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Adult children living abroad

(40 Posts)
Dressagediva123 Sat 06-Jun-20 17:56:33

I’ve just had a very heated conversation with my youngest daughter who lives in Canada - I’ve had a tough week with two friends finding out their cancer has returned/ and my eldest grandson birthday is tomorrow/ is with my eldest daughter in Sweden ( we can’t be together for the foreseeable future) I told her I was sad / and struggling this week with one thing and another. She told me off good and proper / said I was passive aggressive/ always trying to make them feel guilty for not living in the U.K. . I am struggling with my emotional state at the moment / but I take ownership of my feelings. I don’t ever say your make me feel etc.
And said o act as if they we’re dead and had dis owned them - then she rang off .
I certainly haven’t disowned them - far from it - we speak regularly and recently have been trying to work out how we can go to Canada to help with child care for the summer holidays ( it doesn’t seem possible currently with the restrictions) .
At the moment I don’t think I can ever share my feelings again with her / just keep quiet and tow the line - but my husband says why should you .
I have a very stressful job -dealing with families who are separated- so I am aware of how to use language etc but this is too close to home and I feel at a loss .

BlueSky Sat 06-Jun-20 20:11:23

Dressagediva sorry to hear about the argument with your daughter. Being far away makes it even worse. My two sons live abroad and in the past there's been some misunderstandings with the DIL. Like you I've never made them feel guilty and I've always tried to help them, bending over backwards in the process. I felt that I didn't deserve the harsh words but I thought it would be different with daughters. Sadly not. Big hug. flowers

MJS7 Sat 06-Jun-20 20:40:18

I have a similar problem. My son is estranged from his wife and she has the three children living with her. During the lockdown she has not allowed my son to see his daughters. They live in the north of Scotland so we don't get to see any of them at all. Breaks my heart not to have contact, just long for a cuddle but nothing I can do.

sodapop Sat 06-Jun-20 20:53:18

We are living through stressful times Dressagediva and things are often said in the heat of the moment that we wish unsaid..
I would be inclined to let things lie for a while then talk to your daughter again.
Try not to dwell on this too much, your job probably makes you think of worst case scenarios. I hope things work out for you and your family.

OceanMama Sun 07-Jun-20 01:22:01

It could be your daughter has some guilt of her own about not being there to support you and that is coming out. She shouldn't, but maybe she does.

Or could it be that you were unloading at her at a time she has a lot on her plate as well? Not long after my child died I had several phone calls with my mother where she was constantly complaining about much more minor things at work. It comes across as very insensitive and I stopped calling for a while. Did your daughter get a chance to share what is happening for her at the moment?

I'm not saying anyone is at fault. A lot of people are a bit fraught at the moment with everything that is happening.

Coolgran65 Sun 07-Jun-20 02:10:19

MSJ7. The same thing happened to my son. His ex W stopped contact despite a court order and government guidelines saying that contact should continue. And despite solicitors letters Now that he is taking the matter to the family court for breach of court order, she has resumed the contact...... after 12 weeks.

Hithere Sun 07-Jun-20 02:21:00

So sorry you had a rough week and your dd wouldnt support you the way you needed.

However, be thankful your dd told you exactly what issues she has with you.
This way, you can fix it.

Sometimes it is not what we say, it is how we say it and the voice.

If you can give us an example of how you phrased it, we could pinpoint orange flags if they exist.

Sparkling Sun 07-Jun-20 05:46:24

💐Perhaps it was a bad time and she was struggling. If you know you do your best you can do no more.

Puzzler61 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:24:10

Dressagediva I feel very sad for you. Relationships with adult daughters can be a joy, but sometimes,sadly, a few words can turn into a big misunderstanding on one side or the other and it leaves you feeling wounded. I’m sure you’re asking “how can she be so cruel” when your intention was to share your week’s news - good and bad - and receive some kind words from your daughter.
Have you had similar times when an argument has blown up from nowhere and she has put the phone down on you? It’s humiliating and very inconsiderate to do that to anyone, particularly your mother.
I agree with others, let time pass, the hurt will subside, and try not to go over and over it in your mind. She may well have other problems within her family and she doesn’t want to burden you with them.
I’m sure your relationship with her is not damaged forever.
Us mums are very forgiving. Take care 💜🌺

Franbern Sun 07-Jun-20 09:12:14

So many people are struggling with sadness, feeling of loss, insecurity at present. That would include your daughter, who probably also has added to that some guilt feelings at being so far from her parents, at this dreadful time.

