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i need advice

(45 Posts)
albrights Thu 16-Jan-20 21:18:42

my grown daughter and i had an argument recently and i told her that i love her but sometimes i really don’t like her for the things she has done in the past (dating married men, marrying a man so his family would pay for her college( she told me she married him for the “end result-money”. she now has a new husband who is wonderful but will not allow him to have his boys from a previous marriage visit him. After our argument she said she wants nothing to do with me. I believe she is afraid i will share her past with her new husband. I was not allowed to participate in her 40th birthday party (i ordered a cake and bought the decorations). yesterday i was going to walk my dog and asked if my 5yo granddaughter could join us. She said, in front of her husband that i was unstable and she did not trust me to be around my GC. i have always loved my grandchild and would never let anything happen to her. i have never been so hurt as to being told i am unstable. i don’t know what to do

Londonwifi Thu 16-Jan-20 21:40:51

I think you have been honest with your DD. You told her you love her but didn’t approve (quite rightly) of some of her behaviour.
Call her bluff. Does she depend on you for support for her children? If she does - next time she asks for help say, “I don’t think it would be wise for me to babysit, help or whatever if I am unstable and not to be trusted with the GC,” and end the conversation or walk away.
This might sort things out and she might apologise because she needs you. However, make it plain that you will only offer help on condition that she begins to behave like a responsible adult. Say you love her very much as she is your daughter but you don’t have to suffer verbal abuse from her or the resulting stress. You have your own life to lead and enjoy thank you very much!
She sounds like she has a mental disorder to put it bluntly as she is very controlling:-
* not allowing her husbands children to visit him
* not allowing you to participate in her 40th birthday after your time and expense
* riding roughshod over everyone’s feelings namely the married man’s wife, the man who paid for her college fees, her new husband’s children and now you
I would say she needs help from a professional,big time, or she may end up alone and miserable. Believe me it is no fun being the son or daughter of someone like this never mind being the mother(you).
I think you have to distance yourself from her for a while. Maybe write her a letter stating your concerns. I would be worried for her children growing up with a mother as controlling as this. I hope you manage to sort something out.
Maybe involve social services?

albrights Fri 17-Jan-20 00:22:51

thank you very much for your advice. i have no choice but to distance myself from her. perhaps i was wrong to bring up the things she has done. she told me that she now knows i never loved her. that is not the case. i have loved her all of her life. i am retired after 43 years of work and looked forward to spending time with her family. I recently moved 3000 miles to be closer to them. And now i am in a new state and do not know anyone. Yes, i have suffered with depression all of my life and it truly pains me to tell me i am unstable, but i am not. i have worked hard and lived on my own for years.

Starlady Fri 17-Jan-20 06:49:03

Oh, albrights, my heart goes out to you! How painful to be attacked (verbally) for your mental health issues and to be CO (cut off) from your beloved GD! And how cruel and selfish of your ED (estranged daughter) to ban you from her party after letting you pay for the cake, etc! Hugs!

"i told her that i love her but sometimes i really don’t like her for the things she has done in the past"... "perhaps i was wrong to bring up the things she has done"...

IDK. Perhaps your mistake was saying you "don't like her' instead of that you "don't like some of the things she has done." But perhaps your criticisms (spot on, IMO) would have hurt and angered her, anyway. If she really feels right now that you "never loved" her, then I'm not surprised she's distancing you. I'm not sure if you mentioned the issue concerning SIL's two boys - if you did, that's a current issue, so she may have felt you're dislike is ongoing - not just related to past events but present ones - and that may have given her a sense of your having "never loved" her, too, IDK. Hopefully, she'll calm down, after a while, and realize you didn't mean it that way. But I imagine it will take time and you'll have to be patient.

I agree it was cruel of her to call you "unstable," especially in front of SIL and GD. And frankly, given her past behavior, IMO, she's the one who may be somewhat unstable. And I think her refusing to let SIL see his sons is horrible! Probably she was lashing out, though, striking back, trying to hurt you the way you hurt her. I don't think you deserved that, and I'm so deeply sorry, but I'm sure that payback was all it was about.

Also, if you said this in the heat of an argument, it probably wasn't the best time. But I know it's hard to stick to the issue-at-hand when one is arguing. Again, I hope she gets over it all in time. Hugs!

endlessstrife Fri 17-Jan-20 08:49:13

I think you’ve just got to let the dust settle, and say no more about anything. Make sure she knows you’re there if she needs you, but otherwise, give it time, and hopefully she’ll come round if the issues are not deep. If they are, then at least you know what you’re dealing with, and can start trying to mend things.

