For discussion of parent/child estrangements

anniebalApril 11, 2008

New thread!

We reached the 150 capacity already, WOW, that went fast!

Let's keep it going, the support really helps!


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This is in response to karenj. I wonder, have you been on this site before? Have you been following the post back say about 300 or so before now? I have to admit I'm surprised that you came to the conclusion you did, which correct me if I'm wrong, but it is that it is the parent's fault for these estrangements. It is we, the parents, who can't accept that things change once our children get married?!! Please, don't you think that that is rather a harsh assessment to come to regarding ALL the parents on this site? What, we all have separation anxiety? I was thrilled at the thought of having another woman in the family, until that woman turned out to be the she devil. That woman, who wanted nothing to do with her husbands parents, yet amazingly she continues to have a relationship with her own parents? Do you know any young women like this karenj?

I'm not assuming anything about you, I'm just trying to figure out why you would reach this assumption about all of us? Perhaps your a young married whose husband is having these issues in your life with his parents? Perhaps you don't think the man should be attached to the parents, the way women are allowed to be? I will never get over the double standard society has set regarding what role a son and daughter play once they are grown and get married. I knew plenty of women my age that wouldn't allow their husbands to remain close to their famillies. Oh, they still saw their parents on holidays, birthdays, etc. but in general it was always the girl who got to drag her husband to every possible occassion under the sun on her side of the family, and all that was considered normal. Somehow if a guy still wants to retain a relationship with his closeknit family, that it is weird or unmanly!

I'm italian, German and English. Italians have extremely close families, and are very outwardly affectionate even kissing the boys in public. This was never a problem before my son met the girl from another world. I know it was her who couldn't stand that we had such a close relationship, and she set out to conquer and divide. I think she made my sons life a living heL*, to the point that he finally had to make a choice out of sheer desperation. He was in danger of losing his sanity.

This is not love. What I describe is abuse. It is one partner dominating the others life so much, that the other person can't see their family, friends, or feel good about themselves. The abuser puts down the other person to lower their self esteem. They do this so that the person feels no one else would ever want them, and that they are in fact, undeserving of their mates love!

I never expected things to remain the same as far as how much we saw our son, or how much he'd be talking to me on the phone. There was no pressure put on him or her by us. We never stopped over unannounced, therefore, we never went to their condo since we weren't invited. It isn't a one way street.

Your comments remind me too much of the old saying "everyone is out of step in the band but my child." It doesn't work that way. All of us don't happen to be clingy, selfish parents who want our children all to ourselves. We are loving, devoted parents who wanted only the best for our children yet that was a crime once they met their worse half. We interfered with the attention he gave her, and she couldn't have that. She needs to feel superior to us, and every other adult, afterall in her mind we are all peers!

Garden60, I hope I get to email you regarding the diabetes. I'd really like to help out with it since regular drs. know so little about it! I can understand why both of you are confused. I could never get over the instructions my dad got when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If it weren't for all I knew, he wouldn't have known what to do with managing his care. The stupid insurance companies want to dictate how many times a diabetic (especially type 2) can check each day also. It's mind boggling! All that is is a cost cutting measure, they don't want to pay out, they just want to reap the greedy profits.

Hang in their regarding your birthday. It is going to be very difficult if he doesn't acknowledge it, just as I am anticipating will happen to me on mother's day. I'm sure though that dil mom will get a nice visit, gift, & taken out to breakfast or lunch. Gee, I guess her parents do all the right things :)

We do need to support each other through our difficult times, and we do need to try new tactics! I'm all for it, and I have to agree with you that I think my son will be dumbfounded now that he will not hear a thing from me or my husband. He expects us to continue groveling, and begging for forgiveness for crimes we didn't commit. That is exactly where they want us, under their control.

Karenj, it isn't us who controlled the children, but the children who try very hard to control the parents, and many get away with it. It is only the smart ones who finally say enough is enough, we're the parents, we earned your respect.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Anniebal and garden60,

If you or anyone here wants to exchange emails, it is okay to email me from the link on my website or blog and ask me to give the other person your email. If you BOTH email me, then I can forward your email to the other and you will have each other's email address. Just click the link to my website, then click the email address, and send me an email. But you both will need to do it. It won't work if just one of you emails me.


Here is a link that might be useful: Estrangements: The Website

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:46AM
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Hi Ginny, Thanks that is a great idea. I will send you my email, and hopefully garden60 finds her way back into the new thread. I hate it that we have to start over with a new link. It seems like they could at least just have you re-new it but have the same link as we were using?

I'll post a message to Garden60 to see your email, and to go to your link and send you her email to send me.

Thanks much!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 12:50PM
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I HAVE been following this thread, and with much sympathy and understanding.
My post was my opinion and response to garden60.
Please re-read it, I clearly stated that I am not defending anyone. I put no-one at fault. I was merely suggesting a theory. Your misinterpretation and subsequent defensiveness has led to a personal attack on me that I will not dignify with a response.
Estrangement is difficult for all of us. We can only go forward.
side note, anniebal--my husband parents are dead.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 1:27PM
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There seems to be a new blog starting that I wrote on to karenj. This is the last response I put on that one:

karenj - I agree with you but why does it have to be a power struggle? I was excited to have DILs since I only have sons. After my husband and I were treated so nasty (we had never encountered that kind of behavior before), I dropped them a note inviting them for Thanksgiving, called my son inviting them for Christmas (and always saying if they had other plans that was fine too but just wanted them to know they are included), in Jan. called my son to have lunch, telling him let's start a new year not hurting each other but loving each other. He wrote back that he wanted no calls, emails, birthday cards, etc. from us and that he would contact us when he felt like it. That is just plan disrespect. Before when they sent a nasty email, they called to try to change it. This time when I received the note, I have done nothing. He has made it clear he does not want any of his family in his life so that is the way it will be. His aunt and uncle and cousins are quite disappointed in him and they also are not contacting him. Everyone figures if he only has her, he can't blame anyone else for his problems. He was raised in a Christian home, always funny and talking all the time. Once they got engaged, his MIL to be told me she thought my son was so serious and never talked much or smiled much. Humm......

I have to share with you. It is my birthday on Monday. My husband, son and family are going out to brunch tomorrow to celebrate. My three adult niece/nephews just had flowers delivered to me here at home with a note that reads: HAPPY BIRTHDAY. THANKS FOR BEING AN INCREDIBLE INFLUENCE ON OUR LIVES. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU DO FOR US. WITH LOVE.

So how can my DIL see me as such a hateful person? She did tell me that she thought my son and I were too close and I told her that yes, we are, but as he will tell you, I have always told my boys that when they marry, their wife becomes number 1 and he should start a new family with her keeping both her family and his family as great support and enjoy spending time with your parents as adults with adults. She smiled but didn't reply. My son said, yup, you always said that to us, mom.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Karenj, What is your idea of a personal attack? It must be pretty thin skinned since all I was doing was making comments regarding your amazing assessment of our situations.

I'm glad you've been following the posts, but I disagree about you not blaming anyone. You state clearly in the 2nd or 3rd sentence that parents can't accept that there is a big change when their sons or daughters get married. That is placing blame. I still have to ask, how you came up with your conclusion that it is the parents, and not the children causing the estrangement?

Nobody here is stating it's not difficult for both parties, but I think it is much more difficult when a child disrespects a parent to the degree our children have. One of the things I feel most of my generation accepted easier, is that our parents were not perfect. We accepted them for who they were, with all their faults. We did this because we loved them and repsected the fact that they are our parents. If the only reason was that they were are parents, that would be enough. I'm not stating that one should continue respecting and loving one's parents if they are verbally or physically abusive. However, both my husbands parents were alcoholics, and still we worked around seeing them to limit the amount of times we and our kids would be exposed to their drinking. Eventually his father quit drinking (after an intervention) and his mother cut back drastically. I don't see most of today's younger generation being able to deal with the situation we had. I see most kids today walking away from their family because they don't measure up. Afterall, 'they' are 'entitled' to expect better behavior from their parents. The parents in most of these young peoples mind tend to think we owe them something, not the other way around.

Am I saying all the young people today think in this manner...of course not! My youngest son doesn't behave like this, and has always accepted us for who we are. But my oldest son could never take any criticism, and was never at fault for anything. When I couldn't do something at his beckon call, I would be punished by his moody behavior and silent treatment.

Had my son married a sweet girl, who wasn't NPD, I think the situation would have been just the opposite as it is now. Men in general are very easily influenced by women, and many certainly don't recognize bad women. Most men don't get it as far as how manipulative women are, or can be. They don't get it how they will try to rule their life, and accuse them of not loving them if all the attention isn't on them. Most are sucked into this type of relationship, and many never realize what hit them. It's not normal to expect one's husband to give up his family for his wife. Would most wives give up their family for their husbands? I think not.

Are you estranged from your family (mom, dad, sister, brother, etc.??) Since you state you husbands parents are dead, the I assume there isn't an estrangement going on on his side though I guess it could still be a brother or sister?

Why do you think you and your loved ones are estranged? Who initiated the estrangement? Were they abusive, either physicially or verbally?

Wow, I can't get over that you thought my post was a personal attack and how you stated you weren't going to dignify my post with a response.

Things are not often what they seem to be. It's usually not that simple.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Anniebal has sent me an email. If you go to the website and click on the link labeled "Email", you will be able to send me an email. When I receive it, I will send your email address to anniebal.


Here is a link that might be useful: Estrangements: The Website

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 7:21PM
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Happy birthday to you garden60!
As to your interest in my opinion that a MIL/DIL relationship (not necessarily yours, I am not that presumptuous) many times becomes a power struggle (it's not always so), I think that attempts by you (general, not personal) to maintain the relationship with your son are interpreted (subconsciously) as a threat to her status.
You will get pushed away (by some means) which is a threat to YOUR status.
She holds all the cards as SHE lives with him, giving her a certain degree of control (The addition of children gives her more control).
As I said in a previous post, you can't win this. In my opinion, the best thing for you to do is to just walk away.
It's a very, very sad situation for all and, should you choose, garden60, to let it be and carry on with your life, you can at least do it with the knowledege that you tried. Peace to you in your future.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Karenj, I'm still interested in hearing what estrangement you are suffering from? I'm assuming you are since you post here.

I hope your not going to carry on not discussing anything with me because you feel that I was attacking you. I was defending myself as a parent, and nothing else. I could have stated that you were attacking me and us but I didn't carry my feelings to that level. Your exagerating with your remarks regarding my post.

We are all on edge here, or we wouldn't be here talking about it with others going through the same situation. We're looking for support, ideas, comfort, but not accusations.

Your remarks to Garden60 are interesting. Again, your saying the mom should have to walk away. Why is it in your view that this should be the case? I agree with walking away because of how she has been treated, but what type of child treats their parents this way? When parents spend the best years of their lives dedicated to raising and loving their child, it seems that there should be some recognition of this. By recognition I'm not saying that there is any set amount of time to visit or talk, I'm talking about simply maintaining a relationship. Why should any wife take that away from her husband? On the other hand, why would any husband take that away from his wife? Neither one is justified unless as I stated, there was verbal or physical abuse. In Garden60s case, she was verbally abused by her dil. I was chewed up and spit out by my dil, having done almost anything I could possibly do to please, but this was impossible. My dil was never going to allow herself to be pleased by us since she didn't want us in her life.

I agree that the dil of Garden60 feels threatened by her husbands mom, but how insecure and immature is that? I'd say most of the kids here that the parents are discussing, including are own kids and their mates, have a lot of growing up to do. I can't even imagine my son & dil thinking of having children when their obvious focus is only on themselves. If they do have a child in the near future, I feel it will be deprived emotionally since my dil is incapable of loving anything more than herself.

I predict that that is when the marital problems will really start since she won't be able to handle my son not doting on her every minute. He'll be into the baby as all parents should be, but she'll be busy getting jealous over the lack of attention she is getting.

Very, very insecure.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 1:21AM
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Anniebal, there are a lot of parents whose daughters have been forced to give up their families by their husbands. Men can be just as controlling and manipulative as women, perhaps even more so as so many controlling men resort to physical violence to "keep their woman under control."

If one person truly loves another, she/he will not try to keep their spouse from family contact, no matter the relationship with the in-laws.

Many times, when a person finds him or herself in a bad marriage they are incapable, for a myriad of reasons, of getting out of that marriage: fear of having to go it alone with kids, embarrassment or shame. That's when the "child" can retreat from the family of origin. Most times, the spouse is encouraging the retreat as a form of control, i.e., "it's not my fault you're not happy, it's your mother's fault," (classic injustice collector thought pattern).

It's a vicious circle: a less than loving spouse, withdrawal from the FoO, more dependence on the spouse, further withdrawal from the family.

If the parents should say anything to their child about the state of the marriage, the child immediately begins to defend their spouse and retreats even farther away from their family.

It is extremely difficult to watch one's child hurting badly, but my advice is to just sit back, keep your mouth shut and just keep praying that your child can finally develop enough strength to leave.

Its especially sad when there are grandchildren around because you see the damage the parents are doing to their kids and you know what damage will impact those children for the remainder of their lives and you canÂt do a damned thing about it.

Should your child finally break from his or her spouse, at some time the parent might hear something to the effect of: "Why didn't you say something to me?" To which, a response could be: "Would you have listened?" An introspective person will answer "No."

Karenj, I, too, would like to hear your story of estrangement because unless you've been there, you can spout all the theory in the world, but you have no understanding at all of the situation.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:37AM
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dirtboysdad, your very correct in what you say regarding being either male or female spouses that can be the culprit behind your child becoming estranged. In fact there are many on here who are probably in that very position. Your correct again in saying that men abusers can actually make it harder on women since they can physically abuse them, or intimidate them using their physique as the tool.

I know many women are out there probably afraid to leave because either they will get severely hurt, or they wonder if they can make it on their own with a child? In most cases, whatever spouse leaves, the woman still has full or shared custody, but the child is still in the womans care most of the time. This is a huge problem for women.

I'm sure I'm dwelling on females because of my situation. I also know to many women who may not have caused their hubby's to become estranged completely from the family, but they are so dominated and manipulated by the woman that they hardly see their foO.

We had great friends that when they first married they needed a place to stay from the time their house was finished being built and their apartment least was up. Her parents did live near them, and his parents wouldn't, for whatever reason offer them a place to stay. We offered our house to them. We don't have a huge house, but it's comfortable and we knew we could stand the closeness just for a few months tmie.

We never really liked our friends choice, but we excepted her since he loved her. After they spent 3 mos at our place, with their little boy (only a baby,) we were basically cut out of their lives. Now we could suspect it was our friend, but we know better. In fact, he tried to come and see us a few times on his own, but then he stopped coming altogether. We would get Christmas cards exchange Christmas cards the first few years, but then they stopped coming. We ended up stopping ours a few years later realizing that we were on a one way street.

We were shocked that we could have lost our best friend. He truly was a best friend to us both, and we had wonderful times with him. The woman he married was very superficial, and I believe just looking for a mate who made an above average income and could take care of her. He was just the nicest guy, and I feel he was manipulated, brainwashed, and probably verbally abused to the point that he had no self respect left.

As I stated, I Unfortunately have many examples of this type of behavior, even coming from my own family. My sister pulled this type of doo doo with her hubby. My bil is the nicest, most laid back guy. Once they married, everything he believed in changed to her beliefs. The job he had wasn't good enough, so he went back and got a masters degree to make my sis happy. He even went into the same career as my sis. Because his father was alcoholic, they'd rarely go to see his mom. My sis used this as her excuse not to like his entire family. It wasn't until their only child was much older (as in her mid to upper teens,) and his father passed away, that my bil started seeing his mom on a more regular basis. My sis was/is very intolerant of his mother and family. Where most people work around these type of family issues because we love them so much, some people as my bil, friend, and now son, are forced to give in to shameless demands to keep their mate happy. I think it becomes a survival mechanism, it's either do what they say or risk their own sanity and/or happiness. Though I never think the ones being abused are ever truly happy, it is only skin deep as they say.

I'm glad you question Karenj's story of estrangement also. Her lack of comparison to any of us made me suspect that she has not experienced this situation, and has only jumped in to voice an opinion on something she is quite unqualified to do.

She also said she's been following the posts, but when I look back (and I looked way back,) she hasn't been on this that long at all and I still didn't read any about her situation. I may have missed them, so I'm not saying she has no basis to be here, I'd just like to know what it is.

I do plan on taking your advice and keeping my mouth shut. I pray that he will see the light, without it breaking his heart. I have thought about them planning a family and how awful this will be for any children.

You really hit the nail on the head with the question the child may ask about why we didn't tell them what we knew. I know of a guy whose sis had this happen to her and now blames the parents for having not stepped in and told her and prevented her from marrying the guy! She is divorced and living with the parents, yet she accuses them that they didn't do enough to stop her from making that mistake! Your so correct in answering them back with "would you have listened," because the answer is hands down know.

We tried to talk to our son months before he married about some of the issues with his girl, and he just couldn't see them. We decided to except her and do everything in our power to make his life simple and happy as far as were concerned. This backfired, since no one can make an injustice collector happy, no matter what you do, there will always be something we did wrong.

Live and learn.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 4:38PM
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First of all - congrats Jan. I am so happy for you and your daughter's first big step by owning a house.

Anniebal - I agree with you 100%. And dirtboysdad - I'm so glad you joined us. It is good to get a man's perspective on some of this. We mothers have a hard time with the loss of our sons to women who want no part of our lives and who won't let their husbands spend time with his family either.

It is my birthday today. Sat. my niece and 2 nephews had flowers delivered to me with a message about how much I have touched their lives with my love and guidance and helped make them who they are today (boys are engineers, in the AF and one also flies for Delta; niece is a wife, mother and phy ed teacher). My wonderful husband took all of us out to brunch yesterday and my older son is such a blessing too. My younger, estranged son, will most likely not remember me on my birthday (although he definitely knows it is today) since he sent that note. And I will get through the day.

karenj - since my son emailed me that he doesn't want me to call him, email him, send him holiday cards or birthday cards, that "he" will contact me when he is up for it, would your advice be to ignore his birthday (4/30)?

Anniebal and Ginny - I sent my email address this morning.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:53AM
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garden60--Just to expand on my previous comment, when I say to let it be and go forward with your life, I don't mean to completely cut yourself off. In my own current situation, though different from your own. I still send cards for the occasions that I used to, and once in a while I will write a note enquiring as to everyone's well-being, etc. I don't know if they are opened or not, but it serves to tell the recipient that, even given the circumstances, they are still unconditionally loved and thought of, and it gives me peace of mind.
On a semi-related note, I am a big believer in writing down thoughts and feelings, whether by letters (deliberately un-sent) and/or private journals.
I hope you have peace in your future.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:58PM
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Garden60...I'll be interested in hearing what you decided to do about sending son a b-day card, message, etc. Since I'm going to be facing this same situation very soon, if you should decide to send anything along, I'd like to know if you have any response.

I still think I'm skipping any card, message, etc. From what I've read others say in their very similar situations, it makes absolutely no difference whether we send along something or not. Most have stated they never get acknowledgement of any kind!

I just wish that I had known that back in January when I/we decided to send a b-day card to dil. At that time, we were still making attempts to reconcile, so we thought it'd be a good idea to just send her a b-day card and stuck a coffee gift card inside (worth very little.)

Though we did actually get a thank you from her (even if it was contrite,) since then things have changed more negatively. If I had to send anyone a card it would have been my son, not his witchy little wife who is responsible for us being in this position to begin with. At that point though, I was still trying anything to get him to meet and discuss moving on and accepting everyone for who we were. Of course after many attempts, with nothing but rejection and hurt, I have decided to cut off all communication.

It hurts to ignore his birthday, but in my heart I will still celebrate the day he was born and the years I spent raising him to be a fine young man. Who would know that a person could change so drastically, so out of character, in such a short time. What hurts the most is that to this day, I don't think he realizes how much I tried (as well as his dad,) to get his wife to like us. We went along with anything and everything, we apologized (mostly me,) for things that didn't need apologizing for, yet she was just never satisfied. If only he could at least realize how hard we tried, but I don't know if that's possible for him to do. In my mind, if he acknowledges that we did make all or most of the effort in the relationshiop, then he has to face the fact that his wife is the problem. I don't think he can handle that since it opens an entire can of worms. It's much less messy thinking we were at fault, so that he can live in the illussion of his wife being the wonderful person he believes she is.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 1:54AM
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Anniebal - your last paragraph is as if I wrote it. It is unbelievable the comparisons and challenges we are dealing with. My DIL could have been a princess in our family since we have no daughters. I would have so much enjoyed an occasional lunch and/or shopping trip with her. I think what got in her way was my son talked a lot to her about his childhood and the things we did as a family and her biological mother chose alcohol first, then when she went to live with her father and step-mom, her competition was their 2 little ones, although she seems to worship the ground her step mom walks on. Her step mom is very much the boss in the family, stays at home and runs the show and her husband hardly talks. She is also, as my DIL put it, a "get in your face" person. Right from the beginning she had me targeted when she said "I have never seen a mother and son as close as you two are". The war was on and I never saw it coming.

As of now, I am not going to send him a card, but I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:55AM
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Garden60, our similarities know no bounds, do they? How many others are out there suffering from the same type of bewildering estrangement and don't have any support? No one who isn't or hasn't gone through this knows what it feels like. Everyone thinks that if we do patch it up, that everything will be like it was before!

It's interesting that you state your dil step mom was the boss, and that the husband hardly talks! This is just how my dil's family is. I have heard many stories about why dil's dad is the way he is. Mostly they say he is depressed, or has bi-polar. I have to wonder if my dil mom isn't exactly the way my dil is? It's just too weird that her husband seems to be this very sensitive nice guy, yet he doesn't participate much at all in conversation.

When you stated that you think it all began when you son told her about his childhood, and things you did as a family, it really hits home. I also know that from the start my son talked to my dil about how close we were, all the things we've done, how much fun his mom and dad were, etc. One of the things he was most excited about telling me when he started falling for her is that she is very close to her family too, 'just like we are mom!' At first I believed it because I had hardly talked to her parents. But as time went on, I realized that it was just a ruse to get my son to want her. This girl did everything just perfect, she becamse exactly what my son wanted in a mate, until they got married. Somehow after that she was able to convince him that she was all he needed, that we are interfering, controlling, and critical. How could someone we loved so much, and who I thought loved us so much, have his personality changed so abruptly?

It is as I think though, that he can't believe anything is her fault because then he'd have to face up to the fact that he has a problem. So, he lives in his dream world, but I can't believe he is happy.

Please keep me posted on whether or not you send the card, and if you get any reaction.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 3:19AM
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As my birthday came and went, I started remembering little things from our last meeting. When I made a statement to my son that he didn't even remember his dad on father's day, my DIL immediately countered with "well, don't you think that would have been a little two-faced considering the circumstances". She never gave my son a chance to speak. Then when I told her I was seeing a counsellor and some of the suggestions my counsellor made, she immediately shouted back "well, your counsellor sure is stupid". I looked at my son and said, well, she was recommended to us by our pastor, do you think he is stupid too?" My son never responded. So, bottom line, I know he thought about me on the 14th but didn't dare send me a card in case she would find out because I am sure she told him he couldn't do that.

I am giving thought to contacting her biological mother. I can't believe, even if she was an alcoholic, that she was as hateful as my DIL says she was. I guess I am just curious as to what my DIL was like the first 14 years of her life and maybe I can figure out why she is the way she is. Does anyone think I should contact her?

As of today, 4/16, I have no plans of sending my son a card on his birthday. I will buy one, write on it, date it, and put it in a little box, where I will add notes as I feel compelled to write, but just keep that box and years down the road if he comes back, I can share it with him and if we never see him again, it will make for a good bon fire.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 8:02AM
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Garden60, what a great idea about buying the card, dating it, and writing notes on it when you feel you need to! That is a gread idea, and will give you some solace (I hope.) I'm going to do that for my son as well, as his b-day is the middle of next month. I love your idea! If and when our sons come back we can give them all the cards we never sent so that they know we were always thinking of them, that we never forgot or didn't care (as I'm sure our wonderful dil's have told them we have!)

Wow, though I know my dil says these things to my son, and she has said some incredible things to me and us, I can't get over how your dil is. I could hear my dil telling me also though the things yours said to you aloud. In our case, it would mostly be her telling my son, and my son telling us. I don't know what's worse?

I don't think its a bad idea contacting her biological mother. It will probably confirm that it's not you, it's her. I can't remember if you said she still has any contact with her or not? Your dil loves her step mom though, correct? She is the bossy, get in your face person? It's probably because they think so much alike that they manage to get along.

Aren't we as moms always seeking out confirmation that it isn't us, is it? Isn't that why to some degree (who knows how large,) that we sought out a support group where others have experienced what we have? I feel like I still need to hear others tell me that it's you dil, it's not you. But even if I accept that, it's so hard to believe my son has abandoned me/us. That's probably why to a degree, that we continue to need support and back up to convince us that it isn't us, we were good, loving parents.

It's a big pill to swallow, isn't it?


    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:15PM
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I agree we are looking for others who might have experienced the same thing so we can all say it wasn't us -- but I also think we are just so blown away that we think we are bad mothers to have let this happen so we are wondering if others had the same experience, only to find out others had the same experience and it becomes obvious, not only from our blog but I talked with 2 professional counselors, that we aren't crazy. They both told me my DIL has NBD, something I had never heard of before.

And we all did it a bit different, some giving them everything they wanted, some, like me, saying no to my DIL demands, and we all ended up the same - estranged from our sons. Everyone tells me he will be back, but in my heart I don't think so, unless she leaves him. But on the chance of a miracle that he does reconnect, I want to have the box of cards and letters to give him. Plus I think it will be a good healing for me.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:33PM
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Anniebal - when I asked my DIL after they announced their engagement if she was going to invite her biological mother to the wedding, she looked at me and matter-of-factly said "the next time I see her will be in her coffin." Oops - I didn't go any farther.

But yes, I think through all of this her stepmom and her are very much alike and I think the stepmom fed her with some of the ideas and then she just attacked me with them and thought she would get results because her stepmom suggested it. To this day I don't know why my son didn't just tell her that if "he" talked to me and made the requests, they would have gotten better results.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 2:34PM
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It is puzzling wondering why are sons didn't take a more pro-active stance with their girls, isn't it? We often wondered why our son never stood up for us, why he allowed her to behave the way she did around us, it is very puzzling.

I wasn't saying that we were looking for support so we could let ourselves off the hook, on the contrary, I think we moms blame ourselves for almost everything that goes wrong. I believe we search out support because we need to hear that other moms are experiencing what we are, and that we can't all be bad. I think we need the reinforcement from others that it wasn't us, it was them.

