Our Daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Heather52, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    We have been partially estranged from our married 43 daughter for a year now. She had reached out twice to reconcile but it unravels very quickly. We end up rehashing the cause and the after effects of her wanting nothing to do with her father and have a relationship with me only. I made a stand , we were a package deal end of. Which she accepted grudgingly .

    Our daughter had a great relationship with her father up to late teenager. He called her on something for the first time and she never got over it. From that day to this she she can barely tolerate him and constantly builds cases ,collects we and remembers his every mistake , and I caught some of these recounted mistakes which were not quite accurate. For example , our brother in law who just loves to debate with anyone who was to join in but through her eyes and of course it was always her fathers fault. . Whatever the situation with family and friends , any disagreement, debate upsets were her fathers fault and if you tried to get her to see the difference , her heels were dug in . Now in fairness to her, there were times her father woukd get pissed, someone else would get pissed off but it never lasted. She continually demonized this man sometimes justly but most of the time unjustly which I might add she still does which caused the estrangement.

    She has one child and it will be her one and only due to age. It was his birthday. My husband who is socially awkward was teasing our son in law. Sometimes when u try to be funny it isn't, our son in law and daughter over the years , how they woukd make fun of people, their clothes, their looks, there was a label on everyone. We all took it as clowning around and meant nothing by it. It was taken by family members as just trying to be funny. How our son in law woukd make fun of our furniture, our choice of car or the size of our house. But we took it in the spirit that it was meant . but when my husband did the same , he was the devil and he was no longer Welcome. No words or attempts to get them to see that he was clowning around was accepted. It's so funny that it was only them who didn't see the humour.

    My hurt , rage , betrayal was profound over thus last year. When I tried to get her to see my point of view, a war of words and punishment ensued. They would withhold our visits to our only grandchild. My husband offered three times a solution to fix this but was rejected. They wanted him to jump through hoops and their way to reconcile this was demeaning to both of us. It was their way or the highway. We refused to play their game no matter the cost.

    They finally got the message that we were not caving and invited us to our grandchild birthday . They also stated that we could meet on their street, take our grandchild to the park and out to dinner. We are not welcome in their home. My husband wants to forgive , forget and move forward. I can't . How can I enjoy a relationship where we have been treated so shameful, their behavior towards us was so disgraceful, so intolerant and down right disrespectful. How do I get past this , how do I forgive ? How do I trust again? I refuse to walk on egg shells around them but afraid not to. I won't survive a reoccur acne . This past year has taken its toll, the hurt and betrayal was profound. We love our daughter. How do I move forward. My husband can, he never not once engaged in any conversation with them because he was smarter than me. He knew it would name the situation worse, he was right. My constantly wanting to fix made it so much worse. He refused to engage . He wanted to meet face to face to fix but their way to fix was demeaning. How. Do I move forward
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Heather. I'm sorry about your daughter. I am estranged from one of my adult children. He is no kid. He is 38 and I will tell you how I feel about it and what I've done. This doesn't mean that what I did is what YOU should do. Please just take it as my own story.

    We adopted a six year old boy from overseas and we'd adopted before and I have one viological son. I am on stellar terms with all of my other kids, but this one decided, to simplify things, to dump the family when he met a woman who dazzled him but didn't seem to like us. That is really all I know because he did not share his real reasons with us, but after being in therapy with a psychologist who only sees adopted children and adopted families, I am moved to believe he had attachment problems due to being in an orphanage for six years. Before you think "poor kid" I agree with you, but this is one kid who was brilliant and has built a life for himself with his own business, two kids I've never met and over a million bucks. He told me, before the estrangement, that he never had to work again and his bills would be paid and his lifestyle bears this out. He paid for a very expensive house with inground pool cash down. Same with expensive car. His kids are in private schools. Thankfully, I at least don't worry that he is on the streets suffering. He isn't. Nor does he miss me.

    The thing is, I did miss and love him dearly. Five years after not even hearing from him, I contacted his church, which is dear to him (ype, he's quite the Christian ( tongue in cheek) ) and they have mediation. This was the first and only time he lagreed to meet with me in all that time. I was fortunately already over the grief and anger and everything and felt I could deal with anything, but wanted closure. I told nobody else I was going to meet with him and, of course, he dragged his wife with him. They are joined at the hip. I guess that is good. I don't know. She doesn't know me. She pushed our family away, and he let her, before we had a chance to get to know one another. She wanted to be his everything. She was not a kid either. She was in her mid 30s when she met him and he was in his late twenties. She would sit on his lap and nuzzle him in front of us all the time. We never brought it up. Not even to each other. Later, after the estrangement, it turned out that all of us had gotten a strange vibe from her...unfriendly...and that the fawning like a teenager on his lap all the time struck us all as odd. But that's just the back story.

