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i'm banned from visiting my DiL house !

(13 Posts)
busilizzie Wed 06-Jul-11 22:50:10

When my twin grandsons were born (they're nearly 12 now), I was always made welcome at my DiL's. It has always been my philosphy, that once my son married, the most important female in his life would be his wife, and as MiL I would take a back seat. I am a widow, and I have always regarded her with respect and see myself as a visitor in their home, not there as a 'right' and not someone to dish out advice. I usually rang to make sure it would be ok to visit, and was always invited to stay for a meal, have a glass of wine etc. We have disagreed about things on only a couple of occasions, which has usually blown over.
I always remembered everyones birthday and took pleasure in buying pressies etc., and never forgot the granchildren at Xmas, birthdays etc., and also opened a savings account for them, and still give them £20 cheques specially for savings at xmas, birthday, easter, etc. All seemed ok for a number of years, but nearly four years ago, at about the time her 18 year old daughter by a previous relationship, had a baby whilst still at college, she decided she was going to have 'an emotional clearout'. I had not passed any criticism at anytime about my step granddaughter and her baby, just agreed that 'these things happen' and she was very lucky to have everyones support. However, my DiL decided to eliminate everyone who gave her 'grief' as she put it, and that included me. She cited me as being judgemental, having nothing in common with her, and I wasn't welcome at their home any more. You name it - I was guilty of it. My son was the person who broke the news quite coldly to me when he brought my step granddaughter and new baby to see me. I was so shocked and upset that I burst into tears. This all resulted in being treated over the following months for reactive depression - I couldn't sleep or concentrate for months. I phoned my son to try and make sense of it all but even more hurtful, is my son's complete lack of understanding - not a single kind word or explanation over the intervening months and years. I evenutally decided after nine months that if I didn't just go to see my grandchildren, I would never see them at all. My first visits were greeted in a very hostile way, when I visited with birthday pressies for my 2 grandsons, as I'd been told I wasn't welcome at their house any more. I have subsequently visited but only ever on birthdays, easter & Christmas, and only ever stayed for 15 - 20 mins at the very most. My grandsons are always delighted to see me, and we always have a cuddle while I ask about school, etc. My DiL completely ignores me and goes out of the room when I turn up. On my last visit at Easter, my son wouldn't even meet my eyes, say hello or goodbye. It's nearly 4 years ago now, and originally I thought everything would blow over eventually.
I am now at my wits end to know how I can ever progress the situation to get back on a more friendly footing. My son is completely uncommunitive. He is unrecognisable as the boy I brought up, and the responsible husband/father he developed into of whom I was so proud. I've always supported him and complimented him on his home and family. He seems to have distanced himself from myself and from his sister,( who has 2 boys), snubbed his uncle & aunt when they were down visiting me for my 60th birthday and wants nothing to do with any of us.

What can I do or say, as I am now an outsider and not considered 'family' anymore.

Can anyone give me any ideas as to what to do?

Joan Thu 07-Jul-11 07:47:51

I've read this and am horrified at what you are going through. It seems the rejection is all against your side of the family, not just you personally. Obviously your DiL has developed some sort of prejudice about your son's. ie her husband's side of the family, and you son has decided not to rock the boat at home. It is my own experience that guilt can lead to dislike, so instead of wondering what you have done, give some thought to what she might have done to feel guilty about. Perhaps it really was her daughter's pregnancy, but I can't see that it would be - it would have to be something she's done to you personally.

The only other thing I can suggest, though I'm sure you've gone through this already, is to find someone who knows you all, who could give you some insight.

In about 4 or 5 years the twins will be old enough to come and see you on their own, so the situation won't last for ever.

I do hope that things will soon improve, and I'm sorry I couldn't help.

Hugs from


em Thu 07-Jul-11 08:57:31

Maybe not at all relevant, but did you in any way include the daughter's new baby - a token present when it arrived? If your DiL was looking for reasons to say that you were judgmental she may have interpreted the lack of a gift as disapproval. Find it odd that, if she really was cutting ties with you, that her daughter and new baby were brought to visit you. Even if she was stressed by the pregnancy, I feel she should be over it by now and I'd be disappointed that your son hasn't tried harder to bridge the gap. You have kept communication open by visiting your gs's in difficult circumstances so you mustn't blame yourself at all.

jangly Thu 07-Jul-11 09:10:26

Oh, why don't they work on a law giving grandparents proper, laid down, rights.

So sorry to hear of your awful situation busilizzie. I just can't think of anything else you can do. Keep visiting as you are now and ignore the "grownups". Be strong. x

susiecb Thu 07-Jul-11 09:42:27

I am so sorry to hear this sad tale and wouldnt presume to offer advice only sympathy. Are their any agencies that offer mediation for troubled families? That might help if DIL would agree to it.

Things do change over time. My husbands son has only just got back in touch after not speaking to his father for twenty years. he has a nice partner and a baby now and we all get along firn. in true British male tradtion neither my husband or my step son talk about this and we just pretend nothing has happened!