You hear your dil's response about inviting her biological mother to the wedding, and it gives you some insight, doesn't it? No wonder she has no problem alienating your son from his family, if she should be isolated from hers, then things should be even. Besides, if she is capable of hating her own mother that much simply because she had a drinking problem, there is something wrong right there. Don't we eventually forgive those that have hurt us because we love them? How could she never forgive her mom?

It sure sounds like her step mom thought just like your dil, and that's why they hit it off. Wicked is what I call it.

I think my dil's mom also thinks and acts like her, and that's why my dil is the way she is to at least some degree.

I also don't feel like I'll see my son again unless he leaves his wife. Every day is a trial for me to get through without spending too much time wondering what went wrong, or how I can get him back.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:39AM
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Cornflakes, where are you? I'm worried about you, and want to hear how your doing? I've been thinking about you every day and wondering how your feeling? I miss you on this forum, and want to hear from you!! Please write!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:04AM
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Anniebal - your last paragraph is how I am feeling and just have to get past it. I am missing out on so much - the love of the rest of my family, joys of spending time with them and spending time with friends. It was my birthday on 4/14 and I received 20 cards! Several friends took me out to lunches, gave me little fun gifts, my husband and other son really blessed me with their love - and yet I think of my estranged son 24/7.

Does anyone have a suggestion for getting past this, except time?

Anniebal and Ginny - I emailed you earlier this week. Did you receive my email?

Cornflakes - I miss you too. Where are you?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:15AM
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garden60, What I can suggest besides time is to get involved in other things that you enjoy. Let him go for now. Respect his boundaries. (Even though you don't feel respected.) Spend time with the people who DO appreciate you. Just let him go.

I know it is hard to do. I know how unfair it is that this has happened. I know that it is awful to feel powerless. But some things you have to turn over to a Higher Power. Do good things for yourself and let him go.

I like your idea of putting things in a box and saving them for some future time. We never know what the future will bring. But for now focus on the present and do good things for yourself. You have great friends! That is wonderful!

I have found that writing about it sometimes when I obsess too much is helpful. I write in a private journal and say anything at all that I need to say. This is not for sharing with others. It is only for me. I find that for some unknown reason I am able to stop thinking about it as much if I "write it out."

Hugs to you!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 4:23PM
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I ran into a neighbor (young - 40) at the grocery store and she asked about my son. She said she has a girlfriend from high school with crohn's disease and the mood changes and what it does with your personality, you are up and you are down, you are nice and you are mean, could be playing into why my son has sent such nasty emails and refuses to contact us. But I still believe his wife is at least 95% to blame for cutting him off from his family.

I have been researching the physical effects of crohn's on the body but not the emotional part. Does anyone have any familiarity with personality changes with this disease?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Hi Garden60, first I want to tell you that your not alone in your continued thoughts of your estranged son. I just had this discussion with my husband tonight. My husband can put him out of his mind, and carry on (which he has to given the job he does.) However, this helps him deal with it better when he is at home as well. Yet, no matter what I do, I find myself thinking about him through out the day. It may only be for a minute or two, but I am still thinking about it when there is absolutely nothing I can expect to gain from this.

I know the old saying that time heals all wounds, but I'm not sure when it has to do with losing a child (no matter how the loss occurs.) I am trying to hard to simply focus on my youngest son who loves me dearly, and my husband who also loves me and is supporting me through this difficult time. It has taken a toll on our marriage of late, we both seem to be less patient, and crabbier with one another. I will not allow my oldest son to be the reason we would end a 32 year marriage. I know we'll get through this since we both need each other now, more than ever.

I'm sure you son does have emotional aspects to his disease, but I've never heard of that being used as an excuse for this type of behavior. You could see him being moodier or short with you, but cutting you off entirely? My youngest son deals with diabetes every single day, which includes 4-6 injections, and 6-10 finger sticks. This doesn't include watching what he eats either. All of us have our issues to deal with, don't you think? If he's using that as his excuse then in my opinion it's a cop out.

I still agree that your dil is 95% to blame for what's going on, as I do mine.

When my brother was diagnosed with glaucoma he was devastated. All he could think about was the chance that he may go blind some day from it. Though he was a bit depressed and moodier than normal for a while, it didn't turn him against us. Instead, I gave him more support then ever since he needed it, and he accepted it. I just don't think it's the Crohn's causing his behavior, but maybe I'm off base.

I do think it's a good idea to research the physical and emotional effects of this disease though simply so you have a better understanding of what he is going through. I doubt his wife cares enough to learn about it, or at least that's how I picture my own dil.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 1:41AM
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Thanks Anniebal - we need to encourage each other and all the others on this post and remember the other members of our family who do love us. You husband sounds so much like mine - these men think alike, as we women do.

I did some researching and found nothing on the emotional effects of crohn's. I did find that when you get on predizone your face blows up. I can only imagine what my DIL thinks of that. My son did some modeling in high school and is tall, thin and blonde. Now maybe he isn't so handsome and I can only hope she treats him with love and compassion. Now that is my concern that she might be nasty (which is her personality) and he is down because of the disease. I guess all I can do is pray for him and that I am doing.

My son's birthday is in a week - gotta keep strong.

On another note, is there any way we can get all the threads into one?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Have any of you noticed this quote on the main page? It is so true - and this guy was king in 1936!!

The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children. - King Edward VIII

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Garden60, I used to have that quote in my email as a signature! I did it after my son estranged himself from us, and I felt it was all to appropriate.

Now I also have a great quote from the guy that wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus:

"It is not giving children more that spoils them: it is giving them more to avoid confrontation" by John Gray

What do you think? I now have this one on my email. I think it's a form of therapy, like I'm getting even or something.

Just found out that my son took his grandma a mother's day gift last week-end because he's going out of town for 3 wks on business. Glad that he knows who is birth mother is, eh?

My sil said something incredibly stupid yesterday. She's very sweet, and thoughtful, but sometimes she doesn't think about what she is saying (as so many people don't do also.) We were talking about Tony of course, and she said that she doesn't think he misses us, and is happy in his situation! It's one thing for me and my husband to say this to each other, but I certainly don't need to hear a comment like this from anyone else.

I went home and balled for about an hour, and was out of sorts the rest of the night.

With Mother's Day and his birthday coming up, it's going to be a tough couple of weeks.

Hey, what happened on your sons birthday, isn't it today? Did you decide to send a card or not? Let me know as I have to deal with this very soon.

I hope your feeling alright, I know it's been a rough month for you with your birthday, and your sons, now mother's day is coming. ugh.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:19AM
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I love that saying, thanks for sharing it. So many of my friends did just that and they were always amazed at how I stood my ground with my kids. The more they whinned, the less they got. They finally figured out that honey gets you more than vinegar - so that is why we all are so shocked about my son's behavior. He grew up knowing to get what you want, you need to be nice, respectful, etc. And he just let his wife continue to be verbally abusive to me and finally to my other son and my husband. It just doesn't make sense.

Based on what your son did bringing a gift to his grandma, that was just a nasty game - he "knew" you would find out and it was another way to hurt you. My guess is that he didn't think of it on his own; that sounds like something a DIL would dream up. In my case, we all know (my husband, son, sister, her husband and her 3 adult children) that he wasn't raised to be so nasty and that my DIL is just plain evil when it comes to hurting people.

My son's birthday is on 4/30, next Wednesday. No, I am not going to send him anything. I still go back to what my parents did by not stopping their world for us and it made me want to be with them more.

Last year my son spent Mother's Day with his future mother-in-law so it won't be new to me to not have him this year. We were at the lake and he slipped into our house (still had a key) and put a small vase of tulips on the table and a card about how he learned so much from me, loves me, etc. Then he called in the evening but I didn't pick up the phone. I was too hurt. When we talked about it a few weeks later and I told him how hurt I was that he wasn't even married but chose to spend the day with his future MIL, he acted as he just didn't understand what the big deal was - after all, he had remembered to buy a card and some tulips and left them on the kitchen counter.

The sad thing in our situation is that my DIL thought all of her behavior and making my son so mean to "me" would be just that and the rest of the family would still want to spend time with them - wrong - the rest of the family has written him off for now. He has no family connections at all.

Anniebal - did you get my email?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:30AM
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Garden60, how hurtful last mother's day must have been for you. I'm sure your dil demanded that he go to her mom's, but that isn't the point. How he couldn't have stopped by to give it to you in person is beyond me. However, it is definitely something my son would now do. Never before he met this girl would he have done such a thing to me, but now all bets are off.

I agree with you about how easy it is to tell when the dil is behind something. Girls think much nastier than guys do, so many of things my son has done I have suspected she thought of. I'm sure she tells him that this will make your mom give in to our demands, or something equally stupid. Or, perhaps it's just more fuel to the fire of separating us for good.

We also raised our kids with limits, and demanded respect and manners. The way my son acted after he started dating dil was not him, it was like an alien had abducted him.

What you experienced last year for mother's day is similar to something I experienced a year ago this past February. I had a terrible car accident on the way home from dropping hubby off at the airport, and I happened to be on the phone with my oldest son when it happened. Cutting to the chase, once I regained my composure I called my son and let him know that I was pretty much alright, but I needed to go to the hospital and be checked. He came over and took me there. He was great to check me in, let his younger brother know what was going on and stay with me until I was finished (it was the emergency room which took several hours.) He drove me home and we picked up some burgers on the way. He stayed to eat and left. Now granted, his brother was home with me then (just happened to be his j term at college.) Still, his little brother helped me out, but just isn't aware enough of what to do. I'm terrible at asking for help, which I should have done more readily under the circumstances. My husband was gone the entire week, and I was a wreck with a broken elbow, a terrible burn, aches and pains everywhere, and my nerves were shot. Because of traffic to my left I never saw the woman who decided to turn left in front of me across 3 lanes of traffic. I was going 40 mph, and I still cringe when I think ofhow I hit her car and the feeling of the impact. I never had time to hit the brakes. Thank god for air bags, or I'm sure I'd be dead.

Sorry, got off track there a bit. Getting back to my oldest son. After he did all that for me the day of the accident, I didn't hear from him in days. I knew it wasn't far out of his way to have stopped by our house during the week to see me, especially knowing his dad was gone. Yet, he never stopped by. This was not my old Tony, this was a new, selfish son that I wasn't acquainted with. He did finally call to see how I was, but his wife never even bothered to call me! At the end of the week my hubby & I met him for lunch (his wife can rarely come, but that's ok!) I went in a head of my husband so I could talk to my son a few minutes alone. I told him that I was hurt he didn't come over just to see if there was anything he could do, or even just to visit. His reply was remarkable. Immediately he took offense as if I had insulted him by thinking he would do this. He stated how his brother was there and he should've taken care of things. Then he brought up about 'how could I even say such a thing after all he did for me the day of the accident.' Get this, now I'm apologizing to him for hurting his feelings! I had to back track on what I said, and claim that I didn't think of it that way! So many times I did have to tip toe around my sons feelings though even before the dil came into his life. Still, he would never have thought about not stopping by before she was in his life, suddenly he became so thoughtless.

Last summer when it was my birthday (late August,) he mailed me my present. It made me sick, yet I got on the phone and told him how much I liked the Cub tee shirts! Obviously something he took about 2 minutes to pick out. We ended up having an arguement that night on the phone over that, and the rest of the anger over our trip to Hawaii. That was a night that he told my husband to F off, and hung up. My husband, always a cool head (or 99% of the time) called him back and got his voice mail. He told my son that he knew my son didn't mean what he said, but if he didn't hear from him in 24 hours then he would assume that he actually did mean it. My son called back soon after and apologized. He was in tears. I knew that night that he was at the end of his rope, that the anguish his wife was causing over our request for some respect was literally eating him alive. I seriously feel the subsequent estrangement in October was a survival mechanism. Sink or swim. It's sad his wife couldn't pretend to like us for her husbands sake.

Your so lucky the rest of the family supports you like they do. Right now I'm so upset about my sil and what she had promised me. She was supposed to call him and tell him that he was no longer invited to family gatherings where me & his dad were in attendance. She was going to tell him that she loved him, but that the family sides with us and does not feel he is behaving properly. When I called to find out when she was going to call him, she told me she didn't know if she could do it, that she felt is was benig mean to Tony. She was worried about pretending to call him over mother's day when she already knew from her mom that he wasn't going to be around. So I told her, so tell him you know he's going to be gone, but you wanted him to know what's been decided regarding his parents and the family. She said 'yes, I'll do it' and 'I'm not going to let a couple of 26 year olds intimidate me.' The last thing I told her was to call me and let me know after she made the phone call. I haven't heard from her since. She way hymming and hawing the entire conversation, I knew I couldn't count on her. I am so disillussioned with my family, there is just no one I can count on to come to our side with my son. They all want to continue to enable his bad behavior so that they don't end up estranged.

Hey, I started a yahoo group that I named PEC - parents of entitled children. A place for parenats to come gripe and share ideas with how to handle today's very entitled generation. So far, I don't have anyone that's asked to join, but I'm hoping I get some requests. I know I'm not alone in my feelings about how this generation thinks and acts.

Even my youngest son who is a doll, and has a huge heart, still lacks organizational skills, ambition (though that's starting to get better,) still carries on too much with the drinking, and stays up rediculously late and still puts in 45 hours a week. We're trying to help him, but it's as if he fights us every step of the way. I won't lose him over this, which I find myself being afraid of now.

I did get your email, I just haven't had time to sit down and right what I'd like about your husband's diabetes. Did you get an invite to join Ginny's group? She mentioned she invited you, but your not on there yet so I would assume your too busy, or don't want to. It is a great group of women, and I enjoy talking with them and getting added support.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:09PM
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I'm back after a relaxing weekend at the lake, even if it did snow. I am so sorry to hear about your car accident but relieved you are okay.

I agree with you about the other son. Mine is a doll, has a heart bigger than his body, but dropped out of college and didn't tell us, only works 3 days a week, but also experienced some depression with my other son's meanness. Men don't show it like we do or talk about it. He is seeing a counsellor to help him figure out his future, either find a full time job or go back to finish college and he desparately wants to buy his own townhome but knows he has to have a full time good paying job first. He is a licensed bartender but hates the bar scene. He spends a lot of time with a singles group from our church.

I agree with you 100% - I don't want to lose him with my nagging (encouraging) him to move to the next step in his life. I have let go, don't ask questions, try to make conversation about thinks like sports, TV, new movies out, etc. and occasionally throw in "how's the job search?"

I would love to join your blog and also Ginny's. How do I do it?

Don't worry about sending stuff about diabetes. I want Al to ask his doctor, and maybe you know, why the numbers are so up and down and sometimes it seems they are up when he eats good and down when he doesn't. All I can think of is it takes awhile for the body to digest and read the numbers.

Send me a note about how to get on the blogs.

My son's birthday is this week and I am not going to send him a card. If and when he ever asks why, I will show him a copy of the nasty email he sent me saying to stay away.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 8:07AM
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One of my dear friends who has known our family for over 20 years had this to say:

I don't think your son is being mean; he has part of your personality ... meaning that when his mind is made up he stands strong on that decision. He has made a choice. He chose her over family and, therefore, everything you do is wrong. Everything she/they do is right. Every time you questioned anything they asked for, he took that as a strong NO (whether it was or not) and she took it as, I don't want you to marry my son. The gap between you just got bigger and bigger with every word or action. Everything you did became a negative, to the point of where you are with them today. Break the circle and give him what he wants, no contact.

After all, he knows what she's doing and he's allowing her to do it, and he's voluntarily participating.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Garden60, I wrote Ginny and asked her to send you the information on joining this group. It is a private group by invitation only, which is nice because no one else can read our postings. Ginny is the moderator, so it's her thing!

The only problem I had with what your friend of 20 years stated was that your son has 'part of your personality, meaning that he stands strong on that decision.'

Do you really think you'd stand strong against your family like he is doing? Maybe I'm misinterpreting what she meant though. I also have a strong personality, but I would or could never do what my son has done to us, to my own parents.

I love your idea about showing him the email where he stated he didnt want any contact. I have saved all that stuff too, and for the very same reason.

My son is in Mexico for 3 wks, what a great way to avoid mother's day and his birthday. He is flattering himself if he thinks I was going to react on his birthday, and I hope he is sad when he hears nothing.

I am so hurt right now, I can't even tell you. The discussion I had with my sil tonight really brought home the reality that I'm in this alone (or my husband, son and I are.) The hardest thing is hearing that other family members are buying into some of my dil's complaints. It hurts beyond belief since they've know me for 32 years now.

i guess there is no proving yourself with some people.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:45AM
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I think my friend was comparing my stubborn streak to my son being stubborn, even if it hurts him. When the kids were little and they would misbehave and I would punish them with, say, no TV tonight. They would whine and whine but I would stand strong and not back down as she did and give in and let them watch TV.

I had some difficulties with my MIL because she was a widow and only had my husband so she would call every night, which I interpreted as being nosey. But I would NEVER treat her with disrespect. I urged my husband, and he complied, to talk to his mother and tell her how I felt and not to call so often. But she remained very close in our lives until the day she died. We had respect for our parents; young people today do not.

Oh, yes, your son really let himself off the hook with the Mexico thing. I don't understand your family though. Mine has given me complete support. Have you told your sil how your son and wife behaves? I had emails to show my sister and she said if she hadn't read the emails from my son she would never have believed he was behaving that way. Maybe they are having a hard time seeing someone they have known all their lives change so much.

As hard as it would be, I would attend everything, every event with family, and I would wear my "happy hat" and just be the darling of the ball. I would be polite to your son and DIL in their presence; in fact, that would probably irritate the heck out of your son and dil. Then I would go home and have a stiff drink and screem at the walls.

Today is my son's birthday. I bought a card, will write on it tonight and put it away, along with a copy of the email he wrote saying to stay away inside it. No one in the family is going to send him a card either. He will probably really think about it when he doesn't receive a card from his aunt. I only hope so.

Last night at dinner I said "do you know what tomorrow is?" My husband didn't respond but my son said "Not a clue." Now, isn't that sad?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 8:27AM
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Anniebal - I just had a thought. What if the next "family get-together" you host at your house. Wow - do you think your son and DIL would come? And if they come, I can only imagine how uncomfortable they would be. You and your husband would be the host and hostess so would be very friendly and caring and give everyone hugs and tell them how glad you are that they came, etc. If you son and DIL came, they would hate it that everyone seemed to be having such a good time in your presence, and if they don't come, they would be showing their "true colors". Just a thought.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:40AM
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Just a note to say I made it through the day yesterday - the day of my son's 25th birthday. And I can say I didn't cry; I thought about him throughout the day, but not all day. At night I briefly mentioned it to my husband who basically acted like he didn't care. Am I on the road to mending my broken heart? I truly feel I will never see him again, even though everyone else says I will.

My DIL's b'day is the end of this month. Obviously I won't acknowledge that one either.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:23AM
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Garden60, I feel your pain, but I'm proud of how you made it through your day! These next two weeks are going to be very difficult for me also, since as I mentioned my sons birthday is right after Mother's Day.

I can relate to your husbands response completely. My hubby is so upset and angry that our son could treat us (and especially me,) this way, that he does not want to talk about him. This is difficult to do since who else can I lean on who will really put up with it?

You oughta send your DIL a happy your moving card :)

If only that were true.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:16AM
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I share your pain Anniebal and Garden 60.

I also have a husband who refuses to discuss our son. When I bring up the subject, he either says nothing or something like, "I am not going to ruin my life thinking about him." I find myself talking to my girlfriends about the subject so much that I feel like I am being a burden to them. They are very sympathetic- and as they know me the whole story and my son and all they can offer perspectives that someone who does not know us all can not.

I think we all have to hang in there. As for myself, I have no idea if my son married or not. He applied for a license- was having a small wedding and we were not invited. I always dreamed of attending my son's wedding as the proud mother. It is indeed sad that he has excluded us to this point.

Actually though the disrespect and problems preceded him meeting his fiance. I firmly believe that the early mid 20s are a time of mental imbalance in today's kids- I am hoping and praying that some day we will all be reunited with our wayward children. At this point, my son is a stranger- I do not know anything about him or his life- which is indeed sad.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 6:42AM
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Thanks for the comments about your husbands. I have heard that when men are stressed, they retreat to their caves (garages, etc.) but when women are stressed, they retreat to a coffee shop with girlfriends. We must never lose our girlfriends - they give us strengh, hugs and listening ears.

Anniebal - stay strong these next 2 weeks. Should we send you little reminders?

I also belive the 20's are a time of mental imbalance with our kids. My older son did some stupid things and now at age 28 is trying to right them. What he did was drop out of college and not tell anyone, letting everyone believe he graduated. Now he is owning up and telling everyone what he did, which was hard to tell his friends his own age. He says he regrets dropping out every day of his life.

I'm terribly angry with my son's MIL. She saw an opportunity to look good to her step daughter by helping her alienate our son from us. She is very manipulative and controlling. I just wish I knew how long it will be before I see him again, if I ever do, and what my reaction will be. I have been afraid that the longer he goes without connection to his family, the easier it will be for him. I am also finding that to be true. Sad, sad, sad.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:04AM
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I need all the help I can get, so send those reminders!

I know we all need this support now with Mother's day around the corner.

Are friends are crucial to we girls, since they will listen. Husbands will listen for a time, but then it's move on. Men get angry and impatient with their boys, especially their treatment of their moms.

I agree that nowadays, the 20's are a mixed up group of individuals as a whole. I read adulthood isn't considered until they reach age 30 now!

i believe my son married a woman who could do things he could not. He was always the good boy, hard worker, loving, very good looking, and yet he barely dated. He would always go along rather than start a fight, though he would pout. He didn't go through that typical teen rebellion thing that I experienced with my youngest son. Actually my youngest son was always outspoken, stubborn, and needing reining in.
Perhaps it's a delayed rebellion? I did read that can happen if they never really rebelled when they were teens. I think I read it in either Mark Sichels book, or the guy who has the estrangement web site (which is who I think said it.) Perhaps after they're through doing what they feel they need to do to prove they are independant of us, they'll come back.

Your mil is much like your dil, garden60. Perhaps she has NPD as we think our dil's do? I can't stand controlling people, or the way they twist, lie, and cheat to get their way. They take advantage of the nicest, most trusting among us. I know I've had a few of these types in my life, but luckily I recognized it and got away from them, or started refusing to do what they wanted. Perhaps our boys too will learn.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 3:57AM
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Anniebal - the way you describe your estranged son - could he and mine be twins and we just each got one from the hospital? I'm kidding, but seriously, unbelievable. And the no-dating part makes them easy targets for the wives they now have. Yuk.

I, too, have read about kids that are almost "perfect" in high school tend to act out in their 20's. My older son did a few bad things and some experimenting, (cops at our house once), etc. but it seemed to have helped him move on a little. Now I think my estranged son is acting out "through" his wife because he doesn't have the guts to tell me face to face what he really thinks and feels. He sees her as his savior. Again, YUK!

Since our husbands get tired of us, and I think my friends are also tired of me, except for my dear sister who is always there, thank God we have each other.

Lostmama - use this website to express your feelings. I sure have and it has made me feel better about everything, and myself. I still fault myself for much of my estrangement, but not as much anymore. I just couldn't let my future DIL call me up and "tell" me what I was to do and "demand" that I do it. I wouldn't even let my own children treat me that way, why would I let her?

Thank goodness for sites like this one. You have no idea how much it helps.

Lostmama - refresh my memory. You said you don't know if he married or not but that he bought a marriage license? Do you have any family or friends that have kept in touch with your son? Siblings, friends, etc.?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:07AM
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I learned my son applied for a license to marry back in February. How lovely! I had not spokem to him since Christmas when he called. He did IM a little right after Christmas to tell me of his grilfriend being sick with gall bladder problems asking me advice as my husband- his father almost died of gallbladder problems the year before. I answered as nicely as I could about gall bladder problems although I was deeply hurt that when my husband was in the hopsital for 2 weeks- there was little concern- which really hurt.

Anyway- when I learned he was applying for a license I wrote a letter that I sent via e mail offering to pay for a pre nup as there is a great disparity in income and resources between he and the fiance. The letter was not nasty by any means- I had several people read it over and they thought it was fine- there was nothing diparaging about the girlfriend- I did not say that she had no money, did not work and had a propensity to be a real princess. I thought these things but did not write them. The e mail contained clips from legal advice from the net, a reference to Paul McCartney and his no pre nup problems, as well as names of attornies in his area.

As he took $4000 from me the year before for a professional course to pass a professional exam and never told me what happened with the money- I sent it and never heard another word- I offered to send the money directly to the attorney for him as a wedding gift of sorts. The pre nup would be our gift to him.

He called and talked to his father about getting a pre nup, aready having seen an attorney, etc. He said the wedding was upcoming, would be small. He did not tell my husband when and did not invite us.

Previous posters have commented that I was a controlling, butt in type mother. The comments I made about the fiance were never spoken to my son directly. I do not speak to him at all. I do not know his cell number nor his work number. I do not e mail or contact him at all nor does he I. I must say however that when my son called after getting the pre nup letter- (believe it or not he rang my cell phone number- he NEVER has called that number in the 3 ytears I have had the phone- I had no idea he had the number!!!!!!) his father was not very pleasant or polite. He told him that he is very upset over the way he has disrespected all of us by not calling, not coming home for the holidays, never contacting his elderly and ailing grandmother. He went on to say that he did not like appreciate being ignored and written off after being a good father. He then told him that he did not believe the marriage would last so that a pre nup wa essential. So, my husband spoke the peace for both of us.

The facts about the fiance were things we have learned and which disturb us a great deal.

My son did not date at all thru HS or college. He had one fling when overseas on an internship with a lovely girl who was a grad student in his program. We were so pleased to hear of his dating the girl. For some reason, he broke it off. She remained very much intersted in him to no avail. He said she was "fat." (she was not!!!) The fiance is 98 pounds wet and has the figure of a young boy- so what can I say.

Anyway- he was not a problem kid at all- always on the honor roll, won a college scholarship breezed thru college and grad school. One small bleep with the law when a teacher took a bunch of boys to a concert and made the mistake of having beer in his trunk. When the teacher opened the trunk and offered the boys cups the state police swooped in and busted all of them - minors for being in the presence of alcohol and the teacher for influencing minors. No official report of the incident. Six hours in a state police trailer were punishment enough as we wree out of town for the evening and did not get word of the incident until we returned home.

Basically, this was a shy, very introverted smart young man. He wrote in a journal that I recently found that he never was able to speak with girls, that he always felt out of the "clique" of kids that he always was an outsider. He also wrote about me in one entry- he called me a "lunatic" becasue I had a new car yet preferred to walk or ride my bike ( I do it for exercise) He then goes on to say that I was a hard working mother who always was good to him and did not try to control his life - that I trusted him and cut him a break more than most moms. I found this very good to read as he actually did say I was a good mother.

