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(91 Posts)
Lou2019 Thu 19-Sep-19 16:08:22

Wife of 36 years, happily married, three grown children, daughter 30 with two children, son 27 with fiancee and son 25 with fiancee it all sounds great doesn't it? We are a close family with mostly good relationships but oh how BAD the bad relationships have become. The youngest son's fiancee hates us, all of us, after living in our home for two years rent free because she couldn't live with her mother she is marrying our son on New Years Eve. Over the last two years our son who was working for the family business left, she had bigger and better things in store for him, he's suffered a lot with depression in the past and social anxiety. She pushed him into trying a job in the City she wants him to earn more money, it's not enough. Last year he collapsed with epilepsy out of nowhere, (I believe it's stress) , he has had separate terrible disputes with my daughter, her husband and my other son and last but no least me. The consequences of this behaviour are our son has distanced himself from all of us, accusing me of telling him he is weird and abnormal, but we have to accept that this is the girl he is choosing to marry. So this Friday we are off to family therapy to get to the bottom of it but as a 54 year old woman I am not sure how to behave, the fiancee won't be there, it's just me hubby and our three children. We all used to be such a close family as I am still with my daughter and my other son and both their partners, but I feel terrible day and night as there is something missing. I know I need to let go, and we need to accept our new daughter in law is his choice, how do we remain friendly and polite accepting of the situation?

mcem Thu 19-Sep-19 16:26:50

First, never utter or read/believe the awful saying that appears here whenever there is friction between mother and Dil!
You know the one "A daughter's a daughter for all of her life,
A son is a son ...............etc"

I haven't experienced your situation but do congratulate you on taking steps to help the whole family. Good luck!

g steps

love0c Thu 19-Sep-19 17:16:13

Whatever you feel, however you feel, just except the girl/woman your son has chosen. Believe me nothing good will come out of questioning, arguing or indeed anything else. The fact that you have already had such upset and heartache tells you all you need to know. Sorry, but I am trying to save you anymore grief. The sooner you accept and find ways around the situation the better for you. You either put up and shut up or risk being estranged from this son. Please do not go there, do not test it out. You can work around and accept. There will be grandchildren you will want to see and love, There is only acceptance if you want this, Stay strong, keep your family together.

annodomini Thu 19-Sep-19 17:17:12

I agree with mcem 100%. As mum of two now middle-aged sons, I'm lucky enough to have had great friendships with both DiLs. Though now one of them is divorced from DS1, I'm still on very friendly terms with her.
You have been extremely unlucky with your son's fiancée. She doesn't sound the sort of woman I'd d want for a friend, far less a DiL. I do hope the family therapy helps you all to work out your differences. It would be terrible to lose your son to a disastrous relationship. Fingers crossed for you.

Barmeyoldbat Thu 19-Sep-19 17:35:02

Yes I agree with mcim, the therapy sounds a great idea. All I can say is don't give up on your son. It speaks volumes that she couldn't get on with her own mother and she also sounds very controlling.

My son married a horrible controlling woman but we have managed to stay friends through thick and thin. After 24 years he is divorced, still friends with her and I get on much better with her now that she is divorced.

EllanVannin Thu 19-Sep-19 17:45:39

My brother's relationship with mum went to pot as soon as he was married. Mum could see what was happening. They divorced after 27 years----after mum had died, though she wouldn't have been surprised.
The one son that they had has nothing to do with his dad ( my brother )

Davidhs Thu 19-Sep-19 18:15:41

My sincere sympathy, my family are very good but my brother has 4 nightmare sons who seem to get everything wrong.
His approach is let them do their own thing and pick up the pieces when it goes wrong, they are still his sons. He and his wife have long since given up trying to influence them, they get on with their own lives. Leaving the younger generation to get on with theirs.

paddyann Thu 19-Sep-19 18:18:58

maybe she thought YOU were controlling him.Living together and working together isn't always a great start for a new relationship so maybe think about that.
Maybe your other children and their partners are happy to live in that kind of situation but she didn't like others being in charge of her and their lives .
He IS an adult so he must make his own choices whether or not its OK with you .Take a step back and let them get on with their life their way and she might come round and you can be close to your son again ,but dont try to come between them or you'll be the one who loses .

agnurse Thu 19-Sep-19 19:03:31

Your son is an adult now. You need to stay out of his choices.

You don't need to like his intended, but you do at least need to be civil towards her, if only for the sake of your son. Unless you raised him to be completely helpless, which I doubt, he is capable of making his own decisions. They aren't married yet and by the sounds of it there aren't any children, so if he is not happy, he has little that ties him to her.

His relationships to his siblings are not really any of your business either if they are adults.

Gonegirl Thu 19-Sep-19 19:44:27

If ever there was a case for a son to go no contact with his whole family, I think this must it. It all sounds so suffocating.

Are you really going to "family therapy" with your adult children?! How odd.

Take a step back and let go.

Sara65 Thu 19-Sep-19 20:09:31

I was a daughter-in-law entering into a family business, where it seemed nobody talked about anything else, and I was always on the outside. I think the situation was saved by my very astute father in law, who I always got on very well with.

Forty years plus years later, I have three children working in the same business, and it’s mostly what they talk about all the time, both girls are in relationships, but their partners are not involved, our son is single, but if he marries, I’ll worry that however much we try to make her welcome, she’ll feel excluded

BlueBelle Thu 19-Sep-19 20:35:33

Let your son and the woman he loves get on with their lives do you need to be so involved? They lived with you two years and that was kind to give them a start but it sounds as if you are over protecting this son and you think the girlfriend is pushing him too much but that might be what he needs your son has now distanced himself so perhaps he thinks there’s too much interference going on as well
You’re miffed because he’s left the family business and the close knit unit you think you should still have and you blame her for ‘taking him away and pushing him into a different form of work’
Let them live and breathe for themselves if it all goes pear shaped he will have learnt a vital lesson if not you may have learnt you can’t control an adult child’s life
I have no understanding why you are all going for counselling (except the two people who are involved sounds like a family ganging up to control the prodigal son)

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Sep-19 09:26:03

What do you want most, a good relationship with your son, or your own way?

