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Status quo must go

Started by raindrops_on_my_soul, July 23, 2017, 03:39:51 pm

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Today I wanted to write about something that I was thinking about earlier. Our kids seem to think we should be on the hook for them for the rest of our lives, always there ready to step in and help every time they need us to. They think we should listen when they need us to, loan money when they need us to, give them a place to stay if they need us to, give gifts for every occasion, and it goes on and on. Yet they don't feel they should do the smallest of things to give back. They don't think they should answer calls or texts, let alone initiate either of those. They don't think they should give gifts, a listening ear, a genuine thank you, or any considerate act of kindness whatsoever. Do they not realize they endanger our relationships with them with this kind of attitude, or just plain don't care? Is the only thing they care about is keeping us on the hook so they have someone to fall back on in hard times, only to neglect us when things are going good for them? And another thing that's been on my mind, and I've seen it many times, is how our adult children will seek out and stick to the ones that treated them the worst, while ignoring and forgetting those of us that did the most. I certainly never meant to send the message that neglect was ok with me by being what I thought was a good person. I would like to send out a new message that says, you know what, this isn't ok with me and I won't tolerate being taken advantage of anymore. Since a conversation won't yield the desired effect, I will have to come up with more creative ways of getting this message across.


July 24, 2017, 04:14:27 pm #1 Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 11:08:11 pm by Bamboo2
Hi Raindrops,
You ponder the very questions that are asked over and over on this forum - the archives are filled with them.  There is no good answer for why they act the way they do.  In my own situation with an adult daughter, when I've spun my wheels trying to find the explanation or trying to change her, it only made me more miserable.  I had what I thought were reasonable expectations that she did not fulfill.  My only hope of gaining equilibrium has been to 1) face a different direction (not focus on her), 2) let go of my expectations of her to give me, do for me, or tell me what I want, and 3) not come to her financial or emotional rescue time and again.  It is hard to do, especially when I've thought of that as my job as a mom and responding to her needs has kept her in touch with my husband and me in some "as-needed" way.  But rescuing her did not helped her to face adult problems on her own.  And her lack of appreciation or reciprocity did not made our relationship closer - just the opposite.  The only thing I found that I have control of is my own focus and my own response to her. When my daughter expected me to give or do things for her that I was unwilling to do, I started saying that I would not help her and add that I knew she would be able to figure things out.  She has actually been more resourceful as a result, and she is growing up.  No, we don't hear from her as much, and maybe when we do, it is just a random question seeking information, but she does not have the same expectations of us as before.

None of it has been easy, and I've had plenty of moments of guilt and doubt.  In addition, she has given us the silent treatment and turned the tables by blaming us for things that were her own doing.  But sticking with the plan of changing our expectations of her, not bailing her out and letting her try to stand on her own feet, calling her out on rudeness or passive-aggressive behavior, and focusing our time and attention on the good things and people in our lives has led my husband and me to a brighter, calmer place.  I've been buoyed (I mistakenly typed ebuoyed :) by the stories of women on this forum who have arrived at this calm place, knowing it is possible for all of us, no matter how the relationship is with their AC or in-laws.  Yes, as you say, the status quo must go, and we are the ones who can change our part in it.  That's all we have control over, but that is all we need. 


Raindrops there is one thing that I have noticed through the years.  Immature people try to buy love from the people that they never felt secure around.  In my opinion that is the reason there are so many mothers who cared for children in spite of abusive or absent husbands only to find out that the children cling to the absent/abusive fathers and try to earn their love.  Your children know that you love them, they have never doubted it. That is why they feel secure ignoring you, you will love them anyway.  So they will neglect you and run to the man who treated you badly.  I know it stinks, but it does seem to play out in life.  So sorry!!

None of this changes Bamboo2's very wise advice but maybe it will ease the pain.

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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