Question: Dear Luise: I will try and keep this fairly short, my son (age 35) met and married a girl in 2009, they now have 2 very small boys. Myself, husband and daughter always had our doubts about her, she has come from an unsettled background, never knowing her dad was has left looking after her 2 younger brothers, at one point she was in a children’s home, she has a lot of anger in her. The family had their doubts but did not want to interfere. We have always been a close knit family and my son and daughter were so close, however, my daughter and DIL didn’t really get on and have not spoken for over 2 years, daughter has not spoken to her brother either. About 3 weeks ago, my DIL texted my daughter asking if they could meet up, my daughter was not keen as she told them she is busy and may meet up later on, there was so much animosity between them at the time and my daughter said she could not face that again but said she would agree to meet later on. A few nights ago, my son telephoned his sister and asked her why she would not see them, and was told she is too busy. Things got heated, very nasty accusations were thrown and my DIL called my daughter some very filthy names, most four lettered. The call was cut short and my daughter phoned me in bits, I was upset as well. Now I guess this is where I made my mistake, I normally look after my son’s eldest boy on a Wednesday but felt I couldn’t do it as it would have been letting my daughter down, as she was so upset, I also didn’t feel I could face DIL either after all the filthy language. This has caused terrible problems with DIL, she has sent me nasty texts and says she will give someone else the privilege of looking after my grandson. A couple of nights ago she sent me a text and said that because of me and my daughter their marriage was over. She also tried to call me, 5 times in all but I would not answer the phone as I knew she would be abusive and I cannot handle that. My son phoned me next day and said she was kicking him out, but he would not be able to cope as he wants to be there for the 2 boys, they talked and said they would try again, however I am banned from seeing the boys. My son has already admitted that if it wasn’t for the boys he would leave but he cannot bear to leave them. I am at my wits end, I know I have to stand back but I am heartbroken, I have always tried to get on with the DIL but have often felt like I was pussy footing around and walking on egg shells, I wanted to get on with her for my son’s sake. She also falls out with people quite easily if they put a foot wrong. I don’t know how I am going to cope without having some kind of access to my grandsons. To be honest, I don’t see how their relationship can work if she has put so many restrictions on him, his problem I know. However, yesterday there were developments, I had an abusive text from the DIL at midnight saying I had messed up her family (4 letter word was used), son phoned yesterday to say he had to call the police because she was violent to him, she was arrested and taken into custody. I guess that they had been drinking heavily. The girl has serious anger issues from her childhood. I have got the blame as I believe she has told my son to stop having contact with me and this is probably what caused the outburst. I am worried about the 2 small boys in the house, age 2 and 11 months witnessing all this. I know my son has now been told never to contact me again. I am heartbroken and do not know how to cope. Thank you for taking the time to read this. S.
Answer: Dear S. You wrote, “his problem, I know” and that says it all. You are right in saying that you made a serious mistake…because it looked like you were taking your daughter’s side and favoring her instead of staying out of it. Yes, it all blew up from there but the truth is that it was already set to explode, momentarily. You just detonated it and are handy to blame.
If you are willing, I’d like to suggest you bring your situation over to my Web-forum for women who are dealing with issues involving adult children and extended families. You will find understanding and support in the community that has formed there over the last three years. We are at www.WiseWomenUnite.com . Blessings, Luise.