When he was graduating from grad school, he told me he was going to find a girlfriend. He did- and this is her. The first one.

He really never was a bad kid- never rebelled except for having a moped and wearing a black leather jacket to school. He was the quiet geeky type bookworm kid that liked pumk rock music and had few friends.

I am hopeful that this will be a phase like the vegetarian phase, the punk rock phase, the moped phase. My son is a phase person- he goes thru phases and then when it is over he is oblivious to whatever he was into.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:00PM
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lostmama - wow, so much of your son sounds like mine. He dated this girl in high school; she broke it off because he wanted her to attend church with him; she just told him to get out; he went to college and earned a degree in computer science; by accident they ran into each other and you probably know the rest from reading my entries. He never dated either, as much as I tried to get him to.

How long has it been since you have seen him? I haven't seen my son since 9/07 and in Jan. of this year he sent me an email saying he would get too stressed out when he heard from me so I should not contact him or even send a birthday card.

Anniebal - are you keeping strong as your son's birthday comes closer?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 4:57PM
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We attended my son's engagement party 800 miles from here last May. It was a very stressful trip as we met the girl's family, were told an earful by her father about how unsuitable she was for our son, how she was using him. etc. We had concluded as much from our interactions with the 2 of them but never really voiced it.

We then went to our son's home where we were totally ignored. They locked themselves in their bedroom and left us in the living room. We felt like intruders. I spent the night dodging their unruly dogs and cats and crying as I felt so sad that I was being treated like a stranger. We helped by hanging drapes and putting up blinds while they sat watching tv in their room.
Two weeks after that, he and his gf flew out as she had never been to NYC- that was the end of May 2007. That is the last I saw of him. On the way home from the airport, he made fun of my job, making me the brunt of an unfunny joke. When they got to our house, they used my husband as a taxi service to and from the train station to get to NY. We offered to take them into NYC on the Staten Island ferry- which is a really nice boat ride that gives you nice views of NYC- we ave taken out of town friends on this trip and they raved about how beutiful an experience it was. My son said, "you think we want to go anywhere with YOU?????- we have our own plans." They did not as much as eat a meal in our house. I bought foods that my son loved and planned to make a special meal- which was never made as he left in a huff after my mother called him over and asked him why he was dating a girl who was advertising for men on the Yahoo personals 5 months into the engagement. The truth was a bit much too much for him to bear and he left. That was the last time I saw him.
My son has an MBA and is an accountant/financial analyst for a major firm in the Chicago area.
We spoke to him back in December when he called for Christmas.
He sent me flowers for my birthday last November and usually sends flowers for Mother Day also.
I am starting to think that his problem may be related to mental illness- as my mother's side of the family has a strong history of mental problems- my grandfather, aunt and mother all have been hospitalized for such problems. Although I suffer from depression, there is no major mental illness in me but my Dr. said that sometimes it skips a generation.
I spend a lot of time thinking of what I did to deserve this treatment- I was not a controlling or nasty mother. I actually did too much for him if anything. I always tried to make sure that his life was better than mine as my childhood was rather bumpy.

I sit and wonder if he is married or not, how he would explain his parents not being at the wedding, whether he invited his college friends. I feel like a stranger to him as I know nothing about him. It has been like this for 2 year since he graduated and chased us home.

I was telling a friend today that I so vividly recall 9-11- we had dropped him off at school in 800 miles from home only a few weeks before. I remember panicking when all the roads here in New Jersey leading into New York were closed and traffic was at a standstill. It was very frightening to me as I kept wondering how I would get him home if need be- or if I could get thru on the phone to talk to him. Now, less than 7 years later he does not give a damn about me or my husband or our lives. It is very hard to deal with as I often wonder how this relationship unraveled so deeply in such a short time.

I have no idea how this happened. I feel for you and your situation as I know first hand how terrible it can be.

I found aprogram from the pre graduation banquet today while I was cleaning and I started to cry becasue that was the last time the 3 of us did anything as a family. he was civil and nice to us that night, introduced us to all his professors and friends. Then, the day after gradation told us to go home and leave- that we were not welcome.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 6:49PM
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lostmama - as I read your story, I feel a tear in my eye. Your shock at his complete turn-around is so much like mine. After reading your story, I truly believe your son will be back. How old is he?

One hint I have that he will be back is that her father actually told you how wrong his daughter was. Did he elaborate on why he felt that way? Sounds almost like he had his share of problems with her too.

Secondly, and as much as it will hurt him, I think she will leave him. Looking for men on Yahoo is a very good indication she isn't in this relationship for the long haul. All you can do(and me too) is be there when they come back and not (and that is the hard part) - not criticize or say I told you so. We just have to be welcoming and offer love. I will find that difficult so maybe that is why God is giving me time to heal before and if, I ever see my son again.

I have a DIL who has a dad who is a wimp and a silent breadwinner of the family. Her step-mom she worships; she hates her biological mother. I have had 2 counsellors tell me their marriage won't last either and that she has NBD.

How old is your son? Mine just turned 25. I surround myself with a loving extended family and many wonderful friends, but I have to say, even though I am blessed with all of them, missing my son is heart-wrenching. This blog has helped a lot.

You receive flowers. My son completely ignored my birthday last month and will also ignore Mother's Day. I think sending you flowers he is wanting you to remember him, even though he isn't ready for more right now.

I doubt your son has mental issues; I think he has "love/sex/love/sex/stupid/sex/immaturity/sex..... do you get my drift? A friend of mine (male) once told me if guys have a choice of doing what their wives tell them and their reward is sex, or doing what they believe is the right thing and what they "really" want to do but will end up sleeping on the couch, they will chose the first one. Isn't that sad? But truthful in the case of my son.

I am fearful that the longer my son stays away, the easier it will be for him to forget us -- and probably I will learn to live with his loss to survive.

Let me know if he acknowledges Mother's Day.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:01AM
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My son is 25 also.
The father of the girl asked us for a ride from the engagement party back to our son's house as he had left his car there. The father and mother were never married. The girl's mother subsequently had a string of abusive relationships, 3 kids with 3 different fathers who she never married. The girl's father married a woman and has 3 kids. He is in the process of getting divorced. As he lives in the same town as our son- he had many interactions with our son and the girl as he and his wife went bowling, out to dinner and on trips with them so he knows our son pretty well. He told us that hjis wife hated the girl as she never wanted to get a job or do anything- she expected our son to support her- even weeks into their relationship.

He constantly kept saying that he really liked our son, felt sorry for him as he was getting into a bad situation with a girl who "had no love" for our son- she was simply out to take him for what he was worth. The fiance was raised by her grandparents. Along the way, she had lived with the father and he had his fill of her.
Some of the things he told us was that when she was 13, she was attempting to date 34 year old men she met on the net. When he told her she could not, she got angry and went back to the grandmother's house. The father is going thru a rough divorce so he speaks with experience about how marriages can be painful. He said that because our family owns significant real estate holdings, the girl is hoping that by marrying our son, she will fall into a windfall and then leave our son.

The father told us that the girl was very lazy, never worked, always had some excuse why she could not find a job. He further told us that despite not working, any time he would come to their apt., she would be watching tv or playing on the computer. She expected my son to work, then come home, clean, make dinner or take her out to dinner, watch the animals, do everything. The father actually said he felt sorry for our son in that he was being used. He also told us that she was in contact with old boyfriends- in fact one was invited to the engagement party. The father said that her real interest in our son was money- she had found a brokerage statement and his bank statement and when she found out he had significant cash and stocks, she was hooked. She demanded a $10000 engagement ring, uses his credit card to treat everyone in her family. The father felt that this was being greedy and grubby as our son just bought a house and was starting off trying to furnish it, get his act together. She had no compassion for these facts and simply demanded more and more. The father told us that once she asked him for a ride to the beauty salon. She had her hair done and the bill was $100. As she had our son's credit card, she decided to give a $50 tip. The father asked her if our son knew of this- and she laughed and said- who cares what he thinks? This is the type of person she is.

As for myself- once she belittled my son to my face- saying that he was not as smart as he thinks he is- she has a GRE and he an MBA- she was downright rude and nasty. I was personally hurt that someone who claimed to love my son would say something so hurtful.

I believe that this is his first sexual experience- so the novelty may be too much to resist. This girl has had many older foreign boyfriends- who she had the nerve to tell our son to his face she loved much more than she would ever love him!!!! So she is sexually experienced. Perhaps that is the attraction.

The father seemed like a sincere and hard working guy to us. The girl has never done anything to be nice to either my husband or I. She has in fact taken it upon herself to make up lies and stories about us "insulting" her which led to fights with our son.

The girl's own grandmother told us at the engagmenet party that as she was abused as a child, she is hypersensitive about everything. She had to drop out of school in 8th grade, as everyone called her a dumb blonde as she was rather slow in school. She also was dressed inappropriately by her real mom who often took her to school late, etc. The grandmother said to compensate for this, she has always been made the princess of the house- taken to expensive stores, allowed to buy whatever she wanted so that marrying my son would allow her to continue doing these things.

I wonder if 25 is the age that sons get all bent out of shape??/

Our son is not totally out of contact- as I said he sends me flowers on my birthday and Mothers Day- or at least did. He also sent Christmas presents- gift cards last Christmas. Yet, he will not call or be in touch. It is indeed strange to figure out!

I hope that things work out with your son. This is such a rotten situation to be in!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 3:51PM
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OMG!!! Lostmama, and Garden60, can you not see all the similarities between our sons? They are all close to the same age (mine will be 27 soon,) all had one or no other girlfriends, little experience to speak of with girls or dating and especially sex!

All our boys were good young men, good grades, nice people, quite if not a bit introverted. My son was shy. lostmama, how you state that perhaps you did too much for your son, that is exactly how I feel.

The girl similarities is beyond belief. I think this personality must sit and wait, and preys on this type of man/person. Imagine the girls own father saying this about her? Imagine what she must have done to make him be so open and honest. I wonder if he tried to tell you son not to marry her?

All of our girls/dils are self centered, selfish, manipulative, lie, cheat, and were treated as princesses! In my dil's family, I feel her and her mom ruled the roost. The father was extremely quiet/withdrawn though seemed nice when he would talk.

lostmama, my dil made up "hurts" also, that we constantly were being told about from our son, for which we or mostly me, always had to apologize or make amends. I did this because I loved my son so much that I didn't want to cause any problems with his girl and me, but now I regret that I wasn't more honest. We (mostly me,) had several arguements with my son over his girl, since she did things that were clearly on the sly but would claim otherwise.

At least your dil sounds like she had a screwed up childhood. If one can look at her background, one can understand to some degree why she turned out the way she did. Still, once a person reaches a certain age, they can no longer blame their parents for their bad behavior. One has to take responsibility to improve oneself, no matter how we were raised. I could have used my mother and her mental illness as a reason to be a deadbeat junkie, but I didn't. I recognized her illness, and with all the love and respect I had for my dad and mom, never strayed too far out of line. I had my issues as a teen, but the which ones don't? Still, I never got arrested, never tried hard drugs (and I was around plenty of people who did use them,) wasn't bed hopping, only had one serious boyfriend in highschool, etc.

Actually, it's a miracle I didn't get into trouble after I started dating my first boyfriend at 16. Though he was a nice enough kid when I started dating him, he was also on the way down. He was selling pot, then it went to being kicked out of his home, living in a tent, living with friends, being busted for pot, using uppers and downers, quitting highschool, and finally robbing the restaurant that he and I met at by gun point!

We had broken up before he robbed the Arby's thank god. I had started drifting away from him when he kept getting into one issue after the other. At first I think I was more attracted to him because I was helping him, or taking care of him (you know, the thought process of feeling sorry for someone?) He was what I saw as the underdog, mistreated, and society was unfair to him.

My friends tried to tell me (though they didn't go overboard since they didn't want me to walk away from our friendship.) But it ultimately the love of my dad, and from my dad, that took me away from his and brought me back to my senses.

It is good that your son still sends you gifts, cards, etc., to me that says he doesn't want you completely out of his life. I imagine his girl will cheat on him, and when she does he will need you.

I often think my dil will eventually cheat on my son. Women or men who have NPD get very bored with their mates, and after while don't get enough of the high attention that they demand, to keep them happy. I'm certain she has NPD, just like Garden60 is with her dil. There are definitely personality traits, as well as behavior to back this up.

Garden60, I think I've expressed the same fear of it getting easier on my son the longer he is away. However, we don't know that for a fact. We really don't know how difficult it is on them or if they are truly happy. Smoe times I think my son is proving he was right at the cost of everything else near and dear to him. I don't know if he'll ever wise up, I can only hope and pray he does.

Just as we fear it will get easier on them though, it is bound to get easier on us, and harder for us to take them back should they ever want to do so. This type of hurt eventually hardens a person, and I fear that even if my son wants to come back, that I'll never be at ease with him again. I'll always be fearful of him hurting me again, and kicking me out of his life.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:29AM
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Anniebal and lostmama and me - now there are 3. This is so sad.

First I want to say to lostmama - you and your husband need to do a will (or new one) and also change your beneficiaries on life insurance, 401k's, etc. My husband and I did. I work in a law firm so these things are things I thought about. We redid our wills to exclude my son completely and left everything to first, each other, and then to my "good" son and if he isn't alive or has children, then to my niece and nephews. We redid our beneficiaries to 98% to my good son and 2% to my estranged son. I also made my sister the executor because I didn't want to burden my good son with the challenges my estranged son might do when he finds out. As a lawyer will tell you, one can always redo the wills and beneficiaries if our sons come around. But no way was my DIL going to get any of our money or our homes.

Sex - definitely. I once told my son to start thinking with the head above his belt, not the one below. He, too, had not experienced sex before DIL came back into his life. I think if he had dated more, he would have looked through different eyes.

My DIL and her step-mom rule the roost at their house and her dad just brings home the money. Her step mom doesn't allow her husband to spend any time with his family who live in the south so my DIL has probably convinced my son that that is the way it should be.

As far as giving in, I never did when my DIL would call demanding this or that. I told her to have my son call me and we would discuss money for the wedding. I always felt if I had given in, they would be in my life; however, Anniebal did and she didn't get treated any better either. These DILs really control our sons. My DIL convinced my son that she lived a terrible childhood and he could be her knight in shining armor to make the rest of her life better. He thinks, actually told me, that he will save her - wrong!

Based on what I hear about our DILs, I do believe they will all tire of our sons, cheat on them, and it will be wehther our sons have the strength to walk away. I am fearful my son will take the mistreatment and stay in the marriage because it is "the right thing to do". Time will tell I guess.

I'm so glad we have each other. My husband gets very tired of my "thoughts". He has closed the door on our son and just keeps telling me to stop dwelling on it because he is certain our son will be back.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:48AM
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The similiarities are really something!
I think that perhaps our sons are very insecure, have little experience with women and feel that if they have attracted someone that they have to hang on for any cost. Evil women or men for that matter can manipulate people so that their victims are almost under mind control. In effect. my son is like someone in a cult who believes whatever is told to him without questioning.

When my son first met this wonder, he had a photo of himself on myspace sitting in our family room on the sofa with a stuffed bear he had sent me for Mother's Day one year. It was just there on the sofa when I snapped the photo. He used this as his myspace photo.

One day, his lovely girlfriend posted the folloing commenbt,"Is that all you can get to go out with you?" referring to the bear.

I thought that the comment was rude and snotty. Of course, he could do better than the bear- and better than her!!!! She has used put downs constantly both in front of us as well as in front of her father- he told us he talks to him like dirt and he feels that she thinks she is better than him. As I said, I was appalled that she could belittle his MBA that was earning the money to keep her when she lied to us and said she graduated from a certain HS only to find out that she never went to HS and may or may have not earned a GED. She uses going to college on line as a way of not working- she is too busy with school. Strange that so many kids go to school full time, work to earn money and still make it.

My son is extermely shy and insecure so that he has a great fear of losing this girl. I found it strange that for the engagement party SHE wrote a speech that he said. I saw it in her writing in his house. He could not even make his own speech up- she pulls the strings like a puppeteer. It is so strange and upseting.
When I wrote the pre nup letter, I mentioned that my mother, who has been very generous has written him out of her will. Shortly after meeting the girl, he called here, asked how much my mother's house was worth, how much money she had and when I thought he would get the 1/2 of her estate that was then the plan. I was shocked with these questions. The next question in line should have been- when will she die. The girl was on the speaker phone listening. The girl then im 'ed me and asked the value of my mother's house, argued with me that the house had a tennis court attached to it- it does not- the tennis court is someone else's. Can you imagine this girl who was never to my mother's house arguing with me that the house had a tennis court???? Later that week, my son called and asked if the house could be put in the will as going to him - when I asked if he planned to live in it- he said no- he just wanted to sell it for the money!!!!!Anyway- I felt that he was interested only in my mother's money. He was not raised that way!

The will/estate plan has been changed- he is not longer in her will as she feels rejected and hurt as he NEVER calls, writes, contacts here despite her elderly status and ill health.

I put this fact in the pre nup letter. Some people have commented that we are trying ot use money to control him. This is NOT the case. The reason it was done was to protect assets that would otherwise go to this girl whose own father said she is out for the money and money alone. She does not even stand next to our son or talk to him- at their engagement party, she was flirting with her old boyfriend.

Do you think my mother writing him out of her will was manipulative?? She worked darn hard for everything she has- and would turn in her grave if it was squandered.

He has already squandered quite a lot of the inheritance my father left him- he has been selling off assets to support this girl which is so strange as he has always been a frugal and financailly wise person.

Let's hope things change and these wayward sons come around- and before we reach the point of not wanting to be bothered with them!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Oh my gosh lostmama - you need to get your son's name off everything and when and if he gets rid of her, wait at least a year or two. I wanted to put a clause in our wills that said if my son is no longer married to my DIL he would get 50% but my lawyer said the trick now is that these kids who know there is money to be had get a quick divorce in order to get the money and then remarry the little thief and she gets it anyway. Scary, huh?

My son doesn't know we wrote him out and I didn't tell the good son either. Let everyone be surprised!

I would caution your mom to keep him out. It is so obvious from what they asked you about the house that they only want the money and soon.

I, too, wonder every day how I will react if I see him and/or her in a store or on the street. And how they will react toward me. So far this year, they have missed my husband's birthday, my other son's birthday, my birthday, Easter and now they will also ignore Mother's Day -- and we should reward them -- NOT!!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:21AM
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I will never bump into my son- unless I drive 12 hours rather quickly to reach his house. Sort of a blessing in disguise I suppose. That means I will never bump into her majesty poor little abused gf either. Thank God for little blessings!

As for wills- my husband and I are mulling what to put in ours. He is our only son. We have a rather large estate- that will be larger in the future given the fact that I will inherit my mother's entire estate.

I hate to think about the money part. I would love to leave everything to my son. The problem is that he is not showing any common sense. He has been manipualted and twisted by someone who has told him to his face that she will never love him like she loved her 2 former boyfriends. So, why marry our son then??/ Simple reason- a free ticket to not working and having a credit card to max out. I cannot see him getting any of our money. Some people think I am trying to control him with our money.

That is not the case but I am also aware of the fact that neither of us want to leave our money to someone like the future or maybe even current DIL.

The stocks and bonds my father left to our son have been squandered. There is nothing I can do about that but I can try to control what we have so that the money will be put to good use- we are thinking of animal and veteran charities- as we both have interests in helping those groups.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 3:02PM
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For right now, I would do wills leaving first to your husband and he to you. Then I would leave everything to the foundations of your choice but you need to put in this sentence: "4.2 Intentional Exclusion. I have intentionally left nothing to my son [his full name] or to any descendant he might have, whether born or adopted before or after the date of this Will." Remember, you can ALWAYS change it. What state are you in? I am in Minnesota and each state does vary on their laws. Another thought would be to put it in a trust for him that he cannot touch until he is, say, 40 or 50 years old. Go to the library and check guidelines for wills in your state. I am sleeping easier knowing my nasty DIL won't get my money.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 4:17PM
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Hi Everyone,
I posted this last month in a different posting and I believe it belongs here. Since last month, I have had very little contact with my daughter and she has only responded to an email last I sent last night asking me to send her roller blades up there. I am not writing her back yet and I want to see what she does for Mother's Day. She did send a short email last month telling me that her dad got a job as a bouncer somewhere and he got her a job there. Well, it turns out it is a strip joint. You can be 18 in WI to bartend. He was a sex addict and that's one of the main reasons we got divorced. He hired "women" often. Now he has my daughter and is turning her into someone terrible. What should I do?

Hi All,
I am new to this board and am thankful I found something.
I have been divorced for 9 1/2 years and have an 18 yr old daughter who has had very little contact with me or my parents since the week after thanksgiving.
My ex remarried 6 months after we diroved and then 1 year after that he moved 5 hours away. He rarely came to see my daughter and she would go there about 2x a year. He phone calls were sparatic. My daughter started cutting in 7th grade because of the seperation from her father. I took her to counceling for 2 years. This past summer she decided that she wanted to college in his town and I encouraged her to apply to others, but she wouldn't have that. My parents have a college fund for her. She visited my ex often last summer and met a boy at the college. My parents and I visited the college after thanksgiving and took her with. I questioned whether that was the right choice for her and she became angry and didn't drive back with my parents and I. Her father and my ex MIL drove her back the following day and she stayed with his sister over that weekend. All 3 of his sisters live here. I was called into the school on Monday and was told she wanted to move out and live with her aunt. She then moved to a friend's a house and didn't show for Xmas. She then moved in with her dad after finals were done in January and transfered to the HS up there.
I have written emails often and asked what happened and she cannot give me a clear answer. She claims I was too controlling and overbearing. We had a great relationship and I let her come and go as she pleased because she was a well mannered child and very loving and thoughtful. My parents helped her buy a used car when she was 16. It has been her and I alone all these years. My parents helped us out often and i always made time for her. I did not have a serious relationship with anyone until 2 years ago. I am now engaged (Feb) and he will move in in June. That was planned before she left. She had always intended on leaving in June. I never wanted to take away time from her. She was my parents favorite grandchild and she has crushed them. She will not email back nor call them. I do not have her cell number. The old contract expired at the end of March (which I paid for) and she now has her own. Her father will not give it to me nor will they answer the house phone when they see it's me calling. We did not have good communication the years we have been divorced. She didn't care for him either for leaving her. However, somehow they have brainwashed her.
I don't know what to do. I am so heart broken and can't seem to be happy with my life. I think about her all the time. Should I continue to write her even though I don't get a response? Should I try to block my phone number and demand that I speak to her? I just don't understand how she can be a completely different person than the one I raised. Help. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:38PM
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If you read this board, you will see that kids can change- and often dramatically.
Kids you thought would be family members suddenly decide that they do not want anything to do with you- for no real reason.
Sounds like your daughter is being swayed by your ex husband. Sounds like she is a bit ungrateful both to you and your family for all the love and care you have provided. Sounds rather selfish and self centered- geez, sounds like nearly every kid written about on this board!!!!

Seems that kids these days do not have allegiance or gratitude to parents and family members who helped them along the way. My son has us all in his "do not call" folder.

If I was you, I would not call and grovel. I would wait for her to contact you. By sounding frantic to hear from her, she is probably getting a charge out of your actions. She thinks you are controlling and a pain in the rear and your calling and being in touch makes her think she is right. Do not give her the satisfaction. In your mind think to heck with her- do not think about her.

She may be trying to declare her independence. She may be trying to spread her wings and fly on her own.

Seems that kids so thru a period where they think they know everything- she may be having such a phase.

There is really nothing you can do other than step back, let the situation be. In life, what comes around goes around- she will ultimately realize what she has done and in some way be punished for it- who knows when and how but I do believe in karma.

So, sit tight- no more letters and no more calls. Let her think about it and come to you.

As someone going thru the same thing with my son- I never call him or write him. I do not know his cell number. I do not even know where he works - that is what location of the company he works for or what he is doing with his life. Have not spoken to him since Christmas. He will have to think about his actions and account for them if not to me- to his maker.

Your life is percious- do not waste it grieving over your daughter. Easier said than done- I know as I have been guilty of crying over my son- if he saw me doing it he would probably make a joke about it with his skanky little fiance or is it wife? he may have married since I last spoke with him- have no idea- we were not invited after loving and caring for him all those years. He has a new family now- to heck with us. Well, to hell with him and to all kids who act like that!!!!!! We all have been good parents and do not deserve this crap!!!!!! Who the heck do they think they are?????

Hang in there and try to stay strong. Do not come off as a very needy woman- that is not becoming.

Good luck and stay posting- it does help to know that your situation is not unusual- thee are many of us good parnets here who gave their all for their kids only to be kicked in the rear. Sad fact of life!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Suseez1 - I am so sorry to hear about your situation with your daughter. I agree completely with lostmama's comments. Do NOT try to contact her. First of all, she is 18 and "legal". Second, regarding the college fund from your parents, maybe they want to hold it until she is older or offer to pay according to grades. Pay for the first semester and then see what the grades look like and pay accordingly for the next one, or, if she doesn't care enough about them to call or visit, or more importantly, say "thank you", then they shouldn't feel bad about holding off on the tuition until she is older and more responsible.

But do not contact her. She is female and all females want control and she will be back sooner if she doesn't have you begging. I remember when I was young and lived away from home, I would call home and mom would say, "oh, I'm glad you are coming home for the weekend; we have plans with Milt and Edith but you know where the key is so let yourself in and we'll see you Saturday." WHAT??? They aren't going to drop their plans and be sitting on the front porch waiting for me? It made me want to spend more time with them - the challenge of getting their attention.

This is new to you, Suseez1, so it will be so hard. I haven't seen my son since last September and I think about him 24/7. But his nasty wife made it her mission to pull him away to the point where he sent me an email saying to not contact him. I have taken him at his word. I am sure they are both very surprised I have not caved in.

Life is precious. You have a new man in your life - start living and enjoying -- and PLEASE, keep writing in this blog. I can't tell you how much it has helped me.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 8:11AM
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My heart goes out to all of you, Moms and you quiet strong Dads too.
I have nowhere near the experience under my belt as some of you, I am newly estranged, but probably should have been a long time ago. My now adult child has been abusing me for what seems like forever. It has finally been put to a stop.

As I read your words I see myself, and every other victim of emotional abuse I have ever known or read about. Do you see that too? Do you see how we suffer all the classic character traits of a victim? The self blame or self doubt, the justifying and trying to excuse or minimize their actions, the bargaining and extending our values and beliefs, sacrificing ourselves like lambs to the Gods, trying with just one more piece of ourselves to earn reprieve, hoping in vain to make the pain stop?

