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

(148 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.

Joyfully Wed 20-Dec-17 10:23:29

I am sorry FrillyGill that posts have been so harsh and judgemental. The last thing you need is people telling you that you almost deserve what’s happened. I don’t often post on here, but as a therapist, I feel sad that you are being judged so harshly. Whether you have made mistakes in the past or not, cannot be changed now. Yes your son was young when you left, but he was not a child and you gave him a choice. You have my empathy for sure and a post stated that your son might have felt abandoned by both parents. He does sound as though he has learned to cope by himself now. To ease your pain I would suggest you give as much love to your other sons, and just tell yourself that you did your best raising your son for 18 years. Maybe he will think of you in the future and want a relationship with you. Meanwhile, send him one last text saying you have always loved him and always will , and leave it at that. I hope that this one post helps you rather than judge you. You asked for advice, but some was unkind and hurtful. None of us have done a perfect job raising our children. There are no rules how to do it. Let’s be kinder to each other. Being cruel does not help at all. If FrillyGill was depressed, some of the comments could make things much worse.

Rocknroll5me Wed 20-Dec-17 10:26:08

comments are a bit harsh. I think people reveal themselves on here thinking it a safe place. well it's not. judgements abound. and here's my pennorth:
my, one, son has married a 'dreadful' woman but I instnctively know that I would be dead meat if I criticized her. And the botttom line is, he loves her and she loves him and wives take precedence over mothers. I cannot believe how many mothers don't know that. And one day she might even get to like me and then I might stop thinking she is dreadful smile
and all the DIL's who post on here will sometimes have to wear the boot on the other foot too when their sons grow up....

Jalima1108 Wed 20-Dec-17 10:28:46

I'm sorry Joyfully but FrillyGill seems to have a total lack of awareness of the effect her harsh words to her son's fiance may have had on him too and their relationship. It is not surprising that they wish to distance themselves from her. Perhaps if she apologises and lets them know through a third party that she knows she got things wrong and would like to try again and not be so judgmental then the relationship with the couple and a future DGC could be formed - but it will be a very tenuous one imo.

Coconut Wed 20-Dec-17 10:29:59

None of us can turn the clock back, if only. I think that you should take on board everything that has been said here and do some serious self analysis. If you do manage to trace your son, you do need to openly admit all your mistakes and vow to change to enable a line to be drawn in the sand and move forward. I wish you luck and their forgiveness.

Jalima1108 Wed 20-Dec-17 10:31:19

Rocknroll you have enough self-awareness and common sense to realise that, although you dislike your DIL, she is the woman your son loves and you have not criticised her.
Well done - perhaps FrillyGill should learn from you.

radicalnan Wed 20-Dec-17 10:35:23

Advice and opinions can be harsh but that is what she asked for posting here. She can get therapy of course if she wants to, no doubt her version of events will play better when a therapeutic setting is the place of airing, however, therapy isn't always right, or honest or helpful.

Sometimes a frank response to a query can be a quicker fix and she did ask for opinions.

A therapist has duties to a client, when posting here, people are asking for opinions on a situation that we only have their version of, we do however take a wider view than a therapisy might choose to do. If her situation has caused her any depression then best she resolves it sooner rather than later, and no doubt her actions have caused some distress too.

Jalima1108 Wed 20-Dec-17 10:37:54

One can only respond to the information given

grannyactivist Wed 20-Dec-17 10:43:45

Aibu to want my son back? His fiancé has taken him from me
The title of the OP is an indicator that in some way you see your son as a possession. He is not, so he cannot be 'taken away' from you. He has chosen, for now, to exclude you from his life. You can hope that at some time in the future he will make contact and in the meantime you might concentrate on helping your other sons towards a healthy independence.

damewithaname Wed 20-Dec-17 10:44:13

Gosh no. Let him go. He's an adult. He's going to going to a father.

And you are at fault. Anyone who says "if so and so was so clever thyd the the job by now" shows lack of character on your part.

I think it best that you stay clear I tho lives because you will be the type I mil that will cause such problems for me parents instead of love and support.

Keep your other two sons at home.They too, may see tho I'm yet to come and also leave and not come back. Just something to think about.

IngeJones Wed 20-Dec-17 10:51:36

I guess you kind of made a mistake when you criticised the woman he loves. I can see why you thought what you did about her, but sometimes thoughts are better not turned into words.

MaggieM Wed 20-Dec-17 10:54:53

DS1 has probably been made to feel an outcast as he is not your DHs like the younger two

I agree.

The OP abandoned her son in favour of life with her husband and her children from that marriage.

And this nonsense of contact waning naturally??? Its obvious she had the status quo she wanted in Australia and her son was out of sight out of mind.

newnanny Wed 20-Dec-17 11:04:59

You left an 18 year old alone and went to the other side of the world without him. He must have felt abandoned. Then you did not keep in close contact with him and did not come back to UK to visit him or pay for him to visit you in Australia. You have not been welcoming to his fiancee. You don't think she is good enough for your eldest son, yet she was there for him when you were not. They have seen how you have treated his fiancee and now they are probably worried about how you may treat a grandchild. He was keeping in contact with his brother but after he reported back to you he has also lost contact. You sent him text asking questions. Can you not see the pattern? You could have just sent him a text saying how happy you were he and fiance were having a baby and let him respond. Try to think before you respond if you get another chance. I hope you do get a relationship with your GC but it won't work if you criticise its Mom.

Angela1961 Wed 20-Dec-17 11:06:51

He is an adult and has been one for some time. There is nothing you can say,do,expect or demand. It's one of the joys of motherhood. Bring them into the world, nurture, and then let them fly. Be glad he is independent. He will be in touch if he wants to and that (sadly ) is all you can be hopeful of.

sarahellenwhitney Wed 20-Dec-17 11:38:02

Over bearing does none of us any favours
The cord was cut at birth we have to live with it
Give it time, or admit your mistakes and make your apologies and hope your son takes you back into his life
I hope it is not too long before you are reunited.
I too made a mistake and am living to regret it.

Teddy123 Wed 20-Dec-17 11:38:27

There is an element of "pot kettle black here". As for criticising his choice of partner, that's just not on. I do, however, admire your honesty in admitting that you emigrated to the furthest place you could go when he was only 18. I'm guessing this was your DH's idea with his new family, one of whom was only 2 years younger than your abandoned son. I feel very sorry and embarrassed for you ...... But wish you well. The years run away with us .....

Shazmo24 Wed 20-Dec-17 12:11:51

My thoughts are you need to let him be...hes 27 for goodness sake (the same age as my youngest). He's living his life with his fiance No wonder he doesn't want contact with you...He was in contact with your middle son so you knew he was ok but that wasn't enough for you.
He will make contact with you when he's good and ready

LondonMzFitz Wed 20-Dec-17 12:15:36

Yes, these must have been hard comments to read, but I do hope the OP gives some time to reflect on them. The most telling sentence for me would be : I've brought him (and his fiance) across the world to have my son back and it seems that I've just lost him instead. I wish I hadn't bothered.

Were you thinking of your son's interests when you worked to get him and his partner (his partner!) to Auz? or was it all for you - the "wish I hadn't bothered" really sticks out for me. Ouch!

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 20-Dec-17 12:18:18

Joyfully with respect, the advice in your post is reasonable, but only because other posters first said what went wrong (going on the information given). The thread is in the AIBU forum and honest answers have been given to what appears to be a blatantly obvious situation. I hope FrillyGill reads back over what she wrote and now sees the information in a different light. That said, I do hope FrillyGill feels supported by your post.

