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Why do I torture myself

(308 Posts)
Elless Tue 24-Aug-21 12:13:41

I can't help but check on my ES Twitter account, It is absolute torture because he just seems so happy. I have never met his son who is now 21 months old and I just can't picture my son being a father but he is obviously a fantastic one and enjoys it very much. I am glad he is happy but it is like rubbing salt in my wounds, I'm torn about writing him a letter at the moment because I've got my operation in three weeks and I am concentrating on that. Sorry just had to have a moan.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 17:32:57

I agree that it's a good sign that you've talked Elless but it is concerning that you felt he was hard, especially as you spent the entire conversation in tears.

All GP's know they need to have a relationship with the parents of their GC in order to have a relationship with their GC, which is why P's always hold the ace. However, that doesn't mean that the unacceptable should be accepted for fear of not being allowed to see our GC.

The ball is in his court now. It's a shame if your absence spoiled his wedding day but that was of his making, not yours or your DH's.

He knows you're due to go into hospital so fingers crossed he contacts you to wish you wellflowers.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 17:37:42

Why should he have bought a blue suit JaneJudge? Elless' husband was more than happy to hire one so why should their son insist he buy one or not go to the wedding?

The son was behaving in a petty way so if his wedding day was spoiled, he has no one to blame but himself. What business is it of his or anyone's for that matter, whether or not the suit was easily affordable?

I'm sure he wouldn't take kindly to be being told by his parents how to spend his money, so what gives him the right to tell his parents how to spend theirs?

JaneJudge Mon 04-Oct-21 17:47:37

I think he should have just gone along with it as a 'oh well you only get married once' thing. Don't we all bite our tongue around weddings?*

*I had a very simple wedding with no dress code, it was very low key but I watch on in horror at how others get consumed with their wedding. As a parent, even a frustrated one, I'd have just bought the suit to keep the peace. They've now missed their sons wedding forever over a suit (I realise it is more complicated but that is what the focus was on)

I am mindful that elless is upset too and most probably stuck in the middle of her son and husband.

JaneJudge Mon 04-Oct-21 17:49:09

It also wasn't the Dad's wedding or the Mum's. It's often not about us anymore. It is how it is supposed to be

VioletSky Mon 04-Oct-21 17:51:21

I do think you have a point JaneJudge because as I remember, Elless and her husband weren't asked to help with wedding costs.

When I was a bridesmaid and matron of honour, I bought my dress and definitely couldn't have hired a matching one. Suits may seem very similar but they aren't.

It does seem a small thing to fall out over and I would have just purchased the suit, a son (hopefully) only marries once and its a very special event. It seemed to really matter to him. I would have just agreed to be part of such a special day

VioletSky Mon 04-Oct-21 17:54:15

Also I do think it's important that Elless consider that and her sons feelings or sadly this hopeful reconsiliation may not happen. One special event missed is leading to many others and its just nit worth missing them when an apology might change things.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:37:01

It's happened now hasn't it; Elless' son got married without his parents there. The time to have discussed it in a reasonable manner was lost when her son told his dad 'well don't come then'.

If his parents being at his wedding was that important you'd have thought that would have been more important than his dad buying a suit rather than hiring one. It looks as if it wasn't.

TBF she has considered his feelings which is why, when she saw him yesterday, she apologised. Unfortunately he didn't reciprocate.

JaneJudge Mon 04-Oct-21 18:44:49

I'm sorry Smileless but you have picked a side, which often happens on these threads and why I normally stay off them.

The Son was still not the adult in this situation. His parents should have supported him and attended his wedding.

I can see why he is angry.

I can see if Elless accepts it was hurtful it may carve a road out of this I suspect her husband is the problem, many are

Let him (the son) calm down. I think this is still salvageable for them both, hopefully

GG65 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:58:10


I'm sorry Smileless but you have picked a side, which often happens on these threads and why I normally stay off them.

The Son was still not the adult in this situation. His parents should have supported him and attended his wedding.

I can see why he is angry.

I can see if Elless accepts it was hurtful it may carve a road out of this I suspect her husband is the problem, many are

Let him (the son) calm down. I think this is still salvageable for them both, hopefully

Completely agree Jane.

If any of my children were getting married, my husband would wear exactly as he was asked.

If he didn’t, I would have told him he was buying the suit. If he still refused, and this fallout ensued over his refusal to wear the requested attire, then he could sit at home sulking and I would have went to the wedding myself. There is no way I would miss my child’s wedding over something so petty.

