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Another sob story.

(212 Posts)
Danjo Tue 27-Mar-12 09:50:40

Hi - I was inspired to tell you about my own sadness after reading nanban's sad story.

My son's partner, who I'll call DiL for short even thought they're not married, has never really liked me, although I welcomed her and her prior two children, into our family. I kept my mouth shut for years, although she'd post nasty things on facebook, such as: when my grandson, Dan, was ill - I asked her how he was the next day. She said "Still here unfortunately". (That kind of thing).

Anyway, my father passed away (on Fathers' Day) two years ago. That first Christmas me, my husband and my mum had a quiet Christmas and my son brought Dan (then 2 1/2) to visit us on the day after boxing day. (DiL would never come with him). They stayed the night. Dan woke at 10am the next day, they shoved some breakfast down their necks and got on the road for the 2 hour journey back home.

Well - she was on facebook saying how she wished he'd hurry up because her brother was visiting. I answered, saying Dan had only woke up at 10 etc. She said she'd 'told' my son to leave early because of her brother etc. I then said (and I sooo wish I hadn't) that I thought she might have had a bit of compassion, seeing as it was the first Christmas without my dad.

All hell broke loose. Apparently, there and then, she ripped her Christmas tree down, her mum and family defriended me on facebook and she has refused to speak to me since.

I'm not allowed at their house. My son has brought Dan to see me twice since then (Dan used to come and stay regularly) - he is now nearly 4. On 12th March this year baby Joe was born. I haven't seen him yet. To be fair, DiL said that, once she'd recovered from the birth, she'd go out for a couple of hours so I could go and see Joe.

I have a couple of days off so I rang my son and asked if she was OK now so I could see Joe and he said no, not yet.

When my husband came home I was very upset and he rang my son and asked if I could park round the corner (in my camper van) and maybe he could bring the baby out to see me?

All hell broke loose again and my son texted me to say that he'd have to let me know when I can come up as he 'had dramas' there now as well - he was very curt - no kisses on the end and I have not heard from him since.

I cry myself to sleep all the time and I'm devastated and don't know what to do. I'm sure that she wanted me out of their lives all along and I've played right into her hands.

I've helped them out by giving them money I could ill afford and even gave my son my car. Like nanban I'm exhausted.

Carol Tue 27-Mar-12 10:13:26

Hi Danjo, this is the sort of story many of us will recognise, and if you look at the threads 'cut out of their lives' and 'denied contact' you will see you are in good company.

You might not want to hear this, but I would say try offering an olive branch to her, maybe even apologising and explaining that you were distressed at the time (I know this would likely stick in your throat, but compare it with not seeing your new grandchild). Perhaps discuss things with your son first, and try to arrange a time when he can listen and give his opinion, too.

Sadly, there are some women around who take umbrage at anything they regard as a threat to their monopoly on their partners and children, and when they get their family on board, too, it becomes very public. Facebook has been instrumental in wrecking relationships that would otherwise have been worked at. Good luck, and please keep chatting so we know how you're getting on smile

Danjo Tue 27-Mar-12 10:19:54

Thanks Carol. At this time I don't even know if my son will be back in touch. All this time I've carried on sending her birthday cards and gifts, flowers when Joe was born - not a word heard back. Still, she never said thanks before she stopped talking to me - we never knew whether her presents had been received.

I'm gonna see if anything happens over the next few days. My son knows I'm desperate to see these children.

syberia Tue 27-Mar-12 10:25:11

Danjo Just sending you positive thoughts and hoping that you get to see that baby soon flowers

Carol Tue 27-Mar-12 10:25:59

Send a nice letter Danjo and perhaps a Mamas and Papas or Mothercare voucher for the new baby, if you don't hear something soon. Sounds like they would take longer to make any move.

Danjo Tue 27-Mar-12 10:28:55

I've already sent loads of stuff for Joe (and Dan so he's not left out). I'll leave it for a week or so, then I WILL send a letter, as a last resort, although it'll probably be binned. I'll send it addressed to my son so he'll know, in case she doesn't tell him.

