Question: Dear Luise: My son married a very kind and loving young woman 17 years ago and she and I bonded like blood relatives. She could tell me anything and she showed her much love to my husband and I. Something has changed. We see the family weekly at church and many times we pick them up in our large SUV. We always have them out to our place for get-togethers because she have a big home and lots of room. There home is very small and not much room. My daugher in law recently went to work part time stocking shelves in a grocery store. She has never worked oustside the home, but now her children are now 11 and 17 and at school all day so she felt she could help financilly. She now has a little money. My husband and I are professional people and have always worked hard making a good income so we have helped them financially throughout their whole marriage. My son and his wife struggle to make ends meet and because of that we have made sure they had transportation and clothing. What I am trying to say, we have been there for them every way you can and always helped them with hardships. My son is very grateful and loves us very much. The grand-daughters also love us. Recently there is a shift in attitude by my daughter in law. She doesn’t mind snapping or getting aggressive to me if I say something she does like. Example: I have a huge dream kitchen with a garden window, extra large sinks and fancy faucets. Usually my husband I prepare the meal before the family arrive but this day she was helping me in the kitchen. I was working along beside her. When she finished washing the vegetables, she shook her hands so violently that she splashed water all over the counter, garden window and cabinets. I guess she isn’t used to using towels – I told her to please keep her hands over the sink when she shakes them. You can use the folded towels stacked beside the sink to dry your hands if you want. She sarcasticly quipped, “That is why I don’t like working in your kitchen – you want it to look like it is unused.” By the way, her kitchen is always a big mess and there is no where to sit down. I need advise about what I can do. S.
Answer: Dear S.: I started a separate Web-forum for this kind of question. It is too complex for a single answer and over the years I have found that dialoguing within an established community with others who are in similar circumstances is much more supportive. I will be there, too, of course. Please consider coming over to www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise