Author Topic: Conflicted  (Read 4014 times)

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Offline Frustrated Oma

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Conflicted
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:30:58 PM »

I am new to this forum.  I am also a new grandparent.  When my son met his wife, we absolutely loved her.  She was always so sweet and said how she came from a broken family so she loved the fact that we were all so close.  After they became engaged we began to notice a change in her as well as my son.  They hardly shared any wedding details with us and they became more distant.  They did a great job with their wedding and we told them so, we also gave them a very generous gift.  The visits were less and less and they seemed to always be busy with her Mom and sisters.  They didn't come for any holiday except Christmas as there were gifts involved.  They told us they were pregnant and we were very happy.  Throughout the pregnancy, there was never any news about doctor appts unless asked and then very vague answers were given.  On the day our Grandson was born, my son never called to say she was in labor or that the baby had been born.  I just happened to find out because I texted to see how she was feeling knowing her due date was past.  Now they live 20 mins from us  so it's not like this was happening in another state.  We went to the hospital and was able to hold our Grandson for about 5 minutes because she had all her sisters, their boyfriends, Grand mother and mother in the room.  We were able to see him twice the first week he was home and then were told they weren't accepting any visitors.  After a few weeks went by I asked again to come by and was told no.  Then I got upset and told my son he hurt my feelings.  He blew up at me.  Told me I smothered him his whole life and to leave him alone.  Eight weeks went by before we had another conversation, only to find out his wife prefers a life with her family only.  I just don't know what to do or where to put this in my brain.  I have been to consuling and I still loose sleep at night over this...  Why would my son who really did have a happy childhood and always told us how much he appreciated us now think this is ok?

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 04:42:11 PM »
Hello, Frustrated Oma, and welcome to WWU!  We ask all new members to go to the Home Page and read the posts under Read Me First.  Please pay particular attention to our Forum Agreement to be sure that WWU is a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.

I'm so glad that you found us.  So sorry to read about the situation with your son and DIL.  Sadly, there are many moms who have experienced something similar and equally bewildering.  The archives here are full of their stories.  Maybe you can gain some comfort from them. 

There is probably no good answer as to why they are treating you this way.  In my own DD's case, she thought we were too strict, she wanted to be with her BF's family who all thought she walked on water and was supposed to "rescue" the BF from his myriad bad life choices, and she was being financially and emotionally controlled by him.  It was easy to blame us and reject us as we would still probably always be there, in her mind.  He, on the other hand, was playing manipulative games with her so that she would continually choose him and his family over ours.  In fact, she had to get "permission" to do anything with our family.  That doesn't excuse her choices, but may have explained them.  All I felt, though, was hurt and rejection.  Where was my loving daughter who had always said she would take care of us in our old age?  Nowhere to be found.

For my own peace of mind, I had to back away and change my focus to the only thing I could control, which was my own life.  After chasing her for way too long, I finally started  to create my own joy in life.  I found other young people who valued my presence in their lives, found a new hobby with my husband, found this forum and kept reading and posting till I felt that I had a blueprint for going forward, with or without this daughter of mine. 

Now things have improved with her, she's in a new relationship and there is hope.  But it was four years of ups and downs until I finally understood that I really could live without her in my life if it meant giving up my self-respect just to have some semblance of a relationship.  I gained a lot of support on this site, and I hope that you will, too. 

Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 11:20:27 AM »
Bamboo2, thank you for your response and kind words, they are much appreciated.  I applaud your success in finding peace with your situation.  I have a lot of struggles to overcome with this situation, the biggest is even the thought of having a life without my DS and GC just tears me apart.  I don't even know where to begin to put the idea that my DS doesn't want a life with us into my realm of thinking.  My husband keeps telling me that I am trying to make sense of something that doesn't make any sense.  To think that one human being can be so selfish to keep someone they supposedly love from the ones  they love is beyond my thought capabilities.  Can someone be that selfish?  We have walked on eggshells, were as kind and friendly as any human could be, since the day we met her.  I can honestly say that there was never any altercation, disagreement nothing until after they closed us out and I told my DS that my feelings were hurt.  I have a lot of work to do on myself to stop this from obsessing my life.  Just don't know where to even start.