It is hard to think of our own children as abusers, but they are, it is chilling thought. There is not a child alive, over ten, who does not understand how devastating this is to a parent. To convince ourselves that they dont know the extent of what they are doing is, in my opinion, victim thinking. Of course they do. It is not rocket science, or even slightly challenging to comprehend the degree of hurt that comes to anyone from being treated in such a degrading fashion.. This kind of treatment would be devastating and damaging to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Our children are not exempt from being bullies, manipulators or emotional abusers because they are our children, and we should not be expected to feel anything less than victimized just because we are their parents.

Do you know what emotional abuse looks like, regardless of the source?
It wears the same face if it comes from our own children, or a law enforcement officer to an inmate, a man to his wife, a wife to her husband, or from a co-worker to a fellow employee. If we saw these same things happen to any other we would be appalled and likely intervene to assist the victim. And, we would be good caring citizens to do so.

Do you know that statistically most people who have been victims of both physical and emotional abuse say the emotional abuse is far worse? It hurts more, damages deeper, and leaves scars that often never heal? It is more difficult to overcome. Do you appreciate the depth of your wounds?

As we think about these lost children, and yes of course, continue to love them, let us practice giving ourselves at least the same amount of love and compassion we are so willing to extend. May we practice understanding our feelings as much, maybe even more, as we try to understand theirs. Buy yourself a card at least as often you purchase one for them and their box. A Get Well Soon card, a Sympathy card, a Friendship card, but dont put it in a box for another day, display it proudly where you see it often, remind yourself you have an understanding friend in yourself.

They are adults, and to be fair to ourselves, we have to look at our situation as adult to adult. We are not being treated this way by someone who does not know better. We know they know better because we are the very ones who taught them that. They are not eight years old. Whether they are married to deceitful mates,teamed up with a foe of ours, or standing solely on their own two feet they know of that they do. When and if they ever realise the true depth of harm they inflict upon their victims you will be the first one on their list of people to whom they will owe an apology. Then you will have something worth waiting for. Until that day, you are keeping yourself safe from further emotional harm.

You are strong and you are brave to be able to stop an abuser, many people cannot stop them, cannot stop themselves from being a victim, it is a monumental task of colossal emotional strength under extremely disabling conditions. You have done well to break free, and you set a fine example of personal strength and self respect.

I am proud of each of you, although your tragedies fill my heart with sadness.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:27PM
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What a great post Penny.

Indeed, what these kids are doing is emotional abuse.

And as we are all so devastated by it, we are the victims. The fact that we do care and are devastated proves how much we love these kids.

Tonight, as I was driving, I saw a little league team playing and it took me back to being team mom of my son's teams. I was so happy that he loved baseball so much and despite having to rush around like crazy when he was having daily practices when he did all star travel teams, it was worth it- it was for him.

I wonder if he knows how much what he has done has hurt us- and more importantly if he even cares!!!!

It seems that kids get taken over by other people whether it be friends, fiances or spouses and decide to banish the people who loved and nurtured them and made them the people they are today.

I find it so hard to believe that 12 years of Catholic school education, 6 years of college, all with his family's love, blessing and money can be forgotten in a second. It baffles me how these kids can change so much. Two years ago tonight, I was attending my son's pre graduation night dinner. The day after graduation, after we moved his belongings to his new apt. near his job, he told us to "go home." Seems the moving was the last thing he needed done- so whenb it was done so were we! I cried all the way and it is a long 12 hour drive home!

Actually, my son has been exhibiting strange abuse type behavior. As an example, he refused to contact his HS teacher who mentored him, gave him special recognition and roles that helped him greatly in the future. This teaher was a Godsend who did so much for our son! When I met the teacher a few years back, he expressed sadness that all the kids except my son had been in touch throughout college letting him know how they were. I told my son and he said- "who cares about him,??? I don't want to talk to him!!!! Don't need him anymore."

When he making a pledge to his college, he asked me a good amount. I told him to start small and then increase as he earned more money. He pledged a large amount despite my words. When the bill for the pledge came to our house as he lives out of state - in the same state he attended college- I called him and he said, "Screw them- I am not giving anything!" Then he had the nerve to go back to the campus as an intern recruiter on behalf of his school. He had the nerve to walk into the Business School and show his face after stiffing them on the pledge. That is true nerve!
When he came home last year, he igmnored his HS friends, who were really nice and good friends. A female friend from HS who he was close to was devastated that he did not at least call her when he was here. I asked him why- and he said- "who wants to talk to her!!!!!"

This is a pattern of abuse- whether it be to teachers, schools or friends. Our son is a user. When someone has nothing else to offer, he moves on-

Funny thing is that his fiance- or is it wife? I have no idea if he married or not as we were not invoited is a WORLD CLASS used. She will take him for all he is worth.

As the saying goes, "what goes around comes around" and the shoe will drop.

Your post was great Penny- and good luck with your new estrangement. It is hard but this site really does help. I find solace in knowing that my husband and I are not alone. And even more in realizing that we did nothing to deserve or create this!

Actually, I find myself thinking how shameful my son's behavior is and a bit sad that someone I raised could be so cruel and rotten. My friend told me that I have no control over him now- I did the best I could and if he decided to ignore his upbringing then so be it. So be it is right.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Suseez1, I am so sad to hear of your problems with your daughter. You will find much sympathy and empathy here, and I would use this site as often as you need to. It really does help to know that we are not alone, that we were good parents, & that we don't deserve this.

I agree 100% with Garden60, Penny4thought and Lostmama...don't contact her! When I became estranged from my son last October, I initially wrote a long email detailing what our relationship with him was like since he met his wife. After that, I missed him so much, and was so hurt by the awful thing he said to me the night it all blew up. Yet, as a mom, we are always willing to forgive, and we always try to make things better. Even after he completely ignored us for Christmas, New Years, and Easter, I continued to make attempts to reconcile. I probably contacted him 3x, leaving messages on his cell phone, or writing text or email messages to him. The last straw came in late February when I sent him an e card to tell him how much I love and think about him. I heard nothing for a week straight, and I had thought he would at the very least send a note that he loves me too. I reached out to him at work since I knew he couldn't screen his call there. When he wasn't there, I left a very sad message (not acting,) stating that I couldn't believe he didn't send some little reply telling me he loved me too. I also ended with stating that I wonder if he still has a heart. A few hours later I got a scolding furious email from him telling me to never contact him at work again with that type of message. He also wondered how I got the number (duh, it's a big company, so all I had to do was look it up!) He was angry I had his work number, and reitereated to never again leave that type of message. My son ended with love, and his name, but that meant nothing. That's like shouting at someone mindlessly and then saying you love them. It doesn't work. After that, I have never contacted him again. It is now going on 3 full months with nothing from me or his dad.

I found out that he is out of the country on business for 3 weeks. I was shocked to get a mother's day card from him yesterday. I have to tell you that it was very anti-climatic since the hurt has gone so deep now, and I am on guard. He told us we can now contact him by phone. He stated he wants to try seeing each other again, that it will take time and be awkward but that we are very important to him. He signed it with love.

We are going to send him a b-day card next week, and we are throwing the ball back in his court to call us when he gets back in the country. I am not allowing him to call the shots any longer, and we have made all the attempts we are going to do for some time. We are only sending the card because he sent me my card and note. Since he is willing to try and talk, we will give him a chance.

Garden60, Lostmama and me all have very similar situations. It is as if our kids were taken over by some evil force. But I do agree with the others statements that our kids are abusers, and users. What else could you call the type of treatment they have done to us, after we gave them nothing but love, support, and almost all our time while we were raising them. We taught them right from wrong, they know that what they are doing is about as low as it gets. As someone said at another site, it is the estrangement is the biggest cop out of them all. A big person sits down and discusses their disagreements with those they love, they don't walk away. Cowards walk away.

Lostmama, I too have felt ashamed that I could have raised a son that would treat me/us this way. We taught him better then this, but until he can see what he has done, and how wrong he has behaved, we cannot change him. It is them, not us.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 12:04AM
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Thank you all for your replies.

I too just don't understand how can can love, nuture, and guide our children and one day they just forget everything that we had taught them. The daughter I raised is no longer here, I don't know who this person she is now.

I am dreading this coming mother's day. My sister is having everyone over at her house to celebrate. At least I will be occupied so I'm not thinking about my daughter all day. Deep in my heart I so want her to call me. I don't want to get my hopes up because I really think that she will not.

I have to remember that it is her, not me.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Penny - thanks so much for your post. I have read it twice and will read it again. It helped so much.

Susan - it is tough. Last MD I was so sad at the way my son spent the day with her and her family and then called at 9:30 PM. I couldn't even answer the phone I was so upset, so it went to voicemail. His message was just so cheerful: "Hi, Mom, I hope you had a good Mother's Day; my day was wonderful. Love," The happiness in his voice about how much fun "he" had on "my" day just was the worst. This year I know he will not call me and I don't even care much anymore. We all harden a bit the longer the estrangement continues. I am glad you are surrounding yourself with family and friends.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:10AM
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Wow! I feel for all of you. It reminds me of the situation my aunt was in with her son and his wife. They lived in different cities. My aunt would send birthday cards and presents, Christmas presents, etc. They were all returned UNOPENED. Her son was beginning to avoid her calls too. Long story short: the DIL (a lawyer) was the one sending the stuff back and not telling her husband (the son). Meanwhile, the son was thinking that his mother was ignoring him and his kids, which was why he was ignoring her calls. It all ended when the son divorced his lawyer wife. Now he is remarried with more kids and my aunt is actively involved in their lives. It's a healthy relationship for all of them! She actually visits them often, staying as long as a week at a time. The lawyer wife was trying to cut him off from his family. Why? I don't know. I don't know why anyone would try to do this to their spouse.

I have issues with my MIL, believe me. I'm the one who had to get DH to call his mother at least once a week just to chat. He'd say, "Why?" and I'd tell him cuz she's your mother!

I remember when my MIL called me a few years ago to tell me that she and my DH had been talking and she said "I think he is going to leave you cuz he can't take it anymore." (talking about me having rheumatoid arthritis and at a time when my health was really, really bad). My response to her was "Well, he knows where the door is and he knows that he can leave anytime. I'm not going to force him to stay if he doesn't want to." I heard nothing but silence after that! I mentioned this to my husband awhile later. He couldn't believe it but yet could. We catch her in lies all the time but have accepted that it's just the way she is and we know how to take her.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 3:09PM
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Khandi, your story regarding your mil is incredible. I can't even imagine saying such a thing, no matter how little I liked the girl my son married. Your great to tell you husband to call his mom, I had to say something to mine once too. I noticed my husband would always call, say a short hello to his mom and then ask for his dad. I finally asked him if he didn't think his mom would like to talk a bit more then he allows for. Perhaps she too would like to hear what he is doing, have him ask her questions about her life, etc. It really hit home what I was saying, and he changed things very well after that. Now he and his mother have regular conversations, and have done so for quite a long time. Men sometimes need to know how important their connection to their parents is. I really feel like society as a whole, dictates different standards with men concerning his parents and siblings. It's sad, since there should always be a relationship just as there is with women and their parents.

Khandi, your story about your aunts son and his first wife is scary for me. I really can picture my dil doing the same thing to us. I have copied the card I'm going to send to my son, and have my other son mail it (so there's a witness besides me and my husband!) I really can't trust her to not to do what you said about your cousins wife. I don't know why some women are like that, but I believe it is an insecurity issues. Those women feel like by allowing their husband to still connect with the other people in his life, that somehow this threatens their dominant position. It's a strange mentality since I've never felt that way regarding my husband or his family, and they are all very close.

Did your aunts son find out that she had been sending him those things all that time? I'm assuming yes since you know the story. How did her son take it when he found out? Is that what lead to the divorce? That is simply outrageous
and sad.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:02AM
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Well, here it is Mother's Day- after 6 PM. No call, no e mail, no card, none of the usual flowers I had gotten in previous years.
NOTHING! at all. I am simply heart broken. He does not care enough to make a free phone call on his cell- it is the weekend afterall.
I watched a show on the tv about NBA players who attribute all their success to their mothers. One was on and he said he calls his mother EVERY DAY!!!!

What did I do to deserve being ignored?

I am so upset that I do not what to do. I tried to go out and go to the mall, but as I had been crying, I was self conscious.

I made my mother a special meal and will take her out tomorrow. She is the only real connection I have to mother's day as I am not even acknowledged. My cat saw me sad and sat on me, licked my face and ourred really loud. He understood my pain!

I think my mistake was sending my son a letter a couple of months ago about making a pre nup agreement- as he was planning a marriage and had gottten a license. Of course we were not invited.

He called and said he did have such plans so why was such a letter offensive. I even offered to pay for the pre nup as sort of a wedding gift. Never took me up on that.

The letter was not offensive or abusive- it was written out of love.

Now, I am totally ignored.

It is hard when the person doing this is your only child. There is no one else in the world that I loved and card for more than him. I was not a bad mother in the least. I was always there- I helped him whatever way I could. I sacrificed a lot to make his life what it was.

Now, I am tossed like garbage. I am really so hurt that I do not know what to do.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:10PM
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lostmama - I wish I could come and put my arms around you and give you a big hug. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I did not see my estranged son either and prepared myself, but then I didn't see him last year on MD either. He spent the day with her family and then had the nerve to call me around 9 PM all giddy in his voice saying hope your mother's day was great because his sure was. Talk about mean. When I told him that was mean, his response was "how can you say that, at least I called and before you got home from the lake I stopped at the house and left you a card." He just couldn't figure out what the big deal was about having to spend time together in person.

I am fortunate to have another son who gave me the sweetest card and a gift certificate to have my nails done. And he spent the weekend at the lake with my husband and me. I no longer have a mother, so you are very lucky to have her in your life.

I am guessing that your son told his GF about the pre-nup and she told him what she thought of that and probably said she would not stay with him if he signed it, so of course, using the head below his belt (as I refer to my son's thinking all the time), he chose her. When she dumps him, he will be wondering "why" - just like my son will be doing.

As my girfriend says, because her 3 children have been very lax in acknowledging MD for her - she has convinced herself that it is just another day for Hallmark to make money!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Thanks Garden60-
As my son lives 12 hours away, I did not expect to see him. He never comes home- have not seen him since last May when he stormed out of here over an alleged insult to his girlfriend- guess being told that she was advertising for other men while engaged to him was insulting to him somehow.

As he always has sent flowers when he did not come, I thought well maybe- well maybe not is the case.

I did not want flowers. I did not want any gift. All I wanted was to be wished a Happy Mothers Day. To be acknowledged by my son. Not much to ask for.

I really do not need anything- I have everything I need materially- but emotionally, I am a basket case. I cannot understand why I my husband and I are being rejected like this.

A telemarketer called tonight and of course I was hoping it was my son. I was rather rude as I told her it was Mother's Day and I had company and hung up. I was not ready to be sold anything.

I am really sorry about your son- but happy that you have a second son who is not wayward.

I am not really sure I would want to talk to my son. What would I say??? I know more about the lives of people on the radio or neighbors I barely know than I know about my son.

I avoid people who know that I have a son as I am afraid they will ask how he is. What can I say??? He has totally cut us out of his life??? I simplygo the other way and hope no one asks me about him.

I hope you had a good Mother's Day. I cooked my mother a nice dinner and am taking her to Friendly's tomorrow for lunch- she likes to get out - we will talk and laugh and just be together. Who knows how many Mother's days any of us has left- we have to take every chance to enjoy them.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:06PM
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I haven't posted on here in a long time, but feel especially awful today. It's Mother's Day and nothing from our daughter. Long story short version, I was married before, my husband is not her dad, we didn't tell her until she was around 19 (her bio-dad is an ex-con). I was an awful mom, verbally abusive, and sometimes physical. I have apologized over and over, asked for forgiveness so many times I can't count. I didn't know how to mother my children nor did my second husband, we just tried to do the best we could. Our son in his twenties, has his own problems...but our daughter has cut us out of her life. It's been 2 years this weekend, since we've had a semi-normal relationship with her and her family. She doesn't want to see us or have anything to do with us. She told her bio-dad's family that "we were monsters"...we know we screwed up, we've acknowledged it, we've apologized, we've asked forgiveness, and she won't let go. She'd rather assume we're dead, then try to build a "new family." I'm at my wits end, I can't let go of the pain, and move on. It means giving up the hope of a reconciled relationship, but I don't know what else to do. My counselor says, "You must let go." HOW do you let go of your children??? is my question? If anyone else has experience with this, please reply. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Lostmama, perhaps your sons girlfriend/wife got a hold of the letter regarding the pre-nup? Since your son was actually for the idea, it seems to me that something bad happened that forced him to become this negative with you. I can just picture his girl finding out he wanted or wants to do this, and blaming you for it since you did suggest it to him. I'm sure she told him that this is outrageous, that if he really loved her he wouldn't be thinking of doing such things, that obviuosly his mother doesn't like you, etc.etc. Don't you think this is most likely the cause?

Since it's only been months since you mentioned the pre-nup, perhaps the dust will settle soon.

I'm sorry your so sad, and do feel your pain. I too asked myself how my son could send me a card, but couldn't use his cell phone to make a free call and wish me a happy mother's day. It's thoughtless, cruel, selfish, coldhearted behavior that we did not teach them!

I hope tomorrow is better.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:30AM
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I guess the letter I sent him did it for sure. What I do not get is that when he responded to the letter, he said he was already working on a pre nup. But then he never took me up on the offer to pay for it. Does not make sense unless as you surmise she got ticked and refused to sign a pre nup as we have no dobut that the interest her is money. Her own father told us so much. She was snooping thru his personal papers, found abrokerage and bank statement and love blossomed. As she apparently has no desire to work nor do anything else someone with money was appealing.

What does not make sense is that back in October of 2007 when they apparently broke up and he went frantic calling all his old HS friends, it seemed things were on hold. A few weeks later, he told me that all the girls in the state where he lives were either single never married moms, or "bible thumpers"- neither of which appealed to him. He said that the social mores of his state were very different that those of the east coast and that he did not think he could fit in. He told me he planned to quit his job and move once he hit 2 years at his company which is next month. Now this??

At least you got a card- I got zilch!

I am going to have to stop procrastating and get my husband to a lawyer to make a will. We are both in our mid/late 50s and my husband nearly died 2 years ago from a very sudden illness. As he has chronic medical problems, he is not well. If something happened to both of us at once it would be disaster.

The problem is that we are both only kids and the wayward one is an only child. We have no family except my 82 year old mom.

I have no idea who to name as executor to manage the charitable trust that will get our assets. Certainly not the wayward one as he cannot be trusted. And given the way he has treated us, we have no desire to leave him anything. He is simply an ungrateful user. Our use has expired and now he will ignore and disrespect us.

Anyone else have the no family executor problem?? I have 2 very good friends that I might consider naming executor- both are very honest and reliable women.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:00AM
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My sister is an executor for three or four elderly friends of hers who have no remaining family members. She is very trustworthy and of extremely high ethics and values. She made these friends through volunteer work she does.
But, her character is almost irrelevant, because she can only do what they have directed. They (she & them) sat down at great length and put it all on paper in great detail, all their wishes and concerns. She will simply do it for them. The arrangements they made do not allow her any financial discretion or decisions, she will simply make sure it gets done according to what they want. It is all prearranged.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:02AM
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An executor is just that - one who "executes" the provisions of the will. He/she cannot take a dime unless you have specifically written in that they get $$ for administering the will. You are safe to use almost anyone. You can even use someone at your bank or your financial officer, however, sometimes they do charge a fee.

Isn't it sad we have come to this? My son is written out of our will and now I feel safer. Now that is really, really sad, isn't it - to feel safe from your son and DIL getting your hard-earned money. I am in hopes that someday things will change and then I will re-write my will to include him.

Hugs to you lostmama, this is a difficult thing. Whatever you do, do not tell him or anyone else that you are doing this, not even other family or friends. That was the advice I was given.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:32AM
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After a terrible Mother's Day feeling rejected, on Monday evening after 7 PM a box of flowers and candy arrived from my son.

Fed Ex alleged they tried to deliver Saturday as he paid extra for that service- and apparently did not. The box was sent back to the terminal where the address was checked to be sure it was correct which confirmed my suspicion that as we live on a street that dead ends and starts up again that whoever was delivering chose writing not home over looking for my house.

Anyway- after feeling all rejected Sunday- I was very happy Monday evening. I have contacted 1800 flowers to let them know of the mix up and how it affected me. They are sending me new flowers- as mine are really droopy and they will be crediting my son back $23 given the mix up.

I have sent him a thank you e mail. I have not told him about the delivery mix up but will probably send a second e mail. My friend suggested that I take a photo of the new flowers when they arrive and send it to him telling him that it was Mothers Day all over to keep the lines of communication open.

I am very perplexed as to how someone who has not called or contacted me since Christmas would send me such a nice gift. The card was signed from him without his gf's name or is it wife's name- have no idea.

I was so happy that he remembered me. I do not want to push it- but I would like to take baby steps towards reestablishing a relationship. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:30PM
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lostmama - WOW! I am so thrilled for you. He is reaching out. Definitely "baby" steps. I think your response thanking him and even sending him a picture of the flowers is good. Then wait to see what he does. I personally might say something like "miss your smile [or humor or whatever] and leave it at that. I wouldn't mention the GF/DIL at this point. All that said, I do believe we need to be who we are, not try to figure out how to make ourselves be someone we think they want. He loved you for all those years growing up for who you were/are, that love will continue.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Garden60, I agree with you completely about not changing ourselves to be someone they want us to be. One of the most important lessons, I feel, is that we need to accept the ones we love for who they are. They may not be everything we want, and most likely aren't, but they are the ones who love us most, and for that we must be tolerant.

As one person stated, we need to agree to disagree in order to all get along the best.

Lostmama, I am thrilled that your son came through, and feel so sad that you dealt with all that pain on mother's day for nothing! Your probably so right in your assumption that the delivery guy just didn't want to look for your home. Because of his laziness and selfishness he caused so much unnecessary pain. It is infuriating.

Does your son sign it with love? Obviously he still cares about you very much, and loves you deeply, or he wouldn't bother with such a thing. He is telling you in his own way about his love for you, which is probably as far as his gf/wife allows him to go. Perhaps she doesn't even know about? How long have they been together? It may just be that he needs more time to grow up and become his own man.
That is very much what I feel my son must learn too, as well as Garden60s.

They all met girls who are very destructive. Selfish, manipulative women who want to be the only important thing in their husbands life. With extended family, that cuts in on the love and attention that they get, which probably infuriates them. I feel my dil has npd, as well as garden60s. That personality disorder is so destructive, since everything must be focused on them. In time though, I have read that when the attention starts to wane, that they are the most likely to cheat on their spouses. It is the constant need of attention, of being put up on a pedastal that makes them look for more somewhere else.

Hopefully our sons will wise up, take control of their life again, and lay down some rules.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Anniebal and anyone else who might be suffering from an estranged son and NPD-type DIL: I started thinking, because of all these reunions, what do I do when I can't stand my DIL because of what she has done and don't want to be around her? I hope I don't sacrifice time with my son (although I don't believe he will ever be back) because of my feelings about her. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 3:52PM
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Garden60, I felt that way about my sil when we were estranged from him and my daughter for 3 yrs. A lot of hurt went on in that time and I hated him! Never wanted him in my home again! But when we reunited with daughter, we forgave him and reunited with him. We put all of it behind us. I think you will too, because you love your daughter. I have to say that 5-6 yrs after our reunion, the same thing happened! And it was over something stupid like the first time.. Luckily for us, our daughter is still in our lives and he isn't. So it is not total estrangment but it's what sil decided. It's not always handy on the holidays but oh well, we have our daughter.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:27PM
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Garden60, we're in a similar situation since our son has to know how much we can't stand his wife, and vice verse. I have absolutely no desire to see this 'thing' again. I could be perfectly happy simply having a relationship with my son, but I'm not sure my son can accept that. I know he wants us to like his girl, and I don't think he'll wait forever for us to re-unite with her also. Still, maybe I"m wrong. Maybe she won't want to be near us, and will finally just agree to let him see us alone? Somehow I don't think this is going to happen though, since I think she is very insecure with him being alone with us. I truly believe she is very worried about his love for us, and that she will lose his undying attention, or perhaps wise up to her.

Every time he goes somewhere, she is in tow. At get togethers she clings to his side as if she can't trust him to be alone, OR more likely, she is afraid of him showing affection or respect to anyone but her.

Sniffles, your story is encouraging. I'm so happy you re-united with your daughter. Your situation is what we fear happening, and that is, that we'll try to move ahead, but my dil will pull the same cr*p she did before. I fear that it will happen when they have a baby, and then she will hold our love for that baby hostage. I don't know if I could live through this again, and I haven't even made peace with my son this time yet.

I'm glad to hear that despite your sil, your daughter is still in your lives. All I care about is seeing my son.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:08PM
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Anniebal - without sounding negative, I see a difference - sniffles07 has a daughter and everyone I know who has fought with their daughters, the daughters all have this "need" to reconnect in some fashion with their mothers. Not that way necessarily with sons. Once they have those bed-partners, that is all that counts and whatever she says, he will do, so long as he gets his "reward" after. And we know what that reward is, don't we? BUT - I SO HOPE I AM WRONG!!!

In my situation, I am wondering how long my son can stay completely disconnected from not only me and my husband and other son, but my sister and her family who he was extremely close to. I know that must be eating away at him. She trained my son to be nasty to me but she didn't figure that the rest of the family would side with me and my son would experience total rejection from everyone he grew up loving because of her.

I haven't seen him for 8 months. Dr. Coleman thought I should send him a note after 6 months just saying "thinking of you, would love to see you, but if you need more time, I am good with that too" type message. So far I haven't sent it, thinking back on the nasty email where he asked us to be out of his life.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:43AM
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Garden60, I certainly can relate to not wanting to respond or reach out to your son after the nasty note he sent you. My son did the same thing, and I was so hurt. Still, what's the worst that can happen at this point? Your not seeing or hearing from him at this point, so how much madder can he get. You could always put on the note that you know he didn't want any correspondance, but it has been 8 months and you really miss hearing from him in some way, shape or form. Just a note letting you know he is ok. You have the added stress of worrying he'll blame you for another crohn's flare up. Seems your the scapegoat on that one, which is hogwash, but what can you can't tell him that. It is he if anything, causing the episodes of crohn's, probably by stressing himself out so much over this situation. I know my son has been in anguish (or was,) so I imagine your son is in the same state of mind.

Just FYI, I didn't agree with everything Coleman had to say in his book. There were some things that bothered me, and that I wouldn't take his advice on. That's just me though.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 3:11AM
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I too agree that the women in our son's lives are largely responsible for the problems here.

My son sent me beautiful flowers and candy for Mothers day signed, Love XXXX, his name only. Last year the card came with Love with his name, her name as well as the names of all their pets. Quite a list! I sent him a nice e mail thank you and have heard nothing at all.