    About the one mediation session at his church: He handed me a list of demeaning ways I had to act and places I could see them at (rerstrictions) if I wanted to be in their lives at all. Included were I could never go to their house but had to see them either at this church or in a restaurant, in which I paid for my own meal. There was no need to add that "you pay for your own meal" but it was deliberately meant to demean as he is wealthy and we struggle. Why I can not go into his house or meet them at a park, I don't know. Other tidbits were, he is to have no responsibility for anyone in the family at any time. I can only call him once a month and must leave a message as to the purpose of my call. If I did not do the message bit, he would not get back to me. There was more, but I realized he was trying to make me his slave in order to see him. Meanwhile, his wife sat in a corner, sniveling and crying and dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief. At one time she said, "I'm afraid of you."

    It was such an absurd comment, I just sat and let it go. Nobody is afraid of me. I'm not scary. I'm kind of a wuss. Son never so much as got his hand slapped or grounded in his life with us. I am not sure what she meant but he must have made up some doozies. So I listened to a bunch of garbage and, when it was over, he prayed for me, handed me the list, we hugged a little, and I walked out. On the way out, I stuffed the list in a church trash can. I knew that this chapter of my life was completely over. Never tried to contact him again and he certainly did not contact me.

    Ten years went by and I am good. I did have a near fatal car accident last Sept. and was in the hospital for twelve weeks. All of my family was there for me, although I don't remember it. But they told me. He was not there. He never so much as sent a get well card.

    A family member to me has a obligation to be a part of the family. He isn't. So he is my son on paper only. I never include him as my son when people ask me how many kids I have. His children are total strangers to me so I don't include them in my grandchildren count either. Recently, I wrote him a letter which was two paragraphns long telling him I no l onger considered him my son and that he was written out of the will so please don't come around with late regrets etc. I signed it by my first name. I read it one hundred times before sending it, then I did and was never sorry. He hasn't been in our lives, by his own choice, for over ten years now. So...

    Your daughter is new to estrangement. I would never go this far so soon. But does your daughter have a history of being controlling and mean to either of you or to others in her circle? If so, I'd cut off the disrespect of husband NOW. There is no excuse for a 45 year old middle aged woman to act l ike Mean Girls to her elderly father. Why should she weld that much power over him?

    That's just my thoughts after all the abuse from estranged son. I decided never again will anyone in my life treat me like that. I mourned f or two years. I grieved. I wrote letters begging, pleading, groveling. It didn't work and it usually doesn't. In fact, he laughed about it to me. I could tell he had less respect for me because I was so desperate.

    in my opinion no matter what you do, respecting yourself must come first. Demeaning rules by our not-so-nice adult children have no place in a family. None.

    This is just my own experience and my own conclusion. You may come up with another one, entirely of your own. I ask myself, "If this were my spouse or a friend and not my child would I put up with it?"

    If the answer is "no" I don't put up with it.

    I believe you can't forgive anyone w ho won't repent. That is my own belief. I move on with my life, but don't give anyone status of forgiveness if they don't want it. Many people do as they feel better t hemselves if they do. It doesn't make me feel better as it feels pretty wasted on those who don't care.

    Try not to let her upset your world. No one person, not even a ch ild of ours, has the right to rent space inside our heads all the time.

    Sending good wishes, light and love to you and yours. And strength. There is nothing easy about this. I hope I didn't sound like my decision was made easily or lightly. If it sounds that way, it's misrepresenting the grief and pain I had to go through to move on.

    Hugs!!!! I posted an address below for a forum for Estranged, Rejected Parents. If you click on "community" you will come to a forum. The book is a good one.

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  3. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Lets put it another way you do not want to forgive your daughter okay but do you want to cut contact to your grandson because of her. Basically she wants you and your husband to have a relationship with the grandson only and not with her what is the problem here?
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    In other words though, it's fine to bring gifts and treat grandson, just do it on the street. You're good for what you're good for. It's hurtful, this is the relationship I have with my own son and grandchildren. They wouldn't give me the time of day, I do love my grandchildren so I bite my tongue, take the sparky comments, vent to my husband, and I am allowed access to them. My 4 year old grandson doesn't talk, when I tried to tell them about preschool in the school district for special needs students (free plus speech and other services) my son ran to me, balled up his fist, put his face in mine and dared me to call grandson "special" again. My son weighs350 pounds , I weigh 100 pounds. Jerry Springer style. I honestly don't even want him near me. That's a small example right there. I get it. Personally, it's not worth it, but my husband thinks it is.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is a reality. There is no overcoming it. It must be faced. In my mind, you cannot get past it:
    I agree with a dad:
    You cannot control this situation as long as you make it and see it about her.

