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Aibu to want my son back? His fiancé has taken him from me

(147 Posts)
FrillyGrill Wed 20-Dec-17 01:37:06

I have 3 sons (eldest 27, middle child 24, youngest 17) When my eldest son was 18 I moved from Britain to Australia, without him but with his other siblings. My son didn't want to go and my visa would have expired if I waited any longer.
So I made the choice to leave Britain. Regretfully our contact waned. Years later when my eldest was 26 I offered him the chance to come to Australia. By this time he had been in a relationship with someone, I'm not sure how long but I know they lived together for 12 months by this point.
He refused to leave her behind, so I put my support behind her too and 8 months later they arrived in Australia.
The plan was for them to stay with me while they found work then move out and live locally.
I found his girlfriend difficult to live with, she was clean and pleasant enough but she smoked a lot. She never did so in the house but I could always smell it on her. She was very forgetful and would forget to put things away after using them, I also found her very dependant on my son. Asking him things like "where's this got to? Have you seen x?" I wonder why she didn't look for herself. She seemed pretty useless. My son didn't seem happy. I started snapping a bit and there was an altercation with my Dh too.

He found a job, she didn't. But they could manage on one income and so they decided to move out. I'm very hurt that they did so without telling me. I went to work one day, as did Dh. My other son (16 at the time) was in the house at the time. They had a large cab turn up at 10am and were gone within 20 minutes. They initially had told me they were going to move out 3-4 days after the day they actually did. I also found out second hand that they are now engaged they didn't think it worthy to tell me. I haven't seen his fiancé since.

I saw him that night when he returned his house key but didn't see him again for another 2.5 months, he came over to get some post and we had a coffee. I invited him to barbecues and gatherings but there was always something else to be doing or he was working.
On his younger brothers 17th birthday he came around and stayed for about an hour, brought a card and a present, had a single drink then went home.
I have not seen him since. This was 5 months ago. He has stopped responding to my texts.
Our text contact all but died when I said well if your fiancé was so smart and great with words, she'd be employed by now surely? (This was in response to ds saying his fiancé would happily help youngest ds with his resume, as she was good at that and always knew what to say for the best)
Ds snapped at me and told me she does have a job (nobody had told me that so it was fair to assume she was still unemployed I think) and that my judgements about her were unwelcome. I stupidly also said that I see him less now than I did when he was in the uk.
He pointed out this was "horseshit" since I never bothered to visit. I wanted to visit its just such a long journey and I hate flying so much.

He stopped talking to me then. He hasn't spoken to me for almost 2 months now.

I later found out from middle son that eldest son and his fiancé were having a dispute with the letting agents with regards to some issues (floor damage, I believe) and might have to move. He also shared that eldest sons fiancé is pregnant.

I text eldest son asking where he was moving to. No response. I asked when she was due to give birth. No response.

I text again telling eldest son I was worried about him and invited him to live with me again until he sorted himself out, no response.
At this point he also stopped responding to middle sons contact.
Middle son went to eldest sons home. Eldest son was gone. Middle son contacted the letting agent they had moved out four days prior. Letting agents declined to share further info or forwarding address. Middle son then went to eldest sons work place and asked to speak to him. He was informed by the manager that he had left his job 7 days prior to that and they have no knowledge of where he has gone.

Middle son did speak to a friend/ex coworker of eldest son and friend did say he knows where he's gone but declined to share the information, stating only that he was still in Australia and is doing ok.

I know this is all because of his fiancé.
I just want my son back.
I've brought him (and his fiancé) across the world to have my son back and it seems that I've just lost him instead. I wish I hadn't bothered.
Aibu to just wish his fiancé would let me have my son back?
She has isolated him from everyone and I worry he is being abused by her.
He says he's happy but I don't think he is.
I don't know where he is - Australia is huge and I could drive for 20hrs in a straight line without stopping and still have another 40hrs of driving to do, without reaching the other end of Australia. He could be anywhere.

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 20-Dec-17 02:38:07

Aibu to just wish his fiancé would let me have my son back?