I don’t think what the OP’s son requested of his dad is unusual. I do, however, think the husband’s refusal to wear the requested suit is.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 20:06:21

I don't agree that I've 'picked a side' but if I have JudgeJane then so have you.

Of course Elless' son was and is an adult. Our children grow up, they are still our children but they become adults.

As I posted earlier, if there was a sensible conversation to be had, that was lost when he told his father not to go to the wedding if he wouldn't buy a suit, but chose to hire one instead.

Telling his mother that his day had been ruined because they weren't there, when it was he who had told his father not to bother attending, is not IMO the behaviour of an adult. I agree with you that it was the behaviour of a child.

JaneJudge Mon 04-Oct-21 20:13:34

I haven't picked a side.

You are right, they are still our children Always. We act the adult in that relationship.

Buying a suit was not and is not a big deal. I would not be prepared to not go my child's wedding over something so trivial. Not going has caused deeper problems.

I'm obviously concerned Elless is upset but I think her husband was wrong. I suspect she is actually stuck in the middle.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 20:28:51

She may feel stuck in the middle as you say but I don't agree that when it comes to our relationships with our AC, that as parents we are the only ones who need to act in an adult way.

If a son is old enough to be a father and a husband, then he should be old enough to act like the adult he purports to be. If you read through the thread,you will see that Elless' H never said he wouldn't go to the wedding, he was told not bother if he wanted to hire as suit

This is not in anyway directed at Elless. I can't help but wonder if, when an AC's expectations are not met for whatever reason, if the parents give in, a bit like placating a child whose having a temper tantrum, if it's any wonder that some behave the way they do.

This is what I understand to have taken place. Son wanted dad to buy a blue suit. Dad said he wanted to hire one as he'd never wear a blue suit again. Son throws his toys out of the pram and says don't bother coming then. Parents don't go to the wedding. Son complains their absence ruined his day and he'd had to tell people why they weren't there.

There could and I agree should have been a sensible conversation but the moment the son behaved like a child, telling his dad not to bother going, that moment was lost.

This sad situation culminating in him ceasing contact with his parents and not allowing them to see their GC is down to the son.

VioletSky Mon 04-Oct-21 20:31:19

I'm on the side of happy endings, just because my situation doesn't have one I've no interest in seeing the numbers of estranged children grow.

It's just too painful

CafeAuLait Mon 04-Oct-21 22:45:35

It's possible that the hire suit wasn't the same style as the one the son wanted bought. They might have been after uniformity of suit in the key men at the wedding. Us women buy a dress for such an occasion, so why not a man buying a suit? He could even try to resell it to recoup some of the cost after. I don't see why this was such a big issue on either side, but clearly it was.

Either way, it's water under the bridge now. At least OP knows the root of the problem with her son and has had a chance to respond. I hope the son will be able to move past it in time so that there can be reconciliation.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Oct-21 23:28:40

I hope so too CafeAuLait mum has apologised so as she says, the ball's in his court now.

Elless Tue 05-Oct-21 09:53:41

It is hard to put into words how things were said, my son hadn't told us about any 'theme' he was having at the wedding (it tuned out to be quite 60's and the bride wore a short wedding dress and it was based on blue and yellow) and on the day he came round to speak to my DH he basically said we are going for suits, meet us there. My husband is an ex policeman and doesn't appreciate being 'told', if my son had 'asked' or 'discussed' the whole situation would have probably turned out differently. I did try to get involved in the planning of the wedding but my DiL just didn't involve me.
I am worried now because when I sent him the letter I did say that I would not contact him again but now we have spoken I don't know what to do, my GS's birthday is November and my son's December - do I send cards or not?, I didn't know whether to wait and see if he enquires about me after my op.

VioletSky Tue 05-Oct-21 10:33:22

Elless I'd suggest two contacts, because his or grandsons birthday should not be related to this issue.

It is an issue and I think you have to see it from his point of view, weddings are stressful.

I'd just reach out, tell him it was wonderful to see him. Tell him you are sorry, you should have apologised and come to the wedding. You really want to be a part of his life again.

I know you are hurt too and I can feel the anger but, who is right or wrong in this situation isn't worth this

Smileless2012 Tue 05-Oct-21 10:34:09

I think sending birthday cards would be a good idea Elless.

