Author Topic: How to respond/should I even?  (Read 5140 times)

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Offline not like the movies

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How to respond/should I even?
« on: October 12, 2012, 06:47:20 PM »
My son has been having marriage problems. He has confided in me some of the events. He would call for a sounding board when his wife would leave and be gone for days. He is in an abusive relationship. When it started I have always told him you two have the ingredients to make it work. I explained when you two make up I am not a part of that. So I don't need the details because I have want to keep decent feelings towards DIL.  As in all abusive relationships it has escalated. She started hitting and the verbal abuse increased. Because of the escalation I had a long conversation the other night with my son.  After my conversation that night I sent an e-mail to his personal account. DIL states she "accidentally" read the e-mail in his private account. The e-mail was in his deleted folder of all places. DS never sent a response to me. DIL now is offended and wants an explanation. Do I even owe her one? This was a personal e-mail to my son with my thoughts and my take and suggestion he get into counseling alone.  The only thing I want to address is the violation of privacy. But my I know my son needs to do that. What say you wise women.
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!

Doe

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 07:01:19 PM »
Your DIL wants an explanation.  Isn't it pretty self-explanatory? 

Your son talked to you about his wife.
You offered your opinion in a private email.
She read his email.

There are so many non-optimum things going  on here that I would step way back and let them sort things out. I can just image the vortex you might get sucked into.

Maybe let your son know that you are there for him as a mom but not as his counselor.  I feel for you.

Offline not like the movies

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 07:21:07 PM »
thanks Doe...yes the counselor I don't want to be. I am pulling way back. It has been hard. DIL and I have never had any falling out. I have tried to treat her with respect and a welcome when they come to town. I did not know it was this bad. Out of protection and loyalty to his wife he hid a lot. Like in most abusive relationships. I have felt him slipping away from who he use to be. That part I feel so sad about. That was what the e-mail was about. Reminding him about his passion for life he once had and that he has value. Things a person can forget in an abusive relationship. He sent a text tonight and he has scheduled an appt with a therapist. Relief. I am just going to refer DIL to speak to son I am not going to defend a private e-mail to my son.
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 07:24:05 PM »
I agree with Doe. It seems risky to interact when privacy isn't a sure thing and three's usually a crowd when a marriage is in trouble. My son didn't share with me what was going on…when he left his wife…but I knew it had to be pretty terrible to warrant that. Long afterward, he discussed some of it with me. That's entirely different, though, I had no input and wasn't involved. DS knows you care. That's what matter most. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 07:57:04 PM »
Yes, we must be careful about what we put in writing or leave on a voice mail. I learned that years ago dealing w/my jealous SM. No, people shouldn't read private mail but they do. It's usually not the reader who gets the grief, oddly.

As Luise said, take comfort in the knowledge that your son loves you & knows you care. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I give my own DS the gift of freedom from being torn in two. I have to have faith that he loves me & knows I will always love him.

We want our AC to be happy above all. I'm glad your DS is taking charge of his happiness, NLTM.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline not like the movies

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 08:12:21 PM »
thank you wonderful ladies!
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!

Offline AnnaB

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 09:29:46 PM »
How do you start a new topic? I wanted to ask others if they ever tried to communicate feelings through emails to a daugther who just seems to hate them no matter what you do, how much you give, how much you reach out. If you do that and try to explain yourself do they throw things back in your face and do not understand AT ALL where you are coming from? I give up, I never want to write to her again, it just gets worse and worse and worse. I do not know if I will ever want to be with my daughter again or she with me and that is pretty much where I am at at this point. I think i will just drop out of  her life and if she wants me back in it she will have to reach out to me for once, I am done reaching out to her. If she does reach out to me I will set boundaries, or perish from a broken heart.

Doe

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 06:29:30 AM »
AnnaB-

I've come to the conclusion that email/texting is about the worst way to sort out feelings, at least for me.  The person you're trying to talk to can't see your face or hear your voice so things can be misconstrued.

Also, I don't do ultimatums anymore (at least for now).  If I don't want to be in touch today, I don't.  But if I change my mind and want to be in touch next week, I'll do that.  I thought I had to be consistent, all or nothing, but I don't think I have to anymore.  I'm saying this because maybe instead of dropping out of her life completely, maybe you'll consider filling your life up so much that you don't have the time or attention to think about her as much.  I know how hard it it, but when I do that, I feel more causative, instead of feeling like I've lost something. 


