Money and Estranged Adult Children

penbyrdJune 26, 2008

I have posted on the site recently under the subject Any Help Appreciated asking for thoughts, ideas, suggestions about the estrangement with our only child, adult son who has not spoken to us for approximately 3 years. After some feed back and realization that our son's GF is very controlling and he seems to have no backbone, I started to do some real soul searching as it was pointed out to me by one kind person (sirens) that it seemed that our son and his girlfriend were bitter about money, they felt entitled to more and made judgements about wanting more without knowing the full truth of our situation.

After our sons estrangement, I quite work as I was quite sad and depressed and found it difficult to concentrate. I made very good money and this cut our family income down to less than half, putting a financial stain on us that we never experienced before. We are by no means homeless, but are in a situation that has given us pause to look at our finances more closely especially our retirement and savings.

We saved and had always promised ourselves that we planned to pay for our only son's undergraduate degree if he chose to go to college and to buy him a new car at graduation to give him a good start in life. One that neither my husband nor I were given and wished we were.

I always thought since this had been our plan for years, that we did this solely out of love without expectation. I believed this up until today and wanted to share with you my new thoughts/feelings. I believe I/we may have convinced ourselves of this and know that was our original intention before the estrangement.

I just finished reading Susan Orman's book: Women and Money. By the way this book is downloadable for free on the website unitl tomorrow afternoon, so take advantage, it you wish.

Anyway, Ms Orman listed 8 qualities of a wealthy women and one of the qualities was generosity. Her definition was was something to the effect of giving to the right person at the right time. She also said the gift should benefit both of you. She said you give to say thank you and out of pure love and not to get something back.

Althougt at the time this was my/our intention, I have to admit, I am sure I did expect our son to still be our son and not estranged from us after he finished his college.

I did at leaast expect him to be greatful. I know our intention was not to burden him, but now I realize I do have a certain resentment about having helped him his entire life, going above and beyond, nd all we get is a slap in the face and no loyality or kindness... just silence or cruelty and accusations form his GF.

I am not saying this to be criticized, but to dig deep in my heart and be honest. Most parent don't have estrangements, but for those of us who do, maybe there is a little bit of resentment that we do infact have when you give and give for our entire life only to have them hate you in the end. It hurts when they appear to not care if you are dead or alive. Even if they do care, you are we are not aware of it as we can not read their minds and do not know how they feel if they are estranged.

I do admit I am somewhat jealous that my son's monthly income is approximately $200,000 at age 25, right out of the college we paid for, when my husband and I bring in about half this amount after many years of experience.

I have to admit that as I took care of my father before he died and help our my 84 year old grandmother, it does sting that my son is not around to help. I had surgery 2 weeks ago and I cound't even tell him, I had to have my best friend take me and it really hurt to see other appreciative son's taking care of their mothers.

Don't get me wrong we am very happy and prond of our son's accomlishments, and fully intended to give him the best unconditionally...emotionally, financially,etc.

It does seem he kept in contact and was kind until he was financially independent. Was this is his plan?, I doubt it. Would pay for his college again known the current facts, I am not sure. As much as I/we love him, I realize through Suzy Orman's book, it is better to let your children take out loans as they have many more years to pay them off whereas we are older and should be putting this money into our retirements---a different train of thought from many generations ago when companies acutally offered decent retirements not 401's alone. In addition Social Security is not wat is was.

I just wanted to be honest and see if any of you after some sincere soul searching may feel the same way and it may contribute to the sadness/grief/anger you feel from the estrangement.

I, of course, would not let someone I love stave or go homeless, but now realize that at the time we were giving to him so generously, both in our actions and financially, I did think would have some type of relationship with him. I thought I was doing it out of unconditional love, but wonder if I had the chance to do it over(pay for all his undergraduate plus living expenses and buy the new car),I am not sure if I would have I had known he would never speak to me/his family and past friends again.

It sounds selfish, but it is a reality and I want to fess up to it as doing this soul searching may help me or someone else look at themselves and see if deep down feel the same..

I have read many blogs on this site and there does seen to be much resentment about money. Children who care about our or our parents inheritance, but not about the people.

I will never cut my son from our will as he is our only son and ultimately, we want him to know of our true generosity even if that means his GF/possible wife will benefit.

Our son's love means more to us than any money in the world, but feeling like you were kicked in the teeth has made me rethink a few things and money, unfortunitely is one of them. I will now have to start work again and resave and prepare for retirement. A very difficult thing to do as depressed as I am. I am working at forgiving and hope this realization is a start.

Hope this thought helps someone. Thanks for listening

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I plan to see an attorney and write a will that leaves my money to animal welfare, veteran and children's charities.
I also plan to have enough cash to hire help in my later years as I can see nothing being offered by my son. This hurts a lot considering we were great parents. As all the time, effort, money and love we gave him resulted in being ignored, I plan to use my money to buy the attention of strangers who will treat me with more respect than he will. Very sad thing to think and say but oh so true.

I will not leave a cent to my son. My mother has already written him out of her will.

He has systematically been spending down the significant stock portfolio left him by my late father. When asked what he he is doing with the money he laughed and said, "I don't know" and when pressed- said "spending it." On what?? no answer.

I left a great career and passed up other job opportunities to stay home, raise him, nurture him and be there for him thru all the trials and tribulations. His father was a great attentive and loving father. There was no abuse here at all. He was raised with a Catholic school education, taught good values and shown by our lives how a decent family should live. He was taught to trat others as he wanted to be treated- well he sure forgot that as well as the commandment to love your father and mother. We are not only not loved- we are treated like mortal enemies!

He never would be where he is without our guidance, love and attention. Yet, he seems to forget all of that. Well, what goes around comes around- and it will come around.

When his father was very ill and in the hospital 2 years ago he did not seem to care. I was both hurt and depressed about his lack of caring. I felt as though he had abandoned his father when he needed him most. My husband was devastated but keeps a stoic face and pretends it does not hurt. He takes anti depressants for the frist time in his life and I know it is eating him up inside.

Seems when the MBA was in hand we were expendable.

Our son make s a good income and has a great future because of our sacrifices- yes- parents are supposed to sacrifice and expect nothing back in return- all I was expecting was contact and some sense of gratitude for the sacrifices we made. I am not talking about daily phone calls, gifts or anything- what would be nice is to see him at least once a year on a holiday- he has not been home for a holiday for over 2 years. It is really sad.

As for my 83 year old mom- my son could not care less- except when he called to find out how much he stood to inherit and when he could expoect the money. The rest of the time he acts like she does not exist. She changed her will becasue of his attitude. He lost a significant inheritance. As the sole beneficiary of her estate, I will follow her lead and leave nothing to an ungrateful person.
She has asked me to research charities that will do good with the money- as she does not want it squandered by his fiance and her unemployed low life sisters and their illegitimate babies. We worked hard for what we have and to see it squandered is too much to bear.

My cats give me more love and attention than my son does. They love me every day. They appreciate what I do for them, feeding and caring for them. That is why animal rescue groups will get the lion's share of my estate. My son will be left to ponder why I love cats more than him- simply becasue they love me back.

I feel your pain penbyrd- I am in the same boat.

I have a different take on the will and estate angle- there is a lot of money involved and I will be damned if my money goes to some ungrateful person and his squandering fiance/wife. Sad that I do not even know where he is moving to when he sells his house, if he is married ot what he does. Sad indeed. Two years and one month of this situation and I am simply disgusted.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:00PM
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I totally understand your point of view and who know my husband and I may change our minds. My mother has already cut our son out of her and my late father'w will and may have even taken me out as she is angry at me for my son not calling--as if I can control that!

The ony reason we have not changed our will is that I read, I think in Dr. Coleman's book, that taking them out of the will supports and verifies the fact their decision to be estranged and that leaving them in the will gives them a whole lifetime of thinking about us and our unconditional love and selflessness in spite of the estrangement. I guess I don't want to give him more to be angry about and since my husband and I will be dead we won't know the difference anyway.

I heard someone say if the world lived like the old testament "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" there would be a lot of blind and toothless people out there.

I am working on forgiveness and have spend almost 3 years being bitter and need to be the better person and let go to move on.

Please don't think I think you are wrong, and someday I may feel the same, but now I am propably going through a different phoase of the grieving process.

I know you do care about your child and I know how it wears on your emotions. Decisions are never easy when you love some one so much that you would give your life for them and they don't care if you live or die.

There is probably no right answer just instinct and how we feel at the time.

Our situations are so similar it is uncanny. I so appreciate your posts. It really does help to not feel so alone.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:25PM
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penbyrd and lostmama and garden 60 - and now there are 3 families who have estranged sons. Our estrangement is completely due to the person our son married. She decided from the beginning that she had never seen a son and mother as close as us and that would end. The demands she made were unbelievable.

I spoke with a lawyer and we have written him out of the will. Wills can be changed but right now if my husband and I were killed in a car accident, there is no way my dil will spend our hard-earned money. We left all our personal property (i.e. home, etc.) to our other adult child. We changed our 401k to give our estranged son 1% and our other adult child 99%,

The attorney said you cannot put in a clause that if your child is divorced from the money hungry partner, then he or she can get your inheritance becuase what he sees all the time is that when there is a will involved, couples will get a divorce and then after everything is settled and your son/daughter has the money, they remarry.

Now isn't that sad?

So we took the safe route and just wrote him out. We know we can always write him back in.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Our son was always taught that he was to treat others the way he wanted to be treated. If he did not, there would be consequences whether obvious or less obvious. I am a great believer in karma- what goes around comes around.

In this case, he has decided to turn the backs on his own family and show disrespect that is beyond belief.

If someone was as generous and nice to my son as my mother was, I would be calling them well at least once a year- and I am being sarcasic- my son has not called his grandmother for several years- he ignores her birthday, holidays- and she is 83 years old. He did e mail to find out the value of her estate and when he could expect the money- if that counts as concern. In my book that was the height of nerve and arrogance. He does not care enough to call her to say hello but he wants to know when he will get her money. That is plain out wrong!

She is hurt beyond belief that her only grandchild would chose to ignore her- and she has done nothing that would cause such behavior- she was always there when he needed something and he knew the number when he needed a car, money to travel to Europe- and she was always there for him. Now, she can literally go to hell in his books. That is simply wrong and such behavior will not be rewarded.

He has a nasty uncaring attitude. I will not reward such behavior. The issue here is more than money- it is common decency and respect. He is not acting like the son we raised therefore we do not even know who the heck he is. In such a case, any inheritance he was expected will be given to causes that will care about people and animals and make the world a better place. I am not going to throw money at someone like my son.

My mother has asked me, as sole beneficiary of her estate to make sure that the money goes to good causes- she also is a very charitable person who supports veteran and social charities. When my Aunt was in a nursing home- the Salvation Army was extremely good to the residents- coming to visit on holidays with goodie bags that brighten the lives of people with such dark lives. These are the type of charities that I intend to support, as the hard work that went into earning the money we have will not be squandered by an ungrateful person. As the amount of money is laarge, there will be a lot of good done with it. This will make me happy. We will have a legacy that will help others less fortunate not to rewqard someone who has treated his own flesh and blood like trash.

We have given our son every benefit possible. He has a great education, a great job and was brought up with morals and values that he choses to ignore. We have done everything that we will ever do for him.

Dr. Coleman's theory that if you do not leave your estate to your kids, they will think badly of you for the rest of time makes me laugh. I actually think that leaving an ungrateful disrespectful person money to squander is a much worse thing to do. With money in hand, he would laugh and say, geez, I treated them badly and they left me all this money- what fools! If a child has no respect and gratitude now- what makes Dr. Coleman think they will when their parents are gone??? He will relearn a life leasson he was taught every day as a child- treat others as you want to be treated and you will have a wonderful life. If not, what goes around comes around- and you will get your bad deeds right back at ya!

