Significant others of our kids, difficult and not

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you feel that when your adult kid has a serious SO it ex's reaction to us that we rarely heard from him for aimpacts the relationship you have with your child?

    This is how it was for me.

    Bet was so , for lack of a better word, afraid of his volatile wife that we barely heard from him. She wanted her family involved and not us and if we called, she spoke to us first before finally giving phone to son. She had a definite negative impact on our relationship. On the good side, bart knows he was wrong and said it would never happen again and his new girlfriend has been ultra friendly to us.

    Gone boys wife is a huge reason why Gone Boy left. She wanted him all to herself and he agreed to that arrangement. His girlfriend before her would have been a while different story. He is easily influenced. When he picked this one instead...She encouraged him to leave us and he agreed. So...bad influence for us.

    Princess's boyfriend of twelve years is very quiet but does not try to interfere in her relationship with us.

    Jumpers boyfriend seems nice. So far, love him. I think she knows she will marry him one day.

    Trust me, we did all we could to welcome warmly every SO. For us, that still did not always work.

    Thoughts? Anything? I am not sure anyone else even cares about this topic. If not.. this ok.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  2. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    This is hard but kinda true and well you have nothing to do about it. So lets put it like this in my country the tradition is the oldest son or youngest in some areas or any of them has to stay in the family home and take care of their parents. So what do the others do well they move away and start their own household. Of course this is mostly in rural areas but since 50% live of our population lives there well its a powerful tradition. So do the ones that go communicate with their parents yes they do but very rare and its not because of their spouses its because of what they chose its mostly their choice.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I hate this custom, A Dad. What do mothers do, when their beloved children desert them? I am completely unprepared to be abandoned.

    Is it that in your culture, the mothers and fathers learn to expect this? Or are their hearts broken? Do you and your wife expect this of your sons? Do daughters do the same thing?
  4. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I think that varies with each child. For example, my daughter's boyfriends never have anything to do with us BUT that is because she tells them the more horrible things and we are convicted before we have a chance to meet. When we do meet, they already have a negative impression. I don't know if this is a borderline thing....but...

    Her bio dad, who I am now convinced is also borderline, did that to me. He told me these awful stories about his dad, who lived far away. Of course, I took his side, felt protective of him, and believed every word he said. I disliked his dad before I even met him and "understood" why he maintained distance, and even encouraged it. Looking back, I realize how much of it was just BS and his dad was not the monster my ex made him out to be.

    I think my daughter, for whatever reason they do it, does the same. It explains why she distances herself and they back her up and support her feelings.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think you are spot on. Of course it takes two. Even the strongest child/parent relationship can be damaged if the will of the SO is strong enough. There are many dynamics at play that must be considered. A person that works to alienate someone from their own family is very manipulative and as a parent of a very manipulative son, I know how easy it can be to be conned.

    In my own situation, I really do not care for my mother-in-law or for my father-in-law when he was living. They are very demanding people, very noisy and very biased and judgmental. If they were not my husbands parents I would not have them in my life. I knew they were like this when I married my husband and I knew they were part of the package. I suppose if I were the type, I could have manipulated my husband away from them but as I said, I knew they were part of the package and I accepted that. We go over to visit my mother-in-law every Sunday after church. Some days it takes all the strength I have to deal with her but I do because she is my husbands mother and he loves her. While I don't really care for the woman I do respect her position in the family.

    When we marry someone we also marry their family, good, bad or ugly :p
  6. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My mother-in-law is the same way. Bossy, nosy, pushy, opinionated...and the best at making you feel guilty if you dare call her on anything. She drives me nuts. She also drives my husband nuts. He goes over and sees her, but I limit when I go because I just cannot tolerate her in large doses, but my feelings don't sway him and I would never want them to. She is his mother no matter what.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son Barts ex is so borderline her picture is plastered under that in the DSM. Bart never left us. He just went along with ex to try to keep the peace. And she didn't want us holding grandson even when our whole family visited. And if you tried to talk to her, she SCREAMED and son just urged us to leave. He felt bad but sticking up for us against her would not have stopped her. Once she took grandson out and did not come back until she knew we were all gone.

    Gone boys love was strange and passive aggressively controlling. She was bright and beautiful and gone boy was dazzled. She was in her mid 30s but we never saw her not sitting on his lap. She had so much power over him..if she said jump, he asked how high. It is more detailed than tjis, bit she highly encouraged hI'm to cut us off and he did it. She was especially jealous of his close relationship to Princess. Princess was the first one she threw her claws out at. And he let her.

    Who they marry can affect your relationship
    Some don't want anything to do with the other family no matter how nice we are. It's not about us.

    My girls would not have allowed this
    I wondrr b if it's a boy thing.

    "A boy is a son till he gets him a wife. A daughters a daughter the rest of her life." (Unless she is borderlone).

