it is not "who you know but how much you know."

I actually read and re-read your post and have thought about this.  Getting into medical school is difficult to say the least. There are multiple steps a perspective student must complete. It includes having high grades on their college GPA (undergrad degree), MCAT score, written essay, letters of recommendation and the personal interview.

The interview committee consists of two physicians and usually a medical student. The questions are varied from personal accomplishments to how you envision medicine in the future. During the interview process, they are considering the applicant's academic achievements, their character, their motivation for wanting to be a physician, their volunteer experience, and etc.

I can't help but wonder, is she truly enrolled?

The main thing now is to remain strong for your son and grandchild. 
With faith, all of this will work out. I am here to support you always.


One other thing, DIL probably won't find any "rich" med students (unless their parents are wealthy),
as most med students live off of "school loans."  When they graduate from med school, they usually have over $100,000 worth of student debt.

During med school, the classes are so fast paced that they do not have much time for socializing.  It seems like all a student does is study, study, study (an additional 4 to 6 hours per day after class).
That is the main reason that personal relationships suffer, because to get thru med school, your focus has to be your classes. 
The campus library becomes the "place" to go.

Your son is a gem to be so supportive of DIL.  This is a hard road to pursue. 

My thoughts are there with you.


hello and thank you for your reply.  She is in dental school, and they took her easily because she was a dental hygenist.  She can really be whoever she wants to be to impress people that she is the right candidate for this med school.  The first place she tried told her grades were too low.  I am really believe that she wanted away from my son, child and any restrictions.  My son continues to live in denial talking about moving down there near her still with my grandson.  I know down deep she doesn't want him hovering over her.  My son tends to be high maintenance and seems like he cannot live without her.  They lived together for over 3 years before marrying.  She moved in to get away from her homelife.   My son thinks he is going to be some billionaire when she becomes a dentist.  I just let him brag about her and his pride about her being a dentist.  She never even hardly talks to her son, and he asks for her, she has no time...too busy studying.  I am wondering what next, now I hear she loves school and will go on to periodontal work....keep on going to school.  Since my son is still working he has a paycheck for her.  Most of the dental students have mommy and daddy's money to impress her.  She grew up very poor and the thought of making more money is more important than any human being.....especially her own child...


This is so sad Paris!  Take care of you and your GC.  You are loved and needed so much right now in this child's life, and your strength is amazing!  Have you thought of having a heartfelt talk with your son?  I know he loves his wife, but maybe he will think about his own. 

Sending you love and hugs, and lots of prayers!


Right now I don't dare even bring up the subject to my son of his wife.  I am taking advice I have gotten on this site, to let it play out and stay out of the middle.  I would certainly like to talk with him.  I know he is not ready to listen to anything I have to say.  All I know and see he is a fool and being used.  He is happy one day, depressed another, and delusional.  He is love sick still with this girl.   I doubt he will come to me right now.  His wife is coming home next weekend and staying at my house the weekend, they are going to counseling together, and then she will leave the next day. 


Please forgive me, but I'm going to say something you're probably going to hate hearing and play the devil's advocate.  Is it possible that she seems distant to her son, because she is living 5 hours away trying to better herself so he has a better life than what she had?  I, too, grew up poor, and I have put in 5 years of schooling to make sure that I have a better life than what my parents did, and I still have 4 years left to go.  It is entirely possible that she's pre-occupied with trying to get everything done with school, and so she has a tendency to be short with her family.  My best friend is a med-student, and even when he's around, he really isn't there..
Also, I think that you might be being a bit too harsh on her marriage with your son.  You really cannot know what is going on, because you're not there 24/7.  Anyone can get upset and say things that they really don't mean, and the fact that she has agreed to go to counseling at all speaks volumes as to her character.   
Also, and I'm really, really sorry if this sounds harsh, but I thought it was really hurtful that you basically said she wasn't smart enough to get into the school close to your home.  Do you have any idea how much work it takes to get into med school?  That she got in at all is a huge accomplishment.  I've just been waitlisted for the second year in a row at ALL of the schools I applied to.  I'm still taking extra undergrad classes just to keep up to date with all of the new information while I wait (and cross my fingers) to get into med school.  I have to admit, that if I got into a school a few hours away I would be there in a heartbeat.
It just seems to me that you're being a bit critical of her.  Assuming that she is in school to try to find a rich mate is actually quite self serving and hurtful of you, and I think that if it were me in that situation I'd be really hurt and offended.  There are two sides to every coin, you know, and until you've been in her position on this issue, you really have no place to judge.
I know that my opinion probably is not going to be a popular one, but to assume that this girl is a horrible person because she's attending school and under stress does not seem fair to me.  Maybe she is doubting her marriage because of all of the added stress of school, maybe she realized she made a mistake, heck, maybe she decided that she wants to move to Switzerland when she graduates school, and start yodeling in the Alps.  There are so many different possibilities that you shouldn't jump to conclusions.
I could be way off base here, and I admit that.  However, I just thought that somebody should point out that it is entirely possible that this girl is a nice person, and that she's going through a tough time.  We owe everybody the benefit of  doubt.