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Hurting Mum

(99 Posts)
Gurms Fri 04-Aug-23 17:58:53

About four months ago, I became estranged from both my sons and am hurting terribly. I am very depressed and cry to sleep everyday. I had lost my husband to cancer about five years ago and am still trying to overcome the loss. My eldest son who lives with me and his wife are expecting their first baby in September. My younger son lives by himself in Toronto. The misunderstanding started as my elder son wants to convert his younger brother room in the house to be his baby's room. Both had a fight over this and the younger son left in April and has not contacted me since. I have tried to reach out to him in anyway possible but to no avail. My elder son and his wife are not talking to me either as they feel that he no longer stays with us and he has no right to that room although I am the only owner of the house. None of them are contributing to the bills of the house. I am in a very stuck position as I really am not sure what to do. I have tried to reach out to my elder son but he has remained very distant and his wife completely ignores me. I feel very hurt that I don't ask them for any money and am still treated with no respect. I wake up feeling very depressed and a lot of anxiety. I used to be very close to my younger son and miss him a lot. Honestly, I really am feeling very lost and have no idea what to do. Any thought anyone? Thanks

lemsip Sat 05-Aug-23 13:24:00

your older son and wife should get their own place now they are starting a family.. do not allow them to convert brothers room. for their baby.

welbeck Sat 05-Aug-23 13:25:50

be careful OP of saying anything until you have taken advice and got real practical support.
the bullies are not going to turn into pussycats if you tell them to go.
and don't do that alone.
keep your own counsel until you have a plan of action.
i also think your present counsellor sounds useless.
move in a different direction.
have you tried

HelpAge Canada
1300 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON
K1Z 7L2 Canada

tel: 1-613-232-0727
toll: 1-800-648-1111
fax: 1-613-232-7625

email: [email protected]

MadeInYorkshire Sat 05-Aug-23 13:27:45



There is also a law about being in residence (in the UK, that is) - if over 18.
Not able to remember exactly but worth checking out.

I thought the son in Toronto had been "driven out" by the brother. May be wrong.

Either way, gurms - you have my sympathy. I feel if it were me and I was intending to move in the not-too-distant future I'd be seriously looking to move that forward.
If you start getting valuations and looking at the market where you want to move, you are at least wresting some control back.
Thinking of you.
I think you will start to feel better once you have a plan.

In the UK if you have anyone over 18 resident in your home they need to sign documentation to allow you to sell!

Wow, really? Is there a link to that you can show me please as have a friend in a similar situation?

Husband and wife both disabled - son is a sociopath, who has been stealing money off her in particular since he was a teen (nearly 22 now) he had his father taken away by the police 2 years ago as told the police he thought he would kill him, and police listened to him - a man with one useless arm?? Sent police to do a welfare check on her when she was left alone with him, but again she was too scared to say anything. He had removed all her contacts and threatened to drag her down the road by her hair if she came to visit me, knowing that I would stand up to him. Eventually she admitted she was scared so my daughter and I 'kidnapped' her, police came round and he was chucked out. His aim was, goading her into 'losing it' so that they could both go into care and he would have the run of their beautiful house, but too thick to realise that were they both in care the house would be sold to pay for it! Getting her husband back out of care wasn't easy - son had agreed to a DOLS (which hadn't been discussed with my friend as next of kin!) but we did it eventually .... Roll on to now and he is back! Girlfriend chucked him out, and he decided to pack his job in (as the atmosphere wasn't nice at work, yet worked from home!) So he is living on money he has from his drug dealing and is scrounging off his parents who are both on benefits - he even added his mums debit card onto his Apple Pay on his phone! She is afraid of confrontation, and her other absolutely lovely son is living in NZ. They are about to move here just around the corner from my daughter and I but he is coming with them! Your statement has horrified me *Sago!!

SachaMac Sat 05-Aug-23 13:31:13

It’s disgraceful that they have more or less taken over your home but don’t contribute anything financially. I can understand your younger son being angry but his grievance should be directed towards his brother and SiL not you.

