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AIBU thinking my daughter is being cruel?

(63 Posts)
Ziggy62 Wed 22-Aug-18 14:35:30

My grown up daughter and I have had a difficult few years and I haven't heard from her since February, she ignored my texts so I thought I would leave it till she decided to get in touch. I received a mother's day card but no gift (first time ever)then last week I received a birthday card, she just wrote her name (not her partners or any little kisses as she used to). I immediately sent text thanking her and asking how her & her partner are. No reply , text was sent last week.
I think its quite cruel to send cards then continue to ignore me.

kathsue Wed 22-Aug-18 14:50:21

Don't know what went wrong between you but at least she is making some contact now. I don't think she is deliberately being cruel. You can't expect things to suddenly go back to normal. I wouldn't push things, just let her resume contact with you at her own pace.
One step at a time.

Googoogoo1 Wed 22-Aug-18 15:41:59

Agree with kathsue. Just tread lightly. Send cards or presents as you normally do. Don't ask anything of her for the time being. It's amazing how piercing it can feel when they don't put the normal xx at the end.sad I sometimes wonder if it was always like this or whether todays ability to constantly be able to get in touch has made lack of contact more noticeable. I think it's positive that she is making some contact.

Ziggy62 Wed 22-Aug-18 15:51:00

thanks for replies. I just don't understand why she is ignoring my calls and texts. why send cards if she doesn't want to have contact

Melanieeastanglia Wed 22-Aug-18 16:19:34

I would go slowly. Slow but sure catches the hare. Not sure if that's completely the right expression but I think that your daughter is making some contact and perhaps things will improve eventually.

Elrel Wed 22-Aug-18 16:25:47

Cards are contact, I would have thought. You know your daughter is thinking of you.
Maybe she is having personal problems she doesn't feel able to share and would rather keep minimal contact than mislead you with 'Everything's fine' messages.

janemar Wed 22-Aug-18 16:27:58

It must be so frustrating to have that little bit of contact all on her terms. It seems that she wants contact but not enough that things would have to be discussed. I am not good at waiting and would probably force the issue and make it worse I hope you have more patience than I do.

M0nica Wed 22-Aug-18 17:09:58

When someone is making contact, after a break, they sometimes want to do it very slowly and gently.

You do not say why the relationship has been so troubled, and it probably doesn't matter. What these cards are saying are that she doesn't want you entirely out of her life,but the fact that they only contain a name and nothing else, tells you that whatever hurt she felt from your troubles still remains and those cards acknowledge that, but still she doesn't want you actively in her life, hence the ignored texts.

I suggest you reply in kind. Send her a birthday card and Christmas card just saying something like 'love mum', do not be tempted to say anything else or put kisses on it and as she slowly escalates the contact (and I am sure she will), match her but do not exceed her.

I think you must think years rather than months, but if you are prepared to play the slow game, things could gradually come right, but do not push her, that will just make her retreat.

M0nica Wed 22-Aug-18 17:11:28

ps, no, she is not being cruel, but just wants to build bridges very slowly

Nannarose Wed 22-Aug-18 17:15:12

I think that when there have been troubles in a relationship, that continuing formal contact is a way of leaving the door slightly ajar so better contact can at some point be resumed. Push too hard and it may slam shut!
This is very difficult for you -I do think that you could text 'thank you for lovely card, glad to hear from you' but as others say, tread slowly.

HildaW Wed 22-Aug-18 17:51:17

Sending a card despite there being no other contact should be viewed as a huge positive....not a sign of cruelty.
Estrangement, for whatever reason are person and individual and all signs of communication are precious. She is reaching out tentatively so be guided by her.

Any outsider will never know what really happened....and sometimes even those involved get their signals crossed so just be grateful, respond in kind if possible and just show a willingness to forget what's happened and take each step as it comes.

cornishclio Wed 22-Aug-18 18:14:13

I think if she was being really cruel she would have ignored your birthday and mothers day altogether. Was the fall out re the partner? That might be the reason the partner was left off the card. Or she might not still be with him. I would tread lightly and let her make the running. Just the odd text or email asking how things are as much as you can do. You cannot force her to include you in her life if she does not want it.

