Question: Dear Luise: My adult son has serious problems with his sciatica nerve and with out insurance. The shot he needs is very expensive. He is working every day and in terrble pain and the though of that, as a mother, is really causing me mental problems. My husband and I could afford a shot but we do have limited income and also our own health issues. At one point we offered to help im finanically. My daughter-in-law procrastinates to the point that it has cause my son, my husband and my self financial and physical probllems. The reason my son does not have insurance is one example. They are hardly surviving finanically as she does not have a job and will look for one tomorrow. My son and his wife came to visit us and she was bragging about her new motercycle books and clothes she just bought and at Christmas she gave us a $60.00 gift card and gave my son, her husband a remote helicopter. Needless to say, I was very angery with her and aske her where her prioritys were. Of course that ended in a fight between my son and me (he felt I was trying to control or interfer with their money). And now my husband – not my son’s father – said he does not want to help them with the shot because of how she spends money. My son and my relationship is in terrible problems. He is very proud man and will not ask for help. I can hardly sleep at night thinking of the pain he is in and trying to work. My daughter-in-law sits and reads the bible all day and thinks God is going to help them through this. I believe in prayer and that is also what is keeping me going but my son needs some relief from his pain. I am desperate to help him. Any advice you have would be most welcome. Thank you so much for your time. J.
Answer: Dear J.: I want to provide you with more than one viewpoint on this. Would you consider coming over to my women’s Web-forum and presenting it there? I established it for women who have issues with adult children and extended families. You situation is so complex that a single answer isn’t going to be enough. At www.WiseWomenUnite.com you will get the benefit of hearing back from a community that is willing to dialogue with you with understanding and offer support.
My take is that your son has a lesson he has to learn on his own…he picked his wife and she is willfully spending his hard earned money on everything but the shots he needs. It’s how their relationship is playing out. The fact is he condones her abuse. Yes, that’s what it is. And it’s the direct result of his choice of a non-partnering mate. There are consequences that come from poor choices and lessons to be learned from them. For you to step in a criticize what is foolishly spent on gifts and get upset as you watch her read about and talk about lofty principles that she doesn’t apply in a responsible and compassionate way…is not your place. Again, as I see it, he chose her and it is his situation to resolve. I also totally get how nearly impossible it would be to stand by and stay out of it. Bottom line, they are adults and have a lot to learn about life. That is done by living it and, as I have stated, facing up to and working through the consequences.
By bringing the whole thing to my forum…you will get a broader view and increased input regarding getting though how adversely it is affecting you. There are those who may not agree with me and who may offer other options. I hope you will join us. Blessings, Luise