Jaycee5 Wed 20-Dec-17 12:22:59

I have a lot of sympathy for the middle son. My parents emigrated to Canada when I was 14 and my sister 15. We arrived in February on the coldest day for umpteen years and found it very difficult. It was harder for me because my sister adjusted to the school system better than I did but we both started saving to come home as soon as we could. I left school at 17 so that I could start saving to return and we were both 19 when we came back.
That is a very difficult age for children to make such a big move. They are just starting to make real friends as they are beginning to do more things with friends rather than parents. He also had to leave his big brother and now is not able to have an easy relation with him.
I don't know what the answer is but it is all very sad for all the children particularly the eldest.

Mapleleaf Wed 20-Dec-17 12:23:55

I'm afraid that your post makes it sound as I feel you are the injured party and that the situation is anyone's but your fault. Reread your first post, as it does come across as me, me, me whether that is true or not. I'm sorry, but you are coming across as unreasonable. There has to be give and take and all you seem to have done is blame your sons fiancée for everything, and your comment about her (in Byyour view) not being smart or she'd have a job by now was downright nasty and uncalled for. It's hardly surprising that your son is distancing himself from you whilst you have such an attitude towards his fiancée.

Rocknroll5me Wed 20-Dec-17 12:24:23

thanks Jalima1108 greatly appreciated.
we should be happy our sons are in a relationship.
and they have to separate from us to grow...however painful. as Helen Deutcsh the famous child psychologist said; they will leave, 'it's the tragic destiny of motherhood' she reckoned the best remedy was to have about ten children; You have to laugh.
I think OP in writing it down must have seen the fault lines...if not she has now.

Mapleleaf Wed 20-Dec-17 12:25:57

"Sounds as if you feel" , not "as I feel".

JanaNana Wed 20-Dec-17 12:52:22

I think your post may have made more sense if you had stated initially that your eldest sons father was still in the UK. Maybe you felt that as he still had a parent in England and your visa would have expired if you did,nt go when you did he that you had no choice. I expect your son then 18 and going through all the ups and downs of teenage years just wanted the life he knew. None of us can turn back the clock however much we would like to. You can never replace those missing years however hard you may wish to. If you get the opportunity to be on good terms with him and his partner again grab it with both hands, without any criticising of his partner at all. She has been there for him throughout all these years, seemingly through thick and thin, and has to be admired. You cannot hand pick your children's choices of partner nor should you try and manipulate things to your own advantage as it back fires. Being a "smother mother" is not a healthy situation. Let them all make their own choices in life otherwise you will miss out on many happy times.

keffie Wed 20-Dec-17 12:54:35

Our children are through us, NOT of us - it's no wonder your son has disappeared from your life. He is NOT your property. This link sums up our children in the poem

I have 4 adult youngsters: 3 sons and 1 daughter. I get on great with my DiL because I left/leave them, our eldest son and her to their lives. I don't interfere. They have our grandchild we see fortnightly on average. Our grandchild sees her parents most days. That's because they live round the corner and she is very close to her mom.

Because we are laidback etc we get more benefits as our DiL doesn't mind our son popping down with our grandson inbetween the usual fortnightly visit which he often does.

We are getting extra grandson time this Christmas because of our relaxed ways.

Your persona is your persona however you can change the way you deal

The horse seems to gave bolted here. If he gets back in touch learn to keep your mouth shut and let them live their lives.

Make sure you look at yourself and learn these lessons so you don't make the same mistakes with your other 2 sons

My only suggestion is take a long look at yourself, write a letter of apology leaving the door open for them to walk through and send the letter through the letting agent or one of these friends. Ask them to forward it on for you. Then sit back and enjoy your sons still in your life and learn from this

Jane43 Wed 20-Dec-17 12:57:41

As the mother of two sons, one who is on his second marriage, I would advise you to always respect their choice of partner no matter what your own opinion might be. Can you honestly say you made this girl feel welcome in your home? It seems she couldn’t wait to move out and I can see why. Like it or not, your sons will always choose their partner over you and it is foolish to make them choose.