I am sure you know that if you truly want the former then you have to let him lead his own life, without interference, even if that means being pushed into a breakdown. Heartbreaking though this may be for you.

Going to family counselling may help you and the rest of the family, but you would be unwise to then use it as a rod to beat him with. It doesn't matter how many people agree with you - it is his life.

GrannySomerset Fri 20-Sep-19 09:32:45

My very wise MiL told me long after we were married that she had vowed to love whoever her precious only son chose to marry because she couldn’t afford not to. Something to think about?

magshard20 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:17:45

10 years ago, our only son married a girl who was 6 years older than him, and acquired 2 stepdaughters. They have since had a daughter of their own. My DIL is very distant from us, if we visit she stays upstairs with a headache (funny how they appear when we go to them). We arrange to meet them at a local restaurant and only son and granddaughter arrive.
It really makes me and OH feel very uncomfortable. Son gave up working to look after daughter while she was at uni for 3 years, she is now a qualified nurse and has a good job, but means son is still a househusband ( which to be fair he enjoys ). As the saying goes it takes all sorts to make the world go round......or something like that !!

Magrithea Fri 20-Sep-19 10:20:01

Be guided by the therapist at the session.

Good luck

jaylucy Fri 20-Sep-19 10:20:24

It sounds like a good idea to have a therapy session as it may air and go part way to the problems that have obviously been festering in your family for some time.
At the age of 25, you would really expect your son to be adult enough to make his own decisions and I think it is sad that you blame everything that has gone wrong for him recently on his fiancee.
As she has lived with you for 2 years, I would have thought that you would have got to know her quite well. Have you ever thought that her "pushing" him into leaving the family company and moving into a different field of work may be at least partly his idea? maybe he felt that as the younger son in the family business that his thoughts and ideas were being ignored and was being treated like just any other worker?
Or maybe by leaving , he will be getting a decent enough wage to be able to buy his own house etc?
It's a great shame that you are so anti the fiancee, with possibly no concrete evidence and I'd guess that whoever he was engaged to would not be treated favourably either.
There seems to be this idea that all families should move around together en mass forever, with no disagreements marring the picture perfect life. This is something of Hollywood movies and rarely happens for real without a lot of give and take and compromise.
Just be pleased and very proud that you have raised a son that can be independent enough to strike out to make his own life and accept the girl he loves may not be your choice, but is his.

GG65 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:22:56

How do you know that your son’s fiancé pushed him into leaving the family business and starting a new career? Did he tell you that?

Has your son always suffered from epilepsy or is this recent? You seem to be insinuating that your son’s fiancé is the cause of this.

CleoPanda Fri 20-Sep-19 10:26:21

Everyone wants the perfect partner for their child. However no parent could or should make the choice, in my opinion. Maybe his stress is due to his own conflicts? He left the family business; he wants to please his family but is torn by his need to make his own decisions? You see the partner as controlling; he sees her as a breath of fresh air? You don’t say why you think the partner hates you all. Surely not because you took her in for two years? The family counselling sounds like a great idea to me. A chance for everyone to be honest and state their case. At the end of it, you all have the chance to make a fresh start and try to rebuild the good relationships you had. Sometimes having a great relationship does not involve actual closeness, but a more separate, independent but loving situation.

4allweknow Fri 20-Sep-19 10:30:48

As impossible it will seem you have to let your son do what he wants. You are taking steps to address the breakdown of relationships with you and your other family members for which you are to be applauded. Do hope you find some solace in your efforts. If all is as bad with your DS he may well realise how controlling his wife to be is.

knickas63 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:31:16

All those saying such a close relationship is odd. Really? I think family therapy is an excellent idea. It takes a village to raise a child, extended family are very important, and if there are family issues, then therapy could sort out a lot of future problems. The OP may realise that there are faults on both sides during therapy and mend bridges with the DIL, the the son may find out he is being manipulated, or that he or his future wife have deeper issues. It sounds as if he has always had a few issues, and perhaps the expectation of being in the family firm was too much for him, and she has helped him realise his dream? Therapy can help with that. Close families are a boon and not to be seen as weird! A Close family does not have to be interfering or smothering.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:32:32

I’m wondering why you need to be so involved in your sons life he’s an adult, it sounds too claustrophobic for me: this girlfriend soon to be wife probably doesn’t want him to be so tied up in the family business and stand on his own to feet doing something else. Nothing wrong with that, she probably doesn’t want to live n breathe family business, you do need to try n accept his wife to be it’s his choice, just because you don’t like her, she’s the woman he’s chosen to hopefully spend the rest of his life with, going to family therapy with your adult children sounds a bit strange to me, sounds like ganging up to me, I’m obviously very different to you and once my children who are adults of 40.38 36 31 make their own choices in life, sounds to me like you can’t get over the fact he’s left the business, surely he can do what he wants to do with his life

Lizzle10 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:33:19

Am I over reacting ...

