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Distance issue

(115 Posts)
LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 01:58:05

Can anyone advise me how to hide my hurt feelings.
Our daughters and grandchildren live 4 hrs away so visiting us a bit of a nightmare. It’s a long way for the grandchildren as they both get car sick and it’s getting a tough journey for us because my husbands lost his confidence on the road since Covid so we have decided to move closer which hopefully will be soon.. We would meet halfway sometimes especially for birthdays but now that’s not happening this year.
My issue is that my daughter is always busy as she has a very demanding job and sometimes she doesn’t even answer my text messages and when she does it’s a very short one liner so we FaceTime once a fortnight or maybe three weeks. She doesn’t like us staying with her because she doesn’t like dogs much so we have to stay with our other daughter now and she has to sleep on the couch if we stay with her. Otherwise we have to make other arrangements.
Although I’m not needy and really don’t need to speak to her everyday as many mothers do (I think I’d run out if things to talk about) I would like her to make a bit more of an effort to see us especially on special occasions. She hasn’t been here all year now. Otherwise she is very kind and very generous but both of us would like to see our grandchildren more too. I feel I’m making all the effort and I’m hurt that she’s too busy to see her father as he’s not been well but feel unable to discuss it with her. How do you cope with negative feelings in this case?

Namsnanny Thu 29-Sep-22 02:38:18

flowers ((hug))
Im still awake and felt I couldnt leave you without a reply.
Im in a similar situation (too long to go into) and I'm very sorry to say I haven't found a satisfactory answer, yet.
It keeps me awake at night as you can see!
People say make a life for yourself outside of them. Well, I try. I have hobbies etc.
I cry most days. Keep up the facade as best I can.
Just pray for acceptance of my situation.
Mostly I wonder where I went wrong.

Perhaps concentrating on your husband as he isnt well, and giving him some extra attention to compensate for the love he isnt getting from your daughter and gc?
It might make your bond with him stronger, and give you a different focus?

I hope someone else will give you a more encouraging reply soon.
Wishing you both well

Hithere Thu 29-Sep-22 02:47:38

It seems like the amount of contact is pretty frequent for the busy lifestyle

Are you retired?

Why dont you try to visit your daughters more, maybe stay in hotel/Airbnb?
It is way easier for one person or two people to travel vs a family with kids

Kim19 Thu 29-Sep-22 04:15:08

I would be very wary of moving closer unless you are really unhappy where you are. That's no guarantee you'll see more of them. Am I to understand that you take a dog with you? If so, I have to say I wouldn't like that either. You mention another daughter? Does she live equally far away? If the daughter with the GC holds down a demanding job then I fully understand that life will be testing for her. I'm in a similar situation in that I don't see my GC or son half as much as I'd like to. However, I do still drive and our distance apart is not as great as yours. Their schedule is so tight that slotting in a visit is indeed difficult. When I look back I recollect my lovely Mum always wanted to see more of us and this made life difficult. I guess it's just an ongoing family predicament which modern times has not helped. I hope your husband's health is now stable and you can find more to occupy you contentedly in your local surroundings. Good luck.

Allsorts Thu 29-Sep-22 04:59:10

I don't see one child, she estranged family, my son 40 minutes away odd half hour every month or so. I often cry myself to sleep but say nothing. People make time for those they want to see. The main thing is they are well and happy in their lives.
I would not be happy to have a dog either and I wouldn't ask my other daughter to stay there putting her out of her own bed having to sleep on the sofa, it's not on really. You need to make arrangements at a hotel nearby,blog in kennel as it's just not convenient for either daughters. I doubt moving closer will help. It all sounds like a big upheaval and if you could change the way you do things, remembering they are busy people, things coukd improve, they do want to see you but not as often as you would like, just change a few things to once or twice a year. It is unrealistic how things are now.
We are just a part of our children's lives, I do see many happy families that holiday together and meet up, but for many of us it's the opposite. Concentrate on your husband, I would love to have mine still and could cope if I did., believe me when you are estranged with no hope of reconciliation just a phone call would be good.

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 07:54:27

Thank you for your response but my husband finds the journey very difficult now. He’s making lots of mistakes yet hates me driving so it’s a nightmare for both of us as it’s a very busy horrible journey. Our daughters are very keen for us to move closer and after the experience with my parents I wouldn’t want them to be tearing around the country as I was then. The dog is an issue and he’s old so I don’t like to leave him at kennels or even a dog minder. Aside from that it’s all so expensive to find an Airbnb too so hopefully the move will help.

Cabbie21 Thu 29-Sep-22 08:56:28

I somehow doubt the move will make much difference to them though it will shorten the journey for you. You need to want to live in the new area. Have you sussed it out? Does it meet your needs, now and for the future?
We moved nearer my daughter and it has worked well, especially since she changed her line of work and is more flexible, but the children are older teenagers now and don't need me, and I suspect my daughter will move away in a couple of years. So you need your focus not to be entirely on your family.

sodapop Thu 29-Sep-22 09:05:34

Sounds like your mind is made up anyway LizzieB1 I hope it works out well for you. Do be aware of the dangers in making your family the focus of your life though, have your own life outside of the family.

Franbern Thu 29-Sep-22 10:04:48

You know there are other ways of travelling distances, other than cars. Why not travel by train, if you book well in advance, and get a senior's (or disability) car they are not expensive. Saves a lot of worry, letting the train take the strain.

I can totally understand anyone not wising to have a dog in their home, perhaps you may need to choose between your pet and your family.

Younger people have to lead such very busy and stressful loves these days. Those with young families, and in busy jobs are often working very many more hours than they get paid for. No wonder they cannot find time to host elderly parents and animals.

I have five AC, one lives nearby so I see her once a week, when she comes straight from work to have her evening meal with me and a chat. She stays less than two hours. Another I have a weekly gossip with on the phone most weekends. The others I tend to have a quick phone call with every two or three months,

For Mothers Day and my birthday I always tell them NOT to send anything other than a card, but to use any monies they would have sent present with for a visit to me sometime in the summer. So, this way usually see them at least once a year for a couple of days.

Those that have a spare bedroom, I try to get to (by train), once or twice a year, I love them all dearly, hope they have reciprocal feelings for me. But, know that there main emphasis must be on their own families. I have done my bit, bringing them up, sending them out into the world with careers, etc. I would actually be rather concerned if any of them felt that they needed to concentrate on me.

Hithere Thu 29-Sep-22 11:19:47

If you move closer, what are your expectations? See them how often, pop in if you are in the area, have dinner or look lunch every week, babysit, etc

Can you afford it financially?

What would your daughters and their families be willing to change? Visit more often? Tea every week?

You see, moving is not a magic wand solution. Distance does not increase how often you see or talk to people.

What if your daughters moved?
Would you follow them again?
You and your dh may not have friends in the area, how would you fill your social life?
Your daughters cannot fill that void

In your new post, you give us a lot of "reasons" why travelling to them is not convenient for you and your husband - sorry that I dont buy it at all

Seems like you can drive but your dh has an issue with it - what is that issue?

If it is a horrible journey for them, it is also for your daughters to see you

The driving, the dog, the long journey, expensive external accommodations- your reality and constraints cannot put the responsibility in other people to see you

That other party also has their own set of conditions that make it difficult for them to see you

Be careful thinking the grass is greener on the other side -re: move

Hithere Thu 29-Sep-22 11:25:08

So basically, this is not about distance, the main issue is different lifestyles

Please appreciate the effort your daughters are making, they are trying their best to manage their schedule and make you a priority - dont be needy

Nannashirlz Thu 29-Sep-22 12:10:32

My sons are in two different directions few hundred miles neither way both have long hour jobs and so I travel up and down to see them my daughter inlaws and grandkids yes it’s a nightmare but it’s easier for me to jump on a train to spend few days with them and I stay in hotels or bed and breakfasts. Plus it’s cheaper for me to do it than them. Mine do visit but very raw because with work and school. We video call every week and text or ring few times a week. Families don’t live in each other’s pockets nowadays.

JECB Thu 29-Sep-22 12:13:10

Wise words!

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 19:13:30

Wow! I’ve really been put in my place.
We are moving because they are always complaining about the distance too and I can appreciate that. They also would appreciate my help. But I lost both my parents within weeks of each other. It was hell for me driving the distance not knowing whether I would see my parents in time and worrying about who was looking after my very young daughters. It’s a very real concern for me. On the other hand I have some very good friends in the area so I wouldn’t be short of company. I also have quite a few passionate interests too and I’ve always been very independent. I’m not that needy but I’m worried about my husband and Id like to think they are too.

