Thanks for your replies, I have analyzed the problem a million times in my head and writing to this forum is my way of trying to get to the end of my mourning. I know mourning is a very hard way of saying what needs to be said, but in my heart, I know it will near be the same again.
What is so hard to take is; all the love, all the parental investment in our son’s future, every nice moment we have had together, was and is rejected and has been replaced by nastiness. Small children small problems, big children big problems.
Another thing which is terrible to read, is the fact that all the situations are really very similar. Rejection from a grown-up brat using the grandchildren to inflict pain.
I will try to stay on an adult level and not become a brat myself. I intend to be here when my son will need help and certainly when the grandchildren rebel against their parents and will need support.
Good luck to everybody, I am sure you need it.
Well said, onestepatatime:
Happy New Year!! Sometime folks need to hear from folks that have been there, and done that.
The myth of the happy family is just a myth. All families have problems. Your son and his wife physically attacking another member of the family is just wrong. You can't change the son and his wife, something is wrong with both of them. You did the right thing by asking the physical attacker, the abusers, to leave. By appeasing them, the good behavior people get negated and told they don't matter. I don't think you can calm this situation, you don't have the power to change other people. I am sorry to say this. Counseling for you and your wife to learn to accept how your son and his wife are will be very helpful. Your choice is to appease the son and negate the daughter -- or just expect everyone to act like a grown up and if they don't, then they are not invited or invited alone. Maybe eventually you met son and DIL at a restaurant, a public place, not your home. Of course you don't want to drop your son or grandchildren but its out of your power to make son or DIL act nice, respectful, kind, loving, helpful, whatever. Sometimes we can't fix things and we never can fix other people. And I have found that explaining to unreasonable people doesn't work either, they always blame someone else, never take responsibility. So I have stopped "explaining" or trying to reason with those I know aren't able to be reasonable, mature, or be logical. I am sorry, I have bad behavior adult children too and now I am forced to just avoid them and limit contact for my own peace of mind and mental and physical wellness. Its not safe nor healthy for me to be around them but it took a lot of counseling for me to decide to put my own best interests first, even if its the son or daughter I love so much who is not safe to be around.
Being the patriarch and matriarch of a family, ain't easy. You and your wife have proven that y'all are compassionate, helpful, and loving. Sometimes it's not enough, and sometimes it's too much. You were not wrong in not allowing a physical fight between siblings in the home you share with all family members. We do not know what the fight was about? We do not understand why a grown man would think that him and his wife ganged up on his sister? What we do know is that know they have become emotionally punitive toward the grand parents.
Explain to your adult son the reasons for your actions. That's your job as patriarch. Explain the pain behind not being allowed to be grandparents. This is a fight that you don't want to lose. And a silly battle that you did not deserve to be injected into. The siblings need to make amends and be adults.
Then just step back and allow them to figure it out. Our children do not change until we do. And don't forget, you have the unspoken power of your grandchildren, they will begin to miss you, and will become your unknowing allies.
I would like your opinion and advice on the following family situation which is destroying our well-being. Here is a rapid résumé.
We have 2 adult children, a daughter and a son. Before, we had a “happy family” life style with our children and their families, celebrating Christmas, birthdays, mother/father’s day having the grand children to stay the night or taking them camping for a few days, etc.
2 ½ years ago our daughter lost her husband in an accident. She required a lot of help and support during a very difficult period. She has a young child. A short time after, my wife’s sister (51) started treatment for cancer, we were very busy helping during the last months of her life. In brief, with the 2 situations, we had a very difficult 18 months and we couldn’t live our “normal life style”.
During this period, it turns out that the relationship between our son and daughter had degraded and that we hadn’t really noticed.
18 months ago we organized a small family gathering at our house to try to cheer everyone up and to celebrate 2 missed birthdays. 10 minutes after our son and his wife arrived, all hell was let loose (no alcohol was involved). Our son with his wife physically attacked our daughter. In the confusion we asked our son and his wife the leave.
Since then, we have tried to calm the situation and to reestablish a real relationship with our son and his family but to no avail. When we ask him he says nothing is wrong. His wife who has a history of self-harm and a very difficult childhood, refuses to see us or for us to see our grandchildren and our son seems to agree with her although he won’t say that to our faces.
My wife is emotionally at the end of her tether; I am very upset and think about it all the time. We need some advice from an independent party. I don’t want to drop my son or grandchildren.
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