Envious Wed 20-Dec-17 02:40:01

I don’t think you will like what I have to say but you come across as smothering. It’s never easy to please a wife and a mother at the same time. They want their own life and any kind of negative comments will only push them away and will look at you as a bother. If he doesn’t think you like his fiancé he won’t bring her around and she won’t want to see you or encourage him to see you alone. Maybe someone on here with a similar experience will have ideas as to how to move forward with them. My sympathies

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 20-Dec-17 02:52:43

It sounds to me like you never wanted the woman to come to Australia with your son and once she got there you were pretty unwelcoming. I think you have lost sight of the fact that your son is a grown man, not a child or a teenager who has returned to live with the rest of the family in the family home. I hope he gives you another chance so that you can try to build a relationship with your son and his family.

Prepare yourself for replies that don't match your opinions. However, there are a lot of members on here estranged from their adult children and they might be able to give you advice on how make the situation better. Of course, not knowing where your son and his family are living is a big problem.

FrillyGrill Wed 20-Dec-17 03:03:25

You're right in that I didn't want her here as such it was necessary to though; as my son wouldn't come without her. So I was willing to have her here if it meant I have him but I've brought him to this country and I've lost him...
I'm not going to debate/argue here. Just reading feedback on the situation.
I appreciate your thoughts

MaggieM Wed 20-Dec-17 04:00:29

Your relationship with your son ended when you left Britain and moved to Australia when he was 18 years old.

You also let contact wane once there.

9 Years later you offered him the chance to go to Australia because you had it in your head to pick up on being his mother.

His partner was a spanner in the works because you only wanted the 18 year old you'd left behind. You had it in for her from day one and were determined to break them up and claim your son back.

Neither of them were having any of it.

She has isolated him from everyone and I worry he is being abused by her

This says all there is to say about you. The reality is that there probably very happy together and recognise you as being toxic and want as far away as possible from you with their baby.

You've reaped what you sowed.

Day6 Wed 20-Dec-17 04:46:05

This is a strange one. I have had to remain quiet when two of my sons took up with what I thought were unsuitable women, with a myriad of faults. (Me being judgemental.I could see things my sons couldn't.)

However, I realised that they either didn't care, couldn't see the faults or other parts of their relationship were so good they could overlook them. It wasn't really my business although I so wanted to stick my oar in. I hated to see my nice sons so malleable and trusting with these undeserving (imo) women. grin

In the end I thought the best approach would be to back off and see how things panned out.

It is difficult seeing your son changed by a girl who doesn't want to be in your life, but as mothers we have to stand back and let them learn, make mistakes, realise truths, and generally just get on with their own lives. Hard as it might be, if you criticise a son's partner, the chances are he will defend her and see you in another light.

He is a grown man who has made his choices. He wants to be with this woman. To criticise his choices will drive a wedge between you.

The damage has been done unfortunately.

BlueBelle Wed 20-Dec-17 06:30:55

Oh dear I don’t want to judge you or hurt you but you really don’t come across good in that explanation in your original post
So if you break it down
You moved to the other side of the world when your eldest was barely out of childhood, you moved away from him not him from you You invited him 8 years later to join you (after never even visiting him in that 8 years) he had by now a finance and you say ‘ he refused to leave her behind’ What do you expect? you sound as if you had no intention at all of liking her and you found fault in her from the moment you met her you sound really begrudging when you describe her as ‘ pleasant enough’ then list all her faults I bet she had a nightmare time inder your roof
They moved out, (good for them) ,even after that he offered a small olive branch by text saying his fiancée could help your youngest with his resumee and you had to text back a horrible text critising and putting down his fiancée yet again , and you wonder why he’s moved on from you and what’s nothing more to do with you !