    More thoughts? It's ok of there aren't.
  8. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    My first marriage, my mother in law was very controlling and her son could no wrong. We did not get along. I tolerated her, but she stabbed me in the back a few times. We were only married 4 years and I divorced him due to him being a wife beater. After I got married to 2nd husband and we had our other two kids, hubby and I would drop my son( her grandson) off to them for a visit. She was was so nice, would buy them Christmas presents, want to talk and dote on them. I had remained in contact with her for 30 years up until she died at age 92 this past January. I would call her couple of times a month to check on her. I visited her in hospice. I went to her funeral. Her son, was a loser, and she so much as admitted it to me in many conversations. She loved my son( her grandson which is Difficult Child). She loved him till the die she died.

    So, it's just so odd while I was married to her son, she was not so nice to me, afterward I divorced him and moved on, we had many many good conversations.

    My 2nd son is getting married in Sept and I love his fiance and her family. I don't see her breaking off contact with us after marriage. I am fortunate.

    Difficult Child, has only ever had crazy girlfriends with issues, mostly psychiatric and drug issues and never meant any of their parents.

    Adult children kicking their parents to the curb has to be so devastating. But I believe in Karma, someday, this may happen to them with their kids, and then they will realize how they wronged the people who raised them.
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe in karma too.

    Your story about ex mother in law is interesting. I loved my first husbands mother. Everyone did.
    She was an angel and a role model. So was HER mother. My ex is not mean..we get along..but he is not an angel lol. I am glad that I knew his mother.. she was more a mother to me than my own.

    I don't get some SO who try to alienate their spouses from perfectly nice family members. But if the SO can actually accomplish this sort of permanent seperation, the adult child is just as culpable. I can understand it if the parents are horrible...but we were very kind to him and to her too. And if we weren't in their eyes, they could have told us what we did and given us a chance to make things right...but it didn't happen and never will. They would not speak to us about it.

    I read quite a few estrangement stories where everything was fine until a hostile girlfriend dazzled a once loving son. Oh, well. Their loss, really.
  10. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I think it is also important to note parental expectations, because those vary. I have never turned from my parents but we live far apart. I call once a month and visit 2-3 times a year. Some parents would not be happy with that at all and would view that as me "drifting away." Some parents want to speak to their children every day, see them several times a week, be part of every event minor and major. And then there is the spectrum in between. I am as close to my parents as they were to theirs. Mirrored their relationship, actually: moved away, stayed in touch long distance, visited when possible. To me that is normal and healthy. To some, it wouldn't be. Just something to consider in the mix...
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Walrus, absolutely. Once they move out and on it is wrong and unhealthy in my opinion to expect daily calls and your inclusion constantly in their lives. No new SO and most of our adylult kids don't want us to crave that much from them. They move on. We must.

    Healthy distance is different from total cut off.

    I talk to my girls oce or twice a week and we text and I Skype with granddaughter. I see Princess and the grand every other month for an overnight or two. Jumper comes around on her werkend off. Sonic calls a lot, usually for short blurbs of Bart calls every day, but he is not married. I am busy myself and call maybe once a week. They call me more than I call them. I don't want to he that mom that is sniveling over the phone "love me,bin your mother!!!"

    I let them take the initiative most of the time. There are some parents who want to helicopter adult children who have their own families and I don't think that this often ends well.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  12. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I forgot to mention that I love my current Mom In Law, she has always been like a Mom to me. I can talk to her about anything, including her son when I need to vent. Now, my hubby's Father, he passed way about 6 years ago- eh, I tolerated him. He could be very blunt and unkind at times, his kids would let it go- me, no not so much. I am a very principled person- especially when it comes to being rude or hurting someone's feelings. I would call him on it occasionally. He was good provider, family man, but had an abrupt personality that clashed with mine.

    My daughter and I are very close, we talk about 3-4 times a week, sometimes only 5 minutes as she gets busy with her little ones and they need her attention. However, when she got back from Kuwait (was gone a year in National Guard), we struggled and had lot of arguments. But she was dealing with PTSD, coming back to her Marriage, re-engaging with her husband after being deployed. She also came back feeling like we didn't do enough for her- I corrected and reminded he all we did do- and other times just it go- hoping someday when she had kids, she would "get it". She did and now tells me "I don't know how you and Dad did all you did for us". I think kids go through this phase of self-centeredness- all about them, etc. Most grow out of it and GET IT.

    Her husband is very close to my husband and I- he doesn't like his Mom very much. His parents divorced, his Father was an alcoholic- but sober now for 20 years. His Mom dated and went through the bar scene about 5 years ago and was bringing men home she met in a bar. My son in law, just thought she was not making good decisions. He won't let his girls stay the night there, but will at our house.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  13. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I don't understand either- is there a point in time, or an incident that you can remember where he got mad and distanced himself? I know I got mad at my grandma, the woman who raised me because when I would call her- she would only ask about my Difficult Child and not my other two kids-she felt sorry for my Difficult Child because he was product of divorce and her parents divorced and her step-dad was not kind to her. I didn't talk to my grandma for a few months because of how I felt about her favortism. I look back and regret that now- she died while I was upset with her. I never got to make amends. She gave me a good life.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry about the timing of your grandma's death. This is sad when it happens. Very sad.

