Author Topic: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL  (Read 3733 times)

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farrelly80

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Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« on: May 13, 2012, 11:59:50 PM »
Hi all
Not posted here for a while but do read peoples experiences reguarly.
Not seen ES or Grandson for over a year and have a new Gradaughter of 8 months we have never seen. Have tried and tried to with email and texts to reconnect but to no avail. So decided over 3 months ago to stop trying to connect. However got an e-mail Friday night which makes very hard reading. Accusing us of being horrible parents that we have overstepped boundaries that we have overstepped the mark with our Grandson by doing things with him that we had no okayed with them first, the list is endless and all this has been over the last 3 years. We take responsibility for a lot of what they say, but you do things in the heat of the moment and our world was crashing down when they stopped us seeing GS and we reacted badly.
The timing I think is deliberate as our YS is getting married in 2 weeks and they are not coming to the wedding as they fell out with YS fiancee 3 years ago and have not spoken since.
I have to say life has been much calmer in the last three months and no eggshell walking which has been great. But we are still desperate to see our Grandson.
We replied that as YS was getting married soon we havent the time at the moment to address the issues they bring up and respond. but will be in touch.
Is this a deliberate ploy to undermine us before the wedding or do they really want to repair the relationship. Im not sure they do as in the email they have left it that things will never be the same, so why did they bother writing to us?
Dont know how to respond, we are the Parents but feel like infants that should be on the naughty step.
Our life is very full and busy and we have a great relationship with YS and FDIL. Do we need a relationship with our OS and family that is one sided and we have to jump through hoops to please them.
Any advice would be much appreciated as we dont know which way to turn. Do we compromise our self respect just to get to see the Grandkids? or let it lie for a while as life is much calmer. They dont seem to want to meet us halway and take no responsibilty for their own actions.
Sigh
Farrelly

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 12:48:34 AM »
Hi Farelly ,

Perhaps they are feeling left out , knowing that a big family celebration is happening .
If you feel you were at fault , all you can do is admit and apologise for your mistakes ,but explain as you have done here
that you were stressed in the heat of the moment .
After that it's up to them if they accept your apology and move on .
Reunions are always tense and baby steps are needed , but remain your dignity at all times , otherwise
you are back to where you started .
These don't happen overnight but if both sides admit wrongs , and are wanting to reunite , there can
be happy endings .
As they have approached you , perhaps this is what they want .
Good luck with the wedding .

Offline NewMama

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 05:17:36 AM »
It may be a small step towards re-establishing a relationship. All you can do is apologize for your mistakes, which as you say were probably in the heat of the moment and I'm guessing unintentional. As LL said, it's up to them to accept it. If things do go forward, it has to be respectful both ways - if they're making your jump through hoops or walking on egghshells, it's not worth the stress.

As your OS said, things may never be the same. But maybe you can work towards establishing a new relationship with boundaries that work for everyone.

Offline jdtm

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 06:48:08 AM »
Frankly, your posting reminds me of the relationship we had with our OS and now ex-DIL.  Whatever our son said and did was at the instigation of our DIL.  I believed he suffered from "Stockholm syndrome" at the time.  I also believe our DIL suffered from mental health issues - "borderline personality disorder" - one of them.  I'm wondering - is there more here than you or your son are aware?  My guess is that your son is doing everything he can to help his family survive.  Eventually, our son had to make some very tough decisions. 

We are just grasping what occurred in the 15 years our son and DIL were married.  Since your son and DIL do not get along with your YS (and I would suspect most if not all of your OS's relatives, friends and even neighbours), it is possible this issue is not about you or your errors. 

I might suggest you google the terms I placed in quotes.  I hope I'm wrong ....

Offline Pen

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 07:11:32 AM »
Farrelly80, good to hear from you. I'm glad you have a good relationship w/YDS & FDIL, and I hope you can keep from being sucked in by drama from ODS/DIL so that you all can enjoy the wedding.

Of course there is a chance that a few of the people we have trouble with are mentally ill. However, diagnosing someone as a layman can be hazardous to your relationship w/DS & DIL, even if it turns out you're right. I'd steer clear of that one until a licensed professional is involved.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Vasilisa

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 07:34:14 AM »
Congratulations on the marriage of your son. I hope you will relax and enjoy the wedding. You are wise to put the issue with your other son aside to deal with after this happy (and stressful) event.

Pen is right, it is dangerous -- tempting, too -- to try to diagnose people as mentally ill. I also think that a lot of people are mentally sound and just jerks. Even more of us are neither mentally ill nor generally jerks but get caught up in complicated situations and do bad and/or stupid things.

I'd say go slowly, apologize where you know you've done wrong, be humble but protect yourself. It probably isn't all you.

I hope things work out for everyone.

farrelly80

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 07:50:40 AM »
Ladies
Thanks for your posts ii is a difficult problem but we are trying to take it slowly and think hard about our if and when we reply.
The funny thing is I found out a couple of years ago that DIL did have anxiety problems in her teens, something we were unaware of when they got together. I will google the "Stockholm Syndrome" She has never wanted to go out to work , not that she has tried to get a job over the last 8 years, something which when we were speaking my OS was not very happy about and moaned about it to us more than once. I know for sure that all this has been instigated by her, and I suppose deep down I feel sorry for my OS who is trying his best to keep his family together. But at the expense of his relationship with his parents, brother, elderly grandma and all his relatives.
We are so looking forward to YS wedding just sad his brother wont be there
Farrelly x

Offline jdtm

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 07:52:59 AM »
Quote
Of course there is a chance that a few of the people we have trouble with are mentally ill. However, diagnosing someone as a layman can be hazardous to your relationship w/DS & DIL, even if it turns out you're right.

Pen - no one is "diagnosing"; I simply asked "is there more here?".  But, having knowledge in how to interact with those who "might" have mental health issues does help one in family relationships.  One of the first things that always is suggested in personality or mental issues is that the layperson never even "suggest" at what might be the problem.  But, there are many ways in which those of us can learn how to interact with difficult people (perhaps with mental health issues; perhaps not).  Good sites on the internet can help with this.  I know the last 15 years would have been easier for our son, his children, our ex-DIL and us if I knew then what I know now.

I believe that our ex-DIL has many mental health issues (two have been diagnosed); but, I have never even whispered my suspicions to any family member or even a close friend.  The "good" sites will always say to "describe the behaviours" and not mention what one might suspect - unless, of course, one had medical qualifications.  That being said, without the knowledge of how to interact with our son and his children, I would have lost them.  I discovered that logic and common sense do not work in situations where there is no logic or common sense.  I feel the orginial poster is also in this situation.  I hope that I am wrong ....


Offline Karenna

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 07:59:47 AM »
It sounds like you're feeling hurt and angry.  If you can quash any defensive reactions, though, you'll see that ES has given you something important.  He didn't just cut you off without a word - he's told you explicitly what's bothering him.  You don't have to play guessing games, or analyze past conversations, or wonder if it's okay to bring up the fact that he's not calling as often.  You KNOW.  That means that you can make plans going forward, whether you want to reconcile or step back.

Overstepping boundaries with grandchildren is a difficult thing to fix.  You know that you're just trying to help, but it ends up undermining their parents' confidence and/or authority.  And it takes a long time to earn their parents' trust back.  For a while, you'll have to step very carefully around them.

You mention that several of these incidents happened "in the heat of the moment." If you don't mind sharing, did they involve you disciplining your grandchildren, overriding their parents' decisions, or criticising/arguing with their parents in front of them?   (If so, it would explain why your son responded so passionately, because he would have experienced that as a vote of no confidence in his parenting.)

I wish you well and hope you enjoy the wedding.

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 08:17:55 AM »
Farrelly....  Most if not all families have "heat of the moment" situations when things are said and done that we are not particularly proud of.   However, in a family these things are usually worked out   and members don't stay mad forever or punnish one another.   Families fight and make up all the time.   I think however, that when a person is not considered to be part of the family it's easier to keep the grudge going.  That's what happens to us MILs all the time.  In your case, unfortunately your son is swallowing it hook line and sinker.  Who knows what's in his head and I know it's very painful for you.   I'm not sure what has made me angrier in my past dealings... whether being kept away from my GKs (I went an entire year without seeing them)  OR being treated like a child, as you said an infant on the naughty step.  I agree with the others. Apologize for what you know you have done... it may or may not be accepted..  But the prospect of walking on eggshells forever and being spanked and punnished for being naughty is way too much.  Picking between the two is what many of us are dealing with. 

Offline Karenna

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 08:32:38 AM »
something which when we were speaking my OS was not very happy about and moaned about it to us more than once. I know for sure that all this has been instigated by her, and I suppose deep down I feel sorry for my OS who is trying his best to keep his family together.

This puts a different complexion on your problem.  If your son is in the habit of gossiping about his wife, that's a pretty big betrayal.  If she's just now putting a stop to it, then it's not fair to label her the instigator of your conflict.  I feel that your son deserves the blame - not for setting boundaries now, but for complaining about her to people outside the marriage in the first place.

It's deplorable that he's trying to shift the responsibility for his failures as a husband to his parents.

Offline NewMama

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 09:17:45 AM »
I'd be very cautious of any 'complaints' about your DIL that your DS has made to you in the past. You only heard the bad side of it - you're not there when they talk things over or make up themselves. You can end up holding on to something that your DS has long forgotten about.

I've said this before in other posts, but I see a lot talk (here and IRL) that DSs must be brainwashed by their wives. Maybe he's siding with his wife for a variety of reasons and if it is to keep peace in his own home, it's not brainwashing or being held hostage. It's a decision he made as a grown man. Maybe it's not the best one, and maybe it skirts around trying to fix the issues, but it's his decision and he's entitled to make it, however bad it is. It's so so so easy to point the finger at the DIL/SIL and let DS/DD off the hook for their contributions to these messes. And they contribute.

I think Pen is right though, about staying away from mental health diagnoses. They're diagnoses that even mental health professional who literally write the book on how to diagnose them can't agree on. They change all the time. Some people we just clash with because we have different personalities or they're jerks. And as a health professional, I think it's incredibly bad practice for a therapist to diagnose (or even suggest it ) that someone's IL has a mental health condition with secondhand information. And they need to be made over time by someone who's objective - if someone has been battling it out with an IL for years, there is zero objectivity.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 09:46:51 AM »
V - Your last post isn't in keeping with the spirit of our Web-forum and I have deleted it. Please re-read the Forum Agreement. This may not be the place that fits best.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Vasilisa

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 10:21:08 AM »
V - Your last post isn't in keeping with the spirit of our Web-forum and I have deleted it. Please re-read the Forum Agreement. This may not be the place that fits best.

Sorry. Didn't mean to post anything wrong.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Had an e-mail from ES and DIL
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 12:10:45 PM »
V - I sounds like you don't know what was wrong. Any posts that contain generalized accusations against MILs or DILs (or any other group for that matter) are not seen as reflecting tolerance and understanding. Most of us need both. WWU is not a site for blaming or taking sides. You are welcome here. This is just a request to post in the spirit of mutual respect. Thanks.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama