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Son has discarded his entire family. Confused, Shocked and Grieving.

(89 Posts)
SadandLost Thu 09-May-19 05:39:39

I’m new on this site and hoping to find some sort of comfort in airing out my dilemma. I'll start off with a short backstory before getting into the real problem, so as to provide a brief history as to how we probably got to where we are now.

I , like many other mothers, raised my son to be a caring, loving and respective human being. We did nothing but support him throughout everything that he wanted to do. Whilst in college, he dated a couple of girls off and on but they were never serious relationships. Then he met a young girl, whom he became very serious with and she ended up being my DIL. Thing is when my family and I were first introduced to her, he introduced her to us as his wife. Needless to say we were all in shock for we had never met her and obviously did not know that they had decided on their own to get eloped.

I tried not to show my disappointment but a couple of weeks later, invited him to lunch so that we could discuss this big but shocking decision. He told me that he was very much in love with her and they had decided to go ahead and silently get eloped. We asked him if he wanted us to hold a small celebration to their union and he made it clear that he needed for us to respect his decisions and his union as is. We said ok and let that topic rest. Then he started spending all holidays with her family and we barely ever got to see him at all. I mentioned this to him and he responded by telling me how his wife was right about me not liking her. This also came out as a surprise to me for I barely even knew this young girl enough to dislike her.

Two years later, they announced that she was pregnant. We were so happy for them both. This would also be the first grandchild for both families. She only wanted her mother in the hospital with her during delivery and I respected that. My son and her also made it clear that they would not be accepting any guests after the baby was born, and that everyone was to wait to be informed on when to visit. Three weeks after her delivery and we had still not received any invite to go over. I sent my son a message asking him if she was ok and checking to see If the baby was ok and there was no response.

My husband tried to also follow up with them during the three week period but all texts were ignored. We knew that they were okay for they always posted pictures on Facebook with her family and our grandchild. They however chose to ignore our messages. One evening after seeing all the baby pictures with the other grandparent and her family members, when we had not seen our grandbaby four weeks down the line, I admittedly got very upset and sent my DIL and son a group text expressing my hurt.

My son did not respond to the text but DIL did and spoke for the both of them. She made it clear that this moment was not about me, went on about how I had never liked her, expressed how I had disapproved of her elopement and according to her I’d always treated her like she was beneath me. I was in shock for we had some discussions with my son, (which I now regret doing) but they were never about putting her/them down or disapproving of their union. Apparently she always quizzed him out of information and managed to twist everything that I had said so now I was the villain. I very briefly got to spend time with my grandchild, and didn’t get to enjoy it for the atmosphere was so tense from her hovering right over me all the time.

Fast forward, we had a few arguments for she was not working to support the baby and my son only worked a minimal wage job. This was none of our business, but they kept on asking for financial support all the time, and for the longest time we did this solely for our grandchild needed it. When the disrespect and entitlement got too much on their end we stopped the money train and told her to get a job if they wanted to continue living the lifestyle that we were providing for them. We were instantly cut off. In fact we did not even know that we had been cut off until we called to check on them one weekend and there was no feedback. Husband checked again and we received a very rude text with a laundry list of all the things that they mentioned we had done wrong to hurt them. Some were true, others taken completely out of context, and the vast majority completely imaginary on DILs part. She demanded for an apology. For the sake of our grandchild we offered on, but this was not sufficient enough for her. She mentioned that we offered a blanket apology and she needed for us to have an apology for every perceived misdeed in her head. We tried to talk to our son and he was very upset at us for mistreating and disrespecting his wife. Long story short the last time we heard from them, they made it clear that they did not want anything to do with us. We tried to reach out to them but all our attempts were in vain. They constantly gave us the cold silent treatment. They then moved to a new address, and changed their email address and phone numbers. We were in complete and utter shock!

But the greater shock came when our sons grandmother passed on. We got our sons information through one of his siblings with the sole intent of informing him of the death in the family. He completely ignored us and continued to do so and eventually missed his own grandmothers funeral. I don’t understand how our son became so cold and ruthless. He never even sent a condolence card. He is now upset that his sibling gave us his information and sent him a very hurtful message telling him how he will no longer be a part of his wedding party. This is another shock to our family considering that the wedding is upcoming and this is his brother.

Does he hate us that much? Has DIL twisted his mind to where he no longer even wants to spend time with his own family or share once in a life time special moments? We are now blocked off of everything including facebook and cant even see pictures of our grandchild. This estrangement has been going on for close to a year now and I’m so hurt and lost. I feel so betrayed by my son. Never in a million years did I think this would happen to me. Are we bad parents? Where did I go wrong as a mother? I did not even know where to look for support but just needed a space to type it all out and hopefully get some relief. If I don’t respond its cause I'm hurting so badly right now. Hes dumped his own family like we mean absolutely nothing to him, we cant see both him and our grandchild no more, he didn't even come to/acknowledge the funeral, is backing our of his own brothers wedding, is giving us the silent treatment and cutting off anyone that speaks to him on our behalf all because his wife is so hurt and refuses to forgive and move forward? This just feels like a bad nightmare that will never end. I'm not even sure what I'm expecting from the group but just needed a space to get it all out.

PamelaJ1 Thu 09-May-19 06:21:46

I hope you feel better for pouring out your feelings.
I can’t offer anything but sympathy.
So many families seem to have these sort of problems and I hope that if you feel that if it can’t be sorted then you will be able to move on. It does take both sides to try and work together and it sounds as though they aren’t prepared to change their attitude.

Ginny42 Thu 09-May-19 06:37:58

Hello and welcome sadandlost. Sorry to read of your distress. Check your inbox (top right) I have sent you a PM.

Sara65 Thu 09-May-19 06:42:59

This is a very sad tale, sometimes I think it’s better to just sit back and wait, maybe your son will realise he hasn’t treated you very fairly.

His young wife sounds rather insecure, as she matures, she too may see she’s been unreasonable, but I should just step back for a while, easier said than done, I know

MamaCaz Thu 09-May-19 07:12:33

Am I right in thinking that you started another thread a couple of days ago about this relationship, SadandLonely, which gave more insight into this? I can't seem to find it, but this seems so similar, and I think that info in the other thread woud be useful to people wanting to advise you on this one.
Sincere apologies if that was someone else's thread that I am thinking about.

David0205 Thu 09-May-19 07:25:55

My sympathy. It’s clear to me that your son has fallen head over heels in love with his wife and is being manipulated by her. She is immature and insecure, maybe she will become more reasonable with time, but more likely her hostility will persist and she may even start to blame your son. At worst the marriage will break down and she will take the child just to spite you.
If you can afford regular modest cash help for them then do so, you need to let them run their life as they wish, then maybe, just maybe your relationship will improve.

rosecarmel Thu 09-May-19 07:29:30

I'm truly sorry for your heartache, SadandLost - Your story is similar to many others, you are not alone -

We all make mistakes ..

Paragraph number 1: Your family responded with shock instead of joy -

Paragraph 2: You pressed for an explanation instead of simply trusting your son's decision to marry and how he chose to go about it -

Unfortunately, from that point forward it has snowballed ..

I think that you will not be able to offer a sincere apology until you fully understand the impact of your initial mistakes - Once you do understand their impact, you will be able to see the situation clearly - Then you be able to provide the couple the love, encouragement and support that they would have benefited from initially should the opportunity arise for you to do so - I wish you the very best of luck -

Eglantine21 Thu 09-May-19 08:39:11

You know, when I read the title I thought you were saying that your son had walked out on his wife and children. His entire family. You’re not his entire family any more actually, you’re just a small part of it.

Are you the lady that posted a few days ago about your Hispanic daughter in law. There seem a lot of parallels in your story.

Except the story been rephrased.......

SirChenjin Thu 09-May-19 09:19:01

That sounds awful for you all and I think it's interesting that we tend to minimise things when it's a man who is cutting ties with family when - if it were a daughter - it would be seen very much as controlling, coercive behaviour from her husband or partner and red flags would be flying all over the place.

She has obviously, for whatever reason/s, decided to build their family around her family and has taken your husband along with that. With all due respect, none of us on here know why she has done that - perhaps you could have handled their elopement better but anyone who elopes has to understand that it's bound to cause a level of surprise (or more), and even more so if you've never met the new DIL/SIL before. It sounds as if you can't do right for doing wrong because she has very fixed ideas about in laws - perhaps that stems from her own parents experiences that they've passed on to her, or maybe they are a very close extended family that are quite critical of 'interlopers', or maybe you didn't quite behave as positively as you think you did. We just have no way of knowing. It's awful that it has extended to his brother and grandmother though - it's a classic example of controlling behaviour.

I think that all you can do at this stage is let him know that you are truly sorry for the things you said and did (even if you have to do it through gritted teeth) and that whilst you recognise that it's not possible to have a relationship with them at the moment you hope sincerely you can start to build bridges in the future and that you miss them all terribly - words to that effect.

March Thu 09-May-19 09:37:10

I think it snowballed too.

You shouldn't of met him weeks after to 'discuss this big but shocking decision' there's nothing to discuss and spoke to him about spending all holidays with his new wife and her side of their family. He might of wanted too?

The baby thing, I can see both sides.
I only wanted my mom with me (&DH obviously) she helped me.
She was around alot more than my MIL. My mum's first priority was me where as my MILs priority was the baby. You don't say how her delivery went? If she was in hospital or had a rough time.
The constant texts were abit too much.

But 4 weeks is long!! I can understand you getting abit, annoyed. That's a month with no contact from your son at such an exciting time.

'I very briefly got to spend time with my grandchild, and didn’t get to enjoy it for the atmosphere was so tense from her hovering right over me all the time.'

I can imagine! It sounds like the atmosphere could be cut with a knife. But she was 'hovering' because you had her baby. First time mom and all that. Hormones are crazy not to mention the cross words that had already been had.

I think there's 'blame' on both sides and its just snowballed.
This is coming from a DIL who knew her MIL didn't like her, just by her actions. Like your DIL, DH got serious with me very quick. She didn't get time to get to know me before I was already pregnant and had alot of attention from DH.
I don't think she liked that.

Maggiemaybe Thu 09-May-19 09:47:52

I didn’t see the other thread, so can only respond to this. As you can see, OP, it’s up to you to don the sackcloth and ashes, apologise profusely over and over again for whatever perceived slight you’ve been found guilty of in your absence, tread on eggshells for the rest of your life, and keep the cash train rolling.

Or you could learn from so many others that this rarely ends well. You could concentrate on the children who do still see the people who brought them up and supported them as part of their family, and who show you a modicum of consideration and love. You’ve done your part with this couple, the ball’s in their court now. Any contact, any plea from you will just be put down to harassment and add to their litany of grudges.

If they decide they do after all want the love, encouragement and support that they would have benefited from, they know where to come to ask for it.

Lily65 Thu 09-May-19 10:01:07

This is a strange tale indeed, a couple who elopes, a wife who stops speaking when the money dries up and a son who leaves his birth family via text.

Eglantine21 Thu 09-May-19 10:10:35

I think if you’d read the earlier post, Lily, it would all be perfectly comprehensible.

We can all rewrite the story to suit ourselves......

FarNorth Thu 09-May-19 10:40:34

A relative of mine courted a girl in the neighbourhood without his parents knowing anything about it. He got engaged to her while his parents were on holiday, and presented the news to them when they got back.

Not so extreme as an elopement, of course, but similar and very understandable given the characters of his parents who were well-meaning but intrusive.

It sounds as if this situation could be similar.

Starlady Thu 09-May-19 12:03:19

Welcome, SadandLost! My heart goes out to you! It seems es' (estranged son's) marriage has brought nothing but shocks to you two (except, of course, for your darling gc). And now this co (cut off)! I hope getting it all out here helps you to cope.

I'm another one who thinks things snowballed, and I'm sorry you weren't able to stop that from getting out of control. I'm getting the impression that dil took your early reactions as meaning you didn't approve of her, even if she's wrong about that. If she is of a different culture than you, as some posters have suggested, then she may be sensitive about that and may have thought your reaction had to do with that. (I'M NOT saying it did, JUST saying that SHE MIGHT THINK so - caps for emphasis, not yelling).

Is there any way you can let es know that you still love him, are sorry you questioned his decision to marry/elope with dil, and that you're totally ready to welcome her into the family (if you are)? If so, I would try that. I probably would include apologies for any other major mistakes dh or I made. You may not get an immediate response, but it might begin to soften hearts.

Beyond that, I agree with giving them space/time to heal and focusing on your other ac and their families. Lots of hugs!

Scribbles Thu 09-May-19 12:26:41

If a child of mine behaved in the way your son has done, to be frank, I would want nothing more to do with him. I am sorry you are so distressed and, if you've always previously been a close and loving family, then I know it must hurt.

However, it seems to me that by constant apologising for perceived misdeeds and continuous dancing to their tune, you're only prolonging the agony. Maybe it's time to face the fact that, sadly, the relationship with this son has failed and concentrate on enjoying the love and companionship of your other children, good friends and other relatives?

It is sad but true that not all of us love our parents, and not all of us can love our adult children. Your son and DiL have treated you like a human cash machine and a verbal punch bag. To my mind, that's abuse and should not be tolerated.

If, one day, they feel differently and come to you with genuine love in their hearts to rekindle the relationship, then that will be cause for celebration but, in the meantime, try to concentrate on the good things in your life. flowers

Desdemona Thu 09-May-19 12:52:26

I completely agree with Scribbles. Stop contacting them and giving them money. If they contact you, then be welcoming and friendly and hopefully things might work out - but what is happening at the moment is ridiculous.

rosecarmel Thu 09-May-19 13:57:51

It appears that after the initial slap in face, then a second, the son slapped back by choosing low contact and spending more time with his inlaws instead -

Certainly, he could have altered the course of his familys dynamics after the first slap - But he didn't - He offered his mother the opportunity to slap him a second time instead of refusing to meet with her until an apology was offered for the first slap -

SadandLost Thu 09-May-19 13:59:40

PamelaJ1 yes I do agree that it takes both sides to be wilkng to agree to work on the relationship. I'm afraid that there may be npo reconilliation with the way things are right now. They've literally gone mute on us and continue to ignore us. Never knew how painful it would be to get ignored. Especially by our own son.

Ginny42 thank you so much for taking the time to do that. I read it and it gave me so much comfort. Thank you!

Sara65 yes I've been advised to step back and let it settle and I have no choice but to do just that despite how painful it may be.

MamaCaz, this is my very first thread on this issue and online. No need to apologise, thank you for your input too.

David0205 yes he deeply is in love with her and we do not wish for their union to break down or loose our grandchild, and I'm saddened that my initial disapproval to his union led to all of this. I just don't know what to do to fix it.

rosecarmel thank you so much for your wise words. I totally agree that I'll have to let them live their own lives as painful as that may be being that we have been shut out of it completely. I also agree that I made a huge mistake by voicing any opinion on their union. Looking back I wish I never did. I was just in a state of shock (not an excuse to my reaction) over the what seemed to be a secretive Union for he has always been such a family oriented individual.

Eglantine21 thank you for your input. No I've not posted on here before. My DIL is not Hispanic either. We are all Caucasian (not that it matters but just mentioning this to the statement in your post). I do see now that we are truly just a small part of his family as you say and completely agree with you. Its just came as a complete shock to us all for he knew his brother was getting married and saw how helpful we were in helping with the wedding plans. I guess I never expected them to run off and secretly get married but it did happen and i have to accept that. I hope I'm not being selfish but I really just wanted to see him walk down the aisle too, and it would also have been nice to know the young girl that he was getting married to. I was just heartbroken and in retrospect should have kept all that pain and anger to myself.

lemongrove Thu 09-May-19 14:05:30

A tale of woe, indeed!