    I can only think of some minor wedding discussions that got Gone Boy and wife angry. Example, in her culture you don't talk about an upcoming wedding with others in the family, even if it is and not criticism. At least she SAYS that's not done in her culture and we all talked about the upcoming event. We also had a few disagreements but NOTHING big. Nothing most families don't get over in a day or two. So I really don't know.

    At any rate, everyone could see how she refused to leave him alone with us or anyone for a second, how she sat on his lap whenever he sat down, how he glowed just looking at her. Although he is very handsome, this was the first beautiful bright woman from his culture who wanted him this way and he was besotted. He very much wanted a family close to his country of birth. Who knows all the dynamics?

    On the drive home after meeting her for the first time, Princess, who is very perceptive, said, "she's evil. I can feel it."

    I remember quickly stating, "I know." Then I was horrified and quickly refuted myself and talked about how lovely a person she was. But I had gotten the same vibe.
    Everyone still tried to be so kind to her and to laugh at our first impressions, but she was cold and non responsive. And Gone Boy pulled back.

    I will never know what happened. I'm my heart, I know it was a tag team effort though because she could not have accomplished this if he had not gone along with it. Over ten years is a long time to refuse to forgive, especially when I don't.know why.

    But on another forum that I have read extensively, some parents have been shunned now for even longer and have grieved and gone on to have happy, love filled lives without the shunning child. They are inspiring.

    I have done the same. Fortunately, there are many loved ones in my life. I found I can let him go and still be content. As for his wife, I hope to never see her again. She lives near Princess and PRincess has run into both a few times while shopping. It is awkward,she says.

    I can imagine. If I ever see them while visiting I will walk the other way. I have nothing more to say to either one.
  15. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    SWOT-Did you attend the wedding? How did that go? I want to call BS on what she says is rude. It may possibly be rude to discuss wedding in her culture but it is not in yours. To me there should be a level of understanding on her end about honoring cultures. Not my culture or no way attitude. It sounds like she is a very jealous insecure person. I do agree though, that son, had to go along with this for it to go on as long as it has, for 10 years. I think Princess perceptions and yours from the get go were spot on. I can read people within 5 minutes of meeting them. I do give people several chances to change my perception, sometimes I have, but most of the time, I am right about a person I meet the first time.

    I probably would do the same SWOT, walk away if I would see them on a street. Damage has been done and it would take a lot to make it right.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Iron Butterfly, thanks again.

    Of course we all went to the wedding. Bart pointed out something interesting afterward.

    Gone boy gave a speech of thanks to "all my families." Really???
    The family who raised him, us, were near the bottom of his list after his family of school friends, his work mentor family, his co worker family and about six other families. Then he finally mentioned us. I was so taken with the wedding, that it didn't bother me until it was pointed out. I didn't want it to mean he didn't value us so I blew it off.

    But right after the wedding came the forever shun.

    That's all I know. He even had the photographer take pictures of us with him. But we never saw them.
  17. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Was it like last but not least my family or something like that?
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    No, a dad we were sandwiched in there and not last. I mean, he was nice, but did not make us any more special to him than his co workers. Most adult kids would thank Dad and MOm first. And we did do a lot for him. A lot!!!
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT, it sounds as if goneboy wanted to re-write his life story, and in a way he did, looking from the outside.

    He could not cope with the reality that he had been abandoned by his birth parents (let alone whatever the specific circumstances had been--orphanage, or whatever.) He wanted to just ditch the issues of cultural confusion and identity. He bought hook, line and sinker--a pure and simple story of one race, one culture, success, homogeneity, loyalty--and was willing to pay the price. It sounds if he did not have the fortitude to fight to own his own, true story. And because he could not, he was willing to sacrifice everybody.

    It is really a story of failure, not success.

    You know, my own son has a story not unlike that of goneboy's. Racial and cultural confusion, abandonment, etc. It makes me feel pride in him that he has not rejected me, one hundred percent--although he did for a while. Sometimes parts of his own story story are too much for him. But he stays in the game. Goneboy just fled. He just could not opt for real.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT, I understand why you and your family would want to close the door.

    However, I wonder if someday goneboy will be able to or motivated to tolerate accepting what his real life has been.

    Recently my own son (because of stupid pressure from me) enrolled in a russian history class. The first assignment was to introduce oneself by posting (it was an online course.)

    My son writes something like this; I am exaggerating, but it was close (all untrue): I remember fondly my last visit to the Russian Steppes, and to the North Sea, the Lake xxx, the beautiful northern lights, while I spoke Russian and enjoyed piroshki.

    When I read this I thought I would collapse with mortification.

    I tried to tell him: Why do you have to invent. Your own life has been fascinating, a triumph *my favorite word, lately.

    He said: I wanted to be interesting.

    Today, Cedar, in my thread about fear, quotes somebody, I forget the name, but I will paraphrase: Meeting your own face in the mirror.

    Actually, here it is:
    To "meet yourself." That is all it takes. So little and so much.
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