Thanks everybody. x

Amber Tue 27-Mar-12 11:15:56

Hi Danjo so sorry to read about your problems with your DiL, but if you are going to send a letter addressed to your son you might want to put a printed address label on it, I am not saying she would but!!! she may recognise your hand writing and bin it before your son gets the letter, so he wont know you've written to him, (just a thought)

mickey Tue 27-Mar-12 11:19:16

I know its little consolation butyour DIL sounds like a control freak who would benefit from therapy but would never admit that. perhaps it would ease things for you if you looked upon her as ill. one day your son may well view her in the same way. she is obviously used to getting her own way-but everyone has a saturation point and he might man up yet. you have kept your dignity-hang on to that for solace.

Danjo Tue 27-Mar-12 11:24:00

Thanks Amber and Mickey - you are so right. x

Carol Tue 27-Mar-12 11:31:50

Good point Amber. My son used to send DVDs and letters to his son with printed labels in case ex-DIL confiscated them. Happily, things have changed after a year of her unpleasant (to say the least) behaviour, and we have gradually been able to reinstate the contact that was being cruelly denied. Good luck Danjo. You are already doing the right things - just don't give up. There have been several turns of fortune on here when Gransnetters were despairing of ever seeing their grandchildren flowers

Danjo Tue 27-Mar-12 11:37:21

Thanks again - it's keeping me sane, reading your points of view!

Mishap Tue 27-Mar-12 11:54:33

This sort of story appears so often on here, which is sad, but you might like to take comfort that you are not alone and that there are grans out there who can empathise and offer advice, so keep tuning in.
My only advice would be never to even look on Facebook - it is so pernicious and people say and do things that they would not dream of saying and doing face to face.
Also, I would think that any amount of grovelling would be worth it if you regain contact with your GC - sticks in the throat I know, but lesser of two evils I guess.
What a sorry situation - good luck with it.

nanachrissy Tue 27-Mar-12 12:01:18

Good luck Danjo I don't have any experience in this situation, but we never know what may happen in the future. Best wishes to you flowers

harrigran Tue 27-Mar-12 13:52:11

As the older generation I am afraid we have to bite our tongues and not make waves. It is very easy to inflame a situation so best to say as little as possible.

maxgran Thu 29-Mar-12 16:11:29

Danjo, Your DiL sounds exactly like my DiL.
Mine never comes to visit with my son when he brings our Grandson round. She is nice to my face when I do see her but she goes bonkers everytime my son spends any time with us.
She doesn't like me going round to their house so I usually go when she is out.
She is really neurotic and has tantrums all the time like your DiL did when she tore the tree down. No one should tolerate her behaviour like that ! My DiL throws things at my son and she tears up photos etc.

Luckily, although my son tolerates more from her than I would in his shoes, he has made it clear to her that we are his parents and their son's grandparents and that he is not going to miss seeing us because she is insecure !
I know my son has his hands full with her and sometimes he has to do things to keep the peace with her. I think perhaps your son's life is probably hell with his wife, especially as she has had a baby recently and he probably does not know how to resolve it.
Don't be upset at his impatience and him being curt with you - It sounds like he must have lots of stress.

I talk to my son and I tell him how I feel ( without whingeing or sounding clingy ) I think my son would have left his wife a while ago had they not got a son that he idolises.

All you can do is be there for your son and let him know that if he ever needs you all he has to do is call.
You should not have to beg to see your Grandchildren ! and your DiL is a total bitch for using what you said as an excuse not to talk to you again.

I do hope that you see your Grandson's soon. As for her - just back off. She won't like you whatever you do - and apologising or grovelling will not work - so don't do it !

gangy5 Thu 29-Mar-12 17:36:24

Ditto maxgran I have similar. Some DIL's take over their husbands and don't seem to want to share them with us.
Right from when of my son first brought her home she was extremely sulky and I could tell that she just didn't want to be there and wanted him all to herself. He couldn't see this and still can't - love conquers all!!.

I don't discuss any of my dislikes about DIL with my son as I don't feel it will help. We are very fortunate in that we see him and our 2 grandchildren quite frequently. As I bite my tongue - all is peace and light

Nanban Thu 29-Mar-12 18:57:59

Oh dear lady - I read your painful story, and hear all the nice helpful suggestions that you have already tried and it is all hideously familiar. Which doesn't help because here we are grieving every minute of every day. There are personalities in the world who thrive on grief and the more grief they cause the happier it makes them with the consequence that those people closest - partners and children - get a happier time too I would have thought. I have nothing to offer except that you are most likely a really lovely person and one day, like me I hope, your grandchildren will seek you out for themselves. I have a facebook page which I am treating as a diary to my grandchildren and I just long for the day when they find it. I am so sorry I can't be more positive.

