Question: Dear Luise: I have 3 grown sons and 3 beautiful daughter-in-laws and a wonderful 2nd marriage. My sons lost their father from als 4 years ago. My oldest son had shown signs of being greedy with family money when my mother died. She thought of my sons as hers. No boundaries in our family!! Since then he has become more and more greedy and lying about it to his wife who now excludes me from the family and Grandchildren (4 teenagers.) She, the wife, has never talked to me but tells the family I am a liar, about what, we are not exactly sure. They both are verbally abusive to me and have told me that I am “crazy”. They have called the bank (I am co-executer of the family trust until I die or become disabled, then it goes to my son) and demanded they be sent monthly copies of the trust. The bank said “no” that was not their responsibility. My oldest son has been dishonest with me on several occasions involving money. Consequently I am leaving a considerable amount of land and money to my other 2 sons and my oldest sons children and leaving son and daughter-in-law out. They don’t know this as of now. My next step is to try for family counseling with my husband and me and son and daughter-in-law. This means a 6 hour drive for us and a motel stay. My youngest son suggested this a year ago as husband I have been kicked out of family get-togethers and it is hard for him to travel 2 places on holidays. Am I doing the right thing? I have not had a decent nights sleep in 3 years over the state of things. As best I can tell we simply are a very narcissistic family and this has been passed down one generation after another. D.
Answer: Dear D. How far you are willing to go to try to repair the damage that you do not understand or feel responsible for, is up to you. We are all different regarding how much abuse we can tolerate.
You might want to bring this issue to my Web-forum: www.motherinlawsunite.com . I created it for the express purpose of addressing issues involving adult children.
I know a lot of people won’t agree with me but I would vote to let your eldest son and his wife have their hate program and move on without them. Family get-togethers built on biology alone would not appeal to me. They are either matters of the heart…or they aren’t. If my other sons and their wives wanted to join my eldest for the holidays, I would set up non-holiday get-togethers with them and enjoy those thoroughly. Then I’d probably take a cruise or something when I was excluded.
Counseling is something that may appeal to your younger son who doesn’t want to celebrate double holidays, but that kind of dishonesty and disloyalty is too toxic in my opinion to take to the counseling table in the hopes of a “happily ever after.”
That’s just my opinion, of course. I simply wouldn’t go there. You have been unjustly accused and now in a counseling venue you are going to have to defend yourself against those accusations. What’s wrong with that picture?
Where your will is concerned, I think what you plan to do makes sense, if your attorney sees it as legally feasible. You are not leaving your eldest son’s children out, you are just closing the door on someone who has attacked you unfairly, causing you great pain and suffering…and who has chosen to close the door on you. Why would you reward that kind of unmerited behavior? Blessings, Luise