Your sons fiancée has not taken him away from you she has rescued him from a toxic relationship You abandoned him then you wanted him back but on your terms you want full control
Yes you have lost your son and need to look at your own behaviour as to why, I m afraid I feel only sympathy for his fiancée and also your eldest who won’t have walked away lightly I m sure, I hope they have a very happy life together and I hope you wake up and start looking at your own behaviour before you blame others

MissAdventure Wed 20-Dec-17 06:42:02

I think the problem is that your contact waned when you moved. Why did it wane? Your son was still only 18 when you left, but was an adult of 26 when he came out to you, with a long term partner.
I think its quite fortunate that your son found somebody he is happy and settled with, considering you were so far away, and not in his life.
He is an adult. He stayed in contact with you despite your dislike of his partner, but you cannot carry on criticising her and expect there to be no repercussions.
I hope you can build some bridges, but I feel it must come from you. He has done nothing wrong, and neither has his partner.
Is his dad out in Australia with you?

FrillyGrill Wed 20-Dec-17 06:54:03

I'm trying to take in what's being said here and process it.
Thank you for your thoughts again.

His dad is still in Britain - he walked out on me when son was just a baby and didn't see him again until he was 15, eldest at that point decided to have nothing more to do with him. My Dh is the father of my middle son and youngest son.

Contact waned almost naturally (I'm not sure that's the right word), I think.
We kept in contact via email initially then Skype and Facebook. I'd send him a present at Christmas and birthdays and ask how he was doing then too, but I'm afraid neither of us talked to the other much in other terms. I regret it, I know it's bad. I had my other sons to think about (middle son was 14/15 when we came over and adjusted badly though the youngest was ok) we ended up having money worries because Dh struggled to find work, had an altercation with his new boss after finally finding something got fired and was out of work for another 5 months. I ended up switching careers and going into nursing... it was a very stressful time and I let other things get in the way and then talking to him was very awkward because I couldn't think of what to say (and he's never been great at conversation).

MissAdventure Wed 20-Dec-17 07:11:01

There are a whole host of other issues than your sons fiance, I think. His dad not seeing him for years, it appearing maybe to him that you were 'too busy' forging a new life thousands of miles away. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I'm sure there are things we all regret. I really hope you can find some way back into your sons life, but I don't think its going to be by putting the blame on his partner. Things could have gone very differently for a young man who maybe felt abandoned. Maybe his partner has been a stabilising influence at a time when he needed a constant in his life? Certainly they have been together for a long time now, unlike (he may think) his dad, you, and his siblings. Anyway, good luck. I really hope you can find a way to put things right, as I do think the onus is on you.

BlueBelle Wed 20-Dec-17 07:57:52

Frillygrill that extra piece of information has added another dimension to your problem I have got the feeling, maybe wrongly, that you ve have only been looking at things from your viewpoint
Your eldest son was abandoned twice first when his dad walked out and then when you walked out, I don’t mean that to hurt you, but it’s how a child/ young person would feel, he then saw you in another country a million miles from him, with YOUR family not his ( you were his only full relative and you had left him ) You say ‘I sent him birthday and Christmas presents’ ( like that was all that was needed to keep the mother/son relationship alive)
Your biggest mistake in his adult life was to make an enemy of your prosepective daughter in law she could have been the bridge between you and your son, and they ve tried by the sound of it, but now had enough can you blame them

Please look very very hard at your own behaviour and not so much at blaming them and for goodness sake don’t act the same with your other two sons

harrigran Wed 20-Dec-17 07:58:43

You are in a situation that you created yourself, I feel sorry for your son and his girlfriend. You display traits that would have most prospective DILs running for the hills.
I hope you learn from this and don't repeat your mistakes with younger sons.

suzied Wed 20-Dec-17 08:15:29

Agree with others. Put yourself in the young woman’s shoes. She loves your son and has moved thousands of miles to be with him and made him happy. You have slagged her off and not just behind her back. She has got a job in a new country , she’s pregnant ( and hopefully given up smoking) . She must have some positive qualities to be making a new life for herself and your son. Maybe apologise to her, if and when you get the opportunity and be grateful to her for caring for your boy and future GC. Try not to alienate any future partners your younger sons might have.

