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My son has repatriated after four years and it starts!!!

(78 Posts)
CdnNanny Mon 08-Jul-19 19:52:44

Hello Gransnet Members,

So pleased to meet you, but not so pleased about this post. I will try to be brief so here it is: My eldest son has recently returned to Canada after four years in Germany. He met and married his German wife, had two beautiful sons, found a job, got injured, received a huge disability settlement, father in law passed, got more money and is now here in Canada alone. His wife will be joining him on October, so right now he can settle in and prepare for when they arrive later on.

Reason I am mentioning the money aspect is because to get to where he is, hubby (step-dad) and I helped him out at great expense to us. He took him until he was 35 to leave the nest and I was so happy when he did. And, I felt great relief when he moved to Europe so that I did not have to deal with the manipulation anymore on how I need to help him monetarily so that he could manage to be successful and get ahead.

Now husband (step-dad) and I are planning retirement and our well has run dry. We need to focus on ourselves. Our son flew in last Thursday and I received a two line message in Messenger. Arrived safely – at Dad's (my estranged spouse). I have sent several nice messages since, and they have been read but no response. It has almost been a week! My only guess is that he is angry because we requested he pay for his food if he stayed with us (he has a HUGE and expensive appetite) or because we refused to co-sign a mortgage for when the family settles in Canada. Frankly, we are only guessing, but we know our son well enough.

I have decided to stop sending Messages in Messenger until he is ready to communicate with us. Am I wrong in doing this? My son is a 'What can you do for me type of person' and I think he is resentful because we are finally putting our foot down and saying 'no' for a change. My fear is estrangement from my two grandsons. I would love to get to know them better, but I am thinking that it may not be the case and that is my fear.

Why run to the biological father that has been so unsupportive and estranged and ignore your stepfather and mother both of whom have been nothing but supportive?

I am hurt and angry and secretively wish he would have stayed far away. Even my daughter fears that hubby and I will be guilted into dishing out again. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Di I mentioned his owes us $16,000.00 and we have not seen a cent? It's lost to us. We know it's never coming back. He also took off with $500.00 of my Mom's money that she gave him to work on her home. Work was never done…

We have visited Germany at great expense as well and purchased furniture and toys for the babies. Ex-hubby did nothing!!!!

I am perplexed! (Shrug)

Gonegirl Mon 08-Jul-19 19:59:51

Thursday is not that long ago. He messaged you that he had arrived safely. I think you should stop panicking just because he hasn't messaged you again. Probably nothing in it at all.

Smileless2012 Mon 08-Jul-19 20:06:49

IMO CdnNannyno, you are not wrong.

The sense of entitlement that some AC have is shocking.

Although you cannot know for certain the reasons for your son's silence, your past experience is a reasonable basis for your assumption that it is your refusal to co sign a mortgage and your refusal to pay out for his food if he stayed with you are the reasons.

As an estranged parent and GP, I totally understand your fear that you will become estranged from your GC; the pain of which is beyond words.

It's a terrible dilemma when you have to choose between putting your own well being first, knowing that to do so could result in losing your AC and GC.

I hope that you wont lose your son and GC but sadly for some parents, the bank of mum and dad has to close and your own well being needs to take priority.

Septimia Mon 08-Jul-19 20:07:04

You've replied to his message, so now wait and let him come to you, don't chase him.

If he starts wanting money, then tell him that you can't afford to give him any in your retirement - unless he wants to have to pay for your keep. You don't have to be unkind, just direct about it. It sounds like he's had his share of both money and support already!

Scentia Mon 08-Jul-19 20:15:35

IMO I think if you want to financially help your AC (or help them in other ways) it should NEVER come with conditions. Either you were happy to help him or you weren’t. If you don’t have the money now, you can’t help, but he hasn’t asked you to. He is probably wanting to build a relationship with his Dad and you can’t stop him doing that. There are so many posts like this where parents are upset because they feel like they have been taken advantage of in the past and want some sort of payback for all that help. No one made you help him out and you really need to get over it and accept that you will not get any better treatment from him or his family because of what you did for him.
If I were you I would leave the messages for a while, my bet is that if he is as entitled as he sounds he will soon be in touch as he will need something, that is when you HAVE to say no, you are no longer in a position to help him.

Missfoodlove Mon 08-Jul-19 20:17:41

Stick to your guns! Clearly the “ treat them mean to keep them keen” approach from your ex works!
Start as you mean to go on. Keep the door open but the purse closed.
You clearly have the measure of him.
His sense of entitlement is still with him, I hope he doesn’t use his children to blackmail you emotionally.

sassenach512 Mon 08-Jul-19 23:17:36

This surely is a lesson in how constantly giving hand outs to ungrateful AC is never a good idea. They become so accustomed to having parents prop them up that they completely disregard the fact that their parents need funds in their own retirement. The cynic in me wonders if your son is now knocking on his father's door because he knows your money pit is depleted and he's chancing his luck with him. Don't be blackmailed into signing his mortgage agreement, he is an ungrateful brat who should be standing on his own two feet

MovingOn2018 Tue 09-Jul-19 00:58:38

I'm not exactly sure what's mainly upsetting you. Are you upset that he chose to stay with his biological father, as opposed to you and his step dad?