Hetty58 Fri 17-Jan-20 09:14:31

We can all say really nasty things in the heat of the moment. Being criticised by our mothers (whether they are good or bad) really hurts. We tend to say hurtful things back.

As they say 'Least said, soonest mended'.

Write her a note. Say that you love her, you're sorry that you argued and you really miss her. Promise to leave the past in the past - and not drag up her previous behaviour!

albrights Sat 18-Jan-20 19:34:04

Thank you all for your advice. I did apologize and told her I love her a day before her birthday, however she said that we were through. I can only hope one day we can all be together again.

M0nica Sat 18-Jan-20 19:43:32

I suspect that through out her life you have tended to placate her and act in a way that makes it clear that she calls the shots. Why on earth did you buy anything for her 40th birthday if you were not among the guests

The result is she feels free to treat you with contempt. You need to stand up for yourself. Make it clear that in future any help from you will be dependent on her treating you with respect.

Some one wrote Write her a note. Say that you love her, you're sorry that you argued and you really miss her. Promise to leave the past in the past - and not drag up her previous behaviour! I would say that is the last thing you should be doing is writing a cringing note to her like a whipped dog. It is playing right int her belief that she can treat you like a doormat and wipe her feet on you whenever she chooses.

I am not recommending demand ingand fighting behaviour, just action on your part to show her that you expect her to treat you with the respect that she expects for herself.

albrights Sat 18-Jan-20 23:00:12

Thank you for your input. You are correct in assuming I have placated her over the years. On numerous occasions over the years she has been disrespectful in speaking to me. Particularly in front of others. I have accepted that, and told her on several occasions to please be more respectful to me. Truthfully I allowed her to do so in order not to upset her. I did not give her the decorations or cake (i ordered it from a lovely local bakery and was going take it over at her party). All I can do now is hope on day we will unite. Best Regards.

Yennifer Sat 18-Jan-20 23:14:13

If someone didn't like me, I wouldn't believe they loved me. Big difference between disliking someone's choices and disliking them as a person. Especially if those choices affect them more than you. Your daughter seems to feel unloved and looks for a person who gives financial stability. Perhaps she feels that's easier than risking having her heart broken. If she believes her own mum doesn't love her, then she may struggle to think anyone else can. I think you should apologise for what you said x

Oopsminty Sat 18-Jan-20 23:22:30

My father once told me he loved me but didn't like me

I was about 19.

I never forgot him saying that

I can still hear him saying it in my head

Yennifer Sat 18-Jan-20 23:30:44

My mother too Oopsminty, I wish I'd walked away then, I spent most of my adult life trying too hard to be whatever she wanted me to be but nothing was good enough. She finally proved I wasn't likeable or lovable by her but I found people who did x

Hithere Sun 19-Jan-20 00:53:58

Your dd sounds she lives in a different dimension.

However, her dh chooses not to see his kids and upset her. It is not all on her, he is not being a father to his kids.
I question what kind of person he is that he is making that decision

M0nica Sun 19-Jan-20 07:34:28

Gosh, when my children were small and behaving really badly. I would say to them, 'However much I love you, I really do not like you very much at the moment.' They were quite aware what I meant, which was the feeling was limited to the moment and the behaviour. I saw it as affirming that no matter what they did I would always love them, but that sometimes their behaviour was exasperating and infuriating

I do not think it ever occurred to me or them that this was my permanent feeling, and of course I never used it in a context where it could be construed as meaning that.

Anyway, I am always telling them them how much I love them and how proud I am of them and praised them and I doubt if either of them plus family would have chosen to stay with us for 10 days over Christmas, if I had done any lasting harm.

Yennifer Sun 19-Jan-20 10:15:03

"I did xyz and it turned out fine"

Everyone is different, everyone has different needs, different feelings, different circumstances. My mother said that and I felt unloved. There is a reason for that. Not just my being more sensitive or somehow weaker than others. OPs daughter was deeply hurt by that comment and her feelings are valid. It's a deeply hurtful thing to say, unless there is 0 other evidence she is unloved. Judging by her reaction that's not the case. OP has even given us reasons why she doesn't like her own daughter x

Yennifer Sun 19-Jan-20 10:31:17

It might not even be due to you why it would hurt so much. Someone who has been bullied through school "no one likes you, you haven't got any friends" might make it hurt more coming from their mum. People are individuals. If something hurts them, we should be sorry for that not look for excuses or reasons why it shouldn't hurt them x

bingo12 Sun 19-Jan-20 11:35:21

Your daughter sounds really awful! Do you have any legal rights as a grandparent? If so - see a lawyer. Do your SIL's children have any legal rights to see their father ? Your daughter clearly needs someone stronger than you to stand up to her! Someone needs to!

