Question: Dear Luise: I have a 29 year old son who, what I thought was happy in his marriage of five years. They also have a 1 year old son. They both have great jobs and no money problems. My Daughter-in Law is a Nurse but decided to go back to school to obtain a higher degree. They both work long hours. While on my last visit to her house (before she arrived home) I was visiting my son, when her mom walks in and tells me that My Daughter-in Law is leaving my son because he want help her with the house work. I’ve always told my son and her that whatever goes on in their home needs to stay there. He never tells me anything so I was caught off guard with this. Her mom went on to tell me how he was lazy and wouldn’t do housework at all. I was so upset I lashed back and her, and said my daughter-in law never ever picks up anything in the house and she stays at her mom’s 24-7 so that’s one reason the housework isn’t getting done. My son wants to hire a cleaning person but she want let him, as they are saving money for a new house!!! Seems like it would be better to hire someone than to get a divorce. Now she is mad at me and want speak to me or answer my text or calls. I’m at my wits end. I’ve been so hurt because we have somewhat always go along. She want come around any of my family or do anything with us. She stays with her family all the time. My mom is 84 years old and begs to see her great grandchild, he is 14 months old and she has saw him twice. She refuses because my mom has cats in her home. I’m so heart broken to think they may get a divorce and I want get to see my precious grandson anymore, the only one I have. I opened my mouth before I thought about it, as any mom would do if someone was downing her child to her face. This wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t go her mother involved. How should I handle this, and I’m afraid to go see my grandson because I don’t know what she may say or do. L.
Answer: Dear L.: The first thing I would suggest would be to stop blaming others and beyond that to get that you didn’t do “as any mom would do”…so also stop finding excuses for yourself. All you can do at this stage that I can think of is to get that they are how they are and as adults they all have the right to make their own choices…and either learn from the consequences or not. You do not have to take the abuse. You were a whole person before you became a parent and you can have a full life again without your adult children and extended family. Look to see what would bring you peace and joy beyond all of that and focus on loving yourself. You gave it your best…and your job is done. Now it’s time to remove yourself from the drama and move on. You can do it and you’ll be glad you did. Blessings, Luise