My son and his girlfriend are expecting their first child next year and he is busy making plans to move and build a home . Tbh she’s not who I would thought my son would have chosen but if he’s happy so am I . I live 2 1/2 hours drive away as I relocated after my marriage broke down but my son and daughter live back home with their dad . Neither of them are keen on her but I don’t intend to make life awkward I had those issues between my family and my husband and it makes life very miserable . So I’ve happily thrown myself into being an expectant grandmother buying what I can and being supportive . My son doesn’t visit me I met someone new and I think he feels if he doesn’t come and acknowledge it then it doesn’t exist . Not ideal but I’m not arguing I go back as often as I can and stay over in a hotel and spend time with him. It’s an expensive trip but what can you do . So anyway son is buying a flat and hopefully in the future I will be able to stay there when I visit. We were recently talking and he said about me coming down when the baby was born etc and he said the GF is happy for me to visit to see the baby as soon as it’s born but she wants the first 2 weeks alone so I can’t stay I’ll have to return a couple of weeks later to see them . I didn’t expect to stay for days encroaching on their special time but I am a bit hurt that I’m expected to drive down say hello and then disappear . Maybe I’m over sensitive but my daughter is fuming she says my son needs to grow a back bone and stand up for what he wants . We’ve always been very close but I guess it’s time I move aside for his new priorities . Am I just being too soft ?

RonsGranFranksGran Fri 20-Sep-19 10:33:50

100% believe old adage ‘a son is a son until he gets a wife’. There is a good reason behind it. We all need a mum. A girl is getting a mum when she marries but often times a man is. So essentially for a man he is getting a new mum, but he can also sleep with her, which obviously top trumps the normal type!! Those lucky enough to get a sweet, good hearted daughter in law who have had a fabulous relationship with their own mother have absolutely no comprehension of what it is like for the poor mums who get a daughter in law who is jealous of the close relation ship between mum and son. So you could say, easy for them to say! Essentially the plain truth is, if a man loves a woman he is giving ‘anyone up for her’ even his own mother because essentially that wife can meet all his needs (in a way a husband couldn’t for a daughter). My nan (who died in 1981 at 72) had a fantastic relationship with her son’s wife. Her son continued to be a living son because their daughter in law enjoyed being part of the family and encouraged the contacts. When the marriage broke down (she went back to her first childhood sweetheart) my uncle married again. The second wife came from a family that was not close as ours was. She felt threatened by our close family. She wanted him to sever links with his family. The bet result was my nan lost her son, my mum lost her only sibling, her brother. Us kids lost our uncle after already losing our lovely auntie and my nan died a couple of years later. My lovely mum died ten years ago without seeing her brother again. You could say he was he nasty man but he wasn’t he was a lovely man and a lovely son, brother and uncle but when it came to hey lads hey, he did not want to lose another wife. Most men will go along with the wishes of their wife for a peaceful life believing a happy life is is a happy wife. If you don’t like the old adage a son is a son until he gets a wife, add the line ‘unless his wife allows him to continue being a son’ because in my experience that is the long and the short of it. Those that deny the truth of it ought to thank their lucky stars that they have by sheer luck got a daughter in law that puts in the effort to make sure their husband maintains family links and accept it is no special parenting on their part simply but simply pure and fortuitous luck of the draw.

Sb74 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:34:50

I am a mother of two children aged 10 and 12. I am also a DIL. I see both sides. But I think you are maybe more at fault than you realise and family therapy sounds ridiculous I’m afraid. You are no longer the core family unit that you once had and still want. You will always be there for your children but you sound suffocating. Your son is merely growing up. His girlfriend has different views to you and maybe so does your son. He might blame his fiancée to break free from you without hurting you. You expect the same intense relationship as when he was a child but that’s unreasonable. Children grow and find their own way and just because it’s not how you want it doesn’t mean you can decide the dil is evil and that you need to drag your poor son to family therapy where the rest of you have a go at him! It’s all quite strange. You are the one in the wrong. You need to accept he is a grown man. Love him and be there for him but let him and his wife live their life as they choose. They are not out to hurt you. You are just not the centre of your sons life anymore. And rightly so. He will enjoy a good marriage being a loyal husband and you should want that as it will make him happy. I think you are being quite selfish. It’s hard I’m sure but you have to rise above it. Good luck.

Vuren Fri 20-Sep-19 10:35:24

I agree with the advice about sticking with it but I totally feel for you. It is SO hard as i know from my own experience. Take care

SparklyGrandma Fri 20-Sep-19 10:41:08

Lou2019 the family therapy is a very good idea and go with that..

However the old fashioned idea of pushing a man to earn more, do more beyond his energy or capabilities I have seen go pear shaped within my own family. If the DiL wants a fancier richer lifestyle, has she thought of earning it herself?

dragonfly46 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:43:53

Lou2019 it is such a good idea that you are having counselling as a family. I suggest during these sessions you stress how much you love your son and only want him to be happy. Whatever you do none of you should criticise in any way your daughter in law. If you do it will come back to haunt you and you will find you are estranged from your son also.
Try and find something positive in your DiL. She must have some good points or your DS would not be married to her. As someone said you must know her pretty well as she lived with you for 2 years.
I have made a real effort with my DiL over the last few years and it has paid off. I bend over backwards to praise her and tell her I love her. You may think this should not be necessary but I am doing this for me and my DS.
I wish you well.