Offline luise.volta

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 08:24:36 AM »
A - Go to the Home Page and scroll down until you find the category you want to post in and click on that. Then at the top right click on New Topic.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline AnnaB

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 11:46:29 AM »
Thank you , I am devastated, my  life IS very very full, that is not the problem, but my heart breaks,. Maybe the problem is I just gave everything, all I had, and they do not appreciate it, my son does, but not my daughters. I cannot stop crying. But I cannot change her or her husband, they hate me...it is that simple. I gave them jobs, a $500,000 lake property, my time, whenever they needed me I was there, yet his parents gave them nothing and they have all the benefits of their love, I have nothing and believe me, I did not rub it in what I have done for them His parents basically threw  him out at age 12....it is awful, All I asked for was one week a year for me and my son to go to the cottage that I gave them the property for. I was married to  her alcoholic father, I think that was enough. I just give up. She has me blocked, I guess it is better that way and I will never hear from her again and maybe that is just better. I have a lot of young women who love me and would like me to be their moms, a lot of kids that want me to be their granny, they love me, maybe it is best I just concentrate on them . At least I am appreciated and wanted in their lives.I have a wonderful husband now, I have to concentrate on my blessings, not what I wish life would be like, thank you for your answer. Her birthday is coming up and help! I do not know what to do, can I have some input..? I tbhink it will just be a card, not all the money I used to give, the time etc. It will just be a card signed mom, for him, probably nothing. He is cruel to her too, controlling and nasty.
so I guess I will  just let her live her life without me. It will probably be better that way. I just wish I could stop crying, I do not want life to be this way, but it is . So many have it so much worse, I know, at least I have my husband and I am a survivor. I will get by.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 12:12:49 PM »
I agree with what Doe has written. Emails, letters, texts and Voicemail messages are one-sided communications. A monologue with only one point of view being presented. It does not bring tone of voice, facial expression or body language with it. Where there's controversy, it is often judgmental and accusatory. There's no "room" and verbal firebombs can be lobbed back and forth. Misinterpretations can bloom into misunderstandings and make everything worse.

I lost one of my best friends because I responded in kind to an email attack from her. I think if I had refrained, cooled down and asked for a meeting, we might have gotten through it. "Might." I'll never know. By the time I did that and we met, she arrived loaded for bear with printouts of my emails back to her…all highlighted. I did my best to not to engage and took the entire blame by saying that I just went nuts after I got her first email and, in retrospect, I saw everything I wrote back to her as indefensible. (She accused me of stealing an energy bar after she told another mutual friend and me to make ourselves at home in her kitchen and fix our own lunches.) By the time we met, she didn't want my apology, she wanted to fight. When I refused to, she pretended to accept my apology and we parted in a sort of "truce." It wasn't real and I never heard from her again. We'd been friends for 25 years.

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

Offline DivaGirlDIL

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 12:32:21 PM »
I use to write letters to my inlaws they never were taken the right way.  So I stop.  I am on my hubby's email all the time he knows it too.  Not checking on him but his is the main line we use with his fam and other events in our lives.  And when a marriage is in trouble yeah sneaking can happen right or wrong. 

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 03:25:37 PM »
A - I think we all have our own timetable, for lack of a better word, when it comes to dealing with heartbreak. Some don't ever cry and some never stop crying. We're all put together differently and so we process disappointment in our own individualistic way. For some crying is a real release. For others, it makes them physically ill to continue to put themselves through expressing anguish that way. For most of us, no matter how we express it, it's a long, lonely road to get to where we accept the way things are and let go of wishing they were different. Therein lies peace. We can get stuck in thinking we deserve better and miss the fact that we are the ones who can give it to ourselves.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline AnnaB

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 05:49:58 PM »
Even though my daughter and son in law hurt me in a terrible way, I did send  a  letter, emails and texts...and now, it is over. I did it, and should just go on and accept the punishment.They made promises to me, to let me and my son use the inherited land I gave them, now worth $400,000 and now they have told us to go jump off a cliff. I let them have it, I could not believe they did that. Well, they always have a way of turning it back on to me, that it was my fault. and that has happened again too.I do not have any money, I gave them that property so that we could all enjoy it, but it is too late. My daughter is so unhappy with him, now she sides with him but she has to becasue she is financially dependent on him. My  life is busy, full, and I lived with her abusive dad for 22 years supporting 5 of us. I will go on, but I just blew my top when they pulled this one. I guess my penance will be to live without seeing her anymore, but you know what, it was just as hard seeing her because they were always fighting and my heart broke for their terrible marriage. I babysat the 5 pets last spring so they could have a nice trip, the minute they got off the plane they were fighting again. I cleaned up their home, took care of the yard , hauled muclh hoping to surprise them, redid all of her gardens and they were mad because I trimmed a tree back a bit too far to their liking. I guess maybe it is better I do not see them , it is always something with them.

Offline herbalescapes

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Re: How to respond/should I even?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2012, 07:49:52 PM »
You don't owe DIL an explanation, but I don't think she violated your privacy by reading her DH's email.  His privacy, maybe.  It depends on what sort of agreement they have regarding phone msgs, emails, etc.  Part of the whole married thing is that "two become one."  I don't think anyone outside the marriage can expect private communication with one spouse.  If the spouses agree to separate phones, email accts, etc. with the expectation of privacy, then your DS can complain about his wife's invasion of his privacy.  There are certain situations where a spouse gives up any right to privacy from the other spouse - having an affair, wreaking havoc on the family finances, etc. 

If your son is in an abusive relationship, he's the only one who can save himself.  Until he's decided he's had enough and is ready to get out of the situation (divorce, getting DW to get help), you can only provide a shoulder to cry on.  I don't expect many people to agree with my view on spousal privacy, but even if you're 120% opposite of me, making an issue of it with DIL won't help the situation.  I'd try to drop the whole thing.

Good luck.