M0nica Wed 20-Dec-17 08:16:39

Frillygrill, if you trawl through other threads new and old on Gransnet you will find a number from younger women asking how to deal with mothers/parents, not all of them in law, who won't let go, who sideline them or are actively hostile to them. You may find it interesting to read your story from the other side of the relationship.

My reaction is like that of others. The situation you are in is of your own making because you have clearly made life decisions based on what was best for you, and not you and your children. I am not criticising that, but you cannot have your cake and eat it, marginalise your son when it suits you and then expect him to come to heel and be a devoted son when you decide that that is what you want.

He has now made his own decisions with the welfare of his own family in mind. He sees your presence in his life, alternately blowing hot and cold, and hostile to his partner as toxic, and decided it is better for him and his family to exclude you from it.

Learn from your mistakes.

Christinefrance Wed 20-Dec-17 09:07:27

Yes Frillygrill you have made mistakes, who amongst us has not.
You can't pick and choose which parts of the relationship you want to maintain. Accept things as they are with your son and try to be happy for and with them.

Eglantine21 Wed 20-Dec-17 09:17:36

You say you want him back. Do you mean living in your house again? Or just to be in contact?
Without his partner? With the baby? Or for him to walk out on his partner and baby like his father did?
Whats your vision of life as it should be for you?

paddyann Wed 20-Dec-17 09:52:36

I cant understand any mother who puts her own life over her children...even an 18 year old....or maybe especially an 18 year old.They often need us more in their teens than as little children.You did make that choice and frankly you were lucky he came back to you at all.You need to do some serious grovelling if you want him in your life.He has apartner he loves and who loves him and THEIR relationship is nothing to do with you....take a long hard look at yourself and ask how YOU would have reacted if your parents had left you at that age and then criticised the life choices you made years later.If your son decides to stay in Australia you have the chance to re connect ..try to put your opinions to one side or you may lose him forever

MawBroon Wed 20-Dec-17 09:52:47

Try as I might I cannot understand OP’ point of view.
Her son is 26/27 and an adult, has chosen his own (life) partner and will soon become a father. Right?
And OP wants to get him back as if he was some errant child.
He says he is happy, what makes OP know she “knows better” I wonder.
If OP is not to “lose” all 3 sons I would suggest she takes a reality check right now, because if I were either of her younger sons I would be distancing myself from a suffocating situation ASAP.

Luckygirl Wed 20-Dec-17 09:52:59

You have been manipulating his life quite long enough. Good lad for getting out and all power to his elbow!

mostlyharmless Wed 20-Dec-17 10:14:54

We bring children up to develop independence and to help launch them into the world with their own life and new relationships.
You should be pleased that your son has a fiancée and a new life ahead of him. Congratulate him on the new baby and keep a healthy distance until you are invited.

NannyTee Wed 20-Dec-17 10:14:55

You should have took all 3 boys with you when you went out there. DS1 has probably been made to feel an outcast as he is not your DHs like the younger two. All that followed has pushed him further away. It's sad but I honestly can't blame him .

radicalnan Wed 20-Dec-17 10:15:53

If you wait for your children to find a faultless partner you will have a very long wait. That boy was left while you went off to do what you wanted to do, you set him that example.

Now he is doing what he wants to do.

I felt sorry for the GF she moved around the world to be with him, seems to have felt unwelcome and stayed for love, which is more than you did. She lacked confidence and was probably homesick too.

Be glad that they are doing well and have each other.

glammanana Wed 20-Dec-17 10:18:31

You have not only lost contact with your eldest son your middle son has now been cut off from his brothers life after he tried on your behalf to find out where he had moved to and where he was working,how dare he be hounded like this I am not surprised he has cut you off and I do personally think you have to look forward to not having any visits from your future grandchild when she/he arrives.

Jalima1108 Wed 20-Dec-17 10:23:21

I would not be at all surprised if they decided to come back to the UK and cut off all contact. If his fiance has a family back home she may be missing them dreadfully and need them when the baby is born.

You untied the apron strings when your son was 18 and now want to re-tie them - without welcoming the woman he loves. I am not surprised that they no longer want to have contact with you.