Sandigold Fri 20-Sep-19 10:44:31

There are reaons your son was attracted to this young woman. Perhaps he did want freedom to live his life and make his own mistakes, if necessary? You have choices, and if you want to maintain relationships with him and his new family, letting go of your hopes and dreams may, sadly, be necessary. I think young people are more prepared to "ditch" close relationships that they don't feel comfortable in. Whether that's good or not is another thing. But unless you can shift your thinking, you may lose your son. Not easy.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 10:46:23

kickas69 and all those that say the Family counselling sounds a wonderful idea It’s not family counselling its the AGAINST side of the family and to me sounds like they ll all be chewing over with the counsellor this terrible woman who has taken away their son and brother
Family counselling may be good if it INCLUDED the son and wife so they can air their side of this debacle

Goodbyetoallthat Fri 20-Sep-19 10:47:59

I am a little bemused as to why you are all going to family therapy?
My eldest daughter is married & without the marriage connection none of us would choose to socialise with her husband.
However he is her choice & we all manage to remain civil & pleasant (occasionally with a few internal eye rolls).
Whether we have sons or daughters our role is to try to raise them as responsible adults & then take a step back & let them make their own decisions.

EthelJ Fri 20-Sep-19 10:49:53

Good luck with the therapy. I would just go in with an open mind. Be ready to really listen, try not to be too upset if your son says things you don't like. Be brave. And all agree to try and understand each other.
Regarding your daughter in law. It must be very hard but just try and be supportive to your son she is his choice so she must have some good qualities. Try not to judge or question his choice.
Also I'm not a doctor but I don't think epilepsy can be brought on by stress.
I wish you well

lovebooks Fri 20-Sep-19 10:51:20

Epilepsy or seizures can be connected to anti-depressants. I know this, because it happened to my middle-aged son who is currently suffering from debilitating mental health problems. The seizures meant two years of not really being able to work at his highly-paid and demanding professional job where he'd been for over twenty-five years, so that hasn't helped either. His wife is much older than him, so no children, and she's been very loving and supportive - not easy. He contacts me rarely.

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:57:50

paddyann says it all in a nutshell.
I certainly wouldn't want to be 'absorbed' into a family business and you have no business being peeved that she wants him to find his own groove.
She is not taking your son away. Parents only have their children for a time. They aren't possessions.

GoldenAge Fri 20-Sep-19 10:58:56

The family therapy is a great idea. If you all give it your best, something good will emerge. Your feelings about your son's physical and mental well-being may be echoed by your other children and your youngest son may be persuaded to have individual therapy as a result. Clearly, he is making choices regarding his new life partner that none of you is happy about and I know you've had advice on this thread to stay out of that. However, I have seen many sons go down this path and be alienated from their parents and siblings by controlling partners who are playing out their own need for undivided attention. Frankly, they all end up being really unhappy as when they have their own children the controlling partner refuses his side of the family access to the children. In my opinion this needs to be tackled before it can get a strong grip.

SuzyWoo1957 Fri 20-Sep-19 11:14:12

Just be honest and open, the counsellor will have seen it all before

icanhandthemback Fri 20-Sep-19 11:14:24

Family Therapy is very good at balancing the two sides so that anybody at odds does not feel ganged up against. Sometimes this makes it feel that the therapists are taking an odd view but it usually means they are doing the balancing act well.
However, you might find that, whilst your other children are generally happy with you as a parent, they might feel that they have stuff to air which you might be unaware. This might highlight your faults as a parent which I can tell you can be very painful. If you feel that you can accept their perceptions and work on your relationships, you might find it very useful. If you are going to be extremely miffed by it all, it's not for you. I say this because from your post I sense that you feel that these sessions will put your son right and I don't necessarily feel this will be the case.
As for the epilepsy, you cannot make someone an epileptic. It may be that they exacerbate it but you are either epileptic or not. Blaming his fiancee will not help the situation.
It is hard to step back and let our kids fly the nest but we have to let them make their own mistakes. If things go horribly wrong, just be there to help them pick up the pieces without any sanctimony involved. Enjoy the best relationship you can with them even if it means biting your tongue and smiling when you feel like crying.
Do let us know how Family Therapy goes. I'd love to get my daughter to that but I think pigs would fly first!

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 11:18:17

He wasn't born to make his parents happy and do everything that they deem to be right fgs.
The mother is undeniably controlling. Family therapy because she thinks her adultson is being alienated from 'his family'? 😱👎
He's better off without the suffocating, cloistered family business his mother wants to foist upon him.
Get away...far far away.

EmilyHarburn Fri 20-Sep-19 11:19:49

Family therapy is really worth while. It will be a marvellous opportunity to explore, in a non threatening and non blaming way, whats actually going on and then to look at what you would wish was going on and if that is a reasonable wish or not.

You will come away from sessions relaxed with a good understanding of the dynamics underpinning things. It will be much easier for you to be calm about things and to observe elements you don't like without being drawn in emotionally.

I am sure you will find the sessions really helpful. It does not matter who attends, though it is nice if the different people would. However there are all sorts of possibilities in therapy to enable the situation to include the absent parties.

Good Luck.

CarlyD7 Fri 20-Sep-19 11:36:26

This reminds me of a friend of mine whose son married a woman who, clearly, couldn't stand her (it only came out after they married). From my friend's POV, she kept him away from them (and even if he came to family gatherings, she never did), persuaded him to "leave a perfectly good job near where they lived", go back to college, be more ambitious in his career,, and was keen for them to emigrate. From the son's POV (I later learned through someone-else), she was the excuse he needed to get some space in his relationship with his parents - they were kind and caring but this frequently crossed the line between Care and Control, and it was convenient for him to be able to put the blame for the distance on his wife, rather than himself. There is a reason your son has married her - which only he may ever know - but you have to trust that there is something in the relationship that he needs (maybe only at this time in his life). Go into family therapy with an Open Mind, don't be looking for someone to blame (a good therapist won't let you do that) and Listen properly as well as Talk - if you don't, then you may well lose him completely (just as my friend lost her son eventually - the only way he could get some distance from them was to move 200 miles away). Good luck.