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 02:23:42 PM »
Hi Oma,
As I was thinking about your post yesterday, I ran across this post from a member named Pooh, a former moderator who touched a lot of people on this site over the several years she was active here.  She came to a point of acceptance of her situation.  She has lots of great posts, and this last one was very meaningful to me.  It shows me that there is a good life beyond adult children who turn away.  Maybe this will be of some comfort to you, too. 

((Hugs))

https://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,7634.msg78194.html#msg78194

Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 03:23:58 PM »
Thank you,  You are so right, the words in the post from Pooh are uplifting and give me courage to face this road.  I just have to find the beginning.  I am lucky enough to have an AD who is my breath of fresh air in all of this.  Her and her DH have been trying to conceive with no luck so I will begin my journey by placing all my love and support on her as she begins her IVF treatments.  She too is conflicted by her brothers actions and has been shut out as well.  Please pray for her, I know she will make an awesome mama.
I will keep you posted on both fronts.  So happy I found this group, I have felt so alone in this....

Offline gettingoldandcranky

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 08:45:19 AM »
frustrated oma i feel your pain.  heartbreaking.  our ds has been married for years and the oldest child is 7.  we are left out constantly.  as of now, there have been many phone calls that are never returned.  if we get a response from a text or email, it is a miracle.
i am trying so hard to move on - pooh's post has been saved and re read many times.  i know that time is a factor is learning to live with reality.  it is a hard tunnel to get through and a hurtful struggle.  i have guilt, depression and can't figure out what happened.  this is a wonderful place to vent and read others journeys.
will send out prayers for you that you can take care of yourself and maybe get some good results in your relationship with your son

Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 06:43:02 PM »
Dear Gettingold and cranky,
Thank you for your support.  It saddens me to hear so many of us have to deal with this pain.  The best thing about this page is you can vent to people who totally understand the situation we are in.  I was talking to a couple girl friends last night and their response was supportive but they said the same as most people "if that was my son, I would let him have it "  What they don't understand is the real fear of not having your child in your life.  When I was a teen, my brother and parents got into a fight over a girl he was dating and my brother walked out.  We didn't see or hear from him again for 15 years.  This haunts me daily....  I just couldn't bear that...  I will keep you in my prayers as well.  I hope things change for both of us.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 03:43:17 AM »
Oh Frustrated, I know exactly where you are coming from!  I remember that fear of loosing touch with my DS so clearly!  I clung to him even though it was absolutely obvious that he was not interested in staying close.  I called and texted all the time.  I was desperate to get the relationship we had had back because we were so close and he was so loving before and then suddenly he was gone, just gone.  I tried for months to "fix" things by groveling and putting up with all of their stipulations for contact. 

My wake up moment came when I realized that the person I wanted to be around was gone.  My DS had changed into someone who I did not know and honestly he was someone whose company I did not even enjoy because of all the eggshells I had to tip toe around.  If I did not enjoy his company why was I so hurt by him not wanting to be around me?  At that point I stopped.  I stopped calling, I stopped texting, I stopped begging and I stopped tiptoeing.

Since then things have gotten better and I see my DS more often and we are developing a good relationship.  The young man I knew pre DIL is still gone but I can see the foundation of him in the new man I am getting to know.  I enjoy the new man and look forward to his visits and whether he and his spouse stay together is his decision. 

This site was absolutely the life changer for me as it has been for so many others.  I would love to write more but I would be late for work........