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 19:22:39

Actually it is about the distance. My husband has lost his confidence on the road and is making silly mistakes yet if I take over the journey he really stresses out. I hear a running commentary from start to finish and I’m sure a lot of women will understand that. I’ve driven on my own but even I find it stressful now which is why I suggested meeting halfway. It has worked well in the past.
And if I’m honest I feel I’m missing out on seeing my grandchildren and the joy that brings. With Covid I missed two years of my grand daughters life so I don’t think I’m being unreasonable wanting to catch up and have some relationship with them.

Hithere Thu 29-Sep-22 19:25:06

No, as a woman, a man putting my driving down because he lost his confidence is something I do not tolerate

Madgran77 Thu 29-Sep-22 19:41:36

Lizzie I do think that you need to discuss with your husband re keeping quiet if he can't safely do the driving anymore! It's not fair for you to suffer a running commentary, and he should get that under control for both your sakes!

However, that is not the issue here really. The issue for you is moving nearer and hoping that that will resolve some of your hurt and upset. I think if all are happy, moving is a perfectly reasonable idea. but I do think you need to be careful not to expect more from the move than might be forthcoming.

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 20:10:43

It’s just becoming more and more untenable. No amount of trying to get my husband to shut up is working so unless I go on my own it’s going to be a stressful journey.
Regarding the house, we are happy to downsize and we have good friends in the area but it’s still a big move. Most of my friends understand my motives but the real concern for me is the distance now and worrying about my husbands health. I don’t want to worry my daughters but I’m anxious about him.

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 20:17:27

Hi there,
This is the first time I’ve used Gransnet and whilst I welcome advice I didn’t think I’d get a good ticking off! Well maybe it’s given me something to think about if it hasn’t made me feel any better!

Withoutroots Thu 29-Sep-22 20:47:04

Hello Lizzie, after reading your most recent reply I must say that the main blockade for visiting appears to be your husband. Yes the distance is hard but it would be much easier if your husband decided to keep quiet and have faith in your driving, so much easier that, who knows, maybe you wouldn’t mind driving there more often.

I do think you moving closer will actually help quite a bit regarding what I mentioned above, however your husband’s behavior will always make it difficult. I mean no offense to you or him, however it is in his locus of control to stop acting as a blockade to your happiness. He really should put whatever it is that leads him to actively and frequently comment and nitpick your driving aside for your sake, his own wife for crying out loud. It isn’t to much to ask, not even close.

V3ra Thu 29-Sep-22 20:56:34

LizzieB1 I think Hithere was playing devil's advocate rather than ticking you off as such.
If your plans are sound it should all help confirm your decision.

From what you say the whole family is in favour of you moving, and you have friends as well in the area.
If your husband's health is worrying you then the sooner you move the better.

SuzieHi Thu 29-Sep-22 20:57:15

You do get a variety of comments on here but please don’t let it upset you. As we’re all anonymous it’s easy to be blunt, and pass a few comments you wouldn’t say to a close friend.

Varying comments will help you to see various points of view.
Do think about them.
Some will be irrelevant as no one knows all the ins/outs of a relationship or situation.
I’ll be blunt too-
Tell your husband you’re not driving him anywhere unless he shuts up! Ban him from making comments while you’re driving- stop the car if he does.

Moving nearer to children- do it if you want to for your own happiness & ease of visiting.

Don't try to pressurise family to visit/phone/text more often. Resentment will follow. Accept what they give. Issue a few invites yourself.

Get busy with new activities, friends or holidays but make space for them if you can.

Think we all need to “let go” as adult children set up their own lives. Try not to expect too much from them & then you won’t be disappointed!

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 21:30:13

Perhaps I’m mixing with the wrong people but most of my friends seem to have very close relationships with their daughters as I did with mine. I’m not saying I don’t have a good relationship with mine but it’s hard when you don’t see much of them. Sons are different I agree as I’ve heard most are lousy at keeping in touch. But really I don’t need to speak to them every day, heaven forbid, or even every week but now we are getting older we just don’t know what’s around the corner. It’s nice to feel valued and needed occasionally (but not every week!)
Regarding my husband I’m afraid he’s never going to change. There’s only so long he’s going to sit there with his fists clenched to the seat and it’s not as if I’m not a good driver. He just expects me to drive very very slowly.

Hithere Thu 29-Sep-22 21:39:50


You settle for too low - the way your husband treats you is unacceptable

I hope it is limited to just driving

Adult children are equally busy - whether they are sons or daughters
Your double standard is dangerous

LizzieB1 Thu 29-Sep-22 22:07:31

Hi there,
Thank you but I feel you have made your point strongly enough