So, her way of dealing with it when you tried to tell her about your emotions, was to go into defensive mode. Sure she is now very unhappy as to the way the conversation developed.

Send her a message saying how much you love her and, although you miss her, understand that she is really happy in her new adopted home, and her happiness is just about the most important thing for you. Apologise to her if she felt you were trying to impose your feelings on to her. Ask how she is coping - and just repeat how much you love her.

You are fortunate that you have your hubbie with you, discuss your feelings about your friends with him, always try to be upbeat when talking to your adult children - particularly at this time.

BlueSky Sun 07-Jun-20 09:30:06

I find that you not only have to avoid 'upsetting' children and their partners, but also your own spouse, otherwise you fear he would call them and tell them to stop worrying you! So walking on egg shells for us mums, no wonder we feel lousy!

keriku Sun 07-Jun-20 10:15:03

I have 4 “wee” brothers, one lives in Australia, while the other 3 live in the same town as my elderly parents. We were meant to be having a big party for mum’s 80th in April and my brother and his family were due to come home for a while. I know he feels rotten that he couldn’t, but none of us have been able to visit. That’s the reality of lockdown, whether you live 5 miles or 5,000 miles away. We are all stressed and upset. I am sure things will settle down between you and your family. I just pray for the day that all families can be reunited.

Seefah Sun 07-Jun-20 10:30:04

Sounds like she feels guilty, helpless, useless, not there for you, and frustrated and feels there’s nothing she can do about it !

Twig14 Sun 07-Jun-20 10:32:27

Dressagediva
Really sorry to read your message. I can empathise with you. My adult children live abroad one in Tokyo the other in Dubai. I havnt seen my two grandchildren since last July n definitely won’t see them now till next year. I’ve lost my father to Covd19 my elderly mother is currently staying with me. It’s not nice not having family around especially in the current climate. Maybe your DD will realise once she’s calmed down and get back to you. I feel very alone often. I wish I could see family but they have to live their own lives. I console myself by saying you have to love them a lot more to let them go. Cheer up I know how you must feel.

157bob Sun 07-Jun-20 10:33:58

Sorry to hear of your problems. Our DD and 2 GS live in Dubai and were due to come home and stay with us for the Summer. Particularly with the self isolation that would have ben required when they arrived here and when they got back home, that has been cancelled now. We were due out there for 2 months for November and December to celebrate our Golden Wedding and Christmas. Flights have been booked since February but even that is in doubt now should Covid-19 return once all the restrictions are released. We also are no happy ....

Jishere Sun 07-Jun-20 10:35:11

Dressagediva I understand you have had a tough week and a big hug comes your way.
But there is that distance and to say you are struggling to your daughter who lives miles away will only make her feel helpless, guilty and pained and result in her being angry.
You say share your emotions, is that the relationship you have? Both sharing your emotions or as it changed now she is living so far away?
Yes it's been a tough week but you can't expect your daughter to be your emotional support when she is miles away.

icanhandthemback Sun 07-Jun-20 10:50:45

Sometimes I find myself in situations like yours where I say something to my daughter and she explodes. The next thing I know the phone goes down, I am blocked from being able to contact her and it hurts like hell. She only lives about half an hour away but it might as well be Canada. I used to spend many sleepless nights and my husband would be furious with her. Eventually something happens and she recovers her good humour so we get back to normal so nowadays it tends to be less worrisome to me although I still hate the unpleasantness. Normally, it is something I said that broke the camel's back. To most people it would have been harmless but with her luck and anxiety it is me who gets the stick. The therapist said it is because she trusts me to be there even if she takes her frustration out on me. Perhaps that is what has happened with your daughter.
Is it possible that you unconsciously make your daughter feel guilty without that intention? Maybe a card telling her how much you love her and you are happy she is happy wherever she is in the world will build some bridges.

red1 Sun 07-Jun-20 10:51:16

Families and how to survive them! you say you work with them so you know first hand the potential problems.
i have a son who moved to ireland with his family,without the least concern for how it would affect me,another son just doesn't visit or call.Have I done anything wrong ,maybe i did,brought them up,bought them cars, put them through uni,set them up in business etc etc.Parents who dont care about their family get the better loyalty, fact.No one can quite hurt you like your family can.I have withdrawn myself emotionally from them,apart from the grandkids,it works better for me,as before i was in turmoil,i hope you get some balance in the situation