Good luck!  Hugs from all of us!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2018, 06:57:35 PM »
Stilllearning, reading your words this morning really shifted my realm of thinking.  I didn't even realize I could have possibly been mourning the loss of the DS I once knew.  Before my DIL came in to the picture, he was a funny yet synical guy who could chat with his parents for hours.  He know is withdrawn, quiet always serious and hardly ever smiles.  I can not tell you how much I miss the guy he used to be.  But like you I think that guy is gone forever.  I only hope that one day he will allow me in to be able to get to know the new man he has grown to be.  In the mean time, I realize I need to work on me to work through my grief.  Thank you for the eye opener.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 04:45:17 AM »
Frustrated, I am sorry that I had to rush off!  Sounds like you know what to do now.  My life turned around completely once I started focusing on making being happy regardless of my DS's situation.  I planned trips (not expensive, but fun like canoeing) for the days when I knew I would be most likely to visit what I now call the abyss.  We started celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday and going somewhere fun on Thursday and things like that.  I made plans without my DS for Christmas.  I admit it still hurt when he ignored me on my birthday, anniversary or Mother's day but I forced myself to think of the people who did remember me on those days and not think about him.  Gradually he drifted back into my life but there were many missed special occasions. 

And now a little more about our nemesis The Abyss.........

When my thoughts accidentally stray to the times that were so bad and how much he hurt me I have to force ably turn my thoughts to happier things.  The Abyss will suck me in and make my life a living hell, just like it was when I lived there.  So when I visit there and my thoughts turn dark I have learned to catch myself and start thinking about things that make me happy and I have learned to try to live by these two mottoes:

What you focus on expands

and

For things to change first I must change

Good luck and remember that we are here for you!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 12:14:14 PM »
Question for all my new found friends.  My therapist stated that I should continue to extend invitations to family gatherings to my DS and DIL.  So I extended an invitation for Easter Sunday and did it early as I thought that my DIL would not have made plans with her family yet. (Wishful thinking on my part)  I received a reponse from my son only as I had texted them both.  This is the response I received from my DS.  I would love to hear your insight on this. ..Hey Mom, hope everything is good with you guys. Sorry for not getting back to you the last couple days but I wanted to confirm a straight answer before I replied about Easter.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to make brunch.  DIL'S name  mom's boyfriend is a mega catholic and has an extravagant day planned for everyone.  Last year he did the same thing and it is super over the top and I can't get out of it. .  I know you asked way in advance so I am especially sorry I can't make it. I Love you.

My husband's thoughts on this text was that our DS may finally be seeing the light as indicated in using the word "I"  in much of his response.  I am not sure what to think as I don't want to raise false hopes within my self that he may finally be starting to feel conflicted with the situation.  Your thoughts. ...

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 12:49:33 PM »
I think his text reply shows that he cares for you a lot.  Although I agree that you should continue to issue invitations to your DS/DIL trying for a big holiday like Easter might not be the best way to go.  There is so much pressure on those days to make things perfect that I tend to get testy and overwrought with all the preparations.  I enjoyed inviting my DS/DIL over for a cook out in the backyard.  Hamburgers and hot dogs were easy (and a real treat for us old fogies since we never have them!) and it spread the work out so that I had more time to visit (I prepped and DH cooked).  It worked well for us.

I also think that I would thank my DS for replying so promptly as I have several other options for Easter and it gives me time to prepare (or decide?).  I always plan something fun for my holidays so that I do not sit around and mope.  I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 03:41:59 PM »
Oma, you write " I am not sure what to think as I don't want to raise false hopes within my self that he may finally be starting to feel conflicted with the situation.  Your thoughts."

My situation is very similar to yours.  DIL will not allow us to visit, and DS takes her side in everything.  I held my breath for 8 years, hoping he would "see the light".  It never happened.  When DS and DIL had children, 3 years ago, I knew that I had to stop hoping he would "see the light".  I had to hope he and DIL were making a happy family situation for our grandchildren (whom we have not been allowed to see for 2 years). 

