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Feel Misunderstood

(66 Posts)
DinaLK Tue 04-Jun-19 23:00:18

Impossible to share all details or even the entire story of exchanged communications. So, this is probably going to sound childish, possibly selfish on my part, or just simply petty. But, here goes ...

Son recently divorced. Has three children. He has a new companion. His companion makes him happy. Before we event met, she appeared very "in control" and overpowering. After finally meeting her in person, it did not go well.

About a week after that disaster, had a heart-to-heart with my son. We both felt better and at peace. However, since time has passed (just a few months), I feel tension with my relationship with my son. At that heart-to-heart communication, even though we listened to each other, he basically admitted that his companion was "right" on every account.

Anyway, I am having an extremely difficult time trying to figure out how to move forward, maintain my forgiveness (even though I wasn't asked for forgiveness), do what's right, be respectful, try to not let my feelings be hurt, try not to take things personal, and just try to enjoy time with them.

I feel very disrespected and misunderstood. No matter what was said at our heart-to-heart, my son allowed his companion to disrespect me and, in turn, he disrespects me.

Anyway, hopefully some of this has made sense. I desperately need to be able to communicate with other grandparents, possibly who experienced a similar scenario (??).

I was apprehensive about writing all of this here, but I really need support and understanding right now.

Thank you for taking time to read.

lemongrove Tue 04-Jun-19 23:07:41

Hi Dina welcome to the forum smile
It’s really hard, but when a son marries or has a partner, of necessity they put them first.
Try your hardest to be pleasant to her and not say anything bad about her to your son.
He will feel torn naturally, but you will always come off second best, because she lives with him.
Swallow your pride, is my advice ( even though you have a genuine grievance) and try and move on.

Nandalot Wed 05-Jun-19 01:39:42

Hard as it is, if you do not want the situation to worsen, your answer lies in the last two lines of the fourth paragraph of your post. Hope things improve for you.

BradfordLass72 Wed 05-Jun-19 03:34:01

Your son is trying to keep everyone happy. He loves you and doesn't want to see you hurt but he is trying to be loyal to his partner. He's in a cleft stick isn't he?

He's chosen this person, even if she is controlling and just maybe what you see as disrespectful, is her way of making it clear she and your son, and not you, are now in charge of their lives.

Without knowing all the ins and outs, it's hard to judge but I know from my own experience that I have often (far too often) mistaken a person's assertiveness for disrespect when it absolutely wasn't meant that way.

When our children become adults, we have to do a lot of standing back and letting go. Unless they come to us for advice and help, why do we need to interfere in their lives? Their job is not to please us smile

So very often we don't like the person they've chosen to live with; don't agree with how that person acts and/or influences our previously affectionate child.

And there's the rub; they are not children any longer. They are adults and wish to be in charge of their lives, without interference or criticism.

If we try to manage them, as we did when they were little, it can breed resentment and feel like a lack of trust in their abilities and judgments. In fact it is disrespecting them if we start imposing our expectations on them (not to mention making them feel guilty!).

I don't know what you have to forgive this young woman for but I'm glad you are making the effort to do so.
It will be appreciated one day.

Meanwhile, trust in the fact that your son still loves you; that he has enough respect for his new partner to be loyal to her (you wouldn't want it any other way) and try not to alienate either of them by pushing for what you want from this liaison.

GrandmainOz Wed 05-Jun-19 04:59:36

I think a lot depends on what the disrespect consists of. Was it a difference of opinion or was she outright rude and hurtful?
It's difficult. My DS1's last partner was clearly a disaster from day dot. I bit my tongue, cultivated a friendship for my son's sake and we were always friendly and civil to each other because I put the work in.
I didn't enjoy it in the least but I did it because she was my adult son's choice and I can't interfere.
The last thing you want to do is push your son into making a choice.
If he's happy he'll want you to share that. If he becomes unhappy and they split he'll want your support.
If you've alienated him you won't be able to offer either.
I know it's tricky but unless she's an out and out monster, plaster a smile on and maybe try to plan something relaxing for after visits with her. That's what I used to do.