CdnNanny Tue 09-Jul-19 02:27:14

No not at all. Grateful actually. I am upset by no responses to my messages welcoming him home. Like he has no time to bother with me and his stepdad. The well is dry so he cannot be bothered. I have decided to message him and advise that he call me when he is ready. It’s the same stressful relationship all over again. I thought I was done with guessing his next manipulative move or whether he will bash me while visiting my brother or mother. It’s stressful to over analyze and try to keep one step ahead of his next move. My guilt stems from wishing he would have stayed in Germany. As a Mom these thoughts are not normal. I’m upset at my son for his distant behaviour and upset at myself for my selfish thoughts.

CdnNanny Tue 09-Jul-19 02:31:34

Sadly, I agree. I just hope my distancing will not affect the potential relationship I will have with my grandsons. I am a really great grandma actually. And I am looking forward to them coming in October. But my son really twists facts and events to suit his own needs. Whatever works to his benefit, he will do it.

CdnNanny Tue 09-Jul-19 02:36:55

Thank you for your input everyone. I am looking for an impartial opinion. Hubby is just ticked off and is running an emotional opinion of wanting to tell him off. I however am trying to be analytical about it. But I tend to overthink the situation. Probably because I have been burned in the past.

MovingOn2018 Tue 09-Jul-19 02:42:58

Give him some time. If he only flew in last week then its only been four days as of today. I wouldn't brand it as him bring distant yet, especially if he has a duty to help settle his family in by October.

annep1 Tue 09-Jul-19 02:49:08

I think that's very harsh Scentia. It would be nice to feel appreciated and loved. Some children ( not all!) have no conscience.
CdnNanny I have a son like this. And right now my sleep is disturbed by having lent more money- only a small amount compared to yours though- after promising I never would again. And of course it wasn't paid back as promised. Won't happen again I can tell you. If he came to live near me I would be stressed. Isn't it awful to say about your child whom you love? But, sadly true for some people. Look after yourself. Good for you putting your foot down. I hope you still get to see your gc but you can't be blackmailed.

Hetty58 Tue 09-Jul-19 07:20:11

Hi CdnNanny

You say that you were happy when he left home at 35. Wow, he's had a good long run of support from family. You know his character well so expect more (money-grabbing) requests for help too. I'd just be relieved that he's gone to his dad for now.

You must, of course, refuse to help financially any more. Explain that you have just enough to live on and nothing to spare.

Remember that he knows you very well too and is 'manipulative', (you say) so he may be deliberately keeping away for now as a ploy to worry you, which seems to have worked, hence your post!

Don't fall for it, stand firm. He's an independent adult now!

BlueBelle Tue 09-Jul-19 08:22:29

If you have been giving large sums of money out and letting him live with you until 35 then really you have given him the message that you are there to be used or to put it a nicer way he has had the message that a mum will always look after him no matter what
I can totally understand you not wanted to sign anything towards his mortgage but to tell a son if he comes to stay (after four years overseas) that he has to pay for his food sounds pretty mean and actually not very welcoming and maybe the reason he’s staying with his dad
You say you preferred he stayed in Germany maybe he picks up on those vibes
Why message him again I ve decided to message him and tell him he can call me when he’s ready but that’s just fanning the flames, he knows he can call you Why not wait and see, it does take two to tango you know
He messaged you to tell you he’d arrived and where he was and that probably hurt as you were expecting more so I can totally understand that, but there are mixed messages here in one breathe you are saying I m glad he’s with his dad not us and I m dreading him coming home but then you are picking the scab by messaging him it’s like poking the sleeping tiger You really want a reaction , good or bad and you need to stop
Let him come to you if and when he’s ready if he doesn’t you have lost nothing as you wouldn’t see much of him or grandchildren if your wish had been granted and he'd stayed in Germany Will you see much of them in Canada ?
I do understand you turmoil and I m not been critical of you but sometimes our actions make things worse I know that from my own experiences we can all try too hard

craftyone Tue 09-Jul-19 08:34:59

Cdn, you are doing very well and are scared inside. Stand your ground my dear, you and your husband have to take priority now, your life together in retirement as a couple. The only things I would respond positively to are requests for child minding which will happen soon enough.

Anything to do wth money or living with you, say no and remember that the first no is always the hardest. He will soon stop seeing you as a soft touch. In the meantime, take a step back, don`t contact him any more. He is an adult with his own agenda. He will make contact I am sure. Stay strong and be very particular about the responses you make. You and your husband come first right now

Starlady Tue 09-Jul-19 09:29:16

Cdn, I understand your concerns. But as a couple of posters have mentioned, DS has only been back a few days. He DID message you and might not have thought your response required another immediate response from him. As BlueBelle says, there's no reason to message him that he can call you when he's ready. He knows that and, no doubt, will see your new message as an another attempt to elicit a reply from him. IMO, you need to back off.