As a mother I feel really bad for having these thoughts about the boy I loved and raised. Yet, I feel a deep sense of shame that he could disrespect my mother, my husband and I. He was not raised like this and obviously he has chosen to live a life so different than the values we taught that we cannot even think of what we would say to him if he decided to come back into our lives. Very strange indeed but althoguh I miss him I am not really sure I could bear to talk to him. I simply no longer know who he is- and my husband feels the same.

I appreciate your posts also. The past 2 years in which we have been thrown away have taken their toll on all of us. It is a sad situation. We can only hope there will be some resolution.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 8:09AM
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My estranged child is out of my will; her share will be put into trust for her children, but the principal won't be able to be touched by them until they are well into adulthood.

I completely agree with Lostmama when she says:

"Dr. Coleman's theory that if you do not leave your estate to your kids, they will think badly of you for the rest of time makes me laugh. I actually think that leaving an ungrateful disrespectful person money to squander is a much worse thing to do. With money in hand, he would laugh and say, geez, I treated them badly and they left me all this money- what fools! If a child has no respect and gratitude now- what makes Dr. Coleman think they will when their parents are gone???"

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:05AM
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lostmama & fuzzywuzzy, Excellent point about Dr. Coleman!

My opinion on Dr. Coleman's advice is that it is colored by his own issues in his own family rather than it being entirely from his professional training.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:58AM
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In other words, I don't think that Dr. Coleman can be objective.

He may hate the idea that his child could hate him long after he is gone and so he hopes that if he continues to do nice things, even at death, then maybe he will be loved and appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:02AM
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Giving money to someone in your will doesn't need to have anything to do with whether you love them or not. You can love your son, be angry at him, forgive him, and still leave your estate to whomever you want to leave it to. I don't agree with Dr. Coleman that leaving money to your kids is any kind of strategy about anything or that it is the best thing to do. Sometimes the best thing to do with your money is to do something that might improve the world. Improving the world is not accomplished by giving money to someone who has no interest in improving the world. Love can be expressed in many ways. Giving money to someone who can't love might not be the best way to express your love.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:33AM
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Thank you for all your input, I so appreciate it. After almost 3 years of complete silence from my son and 3 years of cruelty from his girlfriend, My husband and I are really beat down. I actually attemptd suicide and was on a ventilator after one of her awful, hateful phone calls. I am just so worn out as the only way I know to contact our son is via her and her father, who both make things worse. I reamin in therapy. This estangement has left me powerless in my own live.

I may be in the denial stage of the grieving process, but I am so so tired of always felling sad, angry, depressed and just about every awful emotion I can think of. This has consumed my life to the point where I have no life. I need to forgive for my own sake, not his, as it is my feelings that are slowly eating away at me. Like many of you, my husband, although very sad, tries to be strong for me thus he is much less emotional and rarely wants to speak of our son and has moved on with his life. I need to be happy again and be the person I once was.

I want to apologize to Dr. coleman if my quote about the will was not his as I am not 100% sure where I heard it, so it may have come from another author as I have tried to get my hands on and read every book on trying to reach out and end this estrangement to no avail.

I guess I want to believe that since my son has kept silent and it is his girlfirned and her father who is cruel, I do not know where his head is. To be honest with you,I think there has to be something wrong with our son to stay with such an awful person. I feel that she will probably leave in in a few years when she gets out of him whats she wants (ie.. her stufent loan debts paid, a free place to live while this happens). I realize this may never happen and I may never see my son again. This is a real possibility as they have been together for 7 years and she has been awful to both us and our son during all those years, yet he chooses to stay.

Our son knows that he is cut out of my mother and late father's will, which is substantial. My mom feels like all of you. If he can't call or acknowledge her, he deserves nothing and has already taken him off all her legal documents. At one point he was the excuter of their will and the primary beneficiary of most of their estate as he is the oldest grandchild. He was aware of this as my parents did this while he was in high school. He has also been told via his girlfirend that he is no longer his grandparents will. He knows nothing about our will, but probably assumes he has been taken off it as well.

Whenever I speak with his 84 year old grandmother about him, she gets very angry as she and my father has given much so him over the years and now for 3 years nothing, no calls, no cards, just silence 365 days of the year including holidays, birthdays, etc.

I see such bitterness in my mom and I had to make a decision that I copuld live with. I have fond memories and unconditional love for my/our son.

He makes over 6 figures and probably doesn't need his inheritance, but something in my heart can not let me continue to be as angry as my mother, as cruel as my son's girlfriend and as spineless as my son for not respecting his family and people from his life before he met the GF. I don't even know if they are married or if I have grandchildren and may never find out.

I am trying so hard to not be sad or angry any more as after almost 3 years of this, I need to move on and have found that forgiving him is the only thing I am comfortable doing. It is up to a power higher than myself to judge him.

I am a nurse and have spent years in the nonprofit world and know that donated money is very often used inappropiately and does not end up in the right hands to help the people it was intended for. This is proabably why I am hesitant to leave everything to charity. This is not to say that I won't help those in need and I intend to do this while I am alive thus reducing what he will get.

At this point, I may be stupid, but just don't want to stoop to their level. I know I raised a kind, generous son and that some goodness has to be in left in his heart somewhere.

Our inheritance may be the only chance that we will have to let him know that we are not the people his girlfriend has accused of being. I want to give to him because I love and have always loved him unconditionally. My thought is that unconditonal love means no strings attached. I can't change the fact that I love him even if I wanted to at this point--too many good memories.

Unconditional love is something neither my husband nor I experienced from our parents. I know it may be stupid, but who knows, this gesture might show him how to be a better person, the kind, generous son we remember and know he can be. Maybe it will give him pause to think--kind of like pay it forward.

Shame on me if he reamins spineless and doesn't appreciate it, but there can't be anything wrong with forgiveness, can there? He is our only child.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I need to forgive for my own sake, not his

I see such bitterness in my mom and I had to make a decision that I copuld live with. I have fond memories and unconditional love for my/our son.

Penbyrd, you're doing the right thing.
Don't become bitter...I know, it's easy for me to say, but please continue to be the loving person you have always been --- do not allow this sad, terrible situation to take away your sweetness and your love for your son.

Continue to be who you are; don't give yourself away.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:26PM
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This is going to come across as being harsh, but I think you need a reality check.

I know you're sure your son will see his inheritance as generous, the right thing to do, and proof that you loved him unconditionally and will make him return to the kind, respectful, good person that you know is inside him (your words).

Reality: Your son will not think about you at all. He's not going to see it as a gift from you - he'll see it as his finally getting his entitlement. He'll be smiling all the way to the bank. Suze Orman says it all the time: money does not fix things. Even if he needed it, he'd just spend it on nothing and need more.

Please don't waste your hard-earned money on your son, while you are alive or dead. If you need to give it away, there are plenty of reputable charities and organizations that would appreciate it many times more than your son. Spend your energy finding one that you can feel good about.

And don't feel bad about it. Don't feel guilty. You are doing the right thing for you and your son.

It's awful to write a posting like this. I normally wouldn't write something like this. But the last 5 people who have died around me have left family shambles behind, and I know that's not what they intended at all. We're talking restraining orders, siblings not speaking for years since the funeral (that live next door to each other), straight out theft, accusations, taking sides, district attorneys, lawsuits, moving gravesites, etc..whatever shenanigans you can imagine. After what I've seen, I firmly believe the best thing is to leave nothing behind to any person. My kids are being raised to expect nothing.

Also, realize that if your son's girlfriend/fiancee/wife has him under control you may never get him back, even after your death. My BIL was on his deathbed and during the treatment it seemed that he finally realized what the rest of us knew, that his wife was an evil person - and the whole family hoped that if he pulled through alive that he would leave her, but he went right back under her control, only now he's not allowed a cell phone or email access anymore. (Caveat: I consider a wife "evil" that refuses to attend any chemo or radiation treatment or doctor appt for her husband, won't let his illness "interfere with her lifestyle" which means letting her dogs poop in his bed while his immune system is compromised and practicing downstairs with her girl band all night so that he can't sleep, that is, on the nights that she didn't go out drinking. Then she'd wake up screaming at him if he didn't have her coffee ready when her alarm went off in the morning. This woman is a delight, let me tell you.)

Best wishes to you. I do not mean you pain, just a little discomfort maybe.
Lisa A.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Thanks for your kind words, I am working daily on forgiving, and each day gets easier, but there are good days and bad days. At least having cut ties from the GF/finance/wife and her father with the cruelty, threats, and drama have stopped putting salt our wounds.

This is especially true when it has not helped us get information to/about our son and seems to make us look worse as I believe she ony tells our son bad things about us and makes up lies to make us look bad in his eyes.

Isn't it crazy that a Computer Scientist/Engineer with a Master's Degree would be stupid enough to give a girl complete control over his email accounts. We had two email address', both that he used for personal and business purposes. For a person to earn a reasearch assistanceship in Computer Engineering for Grad shcool which included tuition, all expenses, plus living stipend, health/dental/life insurance. Isn't it crazy for someone with all that computer knowledge/Master's Degree and experience to turn over all his computer access to a first girlfirned. He is the type of person that always had very complex, multiple computer passwords and was very knowlegdeable about hacking and security issues. I guess love really is blind. According to my therapist guys do the dumbest things for love. He has made his own bed by trusting her and as a mom I was to shout from the roof tops, "Are you crazy?" I guess this is one of those situations where he is an adult and he needs to learn from his mistakes and I have to keep silent.

Of course, as a parent/mother your first instinct is to want to protect your child even if they are an adult. I hope things don't back fire for him too bad, but if so he will learn a valuable lesson. Who knows maybe even though she and her father are so cruel to us and others, they may be kind to him and giving him what he needs or I hope he would leave. He must be having at least some needs met--I just can't see it and he has said on many occasions, when we did speak to us, there were multiple things he hated about her--but his love/need/lust for her won out in the end. He did tell me he did not trust her. I so wish I could forget all the bad things he told me about her--one occasion where no news would have been good news.

Anyway, it is not my place to make a decision or give opinions to an adult who does not want them or any other contact with me/us. I can only change myself and how I react and what I do.

If I can truly forgive, it will sure make things easier to move forward without regret/remorse. If a person can forgive a felon who murdered their loved one (as I have seen on TV) then I should be able to forgive my son.
At least his is alive, able to support himself and spreading his wings. Isn't this what we ultimately want for our children in the end? We just hoped it included us in someway, but the reality of it is their is no manual for parenting or being a child, just a million different advice books and speakers which seem to contradict each other.

I guess you have to love and care for them and let them spread their wings when it is time. They may not return, but we do want them to have independence, but unfortuately we planned to be part of that life. There has to be a lesson for us parents, I just haven't figured that one out yet. Maybe the saying, if you love someone set them free and if they love you back they will return is true--only time will tell. That is why I don't want to take him out of my will as he may not return in my lifetime and I want a way to show him my love in my absense. Maybe crazy, but I just couldn't live with myself otherwise and I have to spend my time on earth likeing myself in spite of this terrible situation.

As I said, I don't think it is my right to judge, obviously he feels he has a reason and feels justified to disown us. He will have to answer to his higher power and live with his decisions, god or bad.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 3:57PM
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It am an air force veteran so yout user name means something to me. I appreciate your reality check and do agree. I am just at a different place right now and have to do what I can live with. Since my son has remained silent and it is the GF and her father who has been cruel I do not know the true facts of the situaion and many never know. His silence definately shows disrespect and selfishness on his part. Is he mentally ill that is a possibility as this is totally out of character for him.

I don't believe I am stupid, but feel I have to do what I feel is right and this is what I feel I can live with right now. I feel I unconditionally love him the same as I did before the estrangement and I couldn't live with myself if I put conditions on my love.