Sara65 Wed 05-Jun-19 06:46:44

Things will probably improve with time, i don’t know how old your son is, but he’s obviously old enough to make his own mistakes, if she does turn out to be a mistake!

I think sometimes, reading posts on here, that as grannies, we’ve forgotten how daunting it can be, to be the girlfriend/partner of the precious son, not a criticism, just an observation, and my only son is not married, so I don’t know how I’d react

I just wouldn’t do anything rash, let the dust settle, and see if she settles down

Eglantine21 Wed 05-Jun-19 08:18:03

Gosh, what happened that first meeting that was disrespectful and needed forgiveness? It must have been a nightmare!

love0c Wed 05-Jun-19 08:43:03

I know exactly how you feel! Unfortunately my husband and I have learnt from experience that indeed you can not win!! Make no mistake on this fact. It does not matter how close you have been with your son. His wife /partner will always come out on top. I think once you have accepted this fact (it will hurt immensely) you can plan how to behave without causing friction for you or for your son. We never talk about anything important anymore, just trivia but at least we still have a relationship with our son and grand children. Then at least we are always there to support our son. My husband and I suffer terribly doing this as we truly feel our DIL is not a nice person and does unkind things to us and our grandsons but feel powerless to do or say anything. You do not seem to have this problem so try to feel 'lucky', hard, I know. But you are not alone by any means and always remember this. It will get easier and the more you accept this the more relaxed you will be and it will not be quite so prominent in your mind/life. Good luck!! look after yourself too!

Starlady Wed 05-Jun-19 08:45:53

My heart goes out to you, DinaK! It hurts to be disrespected, especially when one of the people disrespecting you (general) is your own adult son or daughter.

As PPs (previous posters) have said, I'm wondering what you're seeing as "disrespect." As BradfordLass mentioned, what you see as disrespect, they may simply feel is "assertiveness." In other words, they may feel that they're standing up for themselves and their independence as adults, w/ no intention to hurt you. But, of course, IDK what happened (and you don't need to tell us), so I'm not sure.

I'm also wondering what was said during that "heart -to-heart." Is it possible you said some things about DS new companion that offended him (I'm sure you didn't intend to)? I'm not trying to criticize you, I know you need support right now - I'm just trying to say his behavior afterwards may be due to anger and not any intent to disrespect you. If so, hopefully, he will cool down in time.

"No matter what was said at our heart-to-heart, my son allowed his companion to disrespect me and, in turn, he disrespects me."

If it's any comfort, he may have come away from that conversation w/ a completely different understanding than you did. It happens. This may be a case of mismatched expectations and perceptions.

Nothing you've said sounds "childish" or "selfish" or "petty." It just feels as if there are a lot of gaps in the story b/c we don't have any details. But I understand if you prefer not to give them for whatever reason.

Hopefully, things will get better w/ time. Hugs!

Bridgeit Wed 05-Jun-19 09:22:46

Keep the words from the song from Frozen ‘ in your head at all times , ie ‘🎼 Let it go, Let it go🎼
Seriously ,we all love our children, but there comes a time when we need to back off, get on with our own lives, happy that they are happy, &that if & when they need us , they will call. Best wishes , make the most of your day💐

Urmstongran Wed 05-Jun-19 09:33:08

I have nothing to add just hope the situation improves.

P.s. am I the only one who scrolled back up to the message to read ‘the last 2 lines in the 4th paragraph’?

Bridgeit Wed 05-Jun-19 09:44:29

I have just re-read those sentences Urmstongran,
If the word/thought ‘Try’ is replaced by the word/ thought ‘Will’ Dina should be ok .

KatyK Wed 05-Jun-19 09:51:58

It's not easy is it? We only have one child, a daughter. I thought we would always be close. We're not. I feel that I am very low on her list. It's not because of my son-in-law, he's lovely. It's just how it goes sometimes. It's hard but best to go with the flow if you can.

March Wed 05-Jun-19 09:52:29

Depends what actually happened on the first meeting.

Your son is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He loves her and he loves you and is trying to keep everyone happy.

Draw a line in the sand. Move on and let it go. Easier said than done, I know but for the sake of your son and Grandchildren if it carries on, ot will get more strained. Nod and smile.

Dillyduck Wed 05-Jun-19 10:02:06

You only get the behaviour you are prepared to put up with. Maybe tell us more about what she is doing to "disrespect you"?
You need to consider your priorities. What do you want most?
If anyone was rude to me in my house, they would NOT be invited back!

Jesmond9 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:04:46

I have been in a very similar situation and the old phrase comes to mind........ you have a daughter for life, but a son until he takes a wife. (probably not correct wording) but the meaning is the same. You have my sympathy or empathy.

sodapop Wed 05-Jun-19 10:05:04

Yes I agree with March it's hard but your son has to get on with his own life and mistakes.
Try not to focus too much on this and don't let resentment build, enjoy your life and leave them to theirs.

toscalily Wed 05-Jun-19 10:06:53

Bridgeit, I could not agree more. With three DIL's I have to hold it in and ‘🎼 Let it go, Let it go🎼. It can be difficult but rather that than be estranged from them now or in the future. flowers

Urmstongran me too.

tickingbird Wed 05-Jun-19 10:13:54

Although I can’t help you here, I have 3 sons and yes, the wife/partner will always win.

I get envious of other families and their close bonds. It is just the different dynamics and genetics. I loved my parents but didn’t want to socialise with them or be round them very much once I was an adult. I did care for them though and certainly did my duty if you like. My sons love me but don’t spend much time with me but know where to come when in need!

I have friends who are always with their adult children, socialising and holidaying.

I think the best thing is to live your own life and don’t make such a big thing about your son. Enjoy your grandchildren but fill your life with hobbies, friends and doing your own thing.

Bijou Wed 05-Jun-19 10:15:20

My daughter in law and I have never really got on but have tolerated one another. We both have our faults. She and my son are very close and never quarrel. It is their golden wedding this year.

Blinko Wed 05-Jun-19 10:19:29

Been there, done the time, DinaLK.

As you have wisely said and others have remarked, ^ do what's right, be respectful, try to not let my feelings be hurt, try not to take things personal, and just try to enjoy time with them.^

Find nice things to say about them, their arrangements, his partner and anything else you can think of, be positive every time. If she is indeed saying negative things (which may/may not be the case) your positive stance will only stand you in good stead with your son.

Keep going, it will work out flowers

Time will help you with this.

lmm6 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:22:34

It may sound sexist but men are so different to women in so many ways. IMO they always do what their partner wants, right or wrong. You just can't win with them. It's just how it is. I asked my DH one day why men are like that and he said it's for a quiet life. But I think there's more to it than that. I think it's how they are "wired". I remember my Dad would do anything my Mum wanted. DDs are totally different. We have to accept it but it's taken me a long time.

Eglantine21 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:23:21

I agree Bijou. I know I would have been my mother in laws last choice for a daughter in law 😱 but we rubbed along for many years until my husband’s death when she loosened the ties.

I very much respected her and still miss her.

ditzyme Wed 05-Jun-19 10:25:01

Similar situation here, caused permanent rift with son. Over it now, it happened ten years ago. We mothers have to respect the fact that whether we like our sons partners or not, whether they like us or not, it is only natural our son would take their side and put them first now... not us. It's called letting go of the apron strings isn't it? Letting them get on with their lives, making sure they know we love them.

SparklyGrandma Wed 05-Jun-19 10:25:58

Urmstongran no, I scrolled back too.

It’s a period of adjustment getting used to new relationships our AC have, but adjustment is the way to go.

Be kind to yourself DinaLK, maybe find something to distract yourself, and head for it when the situation gets hard maybe?