I would do as others have advised, seek legal advice then sit them down and tell them you will be putting the house up for sale as you want somewhere smaller and easier to manage (even if that’s not really the case). If you give them fair notice they can’t complain.

Do you feel obliged to put up with all this because there is a baby on the way? Would they have behaved like this if your DH was still around?

It may be a wrench leaving the home you shared with your DH but it will give you a fresh start. Your new house will be yours, not the family home so your sons won’t feel entitled to rule the roost. You need to be strong and take control. They have overstayed their welcome and taken advantage of your vulnerability, it’s time for them to move out.

Smileless2012 Sat 05-Aug-23 13:44:31

What a terrible story MadeInYorkshireshockthat poor couplesad.

welbeck Sat 05-Aug-23 13:47:28

yes, that is definitely coercive control, and worse, MIY.
the police should be involved, also social services, as they are vulnerable people.

welbeck Sat 05-Aug-23 13:50:44

by the way, what someone above said about over 18s having some right of residence, in uk, sounds incorrect to me.
i think they must have misunderstood something.
GSM, any thoughts ?

NotSpaghetti Sat 05-Aug-23 14:14:12


I would advise caution here

I want OP to be safe

I do think it is in their best interests to get serious advise on how to proceed from a proper source


NotSpaghetti Sat 05-Aug-23 14:26:48

I know when we remortgaged/borrowed for a kitchen extension (can't remember how it was) years ago, two of my children had to sign away rights against the property.

It was about the time I discovered that a tenancy is an inheritable asset. Probably about 2002?
Very hazy on the law but I have found this:
It is possible for an adult child to bring a claim ‘in equity’ stating they have a right over the family home. This is a civil action in which the adult child claims that, although they are not a legal owner of a property, it is only fair and just because of assurances they were given and actions they took that they could stake a legal interest in the property.
These actions could be around money, maintenance etc.
Not sure if this is it.

But don't forget, the OP is in Canada

welbeck Sat 05-Aug-23 14:38:20

but that is only saying that they could bring a claim to try to establish such a right.
it is not simple nor automatic.
and bound to be v expensive legally.
in most situations this is a non-runner.

Floradora9 Sat 05-Aug-23 18:26:33

How can you afford to cover all the bills ? do you pay for their food as well ? I would get proper legal advice though it will be tough if you start to question the rights they think they have . You will have to be brave to start all this rocking the boat.

VioletSky Sat 05-Aug-23 18:27:19

Gurms I know gransnet is probably the last thing in your mind right now but please update us when you can

Mamasperspective Sun 06-Aug-23 06:56:26

It's not his room? It stopped being 'his' the moment he moved out and it became a 'spare' room. If the other son has moved out as well, it's not 'his' room either! My advice - redecorate both rooms and put in guest/sofa beds and use the rooms for YOU! If you have any hobbies or whatever you could have a craft room and a separate dressing room but with sofa beds in in case anyone stays. If they're not speaking to you anyway, you have nothing to lose - I would address both brothers in the same message and tell them they both have their own homes now and any rooms in your house will be utilised by you. If they have stuff there, tell them to organise collecting it because you will be converting BOTH rooms to suit your needs but you will ensure there is a sofa bed available, should anyone wish to visit. They are both being really immature.

BlueBelle Sun 06-Aug-23 07:09:52

Mamaperspective I m not at all sure you ve read the original post correctly …. she can’t redecorate the rooms because she has a family of 2 soon to be 3 living in them (free of charge) That is the whole point of her thread
When you say tell them they both have their own homes now You seem to have got the completely wrong interpretation both boys don’t have their own homes the elder has never moved out!!! the younger has moved out and seems to want to play no part in the mess his mums in it sounds as if he’d wiped his hands of it all
Do read the thread again

Dorrain Sun 06-Aug-23 07:48:44

I'm afraid your eldest son has a huge sense of entitlement and the youngest son most likely sees this.

Please get support, and take legal advice because regardless of the outcome noses will be out of joint.

You have raised your children, and lost your husband so NOW its time to put yourself first!!!

I think the idea of bringing forward your plans to downsize is a good first step.
I suggest you say nothing about your plans to either of your sons.
Find professional people who will see the situation objectively and weigh up the options YOU prefer.