I also wonder what the best next thing to do is. I think the fact that he sent flowers and remembered me is a sign that the old XXXX person I once knew is still inside there. I also wonder if he is having some torment over cutting us off and how long this can last. Do any of you think that your sons also agonize over this as we do??? I wonder about this. My friends think he does not have time to think of us- but taking time to order and send flowers means that he does think of us.

I know that he knows that my husband and I do not like his significant other and vice versa. She made no effort to be pleasant to us and in fact was rather rude and disrespectful. Neither my husband or I ever said a mean or nasty word to the girl however so that we have no idea why she treated us like she did.

I think that the women in our sons' lives are insecure and feel threatened by parents. They feel that perhaps we may sway our sons away from them. What makes no sense to me is why someone trying to impress our sons who they claim to love would be nasty to the very parents who raised those sons. It makes no sense to me. I tried to be as nice as possible to all of my boyfriend's parents as if we wound up related, I wwanted a good relationship. Things must have changed from the 70's when I dated as the girls today seem to alienate parents without a thought. I also agree with the poster who said that sex was at the root of many of these issues. I think sex is dangled as a prize and the sons are afraid to lose out on the prize if they tick off the women.

As I think about the saying my son had posted on his page for a long time- I do not know if it is there now as I no longer look at his page- about not saying anything to anyone or you might end up missing everyone- I wonder if it related to us????

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:59AM
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That's interesting Linda. What exactly did it say on your sons page? I find it interesting that he would say such a thing, and I think it is very revealing. I've often wondered if that is how my son does it. He just doesn't talk about us, that we none of those feelings he is afraid of will be stirred up. It's probably a survival mechanism. If I need to give up my feelings in order to avoid someone I love, then personally I'd rather be dead. I couldn't live like that, I wear my emotion on my sleeve, much like my younger son. I am open and honest to a fault. But I am who I am, and I would take too much emotion, over too little, any day.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 12:35AM
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//I guess the letter I sent him did it for sure. What I do not get is that when he responded to the letter, he said he was already working on a pre nup. But then he never took me up on the offer to pay for it.//

Although I of course have no idea why this panned out the way it did, maybe I can offer a theory as to why your son is soooooo angry about the letter.

However lovingly and carefully it was written, it really was not your business. He felt as though you were butting in and interferring.

The is especially more offensive because he was already taking care of the situation--he'd already taken steps to handle HIS OWN affairs. So not only were you butting in and interferring, you were inferring that he was too stupid to handle it himself and needed his 'mommy' to look after him.

Thirdly, even though you didn't mention or hint that his fiancee was deficient in any way, the mere suggestion of getting a pre-nupt implies she's a golddigger. And that's how he took it and how she took it too, if she saw it.

That he didn't take you up on the offer to pay for it, is not surprising either, particularly since it was offered as a wedding gifts. Wedding gifts that hint the marriage is not a good thing or going to end or that one of the participants is substandard is an insulting wedding gift. Gifts that come with strings attached (I'll give you this money, but you have to use it on what I want you to use it on), aren't gifts at all. And when you said you would send it straight to the lawyer, you were being offensive again: you were implying he was unreliable and dishonest. And it begs the question, who was the gift really for: your son or the lawyer.

You meant well, but you really mucked it up: it wasn't your business and you were pushy and offensive about how you went about it. Your son can't see the good intentions, but clearly feels the insult and the offense. You can't see beyond your good intentions, and acknowledge the pushiness and offense you caused.

You are equally at fault here: you see too much good intentions and too little offense; he sees too much offense and too little good intentions.

But when you boil it all down, you were out of line to tell a full-grown man how to arrange his affairs, and it really does fall on you to apologize for all the unintended offense you gave. Hopefully, once you apologize, your son won't have to be so defensive and will give you credit for your good intentions.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 1:58PM
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My son actually did send me flowers and candy for Mothers Day so I am not sure how angry he is with me. We always had a very close relationship.

Actually in terms of apology, I think my son owes me an apology for threatening to throw me down the stairs after the gf. told a horrible lie about things I allegedly did. He also owes me an apology for insulting both of us when he was here last May by saying that he did not want to go anywhere with us- that was both rude and hurtful. Not coming home when my husband was seriously ill for 2 weeks 2 years ago and then ignoring us for both TG and Christmas holidays as if we do not exist also are something that need an apology.

His actions were much worse than well intentioned advice. And, if I cannot give my son the wisdom of my 50 plus years on this earth including running my own business, then I guess that I should tape my mouth and never say a word. If I saw my son about to be run over by a car I would say something not because I doubted his sight but to warn him. This is the same case. He has always relied on us and actively sought out our advice.

Up until his graduation my son relied on my husband and I a lot for advice and information on finances, investments, wise moves to make. It was not uncommon for him to call here with problems he was having with his credit card or bank ATM card and ask advice. On several occasions, my husabnd went to the local bank he was having a problem with to assist with the resolution of the problem. He was not offended by our advice. He sought it out and thanked us for our help.

Our son has a significant asset base largely due to our advice and helping him invest the money and stocks that his grandparents gave him. Up until this year he relied on us to do his income tax on Turbo Tax and took advice regartding payment of his quarterly tax payments, etc. tax moves, etc.

When he told us he was getting married in Janaury of 2007, my husband told him that a pre nup would be a good idea. He agreed. He has a friend from high school who works at a law office and she stressed a pre nup given the inequality in assets and earning power in this case. He was not offended at that point and in fact said he appreciated our mentioning it as his friend has also told him.

The reason I offered to pay for this agreement as of 1-07 pre nup via payment to the lawyer is that when I paid for the CPA review class and testing fees, we suspect that the money in fact was used to buy the $10000 engagement ring. He said he would let us know how the course and exams were going. We heard nothing. On several occasions, we asked about what happened with the course and test just out of interest in his future and got no reply. My husband told him that once he appsed the course and was reimbursed by his employer that he could keep the money. Seems he simply skipped to keeping the money. The ring was bought 4 days with a 1/2 down payment in cash which is about what we gave him. So, the pre nup payment to be made to the lawyer was to assure that the funds went for what they were intended and not to some splurge that was unrelated to the purpose.

When my husband and I married- we had nearly the same education, made the same amount of money, had the same amount of money in the bank. We both were on the same page about our intentions and ambitions in life. We were both hard workers. We split everything down the middle and worked as a team. We saw no need for a pre nup. In this case, there is such a wide gap in motivation, ambition, education, resources and earning power that should the marriage break up my son could lose his house, 401K, the significant assets he has. She has nothing to lose as she has no job, no money, no education and no ambition.

The pre nup money was meant as a gift for my son's future and peace of mind. There are tons of stories on the internet about people marrying without a pre nup and losing everything. Paul McCartney's bitter divorce comes to mind. Love is blind and people can be ruthless.

If my son took my offer wrong, then so be it. He has really been so rude and disrespectful to all of us over the past 2 years- including his only grandparent who he refuses to even call or send a card that I am at a loss to explain his actions.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 5:05PM
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forms, I'm sorry but where do you get off passing such strong judgement on somebody you don't even know. You can't possibly understand the situation as well as you come across as. Seems to me by your writing that you were the fly on the wall?

Just how long does a person hold something aganist their family member? When is it ever forgiven? My parents did things that annoyed me, said things that were improper at times, but did I hold onto those things and estrange myself...of course not!

I'm sick and tired of the justification that young people give themselves today. Whether your young or not, your certainly reaching a quick conclusion with your pointed accusations to lostmama. Seems todays kids have an answer or excuse for everything they do wrong: "My parents weren't good enough, they had lousy jobs, they didn't go to college, their a blue collar worker, they offer advice when I haven't asked for it," etc.etc.etc.

You know my parents gave me advice as an adult sometimes and I didn't go hog wild. In fact many times they would tell me something they thought was a good idea, for which I had already come to that conclusion, and guess what? I gave them the credit for it. It's a pretty small person that carries a crutch like lostmama's son is, IF that is the excuse he is placating himself with.

As I said, how long do you harbor ill feelings for something he knows wasn't meant maliciously? Let's say he does think lostmama doesn't like or trust his girl, is this still the best way to handle it? Would communicating his feelings be much better? How does he justify his gf speaking to his parents the way she did? How come he can't see the hurt lostmama has for those infractions?

Moms and dads will always offer advice when they think they need to do so in order to protect their child, and I don't care how old they are.

Amazing reaction.


Lostmama...I wouldn't take what forms has to say seriously, she is far to quick to jump to conclusions and judge you.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 5:34PM
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It's interesting that Forms has posted about never giving unsolicited advice to one's children and yet she feels free to preach to others about how they should behave.

I don't think there are any parents who are interested in their adult children's well-being who don't give unsolicited advice - except, of course, maybe Forms.

We raise our children and then are supposed to zip our mouths forever after? I don't think so. My mother was giving me advice until she died at the age of 92; I listened and if I chose to consider her advice, I did. If I chose to not consider it, I didn't. In actuality, I would have felt that she did not care if she had zipped her mouth after I became an adult.

Forms, do you have children?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 7:20PM
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My mother who is 82 can be a real pain in the rear with her advice whether it be that my living room needs to be uncluttered or that I looked like I have gained a few pounds. Sometimes it hurts- and sometimes it is not appreciated. But, in my heart I know she is right most of the time and it makes me think. In reality, she loves me and means well and is trying to get me on to correct things before they get out of hand. Every once in a while, I will get angry that she has implied something that hurt my feelings- but usually the hurt lasts until I realize she was trying to be of assistance and not rude. And yes, the living room was cluttered and yes indeed the scale showed a gain of weight. She did not mean to be hurtful. She was trying to tell me what others might not have- others who may have rather spoken or laughed behind my back about my looking heavy or my house being a mess. I would rather hear advice from a loved one than not hear it or be spoken about behind my back. And I usually get thinking about her words, knowing that she loves me, and will clean the living room and watch my diet better.

I have been helping my son his entire life. As I said, he often called us for help on matters as we have more life experience than he. He usually wanted our advice.

I really cannot think of talking to him in the future if I have to watch very word and think 3 times before I speak to make sure that I am not giving advice that he may not like. Let's face it, often people you love want to help you and the truth can be bitter as it is told.
In my heart I believe that my son knows that this girl is not right for him. They have broken up several times. She told him to his face that she will never love him like she loves the 2 men she dated before him who were deported back to the middle east. She told him he would never match up to these men- and that if they were not deported she would not be with him. In other words, he is third choice.

He has to spend his life apologizing to her for things she thinks have offended her. He had to rip out all the carpet in his new house after she let her dogs go all over the carpeting. This is what I think caused the rift that made her move out. He so much as told me when we im'ed last November that he did not think he meshed with the girls in the state he was living in and that he would like to leave and move back to the east coast where the girls were more compatible in terms of morality, socio economic status and values. These were his words and not mine. I took this to mean that he had serious reservations about the relationship. As we do not speak, I suspect that loneliness overtook him and he wound up going back to her as he was afraid to be alone- or conversely, perhaps she did not find true love on the net as she had hoped and came back to him. I have no idea as we do not speak. When he told me these things on im I said nothing, bad about her- I told him that it was up to him but that he should consider any move seriously as he owns a home, has a good job and is established where he is living now. I did not say move back to the east coast- dump her- whatever. I simply told him that he had a lot to consider.

By my suggesting that he get a pre nup and offering to pay for it, I was working with the details he gave me- he has doubts and apparently so does she. She was looking for other men on the net 6 months into their engagement. Anyone truly in love and getting married does not advertise on yahoo pesonals for older middle eastern men.

So, by suggesting a pre nup and offering to pay for it, I meant no harm. I was offering a means of his protecting his assets in case of a possible break up of the marriage.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:57PM
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Often, when people get angry at others for giving them advice it's because they know in their heart that the advice is spot on but for whatever reason they can't deal with it.

3 cases in point:

A friend's mother was on her about her filthy house. The friend got angry with her mother and banned her from ever coming into her house again. The mother is correct: the daughter's house is simply filthy and she knows it but for some reason she can't deal with it.

This same friend, years ago, was having significant difficulties in her life and I was chosen by a group of us who were very concerned about her, to approach her about getting some professional help. I was met with name calling, screaming, phone calls from her in which she would scream foul things at me and then hang-up. She needed then and still needs (see paragraph above) professional help to deal with many issues; unfortunately she's not getting it and her life is poorer for it. She has finally become civil with me again and has, in a backhanded way, said that she knows she needs help but for some reason can't take that first step.

The third case is that of my daughter who was been approached by her grandmother and me over what we saw as warning signs with the behavior of one of her children. She has not spoken to us nor have we seen her or her children since then. However, we do know that the school has started to intervene with this child and, apparently, my daughter has finally admitted to them that her son needs help. Hopefully, it's not too late. Hopefully, she will soon begin to talk to us again.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:35AM
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Wow - lots of advice, lots of opinions, and wondering how we became estranged.

Forms - you have written before and I appreciate your directness, but you need to respond to some of the questions posed here.

I read with interest your viewpoints to lostmama. I would like to know if you have the same advice for me. As I have stated before, when we all met to talk about giving money for the wedding, my DIL's step-mom told us we should each give $6,000 to the kids and that would cover her guests of 120, other miscellaneous wedding things, and she told my husband and I we could invite "up to 60". When I responded we would pay for "our 60" and would also pay for other wedding things, i.e. flowers, booze, my son, DIL and her parents took great offense to that. Do you think my DIL's step mom's demands were fair?

After I refused to meet my DIL's demands of us, telling us over and over that we needed to pay for this and that and we needed to pay for "more" than her parents, do you think we should have caved in and done it? When I said we would discuss this with our son, her response was "you don't need to talk to him, he agrees with everything I say". How would you have responded?

Then after the wedding, when my DIL said to my husband and I (because we didn't stay to the end of the wedding dance), "F _ _ _ You", how would you have responded?

Finally, when I sent a note to my son saying lets start 2008 out on a new slate, let me be the first to apologize for anything I might have said that offended you, but I miss you and know that our door is always open and we wil always love you -- his response to me in an email was to say he wanted no more emails, phone calls, notes, no birthday cards, nothing from us and that "he would let me know when he was up to seeing us again". What do you make of that?

I have to agree with Anniebal - this "entitlement" thing of the new generation has gotten completely out of hand. When my mother would send me news articles (her way of giving advice), I would read them and take what I wanted and then throw them away - but I didn't estrange my self from my parents.

It has been 8 months since I saw my son, 4 months since he sent the nasty email. Forms - what is your advice, should I contact him or not?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Although I am not Forms- I have to say that your situation was really horrible!

I think that has humans we have to have some self respect. The parents of your DIL as well as your son pushed you too far. They were taking advantgae of you. They were in fact making a fool out of you.

If this happened with a co worker, neighbor or acquantaince, I am sure that you would have spoken up and said- "hey what's going on here- you are pushing this too far" and refuse to do it. Just because the offfending party is a future in law you are supposed to be disrespected, abused and made a fool out of???

What gets me is that when family is involved it is assumed that parents should bend over, take whatever is shoved their way and then say thanks and smile.

Personally, that is not how I want to live. I want to be treated with respect as I am a good person. I do not expect people to go out of their way for me but expect to be met half way.

If people take offense at things (as did my son's gf. at nearly everything everyone said) then it is THEIR probem. I take offense at not being treated with dignity and respect.

My son's gf. said "F you" not verbally but by putting nail polish on my bbathroom wall, throwing tampons in my toilet and using my bath mitt to do whatever-it was a new mitt I put out for her- it was found months later all dirty and mildewy in the back of the vanity. Who knows what that was all about.

Bottom line- if your son wants to swim with the low life then let him sink with them. You sound like a nice person and for someone to say "F you" and your son to disrespect you is NOT RIGHT!!!!!

I really do not think that it is your role to be trampled on.

If your son wants no contact- give him his wish. I have not seen my son for nearly 1 year now- today is the year anniversary of the miserable engagement party we attended. It was a day that will be remembered as one of being ignored, then totally disgusted by the way his gf. was making a fool of him. Personally, I vowed on the way home that I would never return to that state 12 hours away. I will not if he is with her. I refuse to let myself be emotionally tormented.

The last words my son said to me before storming out of our house last May was "stay out of my life." Well, that is what I am doing. I will bot allow myself to be depressed and upset by his stupidity and his gf's lack of respect.
I think your son and my son will come around.

I think what you did was perfectly correct. Do not beat yourself up. Do not lower yourself to the level oif your DIL- she is indeed a toxic person- and her parents sound like her role models.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:23AM
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//So, by suggesting a pre nup and offering to pay for it, I meant no harm. I was offering a means of his protecting his assets in case of a possible break up of the marriage.//

I understand you meant no harm, but even you have stated this is what you think lead to the estrangement and claimed you couldn't understand why. That was just one theory as to why. Clearly he's upset, and you think it's the letter and prenupt offer, and I was attempting to tie together the bits of information to find a way that it would make sense.

I KNOW you meant no harm. You seem like a lovely lady, you really do, and I mean that sincerely. Thoughtful, kind, and just devastated with pain. I'm so sorry for this thing that happened to you. I firmly believe your son will come back and rejoin the family some day. It won't be the same, but it will happen. And I think that because you do genuininely seem good.

I'm offering an idea, nothing more, take what you need and leave the rest. But even still I noticed you don't want to look at how easily your well-meaning gesture can be interpreted as offensive. Just because you wouldn't interpret it that way doesn't mean someone else would feel the same. You suspect there's something about the letter that offended him enough to cut you off. If it wasn't what I theorized, what was it?

I think it's worth really facing the fact that you mis-stepped (which is only human, and not a sign of deep control issues or other psycho-pathology, just a mis-step), because the sooner you can smooth things over, the sooner you get back the relationship you value. And if you know what it is that upset him so much, you can fix it perhaps.

But I don't KNOW what caused him to turn his back on you. It could be that you used email rather than paper, or college ruled paper rather than stationery. It could be something else that hasn't been mentioned.

Just offering ideas.

I also noticed that a lot of your post was devoted to what is wrong with your DIL and your son's relationship with her. Maybe you've got it right, and maybe you've got it wrong, but he knows all you know and STILL chooses her. In fact, when it comes to her and their relationship, he knows more than you. And she's still his choice.

Frankly, she doesn't sound like a bargain, but they will sort it out. So he gets hurt and loses money. My stepfather lost 3 fortunes and still ended up hugely wealthy. If you're smart and have ability, you can rebuild. Life stomps on everyone, it's going to stomp on your son too.

As the ex-husband says in that old Joan Crawford classic, when she is vowing that she's going to do everything for her kids, everything, everything, the ex husband says, "You can't do their crying for them."

Granted, I would not like your DIL in my house either. I think I would limit visits to short periods of time and certain rooms. If they are from out of town, I'd suggest a good hotel and just entertain them in the public rooms of my house. But they might be offended by that too. What can you say, if people are determined to be offended, they will be offended. All you can do is offer what you are comfortable offering, what you feel safe offering, and let them react as they will. And if the reaction is ugly, stay away.

If it was as good of a relationship as you say, you son will be back. He will. Maybe your fear that he won't, that this is forever, makes it hard to be anything but defensive. But you need to trust in your own value, and in the quarter century of love you showed him, and in life teaching it's own lessons. He'll be back. Give him time to grow up and learn a little about how hard life is and how nice it is to have allies and how stupid it is to alienate them.

Even if you don't figure out why he's so mad at you that he's cut you off, trust in yourself and him enough that one way or another he'll be back.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:22PM
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\throwing tampons in my toilet\
Where did you want her to put them? In the fridge?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:27PM
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Yes, fuzzy, I have 5 children: 4 sons and a daughter. My oldest two are almost on their own. I've liked all of their girlfriends, altho Son2 has a high maintenance princess who used to fluctuate between bulimia and cutting, and is still on the tailend of the problem.

I remember one day he's lying on the couch gaming and got a call from her. She's at a park about 5 miles away with her girlfriends and they wanted to play basketball. Would Son2 bring her one? She didn't 'feel like' walking down the street and getting one from her own house.

I just ducked my head down; the truth was, I wasn't sure that he wouldn't go trotting over there with a basketball. He didn't, but had he, I would have kept my mouth shut--and I would NOT have wanted to. (Fortunately, she's settled down over the last three years, and we get along very nicely).

I started letting go and shutting up about age 15-17 depending on their maturity/responsibility level. I was never a helicopter parent, but I was a stay at home parent for 15 years, and all involved in cubs, and sports, and room mother and church stuff. And still it was hard to let go (for me it involved a lot of pacing). So far it's worked out well, none of the kids drink or drug, all get good grades, and we haven't had too many problems with stupid decisions (outside the decision to jump off the roof into the pool).

All kids are different and all families are different. So my way is not THE way. My family let go of me early (I was hoofing it all over Europe in the early 80's all by myself at a very young age and with way too little money); we are very close now. But there were a couple years I didn't think much about them. My grandparents let go of my parents very early too. They married at 18 and totally supported themselves and had two babies and a house payment (my mother said she'd lay awake at night worrying how they'd pay $160 a month) a job and went to school at night by age 20. My grandparents (both sets were well off, my grandfathers were both executive with a certain auto company) insisted they make it on their own, and the only real help (except for emotional support and love) they gave was a washing machine. My grandmother could not stand it that my mother had two babies (pre Pampers), and no washing machine. She got my mom a washing machine. My parents were still walking down the street holding hands 25 years later AND ended up very well off financially. Back another generation, and again, and my grandfather left home early (his mother was dead and his father unemployed and bitter) and made his way.

So in my family, parents let go early, and it's worked out. It WAS hard. I said a lot, "That's a bummer, but I know you'll work it out." I sure was tempted to fix things for them. But instead it was, "Yes, dear. Isn't it terrible how banks work; bounce one check and they all can bounce, and the fees ARE high and it doesn't seem fair that the bank chooses to pay the highest check first, just so all the others will bounce and, no, they don't care that your boss gave you a bad check. I guess they figure that's between you and your boss. I'm sure you'll work it out." ...and... "Yes, utilities generally mean it when they say pay by five or no electricity. I know you'll get it sorted out. In the meantime, think of it as an adventure."

And they have sorted it out. And it's almost impossible NOT to help. I know hundreds of excuses swirl through my head: it's harder for kids these days, everything costs more, kids are more immature, maybe most kids can handle it, but THIS one (my precious son) can't (wrongo), etc...

It works for us. Will there be bumpy times ahead? Absolutely. Son4 is going to be a handful and I doubt that we will be able to keep him home until 18 and HS graduation. His bio-mom and her two brothers are totally disabled by schizophrenia, and at age 11, he's a big concern. I think husband and I are going to have to let go of him earlier than the others--he's going to demand it.

Large families work differently than small ones. A couple with an only child is a very different dynamic than a couple with 5 kids. And if one of my kids gets himself/herself worked up into a pout and pet and decides, "I'm never going to talk to you again", it wouldn't empty out the family portion of our lives the way it would for someone who has one. My motherhood eggs aren't all in one basket. If one refuses to come for Xmas or call on mother's day, the others will. I don't believe all five would shun me all at the same time, and if they did then the fault is mine. If you have several children and none of them want to interact with you as adults, you blew it as a parent. It's not them, not who they marry, not their mental illness--it's you. And I'd face up to the fact it WAS me. Trust me, I already have apologized for my less the optimal mothering moments. I sure have had them. Sure have.

I also have a couple other things going in my favor. I have a very cool, very glamorous job, the type they make tv shows and movies about. And I'm an introvert, I have no trouble finding things to do or being by myself. I have plans for the future that don't involve my kids: I intend to get a Ph.D in history; I have a couple long term projects; I'm renovating a historic house, love to travel. I have a good marriage and good partner; and I have a very nice group of long term comfortable intimate friends. WHen the last one moves off into adulthood, I'll be ready to get busy with all the things I've had to put on hold all these years. It'll be a different phase in life, and I think it will be as good as the hands on mother phase.

Who knows what will happen or what life will throw. I just trust. I trust in God, I trust in goodness, I trust in people I love. Of course, I've put myself in the shoes of some of these heartbroken women here and have thought...what if that were me...? And just imagining it, fear clutches at my heart. You ladies have my deepest sympathy. But for me, there's also serenity. I absolutely believe estranged children will return. Absolutely believe it. And if I'm proved wrong I'll die believing they will return--they were just delayed at coming to my deathbed. I believe most of your children will come back too.

In college I was a court reporter. I type 120 on a keyboard. My machine is hooked up to my computer. I can type up to 180 a minute, so my posts can be long. I assume most people skip or skim them, or that most go unread. I'm not offended.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Forms, I still find your newest post to lostmama very interesting. You state in one breath that lostmama is still not admitting what she said regarding the pre-nup to be the cause of the problem. However, later in another post you state:

"What can you say, if people are determined to be offended, they will be offended. All you can do is offer what you are comfortable offering, what you feel safe offering, and let them react as they will. And if the reaction is ugly, stay away."

Your totally contradicting yourself. Either lostmama is to blame (at least according to you, it is very black and white,)or her son and his wife will find fault if that's what they are looking for. So which is it?

I still marvel at your judgments and self righteouness in doing so. You state your an introvert? I find that very hard to believe.

Your parenting sounds interesting in that you are a hands on mom, or were, but now basically it's get out of the house so I can do what I want.

Just because someone has one child, or 8 kids, I don't think that makes it that much easier (as you imply) if one should shun you. To me that sounds very cold hearted, and unrealistic. If you haven't lived this situation, then you have no idea the amount of pain it causes, regardless of how many children you have. Of course that is if one loved/loves all their children equally? We know as parents that we love each child for their own unique personality & traits, however we still love them all the same. HOw would it be possible to love all your children and have one leave your life with little to no explanation, and not be devastated by it?

In a book I read regarding estrangements, the psychologist stated that in many ways estrangement is worse then death. The reason being is that the child is choosing to alienate themselves from the parents, and no one chooses death aside from a suicide. In other words, our estrangements from our child/children are equivalent to them taking their own life.

Who are you to come up with the conclusion that if one has more then one adult child not talking to them that it's the parents fault?!! Talk about jumping to conclusions. Are you some kind of expert in this field? I admit that if one had more then one child estranged that it would be easy to believe it was the parents fault, but there are so many other cirumstances that could be involved that any outsider is just not knowledgeable about to understand.

Children of divorced parents could easily fit the pattern of both being estranged. The divorce is traumatic, and depending on how things are settled, how the times is divided up between the parents, whether or not the parents can still carry on as friends, etc.etc.

Wow, you have a cool, glamorous job......I'm so impressed. Can you brag anymore about yourself? It sure seems like the perfect mom, quasi-psychiatrist, perfect woman/mother, fabulous worker, Guiness book typist, and the envy of everyone including hollywood would surely have better things to do then post on this forum?? Maybe you should open your own clinic in addition to your glamorous job?