When you saw him the other day, although it was upsetting for you, it was your son who instigated it so sending cards will show that your door is open.

I can understand you perhaps waiting for him to contact you when you've had your operation, that said in your position I would send the cards and then wait and see.

I'm sure you're right, that had your son been open to a conversation about the suit, explaining why he wanted his dad to buy the same as everyone else, it may well have had a better outcome.

What's done is done. You've apologised and are obviously prepared to put it behind you and move forward, so hopefully he'll be prepared to do the sameflowers x

JaneJudge Tue 05-Oct-21 10:47:22

Elless, is your husband 'difficult'? I'm a bit worried that you are shouldering the upset/blame for all their 'male behaviours' None of this can be very easy for you. Your son will have just been given an appointment for them to all be measured, your husband should have just gone.

I think and I'm sorry if you think I am being out of order but I think it will be helpful. Could you seek some talking therapy for yourself so you know how to deal with them if a situation arises like this in the future? You've said you've had issues with another son, so it sounds like this is a rutting of horns scenario which could keep happening and you cannot spend your life stuck in the middle of it all. I also apologise for being sexist but I have sons and am the lone female in my house unless you count the dog, I know what it can be like! confused

Hopefully though you are making progress with respect to this. Send them some birthday cards and as the posters above have said, try to put this behind you.

CafeAuLait Tue 05-Oct-21 12:38:17

Elless, I'm not sure I can be objective as I'm going to be projecting my own experience here, but maybe something of it will resonate.

My MIL (who we didn't estrange) said she would never contact us again. So we've always seen her as the one who initiated the estrangement as a result. She declared it, it was her choice. Then again, you at least tried to reach out, so that's something more than she did.

After declaring that, she continued to send gifts. These were perceived on our end as an attempt to manipulate. After a few years, they also reflected how little she knew the children.

You've already apologised and reached out (which my MIL never did), so I'm not sure what more you can do. That is what might have made the difference with us. Will your husband apologise? He sounds like he won't. Is it worth him swallowing his pride to begin to mend fences? Even if he doesn't like being told what to do, maybe he can acknowledge that he could have dealt with it for once on his son's wedding day?

Smileless2012 Tue 05-Oct-21 13:22:55

That's a good point JaneJudge shouldering the responsibility and blame for her H's and son's behaviour. This is something they need to talk about together. Let's hope that they are able to do so.

I agree CafeAuLait that having apologised there's not much Elless can do now apart from sending birthday cards.

GG65 Tue 05-Oct-21 13:25:15

Elless, would it be worth reaching out to your son to try and repair your relationship with him, separate from your husband?

I do think you are stuck in the middle here and your husband does sounds like quite a difficult character. It is not fair for you to lose your son and your grandson because of something as childish as your husband not liking being “told” that he has to do something.

This is not a united front I would be prepared to make with my husband and I would be telling him what a fool I think he has been.

Would your husband react badly to this?

Elless Tue 05-Oct-21 14:43:59

My husband has said he would do absolutely anything for me, he did say at one point that he would never forgive my son for hurting me so much but he is prepared to bite his tongue for my happiness, I do agree, I think it is my son and my husband that need to talk I'm just the soft mediator in between two hard people.

Smileless2012 Tue 05-Oct-21 19:45:17

I think that's a positive Ellesssmile and I hope that you'll be able to get them agree to meet up and talk this through.

CafeAuLait Tue 05-Oct-21 22:54:55


That's a good point JaneJudge shouldering the responsibility and blame for her H's and son's behaviour. This is something they need to talk about together. Let's hope that they are able to do so.

I agree CafeAuLait that having apologised there's not much Elless can do now apart from sending birthday cards.

I'm still unsure about the sending of birthday cards. Wording may mean a lot here. As reported to me by my husband, my MIL said she was "stepping out of our lives". Therefore we saw any such gifts as manipulation. You don't get to say you are stepping out of someone's life then send gifts. Step in or step out, not some half way game.

It would be different if it was said that someone is stepping out "until you are ready to contact me" or "I won't contact you but the door is always open for you to make contact with me if you would like to'.

Elless, if you haven't, making sure your son is clear that you meant you will not contact him but he is welcome to contact you anytime would be best. If you have just said you won't contact him again, which could come across as you want out, maybe a short note to make sure that is clarified is best?

Disregard if I'm way off base here, I don't know the people involved or what was said. Just some thoughts from the other side.