Hm999 Fri 20-Sep-19 11:44:46

Good luck x

pinkquartz Fri 20-Sep-19 11:57:18

What i am thinking is not written to be mean but I think you have had life mostly on your terms, with the family and family business and your future Dil wants it to be different.

Her and your DS are entitled to go their own way and you have to accept this. They are entitled to make and shape their lives.

You are adding to the stress because your DS is well aware that leaving the family business it is not what you wanted.
Just love him and accept her.

Things will change they always do and then if their marriage doe falter you will be on good terms with your son. If the marriage goes well then you will enjoy them both.

I didn't like the man my daughter married so I have had my share of "sucking it up" !

luluaugust Fri 20-Sep-19 12:08:21

I feel sorry for your son, he has met the women he is going to marry, has some changes in his health, gets a new job - in other words grows up and you all want him to go to therapy?! What are you going to talk about, not his fiancee for a start surely. I would be very careful whilst therapy can be a useful tool you may find your other children and your DH come out with things you have never heard before and can't be unsaid. Soon they will be vowing to "forsake all others" do be careful for your own sake.

Pythagorus Fri 20-Sep-19 12:09:57

Things I have learned the hard way!

1. Accept her lovingly or lose your son.

2. You can’t control everything

3. The umbilical cord has been cut. Your children are grown and you need to let them be free.

4. Your ‘family’ are now making their own families. They will have their own traditions and ways of living.

5. You need to reinvent yourself. If your children have arguments, let them work it out themselves.

6. Sounds like you are having adjustment difficulties. Sounds like it is all too close for comfort.

7. It will be alright in the end if you back off.

Good luck! X

Goodbyetoallthat Fri 20-Sep-19 12:10:01

It is up to your children to choose their job & their partner.
I am not sure what good family counselling will do (especially if your future DIL is not part of it).

Madmaggie Fri 20-Sep-19 12:17:26

Lou2019, you must be very worried about your son's sudden epileptic episode, I hope he has received medical advise regarding it. It probably has nothing at all to do with his fiance but imagine how scared and worried she must have felt. Sometimes an isolated fit can occur but it needs can also affect his ability to drive legally. You never stop worrying and being concerned for your children even when they move on but it's a load you will have to carry, sometimes biting back comments & rising above hurtful comments & actions - and somehow doing it with grace. Don't say anything that will allow the door between you to slam shut and be forever bolted. Family mediation is good, be prepared for pride to be dented, rough with smooth. Don't accuse, go with an open mind, tell him you love him, be kind and listen. Don't say anything you will regret next week,month,years no matter how unfair you may feel it is. I sincerely hope it works. All very best.

grannygranby Fri 20-Sep-19 12:25:48

Well said ronsgranfranksgran you’ve absolutely knocked the nail on the head. I have come to accept it because it is true. A happy wife is a happy life to most men and I know my place. It is sad that I have one of those possessive DILs but she does make my son happy and that is the most important thing. The rejection from her is hard to take and it is best to try not to take it personally and if you always try to be the bigger generous person things just may get better in time, in the meantime grin and bear it.

Sb74 Fri 20-Sep-19 12:50:25

I think you should be proud to have brought up a man that stands by his future wife over everyone else. She should now come first even above his family. There’s nothing worse than a mummy’s boy but you have brought up a real man who is making his woman happy. Probably from seeing your happy marriage. Don’t ruin it now by being needy and unreasonable. I would apologise to them both and say you’ve just found it hard to accept that he’s grown up. I talk to my kids now about making sure they have a nice husband and wife when they’re older. I want nothing more for them to find happiness and be loved. The best way to have your son in your life is keep your views to yourself (unless life threatening) and make a friend of you dil. If he loves her, and it sounds like he does, you will not win. You stand no chance. You have to do the making up and being nice. Hard as it is.

Sb74 Fri 20-Sep-19 12:56:51

As hard as it is op I think you are causing your sons stress not his fiancée. You are guilt tripping him on leaving the family business. You should just say you’re proud of him and not to worry. You need to step back and take a look at your controlling ways which includes the idea of counselling. . You are probably causing issues between your son and his fiancée - are you that selfish and determined to have your own way you risk your sons relationship because it doesn’t suit you? I’m going to stop now because the more I think about your attitude the more annoyed I’m getting. Put your son first not yourself.

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Fri 20-Sep-19 13:50:36

This is more or less what has happened to our family except son stills stays in contact (when she's away etc). She also lived with us but as soon as engaged and got own house the lies started. She has narcissistic tendencies and has alienated all my sons friends and most of his family (aunts /uncles no longer invite them to family parties etc). She has ruined 3 family events by showing off and shouting/crying so as no apologies forthcoming and is no longer welcome. Ive just decided to keep my distance, not engage and enjoy my sons comosny when I see him, I dont neex the negativity. Good luck x

Theowlandthepussycat1 Fri 20-Sep-19 13:53:55

Just to put into the mix, when you to the family therapy, actively listen. You will be invited to express your feelings over several sessions. Also, women, In this instance future DIL have been known to be controlling and abusive. That will out with a good cllr. Looking to the future, care for your own wellness. I hope you all work through this. It will be a high priority to hear your sons' feelings and conflicts. At 25 he is still very young so go softly as it's an awful lot to process and self awareness and confidence comes through inner struggles.