I must tell you that I spent several years in foster care and my husband was raised by 2 alcoholics so neither of us felt unconditional love. In both our cases, our parents treated our siblings, we each have 1, better than us. They gave them more--treated them better-- even though we were the ones to help them whenever they need/needed us and our sibings were no where to be found. We have only one child and feel, at least at this point, that since generally people give what is their's to their children, we feel at the monent that this is what we live with.

We do plan and have always given to charities we/I feel are honest and helpful, but as I said I have worked in the non profit world and have seen how badly money has been used--not to help those who truly need it, but to help the cause of the unneedy. I want to be alive to see that my money is used appropriately and what is left is up to my only son. I once knew this boy and can not believe the godness that was in him will not someday return after many difficult life lessons. I may be niave, but that is what I feel I can live with at the monent. I truly do love him unconditionally, thisto me, means I expect nothing in return. If he doesn't think of my husband or I, I can handle that. If he wastes the money, that is something he will have to live with and possible be judged for. I believe I do not have the right to judge others (including him). He will have to answer to and live with his choices. The son I knew was kind, generous and sensitive, giving. I may be stupid, but I can't see how this could just go away. I realize people go through stages as I did in my twenties, but I don't believe you can change the basic core of who someone is. Perhaps an untrue and stupid thought, but I can only treat others as I would like to be treated and as my mother's only daughter, I would hope, although probably not, that she will give me the same consideration and forgivness for things in my life that she may have perceive as wrong. Although I believe I have been a good daughter, she has made it known that she prefers my 3X felon brother and his 2 children over me and my family. I am certain he will get the majority of her estate. She expects everything from me and nothing from him. She treats him with total kindness even when he is cruel whereas she couldn't care if I lived or died as long as I can help her with her wants and needs. I do not want to be bitter to my son like mymother is to me. I see her bitterness and know she has little time left on this earth and do not want to spend what time I have left feeling bitter and angry.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 4:29PM
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Penbyrd, I hope you have a chance to visit the Stepfamily forum and my question/post "Estranged Adult Daughter - Over Legal Will". You will see that your situation, painful as it is, is more common than you know.

GardenWeb is just about the best Forum I know, though I'm familiar with at least a dozen others. Each one has threads by OP who are unjustifiably 'estranged' from their children. Each one is heartbroken & grieving.

The details of my story are on the thread I referred to you above, so I won't reiterate. What I will add is that I spent my life raising this child, working 2 jobs, giving love constantly, passing up one or two chances at remarriage because I put her first, and on and on.

All that love and we are estranged now because of a Will that wasn't made out the way she wanted. The pain is even worse since this happened after I had two very serious operations and was hospitalized for over one month. I can not understand the insensitivity, the self-centeredness, the greed, the unthankfulness.

They say there are two sides to every story, but I assure you there is little more than what I am sharing here. I have other family around and a loving husband who are as horrified at the ingratitude more than I am.

Even my NeuroSurgeon commented that I would be further along in my healing if I had the love and support of my child rather than this "estrangement".

I truly empathize with what you are feeling. It is a mystery to me how a child can so easily walk away and not be there especially during a time of the parent's sickness.
Perhaps it is a different generation....I was the only child and cared for both parents as they died from cancer. This went on back to back for almost 10 years. While I am not expecting that in return, I did expect warmth and love, not to be ignored and tossed away because of money. You will see what I mean if you read my thread.

There is no joy in my life, the estrangement is on my mind morning noon and night. I even awake from a sleep with the thought exploding in my mind. Yet on the other end, it was an easy sentence to are no longer a part of my life.

Your story, in a strange way, was a comfort to me. Our situations are so similar it is striking.

"What did I do?", "Where did I go wrong?", "How could she do this?", "Help me understand" are all questions I ask repeatedly of my husband. He tries to help the best he can, though this gos on daily. How he hasn't divorced me over the situation, I do not know.

The worst part is that we live only minutes from each other in proximity. Yet emotionally we are at different ends of the earth.

To preserve my remaining health and sanity our house is now up for sale. We are moving. The pain of staying here is unbearable for me. Yes, I'll be leaving many things I love, including one grandchild. I must survive though, and be around people who love me for what I truly I'll leave, believing there is a better life for me in another state.

Will the situation ever reverse itself? My Doctor said I have already offered too many "Olive Branches". I don't see how things will ever turn around. The pity is that I'll probably die with this pain in my heart. I don't think I deserved it, or my husband, especially at this time.

Warmest regards,

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Lynnfrances, I just went and read your post on the stepfamilies board. Very sad.
Probably what started the ball rolling, was when you and your DH mortgaged your home so your daughter and SIL could have a downpayment for their house....not that you were "wrong" to do so; but she evidently started feeling entitled.
Very unfortunate.
To my way of thinking, you don't owe your GROWN, ADULT daughter a dime!
You raised her and you have helped her as you were able.
You owe her nothing.
If you wanted to sell your home right now, take the profits in cash, and set it ON FIRE --- that would be absolutely none of her business.
You are caught between your daughter and your DH and you're only trying to do the right thing, as it appears your DH is, as well.

She will probably get over it...but I do support your moving.

Build a new life with your DH, find an outlet, a child to dote on, mentor, or something along that line...perhaps a disadvantaged child, or teenager, you could help by listening, providing emotional support.

Don't let this tragedy rob you of your spirit.

Good luck to you

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 8:01PM
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lynnefranes and sirens

Thanks for your replies.

I know it would be nice if we could all turn back time and do things differently. I may not have paid for my son's undgergraduate degree plus explense and a new care at his graduation. I would have done as Suzy Orman suggests and had him take out loans as he has many years ot pay thme back where as my husband and I really should have put that money towards retirement. I can not turn back the closk and do have some satisfation that I contributed to his good start in life even if it wasn't the smartest/best thing to do. Live and learn is all I can say at this point.

My situation is somewhat different in that my son never asked for money, we offered, this as a free gift as we felt as our only child we could afford to give him a good start in is future. He was also very thankful and appreciative at the time. He verbalized it and showed it in many ways. It wasn't unitl Grad school that we became estranged and I think this may possibly be due, at least in part due, to his GF's influence.

He has asked for no financial assistance from us although his GF has asked and espected money in general, money form the sale of a condo we owned as well as money from his grandfather after he died. My son never asked for any of this and I do not know and may never know if he was aware of her requests as she has gone out of her way over the past 3 years to contact us and say/do cruel, threatening, unkind things. We do not know and suspect our son has so much trust in her that he never read the emails or her responses as it seems his is spineless and finds it easier to just ingore the whole situation and let her deal with us.

YOu are not alone, my husband and I are in the process of moving as it is too difficult to spend time in a home/city with so many memories of him. I also have suffered from depression, anxety as well as PTSD from this 3 years ofestrangement. I also am suprised that my husband still stays married to me as the last three years I have been an emotional wreck. This even includes a suicide attempt, which I barely survived. Everything I say or do is filtered through the pain I feel about my only child who is estranged. I basicallly have stopped living. I seek therapy weekly as well as regular appointments to a psychiatrist for medications to help my symptions.

We, like you, do not understand the mystery of the estrangement other than the GF's/ possible fiance or wife's involvement and drama. She has never liked us for no apparent reason and he 3 years ago chose her over us.

I also have no joy, but am trying to work on forgiveness for my own piece of mind and sanity.

Our son has moved to another state and we currently have not way of contacting him directly, no phone, address, work info or email that is not controlled by his GF.

I as well as my 84 year old mother have had multiple health problems, but due to his silence, when we used our only form of communication:email that his GF controls we were told not to contact her unless someone was dead! Again don't know if she even told him.

Financially things have been alittle harder for us as the estrangement has made me unable to work thus decreasing our income to half. So in addition to the college expenses, our income has suffered.

I think moveing may help me start a new life without all the memories of his past friends, seeing his room, school, etc. I also want to start as a foster parent, or big sister as I know I have a lot to offer a child as I was adopted and spend many years in foster care.

Our son has never asked for money or asked to be on a will or any type of financial assistance after his undergraduate. During his undergraduate years, he never asked for money and was very greatful for what we gave him. During Grad school, he have a very comprehensive scholarship and made plenty of his own money so never asked. Althoug his GF asked frequently, but he said he was fine financially.

He never seemed to expect to be on the wills and knows if his GF told him, he is no longer on his grandmother's will. He isn't aware if he is one our will or not and neither have asked.

My case may be different as my son makes excellent money, more than I do when I work and has great financial potention.

I decided after her last untrue accusations about a month ago to block the emails and changed the phones to simply state the phone number without a name and have heard nothing since. I just couldn't handle her creulty and his silence any more.

I did tell them we are moving out of this city, but not where, but know my son is intelligent enough to find us if he ever wants to. We also said, if she told him that he is always welcome to contact us.

I just decided to forgive as this makes me better able to help myself to be a better person which will benefit my myself, my husband, my friends and society. I decided to move forward. Ourkeeping him in our will is just a final way to show our unconditional love for him with no stipulations/strings attached---this is our choice and may not be right for everyone, but our son, not his GF, never been greedy or done anything ungrateful financially. Although his silence say a lot.

Our son is spineless in not defending and loving his family/past friends, but he is young and I know I made mistakes when I was young that I would not want to be judged for now. I will admit though that I have always been kind to my parents.

I don't understand what happened, but know deep inside the child I raised has the potential of being a kind, generous person. We want to pass it forward by keeping him in our will as it may give him pause to at least realize that my husband and I d and did always love him unconditionally.

He has definately lost out on a lot of financial gain by being removed from my mother will and this will sting a bit. I just think he is too young to care at this moment.

Of course, I as you would love for things to be right with our child, but for now all we can do is work on ourselves. I refuse to be treated unkindly by his GF and her father any more and wether he is aware of what they have done or not, I do hold him responsible for being a coward. I just want my his last thought of me to be of generousity and unconditional love and by keeping him in our will, I believe this is waht is right for us and our consciences even if he doesn't appreciate it in the end.

Lots of love to you and I wish you more kindness and less pain in your live. Hang in there, I believe these estrangements are just as difficut if not more difficult than the dealth of a child.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:14PM
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If you firmly believe in karma, then how can you also firmly believe that you are innocent of doing anything that caused all this estrangement pain in your lives? Isn't this estrangement your karma for something you did?

I don't get it. Karma isn't just for other people.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:59PM
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penbyrd - your story could be mine, except I have 2 sons so one is out of the will and the other will inherit all of it, if my husband and I go early (which I am hoping we live a long time and spend what we worked hard for).

Anyway, I want to just hug you. For me, I have a huge support system with my sister and her adult children, all who think my estranged son is totally controlled by his wife, a wife who decided he was too close to his family and gave him a choice: family or her. My son also did not ask for money but she would call me up and demand, and of course my husband would then tell my son what she did and he would get defensive protecting her. It became a vicious circle.

cindylouwhoonlytwo - I have no response to your immature comments.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:28AM
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I've been following this thread since it started. Just one question???? Do you people go back and read what you post on here??? You repeat yourselves over and over, and every post is about MONEY!!! If money is that important to you now, then I am assuming that you raised your kids with the sense of entitlement that you are now accusing them of having. Lostmama....every single one of your posts talks about money this, money that, he owes us this, he owes his grandmother wonder there are enstragements! Then the ones that aren't about money are blaming DIL's, GF' it just easier to blame someone else than to imagine that your own child doesn't want to have anything to do with you??

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:55AM
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Did you not notice that the title of this thread is "Money and Estranged Adult Children"?

Here's a >> for you today.

Lisa A.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Teresa J

My husband and I worked damn hard for what we have. So did my parents. We never expected a darn thing from anyone.
And yes- money is important to us. If you think that social security will afford a comfortable life style think again. We do not expect it or look to anyone to support us. We are saving and struggling to make sure we are independent- because given what our son has done already we have no hopes of him giving a damn about us when we are old and frail.

