Why Should I Answer Duty Calls?

Question: Dear Luise: I have 3 adult sons and 4 grandchildren.  I was at one time close to at least 2 of my sons, and even the daughter in law used to keep in touch sometimes. That has totally changed and I don’t get cards anymore from her or calls.  I do send cards and gifts to my 2 grandsons and when my son calls once in awhile I get a chance to talk to them.  I see them very rarely.  My oldest son is in South America, and I have a granddaughter there.  I used to talk to her on the phone frequently, but am losing desire to call at all because I guess I am tired of everything being one sided.  My son is not with the mother and he has nothing to do with me or his brothers for quite awhile.  He will be visiting the states this summer but to visit my mother who has inherited a lot of money, but will not come to my state so I can visit with my granddaughter.  I have only met her once for 4 days and she is 6 yrs. old.  Now my last son and daughter in law just had a baby girl about 6 weeks ago.  It is very darling and everything went well when my husband and I visited. This son is the one that is more attentive to me and usually caring. But sometimes when I call which is not often, I might mention what is going on with my life that is positive for me instead of concentrating on a disability I have gotten these last few years.  Instead of saying something nice back, well that’s good, he will be silent, and all I am doing is waiting for a response, so I might say “hello” because there is total silence.  He is annoyed with me that I thought he might respond to the news I am telling him which I have mentioned may be an encouraging thing for me to keep my mind off my condition.  Then it’s almost like he is looking for a fight with me. I try not to fall into this route as most of the time we do have a nice relationship; the question is I really am worn out trying to walk on eggshells with my sons, daughter-in-laws, etc.  I am not an intrusive mother-in-law or mother and if anything I have tried to get approval from all, and show respect to them.  I am not abusive and have a cheerful personality most of the time. I want a relationship with all the members of my family, but I feel I can’t do right anymore and then this depression and hurt sets in.  I know you can’t make people love you or accept you even if it’s your own flesh and blood.  My new husband keeps telling me that they will always be resentful of me for divorcing their father.  We were together 24 years! Mother’s Day is coming and I don’t want to be home to receive any calls. I would like your opinion on this situation. Thank you. J.

Answer: Dear J: You can lead a horse to water but it ends there. Your kids seem to be more interested in what’s going on in their own lives. There isn’t much you can do about that. They can sometimes be nasty about divorce and just want you to stay married no matter how miserable you are. It sounds to me like it’s time for you to focus on your physical issues and your new hubby and let the family wander off if that’s what they want to do. You can’t hold it together all by yourself.

Come on over to www.wisewomenunite.com and meet the rest of my “family. Blessings, Luise

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