Gingergirl Fri 20-Sep-19 14:19:52

With respect, really don’t go to family therapy! Maybe have some counselling for yourself at some point but back off from your adult children and leave them to lead their own lives and choose their own partners. I’m a holistic therapist and I know from my clients, if not myself, how much pain that family dynamics can cause but there comes a time when you have to step back. Focus on other issues in your life...your family will change a lot now as your children build their own lives ...and you need to build one for yourself too that doesn’t involve them in such a close knit way. 💜

Lou2019 Fri 20-Sep-19 14:26:37

I would also like to add to this that it was our son's choice to go to counselling, following an individual counselling session that he went to, his behaviour over the past few years has caused us all a lot of pain, so I think a few replies to my original story have possibly got the wrong end of the stick, calling me a controlling mother etc, but I will listen to all comments, that's why you put things on forums, it's very interesting to see things from another perspective when you are so involved yourself. My biggest worry tonight is that GANGING up thing and I will make sure that doesn't happen, I couldn't think of anything worse than that for our son. We asked him how we could resolve our differences and he agreed that he thought counselling would help, let's hope it does. I do love my daughter in law and I have stood by her and helped her through her difficult relationships with her father and mother and sister. But for some reason during their wedding planning year there have been difficulties. She also had terrible issues with her step mother. We do accept that this is the girl he loves, and want nothing more in the World than to see our children happy in their lives. We are only here once and whatever takes to help this situation be resolved we are working together to sort it out, fingers crossed. But thank you everyone for your replies, like some said some of the comments I might not like to hear but I have read them and digested them and perhaps I do need to stand back more and let them be grown up.

Lou2019 Fri 20-Sep-19 14:42:11

I value your comments, we are not a controlling family at all, he has always had the choice to do his own thing, all of our children have and they do. My husband and I are very independent, we are still young enough to have our own lives and we do now the children have gone. Let's just hope that we can resolve our differences with professional help so it doesn't feel like anyone is ganging up on anyone.

Hetty58 Fri 20-Sep-19 14:55:37

Family therapy sounds like a really good idea. Your children should all know that, whatever happens, you love them and always will. I'd make it very clear that any squabbles between them are upsetting for you. You'd be happy to know that they'd always support each other in the future, perhaps when the older generation are long gone.

Write down all the ideas that you have and points you'd like to get across before the therapy session. Try to remain calm and discuss any difficulties then just let them get on with it. Refuse to take sides and resist showing any hostility towards your son's choice of partner. I know it's hard but try to distance yourself a little too.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 14:55:51

kickas69 and all those that say the Family counselling sounds a wonderful idea It’s not family counselling its the AGAINST side of the family and to me sounds like they ll all be chewing over with the counsellor this terrible woman who has taken away their son and brother
Family counselling may be good if it INCLUDED the son and wife so they can air their side of this debacle

Lou2019 Fri 20-Sep-19 15:42:06

wow we have always put our children before any of our needs our son left he family business that I have nothing to do with I supported my dil for five years as she had disfunctional relationships with her family to the point where she accused them of all sorts , she ruined my other sons relationship as she told his gf he was cheating - he wasn’t - we’ve kept quiet for years it’s been such a struggle and it was our son that asked for the therapy not me we have never ever controlled our kids they have always been encouraged to be free spirits we supported our son with a job and drive Him to and from work when diagnosed with epilepsy as he couldn’t get a building job because of his condition -

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 15:56:36

I see that I was hasty in my judgement of the whole family dynamics having only read your OP and the ones that followed.
Since reading your further explanation and of the awkward relationship your future DiL had/has with her own family, I can now see a different picture.
Thank you for providing the colour to what was a very black and white scenario.
I offer you and your family every good wish for a very happy outcome to the predent situation and two wonderful weddings to be celebrated with all the family on good terms.
Take care. flowers☘🥂🙂

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 15:57:19

predent present

Coyoacan Fri 20-Sep-19 16:04:01

The important and hardest thing in a family therapy situation is to listen and take on board what the other person says. It looks like you are capable of that, OP.

My other advice is try not to concentrate on the negatives about your future DIL. If you supported her for five years and your son is in love with her, she must have lots of positives too.

I have never, ever heard of epilepsy being caused by stress. Maybe that is why your son needs to change his career.

I don't think I'd want any loved one of mine who suffered from epilepsy working in the building trade.

knickas63 Fri 20-Sep-19 16:17:49

Bluebelle - I read it that the son is going, but not the fiancee. She may join in at a later date. You never know. It will be very helpful as long as they all listen to each other.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 16:27:34

Well that’s even worse knickas as it putting a huge wedge into his relationship and keeping the daughter in law isolated from the family I m amazed at any professional agreeing to this... it’s impossible to sort out a relationship problem without ALL present
It s just more divide and control
That daughter in law doesn’t stand a chance now word

willa45 Fri 20-Sep-19 16:57:28

From your post, it's still not clear how things went sideways over the course of two years. Why was your son depressed? How did DIL end up hating your entire family? I hope that family therapy can give you a clearer understanding of what went wrong. You may be surprised to learn that there is room for improvement on everyone's behalf and even a chance for everyone to heal..... your son's fiancee, included, even if she's not present.

Hithere Fri 20-Sep-19 17:22:12

Best of luck on therapy!

Coyoacan Fri 20-Sep-19 17:35:40

In the best ordered families there are things that are unhelpful. I'm the youngest and, as such, am still treated as if I were a child by my siblings. I'm getting for seventy now.

I also am a bit clumsy and lose things, but all that is exaggerated by my family. And I, unwittingly, have pinned labels on my daughter. I think these are quite natural things to happen in a family, but when a young adult is trying to grow and change, they can be barriers to that effort.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 17:40:09

willa how can the daughter in law heal as you put it if she’s not there to defend herself That sounds horrendous mother father and three children and the one person they are upset with isn’t present to hear their damming stories
The son is yet again going to be influenced by his family without the wife there to support him
I think this lady is being hung out to dry as the baddie Maybe she is the baddie but even if she’s detestable she’s their sons baddie and they need to leave them to live their own life in whatever why they choose He’s not 15

Tedber Fri 20-Sep-19 17:45:45

Wow! I too can't understand why you need 'therapy' Sounds to me like normal family issues t.b.h.