It sounds like your friends may be bigger in your life then your children? If that's your cup of tea, great, but most of us want to continue a real connection with our children...and they come first.

lostmama, you stated that you son was told you he was in agreement about getting the pre-nup when you suggested it to him. I stated before, and I stand by it, that he was fine with it. However, once his girl found out he was considering a pre-nup, she probably had a hissy fit. In order to get himself out of hot water, he probably blamed you for putting the idea in his head.

Just because he is still with this girl doesn't mean it is love, Forms! How naive can one be? I think many of our children have married people who are controlling, abusive, manipulating users. These people have refined the art of manipulation to the max. Put them with a more naive, trusting, inexperienced person and you have all the fixins' for brainwashing.

Garden60 and my sons situation are almost identical. We both have dil's that are toxic. I also feel that lostmama's dil? is toxic, a loser and a user. Just as my son had a zillion red flags flying up all over the place before he said his vows, lostmama's dil was looking for other men 6 months before they got married! That is not normal, and I would be she has something a little bit off kilter in the mental health department. She has probably convinced lostmama's son that he doesn't deserve her, that he'd be nothing without her, that no one would want him, that he is lucky to have her, etc.etc. That is how those people (men and women) work. They are emotional abusers.

Lostmama's advice was nothing more then most parents would do if they were concerned. As I asked in another post, just how long does a child feel they have the right to remain mad and carry a grudge over something that was said to them by their parents? How long does one carry that crutch around and feel justified? Don't we all face hurdles all the time, tactless remarks, irresponsible actions, and yet how many of us alienate ourselves from the person responsible? It's one thing to dicard a friend over such infractions, but family is far too important for that.

This is how my dil twisted my sons brain (or at least in my opinion, on just one of too many occassion!)

I meet with my son for coffee last summer, and he wants to talk. I tell him to go ahead, and he starts telling me things that bother him. I listen patiently and comment when I feel it is appropriate. However, then he tells me this outlandish remark that I said to him regarding his wife, and how it was not acceptable. My son told me that I stated his wife was an 'awful and horrible person.' I was shocked, and immediately stated that I never said that about his wife. He insisted I did, and had the message on his phone to prove it. He asked if I wanted him to get it and let me see it, and I said YES! After getting the message out, he reads to me aloud: "I'm sure you wife has convinced you of what awful, horrible parents you have." WOW, this was a huge difference, yet my sons reaction was cool. He commented that 'oh, it's not what I thought,' and that was the end of it. There was nothing that indicated to me that he realized what a huge difference that was in wording.

I can see my son getting it mixed up himself, or I could also see my dil twisting it around, so that he believe it was as he stated it to me.

I often wondered by his response, if he didn't go back to her and talk to her about the mistake, but I seriously doubt it. My son doesn't doubt a word this deviate says. He needs to wisen up, get more worldly, mature, realize he has her wrapped around his fingers, and start taking control of his own life. Until this happens, he will continue to be abused, manipulated and mislead by her.

I know my sarcasm is way out of hand, but I just couldn't take reading anymore of her outrageous post (yes, forms...yours!)


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 3:16AM
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After reading the last few entries, I have to say thank you to Forms for offering her opinions and insights. We all don't have to see the picture the same way and we even glean something from another person's point of view. I especially liked Forms' comment "You can't do their crying for them." But they are our children, and each generation wants better for their children; I remember my mother telling me that.

I am a bit confused on Forms children. At first I read it to be that your 5 children are still in high school/college but later on it seems most are already out of the house except for the 11-year-old and you talk about his bio mom. Did you adopt him?

Anniebal and I have a huge fault - we love our sons and want the best for them. No one wants to see their child hurt and if they have to take tumbles along life, that is good for their growing and maturing, but the two women our sons married are unbelievable. Never in my life did I ever think either of my sons would marry someone like my younger son did.

My DIL told my girlfriend when she got back with my son "once you find what you want, you NEVER let it go". Humm, she was the one who dumped HIM 5 years earlier because he wanted her to go to church with him and she told him she has no time in her life for church or any of that. She remains an athiest; my son is so blinded by her that he thinks he can bring her to Christ and gives himself 10 years to do it. I hope and pray he can do that.

Everyone that has known my son since he was born are devastated by the behavior he exhibited since she came back into his life. He allowed her to start telling us off, he knew she was hurting us, but he wanted her so bad he couldn't see clearly, even to the point of telling me he no longer needed Christianity because they now "had their own faith". What kind of faith is that? Well, they didn't know but it would not invovle a church.

Forms - I need to know what your reaction would have been if your son and his new bride had come to your house and started to swear at you because you didn't stay to the end of their wedding reception and then when I told my DIL that she had to stop swearing, she responded with "F _ _ _ You!" and walked out.

My son has crohn's disease and the stress of that event caused him great physical pain so he told me he wants no contact with me whatsoever. He put my work number on his medical contacts and I was recently called about more test results. Humm, guess he is having more pain caused by more stress. And this time it isn't "my fault" because I have had no contact with him whatsoever for 4 months as he requested.

Our family was very close, sports events, church events, social events. Every holiday was an excuse to have a party, kids included. On Halloween we would gather all the neighborhood kids to help, take all the furniture out of our first level and make it into a haunted house, admission was food for the local foodshelf, then after the doors were closed we would all eat pizza, drink pop and talk about the fun we had just had. At the Christmas holiday families would gather at our house and go Christmas caroling up and down the streets, then come back for games and snacks. And there were many more events. Our house was open to everyone, young and old, who just needed a place to hang out. With all of that in my son's upbringing, we can't understand how easily he could just close the door on it.

No, as long as my DIL is in my son's life, I am convinced he won't ever be back.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:40AM
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My son also was raised as a Chritian, went to church each week, through Catholic shool for 12 years. He was a moral good person. We were a great family.

I found a note while cleaning yesterday from him after he was in college for one week. We had such a great relationship, free communication- I thought what I would give to have that back even for one day!!!

We always wanted the best for him- and never thought that he chase us home after graduation, threaten to throw me down the stairs as he believed the lies his gf. told over my word, ignore his grandmother, refuse to come out when his father was seriously ill in the hopsital, refuse to come here for holidays, never call us unless he wanted something.

Some people on the board have said that my problem is the money angle. Well, perhaps this is part of the problem, I agree. But, my son has a grandmother who is worth a considerable amount of money& he was supposed to get 1/2 of that estate. His gf. found out as he mentioned it in passing like a fool and suddenly true love blossomed. On one occasion, he im'ed me to ask how much his grandmothers was worth, whether he would be left her house- and when he would be getting the money. Well, this was the ultimate in nerve. My mother is not dead, the house is not being left to him and the gf. was in the background asking other questions for him to type in. She in fact im'ed me the next day after looking at my mother's house on zillow and disputed whether the house had an attached tennis court. I found this very disturbing but also telling she was interested in the inheritance he was to get- Was is the word- the will has been changed and his is excluded. All the while she checked out his assets, she was on personal sites looking for other men. I came across the postings and was disgusted.

My mother never expected to be thanked every day- but after she paid for his entire education thru grad school he never as much said thanks, called her on any birthday, Christmas or holiday. This is her ONLY grandchild. She is very hurt. I am ashamed of raising such an ungrateful person.

As for my husband and I- we also have money that will have to be passed along- not to him unfortunately. Some people think we are hoilding money over his head- well when there is nothing else to hold what can you do??? We have nothing else. We gave him love, a great childhood, education and every opportunity possible and have gotten ignored and disrespected. So groups that will appreciate the money will receive it on our passing.

Neighbors who often saw my son and I walking- as he enjoyed walking and talking with me ask me how he is doing. When I told two of them the story they were amazed. One told me that we had the storybook family- the American Dream- everything we wanted. Now, we have everything except the son who loves us. We have no idea what happened to him to make him like this.

I am also convinced that as long as this fiance or wife is in the picture that we have no hopes of seeing him. He has chosen her over us and I wish them all the luck.

He seems to discard people after he no longer in need of them- i.e.-refused to contact his HS Spanish teacher/mentpor, pledged to his school then said to heck with them after he graduated, has thrown us all away.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 9:24AM
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lostmama- our stories are pretty similar, except my husband and I aren't wealthy, but even with what we own and our investments, I changed our will. If, someday, my son comes back into our lives and after a very long period of time, we will change it back to include him, but it won't happen until years later when I am confident the "aliens" have left his body and mind.

In my case, our family chose to side with me and that really made my son/DIL mad. She thought she could work her magic through my son to "get rid of me" but still his aunt/uncle/cousins would all think my son/DIL were great. But his plan backfired, so now he is alone.

While he used to have a heart of gold and he aimed to please, he is also strong willed and because of that, I don't think he will ever be back as that would mean he would have to acknowledge his immaturity and crazy behavior.

I have apologized all I can; he has said I am NOT to contact him and "he will let me know when he is ready for a relationship again" - in other words, on his terms. Sadly, the longer he is estranged, the less his absence from family gatherings is even noticed any more.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 11:15AM
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First I have to say.. garden60.. DITTO..
Dear Group...

I have been a member for some time. I don't post often, but read your posts daily looking for comfort and answers. I am estranged from my two sons (24 & 26) .. it is all a very silly story as to how this situation occurred.. seems like such a "trumped up" charge in the scheme of life, but none the less.. it has happened. It happened under the guidance of my future DIL and my oldest son, they whisked away my younger son and now they all live happily ever after. After much soul searching, reading Mark Sichel's books, Josh Coleman's books and several others, i have not found answers, but I have found many many parents in the same position. Parents who have done the best they could for their children.. this has included.. great schools, love and support, attending games, always being there for their children, scrimping and sacrificing, yet somehow their children turn around at some point and say..
"I am done with you"... I, like others, am still scratching my head and trying to figure out what happened. I would love to have a conversation and would be more than willing to do my part to figure out what might be needed to go forward, but unfortunately, they are not interested. I have offered to agree to disagree more than once.
In light of all, i would like to help others who might be headed down the same path. I have decided that I would like to do a documentary on this issue. I feel that there needs to be a social conversation on the topic of estrangement. Are there things that we are doing as parents that are contributing to a child's ability to think it right to cut us off ? I realize that there are many times that estrangement is necessary for the mental health of all. I know that many of you have posted that it was a decision that you have to make as your family is toxic. I understand... however, I am interested in exploring the 2 sides of the story when real physical and traditional definitions of emotional abuse do not exist.

I have been in touch with Mark Sichel and Joshua Coleman.. they have agreed to help.. as has Nancy Richards. I want to
be completely fair to all sides, I just feel that estrangement is happening more and more and so many people on all sides are in such pain.. there must be a way to create conversation. Our families are the places that we learn the way we deal with society.. what will our society become if we just cut our families off and have no social conscience about making sure that the people closest to us are safe.

I am writing this to you to ask if any of you are willing to participate on camera. If so.. please send me a note.. I am interested in all sides of the story, whether you are an adult child who has had to cut himself or herself off from your family, or whether you are a parent whose child has cut you off.. please let me know if you would like to tell your story on camera. I am hopeful for people in the NY,CT, NJ area first.. but anyone else.. please feel free to contact me as well.

If you have any questions, please let me know! I look forward to hearing from you...



PS.. whoever made the comments about Coleman's advice..I agree. I spent some time on the phone as well...:-(

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 6:28PM
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I entered two posts for Labmama (and anyone else) on the post "For those whose adult children are estranged".

Again, in "no way" am I trying to blame one side or the other when an estrangement occurs. And yet, unless each side is willing to actually consider that they may have some part in the situation, how can healing ever occur?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 3:53PM
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bnicebkind, of course there is some wrong on each side, I don't think anyone is debating that issue. However, I feel the wrong we may have commited was definitely brought on by the impossible role of pleasing our dil. We finally maxed out on our patience, and made her own up to her moody, withdrawn behavior during an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii for 10 days by her terrible in laws! We probably made her pretty uncomfortable mentioning her moods to my son (not till the last 2 days of the trip mind you.) However, we had every right to be upset.

Sarahsmom, I'd love to participate in some way, shape or form, but I don't know if I'm willing to go on camera or on record as myself.

Sarahsmom, I do believe it is something we as society have done that is causing this and that is that the main focus on children now is building up their esteem. It has reached a rediculous level, even going as far as praising them for poor grades, or finishing last. All this feel good stuff has consequences, and I truly feel our children feel they hvae the right to ridicule us, and expect certain behavior and material items from us. I would have loved to gone to college on my parents tab, but they couldn't afford it. Today's kids don't think about what the cost is, they just assume they are going and we will pay. Life for this younger generation has been given them everything on a golden platter (not all certainly, but a very large number.) Our kids were raised with fashion at the forefront. If you didn't have Nike's, Adidas, etc. you weren't cool. Our lives revolved around our children, we did everything possible for them hardly drawing the line anywhere about where we took them, how much we spent, going far above and beyond what our parents or any other past generations parents did.

These kids definitely expect us to live up to their standards. There is no give and take, it is selfish behavior, centered on their happiness entirely.

Why should they give in to less then perfect parents who happened to criticize or give an opinion that they don't like. They don't need us, afterall this is the "Friends" generation (which someone mentioned in another post, and I entirely agree.) Our kids have their friends, and if all their friends feel the must be right.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 6:32PM
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Anniebal - I couldn't agree more. You are 100% accurate in what you say about our children and their attitude of "entitlement". So when my DIL heard my son say how much he had done with his family, trips, dinners, college, etc., she saw an opportunity to take advantage. What he forgot to tell her, however, was that you don't swear at my parents or tell them off to get what you want. If my son never swore at me, why would I accept that kind of behavior from a DIL? Not!!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:12AM
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I just found this forum today. I am 44, and my daughter became estranged from our family almost 9 years ago when she was 17. Yes, our family was dysfunctional in many ways - in fact, the "family" that was there is now completely broken apart. I guess I would be considered an "enabler" at that time - but I was trying to hold my family together and keep the peace.
I miss my daughter dearly and I've never been given the chance to try and repair damages, or begin a new relationship with her. Nothing I do can earn the chance and it is so painful and frustrating.
My mother and sister are in pretty close contact with her. Recently, just 4 days ago, I pretty much lost it with them - I had asked them not to speak about her to me, because it rubs salt in the wounds of having lost her. Mom went into great detail about an event that they were a part of. I wrote them an email the next day and told them I did not want to speak with them for sometime because I had never received support from them.
I never did this before. This hurt is making me bitter, and I don't like the person I am becoming - I want my mom to feel my pain. And, her pain now doesn't make me happy. On the other hand, my 2nd husband has encouraged me to stand up for myself because I never did before. He says they (mom & sis) DO owe me some support. Please help. I am so confused.
I plan to read more of the past logs tonight to try and get some healthy perspectives. Please don't be nasty in your replies, I've had about as much as I can take. But I do welcome contructive advice.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 5:07PM
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Cara1981, I couldn't agree with you more about deserving support & loyalty from your family members. This has been a main issue for me with our extended family, on both sides! Every since our estrangement 9 months ago, everyone in the family has acted as if my son & dil have done no wrong. WHen they attend events with them, everyone welcomes them warmly and carries on as if they have done no wrong. WE put up with this until February of this year, when I finally told my sister that I won't be at the same event as my son again, so she can either invite me/us or him.

It is so very painful to have your child at the same event, yucking it up with your sister, brother, cousins, etc. and ignoring us. The only way my son would talk is if I or my hubby said something to him. My husband refused to start any dialect with him, but I did have one opportunity that I finally jumped in on. He and my brother were talking, so I just butted in. However, my son wouldn't keep up the conversation, he just answered the question. Right after my very short exchange with him, he actually text message his brother who was right next to me on the couch, and asked him a question about us. Much to my younger sons credit, he told my son if you want to know, ask her yourself, she is right here! My son actually did ask me the question he wanted to know, but then it was back to being nice to everyone but us again.

That was the final straw. We were forced to see them at my nieces b-day party after Thanksgiving too, and aside from greeting them (which is very pretentious to say the least,) we had no interactions with them. I did at one point try to get in on a conversation between my two sons, but I got nothing but a cool response in return.

None of our family members have said anything to him, other than his brother and my mil. My mil had told my son several times that he should apologize for what he had said to me the night the estrangement started. In order to make her happy, he took a very cheap way of being able to say he apologized, by adding it in an email reply to me, sort of as a 'oh, by the way.' It meant nothing to me.

My sil's told me that they would let him know that they are standing by us, and that they feel he is wrong, but didn't follow through. To top it off, now I heard from my sil how basically the disagreement was caused by me, and between me and my dil. She stated that my husband was supporting me, and my son was just supporting his wife! My sil told me that after what I had called his wife, how could she (dil) ever forgive me!!!

The night we had the arguement, when emotions were very high, I called his wife the B word, for which my son replied in a split second to his mom 'f'ing B.'

Mind you I apologize within a few days time, yet my son never did. I had to email her the apology since I wasn't about to call her, and I doubt she would have answered my call anyway (in fact I know she wouldn't have answered it.) I did a return receipt so that I'd know she got it, but I never received the receipt back. HOwever I did copy my son also, and I did receive the receipt back that he had opened it.

I'm done counting on family. I told my husband I don't know what to trust anymore since so much of what I thought I knew has fallen apart. I know I would be standing up for my brother, sister, or husbands sisters, yet we get nothing from them.

So, it's over. From now on they can party hardy with my son and his wife since as my sil stated, 'she loves everybody the same.' PLEEEEZZZZZZ. That is the biggest whimp out ever. The family is a bunch of enablers having been raised by two alcoholics, and in all honesty they cannot confront problems or real issues.

My side is no better however, though my bro & sis finally agreed they won't invite him to anything we are at. At least that is something.

It is so painful to hear about your child from your other family members. I feel your pain Cara, I really do. When my brother saw my son just past the Christmas Holidays and told me all about what my son was doing now, what gifts he got, etc. it made me hurt so much inside. I looked at my husband across the room and I could see the tension building in his face, he wouldn't even join the conversation regarding my son. I certainly didn't ask my brother about the visit, nor did I encourage it. In fact, I had told my brother that perhaps if my son does come over he could say something to my son in a non-confrontationwal tone, something like: "when are you going to open communication with your m & d again?" Or, he could have told him that things will never heal if my son doesn't communicate with us, but no, my bro didn't feel the time was right. Now mind you, he hardly see's my son, so when is the time going to be right? My bro won't call him and talk to him, so it's just never going to happen.

My bro finally agreed not to invite him anymore, and if my son calls him to ask why that he is going to tell him that he is against what my son is doing and he supports us.

I know what you mean by feeling bitter, I myself have been there, and am still struggling with it.

I don't blame you for losing it! I really think you should be able to count on your mom and sister to stand by you on this, and perhaps if they did it would help resolve the issues between you and your daughter. That's exactly what I would tell them too. I'd also let them know how hurtful it is that they continue this relationship despite knowing your daughter isn't talking to you and won't even try.

This estrangement thing is awful, and Garden60 and I have very similar stories. In addition, Garden60 and I both became estranged in the last year.

Supposedly my son wants to open a line of communication with us again (as he stated in a much surprised mother's day card he sent me.) However, in the card he said "you can call me now." I love that he is giving us permission to call him. The way I feel now is that he can call us, and I told him so in the b-day card I sent him. I was very sweet in the card but not over board. I told him to call us when he is back in the country, and that we look forward to hearing from him. Now it's in his court.

I don't see anything changing as long as my dil is in the picture. She is toxic! We bent over backwards trying to please her only to have our son never acknowledge how we tried, or what we did. Instead, he acted oblivious to our feelings, while making us cater to her overly dramatized hurt feelings.

She ruined our trip to Hawaii last year, which is what started the estrangement. She has never liked us, since she started dating my son. My dil had an agenda, and that was to marry my son and divide him from his family. She is narcisstic, which means she can only express real love for herself. She thinks she is superior to everyone else, and belittles my son. Our dil has manipulation and power plays down to a science, and has used them to brainwash our son. I know this sounds extreme, but it is true.

My son was very inexperienced, naive and sweet when he met this woman, who knew all too well what to do to snag him.

Stand your ground Cara, I feel very strongly family must participate. Garden60 has had that support from her family, and it helps her a great deal.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 1:50AM
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Ewww, this is tough reading for me. My daughter could be the one you are all talking about.
All I can say is when it comes to coping with a narcissist you are all well within normal responses to be utterly confused and bewildered. That is how they do what they do, it is part of their agenda. So too is separating people from one another. Much like a predator will cut one off the herd.
I feel like I may know your sons. My SIL has shrivelled under the influence of his relationship with my daughter. He rarely expresses a thought and never an opinion. I have seen her reduce him to silence with nothing more than a glance. Although he still communicates with his mother, I am almost certain if she told him to stop he would. The power and control she has is mind boggling, and extremely unhealthy.

Part of the reason we are estranged is I choose to become involved, encouraging therapy, I tried to intervene for the sake of the wellbeing of their family, as well as my own. By suggesting that I was aware of her tactics I have been fiercely outcast. He, my SIL, sadly does not have enough back bone left in him to do anything about it, not right now anyway. I believe he will not tolerate her forever, but how much longer he will stay, is hard to say. With each passing day, with each insult and belittlement he gets a little weaker.

I did my best to validate him and the suffering he endures. I let him know he is not alone and that I see what is happening to him. That I know what it feels like because she tries her best to do the same to me, and has done for years. I know how she shames, manipulates, ridicules, and punishes. I know how she takes advantage once she has you down on the ground. He knows I know, he knows he is not as isolated as he feels, I made sure of that. Although they no longer speak to me, my hope is that I have planted enough seeds in his consciousness to at least begin to question the absurd unfairness of her actions.

It is my opinion that if you surrender to a narcissist you can kiss off any hope of ever being treated like a human being again. You must stand your ground, but know, they rarely change, but they do tend to get worse, especially when confronted. They are unreachable because they hear only what they want to hear, they distort reality, and most important when it comes to this idea that communication is the key - they do not listen because they do not care. Other peoples feelings do not matter to them. The only way to respond to narcissism is with silence. Anything you say or do WILL be used against you, no matter how rational, kind, sensible or sincere it is.

As for your sons, the best suggestion I have is to do what you are doing, make sure you do not feed her power, and make sure he knows when and if he climbs out from under her thumb he has a place to go. Leaving a narcissist is one of the most difficult of all relationship dysfunctions. I know because I have had to do it myself. They are cruel beyond belief.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 6:49AM
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Penny4thought, this is by far the best post I have read on this thread for a long, long time. Thank you so very much.

It must have taken a great deal of courage for you to address your situation.

Thank you for validating what so many of us, whether mothers of sons or daughters, are experiencing because of their choice of mates. Thank you for explaining to others who seem to believe that some of us are not doing enough to win our children back why reaching out to them is difficult or impossible.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Thank you so much, cara1981 and penny4thought, for sharing. I think the healthiest thing for me has been reading these posts. While I want NO ONE to ever have to go through what I am going through, by your writings I am learning that the loss of my son is not entirely my fault. As mothers we all want to "take the blame" and "make things right". As said, NPD is a nasty thing to have to compete with, and for Anniebal and I, we are not only competing with NPD DILs, but sons who are infatuated beyond belief with these women.

Anniebal gave the $$ they asked for prior to and up to the wedding; I did not; yet, we are both in the same place.

It doesn't matter what we do or don't do. I think the best thing we can do is practice silence. Since my son sent me the nasty email about no more contact, that is exactly what he is getting. Knowing my DIL like I do, I am sure every day she is asking "well, did your mom give in and email you?" NOT!!!

Anniebal - I think you really handled your response well and it helped that he was in Mexico. That gave you a perfect way to respond and drop the ball in his park to contact you.

I have been fortunate, my family has standed by my husband and I through all of this and have basically told my son that first he fixes it with me. Not in those direct words, but they have all just stopped communicating with him.

If my family was supporting him, then I would not attend their functions or communcate with them. I would find other family. And while there is nothing as wonderful as your blood family, I am learning there are so many people who need friendship. This past Christmas we invited 3 people who would otherwise have been alone (since my son and DIL did not want to come) and we had the best Christmas ever! We laughed, ate, drank wine, went to church, and quite frankly, didn't miss my son or even talk about him.

Cara1981 - I am so glad you found us. We all need to share our strengths as we have them with each other. Some days I am so sad but I am getting better at facing what is ahead of me - that being probably never seeing my son again.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 8:29AM
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thank you njtea, you are right, it did (and still does) take a lot to come to terms with the ugly facts. Every bit of me wanted to deny what I saw and heard, turn away from the truth. But the evidence gradually became overwhelming.

Cara, I have been fortunate that my family and friends have been quite supportive, but then, each of them have at one time or another seen for themselves how nasty and abusive she can be. She is not selective who she dumps on, when or where. I have not had to try to convince others of what I am up against. Most of my family has over the years tried to intervene and offer help, all of them have hoped along with me that things would change for the better. Almost all of them have been taken advantage of, dismissed or betrayed. We have collectively been defeated.

If I were in your shoes, and my family was not supportive, or even considerate of my pain, like Garden60 I would distance myself from them as well. We must learn to protect ourselves when we are dealing with children and family members who handle our hearts so carelessly. I tend to agree with your husband, you deserve and need support. Trying to break the patterns of enabling and dysfunction is worthy of help, but sadly, is rarely if ever supported by others who are not interested in breaking the patterns themselves. You may find you will have to walk much of the path alone, but trust that with that predicatable pattern comes the fact that in each family that breaks the cycle there is a leader, one who blazes the trail, and it is not uncommon for others to follow later. Perhaps you are a trail blazer.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 1:22PM
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I was surfing - actually looking for any writing about giving your estranged child the "silent treatment" and would they even care, when I ran across this:

BEGINNING:Where do I begin? It doesn't matter what you do or don't do if you have the misfortune of having sons only.

The women of today are demanding, spoiled, controlling, rude and their sole purpose is to drive the MIL away at all cost.

Don't say you don' do. You're jealous and mean. When a Mother posts online about her DIL's behavior, you spit at her with the venom of a snake. Listen to yourselves.

You call the family, "faaaaaaaaaaaaamily" and get togethers, "craptactulars". You know what you're doing.

As the one in the last post said, "honey, if he can drive his Mother out of his life, he can send you packing too". Don't forget that.

Don't tell me that "no one can drive a person away from someone they love" because they can.

With a constant drumbeat of critical comments from you, her son starts looking at his mother from your point of view.

I've read about all there is to say about MIL's and DIL's. I've searched every line and read every book out there. There is no way to be a part of their lives. No way. Family, as we once knew it is gone. Gone forever, I'm afraid.

What has been done to us has been a crime. It is far worse than death. To have to bury your son while he is still alive is unbearable. I hope to God that it doesn't happen to you. You and your "boundaries" will come back to haunt you.