I am sick and tired of people especially those who do not have money accusing those who do of being obsessed with money. When you have substantial assets that you earned with blood sweat and tears you work to protect them- from those who do not appreciate the effort that went into the earning.

I gave up a lucrative career to stay home and raise my son. I sacrificed a lot to give my son a good childhood. I started a home based business and worked with the family business to contribute while still being a stay at home mom. There was no entitlement here- I have broken my ankle and nearly lost a finger working at the apartments our family owns. If you think I feel entitled to anything- I do not. I work for what I have and taught my son the value of hard work and ambition.

I run a business with my mother- and that means I do things like paint apartments, cut grass, clean dirty apartments, sit in Eviction court and do a lot of things some people- would not lower themselves to do. I am sick and tired of tenants saying, "oh, if I was rich like you I would be so happy" Well, they woul dbe rich if they wre willing to get up, work hard all day and not sit in front of a 52 inch television all day a la my son's gf and her family who have the work ethic of loafers.

When my son came here last year he actually made fun of the fact that I clean apartments that tenants vacate- he joked that he would like to dirty a toilet so that I would have to clean it. I did not appreciate the joke. His girlfriend got a charge out of his comments. She could not even pick up the tampon from our toilet or clean the nail polish she spilled in my bathroom- she is too important to do that- guess she was not raised to value hard work or manners.

I do not expect a free ride.

My son never expected a free ride until this gf came into the picture. The inquiries about how much my mother is worth, when he will get the money started when she came into view. When he was in HS and college on breaks he worked along side us learning the ins and outs of the business. I worked with him painting apartmetns, cutting grass and teaching him the value of hard work.

His gf. thinks hard work is a joke. She found his bank statement and suddenly love bloomed. The money he was given by my parnets came from hard work. He is freely squandering it- selling off all his stocks and bonds while the gf sits home planning trips, looking for other men on the net, refusing to get a job or even clean up after her dogs. If anyone even implies that she should get a job and help support herself it is an insult. She has no work ethic, no morals and no values. I have the right to think whatever I want of someone. She thinks she is owed something and that my mother's estate is her playtoy. She had the nerve to contact me to ask about the tennis court next to my mother's house- shortly after my son asked the value of the house and when he would get the cash- and my mother is still alive.

So yes- when you are have a substantial estate to protect you may have a different mindset. The money was not handed to anyone and it will not be hadned over to an ungrateful son or a lazy gf.

Think what you may- I know someone who is on the verge of bankruptcy who looks down on my lifestyle and the hard work I do- always asking why I work so hard, why I do not have a cleaning lady or a Mercedes simply pout because I do not need one!!!!!!!

My son will get nothing from any of us- he has treated us like garbage.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:42AM
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C9pilot...yes that is the name of this thread, but on EVERY enstrangement thread money is the subject of every post. And lostmama, you still managed to come across as thinking you are better than others and I think that is the whole problem with your son and his consider his GF not good enough for your standards. As for what you have "sacrificed" for your son, that is your job as a parent. Maybe when your son was born you should've made him sign an agreement in blood stating the stipulations of you parenting him.....GEEZ

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Better than others? Did you read the post?? or only what you chose to read???? I am not some princess that sits all day watching tv , in tanning salons or looking for men on the net. I work every day- and if you read what I posted- I am not afraid to get dirty or do work that some would look down on. How does this make me better than others??? If you met you you would have no such notion. As I walk and ride my bike a lot to the supermarket and such, I am oten offered rides home as people think I do not have a car. I am not ashamed to walk or bike to exercise and save gas. I dress and act very common. I am friendly and down to earth, make friends wherever I go. I try to do something nice for someone each and every day. You must be reading something into my posts that is not there!

I think not- I am very down to earth, hard working and do not think I am better than others.

But, I do dislike lazy people who feel entitled to things.

You are right, the girl is not good enough for my son- not because she was raised in a trailer but because she has no ambition, work ethic and feels she is entitled to something. She told me that she expects men to do everything for her- as that is how she was raised- women do nothing and men take care of everything. GEEZ! is right!

My son will readily admit she is low class and poor. Being low class and poor is fine- my parents and in laws were low class and poor when they started out- they expected nothing from anyone and worked to get what they got. The gf. expect to spend my son's money and has no dsire to even get a job to pay her own expenses. She does nothing all day while he toils. That is why I dislike her. She is making a fool of him.

My son did not need to sign anything when he was born. HJe was raised with love and taught good values- which his gf was not.

And finally money is not the main issue here- respect and some common decency are- how would you like to be totally ignored by your son for no reason??

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:20PM
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I think it is really best not to judge each other about this subject, but to be honest about our feelings so we can pull together to help each other through this difficult time. Although Money and GF's/DIL's are often blamed, I think we are all in agreement that it is our son's, who are the one's we miss and wish were still in our lives.

We all did the best we could as parents and I am sure if we knew the exact cause of the estrangement, we would have done what we could have to prevent it. I think the things that have been pointed to on many occasions and seem to be a commmon thread in many estrangements are: Money and the child's choice of partner.

I don't think these things are the root cause of the estrangement, but they seem to contribute to making the estrangements worse and more painful. Most people when it comes down to it, value the love of their child over money or petty conflicts with a GF/DIL. It just seems like once the estrangements have taken place the new partner and/or money issues are used to continue the conflict. The child uses these issues to blame the parent and the parent to blame the child.

Maybe these kids are just trying to figure out a way to become adults and are lost or confused on how to do it. Conflict with parents is actually a healthy phase of human growth and development allowing children to separate themselves as unique individuals. It seems this generation of children are having a harder time separating and are taking a longer time in doing it than in previous generations. I read somewhere that this generation of boys are more immature and more prone to parental estrangements. This is an actual statistic, but a rarely talked about one. We parents are not the child's only influence and we need to stop blaming each other for being bad parents. If we were bad parents, why would we care so much? Loving your child is not selfish.

My son has not spoken to us in 3 years. The only way we had to contact him was his email which was controlled by his girlfriend. She informed us that we had to go through her and that he would not ever read or respond. Her responses were always cruel and threatening and often did make statements about our son's entitlement to more money and how he is with her and that he never wants to see us again. It seems to be quite common where a choice is being made between a GF/DIL and extended family. To my knowledge there should be more than enough love for all! Why the need to choose? Who is making are our child choose?

We finally blocked the email because the unkindness was too hurtful and we had no desire to feel continue feeling bad day in and day out.

We did know our son to once be kind, loving, respectful, caring, and generous towards his extended family and in past relationships. This changed once he met his GF. Is this how he always was and is he just a spineless coward who needed a stong GF to speak on his behalf---We will never know unless he chooses to speak to us again. I also believe that the true core of a person, good or bad, can not change over night. Everyone makes mistakes when they are young as most of our estranged children are. When I was in my 20's, I made many mistakes. Did I always treat my parents wonderfully?---probably not. Would I do things differently?--probaby.

The fact is we, parents, are just trying to figure out a way to get by and get through the hurt and figure out what changed or is different about our child since the estrangement. We want to understand because we hurt, we want our child back in our life. We want to make things right again--but both sides have to want this or it will never occur.

Our children are young and they are focused on different things at this stage of their lives. We are older and recognize the importance of extended family, something our estranged child may not even take the time to think about. The sad fact is that once they realize this, we may not be around to have a realtionship with them. Our actions now, will dictate their memory of us. Each of us has to decide for ourselves how we want our child to remember us. My husband and I are working on forgiveness and kindness. We are trying to get on with our lives and if our son chooses to contact us, we want that and any other memories of us to leave him with a good feeling about us. He may not care now, but someday it will matter.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 2:28PM
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That was supposed to be a "HUG" but I don't know what happened to my post. I can't even get boldfaced type when I'm trying to, so I have no idea how it happened.
I am pretty new on this board, having finally realized that there were other forums on GW that might be able to help me, and I'm finding that my situation falls under both "caregiver" and "parent" forums.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 4:59PM
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I have been reading the posts on this forum today, surprised at the similarities with our own situation. We, too, are estranged from a son (our only child) and also do not get to see the grandchildren. After 37 years of doing what we can to help him financially and otherwise he has, again, just tossed us aside.

This is our 3rd estrangement with him and this time they are living only 5 blocks away rather than 1800 miles the other times. They moved back here 2 years ago, but dumped us again a year ago. After 12 months of trying to get them to even talk to us, we petitioned the court for visitation rights with our grandsons. We listened to our son sit on the witness stand yesterday and blame us for everything but the sinking of the Titanic. When they moved here they couldn't even get a mortgage due to bad credit, so we signed for the mortgage and will be responsible for payments if they do not keep. He recently quit his job and has taken a temporary one while he looks for a new job elsewhere. They will soon leave and we know they won't tell us where they are going.

He tried to get my 87 and 89 year old parents to throw us away, too, but when they wouldn't agree to that he dumped them. Now he has accused us of banding together to excommunicate him (his term to the judge) from the family.

There is so much more I could write, and perhaps I will, but for now I just want to thank those of you who post on this site because it really does help to know there are others out there going through this. In our small town we are the only ones we know of with a similar situation.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:01PM
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When I read these posts, I have to say it lessons any hope I have that my son will come back to his senses. It's all so surreal, that it still seems like a nightmare.

So many of our stories sound the same that it is scary. It seems like most of us who have sons have all been brainwashed by some girl who seems to be able to convince them of everything they know isn't true, or at least they used to know it. I'd like to think down deep somewhere the truth still exists, yet it gets less and less apparent that it does. Just the thought of this going on another 2 years to reach the point you have is incomprehensible to me. But then I would never have thought a year could go by in this manner either. I don't know sometimes how I've survived, and I worry about my future.

I have a younger son that I love dearly, and a very supportive but hurt and angry husband also. I am trying to concentrate on my youngest son since he has always been rational, always been reasonable, loving, and sweet. Of course my oldest was very sweet, giving, thoughtful, and loving too before he met this woman.

JI know there are daughters of other posters in the same position only it is their husband or sil's that are the abusers.

I believe my dil has a personality disorder of some type. This is next to impossible to change since it isn't learned behavior. If my son doesn't realize the way she is, and accepts being berated by her, then he will lead a very unhappy life I fear. He will be like his fil, who is very withdrawn and suffers depression. The guy has obviously been told what to do their entire marriage, and I believe he has been very isolated from his family members.

My son knew his fil had been mistreated and told my dil that he never wanted her treating him like her mom treats her dad. I thought this was a positive sign that he noticed the treatment, and that he would be very alert to any treatment from his wife that seemed similar in kind, but so far he either doesn't notice or doesn't care.

Doesn't it ever reach a point where our children isolate so many people and reach the conclusion that 'it must be me, not them?' How can they be so self righteous in their behavior, and so willing to discard those who loved him most? No one, including a spouse, will ever replace the love of one's parents....ever. No one could ever have convinced me to dump my parents, and I never would have expected such a thing from my husband. I don't get it.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:41AM
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I also don't get it and can't believe, in my case, it has been 3 years. The only way I have to contact my son is via email, but his girlfriend screens all the email and our son only hears about what she chooses to tell him. She responds with cruel replies and only shows him our responses when we defend ourselves. SHe seems to purposely say things to upset us. My husband and i have apologized on numerous occasions for any wrong doing we have been accused of, but it doesn't seem to matter. We don't even know what we did that was so awful as to deserve having all the years we were loving, caring parents just thrown away. It appears our only son loved us until he no longer needed us financially and after that point his girlfriend and her father are the only people allowed in their lives. No matter what we do, it is always criticized and my husband and I are looked at as evil. We attempted to give him his belongings, he called the police on us and accused us of stalking. We made arrangements with the girlfriend to get him his belongings a second time. We followed her instructions to a tee and were told in doing so we would be demonstrating good faith. Instead, after dropping off the things at the girlfriend's father's house as instructed, we were told we left them 6 houses down the street at the wrong house! We were also told that we were lucky that our son got his stuff because her father had to chase a thief who was trying to steal the stuff down the street. We knew the correct house and can not even imagine her father chasing a thief down the street. Based on the way he is, he would have called the police before chasing a thief and putting himself in danger. THe GF's father likes them not talking to us and seems to encourage it and rub our nose in it. He has no son and has taken our son as his own.