BlueSky Sun 07-Jun-20 11:20:22

Well there are a lot of us in the same boat, whether our children live far away or just down the road! It helps somehow...

win Sun 07-Jun-20 11:23:25

I see it from the other side of the coin, left home when I was 18 and moved to another country. My parents visited me 3 time a year and wrote every week. Never once said they were sad about me leaving or struggling with it, just full support for my new life and family. My mother lost her son (my brother) but did not want to tell me until weeks later as she did not want to burden me and think that I would fly home leaving two very young children behind. always total support . Your daughter is feeling more and more guilty that she has left home the older you get because she cannot be there to support you, I would not offload on her at all, she has plenty of problems herself. Offload here or to friends in stead would be my advice.

Mbuya Sun 07-Jun-20 11:33:37

I feel for you and have had similar experiences with my 3 daughters in Australia. The good thing is that after some time we do mend the fences and move on. Life is too short. I also suggest leaving some time to reflect on both sides before reaching out. It may have been as someone said, a question of timing. Living away from home and in a foreign country has its fair share of challenges and some times our children do not necessarily share these challenges with us. I say hang in there.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:38:41

Try to assess this calmly. How serious a quarrel is it?

It sounds to me as if your daughter must have had a stressful week too and that one word took another.

Leave it for now.

If when you are calmer and less upset about this you feel that she is barking up quite the wrong tree about your trying to make her feel guilty about not living in the UK, you could try saying or writing to her that you are sorry, if anything you have said, has made her feel that is what you are doing, but that you do respect her right to decide to live elsewhere.

Perhaps she was missing you as much as you miss her, but couldn't bring herself to admit it?

Withnail Sun 07-Jun-20 12:00:08

I feel sad that I can't see my daughter & family.
They could be round the corner or in Australia it is the same depth of feeling.
You are not responsible for how others feel.
Equally you can only be responsible for how you feel.
Some telephone of online CBT Counselling can be helpful in these times to help us manage our unhealthy emotions which we find are disturbing us and rationalise what we can and can't do.
We can't change the situations but we can change how we feel about them, maybe with a bit of help from someone unattached to us.
Anger is unhealthy for us, an acceptance of situations can help us transition to disappointment/sadness which are less disturbing emotions, we still don't like it but we don't actively upset ourselves every time we think about it.
I have written some books about how you do this.
It's not easy to do this, is takes lots of practise
Author name Gill Garratt. The first little book is set in workplace examples but the book is for anyone wanting to learn how to do some CBT for themselves. It is Number 1 in kindle too but I love to hold a little book : )

jefm Sun 07-Jun-20 12:00:10

I so feel for you. However the situation with Covid affects relationships and seeing family for all of us who do not live near our loved ones. The fact is though that when we talk openly to our children about our feelings I believe they have difficulty dealing with it or even accepting it. Issues with communication and my DIL have affected all of us . This resulted in my ex husband who has been a good friend of 28 years since we divorced pulling away from me. Then my dearest younger son has had a baby and his girlfriend who was wonderful has now taken exception to just one issue when she accused me of “ letting “ our gorgeous baby go to sleep when she wanted him to stay awake! We can’t win! It’s taken me 15 years ( my eldest grandson) to recognise that no matter how good you think the relationship you have is. Don’t as a mum express your feelings to them. It doesn’t work sadly . Yes I have helped them all too ie baby sitting driving hundreds of miles when they needed me, providing deposits for both houses, seeing them through uni as a single mum. I guess it just doesn’t count anymore. My younger son does FaceTime each week but my eldest hasn’t been in contact in 12 weeks of lockdown. If it wasn’t for me I don’t think he would have been in contact, I have said nothing but have felt very sad so dressagedival my guess is that as it’s your daughter as long as you stay cheerful at each call you will regain your relationship again .

4allweknow Sun 07-Jun-20 12:14:12

Do you think there may well be a feeling of guilt from your Dd? Doesn't know how to cope with such sad emotions. If any of my family who live far and wide had said what your DD did I would be devastated. Your husband is right, why should you pretend all is well. Keep in contact as you usually do and ride over your daughter's horrible attitude. Think that the trip will be off this year is a good thing, give her time to grow up a bit.