I do hope things get better for you soon. Best wishes

jangly Thu 07-Jul-11 09:49:11

susiecb, why would you be "presuming" if you give advice. Busilizzie did say "can anyone give me any ideas as to what to do". smile

greenmossgiel Thu 07-Jul-11 11:07:18

I can empathise with you Busilizzie. I was in a similar situation until last year, where my daughter had just totally withdrawn from me for the previous 7 years. I know and completely understand the raw grief that you're feeling, because you'll be at a loss to understand how your son could treat you this way, too. I had kept trying to make contact with my daughter by phone and letter, even though she lived just around the corner, but to no avail. She allowed my granddaughters to visit, and I tentatively used to ask if their mum was ok, but didn't request any details of her life. I just had to wait. Eventually, my great-grandson was born, and as my granddaughter was still living at home with my daughter, I was allowed to visit. It just went from there. You feel so alone when these sort of things happen, because it seems as if no-one else can possibly understand. I know of at least 2 of my friends that have suffered in this way, though. Being able to talk about it amongst your pals here may help a little. Good luck, and hopefully things will resolve themselves before too long. smile

crimson Thu 07-Jul-11 16:40:06

busilizzie; I really don't know what to say other than what you've written is so sad. Maybe time will heal in some way, but it doesn't help the way you must feel now. It does seem to be something to do with your son's step daughter, doesn't it, but surely people in complicated 'step' relationships realise that there is always more of a closeness to our own families. Can't help that; we love our children more than anything in the world and, when they arrive we love our grandchildren as much. I do hope that sharing this with people who understand how hurt you may take a little of the pain away.

susiecb Thu 07-Jul-11 17:03:50

I'm saying I wouldnt presume because I dont think my advice would be helpful my empathy is usually better. No-one ever listens to me anyway esp not my family. My daughters are supremely unecumbered by anything I offer in the way of advicesmile

crimson Thu 07-Jul-11 18:17:09

Just re read what you wrote previously, susiecb, and I suddenly thought of things that have happened in my family over the past few years. For some reason, when a child is born it seems to be a catalyst for changes of different kinds. Old feuds can be forgotten, and new ones emerge..even relationships can end. Especially when it comes to the extended families that we have these days. Years ago when I used to hitch and/or give lifts to people [it was safe to do so, then] I gave a lift to someone who was visiting his estranged father because he'd just had a child of his own and wanted to build bridges with his dad. I'd actually forgotten about this until today.

absenteen Wed 20-Jul-11 19:24:42

I am sorry i can not give you any advice but thought would just sy I know the heartache you are going through. I have two granchildren, little girl of 2 and a little boy of 7 months. I adore them but i too am banned from going to my daughters house by her boyfriend, but like you my daughter does not challenge his decision. I use to have a good relationship with both my daughter and her boyfriend but it started to change when she was pregnant and then got worse when she had her duaghter. I was only allowed to see her at alloted times but his family could go when they liked and when she had her son i didnt see him for 3 days and even then if my other daughter hadnt stepped in i wouldnt have seen him then. I have not seen my grandaughter on her birthdays or even a picture. I have been accused of saying that her boyfriend was not a good dad, that is a lie, also that i said his parents could p* off that is a lie, but what hurts tthe most is that my daughter doesnt stick up for me. \i\ know the pain you feel and my friends all have granchildren and take them out and look after them but i am missing out. My daughter has let it go so far that there is no way back without losing face. I know you feel its just you but its not. We are missing so much and you cannot get that time back, as i said i cant help but i hope by sharing with you it is a comfort. I hope eventually you get it sorted, but take what you can when you can. It has helped me to share I hope it has you x

dorsetpennt Thu 21-Jul-11 14:12:33

Oh Busilizzie what a terrible state of affairs and judging by other comments not all that unusual. Obviously something sparked off this state of affairs even if you can't think what it is or what happended. Talking to each other on a one to one may not work, it could just end up with both sides hurling abuse and slights to each other. Maybe your DIL feels she can't tell you exactly what has caused her animosity towards you. What about finding a mediator - someone who hasn't a vested interest in either of you - a truly nuetral person. It could be a therapist or someone of that ilk. Your son and other family members would not work as either party could feel they are taking sides. I do hope something works out for you - I couldn't imagine not being able to see my son and his family as I love them all so much.
I know there have been times when I've trodden on a few toes, luckily as a family we have always felt able to express our feelings and I was able to apologise and all is forgiven. My DIL's family are constantly upsetting each other but would rather grumble to each other then having it out - the result being a lot ill-feeling. Good Luck, we'd love to hear how you are getting on.

Faye Thu 21-Jul-11 23:30:32

My opinion for what its worth is your son knows exactly what is going on. He is enabling his wife to treat you this way, most probably because there is not much else he can do. He is what is called an Enabler.
She would feel that she is perfectly in the right. I suggest that you go on as you are doing. You are braver than me, I believe, to go to their house and be treated this way, even if its only for 15 minutes or so. At least you are seeing your grandchildren and you are doing the right thing to keep in touch with them. Your grandsons wont forget how you were treated. I suspect in the future she will most probably treat them or their future wives in exactly the same way. In a few more years your grandsons will independently be able to visit you and I am sure they will also want to spend time with their cousins and other relatives. Things will change!

The thing with people such as these is they treat most people with the contempt that they feel in their minds that others deserve. If you have ever lived with someone that has a personality disorder this is exactly the way they are. They will blame and lie and have no conscience. As far as she is concerned you and everyone else she has eliminated from her life are to blame and she has had enough. Normal people do not treat others in this way and she is not a nice person.

I don't believe mediation will work. One thing you do have is your daughter and her two boys and other relatives so you are not alone. They are also being snubbed and maybe its not as hard for them but it does suggest that your dil does not care at all how she treats people. It is a sad situation but all we can do in life is our best and I believe that you are.