I can't believe our son can not see how he is being controlled by the two of them. He saw it before, but once she gave him the ultimatum, your family or me and my dad, our son choose her. That really, really hurts. We get no credit for all the good things about our son. The GF and her father frequently say what a good guy our son is and it is amazing how he turned out so good in spite of having such terrible parents.

Annibel, I wish I had a younger son to focus on. I had only one child and am now 46---too old to have any more. I will never be invited to a wedding or see my grandkids. I cry everyday! The future I dreamed of is now gone forever! If our son can't see how he is controlled now, how /when will he ever see it! Actually, I know he sees it as when they first meet about 6-7 years ago, he told me all the things he didn't like about her. I guess like and love/lust are two different things. The thing that scares me most is that our son was taught to be loyal. My husband and I have been married 20+ years through good and bad. I worry that he will stay with this selfish cruel controlling person in spite of his unhappiness out of loyalty. He seems to like/need/want her to control him. Behind her back he used to complain about her, I guess she knew this and wanted to isolate him to get better control. Now if we make contact we are stalkers not loving parents! Isn't that insane? I never heard of stalking your own child. We just want to talk with him and have him say he is happy and alright. We would also like to know specifically what caused him to disown us as we have never been given a legitimate reason. She has convinced him that we were bad parents his entire life and brings up dumb things like, I didn't breast feed, he didn't go to a private high school.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:51PM
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I am not leaving any money to my sons either, I don't reward bad/abusive behavior or neglect. At first I planned to by pass them and leave it to my grand children. But they grew to be just like their parents. So I don't see or hear from them unless they want money. My money goes to a college scholarship fund.

To those of you leaving money for minor grandchildren: When I tried that at the bank I was told I needed an attorney to appoint a financial guardian for the children or the parents could drain the account for the needs of the children.

Home care: I hope you save a lot of money because it costs far more than a care home.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:26AM
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"But they grew to be just like their parents."

I've left 1/2 my money to my grandchildren to be held in trust by a "financial guardian." However, I have worried that as the grands grow they will turn out to be like their parents. Should I survive until I can approach them when they turn 18 and they reject me, I hope I have enough of my wits left to change my will and leave all my money to my son.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 2:56PM
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penbyrd, it's so hard to hear your anguish after 3 years. I think as loving parents, who all had very close relationships with our children, that one can't just let go of it. It isn't like a job your quit because you don't like it, or becasue they fired you. I don't care how much you loved your job, you get over it.

I think our sons were taken in by sex. I know this is how my dil got my son since he was inexperienced (never had a serious girlfriend,) naive and immature.

Your loyalty dilemma is also an issue for us. My son is also fiercely loyal since as you stated about your marriage, we have stuck it out through good and bad. We have now been married 32 years (next month) and we intend to stay this way. However, our loyalty to each other never meant that we'd give up our families as these girls insist they do. I could never have convinced my husband to do such a thing, and I never even so much as thought of it.

The loyalty thing is worrisome, and I too worry that my son will stick with this girl to his own detriment. He is so hypnotized by her, so enthralled, so completely subservient.

They went to Italy for two weeks (just got back,) and my son couldn't even tell me where they were going to be in case of an emergency! What outrageous thing could she have said to convince him that we were dangerous to give that information to? Where is his spine, and outrage at such a demand from his wife?

I truly don't know him anymore, and I'm afraid I will never know him again.

At 46 penybyrd, your certainly not too old to adopt, have you considered that? I wish I would have done it then, but now I'm 51.

Your story sounds so much like mine, and so much like so many others I've communicated with. It does feel like we have been used, like we are victims of a crime. My son seemed loving and close to us until he started dating this girl at age 23, but it seems once he found her then we became less and less important. I do believe this was her, and her subtle brainwashing.

How does your husband handle it, does he get angry or impatient about your still being upset? Is he upset, but hides it better?

Our youngest son is truly a huge blessing for far more then the usual reasons. Still, the fear of him doing something to us like his brother did is deep down inside me. Afterall, I could never have seen my oldest son doing this to us in a million years. In fact, had I never even heard of such behavior between kids and their parents before now.

My younger son has always been more reasonable though. No matter how angry he would get, he will drop it a minute afterwards and be completely loving and friendly. My oldest always held a bit of a grudge, but now, it is has grown to monumental proportions.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:46AM
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My husband does handle the situation differently. He is also sad, but seems to be able to move on and not let this situation control his life. He is often frustrated with me as this situation has consumed my life. I am suffering from severe depression. I feel so betrayed by our son. My husband lives with it by blaming the girl, but I blame our son. I believe he is the one who has betrayed us. He could have chosen to keep in touch with us. We were good parents and do not deserve to be treated so cruely because he is afraid of his GF. My husband says guys will do anything to make a girl happy, but I can't understand how a girl could possibly make a man choose between her and his family. I thought family was forever. We were always there for him. We did not desert him because he did or said something we didn't like. The worst thing is we really don't know why he won't speak/see/or have anything to do with us other than her saying he is "terrified" of us. I can not think of a thing we would have done to make him "terrified" of us. He won't tell us and she just makes rude, vague comments. We are kind, loving, giving people who gave him (and her) much.

I am not sure if I am up to adopting as at the monent I am not sure what I have left to give after all the pain.

I have a brother who has 2 children and 3 grandchildren--- he is not nice to them and was never there to support them as children. He is selfish, spent the majority of his adult life in prison yet his children talk to him and visit him. Makes no sense to me----considering all that my husband and I did for our son---I try to say to myself well at least we gave our son a good start at life and that was our purpose as parents. My brother's kids and grandkids get/got nothing from him--not even his time, love or attention! I am just baffled and wonder if we did our son a disservice by being loving and caring. At times I even feel like I wasted my entire adult life! The dreams of having an adult son, possible DIL and grandchildren is now lost and I am really have a difficult time dealing with it! I go to counseling, but no counselor in the world can help me me sense of this situation. Our once loving son also does speak to his 84 year old grandmother or any his friends/acquaintences from his past. No reason given!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:52PM
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Penbyrd, my heart goes out to you, as I feel your immense pain too. It's good for me to hear that your husband is dealing with it the way he is. I think for the most part men handle this entire situation way better then the mom does. It makes sense since they handle most emotions different. Men get angry, and mine is able to 'compartmentalize' as he calls it. My hubby keeps telling me that this isn't my fault, so that indicates to me that that is why he thinks I should be able to move on. I told him it doesn't matter if it's my fault or not, I am still living with the consequences of our sons coldhearted decision.

Reading your post I have to say, is like remembering things I have thought or wondered about. When you say wonder if you gave your son too much love and support, I can so relate. I've often thought to myself that I may as well have physically abused my son since the end result is the same. Does this make sense? What sense does it make that your brother has absolutely no issues with his kids?!! It's kind of like the battered wife syndrome I think. A woman mistreated by her husband tends to stay with him and endure the physical pain and abuse at her own peril. It's like they crave the negative attention, or they strive harder to be recognized. Perhaps kids who are neglected with love and attention, actually try harder with their parents to win the love they feel they don't really have. The kids think if they only try harder that their dad will realize how much he loves them and finally be open with his feelings. Don't you think this is part of the problem?

With our boys, they certainly didn't lack in the love and support department, so I see my sons behavior as sort of showing me or us that he doesn't need us. Maybe our closeness actually threatened him in some odd way, or at least in his irrational thinking. Maybe he thought that since we were so close that we wouldn't accept his independance or try to cling on too tightly once he was married? We didn't cling on too tightly to him in college, so you'd think that he would already know that we accepted his independance.

My son also seems to have a real chip on his shoulder over his dad. He seems to believe that he is being evaluated by my husband (which he has never done!!!) My husband was/is a great dad, and although he isn't perfect and has made his mistakes, he has also apologized openly to our boys when he has. Still, my son always wants to bring up something that he feels offended him that my husband stated. For instance, in February we attended a party for my bil, and my sister invited my son and dil to it. I was furious, but that's another story. Other then greeting our son & dil when they came in, they basically kept out of our reach regarding conversation the entire evening. However, there was one point where my brother asked my son about his upcoming trip to europe. My son briefly detailed their plans, and when he stated they were renting a car there my husband made a comment. We had heard from our younger son that they were planning on renting a car there, and it is quite dangerous to drive especially as a tourist. My husband new several people who had also vacationed there and asked them their opinion of driving the trip. Both people stated to avoid driving, especially in the big city. They both said that they don't need to have a car in the city, and it is quite treacherous to drive. Anyway, my hubby's comment was what his friends had told him regarding driving on his trip. Now the other day when my son calls my husband to complain about something(it has only been very recently that my son has allowed us to open the lines of communication with him,) my son starts telling my husband how he basically overstepped his bounds in giving him the advice about driving. He read my husband the riot act telling him that he made him feel unqualified to plan the trip, and that my hubby had to take the excitement away from going there with his driving comment! I couldn't believe my ears, and yet it is so typical of his thinking since he met this girl.

My take on it is that this girl so belittles and berates him that his self confidance and esteem our practically nothing. My son see's my husbands comments as an affront to his ego. I think my son needs our praise and support more then ever since his wife doesn't give it to him. She has always boasted a superior attitude, and likes to believe she is so special. I know she makes my son feel less intelligent then she is.

So it's your dil who has told you that your son is terrified of you? If he is, it sounds like a brain washing technique to me. Why suddenly would your son be afraid of you? Of course, if you dil has managed to convince him that things you did as a family were wrong, and taht you guys were controlling him like a lap dog, then you could see his opinion change.

But my major hang up with these excuses are that if we did do something that hurt our son in any way, how can we resolve the issue if we don't even communicate?

This estrangement thing is just like one woman puts it, and that is a cold hearted cowardly move. They pull a stunt like this and then want to be regarded as adults?

I know you said that your son is an only, but is there anyone else in the family that could possibly have any pull with your son? A close cousin, aunt/uncle, etc? It's remarkable that he has written off his grandmother, as well as his friends and acquaintances from the past. This is a pretty common thing that our kids all seem to do. Why is it that they cuts these people out of their lives? Is it because when or if they see them that it reminds them of how shameful they are behaving? Perhaps as long as they don't see these people they can feel more self righteous in their actions. Seeing us, or other relatives could bring out the guilt that lies deeply in their souls.

I agree that your dil has done a number on your son, just as garden60's has too. I don't know what is with these girls that they are so insecure that they can't allow anyone else in our sons lives because they feel their control will be threatened.

I wanted to remark on you being depressed. I am also very depressed, and have been seeing a counselor since this all began. My husband keeps telling me that it's not helping and that I should get a new therapist! I told him that I have improved since I'm not crying every day anymore, and who is he to judge whether it is helping me or not? Hubby wants me to handle it mentally the way he is and I told him that that is impossible for me to do. I am trying to move on, but I know that it is going to be with me in some way until this estrangement ends.

My son sent me an email today asking if I want to meet for dinner on Wed. night. I was shocked! The only reason this happened, in my mind anyway, is because he was not allowed to attend a recent party for his grandmother's 80th birthday. My sil told him that it is too painful for his mom and dad when he and his wife are included. This made my son so angry that that was when he called to chew out my husband on the phone. Luckily my husband can stay calm almost no matter what, and he kept his complete cool and his patience with my son's anger was impressive.