SadandLost Thu 09-May-19 14:09:44

SirChenjin thank you. I agree that I could have handled the elopement better. I regret not doing so but DIL can't seem to forgive me for that, and I can't force her to but only hope that she one day will forgive and allow us to see our grandchild and our son. Its sad that we don't even know anyone from her family, and neither has anyone from their end reached out to get to know my sons family either. Its quite an unfortunate situation. We have said sorry but DIL said it was not a genuine apology. Our son won't even speak to us. Its still very shocking to me that they are ignoring us like we don't exist and completely giving us the silent treatment. He could have at least attended the funeral but instead chose to also cut off his brother who informed him about it. Now he is missing his own brothers wedding too. its too painful to comprehend how they can be at peace with any of this. And I try not to get angry at my son for even allowing this, for he should know better. He has other younger siblings at home that he has completely cut off his life too.

FarNorth Thu 09-May-19 14:11:23

From their point of view, also, it could seem that the grandparent's funeral was used as an excuse for their wishes to be disregarded so that contact could be made by you.

If it was simply wished to let your son know about the death and the funeral, his brother, with whom he was in touch, could have told him.

SadandLost Thu 09-May-19 14:30:18

March thank you for responding. I agree that it has snowballed. I admitted to my faults and have said sorry but its not enough. Her delivery to our knowledge was fine. She had a vaginal birth and was in hospital for a couple of days post delivery for routine and regular checkups. We also felt that 4 weeks with no feedback/invite was excessive but maybe we overanalyzed it. I regret liking at her Facebook page for she always posted our grandchild with everyone else including her friends. I felt that we wee just not a priority to her. No none from my sons family had been invited over and my son would not talk to us. Yes I do agree too texting them too much and regret that too for she used that against us and at one point started responding to messages that we sent our son, but did his though her phone and not his. This is how we knew he was telling her everything and though he never ever responded, she eventually did from her phone. I'm not sure why he ignored us they way he did. A simple no thank you, or I'll get back to you would suffice. but he completely ignored us.

Maggiemaybe I'm ready to do so but can't for they have sit is out of everything. Its hard to say sorry and work towards reconcilliation when all means of communication have been shut down by them. I agree that maybe I need too concentrate more on the other children that need me. It will be hard but I may have to do it. Thank you.

Lily65 yes they stopped talking to us when the money train dried up, but still cashed in the inheritance check that his grandmother left for him despite not attending the funeral. This is all too hard to take it. I feel completely lost and broken. Were we just important to them when we could financially support them? I don't refuse that am at fault too but none of these problems elevated until we decided to stop financing their lifestyles. If she had an issue with my dissapointment on the elopement, why wait so many years to address it? if they hated us so much why continue to ask for financial help and use it? I don't know am I over reacting too? I feel so defeated in all of this.

Telly Thu 09-May-19 14:35:48

I would think that the best thing for you to do is to step back and let them get on with their lives. You use the word shock many times, but perhaps it is best to be more accepting. I would also certainly not vent your feelings to other family members who may be in touch with the couple. It is possible over time that they will wish to resume contact, but this is more likely to happen if things cool down and you cease trying to find out what has happened, giving them the opportunity to shun you yet again. Whatever it is it is long in the past, and probably behind the reason to get married without informing you. You can't change the past but you can learn to live with it.

Sussexborn Thu 09-May-19 14:49:13

Back in the 70s a fellow member of a toddler group announced that she already hated her future daughter in law. Her son was still in nappies.

I am beginning to suspect that we are being side-lined by our future DIL. She seemed fine with us until our GD was born. TBH I feel a bit sad but have three other amazing grandchildren and will continue to enjoy them to the full!

I can’t understand why people want to cause unnecessary trouble. I wonder what makes them tick?