In the beginning of his marriage, DS would come home once or twice a year, without DIL, because he really loves us and wanted to see us.  I know that he still loves us, that he would like to have us visit, and that he would like to bring his children here.  But it's not in the cards for him.  He has chosen DIL and her family in place of us - not as an additional family, but as his primary family.  He moved to the town of his inlaws and built a house for himself, DIL and the grandchildren. 

I know that he loves us, but I had to disengage because the hurt and disappointment were unbearable.  I do not extend invitations and I will not even ask to go to our GSs' birthday parties any more because ii is always refused, and because DS told us that merely bringing it up with DIL causes a fight between them.  I know he loves us because he sent me flowers on my birthday last week. He was traveling for business, so he could do this without DIL knowing.  The card was signed from DS alone, not from DS and DIL.  I was surprised and very happy to get that lovely gift. 

I am sure your DS loves you and would like to see you.  Keep inviting him, maybe for a non-holiday time.  Who knows, maybe he will come home alone for a visit!  I'm hoping this will happen for you, and I hope you tell us when it does!!!  I don't know what you intend to do about Christmas and birthday presents, but I will tell you that I intend to keep sending cards and gifts.  I have never in 11 years received an acknowledgement of a gift, or a thank you, from DIL, but I keep sending her gifts for her birthday and Christmas because I know that DS would think less of me if I didn't do that.  I encourage you to send cards and flowers too - without expecting anything in return - but just because I'm sure your DS will appreciate you for it.

Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2018, 09:43:13 PM »
Dear am flautist,
Thank you for you response and I am sorry you are in the same boat.  Have you ever resolved the issue in your heart and head as to why your DS was never able to put his foot down with your DIL and to say that I love my family and I will visit with them etc...  I know it would cause a great deal of conflict between them as a couple but I just can't grasp the concept that my DS would not fight for people he supposedly cares about.  This has been my biggest struggle.  My husband and I have been married for 34 years.  His sister has-been very mean to me through the years.  My DH would never confront her  for fear of hurting his mother's feelings.  We had many  fights over this but in the end I understood his thoughts and feelings and would never have thought to forbid him from seeing his family. My DS witnessed and knew the situation and saw the pain it caused both of us but also witnessed the two of us compromising our differences.  I just don't get it.  Making your spouse give up their family just is not a marriage.  I feel bad for you and your son.  My DS also sent this text behind her back and yes I will continue to send gifts and cards because it is the right thing to do and my GS did not ask to be placed in this situation.  But I can not help but feel like I am the only one making the effort.  As you can see I am still very bitter.  I just can't fathom the selfishness someone has to possess to keep their own GC from their grandparents.  It is just not normal.

Offline Frustrated Oma

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Re: Conflicted
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 10:02:46 PM »
Dear stilllearning,  I admire your strength in this situation and I am sure it probably took some time to get there.  This is all so new to me and my emotions go from being in a place where I think I am healing but them find my self deep in the "abyss" as you call it.

I have no doubt that my son cares about me but that is what brings me so much conflict.  I don't understand why he is not willing to fight for the people he loves.  I know his wife is first and foremost as she should be but that should not mean that she should be the only one he can love and why would she want that?  When i fall in to the dark whole is when I try to make sense of all of this,  I just want to reach out and scream at my DIL and shake her and ask what is she thinking and how could she be so selfish. But I also know that doing this would bring any relationship we might be able to still have to an abrupt end.  My DS knows how much this hurts me and I just don't get how he allows his wife to act in this way.  My DH sees things differently and tells me he gets that my DS is also trying to make his wife Happy because he has to go home to her everyday.  But is marriage really worth that?    He was raised with parents that have been in a happy marriage for 34 years,  with grandparents on both sides married for over 60 years.  He has witnessed how important compromise is in a marriage and yet he allows this to happen in his own.  As you can see I am deeply in the "abyss"  these days.  Thank you for your ear.