We'll see if this actually happens, and what type of visit we have. I'm certainly trying not to get over excited about this since I know we are still going to be walking on egg shells. This girl can find fault with anything, no matter how sincere the intent. I feel it's just a matter of time before she comes up with some new reason he shouldn't see us.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:57AM
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Well, dil intervened once again to save my son from having to see me for dinner, and that's after he initiated it. How do I know she intervened, because the email he sent me once again was not his writing. I always know when it's his words, and these definitely were not his words. My younger son actually laughed when he read what his brother supposedly wrote. He's like, 'as if he wrote that, it's so obvious that it's her.'

I think I'm ready to surrender. I'm not even sure if this whole thing wasn't cooked up to hurt me because they weren't included to a family gathering (and they blame us since we said we wouldn't go if they wre there.)


    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:27AM
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I think that a lot of retirees vastly underestimate the long term care that they might need as they get older.

A sixty year old could live to be one hundred. If they spend the last ten years of their life incapacitated due to a stroke or alzheimers, long term care is going to be very, very expensive. If they can afford supplemental insurance, that's great. However, it may not cover most of the expenses. I know one case where it fell far short.

I am a firm believer that children should not be raised to expect an inheritance. This gives them an undeserved sense of entitlement, and encourages them to adopt a waiting attitude. So, their mindset changes to the point where their potential is self-limited, and their appreciation is lost.

There are so many bad things that can happen in life - major illness, losses in the stock market, the housing bust, an accident, lawsuits, etc. We should plan for the worst while still hoping for the best.

I think it's better to teach children that they will have to become independent at a certain age. In terms of inheritance, they should know that there are no guarantees in life. This will help them adopt a healthier mindset about family money.

Another important lesson for kids is that actions have consequences. That's why I support leaving nothing to ungrateful children who have turned their backs on their parents. If they do receive an inheritance, it will reinforce their bad behavior. Why? Because even their own parents have let them get away with it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:37AM
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I agree that I do not know what our financial situation will be why we are older. Perhaps there will be nothing left. If not, I know he will be okay as he is in a good field with a good job and is responsible with money. His gf is a pharmacist and he is a computer engineer so if they marry money should be fine for them.

MY husband and I may have noting to give depending on circumstances. I just don't have the heart to change the will/life insurance at this time. Obviously which ever spouse dies first the other spouse will get what is left, but after that we only have one child. My mother plans to give her estate to my brother and his kids as they have always struggled financially. I think this is unfair to my son, but he is the one that chose to stop all contact with her. The sad things is that this may have been her plan anyway as my brother and his kids are and always have been my mom's favorite. My dad died about 4 yrs ago---he was fair but after he died she changed the will to exclude my son, her eldest grandchild. I often wonder if her cruelty helped make my son angry and estrange us (my husband and I. My husbands parents both died when we first married so our son never knew them and they had no assets or money to give.

At the moment, I am not ready to completely give up so we will keep him in our will. Sounds like denial--but maybe I need that hope, at least for now. If I had another child maybe I'd/We'd feel differently, but we don't.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I can understand the need to hold on to hope in your situation. That's admirable on your part.

Since you are going to leave him in your will (for now), you might consider drafting a letter that would be delivered to him with his inheritance. Let him know how he hurt you and what you feel he has done wrong. Perhaps it would lead to a change in his behavior towards others.

I think that writing it out would be a healthy thing for you. There is so much pent up frustration. You could always decide not to have the letter delivered, but at least you will have it written (and perhaps revised a few times).

The letter might also give you a chance to accept what has happened and let go of any crippling emotions.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 4:54PM
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athlete2010, I completely agree with what you say regarding the inheritance. We have revised our wills, 2x. The first was a drastic reduction, but we still left some available. The 2nd leaves zero.

I too believe that you get what you deserve, and poor behavior doesn't get rewarded. They maybe bitter about it, but someday they will understand (and if not, oh well.)

It hurt me a great deal to make each change, since one remembers who they used to be. I'm hoping that we'll be able to change it back again someday when he grows up, and quits being selfish, rude, unloving, whiny, and basically treating us like dirt.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 1:10AM
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Athlete2010, a letter is exactly what my attorney advised and what I have done. It's with my will and will be delivered to my child at the proper time by the attorney handling my estate.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:41AM
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I should add that provisions have been made in case my child develops the strength to get our of her marriage, even after I am no longer in the picture. That will be explained to her in my letter.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:46AM
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I can't help but think that writing an adult son or daughter out of the will is probably the absolute BEST way to prove to them that your idea of a relationship consists of trying to control and punish and otherwise treat them as if they were children. And honestly, isn't that one of the main complaints one hears from an estranged adult child? Not what happened when they were kids, but the fact that in their mind you're still acting that way now?

I'm just askin'...

Still, if that's the "statement": you are determined 6to make to your son/daughter, why cut off your grandchilren too? Is there not family or a trusted attorney you can make arrangements with to set up a trust fund for your grandchildren? Even if there aren't any born yet, you can set things up so that if there are children born later, they could still inherit. Why would you punish them, leaving them rootless because you can't get along with their parent(s)?

Again, just askin'...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 3:43PM
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Because an inheritance is not a _right_ , it's an extra. Not everyone is in a position to receive an inheritance- some have been abandoned by their parents, some have parents who are poor, some have parents who decided to spend the money they earned on themselves. Everyone should expect to make their own way in life and not depend on an inheritance.
I have what I consider to be a comfortable life-style, none of it from inherited money. DH and I started from scratch and built it up from there. While my mother was alive I tried to get her to spend _her_ money on herself, but she wouldn't. I still haven't inherited from her as (as her executrix) I have not yet proved the will- it's been six years and I'm not in a hurry for a number of reasons.
An inheritance is a gift. It is entirely up to the testator as to who the gift is given. I wouldn't give a gift to someone who was rude and nasty to me and actively ignored me for years on end. Why would I? It would say, "Even though you've been utterly horrible, here's a reward." I would rather that the money I earned be used by a deserving cause who would be grateful- a charity, a scholarship fund, whatever- than to reward someone who would only appreciate it insofar as thinking it their God-given entitlement and rightly so.
As to "punishing" grandchildren and leaving them "rootless" by not having an inheritance from them, neither my DH nor I have received any form of inheritance from any of our grandparents (all deceased) and neither of us has given it a thought, much less felt "punished" or "rootless" beacuse of it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:43PM
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I agree that inheritance is a gift and not a right. I also think that a bypass trust for grandchildren when they reach a certain age is a good idea in this situation.

Of course it should not be used as an open means to control someone (ie. I'll give you xyz if you do abc, or I won't give you xyz if you do abc).

However, an adult child who has turned his or her back on their parents in a mean, spiteful and unprovoked way is using control on their end. I'm not sure what kind of lesson they are going to learn if they receive a full inheritace. "I guess they didn't think what I did was so bad after all." Or, "I sure controlled my parents up to the time they died even though I had nothing to do with them."

I don't think the inheritance or disinheritance has to be discussed. It can be revealed upon death, and probably it is better that way.

Any adult child who has been so terrible to their parents should not realistically expect the gift of inheritance.
To me, that would signal they they believe that there are no consequences for their actions, and that is troubling to say the least.

That's why I think that writing a letter is a good option. There you can state what your idea of a relationship is and where you feel things went wrong.
It's not about money and it's not about control. It's about caring and supporting each other, among other things.

Gifts are optional in life, and so is inheritance. It's everyone's individual right to decide what they want to do with their money.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 1:02AM
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Most people don't know the Bible says a wise man leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren. True. But then, so many people seem to think an inheritance is only money. (or perhaps whatever property can be sold for money)

I believe that along with money and property, an inheritance consists of the trinkets and treasures one has accumulated over a lifetime. Not just the silverware, but the souvineers of a life.

ALL of my Grandparents were what some on this forum would refer to "low class". One set travelled as migrant farm workers for most of their life. By most people's standards, they had next to nothing when they died, and yet they still managed to leave their children and grandchildren something. My other Grandmother was left a widow with six children during the height of the Depression. She worked in a laundry for years, and later, as a cleaning woman. She too, left something for every member of her family.

How many of you have something, some small thing that belonged to your Grandmother or Great Grandmother? Because my grandparents were frugal (and wonderfully sentimental), I have an iron skillet from each of their mothers -and- their MILs. One from all four of my Great Grandmothers, even though two had died years before I was born, and the other passed away when I was only four. They were kept for me by three different women in the family for over 20 years until I was old enough to appreciate what a treasure they are. Money is nothing. I think about those four women every day when I see their skillets hanging on the wall in the kitchen. That is what I mean by roots; not just giving someone money. That is an inheritance.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 1:33AM
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Athlete, if your sentence about using money to control others was directed at me for saying that provisions have been made for my child should she decide to get out of her marriage, those funds, in the hands of a trustee, are to pay her legal fees. In no way are they a "carrot on a stick." Currently, she has no access to any money at all except what her husband gives her for groceries, etc. She is not allowed to have a job where she could earn her own money.

Bloobird, my grandchildren will split my daughter's share of my estate, but they will not be able to access their money until they are old enough to not allow their father to get his hands on any of it.

Further, those items that my daughter had indicated, when we were speaking, she would like to inherit from me are going to her. She can do with them what she wants at that point in time.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:08AM
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I simply don't feel right about tying inheritance to a relationship as we only have one child(our estranged son) and no grandchildren yet. Not sure what will be left when we die, but at the moment he is in our will as I haven't had the heart to change it and don't really know how to change it. The letter sounds like a good idea, but my wounds, although almost 3 years old are still too fresh to write such a letter as this hurt has consumed my life/daily thoughts--I am sad/depressed/confused/angry/desperate and the list goes on. At times I think I've lost my mind---never thought our good, happy, well adjusted son would go so astray because of a GF from a screwed up family. The things we have been accused of are the things her family did to her---I read somewhere that she is probably jealous that our son is/was close to his parents and had a normal childhood---she just can't stand that fact---before the estrangement she would cause fights and drama and got angry when we were kind to her. For example, if we bought her a gift or took her on vacation---she wouldn't say thank you, she would complain about everything and get angry and tell us how awful we were. At first our son, just sort of kept quiet not appearing to take sides, but after 4 years she hooked him and he was given the ultimatum---your family or me. He choose her---it really hurts to know the child you gave everything for doesn't even have the guts to stand up for his own parents, old friends, and 84 year old grandmother.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 7:12PM
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Hi Fuzzywuzzy,

My comments weren't directed at you, and I wasn't thinking about your situation when I wrote them. I was just expressing a personal belief.

Take care.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Someone commented: BEST way to prove to them that your idea of a relationship consists of trying to control and punish and otherwise treat them as if they were children. And honestly, isn't that one of the main complaints one hears from an estranged adult child?

Sorry, that just doesn't make sense. By not leaving them an inheritance that is treating them like a child? My sons don't even realize we have a will, so we are in no way trying to use the will and what they may inherit someday as a way to control them. That's the only possible way I feel it could be used as your suggesting. If someone is indeed doing that, then yes they are trying to control their adult child's behavior.

I actually don't hear that we treat them like children as a complaint. What I hear (or we hear most) is that we've done something hurtful to them and no matter how much we apologize for that hurt, it seems to be unforgiveable. Every little thing that they seem to be able to think of is a major hurt in their life, even things that were ridiculous to say the least.

It is simply control on their part to continue to get us to do what they want.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 2:32AM
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I agree with anniebal.

Life is about choices and we all make choices regarding what we do, the relationships we have, and the gifts we offer.

Some of the adult "kids" that are referred to in these posts are far beyond being controlled by their parents, and it's not because the parents are trying to run their lives. The parents just want to have a relationship with their kids that is not based on money or material things.

Perhaps not leaving them an inheritance is the best "gift" a parent can offer. That's just another way to look at it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:37PM
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I like to make the observation that these offspring are still ACTING as children so why should they not be TREATED as children?

I completely agree that you do not reward others for bad behavior.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 7:48AM
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Athlete2010, I so agree with you with what the parents want, and that is " we just want to have a relationship with their kids that is not based on money or material things." So why is that so difficult?