Hetty58 Sun 19-Jan-20 12:08:32

albrights has dragged up past behaviour to criticise. A fresh start, with a promise to leave the past behind, is what's needed.

It's not weak to reassure somebody that you love them. Surely, it's best to accept another adult for who they are, rather than trying to change them or modify their behaviour - that's for children!

The 'mother' job is done and dusted now!

Starlady Sun 19-Jan-20 13:30:36

"I did not give her the decorations or cake (i ordered it from a lovely local bakery and was going take it over at her party)."

Did ED know you were doing this? Did she ask you to? If she did, then, IMO, it was still unfair of her to let you do this and not have you to the party. If she didn't know, then I can't fault her on this one. Either way, glad you didn't give her any of it.

I agree that one should never accept rudeness, not even from their AC. But in the recent scenario, I think it was precipitated by the cutting remarks you made to her. Has this always been the case? Years ago, parents could hurt their AC and AC would still be respectful, but not today. Since I wish I had struck back at my MIL more when she made cruel comments to me, I can't say as I blame a young person for doing so. Once again, I totally agree with you about ED's history. But that doesn't mean she didn't find your comments hurtful.

I'm glad you apologized for your part in this mess and expressed your love for her. I'm sorry she didn't accept this. It sounds to me as if this was the last straw in a series of confrontations over the years. Is that the case? If so, again, I'm so sorry and can only hope that she'll thaw out over time and decide to try again. Hugs!

KarenHigginsbottom Sun 19-Jan-20 15:32:24

Go round and tell the husband everything he’s gotta know at some point

HolyHannah Mon 20-Jan-20 04:27:16

KarenHigginsbottom -- That is terrible advice for several reasons. 1 -- It is not anyone's place, especially her mom's to giver her husband 'the dirt' on anything. 2 -- If she is in a good/healthy relationship with him, maybe he knows about everything already and it will come across as 'mom' trying to sabotage her daughters marriage. 3 -- Regardless of what he knows, 'mom' deciding to insert herself into their marriage is a sure-fire way to become fully estranged.

On point 1 -- I told my husband ALL my "dirty secrets" before we married so no one could use my past indiscretions against me. Half of them he laughed at as, "Why would I even care about that?"

On point 2 -- Abusers love to sabotage their victims relationships. I'm not saying that is the case here but some of OP's language raises red flags.

On point 3 -- It should be common sense that trying to create friction in someone else's intimate relationship is going to garner an unfriendly response regardless of your relation to the parties involved.

As for the, "I don't like you." comment... Oh hell, my 'mom' used to say that to my Sis all the time, "I love you but I don't like you very much." Me, she would say she 'liked' but then treated me like crap. Mind games for sure.

Madgran77 Mon 20-Jan-20 11:01:13

KarenHigginsbottom Why in earth should the OP be informing her SIL? That would be totally inappropriate on so many levels!

M0nica Mon 20-Jan-20 16:31:49

Yennifer you read my post back to front. I was not saying my children are OK so so should everybody else. I am saying the opposite 'I did this with my children, it never even occurred to me that any one would do anything other than shrug such a remark off, now I know that some people can find this remark hurtful and damaging'.

However, a number of people had this addressed to them by parents describing their long-term attitude to their child and I can fully see that that could be very hurtful. When I used it, it always referred to short term difficult behaviour and it was clear that was all it referred to.

Yennifer Mon 20-Jan-20 16:42:22

Sorry M0nica. There is a lot of things that I regret saying to my children, never said that one because as a child and as an adult I did not believe someone who didn't like me loved me x

HolyHannah Mon 20-Jan-20 17:20:42

MOnica -- You said of the comment around liking and loving, "When I used it, it always referred to short term difficult behaviour and it was clear that was all it referred to." It was clear to YOU that was what was meant by that but a child may have felt differently.

Like Yennifer, I grew up hearing that said to my sister regularly and even though 'mom' claimed to 'like' me she still treated me with contempt. I could never wrap my head around how she/anyone can love someone they don't 'like' or treat someone they 'like' so terribly.

So like Yennifer, that is something I never say to anyone I love. A better/healthier thing to say to a child is, "I don't like your behaviour right now. It's not acceptable." To say, "I don't 'like' you right now because of your behaviour right now..." is especially problematic with abusers because as a child my behaviour was never "good enough" so it was a constant feeling of, "I say I love you but re-enforce that by implying non-stop I don't actually LIKE you."