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Advice needed

Started by Tryin Hard, November 20, 2012, 07:12:18 am

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Tryin Hard

I've seen my DS and DIL once this year. We invited them to Thanksgiving Dinner, but son declined because of DIL pregnancy.  I can understand that she may not feel like traveling being as far long as she is.  However, this is not the first occasion this year. They have declined every invitation we have invited them to. Earlier this year, my youngest son planned a birthday party for me, I will say, it was the first party I have had in well over 30 years.  Youngest son was hurt because he had told his brother months in advance. At the last moment, he called and couldn't make it. When I found this out, I was really hurt.  It woulda meant the world to be to have them there.

My problem is whether or not we should go to the birth of 2nd GC, who will be born next month. We were there for birth of our first, however, since then, seems they have been distancing themselves from us. They haven't invited us, not sure if they even want us there. However, I don't want to cause a riff because we aren't there. Ladies, your advice would be much appreciated.

herbalescapes

I recommend not showing up to the birth uninvited.  Wait til after the baby is born, then if you don't get an invitation to visit, try suggesting a visit.  If after the fact DS/DIL ask why you weren't at the birth (it's possible they assume you are coming since you were at the first), don't get defensive.  Don't say "Well, you didn't invite me!"  Try something like "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you'd prefer a more private time since you have to acclimate first GC to having a little brother/sister."

It may appear that DS/DIL are pulling away, but you don't know everything going on in their lives.  I believe a lot of family problems stem from jumping to conclusions.  Take your birthday, no matter how far in advanced your DS knew about the party, that wouldn't prevent something from coming up short-notice and make him cancel.  Or maybe he had a conflict originally but couldn't bring himself to admit he wouldn't be there, so he put it off and let everyone think he was coming.  Or maybe there was a health or work issue that got in the way.  I wouldn't suggest probing this.  Your DS's idea of a legitimate reason to not show and your idea of a legitimate reason to not show may be wildly different.  Give him the benefit of the doubt.  Remember, the only obligation a recipient of an invitation has is to RSVP.  Your AC don't have to explain themselves.  If someone presses me about why I can't accept an invitation, I get highly annoyed, refuse to explain and am highly likely to turn down future invitations "just because." 

Good luck with GC #2.  Happy Thanksgiving. 

luise.volta

I would simply ask them what their preference is and let them know that way that you are respectful. If you don't ask and don't go...that could be misinterpreted, too. I'd leave it up to them. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Lillycache

I also don't think you should go unless invited.  In fact I would let them be the first to make any suggestions of visits.  Since you feel they are pulling away, you pull back and see what they want to do.  Don't be surprised though if you are accused of being distant and uncaring.  That seems to be the standard response when it's learned that they are not going to be sought after and begged for interaction.   To that you just answer,  that you had gotten the feeling that they needed more space and you didn't want to overstep your boundaries.  They will have a hard time arguing with that.  lol!    If you ask them if they want you at the birth of their 2nd child, and you get a negative response, you will be hurt again...  why put yourself through that?   Just hand back and see what they do.  Either they will invite you or they won't.    Of course... remember, this is only my opinion and what I would do.   

Pen

Since you were there for the first GC birth, there is a precedent for thinking you might be invited for the second...but I wouldn't assume anything now. You might tell them how special it was for you to be at the first GC birth but that you understand things might be different with this birth and that you will wait to hear from them as to what they want you to do. That way you've let them know how you feel but are giving them the space to make their own decision. (You may need to repeat silently to yourself "It's their choice, I'm not taking it personally" until it's true, lol.) Best wishes, however it goes.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Tryin Hard

Quote from: Lillycache on November 21, 2012, 05:47:16 am
I also don't think you should go unless invited.  In fact I would let them be the first to make any suggestions of visits.  Since you feel they are pulling away, you pull back and see what they want to do.  Don't be surprised though if you are accused of being distant and uncaring.  That seems to be the standard response when it's learned that they are not going to be sought after and begged for interaction.   To that you just answer,  that you had gotten the feeling that they needed more space and you didn't want to overstep your boundaries.  They will have a hard time arguing with that.  lol!    If you ask them if they want you at the birth of their 2nd child, and you get a negative response, you will be hurt again...  why put yourself through that?   Just hand back and see what they do.  Either they will invite you or they won't.    Of course... remember, this is only my opinion and what I would do.


I am feeling the same way. I don't want to open up a door to rejection. I truly believe that old saying, "you get what you give". I feel that it has been us always on the giving side and being let down by their refusals to be a part of any of our family gatherings. They show no regard for our feelings. Maybe its time to have that shoe on the other foot. I've put together a box of baby items and a card congratulating them on the birth of their little bundle of joy, which I will mail the week of her scheduled delivery.

Lillycache

I'll tell you what..... human nature is human nature.   Sometimes I think these young people just like flexing their muscles and being able to call the shots.  Perhaps it makes them feel they have finally grown up.  They don't realize th they don't seem to realize that no one is saying they AREN'T grown up.  But for some reason many need to  prove it.. if only to themselves.  Sometimes it's just a matter of trying to feel in control.   I know that's what my DILs problem was.  When I was originally cut off, I did not see my son or grandkids for over a year.  I never called or begged or pleaded, I just stopped even trying.   My DIL was upset that I never begged.  She can continue holding her breath too!!   lol!!    The point is, that by not making an issue, my son decided that he wanted me in his life and in his children's lives.... but that was HIS decision and that's what makes it all the more special.   I have kept my dignity AND I still have my son and GKs..   Hang in there. 

Tryin Hard

Lillycache, I am so glad things have worked out for you.  Hope that it will in my case too. I had always thought that both my boys and I were really close.  When my son was off at bootcamp I started noticing a change in him. I had joined a military support group during that time.  On Mothers Day, people were writing that their recruit were getting to call home.  I waited by the phone the entire day reading posts other Moms had written about talking to their kids, and I never received a call. I was so hurt.

When my son got married, he seemed to distance himself even more.  I know they have martial problems, and that's one reason that I'm glad that they live in another state. If you don't know about it, you won't worry. I believe a lot of DIL problem is that she isn't around any of her family. If GS can't see my mom, why should he see yours! So petty and immature.

This past year has been a real learning experience. I'm working hard at letting go! I have a good cry every now an then.  I want nothing more than to have a good relationship with my son, and a chance to get to know my GC, but I refuse to beg for it, or have GC be used as a pawn in the process.