In our case, our son was always loving, thoughtful, sensitive, bull headed, pouty and moody. The big difference between when he was single was that we could still reason with him on 99% of things. He would listen, and take what we had to say into consideration. Our son could still apologize and recognize where he went over the line, but all this disappeared slowly once he met his wife. Now it's basically non-existent. All we hear anymore are the same old rants over the same old hurts, some that were out and out fabricated. Now I say, what about our hurts? I tried many times to get them to move forward and accept all of us for who we are, but it didn't work. Now, he can come to us. I have no intention of ever contacting him again, and I won't recognize him unless he agrees that we are accepting each other for who we all are.

Wanaksink, good point on treating them as children, since that is indeed how they are acting. One wouldn't leave an inheritance to children, they'd have to have a guardian control it. To me an inheritance is like going for ice cream. If we said we would take them for ice cream as long as they behave, and then they acted like complete, ungrateful, spoiled brats, we wouldn't go for that ice cream anymore, since they certainly don't deserve it.

They've made their bed and now they can sleep in it.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Fuzzy, I think that if you are leaving cash or property as an inheritance, that is the wisest way to make sure it goes to the right person. I also agree that leaving your daughter those non monentary items she has expressed an interest having in is a good idea. It's not about "rewarding" her for bad behaviour: afterall, it's her family and history too.

To me, it's about acknowledging that she is and always will be your daughter. Whether she cherishes those items (and by extension, your memory), depends on her, but as her Mother, you will be showing her (and your grandchildren) that even if you never could get along, even if you never understood her, you have never stopped loving her. FWIW, I believe *that* is the single most important legacy any parent can leave their family.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 3:06AM
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"By not leaving them an inheritance that is treating them like a child?"

No, I said that not leaving them an inheritance is the best way to prove to them what they probably suspected all along; your relationship was based on punishing and control, not love and understanding.

"My sons don't even realize we have a will, so we are in no way trying to use the will and what they may inherit someday as a way to control them"
Who are you kidding? These are adults we're talking about. They know you have "stuff", and that you can't take it with you. As many times as you have brought up money and inheriting it to a group of perfect strangers, I have a feeling your sons grew up hearing all about "who gets what" when you're gone, even if you haven't shown them an actual piece of paper.

"I tried many times to get them to move forward and accept all of us for who we are, but it didn't work. Now, he can come to us. I have no intention of ever contacting him again, and I won't recognize him unless he agrees that we are accepting each other for who we all are."
"All of us for who we are"...meaning: yourself, your DH and your other son. Apparently, your own faults are so trivial, you've told us you even apologize for things you don't feel the least bit sorry for. How is that supposed to be meaningful? But what about you and your DH and your DS#2 accepting HIM/THEM? In what way do you show them that?

I guess it doesn't matter really, you've said you have no intention of contacting him again ever, unless he agrees to your terms. (controlling) And you've likened an inheritance to a special treat for someone "as long as they behave" and otherwise act grateful, yet withheld for behaving in a less than pleasing manner. (punishing)

I feel heavy hearted when I read your posts, I really do. I want to believe that you truly want to develop a lasting, genuine relationship with you son. But everything I've read leads me to think that will never, ever happen.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 6:27AM
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Well, dil intervened once again to save my son from having to see me for dinner, and that's after he initiated it. How do I know she intervened, because the email he sent me once again was not his writing. I always know when it's his words, and these definitely were not his words. My younger son actually laughed when he read what his brother supposedly wrote. He's like, 'as if he wrote that, it's so obvious that it's her.'

Do you keep a printout of all the emails you receive from him/her?

I would save them all in printed form and leave them with your Will. Maybe one day, he will "see the light" when he reads them.

Or have them delivered to his workplace, asking him if this is really how he feels. She can't get her hands on them first if he receives them at work. Do not put your name on the envelope at all so that he will open it at work.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:40AM
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bloobird, you never cease to amuse me with your answers.

We have never talked about our wills, or possessios, or who gets what. What a materialistic world you live, or certainly sound like you do.

I don't need to defend what I said, you misinterpret everything. It isn't difficult to figure out that if I say we all have to agree to accept all of us for who we are, then that is pretty self explanatory. Yes, he does need to agree to our terms, and I don't believe they are negative terms to say the least. However since your so good at finding the negative, I'm sure you will find it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:03PM
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I have a feeling by reading all the negative posts by bloobird, he/she is one of the son's or daughters who feel they are entitled. Only thing I question is unreasonable expectations from your child at this time in there life? I do know that when I was in my 20's and early 30's I didn't do much with family. But when in my later 30's & 40's I think my mind clicked to realize how important family was, I don't know if I took it for granted they would always be there, or because of selfishness... But I came and stepped up to the plate when they needed help,I moved from florida to California to care for my grandparents. I was there for my grandmothers colostomy, her cancer treatments, and care. I never expected anything for doing this it was out of love and the feelings of family obligation. When things were finally calm and all the illnesses were better I told them I was going to find my own apartment close by so that when they needed me I could come help. And to my surprise my grandmother slapped me in the face and accused me of being a rat and abanddoning ship. I was shocked and deeply hurt by her comment. She was only 73 years old, and forgot that I left my home and gave up my life to come out here to help them. Did she expect me to live with them and never have my own life? IDK, my father never once came out to visit or help, my uncle had his own life and never came. My grandfather was fine I was there to help after he had a 5way bypass, and then another 3 way by pass, but it was time for me to get a life and start over wasn't it? But to make a long story short, I was left nothing, and its fine. I did things out of love.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 10:02AM
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It just breaks my heart to read the above posts. I quit about half way down. Someone commented about the a son who was weak and a controlling girl friend, that's my younger son. We had the best relationship ever and after 20 years of marriage she finally convinced him that I the cause of all their problems. My estrangement from him happened over those 20 years, it happened slowly and I am glad for that. I saw a side of him that made me dislike my own son. So I didn't have the heartbreak a lot of you have had. I rarely think of my sons. When I see the way my neighbor's son treats her, I realize what I should have had and it makes me sad, but not for long. Only one person can ruin my life and that is me. I have let go. I get up in the morning smiling and happy. My biggest problem is deciding where to go to lunch. It's their loss.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 10:55PM
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I'm hoping I can get some insight and advice from this very difficult situation.

My parents were divorced 30 years ago. My brother and sister were teenagers and old enough to legally decide which parent they wanted to live with. They chose our mother. I wasn't old enough to decide so had to stay with my mother. Even after the divorce and my father moving out the fighting and craziness didn't stop, I actually think it got worse. It was a very bad divorce with lots of side choosing, getting us kids stuck in the middle, etc.

After my father moved out he called a couple of times to talk to us kids, my sister and brother never wanted to talk to him and never called him. Honestly I think it was just because they were teenagers and confused. My father was very hurt from the divorce and I don't think did enough to keep them in his life. He had the attitude of,"If you won't talk to me, I won't talk to you." Regardless, I was the only one who maintained a relationship with him. Since the household was still very negative and toxic I decided at the age of 12 to move in with my father. We had to go through a very traumatic and painful custody battle in court.

After I moved in with my dad my mother, sister and brother stopped talking to me for six years. After much trying and a huge struggle to get them back in my life I managed to do so. They are still the most negative people I have ever met and very selfish. But I am the only one who has managed to keep them all in my life to some degree. My brother, sister and father never talked to each other again...for 30 years.

Living with my father was no piece of cake either and we had many ups and downs throughout the years, but still always stuck by each others side. Later in life he became ill and I still was there for him. He recently passed away.

All that being said, he left everything he owned soley to me and made that very clear with hand written notes and in his will. I'm not necessarily saying that was right but that was his wish. I think he felt slighted by my siblings and so he felt it was his right to slight them. Only 3 days after his death my sister and brother started talking about the will, I was still grieving and realize since they didn't know him for 30 years they had no emotional bond or attachment. I was still making funeral arrangements, etc. and I thought it was not the right time to discuss the will. They are going to the funeral and now seem to be involving themselves out of the blue, telling me how I should do things etc. My mother thinks I should sell his house and split all his assets and money 3 ways with them, despite what my fathers wishes were and what it says in the will. She says they are still his children and it's not right that he left everything to me even if they have been estranged for 30 years. He also has 3 grandchildren from my sister and brother who he has never met. Everyone seems to think he should have included them in his will also.

I honestly don't care about the money,etc. But never had a good relationship with my mother, sister and brother and want to follow my fathers wishes.I love him, miss him and was pretty much all he had. I know they can't change what it says in the will but now I'm faced with tremendous guilt. When I have control over his estate should I feel obligated to give my siblings some of the money even if he didn't want me to, in order to keep the peace ? Is that taking the high road or being taken advantage of?

Sorry about the long winded story but I felt I had to explain certain things. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions. They would be so appreciated.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 5:09AM
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"All that being said, he left everything he owned soley to me and made that very clear with hand written notes and in his will. I'm not necessarily saying that was right but that was his wish. I think he felt slighted by my siblings and so he felt it was his right to slight them."

As you previously said...your father was very HURT by the divorce, so I'm certain his reaction to his own children was due to his feeling wounded and slighted by their behaviors towards him. I would drop the right or wrong from the equation here as we are talking about feelings and emotions. It is very sad that his emotional reaction was childish as well, given that he was the adult, but that problem stems from his own upbringing as well.

It is also very sad that he didn't seek professional help and that the outcome ended as it has. I have to wonder about the role your mother had in all of this, and from what it sounds she is still trying to influence you as well, or is it more than she is trying to manipulate you and an outcome that she prefers. As far as I'm concerned, she should keep quiet and keep her damned nose out of it, other than to instruct her children (your siblings) to act in a more respectful way towards you and it certainly is not their place to be involving themselves out of the blue and telling you how you should do things, especially given the absence and emotional unavailability to you before his death. They sound very, very selfish and insensitive and sadly I doubt you giving them money will change their behaviors.

I think they just feel entitled to the money. It will not change your situation.

"I honestly don't care about the money,etc. But never had a good relationship with my mother, sister and brother and want to follow my fathers wishes.


You have nothing to feel guilty about, especially if you are observing your father's wishes. Your mother is trying to control and influence you, rather than behaving in a respectful, loving way. It is sad that she couldn't manage to move forward from the divorce and establish a better relationship with you and encourage your siblings to do the same. She is part of this ugly dynamic too. If she didn't have a good relationship with you then why? The mere fact that you lived with your father is no good reason for her not to have been there for you! There sounds like there is more to this story.

I would say respect your father's wishes and his will. Hold on to the money and invest it and don't throw it away. I would also encourage you to see a counselor or therapist as this will help you to deal with some of your own emotions PRIVATELY and it may help you to sort out this whole ugly mess. Your other family members don't need to know and you can take as much time as you need to--to sort this out.

I'm providing a link below which deals with family estrangements. I'm sorry for the loss of your father. I also want to express that I sincerely wish you god luck with this can of worms...My heart goes out to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: E-stranged/Grieving

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:36AM
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This sounds like the type of stuff my parents tell themselves and the relatives to defend their own behavior and lack of relationship.

This is absolutely not the situation for me however, I grew tired of my parents ridiculous beliefs about my husband, spreading lies to the entire family to the point I could not function normally.

They pretend it is my spouse who is verbally abusive and controlling when it is the exact opposite. He is easy going, understanding and open to me making my own choices. My parents are mentally abusive and controlling. Accusing others of your exact behavior is called Projection.

They attempted to ruin the relationship with my spouse and ruined our relationship instead. Being angry and rude to him was much more important that our relationship apparently, and more important than their grandchildren.

When it became clear that even with grandchildren, they would continue to act as if something was wrong with my husband and I...they lost their relationship with their grandchildren as well.