Good luck, there will be tears but in the long run if you can take back the reins then at least you have control.

DiamondLily Sun 06-Aug-23 08:20:27

Personally, I would see a solicitor/realtor and put your home up for sale.

Buy something smaller that suits you and don't let either of them live with you.

Sit them both down and explain you just want a home of your own, on your own, and some peace.

They are both being unreasonable. The younger son trying to dictate who lives where, and the older one by living off of you.

I love my adult children dearly, but I wouldn't let them walk all over me, and, to be fair to them, they wouldn't try to.

You need to be more assertive.

Good luck.💐

DiamondLily Sun 06-Aug-23 08:23:14


Mamaperspective I m not at all sure you ve read the original post correctly …. she can’t redecorate the rooms because she has a family of 2 soon to be 3 living in them (free of charge) That is the whole point of her thread
When you say tell them they both have their own homes now You seem to have got the completely wrong interpretation both boys don’t have their own homes the elder has never moved out!!! the younger has moved out and seems to want to play no part in the mess his mums in it sounds as if he’d wiped his hands of it all
Do read the thread again

Further up thread, first page, the OP states that the older son owns a condo, which he rents out.

So, he does own a place.

eazybee Sun 06-Aug-23 09:24:09

Both sons sound pretty dreadful; the elder is exploiting her financially and the younger emotionally; both are estranging her in her own home.
It does seem as though the only solution is for her to sell the house but she is not ready to move and terrified of being denied contact with the unborn grandchild.

She says she has disagreed many times with her elder son's claim to live in 'his father's house' as of right but she has never taken action or insisted on payment so he is highly unlikely to take notice of her now. The younger son could support her but has also chosen to estrange her.
What a dreadful situation; she will lose out whatever action she takes: either estranged or bullied, possibly both.
How has she let it come to this?

eazybee Sun 06-Aug-23 10:52:50

Actually, I don't know why I dignified the sons' behaviour with the word 'estrangement.

It is bullying, pure and simple.

gangy5 Sun 06-Aug-23 12:34:59

At the mo I would think it unadvisable to insist on any payment from them if you decide to move. This may be one obstacle to getting the removed.
This post makes me appreciate my situation so much. Both sons have such a good relationship as I do with them.

Caleo Sun 06-Aug-23 12:39:01

Gurms, I understand why you are so sad and disappointed!

You need to retain your sons' love and respect but are struggling to do so.

My suggestion does not risk too much. Your younger son can be dealt with by writing him a friendly letter saying that he is still very welcome to sty with you and you can put a sofa bed in the sitting room (lounge) for him whenever he comes to see the rest of his family in Toronto.

As for the older son and his wife, please don't blame him too much as he may be misled by his wife. Above all, keep your own financial and ownership arrangements safe! At the same time be willing to let them use the younger son's former room and try to look happy about it. If it all gets too much for you you can pull the plug on them, or else get a smaller place with a nice room dedicated to younger son which you will offer to him.

BlueBelle Sun 06-Aug-23 12:39:48

Yes he does indeed Dianond lil I didn’t suggest he didn’t, but he chooses to live rent free with his mum that’s all wrong

tickingbird Sun 06-Aug-23 12:41:51

I think the elder son is playing a cunning game here. He’s probably looked into all sorts of stuff regarding his rights to the house when you die. Get ahead of him and get it up for sale and get some legal advice. You’re being taken advantage of and it is financial abuse.

Fleurpepper Sun 06-Aug-23 12:43:40

Disagree that younger son's behaviour is 'bullying. We don't know the full circumstances. If he has talked to his mother on a repeated basis about how is older brother and wife are taking advantage, sponging on her, ensuring they stay there long enough to claim the house if theirs, eventually, etc, and Mum has refused to discuss or listen, or take appropriate steps to re-balance situation- a then I think it would be fair for him to say 'sorry mum, but no can do anymore- unless things are redressed and made fair, it's best if I am out of here'. Totally fair.

tickingbird Sun 06-Aug-23 12:43:42


As for the older son and his wife, please don't blame him too much as he may be misled by his wife

Words fail me !!