It's possible he's angry that asked him to pay for his food if he stays w/ you and DH. That may be why he chose to stay w/ your X instead. Perhaps X didn't ask him for anything... sigh... It's also possible he's mad you're refusing to cosign the mortgage, and he's hoping he can get X to do it.

Or maybe he's just busy getting settled in. If he were angry, why would he even tell you he's here? You know him well, but maybe can't see the forest for the trees? I think you may be reading into what is only a few days' silence.

I get your concern about possibly being distanced from your GC. But I agree w/ those who say you and DH must protect yourselves. Please don't be talked/guilted into co-signing. You know where that will lead. Besides, he and DIL really need to learn to work things out by themselves.

For now, please be patient and encourage DH to be patient, too. Wait for DS to reach out to you. If he asks for money, just let him know, you're sorry, but you just don't have it to give anymore. Accept his new found relationship w/ his dad (even if it's just about money). Continue, for now, to hold out hope that you'll see the GC when they're in Canada. Best of luck!

Starlady Tue 09-Jul-19 09:42:54

"I thought I was done with guessing his next manipulative move or whether he will bash me while visiting my brother or mother. "

So I take it there are some longstanding issues that he gripes about to your mum and brother? So very sorry. Hugs! You wouldn't know, however, if they didn't tell you. So you might want to ask them not to. You know, I'm sure, what his "issues" are, you don't need them to tell you and cause drama or hurt feelings.

" I am a really great grandma actually. And I am looking forward to them coming in October. But my son really twists facts and events to suit his own needs. Whatever works to his benefit, he will do it."

I'm not sure I get the connection here. Are you saying DS may twist facts to make it look as if you're not "a really great grandma?" Is this a bone of contention between the two of you? Or are you saying he'l twist ) about something else as an excuse to keep you away? Or ??

Regardless, I hope that doesn't happen. And I would be careful not to antagonize DS by "telling him off" (DH) or by pressuring him to call or text, or, do anything he doesn't feel ready to do. Meanwhile, I hope October brings w/ it a beautiful reunion w/ your 2 GSs.

mosaicwarts Tue 09-Jul-19 09:57:57

So sorry to read this. It would have been nice if he'd turned up at your front door with a bouquet and a big hug.

My son is 26 and since his Dad died three years ago constantly asked me for money, which I gave him, until the day my daughter said she was worried if I died, he'd start asking her.

I had a talk with my son and said I felt until my behaviour changed, his behaviour wouldn't change, and it wasn't helping him to be a financially independent adult. If he needs money now, I lend it to him, and have kept a record.

I hope he phones you soon, sorry you have this excruciating wait.

jaylucy Tue 09-Jul-19 10:12:02

Well I suppose he warned you hat he was in the country!
A part of me is hoping that he has decided he can support himself at long last after leeching off you for so long but another part doubts if that's possible.
Sorry but you are your own worst enemy! OK so you spent a fair bit going to see him and his family in Germany, but why oh why did you buy furniture for the grandchildren amongst other things? If they hadn't got it, they probably didn't really need it!
There seems to be so many parents and grandparents on here that through their own actions have raised or helped to raise some nasty, selfish individuals and constantly being held to ransom because of this! Time to stand up and say no! If anything they should now be helping you!

chris8888 Tue 09-Jul-19 10:15:55

Oh dear you poor thing, yes its the worry of not seeing the grandchildren. The thing is you cant allow yourself or partner to be abused financially or emontionally. Stand firm enjoy your retirement and dont counter sign anything.

fluttERBY123 Tue 09-Jul-19 10:16:02

I'm with scentia on this 100%.

wildswan16 Tue 09-Jul-19 10:18:12

If adult children are not left to stand on their own two feet they will never learn to do so. Obviously in cases of illness or emergency we will help if required, but day to day expenses like buying furniture is not the parental responsibility any more.

If they do not want contact with you unless you hand over money, then I'm sorry, but you have allowed them to become like this.

Time to stop bailing them out, buying their love etc. Keep the doors open. Phone or message with friendly, non-committal chit chat. Then get on with your own life and keep away from unnecessary drama.

GillyMax Tue 09-Jul-19 10:24:01

That is so sad and I can imagine how badly you feel, but it’s time to think of yourself now, you are retiring and it’s your time now so although you may feel bad you have to be strong. I have been through similar and it’s hurtful, just try to be strong and don’t weaken and hopefully he see’s sense as far as the Grandchildren are concerned. Good luck.

luluaugust Tue 09-Jul-19 10:25:02

I also agree with scentia and actually your retirement gives you the perfect excuse (if you need one) to say things have now changed and you are unable to help financially anymore.