You would never allow your Husband to talk about your Mother that way, would you? Oh, I know, she's perfect, isn't she? Would it hurt you if he said, "I will not allow your Mother in my house"? Is he rude to her? No, he isn't and do you know why??? Because WE raised him right. What happened to you? END

BOY - whoever wrote this was right on the mark! I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Wow, I want to thank all of you for your encouraging words & support! I should have looked for a site like this a long time ago.
Thanks, Penny... I still blame myself (and deservedly so) for alot of the pain that my daughter endured. I did not do enough for her as a child. Sometimes when you are in the situation for years, you don't know how bad it was. That's not an excuse, but just a statement of truth. She was the first to get outside help and break away. While she was doing that, I was just focusing on trying to keep the family together, and could not understand her "desertion."
Annibal and long have you been separated from your sons? And did the separations happen after DIL's were in the picture, or were there signs before? I hope for both of you that you have healing before a lot of time passes. My daughter has got herself back on track, and is happy in her life without me. I am happy for her, but my pain just does not subside. I can go for along time and not dwell on it, but when something like the event I described in my first post happens, the scab comes off and it is like everything happened yesterday.
Like your son, Garden, my daughter is very strong-willed. I only wish that she had it in her heart to forgive me. Instead, anything I did over the years to try and mend things, she regarded as manipulative. Even when I gave her a small amount of money, she accused me of trying to buy her affection! NOT!! It truly hurt to see the gift seen as that.
Lostmama, I am going to check out the authors you have mentioned, Sichel & Coleman.
Just a little more info... my daughter actually filed for emancipation, and we went through that even though she was only about 6 months from turning 18 (she ran away from our home at 17 to stay with others after a court had ruled that there were no grounds for her initial charges and was returned to our custody - but we made arrangements with another family for her to stay there because she and my husband at the time (her dad) could not exist together peacefully). She was successful in her emancipation case because we did not fight her on it.
I truly think at some point she had an emotional breakdown.
Even last night, I was wavering on whether I am doing the best thing in not speaking with mom & my sister. Two things stopped me: my mom called and left a message 2 nights ago to ask my husband if he was still going to help her open the pool this year even if I wasn't talking to her (she did break-up when she said that, but offered no apology or any inkling she would be supportive of me or my feelings), and the situation has not changed in that I find the idea of them at some point in the future of attending her wedding, or knowing my future grandchildren, without me in the picture. I can't handle being on the sidelines of that, and I think the best thing is to cut the ties. But God, it hurts.
Thank you all again. I wish you a great Memorial Day weekend :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 4:52PM
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Garden60...You are amazingly naive in your post, if you actually believe that there are not mother-in-law's out there who are not also mean spirited, demanding, jealous, controlling, spoiled, and manipulative. If you want us to take your post's seriously, then do not attempt to bury the truth, and try and convince us that all of the mother-in-laws are innocent of the behavior you attach to these younger women. It exists in both generations. And many a mother in law has created great pain, or run off a daughter in law through destructive behavior.

I cannot imagine that your need to prove that your daughter in law is entirely to blame will EVER get you what you want, and that is to heal the relationship with your son. This is now your son's wife. For better or worse, this is who your son has chosen.

I can hear Dr. Phil saying "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy". Trying to convince your son and everyone else that everything is "her" fault, will only continue to keep the estrangement going. You may be absolutely right, but being right, will probably never get you what you want, and I would imagine, that is a chance to start all over, with a clean slate, and being a part of your son's life.

I would imagine that for your (well raised) fine son to ask you not to call, e-mail, or write so much as a birthday card, must indicate that he believes that you have some part in the situation that has occurred. Otherwise, why would he take such a strong position? The only way to find healing is to get past your "need" to place all of the blame on her shoulders. You must ponder, consider, and be open to the possibility that you have some part in this, and if so, you must not be quick to minimize "your" part and brush it aside, while maximizing her part in this. You must try and see this from her point of view, and your son's. But to simply dismiss your possible part in this situation, or minimize your part and brush it off, will not bring about what you need the most. Healing. And at this point, I doubt either your son, or her wants to hear "your side" of this to justify how "bad" she is.

I want to say with all sincerity, that I am not saying that you have fault in this. I have no way of knowing this. But you have to actually be open to "consider" that you might, for your son to take such a position.

I would imagine if you can find that you had some part in this, that perhaps your rage over the injustice of what happened may be somewhat decreased.

I also want to validate what you have written. You might just be right. She may simply be a destructive human being. And if that is the case, how sad for your son. But if that is the case, your son will have many clues along the way, and will decide what to do from here. What a sad way to begin his marriage. There is no real peace in what they are doing. It may appear so for awhile. But at some point I imagine he will grow to resent what his relationship with her cost him, and he will resent her for the position he now finds himself in. She may feel that she has won for now, but she will find that what she is asking of him costs him dearly, and that love cannot blossom in such tainted soil. At some point, he won't see her through eyes filled with love, but with the truth of what he lost because of her. And he will resent her for it.

I was in the car today and while flipping channels on the radio I heard the speaker talk about what to do when your enemy is a member of your own family. When the pain they have inflicted, and continue to inflict is tremendous. How does one forgive such a person, when the person who has hurt them dearly is not just some person out there, but someone in their own family. He has written a book titled: "The Healing Power of Forgiveness" by Dr. Ray Pritchard. (I do not know if the spelling is correct). I believe it was written from a biblical viewpoint, and I did not get to hear the whole program as I had an appointment, but he made a lot of sense. Perhaps you will find some sort of peace through what he has written. I wish each of you could have heard his words.

He spoke of 7 important steps to healing. One was to refuse to speak evil of them. To find a way to see beyond your pain and their meanness, to the human frailties that lie beneath it all. As I listened to him speak, I could see that the 7 important steps could indeed bring about healing. And isn't that the goal? You are in pain, and I would imagine that his words might help you find the peace you seek.

I think of our own humanness that wants to "be right" and hold them accountable for their wrongs, and dismiss our own wrongs, or at least justify ours. We all wish to defend ourselves, or at least excuse ourselves, but we want them punished. Or at least to pay somehow. We must find a way to forgive them. Right now, you have no way to even communicate with them, which is probably a good thing, because it appears from what you have written that you need some time to do your own soul searching. I think you need to get past the rage, and need to justify yourself, and blame her, and get beyond all of that to a place of forgiveness and peace before any real healing can take place between you. And this will take time, work, and the willingness to be open to even considering whether you actually have some part in the pain.

I think it is through that process that you will find the healing you seek. Don't rush it.

And last, if you EVER want healing, you simply must stop bad mouthing her to others, trying to defend yourself by making sure everyone you know is aware of her faults, etc. Including her step mother who has much to win by this estrangement. Refuse to participate. Or there will never be healing. Sometimes, it can be impossible to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. And our words can be just as destructive.

Stop nursing the old wounds and begin tomorrow fresh, and seek a spirit that looks for joy and peace. I wish you well. I also want to mention that on the hard days, remember, that if you can get your self on a much more positive place, I imagine that you will find the healing you seek.

I also want to mention that with your son's illness, it is critical that he is very careful what he eats. Regardless of what the doctor says, food can be an enormous trigger for crohn's. There are books and information available regarding how foods can wreck havoc and trigger a very bad episode on someone with this disorder. Perhaps you can get the books and have someone get them to him as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 6:08PM
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To all..

I need to express my frustration at so many posts saying the DR Phil .. right or happy... to me.. this is the crux of the situation.. basically the statement implies that you must give up your values and morals even if you think they are right in order to be happy.
Even according to Dr Coleman.. often with these estrangements there is another person. In my case, I can assure you that this would NEVER have happened if it weren't for the FDIL and frankly her family. My son would never have had a reason to do what he did, he wouldn't have had anywhere to go, and it wouldn't have been an issue at all without the help and advantages offered by the FDIL AND her family.
I have not posted my entire story, but my son will be married next month and we were not invited, nor was my mother. My mother has done nothing.. but she did try to write a letter to the FDIL's mother and plead for her daughter. The letter was returned to her in an envelope addressed to "Resident" like they don't know her name.. these are not nice people and they have taken advantage of a situation and I am not sure why...My son however, invited all of our guest list.. including my husband (His stepfather) family.. brothers, aunts, uncles, etc.. scuse me? We have been very fortunate for our family and friends have recognized the total travesty of this situation and I would say that 75% sent a note back with their NO.. they said things like.. this was a wedding we couldn't wait to attend, but due to the treatment of your parents and the situation, there is no way we can attend.. many added that if they made the situation right, they would love to attend.. so the door was open. We heard from someone who ran into my son.. he encouraged my son to fix the problem and said this was something he would always regret, but my son's response was that his family was trying to "take him down?" As my friend said. who the hell does he think he is? So should I not be "right" should I apologize for my role in his "miserable" life... the one where is mother did everything in her power for him, the one where his mother and step father attended all of his games, the one where his mother and step father helped him get to the college of his choice and pay for it? oh.. maybe it was because I divorced his father? even though his father and I were friends and his father was always welcome in our home even though he never supported his children?
or should i just be happy to get a crumb of attention from him basically when he wanted or needed something..
I am sorry, yes, I forgive him.. I am very understanding of the weakness he has and the situation he has allowed to take control of his life. If it weren't for his Fiance .. he wouldn't have a house, a car or a job.. he works for her father.. but it doesn't excuse the way he has treated his family.. so again.. do I want to be right or happy? tough call.. I am not sure that selling out my values and honor will make me happy so I might have to just make peace with that thought.
I have moved on in my life.. if they walked in the door tomorrow.. I don't know what I would feel.. so many things have happened in the time they have been gone.. my cousin in dying and my mother is sick.. honestly, life is way too short to deal with people that want to treat us the way they do. THis is the reason I want to do this documentary.. it's almost as though our children act like we are a society of animals.. you know.. have the puppies.. they love their mother till they go, then they don't even know their mother anymore...I don't know about you, but that was not the idea I had when i had children and tried to do everything for them!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 8:12PM
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I am torn. Part of me understands the rage and devastation for parents who have given so much of themselves for their children, only to have them marry the wrong person, and have them turn their back on their family, to please this person who will never be satisfied.

And a part of me knows people who never take responsibility for their behavior, and everything is always someone else's fault. They refuse to even consider that their actions created the situation they find themselves, and are accountable for nothing. They are able to tell about problems and twist the details in such a way that it always makes the other person look bad, and themselves come off looking completely innocent.

So as I have read what each of you have written, at first I take it as it was written, and cannot believe these DIL's. But then I step back, and I think of these people I know who never take responsibilty for their own stuff, and I wonder if we heard the DIL's side, what would she say?

And so I will apologize in advance to those of you who truly are suffering, not due to your own behavior, but because of the DIL's that have destroyed your family. But for those of you who have some part in the problems, I do not imagine you will ever find the healing you seek until you take responsibility for the pain you have created.

Only you know the truth. Only you know whether you are innocent, or whether you have said things, or behaved in a way that has contributed to the pain and heartache that have ended in an estrangement.

Regardless of how it seems, I do not imagine they will ever find joy or peace in their lives, with the estrangement in the shadows. I imagine it is the first thing they think of when they wake up, and what they think of late at night when they cannot sleep. I do not believe there can be real joy or peace with something like this in the shadows. This is your family. All of your history, and memories are intertwined with your family. You may be able to go on for while, keeping busy, and pushing the thoughts back, but they are never gone. And then there is the conscience to deal with. And the guilt that can be haunting.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 10:52PM
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bnicetobekind, first off, you came down on Garden60 for her post regarding women, or daughter in laws and that was NOT her views! She found that posted on a web site, and just copied it here for others to read. She was probably amazed at the truths that woman spoke, but the woman also generalized greatly.

I don't believe for one minute that all dil's are awful people. I also know that some mil's are difficult, controlling, overbearing women that can't be dealt with. There is always bad fruit, on any tree.

However, it may be a stretch for you to believe, but I do think the women seeking help at this site are telling the entire story. No one I've read yet, has declared they have done no wrong. The question is, did they do wrong that could possibly justify our children's actions, and my answer for my own situation is hands down...NO.

I was/am a loving, easy going person who has never had a jealous bone in my body. My son was very inexperienced, naive and nice when he met this woman. My dil on the other hand was quite obvious from the start regarding her attitude. She was not raised to be respectful, and had a very hard time addressing us as Mr. & Mrs. (from the start!) My dil said very rude things to my husband about him 'watching soccer, again,' right to his face! My husband never said a word to her, but did talk to my son about her remarks and how inappropirate they were in our home (and anywhere for that matter.) My dil would come in the back door and not even come say hello (when they were dating and engaged.) It wasn't until my husband again mentioned this to my son that she started yelling hello from the back door, so that she wouldn't have to come in the house and say it to our faces! She called all the shots with the wedding, even sending the invitations to the rehearsal dinner (which was really my only role as the mother of a son,) and she did so on the sly and then lied about it. Of course my son either doesn't know she is lying, is making excuses for her behavior, or agrees with her simply because it's easier to get along that way.

I know a few bad mother in laws, as well as bad dil and sil's. As exasperated as Sarah's mom is, I feel the same way.

The only excuse I can give the woman who wrote the nasty things about today's daughter in laws or girls in general, is that she is very angry over having been mistreated. Perhaps she is exagerating the situation, and believes she is right when she has much blame to be shared. It is certainly hard to come to a conclusion about someone writing their story on this board since we can only take them at their word.

That being said however, I have noticed that the people who post and mention things that happened again and again (on this forum,) always say the same story, without variation. This speaks volumes, since someone who is lying doesn't remember their story. I heard so many different things from my dil regarding the invitations to the rehearsal dinner, this is how I knew she was lying. I've always told my sons that when you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what your said.

I have a good feel for when people are being honest, or twisting things in their favor. I have yet to notice anything like that from the women who come here to seek help and support.

REMEMBER, rarely do people seek outside advice who are nasty, since they don't want to be told the truth, or advice! Nasty people always believe that what they do, and how they act is right, therefore it wouldn't even occur to them to get another persons opinion....they simply don't care what anyone else things, period.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 2:16AM
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I totally agree with Sarahsmom - what kind of a relationship can there be if one side needs to grovel? I can tell you that I'd much rather NOT have a relationship than have to be walking on eggshells around my daughter and SIL for the rest of my life, just so that I don't offend him anymore.

This has been posted before, but I'll post it again regarding "Injustice Collectors":

Characteristics of Injustice Collectors:

  1. Injustice Collectors are convinced that they are never wrong. How is it possible that they are never wrong? It is simple: They are always right.

  2. Injustice Collectors never apologize. Ever. For anything.

  3. Injustice Collectors truly believe that they are morally and ethically superior to others and that others chronically do not hold themselves to the same high standards as the injustice collector does.

  4. Injustice Collectors make the rules, break the rules and enforce the rules of the family. They are a combined legislator, police, and judge and jury of others.

  5. Injustice Collectors never worry about what is wrong with themselves as their "bad list" grows. Their focus is always on the failings of others.

  6. Injustice Collectors are never upset by the disparity of their rules for others with their own expectations of themselves.

  7. Injustice Collectors rationalize their own behavior with great ease and comfort.

Courtesy of Mark Sichel, LCSW.

I know for that my relationship with my daughter will not mend unless and until she develops the self-esteem to leave the injustice collector to whom she is married. And sadly, whether or not she develops that self-esteem, she is blazing a path that her children will follow in the future.

Estrangement is not just a one off thing. There are generations of family history behind each. I certainly can see how our family history played a part in the current estrangement - both sides of the family - and I can go back as far as I can remember and see patterns in my family.

What I see as the biggest difference today is that there is no social pressure to retain even the semblance of a connection and the ease, via the internet, of getting support for one's position of cutting off their family. You don't like the way someone treats you, you dispose of them.

Most unfortunately, those who do that are teaching their children the same thing and eventually the chances are excellent that their children will dispose of them.

Nobody "wins."

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:12AM
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I also feel that if I have to grovel and beg for a relationship that it is not worth having.

My husband and I also did everything for our son. My mother footed his entire education, bought him a car so that he graduated debt free with a 6 figure stock portfolio. Hate to sound like I am always talking about money but these are the realities of the situation. Many kids come out of grad school with hundreds of thousands in debt. My son graduated with no debt, hundreds of thousands in stocks and the education needed to get a great job. He was able to buy a house, a BMW and do so without any financial worries. Most of my friend's kids have thousands in student loans and are struggling. Our son never had to experience that pain. Yes, parents and grandparents are supposed to pay for things for their kids- but kids are also suppposed to show some gratitude and respect. My husband and I devoted our lives to our son- which is why there is such a big void. We were hands on parents who despite being hands on also gave him freedom and were not over controlling. I made it a point to give him freedoms that many of my friends did not afford their kids. And yet, my friend's kids speak to them and mine does not. A strange fact is that all of my friend's kids are floundering in terms of career and education- some are having to go back to grad school due to bad major choices- others are not sure what they want to do, some are unemployed. Our son has a great job with a great future- and the only education he may need in the future is the PhD he always talked about getting to become a college professor.

I will not apologize or beg for forgiveness for being ignored, cast aside, for being yelled at, for having him threaten to throw me down the stairs for saying things I never said and doing things I never did, for having the hard work I do for our famly business being mocked to impress the fiance, for being told, "What makes you think we would want to go anywhere with YOU??? We have our OWN plans!" Yes, those plans included making fun of me on the way home from the airport, using our home as a hotel, his father as a taxi service and not even taking a minute to volunatrily go over to see his 82 year old grandmother who he had no seen or contacted for over 2 year. His fiance let a lasting mark by painting my bathroom wall with nail polish and throwing tampons in the toilet that I had to bail out- I put a trash can next to the toilet to put tampons and such in them- she apparently cose to throw them in the toilet. Having spent hundreds of dollarts in the family business on blocked toilets created by tampons, I am very aware of the need to proerly dispose of sanitary products. I do so even in hotels and restaurants because I have respect for property owners- something she apparently lacks.

I do not apologize to people who have disrespected me and my family. I feel that I am owed an apology. If he feels that we are so disgusting and loathsome, then he can stay away. I will not lower myself to beg someone for forgiveness for being a great mother who did a great job. He would not be where he is today if if it were not for us- long and short. We dragged him on vacations all over the world every year to broaden his horizons- made sure he had everything he needed- and now he cannot have the respect to contact us and we are to apologize???? I think not.

If that is the way he is going to be- I will have to listen to my wise old mother who says "to heck with him- let him live and learn- and when he does- let him come back crawling- and apologize for the hurt and disrespect he has dished out."

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Njtea, I don't know your story, but why can you not have a relationship with your daughter, without the SIL?

If he finds you offensive, then why doesn't he just stay home? She could visit you alone.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 12:09PM
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annibal (and Garden) You are right. If I could, I would re-write that first paragraph to Garden60, over the MIL vs DIL post. I apologize Garden as I wanted to make the point that there are many MIL's whose behavior has been very painful to their DIL's, and I was too strong in my approach. I am sorry.

I am hoping that you were able to get past that, and perhaps something is the rest of the post was helpful in some way.

I am sorry for the pain that so many of you are experiencing through the estrangements with your adult children. For many of you, it seems so unjust and beyond comprehension.

When I wrote that each of you needs to examine whether you may have some part in the estrangement, it is not to create more pain than so many of you are feeling (I have no intention to add to your pain) but to help you find healing in the relationship, and end the pain of the estrangement.

*** I believe that those who have a part in the estrangement, have the "best chance of ending the estrangement", and finding healing, and putting your families back together. I believe this, because although you may have hurt through your words or actions, you have the ability to change, and repair the damage your behavior may have caused.

Examine your words, heart and behavior. If you have any part in the estrangement, it is in facing that, and not hiding from it. Perhaps some of you can find your way to healing the relationships and ending the pain you are experiencing.

It is those of you who were completely innocent, who are in the hardest spot, and where healing may not come, because you are dealing with a very troubled and destructive human being. And I have no idea how something good can ever come from something like this. I imagine the restoration of a relationship with your adult children will come only when your adult child begins to see the other person for who they really are, and not who they wish them to be. It will take time for this to happen, I imagine. When the rose colored glasses come off and they are facing the truth head on, of who their spouse really is. Unfortunately, it is usually learned through bits and pieces, or glimpses here and there.
And then they must look at their life, (and if there are children involved) and somehow decide where they go from here.

Lostmama, I imagine that your mother is right, and that your son is going to learn some hard lessons at some point. I imagine that he will plunge ahead with the marriage, ignoring all of the red flags (such as his fiance' still looking for other men while engaged to him) and will discover the heartbreak of choosing such a woman for a wife. Hopefully he does not bring children into the middle of such an unstable relationship, with a woman who does not seem to have the ability to be faithful, even during the early days of love. Imagine how she will fare during real life, when life is filled with crying kids, homework, dirty dishes, laundry to her knees, etc. If she cannot be faithful during the good times, the future does not look rosy for your son.

But it sounds as though life has been easy for him. I imagine he will now learn the lessons that come from the choices he is about to make.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Sirens, I can't answer for Njtea, but for 3 years we didn't have a relationship with our daughter because of sil. We feel that sil made daughter feel guilty if she had a relationship with us. It was almost like she was brainwashed. I think sil was that insecure. He felt if she still talked to us, it cast doubt about his anger to other people, and he has to be right. He has actually told his kids that no one is perfect but him! He was that immature, insecure, and selfish. He didn't allow us to see our grandchildren either. He is older than our daughter, and very manipulative. He tried to pull the same stuff last fall. It only lasted 4 months. Daughter does have a relationship with us now, but he doesn't..and he can't stand it! He tries to talk the grandkids out of coming to our house..grandkids have told us. Isn't that pathetic that he'd use his own kids because he's mad and wants to be right. I feel the difference between this last time and the time before is our daughter is older now. She knew before it was not right, but was helpless. She has more of a backbone now.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Sirens, it's a really long story, too long to go into here. Let's just say that my daughter, unlike Sniffles' daughter, has not yet developed the self-assurance to stand up to her husband, who is nothing but a bully.

He, like Sniffles' SIL, is considerably older than my daughter and is an Injustice Collector personified - together with other issues that he has that I won't detail here.

With him, it's "if you don't do what I tell you to do you will never see your grandchildren again." I won't give in to that type of blackmail - which he has also tried on my son and DIL - they also refuse to give in to him. So, the small, petty person that he is uses his children as weapons against us and his wife.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Njtea, I can relate completely, only it is my son married to the injustice collector. I know it is her, and I have always known where my sons complaints were coming from. He doesn't have the back bone to see us, and stand up to her. Perhaps in time he will, I don't know.

I also feel that should be reconcile with our son, that my dil will hold the grandchildren hostage from us. If we don't do everything she says about how to behave, measure up, etc. we will be eliminated from their family.

I will not grovel or try to live up to her standards any longer. I tried that, simply to please my son, but it didn't work. I've never tried so hard at keeping someone happy as I did my dil. I just wanted her to like me, and know that I wasn't a threat. I was looking forward to my son someday getting married, and finally having another female in my family. However, she has a different mindset, and doesn't intend on sharing my son.

I'm done groveling, apologizing, and going out of my way for that girl. I am hurt beyond belief that my son never saw what she did to us (making us jump through hoops, being rude, sarcastic,selfish and moody.)

It's in his court now. My son can either grow up and realize that he is being controlled and lead around by his nose, or I feel he will be a very unhappy person in life. It is very sad for me to think of him becoming diminished by her, but there is nothing I can do to convince him he has the power to change things. He just doesn't see it.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 4:33AM
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Boy do i feel the same way.. at one point my son knew that he was going to ask this person to marry him, so he came to "apologize".. he didn't really apologize he just said that he never wanted to discuss anything about the incident again and only wanted to move forward.. in hindsight.. big mistake as whatever the problem was .. came back...
I am digressing... anyway.. I said that I wanted to straighten things out with his gf.. he said .. and I quote.. that I could say whatever I wanted to say to her, but that would I please do him a huge favor and be the one to make the call... I said, no problem and I called immediately and said we should talk. We agreed to meet at a coffee shop and we had this hour long chat.. when I think back about the conversation.. I just cringe. She sat there as Miss High and Mighty while I am trying to make things right. She asked me during the conversation if she would be able to take my daughter places again... I told her that she could if they (meaning my son and her) wanted to be part of the family again.. but they could not just come pick her up like she was a pawn in a divorce case... so this girl turns to me and says... SO.. YOU ARE SAYING THAT WE HAVE TO PAY HOMAGE TO YOU FIRST ..THEN WE CAN TAKE HER?
I just about flipped out.. who talks to people that way?
Especially your bf's mother?
I have known her for 9 years.. she was the nicest girl.. she used to send me flowers when the boys upset me.. but I now realize I let her use me and I let myself get into this situation with her. She hated my younger son's gf .. as did I... so she would ask my son questions on IM and then she would cut and paste and send to me. Then when she graduated, and started working for her Dad.. she changed...
She is someone I don't know.. and she has taken my sons right along with her...I feel so sad for my daughter.. she loves her brothers and really doesn't understand.
I too know that this situation will never be fixed... I know that the only time we will ever have a relationship again is when she is out of the picture.. and she may never be... my son has gotten himself in so deep between working for her father and father buying their home.. etc.. that he might just put his feelings in a box.... suck it up just to keep the level of living that he has become accustomed to.
At 26 .. he hasn't ever had to look for a job.. he has a lovely home.. nicer than any starter home I know of...
he has been on amazing vacations, he has a motorcycle to ride and a boat to drive.. I don't hold out a lot of hope for me!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 9:25AM
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I also tried to be nice to my son's fiance/wife whatever. We used to i'm frequently. I made small talk, asked how her school work was going and even offered to help her with papers in terms of editing, and doing research if she needed help. She never took me up on that. I was serious. I was willing to help her if I could.

For Christmas '06 even though I was hurt that my son never came to see his father when he was in the hopsital 2 weeks, I bought her 2 nice Christmas sweat shirts and some jewelry. I sent it to her. Never so much as a thank you or even acknowledgement that she received it. I asked my son and was told that she was wearing the sweat shirts as her grandma's trailer was cold as they could not afford to blast the heat.

Prior to visiting in August of 2006, I told her about the great Walgreens rebate club. I mentioned some of the wonderful cosmetics I had gotten for free. She expressed an interest in hair coloring products and lipstick. I got her both of these items as well as other toiletry items, such as deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes and her favorite toothpaste. I was not implying she was poor or could not afford these things- I presented it as a great way of trying things for free. She seemed excited and even asked me for speicific products that I gave her.
When we visited and she made up stories about me that created a rift with my son, I brought her cosmetics, a Walgreen's gift card so that she could buy what she needed and a sewing kit as she expressed an interest in learning to sew buttons. I taught her to sew on buttons. After that, she made up the stories to my son- so what is the use!