Therapy may help if people have problems in a marriage for instance but for a whole family to go to discuss one sons choice in a partner and why he is distancing himself from the family sounds ott....sorry but it does.

When our children grow up they need to make their own choices/decisions. They won't always be what we want and maybe we can forsee problems, which may prove right, but they have to be allowed to discover this for themselves.

We, as parents, may be proved right. If you step back, give your son may come to that decision himself or he may find he is happier now than he ever was?

All you need to do as a family is be supportive. Let him know you are there if/when he needs you.

I feel uncomfortable reading you, his father, siblings are going to go to counselling to figure out....where he's gone wrong? Before you actually know IF he has? Doesn't make sense?

Yes, you want to keep the status quo but can't! His life, his choice.

By the way Lizzie10 please post your problem on a separate thread and you will get responses.

hapgran Fri 20-Sep-19 17:48:55

Lizzle10- it might be better to start a separate thread with your concern...

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 18:01:07

I m glad to read your further comments lou which I missed before I commented and glad that you aren’t the controlling family that you came over as in your first posts
May I now ask why the daughter in law is not invited to the counselling sessions, is it not important for the counsellor to be working with ALL of you involved in this tangle not just one side of it

FunOma Fri 20-Sep-19 18:02:32

I highly recommend you read the two books by Dr. Jonice Webb about Childhood Emotional Neglect; how to recognize it and how to heal from it. I hope it is available in the UK. Find her on the web. She has info there too.

My 31 year old son who is not a reader, but is dealing with stress and addiction in his life, began leafing through it when I handed him the first book Running On Empty, and he has read it completely, recognizing himself in various examples. I am not a bad parent, and the author does not blame anyone (!) but apparently I have not fully attuned myself to my son's needs when he was a preteen, and when all attention began to focus on his three year older sister who began to suffer from depression. Anyway...loads of good info in it for recognizing and healing relationships between couples, but also parents and children!!

Coyoacan Fri 20-Sep-19 18:14:55

it was our son's choice to go to counselling

I think family therapy can be really useful, though a lot depends on the therapist and the willingness of the participants.

Someone said that the family sounds normal. I'm sure it is, but family's can get into unhealthy dynamics. And I can't imagine that any therapist worth their salt would allow the session to descend into trashing the absent fiancée.

willa45 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:26:25

BlueBelle, unless I missed something to the contrary, have you considered that DIL herself may have chosen not to be there?

Nonetheless, family therapy can help everyone involved in the same way that Al Anon helps family members of alcoholics or Drug Rehab helps the families of addicts. Therapy can provide a more healthy perspective on key issues, so that conflicts can be resolved to everyone's benefit...therapy could also throw some intelligible light on DIL's behavior, even if she's not there.

Magpie1959 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:41:07

I've always had a really close relationship with my DIL, I was her surrogate Mum really, as she was estranged from her own family (her choice).
There were however, lots of things that I didn't like about her nature but I kept it to myself as he obviously loved her very much and they were happy.
Well unfortunately she has now shown her true colours and continues to put my son (and their two boys) through hell.

During discussions I have had with my son since, he asked why I didn't point the things out and warn him?
My reply was that he just wouldn't have seen through her because he loved her. If I had pointed out the really unpleasant side to her nature and the very hurtful things she did, we would have ended up estranged as well.

OP good luck with the family therapy. I doubt it will improve your relationship with your future DIL but hopefully you can get across to your son that your love and support will always be there when he needs you.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Sep-19 18:46:49

willa of course that is a possibility but as we are talking about all the daughter in laws to be’s faults I would have expected to hear ‘we asked the fiancée to come too but as usual she didn’t cooperate so she’s not coming along’
It didn’t read like that at all but I may be wrong

Eva2 Fri 20-Sep-19 19:03:24

What a wonderful family you are to be going to therapy. I really admire you. I'm sure your therapist will help you through this. Trust the process not your emotions. Wishing you well.

Coyoacan Fri 20-Sep-19 19:26:16

During discussions I have had with my son since, he asked why I didn't point the things out and warn him?

Oh yes, when I got together with my abusive ex a friend of mine said it to me straight. Of course I fell out with my friend. When I finally split up and was going through all my ex's faults in my head, I suddenly remembered that all that was what my friend had pointed out to me.

Jennyluck Fri 20-Sep-19 20:00:12

I think as a mother you can’t do right for doing wrong. My advise would be to take a step back and let them get on with it. Because your son will always choose his wife. Which is the way it should be, and hopefully you can be a close 2nd.
Everyone wants their children to meet someone nice and settle down, but sometimes it causes a divided family, which is heartbreaking. So tread very carefully.

blue60 Fri 20-Sep-19 20:09:45

I agree with Gonegirl on this one. Similar circumstances whereby my son listened to everything his fiance said. I tried so hard to like her, but she made it obvious to me that she didn't like me.

Anyway, there was a very harsh message from my son, and I decided at that point enough was enough. I just let them get on with it, I was so angry. I had no contact for a year and tbh I needed the break from all of their problems.

Our relationship is now back on an even keel; he is married to a different girl, an utterly wonderful person.

I'm not sure therapy will help, sometimes you just have to let go and hope things work out.

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 20:47:35

I don't understand why we think we should like or even love the partners our children choose for themselves.
In the beginning, they are random people who we don't know. Strangers.
We can't expect or be expected to like everyone. Our (your and my) AC have their own tastes in food, drink, clothes, friends, music, hobbies, films etc so why be upset if their choice of partner is not your choice for them?