Baggs Wed 22-Aug-18 19:07:57

I don't think your daughter is being cruel, ziggy. I think she is probably trying to find a level of communication with you that is comfortable for wherever she's at right now. I reckon she loves her mum but, shall we say, from a distance. As others have said, go easy. I wouldn't even ask her how things are; just tell her how you are and what you're up to. Hopefully, in time, she will respond in kind flowers

Jaycee5 Thu 23-Aug-18 09:36:11

Just sends cards back when there is an occasion with a few words but not including any request for more contact. She may be depressed and if so, the last thing you want to do sometimes is communicate with people but she doesn't want to actually cut you off. Any request for more contact will feel like pressure despite it not being meant that way.
Whatever it is, be patient and try to accept things as they are for now. You probably won't guess the right answer so there is no point in doing that.
You can't solve it and she doesn't want you to try. She will back off further if there is pressure on her to do more than she feels up to. To you it is just a text. To her it may be more than that.

amberlee Thu 23-Aug-18 09:37:33

Is there a slight possibility that she has changed her mobile number and isn't receiving your texts?

nigglynellie Thu 23-Aug-18 09:48:05

Why is it always us mothers/ Grannies who have have to tread slowly and carefully after an upset?! On the rare occasions I had an altercation with my mother it was always I who trod carefully and slowly to mend the fence, even if I was clearly not to blame for whatever. It was I who kept the peace between an elderly granny and a fractious teenage granddaughter. It was I who poured oil on anything that remotely represented troubled waters. She was my mother whom I loved and respected and would never have been deliberately unkind to. While I'm sure this daughter will eventually 'come round', it will be on her terms and you will have to take it or leave it! Sadly my own daughter would do and has done, exactly the same to me which perhaps tells us something about modern young women!!!! Thankfully my son has not and never would behave in this rather cruel way.

Banananana Thu 23-Aug-18 09:48:15

If it were me I would send a “Thinking of You “ card along with a bunch of flowers, she will then know you are happy to have contaxt. Me & my mum no longer have Contact and I often think both of us don’t know how the other is feeling, if I knew she wanted Contact I would be happy to start off afresh and try and resolve our differences. I hope things work out for you both smile

Jaycee5 Thu 23-Aug-18 10:02:20

Banananana Not all differences can be resolved so maybe you could contact your mother but keep it shallow and see how it goes? I was not in contact with my mother for a long time and can't remember how we reconnected but I am glad I did. I still have to stop contact occasionally, mostly because my sister is the golden child and my mother will believe anything she says. I don't want to put up with it any more but she is in her 90s and it isn't something I am going to solve now so I just don't call for a bit, then when I do I put her straight (which she will choose to forget) and we carry on.

Baggs Thu 23-Aug-18 10:06:13

Perhaps treading carefully is what the OP's daughter is doing niggly. Perhaps keeping contact cool is what she sees as treading carefully. Perhaps she's trying to avoid the sort of scenarios that made the last few years difficult. I very much doubt if it’s always the gran generation who either do or are expected to tread carefully.

LJP1 Thu 23-Aug-18 10:09:51

Some very wise and helpful suggestios here.

Unconditional love means allowing children to go their own way without making any demands but always giving. You can't MAKE people understand how you feel if they are not interested. Most people are naturally generous and want to see and understand how others feel. If the opportunity is there, they will take a chance and communicate as long as they are sure the reception will be welcoming and not critical.

Summerstorm Thu 23-Aug-18 10:13:00

Thinking positively, could she have got a new phone and not kept the old number. Therefore wouldn’t have got the texts

Violetfloss Thu 23-Aug-18 10:16:59

My husband is No contact with his mom and she doesn't sent him a card and he doesn't send her one. He has just can't handle her and the stress she brings.

So for your Daughter to send a card, even a not very detailed one, is massive. Whatever falling out you've had she still wants to remain in some low contact with you. The door is still open.

Harris27 Thu 23-Aug-18 10:22:21

So sad for you keep the contact going however slow something will happen eventually for her to realise what she is missing .x

starbird Thu 23-Aug-18 10:36:16

My two sisters fall out regularly, they go for years with no contact, the trouble being they are different people and if not related would never be friends. They make the effort, things get said, there is hurt both sides and they don’t see each other for years, then they try again but the same thing happens.
But they always send cards. It does not mean that they want to get together - they don’t want to get hurt again, but at the end of the day they are sisters. Unfortunately they live a long way apart so they can’t just meet for a coffee on neutral ground, which might be a good way to test the water and keep in touch.

GabriellaG Thu 23-Aug-18 10:44:41

It's often hard for people to make up, build bridges. Each thinks the other should (or hopes they will) make the first move.
Your daughter, IMHO, must be finding it difficult to act as lovingly as she previously has done. By omitting her partner's name and her usual xxx she is showing that all is not forgiven whilst not completely closing the door.
Maybe she wants to hug but can only (metaphorically speaking) stand in your eyeline and obviously sees the present giving and kisses as 'giving in'.
All it takes is a face to face meeting - no words are needed. Hugs say everything and I'm sure you'd both cry tears of relief.
I suggest text, say how much you miss her and and want the joy back in your relationship. Perhaps relate a funny time you shared with her when she was younger, something that would make her smile, break the barrier as there is no doubt that she reads your messages.
I really hope that you can be the one with the longest arms.
Be patient but not pushy. My bet is that your DD needs to ' be in charge' of forgiving, whatever the problem is.
My best wishes to you both. flowers