I then sent her a birthday card and even bouight her a birthday gift to take out when we went for the engagement party. I had the gift all wrapped and was going to give it tpo her after the party. She was so rude and aloof and seemed not to give a damn that I never gave it to her. I thought about it- why try to kiss up to someone who obviously was not interested in having a relationship? Even if I receive something I do not like or want, I show appreciation for the thought. She never did that!

Our $500 engagement gift never was acknowledged- although she spent a fortuneon invitations and the party. We assume they were not grateful?

Since then I have tried nothing at all.

I really did try and I have no guilty feelings as I did try to be nice. I was open with her- never said anything rude or nasty. For some reason she does not like us and has taken our son away.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 10:02AM
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Sarahsmom...I can't get over the similarities between our dil's, just as lostmama too. They all have so much in common with how they conduct themselves with people they should be showing respect for.

It seems that these girls are not able to express love in any real meaning of the word. IF they loved their bf's, or husbands then they wouldn't be trying to alienate them from their birth parents. I can't even imagine the thought ever even popping into my head with such a notion.

Sarahsmom, why did she start making stories up? It is so strange that you guys got along for so long, and then she just wanted you out of her life. Perhaps it was the marriage that changed things? Were you and your son real close? I often feel that that is what made my dil alienate me from our son, I don't think she could handle what close family ties we had always had.

When you state she was being 'miss high and mighty', you have know idea how much I can relate to that! My dil was a pill from the getgo, always acting superior, lacking respect, needing to be told how wonderful she was, and needing lots of attention. My dil thought she was our peer, and that is no lie.

It's interesting that you state your dil didn't like the girl your younger son was dating. Was that a valid dislike? My dil didn't like the girl my younger son was dating either but I feel it was completely unvalidated.I think the girl stole the limelight from my prospective dil (at the time,) and she couldn't handle it. The younger bro just started dating her after his big bro got engaged. My younger sons gf was SOooo cute, polite, was like night and day. My dil is a cute girl, but she isn't a knock out like this girl was.

For a year, my dil was very cool to my son when she came over or was with us. She wouldn't greet him, and rarely if ever talked to him unless forced to. When we had a heart to heart talk before the wedding (which was brought on by my dil sending the rehearsal dinner invites out w/o consulting me, when she knew I wanted to send them.) I think my son told her she had to come over and discuss our differences so we could get along.

While talking (which was mostly me,) I asked her why she'd been giving my youngest son the cold shoulder. What she told me, I will never forget! My dil stated that she was 'teaching him a lesson!' I was astounded, and followed up with 'teaching him a lesson for what?' She told me she was teaching him a lesson that his girlfriend was wrong for him!!!! I asked her if she thought my son understood what she was doing, if he got the message? My dil replied that "yes he got the message, afterall, he isn't dating her anymore, is he?" Now that really takes the cake, doesn't it?
I didn't know what to say, but with how things were going between us I certainly didn't say she was wrong, I just kept my mouth shut.

You can see how this girl thinks just from that small example.

lostmama, you and I were very alike in how hard we tried to get our dil's to like us. I bent over backwards trying to get her things I thought she would like, taking her out for her birthday, inquiring about her wedding plans, etc. yet nothing worked. She just couldn't stand us, period.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 12:04AM
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Oh Boy anniebal...

You are right.. very much the same..I am sure I have heard the "teach him a lesson as well"..
She didn't make stories up.. I apologize if that was confusing, but I think I know where the rift started.. about 4 years ago, normally her family goes somewhere exotic between Christmas and New Years.. and they take my son. In 2004 they didn't go anywhere, so she decided that the 2 of them would go to Montreal for New Years. I don't know why but she begged us to go with them.. she made a room reservation for us, etc. We rented a Suburban so we could all fit.. we went to Montreal. It was last minute and I did what I always do.. made some dinner plans, etc.. they had their own room, but would come for dinner of course. I made a reservation for New Year's eve at a restaurant that sounded neat. Of course there wasn't alot of choice that late.. anyway.. it was a prix fixe menu and she hated everything on it. We all kept trying to say.. well maybe you could order the chicken, but leave off the sauce or whatever.. well you could see she was getting annoyed.. and the more we tried, she kept saying I will be fine, and looked like she swallowed 10 lemons.. then my son became very uncomfortable.. basically ruined the dinner, the trip and I believe that was the beginning of the end. Obviously, my husband and I were perplexed.. I thought it was rude.. we were paying for dinner, and I didn't know she wouldn't eat any of it, I just couldn't imagine behaving that way. I think she knew it was bad behavior, but instead of apologizing or something.. she quizzed my then 6 year old daughter about what we said about her and that started the end. She was very cool for a long long time. Things never felt the same after that.
I haven't written here about what actually happened.. so I will.. basically, my son and his gf were living together in an apt right out of college. They decided to buy a house.. (ps.. I am a real estate agent and I helped them and sold them the house.. my husband was so upset by their behavior at that time.. he made me give them my commission.. $6K .. so that they would never say that I profited in any way from them)Their lease was up before the house closed.. they could have stayed here or at her parents house (same town) but they chose to stay here. I mistakenly thought it might be fun as my younger son was home and i knew it would be the last time we would all be together.. it was only for about 6 weeks... HUGE mistake.. it just went downhill.. nothing big, just tension.. my son kept turning the air condition down to 65, my husband kept asking him not to.. stuff like that.. at one point we almost asked them to go, but decided just to hold our tongues as there were only a few more weeks.. At one point the FDIL called me into the kitchen and shut the door she was furious because again.. she asked my daughter .. then 8 to go to the movies with them. My daughter knew the tension so she said she didn't want to go.. again the FDIL quizzed my daugher who told her under pressure that mommy and daddy had just said to let them be their own people and give them space.. is that bad? I don't know but she ripped my head off and said she was moving.. somehow my son calmed her down and they stayed. After all this.. I had a friend that was very depressed.. I kept calling him and emailing and he wouldn't respond. I knew that if i had problems he would respond immediately.. I hope that makes sense to you.. anyway.. I sent him an email and said.."I hate my children, I am not proud to say they have hurt my feelings so much" and of course he called.
About 5 days later.. I was in the back with my daughter and friends in the pool.. I walked around the front to find my son and FDIL with her families pick up and they were filling it up. I said.. what are you doing? he said.. Moving.. I thought they were moving stuff out of the garage because the next day they we were having the driveway redone. I had NO IDEA.. i went back to the back and later when I came in .. everything they had here was gone. I didn't have a clue.. I came upstairs, found an envelope on my computer and in it was a copy of that email that I sent to a friend days before with a highlighter thru that sentence. This means that they went into my computer.. into my email and they had to search thru my sent mail to find that.. I tried to call back.. of course he wouldn't answer. I sent him an email explaining that that was totally a figure of speech.. I had discussed this with him before and of course I don't hate my children. He wrote me back the nastiest email.. and of course, what kind of parent would say that about their kids, etc. The way I was raised, I would have said.. oh my gosh, why would you say that about me? what did i do? I would be horrified.
We had to go to a party across the street that afternoon and they came back and cleaned out my younger son and took him with them.
Thats how it all started and just gets worse and worse after that.. as I am sure we all know.. everything gets completely misconstrued and you can't ever put it back.
We tried the walking on eggshells but without knowing what they really wanted.. we just keep making the same mistakes and when I think back over the things they have said and done.. it is sickening considering how close we were.
Yes.. FDIL.. her parents were going thru a rough patch at one point, and she basically lived with us. She became totally part of my husbands family (my boys step father) .. she adored his mother and father.. she said she never knew hers well..interesting.. her father was estranged from his until a day or so before he died.
If I had to analyze .. I would say that FDIL can't handle anyone talking about her and when she finds out you have .. you are cut off. Interesting because my boys were like that too.. they hated when mothers would talk.. I would just say that mothers always talk about good and bad... don't give me anything bad to talk about...
As for the other son's GF.. she was legimately not the right person for him.. however in hindsight.. maybe not so bad!!! but he has a great GF now and seems that the FDIL totally approves of her.. so she is happy.. isn't that nice, I guess the lesson was taught there as well.
Their wedding is in 2 weeks.. it will be a tough one for me.. we are going to visit a dear college friend of mine in NC who has planned a wonderful weekend for my husband, myself and my daughter... thank goodness for friends...:-)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:08AM
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bnicebkind - you are so wrong in your judgments of me as a MIL. When my husband and I were first married, my MIL was always calling and wanting to spend time with us. She was a widow and my husband an only child. I asked my husband to talk to his mother about not calling us every night at supper to see what I was fixing. As time went on, it was obvious she wasn't concerned that her son was eating well, but rather that was the time she knew we were home and she was lonely.

I have to run to a meeting. I can continue later. I saved all the emails my son sent me regarding asking me for advice and I responded basically that the best advice I could give him was to jsut go slow and get to know each other.

I don't have that problem as my husband is still alive and I have another son - BUT I would NEVER have treated her the way my DIL is treating me. Never! I was raised in a generation where you had respect for your elders.

My DIL told me she would not invite her bio mother to the wedding that she wouldn't see her until she was "in her grave". What could a mother do to a child to have her say that?

The minister who married them said they were so immature and he had 2 choices - let them go and they would find someone else to marry them as they were hell-bent on getting married, even though they were already living together, or he could marry them and hopefully be able to do a little counselling along the way. During the ceremony whenever the minister read scripture, my DIL laughed. Do you think that was appropriate?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 7:11PM
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I sort of fell into a depression yesterday as it was one year since my son stormed out of the house here. I sat and thought about how he looked, how much I wished they would have wanted to go somewhere with us- all to no avail.

I was cleaning and came across an e mail my husband sent him back in the fall of 2007 virtually begging him to be in touch and keep us in his life. My husband also told him how distraught I was and how he should try and get in contact with me. The funny thing is that at the time of this e mail, our son was living alone with the gf. back at her grandparents house with the marriage plans being off. So, my husband was hoping that perhaps some communication could open if she was the problem. As my husband lost his mom when he was 23, he wrote that once your mom is gone she is gone. He eneded the e mail with a sincere invitiation for him to visit us for the holidays. As

No reply at all.

I sat and cried when I read what my husband wrote. He listed some of the hurtful things that has us wondering what we did wrong. I realized that my husband is just as deeply affected as I am only thing is that he never talks about it.

I sat and cried and thought of all the things I could have said or should have said but then again even when I was being very nice nothing was appreciated.

I was thinking of writing a letter to my son and simply asking WHY??? Why is his treating us like this?? WHAT did we do to offend him??? HOW can this situation be mended???

I mentioned it to my mother who also is being ignored and she told me he would laugh at the letter and never reply.

I need to know for my own peace of mind and to move on exactly what my husband and I did to deserve this.

I might add that I sent an e mail thank you for the Mothers Day flowers and never got a reply, so I sent a greeting with a thank you that tells you when the recipient picked up the message. He has never picked up my message sent over a week ago.

What are your thoughts about writing to him? Am I wasting my time as my husband was? Do you see any benefits?

I would basically just pose the Why, What and How questions.
without anything else.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 7:59PM
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lostmama - DO NOT WRITE OR CALL him. I cannot tell you how many times I started letters, started emails (I had to leave the addressee part off the email because I might accidently hit send) - anyway, start a journal, write down what you would like to say to him, but don't send it. If he didn't open your last email, he probably won't open this one either.

This weekend a friend said it will probably be 2 years before I hear from my son. He is the one missing out on family and friends; not me. We mothers have to come to grips with the fact that we are dealing with manipulative DILs who know which buttons to push. Patience - I am hoping when he grows up, he will come to his senses.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Sarahsmom, I can't believe all you have been through, yet I can believe everything you have through! Your dil sounds so much like mind, that I can't stand it. The whole thing about her not liking her meal, and not even bothering to pretend that she liked, since afterall you guys were treating?!!! Where is the respect, appreciation, and just being nice? How could you have taken them all the way to Montreal, paid for everything, and then had them (her) behave that way?!!

It's like us taking son & dil with us to Hawaii last summer! The similarities are overwhelming. My dil was miserable from the morning we left to the airport. How can one be miserable going to Hawaii, all expenses paid for 10 days! She did everything possible to be miserable around us, yet when we went out of our way to meet up with good friends of theirs that just happened to be on Maui at the same time as us, my dil lit up like a Christmas Tree! Everything I had told my son I wanted regarding this trip went out the window, and I didn't ask that much. All I had asked him before he agreed to go, was that this was a family vacation and that I would want to be spending most of the time together. I explained of course they would be alone on their anniversary, and take walks on the beach, or go to the bar later at night with his little brother. This was not too much to ask, and if it was, then he should never have agreed to go. I know other families that take vacations together, and they spend almost the entire time together. My son kept chipping away at my request after he agreed to it. By the time we got to Hawaii, we hardly saw them. Oh, we paid for a nice dinner every night, and did about 2 days of sightseeing, but even then they were off by themselves, not with us. They rented a van so they could drive the island, since afterall, their friends did that abd they had so much fun. My son didn't care what he agreed to, he let his wife manipulate the entire vacation. My son was an accessory to the crime, and that is guilty.

I can't believe your dil convinced your son to go through your email! That is simply outrageous. As you stated to your son, we moms do talk about the good and the bad, it's just part of it. Where else do we go to vent? It certainly means nothing either, in regard to how much we love them, they are gripe sessions. I can imagine myself saying the exact same thing as you did in your email, and I'm being completely honest. My hubby and I often make jokes away from the kids about their neediness, or their overdramatizations. Your son should have been apologizing to you that he went through your email! I'm sure your son or dil has never been away from each other and complained to a friend about how their wife or husband is behaving! We all do this, but your dil sounds as paranoid as mine does, and they just can't handle it. These girls think they are perfect, superior to us in every way, so it must eat at them to think we don't treat them as goddesses. Imagine that we have an opinion?

Your story about your son continuing to adjust the temperature, and how you finally decided to just bare with it, is just like ours. You know overlooking the temperature thing is one thing, but for your dil to confront you in the kitchen about what you said to your youngest daughter is way over the limit. What you said wasn't bad, giving them space?? This was SOooo insulting to her? Where do these kids come off with this attitude? I have never behaved like that in my life to anyone I even semi liked. Even people I don't like I just try to stay away from, and don't usually comment to their tactless remarks or rude behavior. What is it with this 'generation' (sorry, another generalization,) that they have this huge sense of entitlement to tell us everything we do wrong. They make US live up to THEM!

To think your son & dil then turned your other son against you is just too hurtful. I can just imagine the little B telling your younger son what you had written in your email, and somehow convincing him that you actually meant it literally! I mean, c'mon!

So now your younger son is getting married and your not going to his wedding? OMG, I feel so bad for you, it makes me want to cry. Where do these awful, awful people come from? How are they able to brainwash our children against us, when our kids knew us? I can only hope and pray that what goes around comes around, because our dil's so have everything bad coming to them.

I hope your able to get through the wedding period without too much pain, it is good you have plans. My god, it just makes me so sick.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 2:17AM
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Lostmama, I completely agree with garden60! Don't call, write, etc. since he won't reply and it will jab that knife down even deeper into the wound.

I reached out 3-4 times to my son, and yet he told me he wanted no contact, nothing. Finally in February I quit trying. I'm still pretty miserable, but I am getting better. I'm very involved in my younger sons life right now, which helps a great deal. I have my garden and pond to attend to regularly, which is a great stress reliever.

I haven't posted on hear yet that I have heard from my son. My son called me yesterday, and left a message. I truly didn't think he would respond to my request for him to call us when he was back in the country (in the birthday card I sent him, which was only sent because he did send me a mother's day card stating 'we could now call him.') I figured that after I put the ball back in his court to call us, that he would make us wait a few weeks to show us who is boss.

Anyway, he called and left a message on our house phone as I was busy in the yard. I called him back and got his v mail (on his cell phone, not home!) My son called relatively soon after my message. We had a cordial, but awkward conversation. My son was pleasant, and asked about his dad's skin cancer. I was very low key, sounding laid back, happy to hear from him, but not bubbling over.

We talked about his upcoming trip to Italy, his trip to Mexico for his job, about a visit to the cardiologist for high blood pressure (gee, I wonder why?)whether he got my card for his b-day, etc. He thanked me for the b-day card. I told him about my garden and pond, suggested he have a home tester for his blood pressure (even though all his tests came out normal, and his blood pressure has gone back down.)

I could hear my dil in the background putting dishes away, or at least I believe it was her since we know men can't multi task :)

My son told me after about 10 minutes that he should get going so he could help his wife with dinner. I said ok, and told him I loved him. This is where it got interesting. There was a distinct hesitation before he responded that he loved me too. At first I thought I was being paranoid thinking that he didn't want to tell me he loved me in front of my dil, but now I know that that is what had to be true. Two people I've told that to (my hubby and a very good friend,) both stated that that is why he hesitated, even before I could tell them what my opinion was.

So what, this girl won't allow him to say he loves me in front of her? Boy if that's the case, I bet he caught all heck once he hung up the phone. I guess i have to be happy that he felt he needed to say it back to me, regardless of whether she was there or not. Maybe that's a positive sign of things to come.....eventually!

I didn't say anything to him regarding calling again, when I'd see him, nothing, zilch, zero!! He didn't say anything to me in that regard either. I also let him wonder whether his dad was home and not talking to him, or that his dad was out of town on business. I felt that if he wanted to know where his dad was, he should ask. Let him think his dad doesn't want to talk to him, afterall, he has it coming. I know that sounds mean, but I've reached a point that he gets what he gives, and he has given so much hurt in the last 4 years that I am amazed I've survived.

I've finally reached a point where I don't expect to see him. It's truly amazing. I go out to do my thing outside, and some days I'm not even thinking of him until later in the day. This is a huge improvement.

I no longer expect him to walk up behind me, put his arm on my shoulder and tell me how much he loves me, and how wrong he has been. I guess I tired of that just hurt too much knowing it would never happen.

Lostmama, Garden60 and sarahsmom, we all have major head cases as dil's that have poisoned our sons minds with lies and emotional abuse. It is so hurtful to think that the boys we loved could reach a point where they could be turned against us, but I guess we can't ever underestimate the power of evil women over nice guys. What's that old saying, 'nice guys finish last.' I really don't believe that, but I do think there is a lot to be said for it's meaning, all the same.

I do think we may have our sons back someday, in a way that is similar to what they once were. It is going to be a long time coming, but something's gotta give at some point. Boys take a long time to really become men, and some much longer then others. Our boys found love, and think that the only way to keep it is by obeying their girls every demand. I think most will reach a point that they tire of having to behave exactly how she tells them to. I only wish that time was sooner, then later.

Still, I do have a smidgen of hope now. However, I have no delusions that my dil will be any different. My husband and I have already made an agreement that we will never be mistreated by her/them again. If they can't love and accept us for who we are, then they can be out of our lives. We are not bad, awful people. We raised our kids with nothing but love, support, kindness and being there. We don't deserve the over dramatization of every single thing we do or say. I will be me, and my husband will be himself, and if we say something that she finds offense with, so be it. I'm done groveling. I swear I will never be taken advantage like that ever again. We've agreed to keep each other in check in case one of us slips up. Afterall, we are nice people, we do not think the way our dil does, so it would be easy to slip up.

I'm so tired of caring right now, I have truly reached a point where I can say good riddens (at least for the most part.)


    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 2:48AM
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Anniebal - BRAVO!!! I so totally agree with your paragraph about you and your husband being yourselves and not trying to figure out what you are "supposed to be" for them. My husband got to that point a long time ago, but I am slowly following.

I applaud you for the way you handled the conversation with your son. I have rehearsed in my mind if my son ever calls and I think the message I will need to send is that we are doing great, I might even mention about a new cousin in the family, etc. My son is so -- no "was" - so sensitive it will break his heart to have been out of the loop and realize life goes on without him.

Our sons - well my son at least - was smitten by not only the love bug but the sex bug. For some unknown reason he was smitten with her from the beginning and refused to give anyone else a chance. Well, as my dad used to say "make your bed; sleep in it".

Sarasmom and lostmamma - I am so saddened by your experiences and the fact there are more nasty DILs out there. Ouch. What is happening with these young people?

I just have to add I spent 4 days at our lake home with my husband and older son and numerous friends stopping by. In my subconscious, I almost felt my estranged son coming up, but then I really knew it was just a fictitous dream that gave me hope. And, of course, he didn't come.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 7:52AM
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That is great.. what a great response to your son.. at least he called and you could have a conversation..

I think my story has gotten a little confusing since both boys are involved, but my older son is getting married in 2 weeks.. so far the person we have been talking about is his fiance.. but in 2 weeks my DIL.. my younger son has been sucked up by them. The FDIL was so close to me for so many years it makes it all the more mind boggling.. the only other comfort I have is i have been reading that often mental issues surface in young adulthood? I am wondering if she has some issues.. I know she does.. that will become more apparent to all once this "honeymoon" period wears off.
I have no hope of any relationship with my sons until she is effectively out of the picture. That could be never...
but I can't even pretend anymore knowing the amount of manipulation .. especially crossing the line with my daughter. You dont ask a 6, 7, 8 year old to betray her parents. This is child abuse...
Yes, I will be very glad when wedding weekend is passed.. the FDIL took my husband and myself off of the family link on her website. She replaced us with my son's father and his wife and son.. oh well!
I think your "smidgen" of hope is excellent and i think with your tougher position you are on the right track!!!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Thanks Sarahsmom and garden60 for your supportive words, they are ALWAYS appreciated.

Sarahsmom, thanks for explaining which son was getting married, I was definitely confused. You know I went back and read it again too just to be sure I knew which one you were referring to, so much for that :)

Sarahsmom, you state that you were such good friends and then you don't know what happened. I can tell you exactly what happened, you were used. Your dil put on this loving, friendly act with you for as long as it took to snag your son. She knows that once they were living together, she could start filling his head with lies. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is how these people work. No one can be more important than they are, or even close. These women expect complete compliance by our sons, and if they don't comply, they make their life miserable. Just like you stated your son said, he does what she wants because it's easier to live with her (otherwise she'd nag him forever!)

Garden60, your certainly not alone in your fantasies so don't feel bad. I still have them here and there, but not nearly as often. I know yours will fade also, but they are so painful to let go. It's as if we are giving them away for good when we let those dreams and fantasies go away. In a sense we are doing just that, and it's for our own survival. We deserve better, we were good parents, and our sons were sensitive, loving boys. If they had met a nice girl, I truly believe things would be completely reversed. As it is, I still believe that my son misses the closeness he had with us. He used to call me just to tell me simple little things, yet they were important enough to him that he wanted to share them. It must get tiring to share everything that happens in one's life with only one person. NO ONE loves them like their mom and dad, and they will find this out.

I remember when my son was married about 6 months, and was on a road trip for work. He got a stomach virus overnight and was miserable. He called me at like 4 in the morning to ask what he could do. I truly feel he still needed his mom to tell him everything will be ok, that it'll stop soon, and give him the love and support only a mom can give. Let's face it, when our hubby's are sick we don't dote on them like their moms did, and it's no different for our sons.

I have to believe that they will get fed up being lead around by the nose, and made to respect these girls. Sooner or later the girls are going to need more attention then our sons can or are willing to give. WHen this happens our dils will most likely cheat on them to fill the insatiable appetite they have for attention.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 10:02PM
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Anniebal - you are so right - I know it is terrible to hope these nasty DILs exit soon, but I just reread so many emails shared with my son before and leading up to the nastiness right before the wedding - we had such a good realtionship, in one email he wrote, "...I will always welcome your advice..." and then the closer she became, the nastier the emails got. I read all my apologies for saying something that offended her/him, something like "not that I don't want you to be together but go slow" etc. and he just took that as telling him what to do and he went on and on about he being an "adult" now.

As I reread those emails, it is clear he had no idea of what he was getting into, other than he was infatuated with her thinking it was love and she and her step-mom just lead him around by the nose, picking out the townhouse they should live in, taking his money for the downpayment, putting her name on the deed first, little things - manipulative controlling of him. I wonder if he will ever figure it out.

And every time I pointed something out to him, he got nastier and nastier - this huge wall of defense came up.

Will I ever contact him as Dr. Coleman suggested I do about 6 months after his nasty email - I don't know. Guess I have some time to think about it.

Today I am angry at him; probably tomorrow I will be feeling sad he is no longer in our lives. Wish I had a crystal ball.

If your DIL is a Christian, you have hope. Once they both mature, they will be back in your life. I, on the other hand, am dealing with an athiest and they are hard nosed and mean.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Garden60, if my dil was a Christian I'd be in despair, not hopeful. What Christian could behave in such a manner as to not respect the people who gave birth to the man she supposedly loves?

However, to answer your question, NO, she is the furthest thing from a Christian. Though my son was raised with religion until he left home for college (we then left it up to him about continuing his beliefs), he stated to me during their engagement that the only reason they were getting married in a church was for the tradition. My son told me that he and his girl were both in agreement regarding these feelings.

Last year before the estrangement, he told his brother that he and his wife are aetheists. My son was shocked by his revelation, not understanding how he could have absolutely no belief.

I don't know where all of this came from, but I saw my brother in law give up his religion for my sister and her beliefs so I know it is possible.

I know I mentioned my sister and her husband, and how he changed just to suit her ways. That example is what worries me the most about my son. The only difference is that my son was raised by two loving parents, who weren't alcoholics, or abusive in anyway, shape or form. That is the difference I pray will lead him back one day, but only time will tell if that's true or not.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:35AM
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Anniebal - that explains a lot. My son had a very strong faith and in HS he told her he couldn't take their relationship farther if she wouldn't go to church with him and that is when she told him she had no time for "that" and threw him out. After the 6 years when they reunited, he told me first that he would never lose his faith and hoped to bring her to Christ and would give her 10 years of his working on her. Then when they were engaged he told me "I am not going to church anymore; we have our own faith now." Not sure what their "faith" was since she never sought out the bible, church, etc. Oh, well, not my problem anymore is it? But I can continue to pray for them; no one can take that away from me.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Garden60, yes, we can continue to pray, and nobody can take that away from us. I don't mind people questioning their faith, changing from one faith to another, however I find it very strange when someone makes such a dramatic change seemingly overnight? To me it is evident that the person changing was convinced to do so by their significant other. One thing I always admired about my husband was, that despite the fact that I was non-denominational and had really not gone to church since I was 8 years old and my mother got ill, my hubby always remained true to his. Now, I never tried to get him to change or quit, but I'm sure my not belonging to his faith made it harder on him to stay commited.

Since I really didn't have a religion, I agreed to raise our kids Catholic like my husband was/is. If a child doesn't experience religion, then what do they have to base a decision on regarding whether they believe or not? There must be exposure to make a informed choice, otherwise it means nothing.

If my son truly doesn't want a faith right now, I believe it is a phase that will pass. However, my bil never went back to religion or any faith at all so perhaps my son won't either.

I can live without him having faith, although I think he would find peace in life.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 2:01AM
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