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Old November 29th, 2013, 06:45 PM
Lauren Lauren is offline
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I'm afraid I'm losing my son

Hi everyone,
I'm new here and I'm hoping to get some insight into my situation. My son and I used to be very close until recently. He moved to Europe with his wife soon after they got married 15 years ago. Since then I've always visited them twice a year for 10 days each time and I call my son on the phone every Sunday morning. I've never liked my daughter in law but I have always insisted that the whole family is together at all times when I'm there because I only see them twice a year so I want all of us to spend as much time together as possible. My son used to support me in this and whenever his wife tried to go places by herself, he would make her stay with me and she acted friendly to me even though I could sense it was all fake. All of this has changed and now I hardly see her and the children when I visit because the whole time I'm there she is gone. She makes herself very busy and my grandchildren spend a lot of time in their rooms when I'm visiting. My son seems annoyed with my visits and calls and I'm devastated. Since he moved away he only calls me on my birthday and mother's day, the rest of the time it has always been me calling but now it seems like he can't wait to get off the phone when I call on Sundays. Is his wife putting him against me? Thank you for any advice.
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Old November 29th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: I'm afraid I'm losing my son

His wife is not putting him against you. You've stated that you never liked her, but she still allowed you in her home and treated you respectfully, fake or not.

The title of this thread hints at some of the issues you and your son have.

He's a man with responsibilities. He's been married for 15 years. He has a job, children, and a wife. Insisting that everyone be there at all times for all 10 days is a burden. Every Sunday morning may not be convenient, either. Finding the right balance of being a mother to an adult man who doesn't need parenting is not easy. Finding a good balance between what you want and what their family needs isn't easy, either.

Are you open to finding that balance?
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Old November 29th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: I'm afraid I'm losing my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
I've never liked my daughter in law but I have always insisted that the whole family is together at all times when I'm there because I only see them twice a year so I want all of us to spend as much time together as possible. My son used to support me in this and whenever his wife tried to go places by herself, he would make her stay with me and she acted friendly to me even though I could sense it was all fake.
Ouch. I think you say a lot in this statement.

Here's what I hear: You didn't like her when your son married her and have had limited exposure to her over the last 15 years, but you still don't like her. She has tried to be as nice and friendly as she can be, and you think she is fake. When you are a guest in her home, you dictate her schedule and should she try and have time alone, your expect your son to side with you against his wife and force her to do something that she DOESN'T want to do.

Is that accurate? I want to make sure I have the story right.

What do you think your daughter in law would feel/think if you said this to her?



I am an introvert and wouldn't want to be around anyone - beloved family members and husband included - "at all times" for ten days twice a year. I adore my husband and kids, but I value my alone time; I need it. I would have to pack a bag and stay in a hotel while my husband entertained my mother in law (or dad or best friend or Ryan Gosling) just to stay sane.
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Old November 30th, 2013, 07:15 AM
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Re: I'm afraid I'm losing my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
Here's what I hear: You didn't like her when your son married her and have had limited exposure to her over the last 15 years, but you still don't like her. She has tried to be as nice and friendly as she can be, and you think she is fake. When you are a guest in her home, you dictate her schedule and should she try and have time alone, your expect your son to side with you against his wife and force her to do something that she DOESN'T want to do.
That is what I heard, too, and I was saddened by the idea that this DIL tolerated that for 15 years with no softening on Lauren's part. If Lauren is not going to like her DIL no matter what, why should her DIL continue to try to please her? And if her son has finally accepted that his mother will never accept his wife, why should he continue to choose his mother over his wife? Where would that leave Lauren?
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Old November 30th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Re: I'm afraid I'm losing my son

I'm with kaykay - I need my alone time (even from DH & DS). When my DM comes to visit I still need alone time, that's just the way I am.

My DM, on the other hand does not expect my DS's life to revolve around her when she's here. DS wants to see his BFF... great ... DS wants his BFF to spend the night - Grandma's fine with it (and I make sure they understand they can't get loud after grandma has gone to bed).

When DSD was still living at home, my DM was fine with the fact that DSD wanted to spend time with her friends (& boyfriend) too.


Lauren, do you talk with the grandkids about their interests? For a while, my non-tech mom knew more about the online game of Minecraft than I did - just because she let DS talk about his interests. I've since leanred a lot more about it.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 05:21 AM
dawris dawris is offline
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Re: I'm afraid I'm losing my son

Yes, I also agree with most of the replies here. Seeing your son twice a year when he's in Europe and you're in the US is quite impressive - I know parents and their kids living within Europe and they don't see each other so often.

Can I ask where this lady is from? We all need our alone time and 20 days per year is a very large amount of time to force somebody to be constantly in your presence. We all need our thinking time and independence. Sure you meant it well, but she must have felt controlled. Even if you visit, perhaps she still has important plans and you have no right to take that away from her.

Best thing to do would be to call your son, apologise to both of them and try to call when it suits their schedule. And when you visit, give them some independence.
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