In the case of my parents, it is a sense of entitlement. They are entitled to respect no matter how they treat me. I am to bow down and do their bidding or suffer the consequences, including withholding my inheritance that my grandmother passed on to me. I overlooked that, but they just kept going. It wasn't about the money, but the constant insulting of my husband that sent me over the edge. But they did attempt to control me with money, and they are still stealing my inheritance from my grandmother, which is most likely illegal, but I am too nice to pursue it. I should tell the entire family what they did, but again too nice to pursue it.

As a parent, if this happens to me someday, I would take full responsibility. I'm the parent. I must have done something!

First, I would be open to the idea I might have some responsibility. I would ask what was wrong, I would LISTEN, and I would apologize and do anything in my power to fix it.

In 8 years my parents have never asked what was wrong because they know what is wrong, I told them. They said no it's not true !DENIAL! The relationship was harming my health, seriously harming my health, and I explained that I needed support and that I was more important than their hate for my husband. I told them.

Now, I am sure they tell everyone they have no idea what my problem is, they did everything for me, I'm so entitled...just like the parents on this board.

I am suggesting you all be honest with yourselves. You probably DO know what's wrong, you just don't want to face it, you don't want to deal with it, and you don't want to change.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:00AM
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You're doing it again, needhelp. Why can you not acknowledge and accept that your situation is not necessarily the only way relationships can go wrong and that perhaps there are children as nasty to their parents as your parents are to you? Perhaps your parents were equally horrible to _their_ parents- would that make your grandparents' hurt all in their imaginations?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 3:02AM
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It's very simple:

People, including your adult children, gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain.

If your adult children are avoiding you, staying away from you, it is because you are causing them some pain.

If you were a pleasure to be around, they would be around you.

To resolve the problem you have to acknowledge what you are doing that causes them pain and stop doing that.

This is basic psychology, basic human interaction. Make it pleasant for them to be around you and they will be around you.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:03AM
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What is it you think you are buying when you give your adult children money?

Love? You can only get that with affection and through a mutually beneficial relationship. Money will never buy you love.

Loyalty, they will never leave you? Again, you can't get that with money only with affection and a mutually beneficial relationship--and if they have a spouse and children and a job and friends, you WILL NOT be number one in their lives.

Gratitude, appreciation, validation? They will appreciate it and be grateful--but it will be momentary, life goes on. They are not going to dedicate their lives to you in appreciation and sing eternal hosannahs to your great generosity.

Access into their lives? If you bring pleasure into their lives, they will give you access, money or not. If you bring pain into their lives, they will not give you access money or not.

In short, all of these things you might be trying to buy with money you can get without money, simply by being a pleasure in their lives. And none of these things you can buy with money if you bring pain in their lives.

The money you give will make NO difference to you relationship. Your relationship will boil down to one thing: do you bring pleasure and happiness into their lives with your personality, or do you bring pain?

If your child has rejected you it is ALWAYS because they do not find a relationship with you rewarding and pleasant.

For those of you who want to blame a son or daughter in law, or a girlfriend, or an ex. The same thing holds. Your adult child may indeed be unhappily married--but if she/he stays with that person it's because they will be less unhappy in that relationship than in leaving the significant other and resuming a relationship with you. You are still the worse of two evils.

For those who choose to diagnose your child with all these personality disorders and mental illnesses and character flaws rather than look at your own part in the estrangement, I say get realistic. You are not qualified to diagnose anyone--except yourselves, and none of that is going on. You are hurt, frightened, offended, and have had your self worth and self perception judged and found wanting by the rejection of your adult child. You are not objective; You are desperately clutching at excuses so as not to look at yourself. This is denial and defensiveness at it's highest form.

Your children are not weak, they are not mentally ill, they are not influenced by jealous others--they have known you their whole lives and they KNOW who you are, and who you are causes them pain, and they just trying to escape that pain.

People gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain. That's why you are estranged. None of you can say you don't know why: THAT's why.

Money does not make the pain go away. You can't buy your children. You have to build a REAL mutually beneficial relationship based on personality--not based on neediness and money and manipulation and unexpressed expectations.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Some of you have this fantasy that if you leave your money to someone else or a charity or just cut out your unsatisfactory adult child, they will someday 'be sorry'. They will realize how much they hurt you. They will be 'taught a lesson'.

This is all nonsense. It's not going to work out that way. They are not going to 'be sorry', they won't care that they 'hurt' you, and the lesson you will teach them won't be the one you think you're teaching.

Think about some of the high profile cases in the news where the rich and famous make a point of disinheriting their children. Leona Helmsley, Joan Crawford, Marlon Brando, Eugene O'Neill, etc...

Who ends up looking bad in these cases? It's never the kids; it's always the parents who come off as hateful, controlling, unloving, and vindictive. This will be you. This will be how you will be remembered, this will be your legacy.

Hateful, controlling, unloving, and vindictive.

Loving parents do NOT disinherit their children. By disinheriting them you demonstrate for all time that underneath all those words of love and devotion, you were everything your child said you were. Disinheriting your child PROVES you did not love them, no matter what you write in you final letter, will, video, whatever.

The child gets the final say, and their explanation of why you disinherited them will be the one that's remembered. Joan Crawford's legacy of "No more wire hangers" will last longer than her celebrity and her films. She is remembered more for that one night of rage than for all the 70 years of her living. Her defining moment was her hatefulness towards her children.

Think how differently it would have been if she had not disinherited her son and daughter. Her daughter may have still written that book, the 'no more wire hangers' incident still would have happened, Joan Crawford may still have been considered a bad mother. But people would have excused her: she did the best she could, she wasn't perfect, but she tried. In the end, she loved that child.

And the daughter would have looked bad and ungrateful. If that's what you are going for, leave them in the will with lots of expressions of regret and love.

Cut them out and you look hateful, vindictive and judgmental, and people feel sorry for your child.

Also, when your child cut you out of his or her life, your child ALREADY factored in the possibility you would cut them out of your will. Your child has ALREADY decided that dealing with you is NOT WORTH THE MONEY.

People say, "You couldn't pay me to deal with her", and when your child estranges you, your child is saying exactly that. Even your money isn't enough incentive for them to interact with you. In essence your children by estranging you have ALREADY rejected your money. Your leaving them out of the will is anticlimactic. They beat you to the punch.

By estranging you, they are trying to teach you a lesson. Have you learned it? Nope. And they will not learn the lesson you are trying to pound into them either. They will simply say, "Thank god I estranged mom when I did and saved myself 20 years more of her aggravation."

You disinherit your child because you want him/her to know your pain. But disinheritance doesn't say "I'm in pain" it says, "I'm enraged and punitive and critical of you." Your adult child getting that message is not going to see your pain, your adult child is going to see your meanness.

If you leave them their full inheritance and a last message of love and regret, you child is going to think about how can you be generous and loving when things were bad between you for so long? Then they might see your pain and feel guilty and wonder what could have been if they had handled your differences in another way.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:18AM
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While I wouldn't argue the accuracy of your interpretations in some circumstances, they don't apply in all.

Human beings are infinite in their variety and the possibilities on both sides of the equation are legion.

You said it best: You are not qualified to diagnose anyone . . . You are not objective. . .

And no, I do not have estranged children.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 3:34AM
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Thanks to PenByrd I admire your wisdom and courage.

Im new on that forum, It is dizzying to see all that pain and still live.

To Banana Bread, «Some of you have this fantasy»

I would love to believe you but, yes, the variety of situations make it impossible :

I have a daughter (43) who was my sole heiress till recently. My second husband, her step father, accepted that because when his mother died, he inherited OK and it seemed OK that my only child who has only one decent parent, would inherit from me. And also, on my husband side, there is a very greedy brother and had had quite a bit of control over him, has shown openly that he hates my guts and who would probably end up with my money if my husband died after me.

From that known story, my daughter has always known and believed that I would never think of changing that situation. My husband and my daughter being my only close familyÂ

But, a few years ago, my daughter fell «under the spell» of : a drug addict, penniless, violent, unfaithful, irresponsible in every aspect of life, ex jailbird with a brother an actual jail-bird etc. My tolerance to «the difference» and the «recoverable» has been seriously overstretched. HeÂs openly said that anybody who has more money than he, is fair game or owe to him. We are in that category, even if not by much.

ItÂs not out of a novel, itÂs the unspeakable reality. I did disinherit my daughter last summer.

It is a clear case of your lifetime hard savings going to hell, in smoke, cocaine and booze. My husband (her step father) has been an extremely kind and generous person with me even if he knew the plans. And This goes on at the same time that a «business of my daughter» that she persuaded us to help her with, turns up to work like that, in short : «any amount of investment or expenses she canÂt pay for the project, we pay.» We are seriously crossing our fingers that her project ends up the way it is supposed to because if it doesnÂt IÂm in debts till I die while they are sniffing cocaine and waiting for the profit to come in. My daughter, to whom I paid college tuition, had always been fair and reliable in all until she started couple with this total loser who brought in the family new definitions of freedom and love. After she got that total acces to my bank account, she started calling everything I do «control over her life» and shutting the door on me. She is 43! And, not the least, my daughter started acting terribly ugly toward me snapping aggressively at my every word, every move. Examples would flow for pages, some of them totally laughable or shattering in how unjustified they were.
This money part of the story is the least painful. When the one person you loved most in your life attacks cruelly on all frontsÂ

I was a motherless daughter at 7, never inherited a dime from anybody. IÂm too much of a mother because I tried too hard to be a whole family by myself? That hurts too much to even think of repairing it.

How do I put distance from something unbearable in my head, in my soul, in my hearth?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:55PM
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I have taken my son out of my will and any future children he may have or adopt. I do not have a large estate by any means, but if I leave behind one dollar I do not want it going to him. Not because I do not love him, because I do more than air. I have taken him out of my will because he is not the man I raised him to be. Lying, cheating, and swindling his elderly grandpartents out of money.. No in my opinion he has made choices and now he has to live with them.

Money does not equal love. it never has. It is about the years and years of loyal loving family that he has turned his back on. He has said he does not want to be in our family so I am simply honoring that wish.

Just because you gave birth to or adopted a child that does not give them the freedom to treat you as a personal ATM and like garbage when you say no.

If he does not want my love and friendship I am sure he does not need my money. I certainly do not have any trust in him

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:38PM
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I'm new so hope I am doing this right-----I think I am alot older than most of you and have only been estranged from my daughter for a year. It is enough to know that it is not going to get any better and I am taking her out of my will. I have alot of loving places to leave that money, animal shelters, ill children, homeless people, etc. I don't care what kind of message it sends, I will be dead and won't give a darn about what kind of legacy I leave. My message to her by doing this is "Hey babe, you hurt me, you don't care and neither do I. Just because people are related doesn't mean you have to love or even like them if they treat you like a piece of ----!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:36PM
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I'm a firm believer in "it's your money, please yourself as to its disposal". In my mother's late life, I tried to persuade her (unsuccessfully) to use _her_ money to do things she wanted to do, but she felt she had to save it to leave it to my brother and me.
I'm not denying that my inheritance was welcome, but I didn't _need_ it, as an adult I had made my own success and was comfortable, if not wealthy. Brother, on the other hand, has spent his life wasting everything that came through his fingers and I have no doubt the inheritance will go the same way. He never lifted a finger to help Mum while she was alive, actually broke her heart when he stole from her, then accepted tens of thousands of dollars from her (also wasted) and then disappeared for a couple of years with no word. When she died all he was interested in was how much he was going to get and why he should get more than the half he was left, since I was a success and he wasn't.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:53AM
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Hello everyone. I just wanted to tell you all that I have been dealing with estrangement from my son for 8 yrs now. I have never felt so much pain, anger, rejection in my life until all of this came about. For 8 yrs now, I have tried to cope and I have read just about everything I could to find an answer or a true solution to this. I am so happy that I found a forum with people who are going through what I am going through.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:13AM
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