Coyoacan Fri 20-Sep-19 21:19:23

I don't understand why we think we should like or even love the partners our children choose for themselves

It is indeed a problem, but when our children's partners end up being the parents of our grandchildren, we do have to try to see the best in them.

pinkquartz Fri 20-Sep-19 23:24:52

OP after reading you later posts it looks like the complications are arising from your Dil's complicated past relationships with her stepmother and mother?In which case she will be projecting on to you issues she hasn't resolved with them. And then you have done nothing wrong and
there is nothing you can do apart from talk with her if she wants to.
while she projects her unresolved issues onto you it makes it easier for her but not everyone else.
I think the Therapy really needs her to be there to work.
Still a good idea to stand back and keep your good relationship with your DS he will need you whatever happens.

I wish you all the best.

Treelover Sat 21-Sep-19 06:01:43

I think that is very perceptive CarlyD7: 'There is a reason your son has married her - which only he may ever know - but you have to trust that there is something in the relationship that he needs" I sometimes wonder if the more inspiring etcetc and great the mother is, the more the children will opt for spouses that don't conform to the adoration. Harsh to good mums but perhaps necessary to the adukt children if they are to shine on their own. Take it on the chin.

Buffy Sat 21-Sep-19 09:25:08

I feel you have accomplished masses by getting all siblings to agree to go to family therapy. It shows that you all care and want to resolve the situation. If your son really, really loves his fiancee and feels her to be perfect he is going to be taking a lot of pummeling from the rest of you. It could push him even closer to her as he'll hear things he doesn't want to believe. She sounds so controlling I'm amazed she is 'allowing' him to attend the meeting. Take lots of tissues!
Good luck. Do post on thevoutcome.

Buffy Sat 21-Sep-19 09:28:43

P.S. I agreed with pinkquartz, you really need for your sons fiancee to join in the therapy but she'd have to be a very brave woman to do so as she must believe it's already 4 against 1.

Fenton95 Sat 21-Sep-19 09:32:03


Feel for you. And, contrary to what some previous posters have assumed, you don't come across as controlling.

I have good friends who are in a similar situation and it is SO hard. I'm sure as your son has suggested the counselling, it sounds as if he wants to mend fences so it should be fruitful.

Yes, of course, there will be adjustments needed by all parties and there might be hard truths to hear but I wish you all the very best with the counselling. You deserve it.

Madgran77 Sat 21-Sep-19 10:16:51

I agree with Fenton95

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Sat 21-Sep-19 11:16:10

Willa45 our dil was very clever at worming her way into our family and struck up a very close relationship with our dd (who was very close to ds). She was treated like our own, invited to all family occasions and happily lived with us as was unhappy at home and struggled with her mother. We never put down her family and all joined in big mixed family parties etc. Once they got engaged she changed, literally over night, they had moved out by this time. Over a couple years my sons friends started to stay away despite them having partners and all going out/away as groups. One by one she upset them until they decided to stay away (3 groomsmen dropped out of wedding). Her iwn chief bridesmaid and one other dropoed out as well. She upset dd several times who said nothing to keep the peace, but now has strained relationship with both of them. As I posted previously she kicked off at some family events and spoiled them and said some hurtful things. Our ds spoke to us saying that her comments were just her joking and she just comes across wrong! Anyway they married and had children and she spends more time with her mother because her mother does a lot of childcare because dil finds it all too hard. Ds does most of childcare when he not working to give her a rest. We have gc 1 day a week as she had decided to try a job! My db (who works in the field) has watched carefully and says she has narcissistic tendencies and possible sociopath. She NEVER accepts responsibilty for her actions and it is always everyone else (her mother, her sister, dd, me etc) making her behave how she does. My son does struggle but is loyal, which is commendable, and remains so for the gc. I do think though that one day he will wake up and decide he's had enough. We keep our distance and say nothing as dont want to lose contact with gc. I akso feel that if oud ds stopoed buying all thd things she sets her heart on, she will move on to someone with more 💵. I have tead up on narcissists and tgey are very clever and manipulative to get what they want and cadt people aside when no longer needed, this suits her down to the groundsad

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Sat 21-Sep-19 11:17:55

Please excuse aweful typing, wish this had edit function blush

Coyoacan Sat 21-Sep-19 16:02:39

Oh, there are all types in this world and we cannot know very much from the few paragraphs the OP has written. But what we do know is that the OP needs to try to see the best in her future DIL, as long as she is her son's partner. And should there be grandchildren, then that will be forever.

Summerfly Mon 23-Sep-19 12:08:07

So easy for everyone to tell you to pull back and let them get on with it. Fortunately I have been so lucky regarding my AC’s choice of life partners but it must be hard to cope with your situation and I feel for you.
My darling mum had the same problem with her DIL. She bent over backwards to make her welcome but she just didn’t want to be part of our fantastic family. Not once did she interfere but stayed calm and loyal to my brother. That really is all you can do. Sending you love and hugs. 💐

Pythagorus Mon 30-Sep-19 11:22:37

Clearly a very common scenario! Mothers of sons and dils. Each one regarding the other as the bad guy!

Sadly dils haven’t always got the life experience to manage the situation well. So it’s down to the mother of the adult son. I have struggled over the years as a mother of an only son. But I have made huge progress! Painful progress! My tips are, pull back, don’t interfere, be supportive when necessary, get your own life going, your son has his family now and they come before you! Try and walk a mile in the dils shoes before criticising. You have to gain her trust and it may take time. My dil has just asked me to join them for Christmas! There’s a first! One more thing. My son married a girl with 2 teenage girls. My kindness to them has won my dils heart! Kill ‘em with kindness!