    She cannot become or change into a different person, because you want her too.

    If she is willing to let you see your grandchild, that is more than many grandparents have.

    If you accept the situation and get past the wishing it were different, and insisting it should be, you can find a way to do it, I think. Make your own conditions, too. That you pick him up at a place and time where you feel dignity and respect. Demand that.

    Millions of people who share custody with ex-es they hate and who abused them find a way to exchange their kids back and forth. They do so in neutral and public places. You can do this! I would not take crumbs (begging for her). But how can your grandchild ever be crumbs! Your grandchildren needs his grandparents. You can do this.

    Your daughter has taken herself off the table, because you choose not to accept her mistreatment. Take back your power!!!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unfotunately, often the grandkids are completely yanked if we dont do the child's bidding. Parental exchanges are court ordered or many moms or dads wouldn't do them. Grandparents don't have those legal rights. See my last paragraph. I looked into this issue and even called a family court lawyer. It is bleak for grandparents in all states due to a supreme court ruling.

    These types of adult children, who estrange us, are control freaks and, sadly, almost seem to like hurting us. They know they can and the grandchildren are ripe for revenge against us.

    I am very happy my estranged son never let me know his kids. It is easier in my opinion.

    I think your son sounds dangerous. What a nut. If you want to see the grands in this demeaning way that I understand so well, you will forever have to hold your tongue. You will not get to have fun with them or enjoy a genuine relationship with them. You will notbe allowed to help in their upbringing. Those eggshells are crunchy.

    A Dad this sort if estrangement is scarily common in the US and Europe. I know your country is different. There are no laws here to force family to acknowledge one another or to be nice or to even see one another. My mother was allowed to disinherit me, and my once-son is allowed to ignore me forever, and I am then allowed to disinherit him for choosing this path. There is a real breakdown in family here. it is legal. Older people linger in nursing homes with no family visiting them. Happens all the time here.

    Some time back our Supreme Court took on a Grandparents rights to get visitation with estranged childrens children. The S C ruled against the grandparents. It is only a very few cases can you be granted visitation for a grandparent legally. I have hung on estranged sites for years. For the most part if your kid doesnt want you in his kid's life, you have to wait until the grands are 18 to do so. That ruling cut off a grandparents right to see the grandchildren at the knees. The parents have all the power in almost all cases. VEry few exceptions such as if gtandparent had cared for her grandchild for an extended period of time or if your son or daughter died and survivng spouse denies your right to see your grandchildren after that.

    A lot of kids, due to estrangement, distsance of where they live etc have no grands or fathers these days. Its sad but this is true. Lifestyle changes, single moms, people living fat away...it is harder to find intact families. My family with husband 2 is intact. My first one ended in divorce. Such is life for kids today. My youngrst tso very well adjusted kids had no grandparents. Husbands areboyh dead and my mother refused to see mykids ever. My dad lives in another state and doesnt like kids. So it goes.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  7. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    No law forces children to keep contact with their parents here either is not about law is about culture laws should not do anything about such situations society should do the forcing making it a immoral and hated thing even if not illegal. Like with being polite as the law does not require you to be polite but you are because society expects that of you not that there are no people who are not polite but they suffer consequences imposed by society upon them.
    Here we are more family oriented and independence is not that important where in USA, Germany, UK and the Scandinavian countries having a grown adult living with you is a criticized thing we do not care.
    We have terrible social service I mean a child will be taken from his parents for 2 reasons they give him up or he suffers terrible abuse like his hitting him with a ax on his head why because there are no money to raise the children and not many people adopt in this country either for them to not be raised by the state and you know what happens when they grow up well and be on their own well they jump from the roof of the building they where raised in a huge minority of them but they do the rest well have a very hard life. And this our future and this is how much help they get.
    For our elders well got protect them if they do not have family when they can not take care of themselves anymore. We need our family not want need if we do not have it we will have a very hard life. There basically our only means of support so yeah that is why our culture is so family oriented. For example a child goes to kindergarten at 3 years old your maternity leave only 1 year who will take care of your child for the next 2 years while you are at work and you need to work. Grandmother of course so you can not afford to get estranged from her because you have little choice.
    The sort of estrangement you are talking about is common in Europe the countries I mentioned in the rest not so much why because they are rich enough to take some of the responsibilities of the family and they can afford to cut ties with family members. Not so much here he need our family and we tolerate a lat flaws they have some flaws that people complain about in this forum are things that we tolerate and live with like being messy or coming back late or being disrespectful once or conflict with daughter or son in law. My mother is in a passive aggressive war with one of my sisters in law for over 20 years such a waste of time she will not get rid of her and she knows it by now after all she has 2 grand kids by her and its over 20 years just accept each other already you spend energy with no result.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Many of us, a dad, are from these cultures, where our parents or grandparents were raised this way. It takes only 1 generation here in the states to forget the old ways. I was more than half raised by maternal grandparents. My grandmother in many ways took on the obligations of a mother.
    When my own mother had a chance--she moved away from my grandmother and left her alone. When I was 26 years old she died in my arms. My mother had moved on.

    The way I grieved my mother, she did not grieve her own. It really is the law of the jungle here. Sometimes I feel that. Being forced to need each other is not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes I think this way is the worst. The illusion that you can go it alone. You can, but at what cost? Human beings require each other. To deny this is a fantasy, I think.

    A dad. I do not think it is only utility and necessity that keeps families close. Like you said, it is culture. My own culture now forces family apart, creating the illusion that other things are more important. Looking back on my life. There is no more important thing, to me. I wish I had lived consistent with this belief. I did not.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am sort of jealous of the cultures in this country that still live together...very old to very young. Our hmong population is like that. Nobody is alone. I think hispanics are more this way...but our hispanic population is huge so perhaps it is hispanics who came here from certain countries.

    I was not brought up with a strong sense of family at all. I had to learn to make a close family, and learned it best with my second husband and two youngest kids. Nothing feels warmer to me than all my family together. Pity so many people disregard the love f a farmily, the unconditional love of a good mother...Seriously, many young people dont realize what they have. by the way, neither of my grandparents grew up in close families either. My grandma that I was close to left her hometurf and wasn't close to her siblings...I'm not even sure she kept in touch with them all.

    I have never ever put any want or need above my children. I even stayed home with them at a time when women mostly worked. That feeling never wavered for me.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know SWOT, as tight as the latinos are, the subsequent generations are not tight like the first. I am lucky because M came directly from Mexico already a middle age man. But some people think I am unlucky because he has the macho traits too--he is bossy, and can be a nag and critical. But I and my son are learning to ignore this because his other traits are so wonderful. The willingness to take responsibility, to subordinate his own interests for ours. We are learning from him so much.

    I wonder how many women their are who at my age would have been willing to make this adjustment. I had never married and so old was willing to learn to defer my own wishes, when they had been the only thing that had counted except for my son.

    A woman at work asked me this: why do you let him boss you when you make more money than he does?

    Honestly, I could not even understand the question right away it made so little sense to me.

    I think I would have answered? Why not?

    What does money have to do with anything? I am grateful he cares enough. Nobody ever cared that much what I ever did. I am grateful that M does.
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  11. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    Thank you for your kind words of wisdom. God you people are so right. If I were honest, there is a big part of he that wants her back in my life. Back to What?.. I want to believe that she deeply regrets her actions but in reality I know that it's always someone else's fault. She is the victim fro an emotionally absent father and a man who she admitted as of late who she don't like. How can you show affection and love to the unlovable and onecwho pushed you away one too many times. I am so full of pain, turmoil and my life has no peace until this is resolved. But the sanity prevails, I will still be in torment, but even worse. I can never look or feel the same way again. I'm sure there's aspartame of her That knows that.

    Her husband treats his mother as though she doesn't exist and I Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) witnessed him laughing at her pleas to come visit, to let her see hergrandson. But the letters, the begging the pleas do not work. He has arelationship with his father who has been disrespected, treated horribly, he as well cowers down to their son, my son in law. My daughter seeing this dance for 15 years and thought we woukd be the same. We did not cower nor bend. But she has extended an invitation which I never thought we would get and my husbands believes it's her way to reach out. An invitation to grandchilds birthday party. My husband sees my anguish and a way to end it is meet halfway. But halfway to control, disrespect and demands?
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She must approve of what her husband does to his own mother because she's still with him. Sounds like a bad news couple to me.

    The joke may be on them. Estrangers are at high risk to be estranged from their own children.

    I learned not to tolerate disrespect. One can't have a satisfying relationship with anyone abusive. It is very mean to do to a parent and by her age...she knows better.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    COPA he is lucky. SO are you.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, your situation with your daughter reminds me so much about my mother's with my sister. And maybe me, but it is hard to see yourself so clearly. Let me tell you what my mother did, and how it ended up. You may learn from her pain.