greenmossgiel Fri 30-Mar-12 19:08:54

Danjo, I know what it's like to be estranged from a family member - in my case, it was my daughter. It did take 7 years to resolve, and now our relationship is much easier, though at times 'brittle'. I've recognised that I'll probably have to walk on eggshells for the rest of my life, but that's ok - I don't mind, because I've got her back.
Whatever it takes, Danjo, just do it - apologise (even thought there's no need). I cannot imagine how you'll be feeling just now, needing to see your little grandsons, because I was never in your position. So many of the others on this thread have had similarly heartbreaking experiences and some are coming through the other side of it now. I hope the same happens for you soon. flowers

Danjo Sat 31-Mar-12 09:06:54

Thanks so much for your support - I've spent so much time wondering if it IS me that's wrong that it very much helps when others put it in perspective. I still haven't heard anything from my son.

Nanban - I know what you are going through and it's heartbreaking. I try to fill my life up with other stuff but the big cloud hangs over me all the time.

I pray that everybody gets a happy ending. x

fillygumbo Sat 31-Mar-12 16:52:54

I felt so sad for those of you who suffer fromspiteful dils and would just like to appeal anyone reading these posts who have dds who appear to be not too fond of their in laws to try much harder. I suspect that some grand parents are only too pleased to have to not share their gc and would say to those please examine your conscience (cant spell it sorry)

glammanana Sat 31-Mar-12 17:16:50

Wise words filly

embralady Sat 31-Mar-12 18:12:31

I can so empathise with your situation, Danjo. I have been through much the same as you, and it has been compounded by distance as my son and family live in the USA. I feel that my DIL resented any time my son gave to his family back here - she wanted him all for herself. This has to stem from insecurity and perhaps your DIL realised that you and your son had a particularly good relationship until she was on the scene.

Long story short, as they say, I decided to be the adult, and took the decision to step back from becoming emotionally reactive. Since then things have become immeasurably easier. My DS knows that I will always be there for him because I have kept the lines of communication open, even under the most trying circumstances and I do appreciate that he is in a most difficult position. It sounds like you are doing all you can to have a relationship with your DIL and perhaps in time she will gain enough confidence to appreciate how skewed her thinking has been. Good luck, and hang in there. flowers

granbunny Sun 01-Apr-12 07:46:42

so many of the posts here are full of 'you' and what 'you' want. your sons' partners are written of in a derogatory way - one son's 'life must be hell'. well, lady, that's the life he chose, not living with his mum.

for goodness sake, wake up. unless you have some respect for your sons and their partners you won't be able to form decent working relationships.

yes, some people are difficult to deal with and seem impossible to understand. but starting from the point that it is their relationship, and their life together, that matters, would help a lot.

instead of thinking about what you want, and what you are entitled to, think about what the younger couple need and where you can quietly fit in and show support. if your sons moan about their partners, encourage them to feel and speak more positively about them. a lot of the problems between mothers in law and daughters in law are caused by sons misrepresenting each side to the other.

Carol Sun 01-Apr-12 08:09:52

granbunny in general I agree with what you are saying, but please allow for those Gransnetters whose experiences have been far from the norm. Some DILs that have been described on here have behaved abusively to say the least, and their insecurities and jealousies have verged on the pathological. That is why these Gransnetters have sought support and advice on how to proceed. The day to day trivial misunderstandings and need for give and take aren't at issue in those cases. Finding yourself in a desperate situation for no good reason, when it has been none of your own making, can be very distressing, especially when asserting your sense of entitlement to at least be treated respectfully (even if you are not respected), can be fraught when the DIL holds the power to deny contact with grandchildren, or hoids power over a son that she will do the same to them. It takes a delicate approach and a keen sense of what is likely to upset the apple cart if the wrong thing is said. This is what is being discussed, not a misinformed belief that mothers always come first.

granbunny Sun 01-Apr-12 08:56:00

we only have their word for it that daughters in law are abusive, neurotic, jealous, pathological or whatever. the daughters in law might see demanding, controlling, neurotic, jealous mothers in law.

the fact that you see daughters in law as people who 'hold the power' demonstrates that your perception of these situations is of a power struggle. have you thought that might be an unhelpful view to take? consider what it suggests about these cases, and what the mothers in law really want?