    My sister was like your son and law. My mother had money and my SO believes the only reason my sister was in her life for 40 years was for that. When my mother would not give her money--my sister rejected her. Actually she rejected her all along and treated her like dirt to the extent she could. She tried to humiliate my mother--and also used her children. My mother a beautiful and elegant and self-centered woman, felt like she was used like a cleaning lady (when the babies were little and thrown away.)

    My mother and I realized this was what my sister was like and over and over again my mother went back to the same arrangement. Because she loved my sister and loved the babies. I do not believe she ever regretted it.

    But then my mother got ill and it was her final illness. My sister would not talk to her or to me. By that time my mother was either living with me or close to me. She would not pick up the phone. For either one of us. She let my mother die--without ever talking to her or seeing here. Just.like.that.

    I was appalled. I never believed she would (or anybody) would do such a thing. But she did. It has been almost 3 years. I have not spoken to her once. She will not answer my emails. There are other things, there always are. But that is our story.
    This happened too.

    My sister married for the 3rd time. Her husband was close to his mother. At first my sister seemed to tolerate and enjoy her mother in law. Until she did not. She would not let the woman come to her home. The mother in law asked my mother: "Why doesn't L like me?"
    What could my mother say. She knew her daughter.
    But I blame the husband. I do. He could have stood up to my sister. To protect his mother. He did not. Everybody was old in these stories. My mother was in her 80's. My sister almost 60.

    My mother could not believe it at the end. That her daughter who she had supported and paid her mortgage and been loyal too. Threw her away like garbage.

    Sometimes I think that my sister was just afraid. That she did it for self-preservation. Perhaps. Perhaps all of it was weakness all along. Weakness and meanness.

    At the end my mother said: Copa you told me she was like that when you were still a little girl.I never believed you.
    My sister would refer to my mother as a crazy old lady--to me. Imagine what she said to other people.
    Well, what would I do?

    I would go to the party. It is not about your daughter or her mean husband. It is about your grand baby and it is about you. My mother used to tell me: Copa. You can't change people. You have to accept them as they are. They will not change.

    You have 2 choices and 2 choices either: accept your daughter as she is or do not ever see her again. I would do the former. I would. I would accept the reality as it is, and I would do whatever I could to have a relationship with my grandchild and with my daughter. That is what my mother did and I believe she did the right thing. Even ending as it did.

    My mother, I think, did the morally correct thing in this case--she did her best. The right thing does not always happen. We do not get what we want or deserve usually. But we can do the right thing. That is what I think.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is correct to protect your own health too. There is no guarantee this woman will continue letting her parents see this child. The mean husband doesn't let his own mother see the child. It is a bad omen.

    I can not find words to describe how insanely uncomfortable and unhealthy it is to be demeaned by your own child. I found it intolerable. I don't believe it is moral to put up with that.

    We do what is best for us once our children are 45. Daughter should be thinking about her parents health at their ages rather than nursing petty hurts at 45..m in my opinion this is despicable.

    By a certain age, it is time to live our best and happiest lives. It is up to each of is to choose what is best for us. I could not just let any of my adult kids treat my husband like trash. I agree...it's a package deal. There is never a reason to accept abuse, especially as we get older and when stress can cause fatal damage.

    Heather, whatever you do, you do. There is no right or wrong path to take. I feel this cruelty is harmful, but I am not you. I just hope you and husband decide to have wonderful romantic golden years.

    Maybe move to an exotic, peaceful place :) Just you two.
  16. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    The thing is you can not have everything in a family you have to put up with the bad for the good now its your choice if the good outweighs the bad or the other way around but you can not have only the good.
  17. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    I had a mother in law from hell who we were forced to live with the first 2 years of our marriage. She was mean, nasty and horrible to live with but this same woman loved our two children , they were the centre of her universe. Even though I was mistreated by by her hands, I made sure that these children would have a long lasting relationship with her. My children benefitted. They loved and adored their Nana until she died. The memories they have are so incredible.

    When I told my abusive daughter this story, her first reaction was Why did I allow the grandmother visits as she treated me so poorly. My response was my children benefitted , this wasn't about me, it was about my children. She vehemently said I did the wrong thing, but in my heart it was the right choice. It wasn't the same choice my daughter said she woukd have made. In other words put herself first and rob my children of a loving doting grandmother up to and until they were young adults. I'm so ashamed.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heather, never be ashamed of somebody elses selfish decision. You did not do anything wrong.
  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Heather it's not you that should be ashamed, but your daughter. She is selfish and refuses to see the benefits that she received from visits with her Nana.